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*NO* Super Castlevania 4 "Whip of Justice" *RESUB*


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i didn't vote on the original. looks like most of the comments were around mastering.

interesting intro. some tuvan throat singing/samples, some neat orchestral-adjacent samples, and then a big, groggy wall of sound hits at 0:35. there's organ, orchestral stuff, multiple guitar leads, some drums that i can barely hear...and then it kicks in at 0:49.

the drums at 0:49 lack punch entirely, and the bass is hard to hear if it's audible at all. the guitar leads have some really fun stuff they're doing - i love the nasty unison tone they have - but it's hard to really hear anything clearly. it feels quiet (at least it's not loud like the original version complained about!). the snare has a lot of head tone to it - that's the hollow aspect of it - and the kick is hard to distinguish under all of the other things in the same freq range (there doesn't appear to be a ton of bass presence there, and the beater tone sounds like the snare). the hats exist but sound mega fake next to everything else - maybe it's because they're essentially just static? there's a little too much shaping on them IMO.

there's a violin break which is neat and then the band comes back in at 1:40. this tbh is really great - there's a ton of really interesting stuff going on, like the synth bass riffs, and the bigger arena-style drum kit sounds a lot better here. the violin lead cuts through pretty clearly, which is great. there's a countermelody that's harder to hear. another break and then we're into some keys and bass at 2:14, with some more sfx. isolating the vin like this makes it a little easier to hear that it's not real - some more attention to humanization would help.

the band comes back in at 2:37 and most of my earlier criticisms apply here. i still think the guitar lead/synth bass doubling is neat, it just sounds quiet and nowhere near as intense as i'd expect. the guitar chugs that happen after that are also cool but still sound blah. there's an outro that comes across as disjointed as the bass instrument and lead guitar are doing different things rhythmically that don't quite line up, and then it's over.

from a mastering side, this swung the other way. it's quiet overall and lacks intensity. i like the arrangement, but i think it just doesn't sound good yet. someone like emu or kris would be a better person to call out specifically what's needed, but a significant EQ pass will certainly help.




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  • prophetik music changed the title to 2022/06/14 - (1N) Super Castlevania IV "Whip of Justice"

Cool arrangement and creative approach to the style, but unfortunately the mixing needs a complete overhaul. Once the bass comes in, it's extremely hard to focus on much else. There's a lot of acoustic energy in the lows and low-mids that's fatiguing my ears as I listen. Is there any reverb on the bass? Sounds like there could be - if there is, dial that all the way back and that'll be a good starting point, then look to do everything Chimpazilla suggested.

I always think of mixing as "the easy bit", as it can be done after the song is composed, but in reality, with a completed track it can be a daunting task. The good thing is that mixing skills apply to everything you'll ever make, whereas each arrangement is always unique. Give this one another crack, and hopefully it'll clean up nicely and you can take those skills forward.

My original review ^

Unfortunately, this seems to have gone completely the other way! I can now barely hear the low-end, and the sound is very thin. There's clearly bass there though, so I've delved a bit deeper and had a look at the spectrum in Live 10 and Audacity to see what's going on.

I'm pretty sure the problem lies in your sub-bass frequency. For starters, your kick is at 30Hz, which is way too low. Of course, you can use sub-bass kicks in certain circumstances, but only if you're very careful about the rest of your bass and sub-bass. The bass here is also fighting for the sub frequencies, however, which is probably causing your master compressor some problems, ultimately leading to the thinness.


You can see the fundamental/first harmonic of your bass (the lowest frequency) is competing around the 30-40Hz mark, and then the second harmonic (double the frequency of the fundamental) is much louder. If I'm remembering my physics correctly, then typically the fundamental will have the highest amplitude/energy, and all harmonics above will be lower. The fact your second harmonic has more energy could be due to a number of things, most probably the synth bass you're using has multiple tones, and one is playing an octave higher at higher amplitude. I would suggest looking into that, and either removing the voice playing at the lower octave, or simply bumping all the notes up an octave (you would however still have a second harmonic at 120-140Hz in that case, which may have its own set of problems).

Getting someone else to master your track is often a good idea, however if the problem is as ingrained as this appears to be, no amount of rebalancing EQ on the master channel will fix it.

Arrangement is fun and energetic, with some really creative choices (especially the throat singing - love that addition!), but again it's the production that's letting it down. I hope my advice above can help, and you'll be a better producer for it!

NO (resubmit)

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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2022/06/14 - (2N) Super Castlevania 4 "Whip of Justice"

Agreed on all the above.  There's more highs but less bass than before, but more importantly most of the arrangement is a wall of overlapping sounds.  Everything steps on everything.  It doesn't help that there are a lot of parts and a lot of SFX, a lot of which is sitting squarely in the same mid-range frequencies.

When you revisit this (which I hope you do, it's a good arrangement at heart), start by muting the SFX entirely.  Get everything else sounding cleanly audible first.  Then add them back in one at a time, judicously, making sure they don't make any instrument harder to hear.  SFX can be fun and add texture, but they're a garnish; don't let them overshadow the entree.


Edited by MindWanderer
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  • MindWanderer changed the title to 2022/06/14 - *NO* Super Castlevania 4 "Whip of Justice"
  • Liontamer changed the title to *NO* Super Castlevania 4 "Whip of Justice" *RESUB*
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