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*NO* Super Dodge Ball 'Rockin' the Yard'


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hello, oc peoples!

i'm submitting a mix that's part of the Super Dodge Ball remix project. it's called "Rockin the Yard".

the original is the Team Kenya theme, available through Lightbunny's hosted nsfe at http://mysite.verizon.net/lightbunny/sdb.nsfe. I'm still the same artist that i was a few years ago...The Prophet of Mephisto. No collaborators on this one.

i recorded my saxophone through my m-audio mobilepre usb. i also used the vst versions of steinburg acoustic guitarist run through guitar rig 2.2, steinburg virtual bassist and the NI B4 organ. and addictive drums. that's pretty much all the instruments in this - the wah guitar was the steinburg electric guitar, but as a whole, that's really all that i needed. i used my KeyRig 49 for the organ and bass parts.

recorded in two takes, straight through, except for the soli section right before the last time through the head. that was two additional takes for the lower two parts. i'm pretty happy with how it turned out. this was my first real non-collaborative remix that i finished in a while. i'm pretty happy with how it turned out. i'm not a very good jazz saxophonist, but i think i handled myself adequately on the solo section in the middle. the bass is a little heavy in the middle, but it sounds fine on other systems than my computer speakers so i think it's pretty much fine.

get it at my soundclick page (you can leave this link up) - www.soundclick.com/theprophetofmephisto. it should be the first track on the music page.

have a great day, everyone! hopefully i'll see some of you at magfest again this year!



Certainly no offense to this one (still haven't even heard it yet as I'm typing this, so NYAH), but I'm still bummed about Harmony dropping out of this project. I heard his 1-minute WIP for this one way, way back and it was awesome. Tons of unrealized potential on that WIP.

http://akumunsf.good-evil.net/S/Super%20Dodge%20Ball.nsf - Track 8

The opening synth from :03-:06 is definitely one of the more fugly openings I've ever heard. Change the sound on that?

The sax performances are decent, but need to sound smoother in tandem with the other instrumentation. The production is also pretty weak, IMO. Everything sounds pretty distant. Nothing turning up my volume didn't address.

I see how the dual saxes are supposed to be in different places, but panning hard right and hard left just sounded unrealistic and undermined the energy of the performance. Much better at 1:29-1:35 when you panned it pretty far right, but kept it in stereo with some acoustics resonating more in the left ear. That was the shining point of the piece. Everything else afterward sounded poorly balanced with the sax lead not cutting through enough, IMO. The e-piano, bassline, drums and sax feel like they're at really similar levels

3:02, the sax harmonies were a good concept but didn't quite sound good. Just sounded pretty cluttered. There's that ugly meedley-me sound again at 3:25. :'-( 3:29 could use some more interpretation/variation with the melody, but things picked up more afterward, finishing on a fairly solid note.

Mostly messy on the production side. Everything's ultra-busy and comes off feeling unfocused as a result. Balance issues are part of it, but let's see what the others have to say. They'll be able to hone in further. Good stuff so far, Brad, but needs some fine tuning.

NO (resubmit)

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  • 1 month later...

Larry I'd just point out that :03 is an organ, not a synth... and it doesn't sound too bad, IMO. It's dirty, but that's the point. The sequencing itself may be grating though in terms of that small interval it's playing ;)

Production definitely needs work. No question about it. The issue is, quite simply, overcompression. Everything is smooshed together dynamically and so the end result is you can barely tell the different parts from eachother, sax aside (and even that could stand out more). The drums as a result lack punch, the bass is muddy and buried, and if there's anything else it's almost impossible to really make out clearly. And from what I can tell you've got some very cool writing going on, so don't hide it!!

Here's what I suggestion. Take off all compression/limiting on the master track. Put a plugin on the master track that does nothing but increase/reduce volume (like the "Gain" slider on the Parametric EQ-2) then turn everything down until nothing in the song makes the master volume meter go over 0. Now turn UP your speakers/headphones until the song sounds loud and full. This is where you should do your mix. Adjust volume levels carefully, apply EQ, and then once everything sounds perfectly balanced, THEN apply some compression and limiting on the master track and gradually reduce the volume of your headphones/speakers while making your mix louder. Listen some more and see if you missed anything. This is a solid method of working - while you should never monitor at high volumes for more than a short period of time, monitoring louder while turning down the mix volume allows you more "headroom" so you can listen to detail and make finer adjustments.

Anyway, I just want to point out that all OTHER aspects of production seem to be good. The drum sequencing is great, as far as I can tell. The bass sounds pretty hot too, though it's hard to hear. So props on that. I didn't really have a problem with the sax panning, but some people might, so it wouldn't hurt to be slightly less extreme with that.

With regards to arrangement, I thought you did a great job. The source is pretty simple, and not to sidetrack this vote too much, but frankly I never saw what was so great about this OST anyway. Pretty forgettable. So I give you a good deal of credit for really expanding this and turning it into a fun, energetic tune. Great balance of variation, direct connection to the source, and original material in the same style.

Fix up those mix/master problems and I think you'll be all set.

NO, resub

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Arrangement is pretty nice. I was hoping for an organ and/or solo some time, but I'll make do with sax action. Whippin' bass is nice too. The solo section from 1:29-3:01 sounds original except for 2:41-2:48, which is liberally 0:10-0:15 of the source; big chunk of the song, but easily less than half, and there's enough source in the rest of the song so that it's not a problem.

So yeah, production. Your bassline is hot, but it's doing nothing buried under everything like it is now. It's a little better during the solo section, but definitely pump that up. Drums are über-weak everywhere except the beginning and. Those are sequenced well too and need more kick. Organ is also pretty subdued; as zirc said, everything except the sax are too indistinct. Gotta let those parts shine instead of just mashing them all together in the back, because your writing ain't bad.

Other things of note: the stereo separation on the saxes doesn't need to be so extreme, and the sax just drops in volume all of a sudden at 1:37 and stays too soft until 1:50 (and could stand to be longer through the whole solo section).

This is passable with more work. Tighten up the production screws and send this one back.

NO (resubmit)

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