Jolly//Pls

Marble Zone Remix - Sonic the Hedgehog

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I think it's mostly done, but I'm new to music production still(about 1 year experience).

This is my first post hear, although this site changed my life years and years ago when I had first discovered video game remixes!

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Hey, welcome to the forums :)

Electro house is always a good place to start with a remix, right?! I like the groove and the sidechaining here, the plucks are nice, as are the descending arp fills like at 0:06 and throughout. Some nice filter sweeps on your lead, too. The drum loop is a bit tiring after a while - you've mixed it up with some claps and shakers to try and switch it up a bit which is good, but I think overall there's still a bit of an imbalance with the mixing, and you could try and add in a few more interesting fills to the percussion to help your transitions. The bass sounds great actually - personally I like a little more mid frequency in mine, but yours sounds nice and warm, and not too muddy.

Overall it's an enjoyable track! Nothing too adventurous, but definitely a good starting point for your remixing career

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Thank you so much! I will make some changes asap and whatnot. Drums seem to be the hardest thing for me to keep intersting. I take things in and out of the drums, but like you said, they're still the same drums. I really appreciate the feedback, I'm already happy I finally decided to join the community!

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8 minutes ago, Jollt//Pls said:

Drums seem to be the hardest thing for me to keep intersting.

Don't be afraid to program your own beats using samples and MIDI, then you can have greater control over the fills. You can then EQ out some of the loop and layer it so it's not as prominent, but still adds texture. Or, you could slice up your existing loop, and experiment with snare fills, reversing cymbals, or quick hat fills. This is quicker in the short term, but gives you a bit less control than using MIDI sequencing (unless you slice your loop into individual components and then use those to program it with MIDI).

I use all the above techniques, and to keep things even more interesting, sometimes you can add breaks with completely different percussion, different kicks, etc. Drum programming might seem daunting at first, but once you get into it, it's really rewarding!

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So I did program these drums with the drum rack in Ableton(my DAW of choice). I just need to be more creative with my arrangement of them in different spots in the song. Definitely need to add more drums to the rack in general to have more zest to play with and keep the drums interesting. I'm definitely gonna make some changes to the track this evening. I want to change my bridge a little bit and play with some build-ups. I did this in a single evening.

 

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Here is what I've done to it since I first posted it. The original is still up to compare the two. Did a little arrangement stuff, added some fills, better risers. Thank you for looking! ^.^

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Hey, definitely a big improvement! I really like the final transition up to 3:11, that sounds great, and it's a nice switch up from the first one at 1:00. Mixing sounds really clean with the synths. The clap sound could maybe do with a little less reverb and also a slight drop in volume. Either that, or layer it up with another sound and/or some velocity changes so that it doesn't always sound exactly the same. That bass still sounds nice, but I would like it a little bit louder in the mix so I can really appreciate it! Finally, try and work out a neater way to end the track, maybe let your own creativity shine a little more here, and come up with something unique for a big finish.

How do you feel when you listen to the two different versions? Are you much happier with the second one? I certainly am, keep at it.

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I can't thank you enough for the input. The track has definitely elevated between the first and second iteration. I've been making music for about a year with no real constructive input which has left alot of my tracks lackluster because I become complacent in what I hear because I'm making it. I have yet again taken the things you've said into account and have what may be the final version. I mixed the bass in a little more, adding a few more higher frequencies to it to boost it through the mix, took some reverb off the claps/lowered the volume, added a few more bits of ear candy, and a better ending than I initially had(bringing the energy down a bit instead of abruptly stopping.

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3 hours ago, Jolly//Pls said:

I can't thank you enough for the input. The track has definitely elevated between the first and second iteration. I've been making music for about a year with no real constructive input which has left alot of my tracks lackluster because I become complacent in what I hear because I'm making it.

No problem dude, that's what these boards are here for, and you've gone about things the right way - getting as far as you can with some promising tracks before posting for critique, and most importantly, being open to some constructive criticism!

I wouldn't go so far as to say this is the final version just yet, though. As far as arrangement goes, I think it's pretty solid. Not much else needs doing to it - I really like your new ending. Try and let that delay ring out for a few more seconds just for the full effect. I'm not very good with music theory, so maybe someone else can weigh in on this, but as you go into the first "verse" at 1:00, those house plucks are playing a chord that sounds a little off-key for the melody. Might want to take a look at that and just try switching up some notes and seeing if it sounds more natural.

On the mastering side, I can hear you've ramped up the compressor gain between versions 2 and 3 - do you notice the difference when you hear them side by side? Version 2 for me sounds better because it's not being pushed so hard. The treble in the opening synth is much harsher in version 3, whereas it's fine in version 2. The kick in V3 is being pushed too hard in the low end there, and beginning to muddy things up, and the bass sounds less warm and more flabby. All these things are caused by compressor gains, so it's a very easy fix, but it's important to realise how compressors affect the qualities of the sound, rather than just how they make them louder. Having large gains on the master compressor only works if you already have a very tight mix, with everything sitting in its own space (in stereo and also mid/side).

One good thing about having the gains high in the mastering is that it highlights mixing problems! I mentioned the kick before, but I think it could definitely do with a bit more EQing to make it sound cleaner. Listen to the parts where it plays on its own such as 0:14 and 2:41. There's a sort of thumping sound after the initial hit - that's the tail of the transient being compressed and making it sound almost like a reverb. Listening back to V2, I can hear it there but it's much less audible. A little more EQ reduction on the high end of the lead synth would also make it sound a little more pleasing to the ear (more like V2).

But hey, I'm going into such detail because it seems like it's getting much better each time. See how far you've brought it in 2 days? Why stop now when you're making such good progress? I'd say make a few changes, then don't listen to it for a couple of days (it's tough, I know!). Come back to it with fresh ears and see if you think it needs more work, then post again once you're happy.

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I took alot of what you said into consideration. I took like a week off the project, came back to it tonight and think I really cleaned it up. Did some layering with the pluck stuff, layered onto the lead that was there. Fixed the low-end muddiness.I also did some stuff with the mid/side panning. It really helped open room for some frequencies to breathe. Well, anyway I hope you like it.  

 

EDIT: I know I could work on the drums some more, but I hope they're better overall.

Edited by Jolly//Pls
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Whoa, this is so much cleaner! Really like all the tweaks you've made to this. The pitchbends, the little extra detail in the break sections, the cleaner kick and bass, nice risers and auxiliary percussion. Everything sounds really spacious and has its own place within the mix.

There are still a few minor tweaks I'd make personally to the overall master, but at this point it's just a personal taste thing so I'll just say well done, and good luck if you decide to submit. Great job on this, it's come a long way!

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