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Sengin

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 'Secerts Hidden in the Deep' (Hydrocity Zone/IceCap Zone)

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i'm tempted to write a poem inspired by this. would you mind?

No, I wouldn't mind at all. In fact, please do. I am flattered that you want to write a poem that my song inspired! Just at least let me know when it's finished :) Thanks for taking the time to listen and post!

If this is going to OCR, you might want to cut some length, or you're gonna end up with a low bitrate to fit the 6 megs limit.

I thought about that, but there was recently a good-quality mix posted at 6:30, plus DiscoDan has his Triforce Majure that clocks in at 7:20. I was hoping to find a good VBR encoder, but priority was on working on the mix and finishing it.

The transition from straight to swing was a bit too sudden, you might want to have something in the bg, some faint rhythm track to ease the transition.

Do you mean the transition at 0:28? I have strings in the background, but it is a bit faded, and it does stop immediately at the first note...

While on the jazzy topic, some jazzness are just clashing on purpose, and doesn't seem to work, not being introduced as a jazz piece.

Can you please provide a time in which is doesn't work? Do you think that 0:47-0:49 has too much clash? EDIT: I found two notes in another track that caused a lot of the bad dissonance. I'll try to upload a version soon without it.

Piano, a lot of the time, could use some EQ boosting in its highs and lows. Actually, the whole track seems like it could use some contrast. I recommend a multiband compressor on the master to make sure you have a healthy balance of highs and lows at all times. Currently, it's a bit thick around the waist, and the reduced amount of highs make it sound low-quality.

Hmm...thanks. I will take a good look at it. I've been trying to figure out why the whole mix sounds "odd" to me and how to fix it, and I think that's why (not enough of the spectrum at all times) and a tool to help fix it. What instrument would you recommend for the highs? Synth/flute, or something different?

The differences throughout are enjoyable, but some transitions could use some work.

Yes, I know, and I am working on it, though besides adding something in the bg at the transition times, I'm a little stuck at the moment.

Drums are pretty boring and poorly mixed, to be frank. Mostly, it's low kick+shaker, plus some other percussion. A more balanced EQ mix might improve it, but you might have to work a bit on the drum writing.

I figured they were for the most part (what did you think of the drums at the piano/sax hydrocity part?). I don't think drums are my forte...well, this being my first mix, I'm still trying to FIND my forte :P. Do you think just spicing up the rhythm would help, or do you think new drums or keeping the rhythms but changing the sample to a different kind of drum would help?

I did hear the Ice Cap Zone in there, and something else I reocgnized, among all the styles. If this isn't interpretive enough, something's wrong with OCR. You're in the green as far as source/interpretation goes, afaik.

Thanks! It's a remix of Ice Cap and Hydrocity Acts I and II. And I was a little worried about it not being interpretive enough, but I don't think I am anymore.

Impressive variety of styles, just needs some writing fixes and production improvements. Great stuff.

Thank you for your critique and comments. I have some more energy for working on this now, I think I just needed another person (or 2) to have a listen and to give me feedback.

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I updated a slightly updated version. Fixed drums a little in a small section, took out some focus from piano and added some flamenco guitar in a section. About the guitar: yes? no? Opinions? I still have a lot to do, including the panning on the guitar and piano starting at the part after the Ice Cap section (and more).

EDIT: Uploaded a more updated version. Changed some EQ for the high range starting at the sax ice cap, raised the high ranges of the piano to make it brighter, changed some panning around, and various other tweaks and such. The transition from hydrocity to ice cap is indeed awkward as of now, I know. That's just where I started messing with the EQ. I'll work on that, and other transitions, tomorrow. Any comments?

http://www.box.net/shared/7p1s1cfsws

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Bells in the intro sound modulated. Me no like them's sound.

Transition at around 0:29 is still a bit too sharp. Also, there's an audible levels change there that's also too sharp.

Piano sounds too dry. Noticeably in the intro and towards the end. Consider automating the reverb mix level so you can just raise it into the intro and ending. Alternately, use two pianos, one with reverb, one without.

