Jump to content

Final Fantasy 9 'You're Not Alone Vocal Mix'


Recommended Posts

Your opinion about my feedback is irrelevant. I'm talking about her being a good sport. As soon as I started posting in this topic she sent me a PM telling me to stop cuz she didn't like what I was saying.

And quite honestly, feedback I give is equivalent to the quality of the song and the willingness of the artist to accept the opinion of someone who just might help improve them.

All I've heard have been excuses "well, it's just for fun" or "My friend made it 2,000 years ago". If the reasons for the song being bad are so trivial, then it should be easy to improve it. Or she can just admit that she's not capable of fixing some of the problems and then we can all start offering her real help that will improve her as a performer and musician. It's just a case of a shattered ego, and I don't like that one bit.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 91
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

He's not tactful, but you can tell SnappleMan's not trying to be rude just for the hell of it. He'll say something really unconstructive, but then offer some legit advice and say something supportive. It's gruff, but it's not out of line, and he's offering (as usual) to give specific feedback. Andy's tough, but he's not trying to be discouraging. He wants to see improvement. He's just blunt. Ultimately, there's nothing wrong with that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't help but think SnappleMan's opinion is due to the lack of vocal effects. None the less, it should be more than obvious that I disagree with him. I've been a huge fan of yours since our piano-vocal take of Dream Shore!

I don't think I can add anything that hasn't been addressed. The section that begins with "And you're not alone..." is certainly my favorite part. It wouldn't hurt to give a shot at the earlier sections with a lower octave; it might work out, it might not. As for the harmony, some places sound out of tune (as others have said), but it'll sound gorgeous when that's all fixed up. It'll be well worth it!

This is a beautiful track. Keep up the fantastic work!

PS. SnappleMan, she gave those excuses because of how rude you made your criticism sound. I'm sure you would feel offended if someone insulted your own work like that. Otherwise, you should not assume it wouldn't make someone else feel offended.

Link to post
Share on other sites
PS. SnappleMan, she gave those excuses because of how rude you made your criticism sound. I'm sure you would feel offended if someone insulted your own work like that. Otherwise, you should not assume it wouldn't make someone else feel offended.

Snapple was not only refering to her response to his post, but also several other posts by DA "excusing" some of the issues that other members have brought up.

He has also provided avenues for her to contact him for more specific input and directions to make the mix better. Whether she has taken them, I have no idea.

His post was candid. Keep in mind, he said something that many other people may have thought but just didn't want to vocalize. He may have done it in a manner that is taken as offensive, but he was simply blunt.

He has proven himself to have a good sense of proper sound and mixing from his experience. You would be foolish to simply pass his criticism up.

Also, there is a common saying for people who ask for advice, and I will quote it here for emphasis for everyone: "Don't ask for criticism if you can't handle what you will get in return."

Link to post
Share on other sites
I can't help but think SnappleMan's opinion is due to the lack of vocal effects.

You can't really use that as a defense. If you look at the first post, she said she hasn't used effects at all because she's looking for vocal tips. If she was looking for critiques on her intonation and style, you can't say she hasn't got them.

I'm sure you would feel offended if someone insulted your own work like that. Otherwise, you should not assume it wouldn't make someone else feel offended.

Granted, Snapple is rude, he told me one of my mixes sounded like FL took a shit in his ears, but I took the risk of people telling me my stuff sucks by asking what people think. He did offer advice and help to me, and he did offer help to DA, so the most you can criticise snapple for is being a bit rude about it.

DA: You have lots of enthusiasm, and you have a potentially good singing voice, and I understand you just want to sing for fun, but whenever I want to do something for fun, I like to do it as well as i can. Your intonation needs a lot of work, and the best way to go about it would be get some lessons; even just some introductory lessons would help you a great deal. It's VERY rare to find someone who can sing in tune well, who hasn't had at least some basic lessons, just as I wouldn't expect to find many solid drummers who've never had lessons.

Sorry for dragging this out if you're uncomfortable about it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright, I'm going to ask everyone to drop the issue, just because it's causing arguments and debates beyond the original posts and I don't feel like causing more internet drama than necessary. Liontamer already felt that he had to come in, and I don't want to bug more moderators (or anyone, really) over something as stupid as this.

Snappleman, or anyone, I would appreciate any comments on specific areas in the mix that need work on the harmony. Whether it's intonation (yes..."faith" I know, and some other areas, but point them out anyways. It might be obvious to you, but I might have missed it, I never had the greatest ears for intonation) or the harmony not quite fitting in right. If anyone want to email me some ideas on how to improve vocally in general, that would be great.

