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For now, I call it "High Voltage"

You see what I did there?

I just wanted everyone to get a listen and maybe let me know what they think of this mix. I worked for almost 14 hours on it.

And yes, I still upload on Newgrounds. It's still a thing and still alive.

Edited by Seth Skoda
Link fix

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Well, let me first congratulate on building this from scratch. Your time investment shows, as well. It's somewhat relaxing, yet plenty active. The echoes are nicely done, without muddying things up, and the synths are crisp and clear. Your style and treatment of it reminds me of the Megaman 11 sound track, to be honest, but is decidedly Sonic material. Nice work!

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14 hours ago, Souperion said:

Well, let me first congratulate on building this from scratch. Your time investment shows, as well. It's somewhat relaxing, yet plenty active. The echoes are nicely done, without muddying things up, and the synths are crisp and clear. Your style and treatment of it reminds me of the Megaman 11 sound track, to be honest, but is decidedly Sonic material. Nice work!

Thank you very much for the review! Yes, I'm quite experienced in mixing, having learned techniques both from online articles and others who produce similar material, in addition to figuring out my own ways of getting it done. In case you didn't notice it, there are 4 YM2612 instruments in there, but only two are obvious.

It's funny that you mention Mega Man. I love those soundtracks (NES & SNES games), and I want to rearrange some of those OSTs one day.

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This is solid Seth! I love the source track (well, I love just about every song on the S3&K OST, but this one does probably make the top ten for me, especially Act 2). And I think you've got some nice variations on its themes here, and have found a unique vibe to explore with it. Like Souperion said, it's fairly relaxed, which makes for an interesting contrast against the urgency of the original. I also agree that it sounds Megaman-esque, maybe it's those synth toms lol. Your synths are all sounding good and they meld together as a set nicely. Mixing-wise, about the only thing I'm not a fan of is the hi-hats. They sound pretty dominant on my headphones (Beyerdynamic DT 770s), to the point where I feel like they're masking some of the nice synth work going on elsewhere. I'd reduce the volume on them a bit.

Arrangement-wise: you say the song has a long intro in your Newgrounds description, but actually some of my favorite touches of the whole remix are in the first minute. I really like the groovy progression that comes in at 0:30 (sounds a bit guitar-like, to my ear) and continues until 0:55 or so. And the transition from 0:56 leading into the song proper at 0:59 is really cool too. I missed these later on and would love to hear them return elsewhere - maybe a breakdown section or two, where the primary hi-hat-based percussion falls away and all we get is something similar to what goes on at 0:30 to 0:55 for a bit. You could lead into/out of it with effects similar to the transition at 0:56.

I say this mainly because there's sections of the song where I feel like things are getting a bit too homogeneous/repetitious, and I want to hear some contrasting energy to "break me out of it" briefly. The shift into the B theme just before 2 minutes is a good one, and I like the fat sound of your synth lead here. It's more around 2:27 where I first start feeling like I need a breakdown (or something similar) to mix things up. I think the omnipresent hi-hats are partially responsible for this, so a break from them here and there might help your synth work shine through better.

I'm also not sure the piece needs to be as long as it is - you've got a melodic exploration at 3:05 - 3:26 that's good, but then it basically repeats itself from 3:27 to 3:55 and I don't feel like I'm hearing anything fresh here to keep me invested. 4:27 - 4:55 also seems to me like it's just layering a couple previous explorations together in a way that isn't particularly novel, and I'd almost rather it skipped to what you have at 5:00 instead, which I like better. I think you could get the song just under 5 minutes this way, which would still be plenty long imo.

A caveat: I'm not too familiar with trap music, so maybe some of my thoughts above would push you too far out of your chosen genre. Disregard any suggestions I've made that you feel would mess with the song's identity too much. I'm basically just looking for a few mixups to give my ears a break from what they've gotten used to over the course of the song.

Some nitpicks, take 'em or leave 'em - I think that plucked synth sound all by itself in the beginning is a touch harsh; as the synth strings come in you pull it back and it sounds better to me like that. Maybe have it start at a lower volume, more equivalent to where it's at alongside the strings. I'm also not a huge fan of songs ending on a fade-out, so... maybe consider ending it more definitively somehow, but that's not a big deal ;D

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On 8/30/2019 at 1:23 AM, Eladar said:

This is solid Seth! I love the source track (well, I love just about every song on the S3&K OST, but this one does probably make the top ten for me, especially Act 2). And I think you've got some nice variations on its themes here, and have found a unique vibe to explore with it. Like Souperion said, it's fairly relaxed, which makes for an interesting contrast against the urgency of the original. I also agree that it sounds Megaman-esque, maybe it's those synth toms lol. Your synths are all sounding good and they meld together as a set nicely. Mixing-wise, about the only thing I'm not a fan of is the hi-hats. They sound pretty dominant on my headphones (Beyerdynamic DT 770s), to the point where I feel like they're masking some of the nice synth work going on elsewhere. I'd reduce the volume on them a bit.

