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Hello

 

I'm a newbie here - my name's Phil and I'm composing soundtracks as a hobby.

 

I'd like to show you three of my tracks and ask for your opinion.

The first track is a medium paced action/adventure score that works well with fast sequences; the next two tracks are mellow and dark-

 

Please see them in this Soundcloud playlist: Soundtrack2016

 

Thank you!

Phil

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I listened to 'from revealing 2' and I think it could be pretty good with some mixing changes. When you have a track thats build on long sustained string drones you need something to break it up. You're using the big drum hits to do just that, but they're mixed too far under so your ear never really follows them. You can't really side-chain strings and drums without it sounding odd, so that leaves you with stereo field and EQ. The drums already sound wide but they may be too far out. Maybe move them closer to center a few degrees. The low end of the drums come through because the strings are mostly higher, but our ears will always favor mid-high over mid low. The strike of the drum is going to be higher in the 3khz range and that's what we're not hearing clearly enough. Boost the drum EQ around 3khz and maybe add a little compression punch. When you do this the drums may end up getting kind of muddy from the EQ/Comp change, I would mono out their sub-300hz levels and keep the higher frequencies where they are.

 

The mid strings sound kind of fake but they're not too bad. The high strings that come in near the end at 1:22 or so are way out on their own in the upper frequencies, since there's nothing to really mask them they sound very fake and kind of bad. I would give them a gentle low pass at like 12-15khz. If you're using a multiband comp or limiter on the master bus I would also set the upper EQ threshold a bit lower as well to help keep them in check.

 

In general it could use some tape warmth for sure. These big emotional scores gain a lot from some low-mid range distortion. Anything where you can either add some flux manually or just get that 15ips sound.

 

It's hard to say what it will sound like after all that, but I would imagine the reverb is going to need some changes as well. Right now it sound like it's a large space, but really dry. If you want to go for the concert hall sound, go for it. If you want it to feel tight and clear, go for it. Just don't do something in between because as it sits it sounds wrong.

 

Finally just looking at the wave-form you can see it's not mastered properly. Once again if you want to brick wall it, go for it and if you want a lot of dynamics, go for it, but don't leave it halfway between. With a lot of mastering practice you can get a big AND dynamic sound out of something, but that's a big intricate job that can't be easily summed up in a post like this.

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Hello CCH Audio

 
thanks a lot for this insightful feedback! I’m going to change the mix/master as you said and post it here again. 
 
But I’ve got two questions:
  1. How do you archive a mono out of sub 300 hz and leave the upper frequencies stereo?
  2. How do you produce a 15ips sound? In my DAW, that is Logic Pro X, there is tape delay. Will this do the job and how do I have in that case change the settings? (See screenshot)
[sharedmedia=gallery:images:7236]
 
Thanks!
Phil
Edited by phil_79

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Hi again

 

apart from the two questions in post#3, I've made a new mixing/mastering version of the track and also added the non mastered output of it for comparison:

 

New Master - Soundcloud: From Revealing 3 (remastered) / I experienced some upload problems with soundcloud. In case the SC-link doesn't work, here is a Dropbox link: Download

 

Unmastered Output - Dropbox: Nomaster.mp3

 

Thanks!

Phil

Edited by phil_79

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Hi,

I took a listen to all the scores on that page you linked. They all have the same general musical problem - They are a little dull/boring and unchanging. Just because the score is 'only' for a video game doesn't mean it can be extremely repetitive like this. In particular, I think you need a lot more dynamic and melodic change.

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@Mats1: It’s not true what you’re writing, please listen carefully. Especially the tracks „From Revealing“ and „Revelance“  have got many harmonic changes, so they are certainly not „repetitive„ or „unchanging“. 

 
But it’s true that I’m not a melodic composer (by definition!) who composes in a classical way like for example John Williams does. 
 
So, when you’re saying my tracks sound dull, then you have to say scores like Hans Zimmer’s Da Vinci Code sound dull too.

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How do you archive a mono out of sub 300 hz and leave the upper frequencies stereo?
How do you produce a 15ips sound? In my DAW, that is Logic Pro X, there is tape delay. Will this do the job and how do I have in that case change the settings? (See screenshot)

 

To mono out low frequencies for some instruments I like to use Waves Vitamin, I'm sure there are other plugins out there as well. You could also achieve the same effect with a series of sends and low/high passes and stereo width tools.

 

For tape I usually use the ATR-102 from Universal Audio or Kramer Master Tape from waves. I'm not familiar with the one built into Logic but from the looks of that tape plugin you'll want to make sure the delay is off on that dropdown arrow and you'll want to set that feedback level to 0. You'll probably want it more like 80/20 for the dry/wet setting. That flutter setting could be useful as well, you don't want a lot of it, but a little wow/flutter help with synth strings.

 

On a side note I noticed the plugin seems to be in half English and half German. My German is very rusty, but I did remember enough to see 'default setting' at the top, maybe see if there's a tape saturation setting and adjust from there. Viel Erfolg!

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