Fishy, your comment on doing the best you can is certainly valid to me too. Maybe people don't realize this, but right now, I AM trying the best I can on this. Blame it on excuses or whatnot, but I'm learning on my own, and I don't have money or time for lessons, which I would certianly love to do if I could.

As for the track itself, it's not gonna change. I know for a fact that Efields doesn't really want to revisit this one, so in a way I'm stuck with it. Personally I like it, but I know very little about the actual mixing and such, so what other people are commenting on is going right over my heads.* It was originally intended as a cover, which I again should have mentioned early on. That's my fault again.

So, again, let's drop the matter, start over again, whatever. Let's just put all the shit behind us, please.

*Of course...if someone wanted to make another mix for me....just kidding.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The most prominent issue with the singing is that it's at a constant level of velocity and volume. The dynamic element is completely lost. If one were to translate the vocal track to a piano track, it would sound like single notes being hit by one finger as hard as possible. You should experiment with singing it softer, at first, then build up to a couple measures of your full voice, that way the ears don't get tired after the first lines.

The other (more important) issue is that of the lyrics themselves. The words you chose constantly break rhythm and really ruin the song. You really should consider re-writing the lyrics to match the natural beat values in the song. Considering most of the lyrics use alot of redundant or unnecessary words, this should be fairly simple.

Link to post
Share on other sites

With respect to the harmonies, there are two things you could improve on that I hear. One is that the arrangement mainly treats the piece like a lead vocal with background vocals in some places, but the mix treats the two voices as equivalent strength. Mixing your background vocal track in at a lower volume than the main will help a lot.

The other thing is that there are a few places where your harmonies just don't work. I'm at work and can't listen with enough focus to list them all, but places where the lines converge to unison in the middle of a phrase really don't work for the piece. The first place I can hear is the second harmony note you sing, at around 1:24. There are also a couple places where it sounds like your harmony line jumps from below to above the melody. If you have any training in counterpoint, I'd strongly suggest firing up a notation program and hammering out the harmony part in relation to the melody.

Another comment about the harmony is that when you sing "Fighting your demons strong" at 3:28 after you sing it in the main voice, you flatten the 7th of the scale on the second syllable of demons. Given that pretty much everything else you've done is in a harmonic minor mode (raised 7th), that one note sounds out of place.

My guess is that you improvised your harmony on top of the melody on the fly, instead of having a set harmony on paper or in your head before you sang it. Most of the time, I like how it works, except for the mix volume, but there are enough places where the harmony choice is notably out of style for the piece. I don't know whether you don't have much improv experience or just not on vocals, but while practicing improv works, for a final mix that you submit, I'd suggest having it written out, or at very least, thought out clearly in your head so that you're singing something you've worked out ahead of time. That will also let you focus more on the musicality of the arrangement instead of the improv (see my next point).

I agree with SnappleMan's comment (just not the way he expressed most of what he said :)) about the relatively flat dynamic level. Again, I think your focus was on pitch and clarity instead of musicality. You know the lyrics but don't really feel them and express them at an emotional level. I stand by my previous comments about the phrasing and choice of lyrics as well. You either don't know how to or just aren't singing in a really punchy, upbeat style. It sounds like you're taking a lyrical approach to the piece (which, from what I've heard of your other remixes and WIPs, is your strongest style and works really well for you) and are trying to sing in a more punchy style without fully understanding it.

Something else I just thought of with respect to lyrics (while listening to your Fisherman's Horizon piece, oddly enough): the melody has to fit the lyrics and the lyrics have to fit the melody. If the melody is causing you to emphasize the wrong part of a word (i.e. calling to them, wishING they'd come), you can change the lyrics but you can also change the melody. Don't be tied down to singing the exact melody from the game. You have the freedom to alter it to make it fit your song. This is a remix after all. Even listening to bands do live versions of their studio songs, it's the small alterations that make it worth listening to.

Good luck with this piece. I think you have something that can work if you approach the vocals in the right way, and maybe do a bit of cleanup on the remix (I know the mixer doesn't want to touch it again, but redoing just the drums might make a difference and wouldn't be that hard to do). You have talent, and when you find the right way to express it, you can get a lot of good mixes done.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Goddamn man, that's the best criticism I've gotten in weeks.

The harmony will most definately be brought down, I just didn't get around to dropping it before I exported to mp3. It's certainly pretty overpowering at times, and causes clipping at one point.

You're exactly right, the harmony was originally improved. And no, I don't really have much experiance in improv, whether singing or on my trumpet (shame, too, I always liked jazz). I will definately take the time to write them out and work with it.