0:47 or wherever the clashes were, they're gone now. And they're not missed.

You might still be a bit too conservative with the source chord progression. I would enjoy not having to hear it over and over again (e.g. pre 1:30).

Transition at 2:23 is too sharp. Introduce the drums earlier, carry the percussion a bit into the new section. That section, 2:23-> could use a low bass to back up the drums. Shaker is centered, which is a little annoying, imo. Stereo spread it and pan it somewhere.

Transition out of it (3:09) works better, but could also be a little too sharp. The harp-like isntrument that comes in after that is a bit too exposed, I recommend a bit of reverb and dropping its volume a bit.

Hmm...thanks. I will take a good look at it. I've been trying to figure out why the whole mix sounds "odd" to me and how to fix it, and I think that's why (not enough of the spectrum at all times) and a tool to help fix it. What instrument would you recommend for the highs? Synth/flute, or something different?

It depends on the style you've got going. A synth might work in one of the more electronic sections, whereas high legato strings or a ride would work in other sections. The problem isn't "what", it's "how much". EQ or multiband compression could let you raise it. I can't find a section with _nothing_ in the high range, so you just need a little of the abovementioned effects. Besides, I think your new version already got that fixed.

Left-panned piano should have an EQ cut so it's not as mid-heavy when it's there. It feels like it's pulling the foundation for the track left, leaving it vertically skewed. Drop its mids when it's there, or push it closer to the mid. You've got something in the high range centered, starting at 4:30. That could be pushed to the left, since you've got the left channel's high range covered by another melody. if you replace the panning of the piano and the 430C instrument, you don't need to EQ the piano. That's just a suggestion, of course.

I figured they were for the most part (what did you think of the drums at the piano/sax hydrocity part?). I don't think drums are my forte...well, this being my first mix, I'm still trying to FIND my forte :P. Do you think just spicing up the rhythm would help, or do you think new drums or keeping the rhythms but changing the sample to a different kind of drum would help?

Drums just need longer loops, or a second loop with some slight variations. Nothing big. The drum rhythm could change as part of the transition to the next style, fixing both some of the drum repeition AND the transitions. :D

This is a significant improvement. Good stuff.

Please take the time to answer the questions in this post.

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Thank you again for your review and comments, they are much appreciated! Also, I responded to those questions in the post.

Man, doesn't it suck when you spend a couple hours trying things just to come to terms with that it doesn't work? Ah well.

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Updated! Hopefully for the last time. There are a host of new changes, on a medium to small scale. Panning, volume, instrument changes (slightly), timing differences, EQ, more variance in the drums, some new notes, changed intro to be a bit more jazzy leading into the first section, and more. Check it out! And please leave feedback.

http://www.box.net/shared/7p1s1cfsws

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Gonna be quick and just write what comes to mind as I listen:

Piano needs some velocity work. Nice slowdown.

It's a bit quiet. Either that, or the past few wips I heard have wrecked my ears.

Drop percussion is nice, but don't overuse it. And avoid repeating stuff... oh good, wasn't a full repeat. Still, at 1:40, it's a little repetitive. You might want to move an octave... oh, you did that next. Well, you might want to move something down before then, just to vary it a little more.

And into the latino rhythm. 2:23 transition is a little too sharp. Shaker here is a little annoying, it's got some pan effect on it. Pan it a bit one way, and use a soft stereo echo to spread it. makes it less annoying. Once again, it gets repetitive before it changes, so you might want to switch some piano parts to an electric piano or something else to make it more varied.

3:40 section could use a 3-note reference to the ice cap zone theme somewhere, just to make it a little more interesting. Your latino-ish single semi-note steps at the end of a section get a little annoying after a few times, you might want to come up with something else.

Slowdown at 5:10, nice. The following section could use some velocity work, it feels a bit mechanical. I think I'm hearing some, but I think it needs more. Also, that part is too long. Cut it by half, nobody's gonna complain (you might be the one exception to that).

