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*NO* Castlevania II "Sanguine Tears of Funk" *RESUB*

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This is a resub of a Direct Rejection.  I originally rejected this for being sparse on both an arrangement and production level - and while the track still remains quiet for some reason, there has been a lot more effort with the arrangement to warrant moving this forward to the panel.


I got a lot of feedback on my first submission and would like to try again. Please let me know what you think!

Contact Information

  • Your ReMixer name: JackOfAllBards
  • Your real name: Joe Beach
  • Your website: N/A
  • Your userid: 36562

Submission Information

  • Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
  • Sanguine Tears of Funk
  • Bloody Tears
  • Your own comments about the mix, for example the inspiration behind it, how it was made, etc:
    • I have been listening to OCRemix for a long time and have always wanted to contribute.
    • Inspired by the OneUps, the SuperSoulBros, other OCRemix artists, and an innumerable amount of Jazz/Fusion artists.
    • Also inspired by some Synthwave mixes that I've been listening to on Youtube.
    • I love Castlevania and can't get enough of it.


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  • Rexy changed the title to 2020/03/12 - Castlevania II: Simon's Quest "Sanguine Tears of Funk"

I like the idea, swingy synthwave.  The original writing is actually pretty good.  But there are some issues that keep this from shining.

First, the sound design.  The opening bass with the LFO tuning is too much.  A little bit of a warble can be OK, but this is going in and out of key too drastically.  The 808 kicks are a critical part of synthwave, and these are thin and used sparingly.

The soundscape is pretty minimal throughout.  You have lead, bass, rhythm, and percussion, and that's it.  You have very little in the mids other than the meaty bass, which is dominating the spectrum.

Also, the energy level is pretty much static throughout the track.  It just sort of plods along in the middle ground between high and low energy.  There's no risers, no drops, no breakdowns.  The ending is neither a climax nor a denouement.  You need to play more with the percussion and bass lines to keep the listener engaged.

I question the use of voice clips and whip cracks.  They're so clean they stick out too much, and they don't really add anything.

Of course, the whole thing is too quiet.  There's 6.8 dB of clear headroom, more if you limited the claps.

The melody writing is solid, it just isn't backed up by the rest of the track.  Keep at it, though!


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  • Rexy changed the title to 2020/03/12 - (1N) Castlevania II: Simon's Quest "Sanguine Tears of Funk"
  • 1 month later...

yeah, the headroom is significant. looks like near 9db if you're ignoring a few spikes from claps.

i'd not call this synthwave as much as synthpop. it feels much more like a track from that era as opposed to the heavily sidechained/sweepy vibe that you get from synthwave. this excuses the pretty generic drums a bit, since that style does have pretty straightforward loopy drums, although i'd love to see some more attention to the drums so it doesn't sound like loop a/b/c with fill d/e/f used at different times. there's also some real balance issues there in the drums (and everywhere) - they really need compression.beyond that, the rest of the track sounds really thin. not having pads, countermelodies, anything else besides the (admittedly pretty fun) bassline and the bells makes it feel really plodding, like MW said. along those lines, using the same synth for the melody throughout lends to that since it feels the same throughout. varying up your lead instrument would help a lot. i liked what it was saying pretty much throughout but it needed some more variance if i wanted to feel like it was something i wanted to hear for nearly four minutes.

from a mastering perspective, it's too quiet and it's totally uncompressed. the mastering at this point is volumes only. i'd love to hear a bigger, brighter version of this, since it'll have much more life in it just from opening up the dynamic range a bit.

i don't think this is near where we can post it yet. you've definitely got something cool here though and i hope you continue to work on it.




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You've shaken up the bass, melody *and* percussion notation like I've asked in the original DR - and that's a huge step up!  In comparison to then, the writing has pretty much gone from "proof of concept" to "stable tech demo," so be proud of what you did there.  But the "only four instruments" setup is still a problem, and I didn't sense any additional layers/instrumentation other than the new voice clips.  Room for pads and other rhythm/hand percussion parts could work, so like I said last time, keep listening to your inspirations and see what kind of additional parts would suit this setup.

Production-wise, some things alarmed me.  Firstly, the headroom problem is worse than the original DR - when that barely went above -9dB, the resub has hardly gone above -12.  If you haven't got a master chain at this point, consider building one - something like this can help with both the volume problem and getting more depth out of your sounds.

As it is, though, I've sensed more care into the EQ balance, and it's good to hear the non-bass sounds have some power.  The soundscape, however, has ended up with some mud - so by making cuts on whatever instruments you feel, you can let others in the same frequency range stand out more.

It's a good improvement from the original submission, and I'm glad you decided to work on it some more.  It's still not quite there yet, and it'll be nice to hear another pass with new textures, a cleaner mixdown, and a significant volume boost.  Keep going!

NO (resubmit)

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  • Liontamer changed the title to *NO* Castlevania II "Sanguine Tears of Funk" *RESUB*
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