Both yours and Snappleman's comments on the dynamics strike true, and I'll honestly admit that I didn't think and disreguarded volume. When I originally recorded I found it (still do, stupid quiet voice) difficult to bring my voice up over the volume, and when I finally could (maybe?) I most certainly got carried away with it. Perhaps a rerecord will be in order (square one....again, haha), though it's been a tiring journey on this song. I will get it done though.

As for the change of lyrics/melody, the lyrics most certainly have grown on me over the course of two years, and any time I've tried to change them I just can't seem to. Changing the melody...never occured to me. Just like dynamics. How silly(and stupid).

So I guess I have plenty of serious thinking to do on this mix. Oy, why can't things be simple, eh?

Thanks, again.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've added you on AIM (if you don't mind). Feel free to bounce ideas off me if you like.

Yeah, maybe you have a long way to go with this. Welcome to remixing :) I've put a large number of hours into my Chrono Trigger Black Omen remix (currently up in the WIP section) and I've only got roughly half the piece done, and that's not counting any editing to make it sound realistic, the drum track, and some cleanup of rhythms and notes.

Not that I'm any kind of pro (for that matter, you should be giving me advice since you've got two posted mixes plus a bunch of other mixes on your site) but what I've found so far is that having too many musical options can be distracting. If you're not used to singing songs and altering the melodies, for example, I wouldn't do it, at least not without writing it out, since it'll be another thing that gets in the way of the perfect recording you're going for. That's why I suggested writing out all the harmony. Kudos to those who can get good takes on the first or second try (I can't; the flute solo on my WIP is the result of over 30 consecutive takes and still needs some note editing), but if you improv harmony all the way through and aren't comfortable with doing so, you'll sacrifice musicality since you're too focused on the improv. Good luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Melody changes only

With Harmony Added

April vacation has been a blessing in getting work on this done. Here is the first four verses with reworking. Opinions on any part of it are appreciated. The file cuts off after the last verse is sung, so yes, it probably did download all the way.

I didn't do anything in terms of lessening the volume of the harmony. I'll worry more about that later.

Link to post
Share on other sites

0:00 - 0:25 - Perfect intonation and pronunciation

0:31 - Not sure if I like "know".

0:38 - "Me" still sounds a little bit wide. And the whole thing sounds a bit breathy

0:49 - "Back" sounds like "Mack"

- Interlude -

1:33 - "Into" in the harmony sounds a bit off...

1:43 - "Forget" is a little pushed in the melody

1:47 - AGH! *orgasm* Love the triplet

2:05 - I like the note choice in the harmony

2:30 - Again, nice note choice.

Overall: Your pitch accuracy has improved, your pronunciation has improved, your tone quality is much improved. I don't foresee you needing to do too many more recordings before this can be submitted.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Submitting this, nomatter the quality of the singing, will get a no. I can promise you that. The music is not up to OCR standards, and again, the lyrics break rhythm so much that it will never sound like one full song.

That's overall problem, I think. It SOUNDS like you just singing over some music, your voice does not work as an instrument in the song.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice work, this is an incredible improvement! Whatever you're doing, keep it up. "Take my hopes and dreams" was a pleasure for the ears. The harmony is a lot more fluid, too.

I have to admit that in regards to submitting this, the track would need a boost. In terms of your voice fitting in as an instrument (which I agree with), either effects on the vocals or a more 'fitting' track (or both) will help. I'm not saying the current track doesn't work.. I'm just saying the judges will listen to it with high standards.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Submitting this, nomatter the quality of the singing, will get a no. I can promise you that. The music is not up to OCR standards, and again, the lyrics break rhythm so much that it will never sound like one full song.

That's overall problem, I think. It SOUNDS like you just singing over some music, your voice does not work as an instrument in the song.

What would you suggest is needed to improve the quality of the music? What makes you think she sounds like she's singing over the music as opposed to singing with the music? In other words, besides phrasing, what needs to be done to make this OCR-worthy?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Submitting this, nomatter the quality of the singing, will get a no. I can promise you that. The music is not up to OCR standards, and again, the lyrics break rhythm so much that it will never sound like one full song.

That's overall problem, I think. It SOUNDS like you just singing over some music, your voice does not work as an instrument in the song.

So... This is what people are talking about... About you being an asshole... You do provide legitimate feedback, but never provide a way to improve...

Link to post
Share on other sites
That's overall problem, I think. It SOUNDS like you just singing over some music, your voice does not work as an instrument in the song.

That's actually the problem I've been trying to put my finger on ever since I heard it first. Thank you, Snapple, for finally putting it into words.