Repetition, annoying bits and pieces... But it's only getting better. Great work.

Listeners, please take the time to answer the questions in this post. Thanks for alnswering them, Sengin.

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Piano needs some velocity work. Nice slowdown.

Yep, it does. I've gone through and edited all the piano velocities, but because I don't have a midi keyboard, I don't see just how much velocities are altered, so I think a difference of say, 80 to 95 is plenty. However, it is not. But after thinking it is, you start to miss out on the fact that it isn't. Thanks for reminding me.

It's a bit quiet. Either that, or the past few wips I heard have wrecked my ears.

I think it's both, but after thinking about it, I do think it could start a little louder.

Drop percussion is nice, but don't overuse it.

What exactly are you referring to here?

Still, at 1:40, it's a little repetitive. You might want to move an octave... oh, you did that next. Well, you might want to move something down before then, just to vary it a little more.

I've got a few ideas :)

And into the latino rhythm. 2:23 transition is a little too sharp.

I'm racked my brain, but I can't come up with a good enough transition. I guess I just haven't thought enough yet.

Once again, it gets repetitive before it changes, so you might want to switch some piano parts to an electric piano or something else to make it more varied.

I've tried a couple ideas here and there over time, and came up with nothing other than the general ice cap theme for a bit, then more of a sax duel before transitioning into the next part. But I haven't gotten to thinking about this part for a while yet, so I'm bound to come up with something. ...I just got an idea, we'll see how it goes...

3:40 section could use a 3-note reference to the ice cap zone theme somewhere, just to make it a little more interesting.

You know, I had that in a note I wrote to myself somewhere, but it got lost and forgotten with focus on other things over time. Thanks for the reminder!

Also, that part is too long. Cut it by half, nobody's gonna complain (you might be the one exception to that).

Yep, but it's probably just my stubbornness. I'll give it a shot (I'll probably remove the first section before the left hand comes in).

Repetition, annoying bits and pieces... But it's only getting better. Great work.

Again, thanks for the review! I'm sure I'll have another one up soon, and maybe you won't have any complains then :P

I see many people downloading the wip, even if it's only a single critique, can you please leave something? Most of the posts in this thread are by me, and I'd sure like to hear other people's opinions. Thanks!

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Piano velocities... I don't play piano enough to know, but I think a 15-step range is a little short. 70-100 could work. Not that I do much piano work, but I've used the 70-127 range, tho that could get a bit too aggressive.

Drop percussion - eh, sorry, drop-like percussion. Before 1:40 iirc (too lazy to relisten). It appeared a little too often. You can use it more than you did, but not that much within that same section. I think it played three times, you could remove the middle one and add some later in the track.

I think you've improved most transitions, and you're obviously improving the track as a whole. 2:23's gotta be a difficult transition.

As for volume, use a multiband compressor on the master to boost the frequency ranges individually, get the track to peak just over 0dB and then use a limiter to kill those peaks. That's what I usually do, it's something I recommend. Be careful about overcompressing, or compressing the bands unevenly.

Take a backup before removing length. Always take backups, whether it's because the program's corrupt your file or you make drastic changes to it.

Good luck.

