Palas

1. work-in-progress Good Morning, Remilia | Touhou 6 - Septette For the Dead Princess ReMix

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Hello! This is the first remix I'm posting here, and the relative lack of Touhou remixes on OCR does bewilder me a bit. Now, this is a somewhat old project I decided to bring up again in order to improve my skills and, of course, contribute to OCR. I took the final boss theme from Touhou 6 (Embodiment of the Scarlet Devil) and tried to give it a dreamy, chill interpretation. As if Remilia a vampire was ready to get a good morning's sleep after a hard day's night.

Original Theme

Remix — 1st Version

While lurking, I noticed many remixers don't usually preserve the iterations of their works on their wip threads. So while I could more or less understand how their progress went, I couldn't quite listen to it, and that kinda sucks. So I want to catalog my improvements in this thread so maybe this helps someone else in the future.

Now, I would really appreciate feedback on this piece. From reading and learning here, I could more or less self-diagnose some potential problems:

  • The arrangement doesn't feel as perky or as rich as it could. The strings, in particular, are kinda dull.
  • The song doesn't flow all too well, I guess. Which would be fine the original isn't exactly smooth either but the vibe I'm going for needs the song to be butter so that the long repetition at the end feels satisfying and ~trance-like~ rather than just, well, repetitive.
  • The mixing is bad, feels weak and thin. The usage of stereo is poor, so it all sound muddy and not as rich as a interpretation like that requires. The percussion needs a lot more weight, but then again so does everything else.

So this is what I got. Just because I think I can see problems doesn't mean I have the slightest clue as to how to solve them. But even after all this, I hope you enjoy it!

 

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Welcome Palas,

Thanks for sharing. I am not familiar with the source game; so thank you for sharing a link to the original track. I like this source material. It sounds very much like an opening-anime-soundtrack, which is cool. Definitely something that could add to the OC ReMix library. So ya, the source track has over 1 million views and it is already a complex track on its own, with a full instrumentation and verses and choruses and neat chord changes and so forth. The other edge to that sword is that it will be important to make your ReMix more than a remix. So let's take a listen to your track...

... First Impressions ...

0:00 opening is already very different from the source track (is this from another source track?) 0:27 I like this opening, it has that nice ambient, rainy feel, sounds like a music-box from  - the panning on the toms seems a bit extreme to me 1:20 I like this flute addition, though I'd suggest bringing it forward in the mix, maybe a little more vibratto 1:38 - Things are getting a little musically muddy here 1:56 - I like this sonic backdrop here, contemplative 2:10 - drums feel out of place here, I don't think this is a good spot for 1/16th notes on the hats 2:20 - it feels to me like the mix is quickly losing its momentum, let this instrument shine more here - there is a period of silence here. I would not recommend this right now. 2:45 - It is good to here all of the instruments together again. The hats and toms are too repetitive and predictable. 3:58 - I like those water-drop sounds

 

Here's a second run-through with more refined suggestions.

The opening is great. Perfect timing for the first 20 seconds. I like how the mix takes off at 0:20. At 0:43, we have a second verse, that's fine. The string harmonies sound nice. So far percussion is nice and light. 0:59, change in melody, drums still sound nice. But by this point, I think it is really time to get the mix moving, which begs the question, where is it moving towards? I like the percussion fill at 1:06. Please do more of this throughout the mix (less repeating, program all of the drum parts by hand to keep it creative). 1:34 great buildup, but it doesn't really go anywhere at 1:36. Now is the time to bring in louder brass, faster percussion, syncopation, pull out the big band, sizzling strings, and let's get this track going! 1:52, a good cool-down section. 2:14 I think this soft section is poorly placed, I think it would be better to do another round of the full section (like I suggested for 1:36-1:52). Then we can do another soft section afterwards. 2:49 - I am feeling fatigued now, the melody just isn't very compelling to me here and the drums are too repetitive. Maybe try decreasing the attack time on the strings so that the melody can shine own more. Pull the drums back a bit maybe. 3:58 - This mix is not ready to end, but this is a nice ending. That organ/string sounding mix works quite well for an ending.

 

I might suggest incorporating the source material at 1:09 to 1:20 in that YouTube video of the source track. It's a fun chord change that could add your mix. Also, what is your goal for this rearrangement, and what software are you using? Thanks again for sharing. I look forward to an update.

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I had never received such detailed and constructive feedback before! Thank you so, so much!

Right, I might as well talk about what I personally like about this remix (otherwise I might as well not have posted at all) and what I want to do with it:

  • I want to make something that builds up and carries the listener to some sort of apotheosis, then stays there until the song ends, repeating the same melody more or less forever. The best reference I can bring up is this song (trying my best to remember VGM that does that, and I'm sure there's plenty, but I'm bad at remembering things when I need something specific). Introduces a melody, builds it up, then restarts but with more elements, introduces the third part and then reintroduces elements from the two previous sections as counterpoints, finally letting them go in favor of a mantra-like melody that repeats itself for a long time, as if the song is "melting" on top of itself.

    I believe this brings a very dreamlike quality to a song, and it's what I'm trying to replicate.
  • I personally love the original's intro, but every remix out there (and there are a lot of them) neglects it for reasons I don't really understand. So I'm glad that I gave it some attention, twice.
  • There's a lot going on in the original, and I wanted to soften it in ambience and harmony. So I did use the source material in 1:09-1:20, as the melody that precedes the section with all instruments (2:14-2:37). There's no chord change though, exactly because I didn't want the music to jump. Maybe I should have, but in general what I want to achieve is something that feels soft and fluffy. So that was my line of thinking.

So that's it. I'll consider every suggestion very carefully, work on it and return with an update. I'm using FL Studio 11 (FL seems to be popular around here, and  while browsing I've already picked up a lot of information about workflow that I had never used before, so that'll help), though I mostly use free and/or demanding VST that my poor old laptop can't handle.

I might need another flute for the vibrato, and I've already EQ'd the stock FL strings to hell and back to make them sound somewhat acceptable. Instrumentation does need work and investment. I'm 1000% open to suggestions regarding VST you think is good, or at least reliable.

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I love it. It sounds like you have a vision for what you want the track to become. Now its a matter of translating that into the actual mix. I think that link you posted is a great reference track not only for the arrangement style but also for the audio track mixing. One thing I notice right away, is that that track has a rhodes piano with a sustain pedal, which sort of serves as a pad for the track and really helps set the ambiance and fills in the gaps. On your track, the strings are filling this role, but they do sound thin. Maybe boost up the lower strings to help fill in that space? Can always try some reverb or delay or chorus. Just a thought. Or you could try using more of the mid-low range on the piano (to play chords), or maybe even try a Rhodes, sometimes it's just called an E. Piano / Electric Piano or Tines. Unfortunately, my knowledge of VSTs is pretty limited now days, but a simple Google search can get you pretty far or a browse of KVR Audio. Of course there's the OCR Forums too. Hopefully someone will chime in here about that. In any case, keep it up. Can't wait for an update!

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