BloomingLate

1. work-in-progress DKC - Life in the Mines Old School Trance remix

7 posts in this topic

UPDATE 2: Latest version post feedback

 

See this post for details.

 

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PREVIOUS UPDATE: Finished version ready for tweaking and fine tuning per your feedback

https://soundcloud.com/user-227517766/trance-in-the-mines-life-in-the-mines-dkc-ready-for-feedback

I added some more sounds (notably toms and some ambient pad), reverb and a somewhat proper ending. A section from the factory level makes a guest appearance. Kick and snare got a new sample, but the snare remains a bit of an issue I'm afraid.

Overall I like it well enough. It started out as a bit of a joke remix, but gradually it grew on me. I'd like to submit it to the judges *lightning strikes* *wolf howls* - 0_0 - after I did all I could to add the finishing touches based on your feedback. Your input is much appreciated. The more specific you can be, the better (i.e. tell me at what point in the track something doesn't sound right or whatever).

Thanks!

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Hello strangers :)

I'd like to share with you a remix project that kind of materialized in my brain while I was supposed to be working on something else.
This is a trance remix of Donkey Kong Country's mine level theme (Life in the mines). And by trance, I mean the kind of trance that I listened to growing up, mainly between the years 1999 and 2002.
I just wanted to see if I could pull something like that off in FL Studio. I'm still learning to properly mix channels and all that good stuff, which no doubt will "show" through. I figured this would be a good exercise for that.

Basically I'm going for that "old school" (European) trance feel. I'm not trying to be super original here. The track is still a work in progress. I plan on doing another breakdown/buildup thing at the end of it.

I'm having serious trouble with volume. Somehow my own generated mp3's all sound really uhm, not loud. I'm not sure if its just my laptop, or my old PC speakers, or my crappy headphones. I'd like to invest in a good set of headphones for this kind of work soon enough. At this point I can at least tell the hi-hat is on the loud side, while the kick is possibly too soft.

Anyway, what do you think? Am I on the right track producing that classic buildup/breakdown/buildup trance feel? Do these transitions work? Have I used a wide enough range of pitches (not sure if that's the right term there).

PS: I made this from memory, and there is possibly a Halo influence in there which coincided with what I think the chords should be.

PPS: for the title I have two options in mind: "Trance in the Mines" or "Frog Induced Trance" (a reference to Winky the frog, who appears in the first level this track plays in in the game).

Link to Soundcloud file:

https://soundcloud.com/user-227517766/trance-in-the-mines-life-in-the-mines-dkc-wip

Source:

 

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Using compression on the kick is something you should look into to make it punchier. Also, look into sidechain compression as that's something that's done in that genre a lot and helps with making the kick cut through the mix. Here's a video that shows how to use sidechains in FL studio (I don't use FL studio so don't know how helpful this actually is):  

 

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On 5/5/2018 at 4:29 PM, Vidilian said:

Using compression on the kick is something you should look into to make it punchier. Also, look into sidechain compression as that's something that's done in that genre a lot and helps with making the kick cut through the mix. Here's a video that shows how to use sidechains in FL studio (I don't use FL studio so don't know how helpful this actually is): 

 

I heard about that and I'd like to first understand what I'm doing and why, when I use that technique. Most video's I've seen on side-chaining just show people doing stuff, but I don't want to just copy paste techniques. I've uploaded an updated version with different kick and snare samples and I feel like the new kick is present enough as it is, so maybe you can take a listen and tell me if it still needs compression etc.?
I'll then have to seriously dive into the material to see if I can get a grasp of it.

Updated version here:

https://soundcloud.com/user-227517766/trance-in-the-mines-life-in-the-mines-dkc-ready-for-feedback

 

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Sidechaining is when the signal from one track is used as a trigger for an effect on another track. So for sidechain compression in trance they have the signal from the kick trigger compression on the bass. That gives the pumping effect that trance is known where the bass dips out of the way of the kick whenever it plays and helps it cut through the mix more instead of competing with bass.