The way I'm seeing it, there's a roadblock in the way of this track. Either the vocals or the arrangement underneath them have to be the focus of this mix, and neither of them are ready to do it. As you've said, you're only a hobbiest singer and no one can fault you for that. We're all novices trying to improve and have fun. Unfortunately, nice as your voice may be and as much potential as it may have, it can't carry a mix the way a trained voice can.

Again, I can't fault you much on the voice because improving it would be costly and time-consuming. However, the arrangement underneath is still weak, and that is much easier to fix. If the original composer isn't interested in reworking it, I advise you find another remixer who is. The dynamics are weak, the percussion is flat and the synths are boring. I think the instrumentals beneath your voice are holding this mix back more than anything else, and I strongly suggest you consider changing or replacing it however possible. Otherwise, this is definitely destined for a NO.

Edit:

Escariot, he has offered many suggestions for improvement in this thread so far, as well, as offering additional help via PM. Harsh, blunt critiques aren't fun, but they tend to be the most helpful. Honestly, it would be nice to see more bluntness in this forum sometimes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

DA the vocals on the newest version sound much improved.

I remembering you saying before that efields won't be touching the background again. So if your wanting to stick with what you got and want to try and get this posted here IMO are the options you got:

Have someone add lots of xtra rythms and ear candy to the background. Lots of ping pong panning. This song needs to take make full usage of the stereo field, currently it doesn't.

Do some crazy FX and processing on the vocals. Prob do the 1 dry and 1-3 insanely wet vocal track trick. Lots of automation with delays, vocoding, gated reverbs the whole lot.

Have one part of the vocals sidechained to the beat of the drums to create a pumping effect in the vocals. This will create more energy and help tie the vocals and the background together.

Also the mastering on the entire track would need to be very well done to give the whole song a much thicker feel. Kudos on really proggressing this far in all the vocal work on this track.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Submitting this, nomatter the quality of the singing, will get a no. I can promise you that. The music is not up to OCR standards, and again, the lyrics break rhythm so much that it will never sound like one full song.

That's overall problem, I think. It SOUNDS like you just singing over some music, your voice does not work as an instrument in the song.

Quick note before I reply; I've been checking out this thread constantly, yet I haven't critiqued because it's not my place to. On the contrary, I'm actually learning a thing or two from this thread since I'm also trying to make my singing work with ReMixes and whatnot.

The thing which interests me in Snapple's comment is that I've gotten a similar comment back in my OCR Vocal Remix Competition Submission (Round 2). Anyway, DA's work with this remix reminds me of her "Summoner's Love" WIP, now submitted in OCR after much tweaking on the vocals. The singing in both WIPs has pretty much the same feeling of just being "placed over the music" and "not working as an instrument in the song" as you've put it, Snapple. But the full version of Summoner's Love, while not my favorite vocal song in OCR and does have a few weak spots, works quite well and feels somewhat catchy..sounds A LOT better than its WIP version...

Bottom line, we know that DA has not placed any effects or major production values on her voice yet. I think that's the reason why her singing feels placed over the song instead of being "integral" to the song. Sure, the strength of her voice could play a role, yet in my view production values are a lot more important, and DA herself proved that good production values can compensate for any "vocal weaknesses" if present. Also, not everybody can be a Pixietricks or a Star Salzman in terms of singing talent. That OCR Vocal Compo actually made me feel that way, even though I placed last (due to being a n00b perhaps).

I also think that the judges will think the same way. I remember being surprised when they rejected Darangen's incredibly cool "Rest Tonight" from Dwelling of Duels and accepting DA's "Summoner's Love". No offence to DA, though. It's just that the former song is SO awesome. Production values could've played a role in these desicions. Yet, that still doesn't make DA in the clear. As most of the comments have pointed out, DA still needs to need to find the best way for her singing to fit the track. I know that it would've been much easier to make up the singing as Efields was working on the track, yet you can't turn back time.

Link to post
Share on other sites
DA, i dont think it would be a bad idea to have someone redo the track. they could keep the same style and basic arrangement if you want them too. and you could still give efields credit as a remixer.

Basic arrangement sure, but it shouldn't be the same style. It's her decision, but I think DA should provide a link to the vocal track when she's happy with it and let a few different people try to rework the song around it in whatever genre they want. That would be interesting, to say the least. Might end up with something amazing in a style she wouldn't have considered otherwise.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If someone wants to do any sort of arrangement, I would be honored. Usually any requests I've made have fallen on deaf ears, so I'm generally in the position that if I have any sort of arrangement, it's better than nothing. If anyone's interested, PM me.

As it is, I'm still going to finish this one since as I'm almost done. Here's an update with the last two verses and the ending. At this point all I have is touch-ups.

Update

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...