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Nier - Song of the Ancient (and more) - Synthwave remix

Julien Mulard

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Hello everyone! It's been too long :D

Please find the track here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GTEvznqO1Fhu58Nw3jC5PcICJlCkSPBG/view?usp=share_link

The intent:

I wanted to remix some Nier songs for a few years, and I've been working on and off on this track for a year. I also wanted to make a good, Carpenter Brut -esque track for a while, and even though I'm not there yet, I feel the song is ready to be shared to the internet to be picked apart and criticized to the ground.

As always, I tried to change the vibe of the sources. Nier being quiet the depressing game with the matching soundtrack, I aimed towards a hard yet groovy feel.

Oh, also, even though the soundtrack is vocal heavy, I opted for a instrumental only track (just to set your expectations right). Please note that I used the Nier Replicant soundtrack as a reference, as I discovered the game after it was cool (i.e. on Steam rather than on PS3)

The track (section by section):

The track start with Snow in Summer, with a heavy high pass first, then the full spectrum. I really like the bassline, changing the vibe of the song from "I want to cry" to "bopping my head around"

Then we get to the meat: Song of the ancient (yes, it's the fate version, also finding Nier soundtrack on Youtube is a nightmare so this is Soundcloud). I tried to get the duet feel with the two synth going back and forth, and I may have changed the melody and the harmony a bit (nothing crazy though). In the replicant version of the fate variation, there is this orchestral fill that I REALLY liked, so I used it in the chorus reprise (start at around 2:12 in the linked original version above).

It's finally guitar solo time! Not sure about this one, I may have been too heavy handed on the effects? The underlying harmony is not referencing anything, just here for good "drama" ^^

Then last chorus, with some underlying guitar arpeggios referencing Grandma, as it's almost working out of the box. I did have to go from triplet to quadruplet and tweak the harmony to fit the chorus first half.

Final thoughts:

Not sure about the mix, it may still lack some oomph. Maybe the drum samples are not adapted? Also the ending might be a bit too abrupt?

Well, I guess listening to it too much is not helping, so I hope YOUR fresh ears will help me getting on the right track ^^

Hope you've enjoyed the ride, and feel free to leave a feedback :D

Have a great day!

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Very enjoyable track, even if it's quite busy and muddy.

Arrangement feels like it's in a good place, and I'm definitely getting a source dominant track.

Compositionally, we have distinct beginning, middle, and ending.  Good, take us on a journey and tell a story.

Production is where I feel another look needs to be taken.

The bass is huge and some EQ to sculpt it could help a lot, I'm thinking the high end of the bass synth needs to be reduced some.  Might help to do this to create space for all of the other parts going on above it.  There's a lot going on above the bass to be causing mud too.  Definitely look at cutting frequencies out of other parts as well to make space.  I struggle to really hear the arps at times, especially when the guitar is going because they both share a lot of the same space.  Also pumping compression will also probably help too.

The reason why you feel it lacks "Oomph" as you say is because there's no space in the mix for the parts to breathe.  When you can adequately make space with ducking or EQ it will let the other parts come through better and feel stronger just because of contrast.  Right now it's a bit of a sound sausage and it's all peaks on the waveform, no valleys (except the intro because of the low cut)

TL;DR look at production to find a way to make space in the mix for all of the parts.  Nice work so far!


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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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