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Zel - A Homestead Requiem (ABFH Remix)

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Edit 7/19/2019: Remastered properly. Should sound as intended.

Edit 1/19/2019: Remaster with taking out the compressor from the final mix which was trying to balance the song improperly.

It should sound better.

Original:

Vocal Samples by Troisnyx
Remixed from Troisnyx/Phyrnna “A Breeze From Home”

Link to Contest: https://www.newgrounds.com/bbs/topic/1437756

Lyrics:

Intro:
My home, a place of peace.
In my home, I will be free.
If ever there was a time
I need to be in my home.

Troisnyx 1:
Home
Oh, I've been gone so long
Felt like forever
And now, I see the green fields of home
Long have I roamed
Long have I hoped

Troisnyx 2:
Long have I hoped
to see the usual faces smiling at me
And now I know that I'm really home…
Home.

Mid Chorus:
Away from home, I need to see
My good home, where else can I be?
When I can, I like to see
What happens for me
To be back in my home.

Troisnyx 3:
Before me, where everything still shines
Full of life
Long have I roamed
Long have I yearned
to see them standing proudly there at home

Finale:
My home is back to me
Where I go, I will plant a seed
When they show, they will know
and bring more, in any store,
that my place is in my home.

Information/Description:

What is a remix? This is a question I ask when I engage into the remixing process. While I try my best to create songs from scratch, how does one go about creating a remix while retaining elements of originality?

This was a serious question I had while producing this song. The rules, as we read, stated that all of the song stems, including vocal, must be used. This is challenging, considering that the stems are in a specific key, in a specific beats per minute (BPM), and are nearly unchanging. Attempts at trying to change the key will cause for awkward melody transition that is pretty easy to notice.

However, as I have learned with some of the other remixes I have done for the portal, you may work with stems or a specific melody and create something entirely new from it or enhance it in a different way. For me, I took the stems, listen to each one individually without listening to the song to see what it was that I could make from it. Importing the parts into Edison, I accidentally pressed a key on the keyboard and heard the guitar part sped up. I liked it.

Though there are specific guidelines we have to follow, it does not mean that certain boundaries cannot be passed. The chords used in the song can be combined with other melodies to create new chords, new melodies that becomes its own thing. And that is where I start.

There is a lot to say about this song. For starters, the main Vocaloid, Synthesizer V, used in this song was suggested by a person who submitted to me through email a Vocaloid that had a strong presence in virtually any song that the Vocaloid may be implemented into. It’s a beautiful sound and is a testament to how far technology has come, granting me the ability to use words in my songs that I never had access to before.

Lastly, this is my longest song. I am not kidding. Please enjoy.

A Homestead Requiem was created for the “ABFH” contest.

Made with FL Studio 20.

VSTs used:
Sytrus
Nexus
Accordion
DVS Saxophone
EW’s Harp II CE
Edison (for various remix stems)
Vocaloid 5 (Amy Chorus Background)
Synthesizer V (Eleanor Forte)
Sforzando (Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra)
Various FL Studio Instruments

Mentions:

Brief mentions to Raine of Vocaloid Lyrics Fandom webpage for giving me information about Synthesizer V and Eleanor Forte. Best surprise information I’ve receive so far.

HQ:

https://soundcloud.com/zelzn/a-homestead-requiem-a-breeze-from-home-remix

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ABFH Judge Review! :D

I'm leaving these post-contest so that I wouldn't get people's hopes up. That said I do want to mention that on my personal list yours landed a #2.
And for good reason, your originality in concept (quirky+Vocaloid!!) got you a ton of points, along with generally being very entertaining!
Your melodies and additions are very fun to listen to. While this doesn't follow the original theme and feel of the track, I really liked the new direction you took it and it was awesome!
The Vocaloid parts could probably be tuned a little more, but then again there was a pretty tight deadline so it's understandable. As for the mix, it didn't quite mix together very well, there were some parts that sounded like they had empty parts in the spectrum.
Keep up the awesome work!!