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Thaw

A desperate cry, unyielding ice

Another’s war over meaningless dispute

Cold, alone, fear frozen in bone

Heartless moon, hidden sun

Bronze sunset, and frozen chill

Drip- quiet fun: a warm, damp breeze

Water over stone, the playful trickle

Calm mind and easy pleasures

A subtle beat, a background hum

The happy hymn of hydro

While the leak continues to grow

Uncertain chimes across rimy dunes

Solid blocks, shifting snow

A frigid desert of frost

Windblown awe, silent respect

While the firmness cracks and breaks

Slow at first: a bird waking up

Then bursting to life it rushes forward

The flurry of unbound joy

The cyclone of battle, the frostbitten spray

Fields of freeze kicked up and dispersed

Sound stolen by the powdery plain

A frightened pause, a silent suspension

The winds steal across the ice-locked lands

Shatter- the maelstrom returns, the eye flees

Hailstorm of anger, terror, and confusion

Whips and stings with burning icefire

A whirlwind of life, the happy chaos

Down to the hidden, benevolent liquid

Procession of praise, dances of exhilaration

Ordered and excited, bursts of wild glorification

Parade of peace, triumphant march

The beauty of water unmatched and unstopped

Perplexing exultation, shower of bliss

Turbulent rush of impulsive waves

Surge of flexible, beautiful power

Trickle away to the darkest corners

Stealing off for freedom and solitude

Out of the gleeful mist freeze and fluid meet

Twins, similar and analogous

Intolerable and competitive, rivaling siblings

Clash of minds, confrontation of difference

A furious, squalling brawl, a duet of violent fate

Sweet, compromised turmoil

Two descending to one

Gorgeous dance of concession

Convergence of the identical adversaries

Abandoned and combined

Fused intellect and amalgamated spirit

Duo of singular intent

Flood.

Okay, quickie note, this isn't quite based off the most recent version: rather, it's based off the version right before my first post. Hope you still enjoy!

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Ok, first of i'll say that you have chosen a bloody difficult source tune (ice cap) simply because every single living creature in the entire milky way galaxy has remixed this song at some point.

Or it seems that way.

The intro is cool, I love the mood, and the electric piano/pad sound is awesome, I'm loving that. :razz:

However I am not a fan of the piano, rozo is right about the velocities, bring them down and vary them more. The piano sounds really mechanical imo and the velocity range is too high for the mood you are trying to get here.

So the ice cap melody starts. Some of the notes in the piano clash, and that is seriously bothering me. I would sort them out.

This problem is has gone by the time the drums come in though.

I also like the variation you put in the melody, thats great :D

The only complaint here is that I can't here a bass, and the texture here sounds a little empty because of it.

Original section at 1.29: more piano notes clashing here - maybe its your style, as I sometimes use dissonant chords that others dislike.

Hydro city section - loving this bit, the piano is cool as well, no probs here.

The Ice cap section after it is cool as well, good variations.

The original section at 3.10 - not sure it worked with the key change. It is ice cap? I'm not sure, but it sounds a little like it. The next part that carries on the track and goes into hydro is a little weird, but its cool, I like to hear something different.

the transition to hydro at 3.34 is sick, I love that.

The hydro section, I'm hearing clashing notes again, not as frequent, but its starting to annoy me a little :(

4.33 onwards is cool, I'm liking that.

The solo piano at the end is also good, I'm liking that a lot, especially when complimented by the left hand piano later on.

I love the way the pad fades in and tracks to a close, with the water drop sound, thats a great touch.

There are some great ideas here, my crits are mechanical piano, and clashing notes in it. Also, as far as I can hear, there is no bass :(

I think you may just get away with it, but it does sound empty at points in the piece.

However, you have more than edited the source tunes enough to warrant praise from the judges I'm guessing.

Nice work :nicework:

I look forward to hearing more :D

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[wonderful poem]

Okay, quickie note, this isn't quite based off the most recent version: rather, it's based off the version right before my first post. Hope you still enjoy!

Wow! I definitely enjoyed it. Thanks for much for writing one, and for sharing it. If my song ever gets on OCR, I'll be sure to leave a link here to it (or do you have it online somewhere on your own webpage?) in the comments section. Thanks again! It's beautiful.

And thanks to Willrock for his time listening and reviewing.

Ok, first of i'll say that you have chosen a bloody difficult source tune (ice cap) simply because every single living creature in the entire milky way galaxy has remixed this song at some point. Or it seems that way.

Haha, yeah it seems that way. That's why I didn't include the source :P. At first it was just Ice Cap, but then I really wanted to incorporate Hydrocity in there, and forgot to link to the source.

So the ice cap melody starts. Some of the notes in the piano clash, and that is seriously bothering me. I would sort them out.

Do you mind telling me exactly where, in the course of the whole song? The only notes I used to purposely sound dissonant are from 0:48-0:50. Other than that, I don't know what you are referring to.

