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So I haven't tried making a remix in a loooong while, and I thought this would be a good track to try out. Ice Cap is a pretty simple tune, and it's been covered a lot, so finding ways to make it unique and interesting seemed like a good challenge.

At the moment the track is relatively short (<3 min.) but I don't know if it necessarily needs anything else..

I'd love feedback on whether or not this track is worth pursuing for possible submission to the site. Thanks!

Original: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYxlqTpZ-24

Edits made since first mod review:

  • Added 1 1/2 minutes of audio - 2:07-3:46 is all new
  • Removed drums from last 20 seconds to give it a more outro feel
  • Added reverb to percussion
  • More conservative panning, melodic instruments mostly centered, no hard rights/lefts
  • Added flute to 3:48-4:06 to differentiate the section from opening
  • Didn't switch out the snare because I like it but if it's really problematic I'll change it


Edited by Kinetikai
Update after first mod review
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  • 2 weeks later...

My first impression is that while this has some good ideas going on, it'll take more than 1 revision going forward. I'm hoping the examples at the end help inspire you to add new stuff to this.


Arrangement (Melody, Harmonies, Structure, etc.)

The overall arrangement doesn't feel complete to me because at 2:06, what you have so far has me expecting a newly-written breakdown section that brings down the energy and allows you to feature maybe another new lead instrument, or just lets us breathe after already hearing the melody many times earlier. Also, the current 'ending' has no lead-in that would indicate an ending is coming. Assume the listener has no idea where they are in the song, and the only way they know where they are is by the way you write. To indicate an ending here, you may want to slowly peel off layers of instruments until the song would end.

Something else to consider is that 2:06 and on sounds very similar to 0:14 - 1:06, which is about half the song. Try to differentiate revisited sections, whether you put in a new lead instrument or introduce new harmonies, etc.

Production (Sound Design, Panning, etc.)

The panning is one of the first things that I noticed; the flute at 0:06 is nearly 100% panned to the left, not sure why. I usually restrain myself from panning anything 100% left or right, because it's awkward on headphones if I do. As rules of thumb:

  • A melodic instrument should be somewhere close to the middle (0%/0% L/R) of the stereo field.
  • A bass should also be centered, as should the kick and snare in a drumkit.
  • Chordal instruments can be wider, as well as other background-like instruments.

Then, when the drums and low arpeggio synth come in at 0:13 - 0:46, they are dry, sticking out compared to the background elements like the pads and other atmospheric sounds because they probably don't have any reverb (most importantly the snare, clap, and overhead parts of the drumkit like the shaker and any hi hats you might use, because they often provide songs with life), and as a result, they don't mesh with the atmospheric background elements at all, which have plenty of reverb and delay themselves. Also, the acoustic tone of the snare doesn't seem to fit whatever feel you're going for; you might see this kind of snare in jazz/funk music for example, but not really relaxing music like what this is coming off to be.

What does sound good are the dulcimer around 0:30 and the piano around 0:46. Those have a good amount of reverb/delay processing to make the soundscape cohesive amongst the more washed-out instruments. They each have a wide frequency range of around 1000 ~ 10000 Hz, which is why they are good melodic sound choices in general. In fact, I think the pads are also well-selected.


  • Most importantly, arrangement feels incomplete at the moment. Consider a breakdown section that pulls in more interesting instruments that can personalize your approach.
  • High priority: the last 30 seconds sound very similar to the first minute, so try to differentiate it, whether with new melodies or harmonies, etc.
  • Low priority: adjust the panning so that it's not so extreme, following the above suggested rules of thumb, like bass/drums/melody being centered.
  • Maybe medium priority: add reverb to the snare/shaker/etc and consider swapping out the snare sample so that it fits more in atmospheric/ambient music.

Possible Inspiration

Ice Cap Zone (DigiE) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64bBCd8MVp8

Ice Cap Zone (Joshua Morse) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-F3DHQCIcs

Ice Cap Zone (WillRock) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyfDseBXOvc

Ice Cap Zone (Big Giant Circles) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3jnPQsbuag


Edited by timaeus222
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[This is an automatically generated message]

I've reviewed your remix and have returned it to Work-in-Progress status, indicating that I think there are some things you still need to work on. After you work on your track and feel that it's ready for submission to OCR, please change the prefix back to Ready for Review and someone will review it again. Good luck!

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