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Megaman Zero "X the Legend" + Soul Calibur II "Raise Thy Sword" Remix : 'Polymer Soul'


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Hi everyone,

Long time fan of the site (14 years+), first time poster.

I wanted to have the dread with 'X the Legend' from the Megaman Zero games but kept hearing bits of 'Raise Thy Sword' from Soul Calibur II in my head as I would hum the melody to see what I might have been missing.

This idea started with hearing Jay Reichard's version of X The Legend on VGMusic and realizing it could work as a great base to further studies for harmonies. (Long story short, was a vocalist studying opera, but had an injury that derailed that. So composition isn't my strongest point.) I worked in snippets of the melody from Martin Exton's arrangement of Raise Thy Sword (from VG Music as well). And ultimately tried working both of them together so it was more of a seamless transition between the two.

Any and all feedback is appreciated.

It's changed quite a bit since inception, but it's been a fun ride learning FL Studio.

Retrowave influence, but not really constrained to any specific genre when I was trying to shape this.

 

Constantly edited for brevity, clarity, and having up to date links.

Edited by bloopasan
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This remix impresses me. It has a twisted, technological sort of reverence that drips with dread. Appropriate for both sources. I rather like the airy qualities of the samples used, gives a sweeping vibe. I'm curious how it'd sound if the bass components were a little more pronounced, that may flesh out parts as most the instruments seem on the higher end of the spectrum. A thought on panning, one of the computery blipping sounds that plays in the background seems to only be set to sound from the left speaker/earbud. It's kind of cool, but I wanted to bring it up incase it wasn't the desired effect.
I enjoyed listening to this. Hope you get some feedback from more advanced musicians.

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Thanks! In thinking about the direction I wanted to go on this one, I realized the base was pretty lacking, so I put emphasis on that and the percussion. Wanted to build on the idea of machines built to be rooted in humanity, but not quite there before left to their own devices. In developing that feel, the instruments changed quite a bit between each iteration. (Still hoping it has that airy feel!)

Since I used a lot of triplets in this, I started to (look for ways to) play to that, researching some waltzes for how the rhythms are. Mainly because I wanted to have that uneven feeling pushed a bit more.

I do have the part you mentioned still panned to the left in the (not as) current version, but it's been modified to be a low Gameboy-like chirp sound that builds up to the beginning of each measure. Since it started more as a harmony part, that was why I had panned it, but it became more part of the rhythm as I worked on this.

I still had it panned at the time I started writing a response to you because of that, so thanks for picking up on that. :D

EDIT: Did more work on it. Revision 7d is a bit nicer than 7a, in my opinion, at least. (Although admittedly, in using GrossBeat on several of the tracks, I did move quite a bit away from the idea of waltzes.)

Edited by bloopasan
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  • bloopasan changed the title to Megaman Zero "X the Legend" + Soul Calibur II "Raise Thy Sword" Remix : 'Polymer Soul'

I like the clarity you've added to the Raise Thy Sword segment. The bass elements feel improved too. Your theme and name are real intriguing and poetic, I really get this vibe of something artificial trying to be something it can't. The synthetic elements seem to try and emulate the organic vibes of a cathedral in a way, and just comes out as hauntingly beautiful and twisted. The organ sounding synth and piano really help that theme. This is a pretty artistic piece, nice work.

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry it took so long to give this a listen. Bad year.

Listened to the most recent version in the thread, 9a. I'm not familiar with the sources so I'll focus on the sound.

Let's talk about the first 5 seconds. The sounds used are all good enough, you shouldn't need to replace any of them. But pick a lead and make that the most  prominent instrument. The pad swells into being rather loud. The piano plays the most identifiable melody, but it's rather muffled. The thing in the high range is bright and loud. Which is the lead? From how it's mixed, I'd say it's the high-pitch thing. From how it's written, the piano.

The piano sounds like it could use a high pass (low cut) filter to get rid of (or with a low shelf, mitigate) some low frequencies that don't add anything musically. Don't cut too high up, but see if you can reduce that low-frequency part of the sound. That should make the piano compete less with the pad for the low range, gives you a bit of headroom, and takes away some of the proximity effect that doesn't seem to match the distant pads or the hard-panned high-pitch chirps. You might want to do something similar to that chirp thing, too.