The only complaint here is that I can't here a bass, and the texture here sounds a little empty because of it.

Are you sure you can't hear it (are you on headphones, lowered the master EQ for bass or the bass on your speakers)? The piano plays the role of the bass until 0:58, where the bass drum comes in, and it's there throughout the song (with variations, etc...) except at the very end and from 1:48-2:09 where the hydrocity section in being introduced.

The original section at 3.10 - not sure it worked with the key change. It is ice cap? I'm not sure, but it sounds a little like it. The next part that carries on the track and goes into hydro is a little weird, but its cool, I like to hear something different.

It's not quite Ice Cap, it's a section that was inspired by ice cap though.

the transition to hydro at 3.34 is sick, I love that.

Yeah, I really love what came out of me for that transition :D

4.33 onwards is cool, I'm liking that.

I hope people like that section, because it took me such an incredibly long ass time to find a suitable way to mess with the hydrocity zone act 2 melody and make it interesting, but also in keeping with the style of non-standard notes that is hydrocity. Glad you like it!

The solo piano at the end is also good, I'm liking that a lot, especially when complimented by the left hand piano later on.

Do you think it is too long, or do you think it works as it is?

There are some great ideas here, my crits are mechanical piano, and clashing notes in it. Also, as far as I can hear, there is no bass :(

I agree with the piano, I'm working on that (there is variation on the velocities everywhere, just not enough). I don't understand what you are meaning about the clashing notes and bass, though.

Nice work :nicework: I look forward to hearing more :D

Thanks!

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Do you mind telling me exactly where, in the course of the whole song? The only notes I used to purposely sound dissonant are from 0:48-0:50. Other than that, I don't know what you are referring to.

Well there are clashes in the piano part at 0.31 (beginning of bar) 0.34 (beginning of bar again)

Theres several notes in the left hand piano parts that clash with the key you are playing in as well in the next two bars.

There is a clash at 0.44 (third beat of bar) as well.

That is for the first section anyway.

Are you sure you can't hear it (are you on headphones, lowered the master EQ for bass or the bass on your speakers)? The piano plays the role of the bass until 0:58, where the bass drum comes in, and it's there throughout the song (with variations, etc...) except at the very end and from 1:48-2:09 where the hydrocity section in being introduced.

Hmm... after listening VERY HARD (and yes, I have checked my EQ setup, its normal and I use headphones that usually pick up bass frequencies) I can hear it sometimes very faint, but usually, its completely overshadowed by the bass notes on the piano. Turn up the bass dude!

Do you think it is too long, or do you think it works as it is?

It seems fine to me mate :D

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Ok, new version. Less repetitive. I decided to keep the ending as it was, but I did more velocity work. Did some velocity work in the intro as well. Changed up some parts, made it less repetitive and joined both themes together. Finally found a better transition at 2:23 from hydro to ice. Adjusted some volume levels and other tidbits. As always, link here:

http://www.box.net/shared/7p1s1cfsws

And Willrock, I actually had the bass up a bit beforehand, but it was too overpowering, so I lowered it to what it is now. I can still hear and feel it strongly though on my speakers (Logitech G51 with the subwoofer setting in the middle).

And also as always, please leave feedback!

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Piano could sue some more reverb, and when it's solo or almost solo, it needs more bass. It might be a little too loud in some parts, you might want to have a good look at what parts you _need_ to be loud and which ones you can drop a few dB.

Your drums need work, they just don't have the energy they should have. The shaker could be panned a bit, the congas nor whatever could be panned opposite. Drums in the 2:23- section just don't sound good. Going for a simpler bass drum pattern would probably make it more tolerable, as much as four on the floor isn't very creative, it tends to be out of the way for other rhythms.

2:41, 2:49, are a couple of note clashes that I could hear in that section. Dunno if that's what Willrock was talking about.

Piano is a little mechanical, you might want to make the attack and cutoff respond to the velocity if you haven't already. If you have, make the attack more sensitive to it.