Arrangement-wise: you say the song has a long intro in your Newgrounds description, but actually some of my favorite touches of the whole remix are in the first minute. I really like the groovy progression that comes in at 0:30 (sounds a bit guitar-like, to my ear) and continues until 0:55 or so. And the transition from 0:56 leading into the song proper at 0:59 is really cool too. I missed these later on and would love to hear them return elsewhere - maybe a breakdown section or two, where the primary hi-hat-based percussion falls away and all we get is something similar to what goes on at 0:30 to 0:55 for a bit. You could lead into/out of it with effects similar to the transition at 0:56.

I say this mainly because there's sections of the song where I feel like things are getting a bit too homogeneous/repetitious, and I want to hear some contrasting energy to "break me out of it" briefly. The shift into the B theme just before 2 minutes is a good one, and I like the fat sound of your synth lead here. It's more around 2:27 where I first start feeling like I need a breakdown (or something similar) to mix things up. I think the omnipresent hi-hats are partially responsible for this, so a break from them here and there might help your synth work shine through better.

I'm also not sure the piece needs to be as long as it is - you've got a melodic exploration at 3:05 - 3:26 that's good, but then it basically repeats itself from 3:27 to 3:55 and I don't feel like I'm hearing anything fresh here to keep me invested. 4:27 - 4:55 also seems to me like it's just layering a couple previous explorations together in a way that isn't particularly novel, and I'd almost rather it skipped to what you have at 5:00 instead, which I like better. I think you could get the song just under 5 minutes this way, which would still be plenty long imo.

A caveat: I'm not too familiar with trap music, so maybe some of my thoughts above would push you too far out of your chosen genre. Disregard any suggestions I've made that you feel would mess with the song's identity too much. I'm basically just looking for a few mixups to give my ears a break from what they've gotten used to over the course of the song.

Some nitpicks, take 'em or leave 'em - I think that plucked synth sound all by itself in the beginning is a touch harsh; as the synth strings come in you pull it back and it sounds better to me like that. Maybe have it start at a lower volume, more equivalent to where it's at alongside the strings. I'm also not a huge fan of songs ending on a fade-out, so... maybe consider ending it more definitively somehow, but that's not a big deal ;D

Whoa. Quite the in-depth review! It is much appreciated! Really, thank you for taking the time to write this!

Let me just say first that I wish I had waited before submitting until I received feedback like this. But still, maybe it will be accepted. If it gets rejected, I'll make the changes you mentioned, as they sound like great ideas to me.

Honestly, though, I'm used to structuring my original trap and hip-hop tracks to fit verses and a chorus on them, and perhaps that was a fatal error in the case of something that I intend to submit to OC ReMix. 

The idea of a breakdown and a break from the hihats actually seems like it would make this more enjoyable. Each time I listen to what I've got, that becomes more apparent. My biggest concern with doing that, though, is killing the flow of the piece as a whole.

Even at my skill level, I have a problem with switching from one section to another and keeping the piece smooth (which is how I like my beats to be).

More on the hihats, perhaps a bit of volume leveling could fix this as well, but they're a key component of trap (just like 808 bass), so that might end up screwing up the piece as a whole. I'm still going to try it, as I can simply hit the undo button if it sounds wrong to me.

Now, what if I write lyrics and rap (or have someone else with better equipment rap) on this piece? I was considering this, but I (selfishly) wanted this to be a one man show, and I am almost certain that trying to record vocals won't be worth it without the proper equipment. Well, it's not all selfish. I just think that having my first submission being a collaboration might hurt me in the long run for some reason. Please correct me in the likely case that I'm wrong about this.

And haha, I'm glad that I could fool someone into hearing an imaginary guitar. I'm actually quite proud of this particular sound, both technically and composition-wise. What I really did was use subtractive magic: a virtual analog VST that doesn't even sound like a string instrument with a few effects on it. And no, I didn't use an arpeggiator with this one; it was calculated using the chords present elsewhere in the composition (I know theory well enough to do this).

Well, that's all I have to say for now. Thanks again for the detailed review and constructive feedback!

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