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SoM WIP (Dark Star Theme) Please help!

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Hi, I'm back! :D Anyway, I'm here with my first mix created in Reason. I really do think I need help considering the comments I got on my last mix (Miner's Dream). I thought that one was good but apparently I was way off. Well, that song had too much originality, so I made sure to use less original work but still keep it interesting.

Here's the song. http://adrwalker.googlepages.com/Evening_Star.mp3- This is the old version

I've returned after serious work on this piece. I've dropped the "Pirates" feel and just went straight orchestral. First song, is Dark Star. I have no idea what the second song is, but I assumed it was part of the SoM soundtrack when I started this version. THe song was named "manatheme.mid", but for all I know, it could've been an original piece some guy made up who wished it was in the soundtrack. T_T. I hope the second movement doesn't cost me.

This new version is FAR from finished. It's not fully mastered yet, and there are a lot of things that I know need tweaking. Here is the new version

First of all, I decided to build up to the climax of the 1st movement (1:59) not just through volume, but also through tempo. It slows down for a calm, "sentimental" and dramatic chorale, then jumps into the finale.

Secondly, the issues; Parts of this song will sound "empty". That's because there are samples missing, and thus, parts missing as well. I'm looking for good taiko drums samples and once I find them, I can finish the arrangement by adding those parts in. Thirdly, the piano sample at 1:23 sounds okay, but I want to get it to sound like this song. Some good mastering tips (besides the ones here) concerning piano arrangements will be much appreciated.

Thanks for the help!

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your strings are sounding a bit weird in the opening...like there's too much reverb on them. they are missing that quality that makes a solo violin sound nice.

is that supposed to be a glock at 0:58? i'd get a cleaner glock sample that one sounds way too metallic. the choir samples really aren't that great either, makes the section from 1:25 to 1:53 sound really cheesy and weak.

is that an accordion? way too dry and fake sounding. brass at 3:37 is also pretty weak.

the snare drum you have is pretty mechanical...even by marching drum standards. try putting in a buzz roll or something, and mess with the velocities a bit more. got some weird drums coming at 1:25, they sound really out of place. triplet rhythm at 1:50 ish are really mechanical sounding. what is happening at 2:21...this just sounds really messy. can't be hitting toms all crazy like that. if you're gonna have them in there try and use some panning and turn them down a bit when other instruments are playing.

overall this mix suffers from poor quality samples and a lack of balance between instruments. i'm not really sold on the arrangement either but that's a personal thing. try using a LOT more panning, EQ, dynamics, and reverb if you want to sound really big and epic like the pirates of the caribbean theme.

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Its not that the samples are bad, its just that they aren't used right. Remember to use samples that fit together! Everything needs to sound nice not only individually, but together.

Firstly, your arrangement is pretty good. The other theme you are mixing is called "prophecy" if I recall.

Secondly, pan everything more. Almost everything is dead center. Pan stuff around!

Thirdly, Reason's orchestral samples aren't really meant to stand right up the front like this - the strings, for example, are generally meant to be massed, not soloed, and put in the background somewhere. They can stand up the front, but please get rid of that delay on them. Gives them this bad pulsating thing. The horn samples... ugh. I'm no orchestral buff, but horns aren't meant to sound like that. Not sure if thats just reason, or something with the processing.

Fouthly, oh god the drums. If you use that kick-snare pattern (I'm talking 1:25 to 1:45) without any other elaberation ever again, the gods of percussion will smite you for sure. =( Vary it up! Drop in some extra kicks and snares randomly, keep it alive!

Fifthly, whats with the massive break at 4:11? Everything stops! =(

Thats all I got for now.

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Its not that the samples are bad, its just that they aren't used right. Remember to use samples that fit together! Everything needs to sound nice not only individually, but together.

Firstly, your arrangement is pretty good. The other theme you are mixing is called "prophecy" if I recall.

Secondly, pan everything more. Almost everything is dead center. Pan stuff around!

Thirdly, Reason's orchestral samples aren't really meant to stand right up the front like this - the strings, for example, are generally meant to be massed, not soloed, and put in the background somewhere. They can stand up the front, but please get rid of that delay on them. Gives them this bad pulsating thing. The horn samples... ugh. I'm no orchestral buff, but horns aren't meant to sound like that. Not sure if thats just reason, or something with the processing.

Fouthly, oh god the drums. If you use that kick-snare pattern (I'm talking 1:25 to 1:45) without any other elaberation ever again, the gods of percussion will smite you for sure. =( Vary it up! Drop in some extra kicks and snares randomly, keep it alive!

Fifthly, whats with the massive break at 4:11? Everything stops! =(

Thats all I got for now.

Yeah, it's the samples that I was a little worried about. However, I don't think there's a way to get better samples into Reason with VST support. I'll dig up FLStudio (literally. It's sonewhere in my room... o_O)and see if I can do some ReWire action.

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What do you need VST's for? Get some refills. Oh, if only the Reason strings refill torrent wasn't down...

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I've returned after serious work on this piece. I've dropped the "Pirates" feel and just went straight orchestral. First song, is Dark Star. I have no idea what the second song is, but I assumed it was part of the SoM soundtrack when I started this version. THe song was named "manatheme.mid", but for all I know, it could've been an original piece some guy made up who wished it was in the soundtrack. T_T. I hope the second movement doesn't cost me.

This new version is FAR from finished. It's not fully mastered yet, and there are a lot of things that I know need tweaking. Here is the new version

First of all, I decided to build up to the climax of the 1st movement (1:59) not just through volume, but also through tempo. It slows down for a calm, "sentimental" and dramatic chorale, then jumps into the finale.

Secondly, the issues; Parts of this song will sound "empty". That's because there are samples missing, and thus, parts missing as well. I'm looking for good taiko drums samples and once I find them, I can finish the arrangement by adding those parts in. Thirdly, the piano sample at 1:23 sounds okay, but I want to get it to sound like this song. Some good mastering tips (besides the ones here) concerning piano arrangements will be much appreciated.

Thanks for the help!

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