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Rad Organ Licks and Harpsichord Shredding; Bloody Tears Redux

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Yes, I'm reposting this due to a lack of feedback, I definitely need some production guidelines, so I'd appreciate any and all feedback

Full-on Midi Arrangement


Partial MP3 Arrangement with recorded guitars


Longer Partial MP3 Arrangement with Synth Guitars



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1) Am at work so I can't comment on them just yet.

2) WHY oh WHY putfile... instead of having to wad through the process of getting a file from there, why not use something more simple (and less invasive) like sendspace or megaupload/rapidshit. Anything would be better than putfile...

Perhaps that's why you didn't get feedback before...?

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To start off, your arrangement is hot. Full of energy and so... dramatic, it never feels like its staying still at all. Mad props for that.

But as you said, your production needs a bit of work. The Synth guitar version is rather messy. The real guitar version is much better, but that might be because there is simply less going on. Anyways! Firstly, your bass sounds a little to regular - try varying the velocity levels a bit, make it sound a little more human. Secondly, you are panning nicely, so what you really need to do to improve your soundscape is EQ! Make sure each part instrument has its own little part of the spectrum to use, and each... bah, Tweak can explain better than I can. ^_^

Finally, more mad props for that Harpsichord. Holy shizz thats awesome.

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Well, thanks a lot for your compliments on the arrangement. I tend to get dissatisfied with it after working to long on it as it all seems to get repetitive, but I guess that's normal, so I won't touch it.

And yes, I've only recorded about a third of the guitars you hear in the synth part, so that explains the improved clarity of the real version. :P

Anyway, since at parts I'm having something like six different instruments playing different melodies, EQing them properly is extremely important, and this is unfortunately my main problem; I've done a few takes for my rhythm guitar, and I am just UNABLE to make it stand out nicely the way I want (I.E. Heavy and clear, yet not intrusive) without sucking up the much needed lower frequencies (I.E. Rolling off the lower shelf makes it sound like a trebly buzz). EQing things the right way is just so hard for me, especially with no spectrograph-reader-thingy in Reason.

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Ah, polyphony takes crazy amounts of EQing, haha. But w/e, take the time to learn it, because it is essential, and things'll sound a lot cleaner.

Really energetic arrangement. It's got a lot of forward momentum, but you don't hesitate to have sections where it slows down to give the listener some breathing time. And, haha, HARPSICHORD. Hell yah! Keep working on this man =D

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Yay rhythm guitar take 1

I've spent a lot of time EQing it, and (at least to my inexperienced ears), each separate part is now pretty clearly audible. The rhythm guitar gets kind of meh during the chorus (0:31) but I think that's more due to my sloppy playing (I had this recording lying around for some time, didn't have the chance to make a fresh recording because I busted my strings) than because of bad EQing. Anyway, feedback is welcome as always.

Edit: Also, gawd that organ sucks. I need a good organ refill/soundfont, if anyone has access to a decent sounding gothic organ patch, maybe I could send the midi-organ part, and they would be able to fix a .wav file for me? =D

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Ooooooh... thats some nice guitarage right there. Love it. I think you should probably tighten up on the strings, particularly their reverb - they tend to interfere with the guitar a bit. Some harsh EQ should solve that. The piano also competes with the lead guitar - while they are both playing, I would pan 'em either side, that should help, else you would have to do some crazy EQ.

As for organs, I've had luck with the Jeux 1.4 soundfont - you can grab it off hammersound, third from the bottom of this page. Its a dry organ, so you need to reverb/delay it yourself, but I find that yeilds much better results than using one of those wet organ samples.

PS: the Harpsichord still rocks.

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Yay, another update, new stuff:

- EQ, compression, limiting, etc.

- Newly recorded rhythm Guitar

- Piano Piano Piano!

- Tweaked the arrangement of the intro a bit so I don't have to play in drop D

- recorded "SFX": whammy bar harmonics and pick slides

- Sequenced a silly piano intro, I'll probably leave that out in the final thing

- New organ patch, straight from Jeux 1.4

All in all, I'm pretty content so far, my only real gripe is how the harpsichord has some dissonant harmonies, so I'll have to fix that. Also, the lead guitars SUCK, so I'm rearranging them a bit, and will be re-recording them with a different preset.

Also, rhythm guitar makes things still too muddy, so I guess I'll have to rearrange the rhythm part so it doesn't contain that much full-blown power chords, but mostly one-string runs.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback so far, it helped me a lot, but keep it coming! :D

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This latest version, in some places I felt it made some strides foward then back peddle a bit as well.

I agree with you on the harpsichord sounding dissonant as I was a bit surprised by that; not in the good way sadly.

