Help me mix an OCRemix submission?

Ok so, I have been a fan of OCRemix for years, and I have always wanted to get a track of mine accepted on there. But I quite simply haven’t been skilled enough at producing in the past. I’ve been grinding pretty hard at it in the last couple of years now, and I feel like it’s time to try. So if you could lend me your ears and advice I would be eternally grateful.

It’s a heavy metal remix of “You’re Not Alone” from Final Fantasy IX. I currently have a version that is mixed to the best of my ability, at least until I give my ears time to rest and listen to it on multiple audio systems. I am not uploading it to Soundcloud because it’s just a draft, and even in its final version I want to submit it to OCRemix. So it’s going to be a .wav and an .mp3 in a Dropbox link.

Drums in Renoise, guitars in rewired Reaper, as usual. Renoise still the best drum sequencer for me.

edit: Newest version:

I’ve only listened on laptop so far so i can’t say much on sound quality, but it sounds pretty good here. Very nice arrangement.

It could have been bit tighter and i’m not shure if it’s the crap speakers, but rythm guitar sounds a bit weak at times.

Yeah, what someone on OCRemix suggested was to try to eq the high end to fill out more frequencies to make them sound more full.

I’ll start by saying most emphatically: I love your remix :smiley: It’s an excellent arrangement, well thought out, nicely layered, and dynamic.

I downloaded the WAV and am listening through a Focusrite 18i8 USB audio interface using ASIO drivers with balanced cables to a pair of M-Audio BX5 D2s. I’m fairly accustomed to their frequency biasing, and my listening environment is partially treated for acoustics to eliminate flutter echoes and a fair amount of low to low-mid range reflections.

First, latency in the guitar tracks, the lead in particular, is making things sound out of sync for much of the first half of the song. I wonder about the use of Reaper and Rewire for the guitars when Renoise line-in recording has, for me, almost entirely eliminated latency problems thanks to its excellent delay compensation. Unless it’s a matter of sequencing large audio files… But for the most part, the lead seems a bit ahead of everything else.

Leveling is another area where things might need a little more work. The drums sound a bit too loud, especially the kick. The various drums themselves seem fairly well balanced with each other, so lowering the level of the whole group plus a little more lowering for the kick would help even things out. Also, your lead guitar starts to sound buried toward the end. Part of it might be the EQ, but a good bit of the smothering is just track level: it needs a boost.

I love the tone of your guitar (external distortion pedal? Pod? Guitar Rig? Renoise cabinets? ;)), but that’s where a bit of frequency mud is coming from. I read somewhere about low-shelving or even low-cutting guitar anywhere between 100Hz and 200Hz. The amount you drop it will depend on whether or not you have a bass doubling up on the guitar part (that’s where a lot of rhythm guitar gets its power; from the bass player). By itself it can sound fairly weak, but it should sound cleaner in ensemble. If you have a lot of parts where the guitar is playing by itself (and you do), you might want to put those bars in separate tracks and EQ them for a little more low end. Here is an example of my latest guitar tune (guitars come in at about 4:35) where I low-cut at around 150Hz. Without the bass line playing essentially the same thing it would sound a bit neutered.

Be aware, though, that I tend to mix things a little light on bass, I try for a -10dB/decade power-to-frequency fall-off, and I try for K-14 leveling, which is extremely quiet compared to what most people are after. I gave up on compression for the sake of making things louder. That’s why the volume knob was invented.

And remember: your own taste is the final verdict.

Thank you very much for the feedback. I have made a few revisions already, definitely agree the kick was too loud, and someone on the ocremix forums told me this as well. I also agree with the lowcutting the guitar, I actually straight up just forgot to do it and I think it was really hurting the sound of the bass.

As for the latency, what I might do is just bounce out the drums and eliminate rewire from the equation. I actually went through a long process to rerecord everything to try to tighten it up. First I recorded all the guitar to metronome, then the bass, then I sequenced the drums, then I turned off the metronome and rerecorded everything except the lead just to get it to fit more tightly around the drums. So it’s tighter than before, but perhaps still not tight enough. If it was a latency problem I hopefully can fix it by sliding the bounced drums to match.

As for the tone, some times the simplest solutions are the best solutions. It’s only 2 plugins, Emissary and Nadir, Emissary on the lead channel and everything left at default settings, and a Catharsis impulse loaded into Nadir.

I’ll see what I can do and post an updated version.

Update! Yay!

Ok so:

  1. I rerecorded a ton of parts. I found a bass part that had a note slightly off so I rerecorded it, I found another part I thought sounded too boomy so I rerecorded it just to make it sound tighter. Almost all the rhythm guitar got rerecorded. All the lead did get rerecorded.

  2. Different drums. I think these drums fit metal better. Considering changing out the crashes though. Opinions on the 2 different drums?

  3. I embellished some of the outro lead that I thought sounded a little too repetitive and too identical to the original melody.

  4. Removed the reverb I had on the lead and just put a send to my reverb bus, which is very low and subtle. Tweaked the delay to have less wet more dry. Brought the lead gain up.

U ploading the .wav but I might go to sleep before it finishes.