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Adventure Theme!

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For the time being, this is my best take on the 'Epic Adventure theme', sans Shining Force 2 main Theme or Chrono Trigger main theme, whathaveyou. I could really use some feedback on the mix. Comments are appreciated! Vision Conquest This was originally developed as a concept piece for Battle for Wesnoth but apparently the quality of the mixes aren't up to par...I am not sure I want to use this for Wesnoth anymore. I have big hopes and dreams riding on this piece! Thanks for 'lending your ear', as always, you are free to have it back after listening. :D Cheers! Ryan

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I have been listening to your track a few times over now, and there are a number of sonic problems there. In the spectrum of sound there are a finite number of frequencies. Certain instruments or sounds occupy certain freqencies. If we keep it simple you have high, middle, and low freqencies. When you have 2 or more instruments, or sounds that occupy the same frequency then certain sounds cancel each other out, and others dominate.....have I lost you. I hope not.

If you listen to an orchestra, or any band you will notice that although you are listening to the entire piece of music, the individual sounds come from different places on the stage. You should adopt these principles with this piece of music. Use panning to "place" the instruments in the mix. For example, in a rock band you have drums in the middle of the stage. The sound for the drums should come out of both speakers in the mix. The guitarist might be on the left of the stage (when looking at it) so you would pan the guitar slightly to the left.....got the idea. This should be done with each instrument, or groups of instruments. In an orchestra everybody does not just sit where they want, they are "placed" in order to get the best mix.(so to speak).

This takes care of left and right.....now if you want to add depth to your piece you should use effects to further "place" the instruments forward or back. The two most common are reverb and delay. The trick with these is to be subtle. Gennerally if you can hear the effect on the instrument clearly, then you probably have a bit to much. (It all depends on what you are trying to achieve). Experimentation is the key.

Lastly, the use of limiters, compression, and EQ are some of the best ways to develop warmth, and give your piece volume and roundedness (if there is such a word).

Anyway, I hope this helps. I have enjoyed listening to your music, and look forward to hearing it again when you have remixed it. Cheers.

P.S. If you want to have your music used by the big boys, then you should have it proffessionally mastered. If might cost you a little, but it is a worthwhile investment.

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Agreed. Most of the song is too busy, it sounds like all the insturments are trying to talk over one another. Play with panning like Brendo said, and also work on the mastering a bit -- decide what instuments have the focus and which don't, then move/balance/remove them as appropriate.

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I'm not terribly keen on orchestral-type music since that's not my focus in music, but as was said by the previous two posters, your mix is rather busy. Different instruments and voices seem to trample over one another in terms of your frequency spectrum's content. Also I would say there's somewhat of a lo-fi characteristic to it -- by that I mean there's a lot of stuff in the upper-mid range and some of the high frequency range, but once all the instruments are in, there's very little bottom end, and what little is there sounds a bit flat (but that may just be me and my inexperience with this style of music). It sounds like you did a bit with panning, but you could do a lot more. A lot of things sound very close to center. Try opening your mix up more by panning some instruments out more. Additionally, I get very little sense of depth when listening to this, so things sound still rather one-dimensional. Playing with reverb and possibly EQ can help with the front-to-back placement of different instruments in your mix. Just remember that you're going more for subtle changes rather than drastic, apparent effects.

In short, tighten up the bottom end some, then use a combination of panning, EQ, and reverb to make a home for the various instruments not only between the left and right sides of the stereo field, but also the front-to-back positioning in the entire sound field and in the frequency spectrum. Look forward to hearing the next version of the mix.

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Thanks guys.

Brendo. I got ya. ;) The sonic problems began with the fact that the audio files were recorded at a very low volume resulting in me trying to over compensate later with fx on the audio to make up for the lost volume. I recorded the audio, and ended up messing up the midi data later so I had no way of recording it over! So I basically had to try to get the volume higher utilizing a limiter, peaks, compressors to get the mix to the acceptable volume. There was obviously quite a price to be paid.

I think my instrumental panning of the mix is actually fine, its just that the execution is horrible! I definitely am going to take your advice and re-structure various aspects of the panning to get a more realistic sense of space.
I have problems with depth perception, apparently. Getting a realistic delay is what I am trying to work with in some of my more recent mixes, but its clear that I don't have it down yet. Still, its an improvement.

I realize that every instrument has their intended spot onstage that is intended to receive the best sound. The thing with keeping various instruments in their default location in regards to the mix, is that the clarity of some instruments is not quite as good in present location.

I am sure that EastWest assumed that users would utilize each and every part of the orchestra at once while sampling. In that case, certain instrumental groupings probably take more precedence over others aurally and in regards to spatial consideration, to the detriment of mixes which only call for a select group of instruments to begin with. (Does that make any sense?)

What I am trying to say is that the default panning is sometimes not where I want it to be. I am not quite adept at panning, it would seem! I will continue to work on this. I'll have to! Professional mastering is not quite a capacity that my pocketbook can naturally recuperate from but I understand it will be necessity at some point.

Thanks for your helpful comments.

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Quote:
Original post by romer
but as was said by the previous two posters, your mix is rather busy. Different instruments and voices seem to trample over one another in terms of your frequency spectrum's content. Also I would say there's somewhat of a lo-fi characteristic to it -- by that I mean there's a lot of stuff in the upper-mid range and some of the high frequency range, but once all the instruments are in, there's very little bottom end, and what little is there sounds a bit flat (but that may just be me and my inexperience with this style of music).
I think that I put too many compressors into the mix and that had a rather negative effect with certain eq's, such as bass. Most of my mixes are very bottom light for the fact that I am receiving clipping from the lower frequencies and try to keep it light as a result. I am not quite sure why this continually happens.

Quote:
Original post by romerIt sounds like you did a bit with panning, but you could do a lot more. A lot of things sound very close to center. Try opening your mix up more by panning some instruments out more. Additionally, I get very little sense of depth when listening to this, so things sound still rather one-dimensional.
I understand very well. I just don't know where to start. To be sure, I have very definitive ideas for orchestration practicum but without the spatial considerations to properly consider them in a given mix, it is quite worthless. I wonder if there is a book titled 'orchestral reverb/panning for dummies' that i might be pointed to!

Quote:
Original post by romerPlaying with reverb and possibly EQ can help with the front-to-back placement of different instruments in your mix. Just remember that you're going more for subtle changes rather than drastic, apparent effects.
Thats a line that I cannot yet distinguish. ;) I don't quite understand what sounds wrong yet. It feels wrong, but I can't put a finger on why.

Quote:
Original post by romerIn short, tighten up the bottom end some, then use a combination of panning, EQ, and reverb to make a home for the various instruments not only between the left and right sides of the stereo field, but also the front-to-back positioning in the entire sound field and in the frequency spectrum. Look forward to hearing the next version of the mix.
I surely will! Thanks much for your help.

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