The new kick your using is better so it may not necessarily need compression but now the snare in the new version is barely audible now compared to everything else so you should bring it back up. Also, experiment with the EQ of the intruments in the mid frequencies, like the piano, as they are muddying up the mix.

 

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On 5/8/2018 at 6:03 PM, Vidilian said:

Sidechaining is when the signal from one track is used as a trigger for an effect on another track. So for sidechain compression in trance they have the signal from the kick trigger compression on the bass. That gives the pumping effect that trance is known where the bass dips out of the way of the kick whenever it plays and helps it cut through the mix more instead of competing with bass.

The new kick your using is better so it may not necessarily need compression but now the snare in the new version is barely audible now compared to everything else so you should bring it back up. Also, experiment with the EQ of the intruments in the mid frequencies, like the piano, as they are muddying up the mix.

 

I actually found out that the "pumping effect" (provided we're thinking about the same thing) is actually the thing I used to hate about electronic music :P Go figure.

Anyway, I found some helpful tutorials online that help me understand the principles of compression and side chaining. The latter still requires some research.

Okay, so I have an updated version again. I played around with compression on my snare and eventually figured I want an entirely different sample. The new sample sounds much better i.m.o. and doesn't seem to require further compression.

You mentioned the muddiness caused by the piano. I think this is the last thing that I need to work on. Would it be better if I separate the piano chords (the lower register) from the melody (higher register) by creating two instances of the piano and tweaking each individual piano? I'm kind of at a loss here about what to do. I'm already using panning to separate the instruments.
When you say "experiment with the mid frequencies" do you mean making them louder/softer or should I try to filter out excess sounds from the other registers?

Would you agree that the problems start at around 1:29 (when the piano kicks in) and again at around 2:18?

Latest version here:

https://soundcloud.com/user-227517766/trance-in-the-mines-life-in-the-mines-dkc-feedback-processed

Thanks for your time and feedback!

 

Edited by BloomingLate
Fixed link to latest mp3

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Th

Yeah, like you said, when the piano starts playing the chords at 1:29 is where the problem was prominent to me. You've toned down the reverb in the last version so that's helped with muddiness. Yes you should definitely separate the melody from the chords imo, because the chords need to be treated more like a backing instrument. Right now they are drowning out the melody too much.

For the whole EQ thing, there's a trick called EQ sweeping that helps when your trying to clean up a sound. Here's a page that explains in the context of FL studio better than I could: https://howtomakeelectronicmusic.com/how-to-use-eq-sweeping/

The key is to try and cut frequencies from the instrument without compromising the sound of the instrument, if that makes sense.

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On 5/13/2018 at 2:59 PM, Vidilian said:

Th

Yeah, like you said, when the piano starts playing the chords at 1:29 is where the problem was prominent to me. You've toned down the reverb in the last version so that's helped with muddiness. Yes you should definitely separate the melody from the chords imo, because the chords need to be treated more like a backing instrument. Right now they are drowning out the melody too much.

For the whole EQ thing, there's a trick called EQ sweeping that helps when your trying to clean up a sound. Here's a page that explains in the context of FL studio better than I could: https://howtomakeelectronicmusic.com/how-to-use-eq-sweeping/

The key is to try and cut frequencies from the instrument without compromising the sound of the instrument, if that makes sense.

That's a neat trick. In addition to trying that I looked into some more posts about EQ-ing. After some playing around (and separating the chords from the melody) I concluded that the piano lead is just a bit boring in and of itself. I then played around with some synths to give it more of an actual trance sound, but that soon forced me to almost rewrite the entire piece from that part on. I tried a number of different things, but in the end I can't get to a satisfying result. I've already spend way more time than I intended to spend on this, so I think I'll let it rest for the moment. Maybe I'll come back to it after a while when I've learned more things or found better samples/sounds/VSTs to use.

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