~Phyrnna

Zelazon responds:

Hello and thanks for the review.

I saw that I placed pretty low on the contest and saw the scores I received on the song, and though I am a bit disappointed by it, it also provided me with an opportunity to see what went wrong.

I think that trying to stay original may have hurt me since I usually stick with more complex chords and song structure, whereas the original is of a simple nature. It's good that you did ultimately get what I trying to achieve, though it wasn't enough to weigh some of the lower scores.

Anyway, this was my attempt and thanks for the review.

This is an ABFH remix contest judge's review.

Right off the bat, I really like the additional lyrics, though I'm not sure the Vocaloid intro could've been sweeter in tone -- it felt right in my face, oof. There are points when the Vocaloid's tone is on point, like on higher notes, but I feel as though it could've started sweeter, and gradually build up to something powerful.

The song feels quirky, but also quite top-heavy in places. There were parts that I felt, as far as the instrumentation was concerned, could do with more humanisation (the brasses), but there was nothing between them and the basses, nothing that made me feel grounded. Even later, when this section repeats and you bring in the piano, it still feels that something is missing.

Nice bassline though, that said. Also, honky-tonk is on point, and mallets too. There's something about that section that relaxes me.

Plus points, in my mind, for taking it in a direction that not many would. You certainly imagined big time, and I appreciate that.

I'd commented in a previous entry that I look for a sense of progression with many things I listen to; I also find it hard to hear it here. Maybe it's to do with the instrumentation, but to me it jumps from one kind of quirky to another kind of quirky. It pulls my heart in one direction, and then another immediately after, till I'm not sure what's going on. In my mind, listening to your notes and your lyrics, I think I can sort of figure it out...? The lyrics are sentimental and beautiful, but the music feels almost as though, with a few tweaks, it could be like Madness (the band). My mind and heart are in conflict listening to this, and I'm not entirely sure if it's a feeling I can roll with.

All the very best for the competition!

Zelazon responds:

I was at work when I saw the response, and I really do appreciate that you really listened to the song.

The vocaloid I was working with (Sythesizer V) was a new one that I had started with this song, which was quite a bit different then the one I had been getting used to (Vocaloid 5). With that in mind, it was hard in the sense that I didn't have as much control over the vocal as I would with V.5, and there was a learning curve that I had to get used to during the production of the song. I had V.5 as a mild background noise and wanted to ensure that that background noise did not overpower the main voice.

What I do want to talk about in great detail is the song itself, which you did catch appropriately as the different feeling that you experience during the song was actually intended during the initial phases of crafting the song.

The format was as follows:

Home
Away
Dark
Day
Trip
Overnight
Return Home
End

However, and this is a big however, when I started crafting the song, this was under the impression that I was only using the instruments in the background. I designed the vocaloid parts because I though that we were only utilizing the instruments, but looking at the thread again, I saw the correction to the contest rules where we had to use the voice you provided for the song.

This left me with a bit of a dilemna... do I scrap the entire song I worked on initially and start anew or do I inter grate the two voice parts together? Why this dilemma came along is because with the crafting of the song initially, there was a narrative of the main singer being at home, away from home, and returning home, with aspect in the middle being a sort of homesickness/darkness that the character is going though. The trumpet and sax in the song were supposed to represent the hectic-ness of job life, hanging out with friends, just busywork in general, and so when I heard the words of the voice parts provided, I realize "oh no, that's not going to work because the voice parts is actually a character arriving home!"

I'm still at this point hesitant to say whether I should or should not have reworked the song to be more cohesive at this point because it would have required me to request additional vocal parts that were not a part of the contest and, as a result, would be unfair of me to have that kind of advantage over other contestants for having adjustable parts. I spend so much time thinking about how to balance the parts altogether versus WHY the parts were there in the first place, as usually competition work allows for little time for a song of this magnitude.

This is why I can understand NekoMika's point about taking more time to master, though many of my song take A LONG TIME to master due to how complex some of the sounds come out. I was given good advice by Jewelz123 for another song I worked with, Voices, about how to balance vocaloid voices in a given song, and I think as I become more experience with vocaloids in general, my mastery on how to balance a song appropriately will begin to show itself.