The next 5 second is in a different key/scale. There's a natural shift within those 5, but moving from the first 5 to the second 5 doesn't sound right. I'd experiment with transposing those 5 first seconds until the transition makes more sense.

Your synth pluck lead, despite being doubled at times by some background harpsichord-sounding thing, is weak. Your drum+bass combo is strong and aggressive. That's a difficult combo to work with. The accompanying pads are rather loud. You've put a lot of things into the background here. I'm not sure what to suggest to improve things here, besides softer pads. Lead down an octave? Play octaves? Different backing doubling? Different lead entirely? Make it more about the drum+bass groove than about melody? The lead sound isn't bad, but I don't think it works as a lead here.

There are some weird harmonies happening here and there. Some of it sounds intentional and unsettling, some of it more newby. I'm not gonna go over it all. Some of it might come from long releases and echoes on the instruments, some from mashing the sources together.

The middle section or whatever, from around 1:40 is a welcome change. It goes back into a rather weak main section after that. Dynamically doesn't make much sense. I'd try either building up the middle section, or kicking off the main section with more energy. The middle section also has the loud pad problem (which btw might be a loudness or just a frequency range problem; many ways to look at it and solve it), and I'm wondering if the accompaniment there should be an octave lower, as there are a lot of instruments competing for the high range. I can hear a lot of high-range shimmer, wondering if that's an fm synth you're using for some of these sounds. In any case, the sounds aren't bad (except maybe the lead), but they end up competing, and there's a bit of a gap in the middle of the frequency range.

There's a lot of good stuff in here, but a lot of things to improve too. Those simple, short synth blips here and there, the more rhythmic ones, I like. Very atmospheric. I also really like what's happening at 2:38-2:43. The lead coming in again isn't necessary, and if it just did that first note there, I wouldn't mind. But it's not a sound that works as a standalone. I'd try using the piano for this melody, or leaving it to just one note on the pluck lead. Or having found a different lead, maybe that'd work better. I'd try stuff.

TL;DR: Good stuff, bad stuff, nice sounds, lead doesn't work, instruments competing... wait, opera?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey, no worries there on the response. I get how that is, believe me. Things also got super busy for me with a lot of things happening in the time since.

Definitely going to have to say this is more from a newbie learning to arrange music after knowing theory for a bit. Basically trying to dust off the music knowledge, and decided a large project was the way to get that going. Probably not the brightest idea in retrospect. Coming back to this song after a while and keeping your comments in mind...it was a mess to see what I had done initially. So I made a few changes based on that.

 

Some things in the foreground were shifted more into the background with changing the octaves like you mentioned to cut on the number of high leads (turned out in some areas I had quadrupled it).

Reworked the intro so it would fit better.

In order to get the 'X the Legend' parts to stand out more, I changed up the instrument for a more 80's synth sound. It's a little more classic Tron-ish now with the synth change.

The piano part with the lower pitches was part of the instrument ("Motion Pictures" in FL Studio's Sense Gemini Magnificence pack), so I threw on Vinyl and set it to 1930s with some wear on it. I also lowered the settings for the low tones in the song to cut out some of the lower pitches you were talking about (there's a little bit of reverb on it too, from trying out a different piano and playing with that). I decided to make the last note the piano instrument after cutting down the melody line you heard. It's a nicer sound with that, so thanks for your feedback on it.

 

Right now, it's a bit dense still, so this isn't going to be the final version until I look over the instruments again. Levels need to be tweaked, velocities adjusted just to make it feel a bit more meshed together. Right now it feels like the sound is better, but some spots come in abruptly, and I'm going to see about easing into those a bit more. Lot of quick fixes done today.

Version 9b

 

And yeah, studied opera for a bit (good with theories on paper and performance, composition was a spot for improvement). Lot of Italian arias, Master Chorale, and Gospel choir performances before getting sick and ripping a muscle in my side from all the coughing. Kind of put a lid on that path for a while, and by the time I healed up, I had switched majors.

Edited by bloopasan
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  • 2 months later...

Okay, I familiarized myself with the program a bit more, and pretty much got into a rhythm on making songs for a table top campaign I'm GMing, but this one eluded me for not being where I wanted it to be.

So I came back to this to fix that. Decided to scrap the original flow of it, and try out a different workflow to make introducing and removing parts easier, rather than it being one massive pattern.

Feedback is appreciated.

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