While I love the guitars, it practically smothered the piano away to where I started imagining a piano trying to stay afloat from the guitars. Not saying the piano should be the front, but don't let it get smothered to merely popping up every couple of beats while the guitars play their parts.

One other thing though I think it's more of a preference than anything technical. The organ while good, I can't help but think of the old 60's organs used by spiritualists that rag on you if given the chance. I could not envision the use of the classic pipeorgan of old. Again it's more of a personal preference than anything critical. Since you used a piano and harpiscord, why not use a full on pipe organ used by churches of old to match the rest eh?.

I suppose I've been listening way too much of Malice Mizer's "Bara no Seidou" album; incredible use of pipeorgans...

goodluck though!

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Well after re-listening to it a few times, I do agree the guitar takes a wee bit of a too prominent role compared to the other instruments, so I guess I'll just have to take it down a decibel or so while the piano is playing.

And yes, I agree about the organ, it's just that I haven't been able to find a sound in the huge amount of different presets of Jeux 1.4 that comes close to sounding like a true gothic/baroque pipe organ, so this was the best thing I could come up with. When I listen to it by itself, I kinda like it, but indeed, after listening to some Malice Mizer, (gee, I just figured out this song looks a LOT like Malice Mizer's work due to the instrumentation) my organ patch sucks donkey balls.

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Okay, so I'm visiting my folks, so I'm using Dad's crappy headphones, not my mixing ones, so it might just be the headphones, but I'm hearing some ducking here. Are you using a multi-band compressor? When the bass and the kick are both going, the cymbals go weird, like the higher frequencies are getting smooshed by the bassy ones.

Anyways, someone (I foget who, sorry) posted this link in the Remixing forum, and I think you might appreciate the EQ advice within. Particularly part 4, which is about EQing instruments that interfere with each other.

As for the Organ, keep in mind that many organs use different stops for huge long chords and those runs of really fast notes. You may have to use different settings for each part.

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Well since I'm doing everything in Reason, I do not have access to a fancy multi-band compressor (This might be my last mix in Reason, I really require a decent DAW for some of my needs), a solution might be messing around with the automation for the compression on the cymbals and stuff, but I'm not too sure if that would work out.

EDIT: The solution was actually goddamn simple, apparently I had it mastered a bit on the hot side so I guess the volume of the kick+bass+ high-frequency cymbals peaked maybe a bit above 0 dB so that probably caused some artifacts, I've put the master compressor on bypass, turned the master gain on the limiter down, and cranked up the volume on my soundcard, and I'm amazed how this affects the drums ( in a positive way); the snare, the toms and the kick sound totally different. I guess loudness isn't everything..

Thanks a lot for the link, I hadn't found it yet, but it's definitely helpful.

I guess I'll have to read up on the workings of an organ a bit more, since what you say hadn't occured to me at all. The Jeux soundfont is really kind of overwhelming with all the Ripieno, Plein Jeu, etc. presets.

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I've made a real quick comparison between the new version and the old version, pretty much the only thing I did was turn down the gain on the limiter and put the master compressor on bypass (The compressor actually wasn't necessary at all, none of the parts were too silent or too loud).

Pay special attention to how crisp the hi-hats sound in the first (remastered) part compared to the second. While I've normalized both versions to roughly the same volume (which is what a listener would do too; turn up his speakers if the mix was too soft, and vice versa), the drums in the remastered version are allowed to peak much higher, and thus have a much more obvious impact on the mix (because the second part is pretty much a compressed turd)

Not really an update, but I was just intrigued by the positive dynamic impact provided by mastering the mix way softer, and allowing only the drums to peak.

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And another convert is made to the school of soft mastering. =P

Though I though Reason got a mad multiband compressor in 3.0? Or was it just a better compressor? I don't really know, as my Reason experience ended with 2.5. Though I gotta say, I'm impressed how well you are dealing with live samples in Reason! Also, how the blazes are you loading a soundfont in Reason?

I mean, errr... keep up the good work!

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Well I figured out Reason has the POTENTIAL for a multi-band compressor, you have to link up multiple compressors with multiple vocoders and separate each band, etc. etc. takes a bit too long to explain, but it's possible, and I will be using it =p

Reason is perfectly capable of loading up soundfonts, all you have to do is open it with an NN-XT sampler, easy as pie =D

Well about this mix, I've been working on some other things (mainly for projects), but I'll return to work on it as soon as possible, this wip will not die =)

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I've started re-arranging it once more (because I'm a stupid perfectionist), and this is what I've come up with, I'm pretty content with the first 2/3, but I'm still not really happy with the way I've handled the half-time drum/harpsichord cadenza, so maybe I'll redo that once more.


By the way, this host has some issues with instrument changes and volume levels in the midi, so only use it if you really can't stand putfile, otherwise putfile is the most obvious choice for listening.


Hope you like it :)

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