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FFMQ - Benjamin's Fight for Life


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Hello all. I'm new to posting on the forums, but I've been listening to everyone's work here for a few years now. I thought I'd finally throw out something that I've been working on and see what kind of feedback I could get.

http://www.phoenix-rock.com/FFMQ-Battle-WIP.mp3 - Right click and save as.

Enjoy. Any comments, questions, suggestions, bashing, etc. are welcome.

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I like where you're going thus far with this song. Love the guitar that comes in at about 2:30. My biggest suggestion would be to explore the space around the user a bit more. Right now it sounds like both of my speakers are playing nearly the same sound, which gives it less depth than it could have.

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Thanks for the comments, Saron. I've loved this song since I heard it playing FFMQ for the first time, years back. I, personally, liked the game very much, and the music always inspired me, especially the battle themes.

I didn't want to make the remix too long, though, for fear that it would start sounding redundant. I thought it would be nice to have it climax where the double-bass-pedal-heavy-metal part kicks in, and then kind of tone it down a little bit with the clean guitars and a sort of smoother lead, and make it sound overall less hectic, to bring it to an end that could lead to the immediate start of another song (I'm working on my own sort of album project, and I was going to bring in one of my original songs right at the end of this one, that's why it ends a little abruptly).

As for the mix having the same general sound in terms of rythm on each channel, it's because I recorded a single, dry, rythm guitar part, split it into two different tracks, panned those two to the left and right, and ran them through individual plug-ins, with variation in the amp and cab models, E.Q., effects and all that. I wanted to give it a sort of uniform sound, but still make it seem a little different to each ear. I did it that way so as to not distract the listener too much from the lead guitar melody, and the synth when it kicks in, but maybe a secondary rythm guitar part won't be a bad idea?

I did the same thing with the clean guitars at the end, but incorporated different delay timings to make it seem like they're bouncing back and forth.

Damn... I talk alot. Any more comments or suggestions?

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Wow! This one is hot stuff!

I don't quite remember this song (never liked FFMQ OST anyway), but I could recognize some pieces of it. A very good remix indeed.

The only advice I have right now is to rework on that ending... too abrupt.

Go ahead... you have a promising song in your hands!

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The drums and snare sound a lil thin. Also the snare is a lil too loud, by the middle of the song the snare is getting old bc of it. Usually the kick is louder than the snare.

Try throwing some small amounts of overdrive on the snare and kick.

Throw in some pad sounds in the intro, or layer in something else with that opening synth to give it a fatter and fuller sound. Also that scratching with the guitar or whatever right before you hit the long note def needs to go, or toned down. It is too sudden and harsh.

Besides those comments this is some good shite, the breakdown right in the middle is pretty friggin sweet. The arrangement and composition are very good.

If ur gonna submit this the judges might knock you down for the fade out, you'd win some major brownie points from them by putting one last section in the end where everything picks back up and you do some crazy soloeing. Although I really like the song as is, i def think a section like that on the end would def be the icing on the cake.

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I was thinking the same thing after I mixed it down and listened to it a couple of times. There's a part near the middle of the breakdown that just screams "Kick it back into action!". I'm working on it and listening to it as I type this... I think I'll have something else within the next hour or so...

Edit: Okay, let's try this again. I took your advice, Avaris, and added a secondary sythn part behind the intro part to make it sound fuller. I also added some mild overdrive to the kick, snare, and the toms (I was surprised at the thickening effect it had, to be honest), and tamed the levels. The snare doesn't scream at you any more! Heh heh... I also toned down the pick scraping the strings at the beginning (The reason I kept it in there is because the scraping sound was what I always though of when I heard the intro on the game.) As for the end... Well, you'll hear it when you listen.

http://www.phoenix-rock.com/FFMQ-Battle-WIP-3.mp3

Edit: Link should work now. I have no idea why I like to use \'s instead of /'s...

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All I can say is that this piece is really high quality, with nice improvements comparing to the first WIP.

I'd like to help you somehow but I can't... I don't know enough for that!

Now, I'll just keep updating your WIP in my playlist and waiting for it to be approved! ;)

Nice work!

Edit: btw, fix your WIP 3 link! :D

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Around 1:21 in that section you reintroduce the synth it sounds like, it doesn't come through very clean. I can hear it but it's muddled. Either turn it up just a hair, or make sure it has it's own sonic space (EQ dat bitch). Go check out housethegrate's Mega Man X track:

http://djpretzel.web.aplus.net/songs/Mega_Man_X_Light_in_the_Fortress_OC_ReMix.mp3

Hear how the synths come through nice and clean in that one?

Percussion and overall flow are much much better in this version! Percussion is much better. Overdrive is ur friend in rock songs.

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Great stuff here, I don't have much to say in terms of criticism, but I think that your lead guitar is just a tad quiet. Maybe it's just my headphones, but if that lead stuck out just a little more this would be even better.

That being said, I really like the breakdown near the middle to end and how it leads up to the ending. As far as arrangement is concerned, this is great. If anything, I think you'd just need to work on your mastering a little bit more.

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Alright, here we go. Thanks again everyone for all the help you've given me. There's one thing I realized working with music and art in general: No matter how good something is, there are always ways that it can be improved. Here's the link to the latest version. I can't remember all of what I did to it... Oh well!

http://www.phoenix-rock.com/FFMQ-Battle-WIP-4.mp3

Since you guys know what you're talking about (I assume you all have done remixes of your own and mixed your own music, otherwise, where would you gain the knowledge?), I wanted to ask this question: Do you think that my piece is worthy of being submitted as an OC Remix?