It's got a very sharp sound, you might want to cut back on the highs on the master EQ a little.

Other than that, and the occasional clutter, it's pretty good. Keep at it, man.

Remixer, listeners, please take the time to answer the questions in this post, we're trying to improve the WIP board and we need your feedback.

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Thanks (again!) for your suggestions. Do you like the new melodies I added to make it less repetitive and to fit the themes together? And do you agree with Willrock that the bass is inaudible?

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I have the amazing ability to forget most how earlier versions sounded. :D I thought some transitions were better in this version than what I can remember, but it gets a bit cluttery at times.

I do agree with Willrock, I can't hear it either. The bass isn't that important to the track, tho, imo. Or hey wait... are you talking about the bass drum (which I can hear, barely), or an actual bass instrument?

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The bass drum. The bass instrument is usually filled by the piano, though I have a couple bass percussion that imitate an instrument from time to time. But I was meaning the bass drum, yes. I shall turn it up then (my speakers may boost the bass automatically). Thanks.

What are you opinions on the instrument quality? On the #ocrwip channel I've gotten "good arrangement, bad quality instruments, it probably won't pass mostly for that reason."

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Okay, I'm not so hot at the whole music-making-on-the-computer thing (since I've never done so) but I do know what I like.I like the new opening. It's just as good at the last one, and I don't think it needs much, if any, improvement.At 1:48, I think it sounds just a little abrupt, but maybe that's just me.The whole thing from 3:34 to about 5:12 is still pretty good, but I liked it when the drum could be heard more. Also, the harpsicord (or at least, the thing that kinda sounds like one) is a little random in when it plays. If you could make it a litle more regular, and maybe make compete with the piano less, taht'd be cool.But of course, that's just me, and I write more than I make music.

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I don't think they sound unrealistic. Or actually I do, but some reverb and other processing should fix that, reverb on the piano at least.

The percussion might need some EQ and compression to enhance its sound, but I don't think this sounds terribly unrealistic. If you can, tweak the piano filter so softer velocities aren't as open and clear, that should further improve the piano sound.

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Here we go again, another version. Been busier lately and haven't had a whole lot of time. Changes: added more verb (mostly on piano), changed a couple notes and velocities here and there, and started working on changing the velocities of each drum hit. So far I'm about halfway done (keep that in mind when reviewing, please, the velocities are constant starting at about 3 minutes in). It's very slow work. Also increased a bpm from 95 to 96 at one point (yeah, I know, no one is going to know, but I'm a CS major and 96 is a much better number that 95 so I changed it). I also increased the overall tempo at the end and then threw it in a blender: instead of a straight tempo line, it goes up and down very rapidly which average is faster than it was, anyway, it sounds a bit more like a person is playing it now, especially since I've edited the velocities even more. Oh, and there's bass now, I can't remember if I've upped a version that fixed that problem (my speakers automatically boosted the bass, so it was much louder than it really was).

Changes to come:

-The section before the final solo piano section is going to be much more cohesive and much more climactic, incorporating most of the instruments that appear in the mix.

-Increase the volume of the intro

-Mess with the overall volume in different sections to create a more dynamic feeling within the whole of the piece

After that, if there are no big things that I need to fix, I'll probably submit it. Please leave any comments, both good and bad, if you will.

http://www.box.net/shared/7p1s1cfsws

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hmm... I'm still not liking the piano sound, its clashing with itself a lot (to often for me to be specific) I think the problem with the piano is that there is to much sustain and reverb on it, all the notes bleed into one another. There's weird chromatic notes in the melody at the start as well, like I said before.

Oh, and in my earlier comments about the bass, I was referring to a bass instrument, not the kick drum.

Listening to it now, I'm not sure it needs a bass, but I wouldn't argue if you did.

I suggest tidying up the piano, remove from of the sustain/reverb, and sort out the clashing notes for now.

Everything else seems to be pretty cool, plenty of variation in the melody and arrangement, and the production is good. Just sort out that piano dude.

Sounding good :D

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