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Donkey Kong Country - Aquatic Ambience


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I have been really scared of remixing/covering this classic and timeless song. It's so easy to ruin it that any changes could be devastating. I'm still afraid I have broke it, but I hope not!

First of all the soundscape that the original has is so fragile, and by having that in mind I made sure to keep my sounds very close to that, but with much higher bitrate of course since it's SNES we're talking about. However, the sound quality in DKC is unbelievably high for a SNES game. I just took my standard synthesizer setup and started modify and tweak them to make all instruments sound quite close to the original. Except the piano, I changed it for a pluck sound from my Obsession synth.

About my composition of this. As you can hear I kept really close to the original to begin with, adding some small changes. For example, I added a "real" beat and all melodies are playing with my signature lead synth. 

What was more interesting in composing this was how I could leave the original completely and take on another path. So I laborated with a splash sound to represent me diving from the original into my own composition, then immediately adding a bubbling underwater effect to continue with an introduction to a Mega Man-ish melody with the pluck synth. 

Dashing into a double time beat and the Mega Man melody I hold the intensity steady and then release it into a psychedelic synthwave groove, a bit like the groove I use at the end of my Bloody Tears remix. If you listen more carefully I use the original arpeggio in the background (the first you hear in this song) in this last section but change it over the chord's harmony.

When I listen to this remix, I feel I can make so many more variations of it. Some day I might do an Aquatic Ambience suite or something.

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  • 1 month later...

0:00 The beginning of the music should hook the listener immediately, and it's not doing that for me. Maybe some synth FX to fill in the emptiness.

0:31 to 0:43 you have a few notes in the wrong place according to the original.\

1:08 bass is playing the same pattern throughout the beginning. Create a tiny bit of variation in one or two places.

1:22 is finally when the music shows us what it's all about. This is good.

1:43 to 1:45 you need a drum fill, add some toms, add another bassy snare

2:23 The notes chosen for this solo seems random and forced, like it's there to fulfill a "here's my custom melody" quota. Can you find an instance within this solo at least twice that reminds the listener of some melody from the original? In my opinion, when you want to do custom melodies and solos, make sure it touches the original somehow.

3:17 A proper ending is better than a fade out ?


- Pan some of your percussion, the center channel is pretty crowded at the moment.

- What about the breathing effect for when the kick hits?


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