To end the response, I may come back to this song and work on it late to get some parts more cohesive and may request some additional parts just to have that additional layer more cohesive so that the song makes sense in general. As it is right now, I can see why people are getting confused because I forgot during production to explain and detail that outline of the song in a clear manner. Thank you for the review!

ABFH Judge Review/Comment:

It was indeed an interesting use of Vocaloid. It felt a bit out of place, but I did appreciate the additional lyrics. It's always neat to hear how people interpret lyrics, and what is chosen to amplify what came before.

I think what threw me off with the vocaloid is I was expecting more of a traditional Jazz before I clicked the play button.

I like your comment about accidental success: hitting a button and liking the result. That's what I like seeing in remix contests is people leaving their comfort zones a bit, or at the least picking up new ideas. Original creations can be a nightmare since we constantly strive for the "perfect" result of what we form in our minds, but sometimes its good to appreciate the little "whoops wrong button" accidents which take us down a side path we never would have thought of.

You also mentioned you found it challenging to stay within the bounds of the stems provided. Now that the contest is wrapping up (submission wise at least), maybe give some thought to a different direction you'd want to try using the stems. Good opportunity to keep using something you already have downloaded.

Cheers!

Zelazon responds:

Hello!

I think with this one, it was hard to work with since the stems we were working with were from a completed song. I listened to the other songs, and they utilized interesting ways of mixing it together into their own song.

For the remixes that I do, I'm always trying to create my own originality from it. The "Jazz" category was one I felt like it was closely resembled to, but I often struggle in categorizing my own songs since there isn't a real category for them. They're a blend of multiple categories that I find some balance within.

But I don't usually do remixes outside of contest since I like my work to be entirely of my own (save for Paradigm: A Premise Remix) in which I had a long time to plan out how I was going to attack the remix. Getting the stems into a format that I could use took a few days and nearly 2 gigs of ram to convert, so I think I won't be taking another look at the stems from this point, but it's a great suggestion nontheless.

Anyway, thank you for your review and I suggest that you take a look at my other work if you want other content that is original as well!

The Vocaloid intro lyrics were fun to listen to.

This remix is great to listen to but it feels a bit all over the place to me.

The rhythm feels chaotic pretty often, however; I can hear what you were going for. I feel if you spent a little more time mastering and adjusting the volume of the various VSTs that they would blend together a lot better.

The brass synth just seems so out of place to me. The drum rhythm, while decent; could have been much better, the kick should have been softer. The drum beat could have been reworked for a slightly different melody.

I think you did well but I feel you could have done so much more if you spent a little more time working on this.

Best of luck in the contest!

Zelazon responds:

I'm not surprised of the critiques, and quite honestly, this was a tricky remix to work with considering my style of music production.

The one that that made it so tricky to deal with is that the stems themselves offered little flexibility. If I wanted to have them into the foreground, then I would have had to sacrifice what was considered my take on the remix.

And just to explain further, I took off the compressor on the master because I did have adjusted value throughout the song, which with the bass made the bass completely overpower the song. When I originally produced the song, the song levels were balanced well, but as I went through the mastering phase, the bass was overpowering the whole song and the trumpet and sax no longer were balanced in the phases that I originally intended. So at this point, I had a few questions for myself:

Do I completely redesign the song with two weeks remaining or try to work on the balance as it is? I choose the latter.

Long story short or TL:DR version, it took a while to get to where the song is and mastering this song was a nightmare.

Thank you for the review! :D

Credits & Info

Zelazon
Author

Listens
457
Faves:
1
Downloads
11
Votes
8
Score
3.78 / 5.00

Uploaded
Jan 16, 2019
6:09 PM EST
Genre
Jazz
File Info
Song
13.5 MB
5 min 53 sec
Tags

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.

* Remix of a third-party piece.
Excercise caution when using it, refer to author comments / contact the author for details.