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Is this OCR worthy...yes it is! But you still got some more work to do on it, in terms of mastering. Mastering is a bitch trust me, but once you start to learn it, things start to get a lot better.

Hmm the lead guitar volume could come up just a hair. It needs to cut through the mix more, it's too muddled.

A big thing overall, that'll make a slight difference is think about "how everything sits in the mix." Now this is what I personally do, it's not good for everybody's style but it works for me. (mainly bc i use tons of sounds at the same time and fx out the friggin yang) I roll off frequencies like a mofo! For instance that synth, cut everything below 250 or so. Lead guitar I cut out prob everything below 250 or 160. Hats cut out everything below 400. Cut out 100 and below for everything except the kick and bass. If u got a graphic equalizer you'll notice some small hints of sound in the 50-200 freq ranges for all ur other instruments besides the bass and kick. Well when you got all those other sounds, all those lil xtra frequencies add up and can cause mud.

I forget which generic freq are good to boost for a lead guitar...but def make sure it has it's own sonic space to shine through. Try adding a lil bit of overdrive to the lead and see how it sounds. If that lead is muddy u'll get rejected.

I don't how much reverb u got on this, but if you got too much decay on the verb with a song that moves this fast that can cause a lil mud.

Question, are you using any kind of maximizer or compressor on the master track? Because the whole first section of the song, everything is pushing 0db 100% of the time? If you are using one of those two, cut em back a lil bit, bc there are parts where it feels like the db should drop a lil and it doesn't. This would add to overall dynamics in the first section. It sounds like the composition is there to allow for this, but it isn't happening sonically.

God i fuckin love that breakdown, I wanna put on some ray-bans and go back to the 80's when I hear that part!

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Damn! I go away for a couple days, and you go crazy with the updates!

I like where this piece is going. There's definately a lot more depth to the sound than there was in the first version you posted. I'm also noticing little variations that are popping up all over the place. And when I got to the 3rd revision and heard the main track pick back up near the end? Nice big smile on my face there. Keep it up and I'm sure you'll be able to pass submission.

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No, I'm not using any sonic maximizers or compression on the master track. I am using individual compression on most of the instruments, though, and most of the instruments are at least a little saturated with reverb. The synth is, at least. I think I could cut out some of the reverb on the lead part to bring it to the front some. I just got back from class, so I'm going to work on it some more.

As for your frequency cutting method, Avaris, I've been doing that from the beginning. It really does help to get rid of excess frequencies that most instruments don't really need, and it helps to make the drums sound more punchy, especially the bass and the snare. But I'll tweak with the lead and compression and dynamics some to try and get everything to fit into place and run smoothly.

Edit: Here's Number 5. Did some more tweaking. Lead sticks out now and is a little louder. Should be less muddy, due to drop out of frequencies below 160 Hz, I think... Lowered the overall levels of each of the instruments by just the tinniest fraction of a hair to lower overall volume and allow the drums to shine through a little bit more.

http://www.Phoenix-rock.com/FFMQ-Battle-WIP-5.mp3

I think I'm going to take a break for a little while. Ears are getting tired and I'm getting a little impatient with myself. Time for some WoW!

Again, thank you all for all your help. It's great to be able to bring musical ideas here and get suggestions and help on how to make them better.

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Oh cool seems like you already got most of ur bases covered then, at this point in the song I'm being uber picky and trying to find anything I can. I'd def try to get some feedback from someone who does mainly rock mixes. If u ever go onto IRC there are a few guitarists who hang out at #ocrwip who would def be able to give some good specific feedback on the rock elements.

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Ohhhh. Love that lead guitar. This is kick-A, sir.

Okay, listening to WIP #5. Drums (esp. snare) still sound a bit muddy/cardboardy to me. That snare's tone just doesn't seem to fit the song...can you EQ it to have a little more snap and body? Or maybe just use something like Drumagog to replace it with a sample? *shrug*

That's all I can remark on. Arrangement is fantastic and the mix seems pretty strong except for a few minor issues. Can't wait for the finished version.

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Whew. I had a nice little break, and came to it from a different angle. I figured that one of the reasons the mix sounded a little muddy and cluttered was because some of the instruments were competing for space. For instance, the snare didn't sound as crispy because it was competing for space in the same place as the rythm guitar, which took up many of the "crispy" frequencies...

Long story short, I panned everything to center to see how it sounded (I was surprised that it wasn't too muddy - Just cluttered...) and panned everything out from there, to give each instrument its own space in the mix.

Maybe I did something right?

http://www.phoenix-rock.com/FFMQ-Battle-WIP-6.mp3

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Yeah, I'm going to submit it and see what happens. I'm just reading up on the submission guidelines and checking out some stuff in the judge's decisions forum, and absently trying to think of some other names for it. I'll probably end up leaving it the same.

I'm kinda excited! Thank you all, for about the 500th time, for all of your help and input. I wouldn't have had the motivation to try and perfect this piece without it. You all have been a tremendous help.

Wish me luck!

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I'm sorry. I took the WIPs off of the site because I uploaded the final version in order to submit it. I forgot to put a link here in the post!

Here's the link to the "finished" product. (I use quotations because, knowing me, I'll mess with it some more later, even if it does get through the judges.)

http://www.phoenix-rock.com/Final_Fantasy_Mystic_Quest_Benjamin's_Fight_for_Life_OC_ReMix.mp3

I can put up the other WIPs again, if you guys want to compare them, or something like that.

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  • 2 months later...

Aw, just saw this got rejected. :( The judging thread has some good advice and it seems this just needs a bit of tweaking to pass. Upping the volume and energy of the drums would really invigorate this piece. I loved this when I heard the earlier WIPs and still think it's great - hope you tweak it and resub soon Wynd.

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