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Reviews for "Dark Axe"

Dark Axe
by essesq
Recommends (13)
Thu, Nov 15, 2007 @ 9:21 PM
permalink   Thu, Nov 15, 2007 @ 11:40 PM
that’s quite the sonic trip you are taking us on. I like the beating heart - it gives a sort of first person experience to the listener. Now we just need to know how fast it was beating :-)

I also like the subtle question/response type of structures. The whole remix has a very cinematic quality and there’s a sense of overarching storyline.

I’m visualizing a sort of Run Lola Run meets Mad Max kind of thing. :-)

Just one question, is the somewhat abrupt ending an artistic message or just an inadvertently early setting of the second marker in Cubase LE when exporting the audio mixdown?

Nice trip!
permalink   essesq Fri, Nov 16, 2007 @ 2:57 AM
Thank you for the comment Spinmeister. As for your penultimate paragraph…of course it was an artistic message. I had hoped to build to a sort of sonic explosion at the end but discovered I didn’t know how to create that so I just found a handy point to clip it (amazingly that fell at exactly 4:00) and clipped the sample to bring the listener to nothingness very sharply. Thanks for the chance to explain it.
permalink   Fri, Nov 16, 2007 @ 8:02 AM
Spinmeister has said it all - very atmospheric, and I can definitely hear it as a sci-fi sountrack (but an arty one!). The heartbeat’s great - not sure about the ending tho, it could be heard just as a mistake. But good work.
permalink   essesq Fri, Nov 16, 2007 @ 2:31 PM
“it could be heard as just a mistake” or just laziness :-). Please see above as I am looking for ideas for a better ending. Appreciate your comment very much oldDog, and your nickname always gives me a chuckle.
permalink   Fri, Nov 16, 2007 @ 8:27 AM
Quite a nice slow evolution, definitely evokes a 70’s/80’s SF-horror movie scene; maybe an inclusion of a reversed volume-swelled chunk of something, or a huge reverb trail at 4:00 might be how i’d end it, but that’s just me- welcome aboard, looking forward to your next upload.
permalink   essesq Fri, Nov 16, 2007 @ 2:34 PM
Glad you found it suitably creepy, that’s what I was driving for. Please let me know how to create a reversed volume swelled chunk of something and I’ll give it a whirl :-). Many thanks for the warm welcome.
permalink   Fri, Nov 16, 2007 @ 3:47 PM
Nice debut! I had some evil little ideas about a remix….you have been forewarned.
permalink   Fireproof_Babies Fri, Nov 16, 2007 @ 3:49 PM
P.S.- the title is swell.
permalink   essesq Fri, Nov 16, 2007 @ 4:44 PM
Thank you very much F.B. (can I call you F.B.? I tend to do that to people with longish nicknames). I’m quite pleased to be forewarned about all forms of evil in music :-).

You should also know that the implement in the title is a guitar and is a reference to the underlying sample in the mix which is a time stretched sample of the guitar at the beginning of Loveshadow’s “Tonight Tonight.” I used a bit of freeware for the stretching and was quite pleased with the result.
permalink   Fri, Nov 16, 2007 @ 5:18 PM
I’m always glad to hear things with dark ambient influences pop up. I like the drones you have going here, and the bell-like melody in the beginning. I’d like that bell-like melody to come up a bit in the mix, as has this “energy fools the magician” vibe about it I find quite appealing. I love the subtle melody that begins near 2:00ish.
The way the disparate parts contrast is effective, and the way that the sounds all work with one another is good. A few of the relative levels of the sounds vis a vis one another would be my questing place if I were remixing this. Maybe I will remix this and show you my idea, rather than pretending I can speak from “on high” about it.

For the ending?
Take this sample of chopping wood,

put it on one track, with 1/8 delay.
Then put it on another track, 3 steps lower, with heavey reverb and 1/4 delay. I think you’d get a neat psy-chop to fit your piece.

I liked this one.

Welcome to the mixter.
permalink   essesq Fri, Nov 16, 2007 @ 5:43 PM
Thank you very much Gurdonark. You’ll always get my attention if you tell me anything I do has any kind of Eno vibe to it, so thanks a heck of a lot for that reference. :-) :-)

One thing you may not realize about me is that I am still very much a beginner at this. I agree with you about the levels. Another odd thing about the samples/sounds in this mix is that all of them migrate in the stereo field which meant that panning control was nearly impossible. I just let them do their thing but sometimes they were all kind of stuck together like little kids playing soccer who haven’t learned their positions yet. I rushed this one out the door. I promise to be more exacting next time :-).

On your ending solution, what do you mean by “3 steps lower”? Are you referring to pitch-shifting? I have never done that. I’m always game to learn something new, however. Thanks very much for the review.
permalink   gurdonark Fri, Nov 16, 2007 @ 6:37 PM
yes, by “three steps lower”, I mean to pitch-shift. With very percussive samples, pitch-shifting can be more subtle as a sound varation, but it can make for some fun contrasts even so.

Maybe you could try to do a mix in which you use tons of freesound samples and create a piece by sampling and looping from them. This would give you things you could pan here and there.

I like the way you’ve mashed things together here, though, to achieve a nice effect.
permalink   Sat, Nov 17, 2007 @ 2:22 PM
Whats interesting about this mix is the musical footprint it leaves.

I can’t help but but think Space 1999, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. Its the 60s vibes and moog riff set against a hostile luna atmosphere.

I feel like sticking rice crispies to my eyebrows.

To end it find a nice bakelite rotary switch sound cut to white noise or an old TV commerical if you can find one let it run fade and then add the fx of a kettle boiling and cups for a cup of tea.

Well thats what usually happened in my house when the commercials came when i was a nipper. :-)
permalink   essesq Sat, Nov 17, 2007 @ 4:25 PM
If I can make one old man feel young with my music then I have more than done my job, so thanks for this. As it is, it might be at least two, so that’s very nice indeed.

I’ll take the ending idea under advisement, but it sounds quite interesting …

For everyone, the old sci-fi feel is what I was heading toward. I could see the doors sliding and the lights flickering and hear the hum of the ship’s engines. These old productions were far more charming and personal than some of the special effects blockbusters we see now. I am more than pleased that so far that “vibe” (what a goofy word) is getting across.
permalink   Loveshadow Sun, Nov 18, 2007 @ 8:51 AM
when i said `vibes’ i meant the sounds of the Vibraphone the big glockenspeil thingy.:-)
permalink   essesq Sun, Nov 18, 2007 @ 9:07 AM
I realized that. I was using the other sense, however, which I still think is goofy. :-)
permalink   Sat, Nov 17, 2007 @ 6:02 PM
Ah Essesq, Essesq what have you done!!

You are so much better than this thrown together mix of samples. I know its nice to see your name in lights but please put something up here to show how good you really are!

Sorry to be harsh but you really are much cleverer than this shows.
permalink   Fireproof_Babies Mon, Dec 3, 2007 @ 7:51 PM
What a pretentious response to a debut; when your own offering is so feeble. Sorry to be so harsh, but what the hell is “cleverer”?
permalink   radiotimes Sun, Nov 18, 2007 @ 5:15 AM
Well Essesq I’ve had another listen but my first comments still stand.

I must however clarify what I was trying to say! The mix as a mix is fine but what I meant was that you can produce better work. It was a bit of a backhanded compliment and maybe the backhand hit first before the compliment had a chance!!

So no offence intended and please have more confidence in your ability
permalink   spinmeister Mon, Nov 19, 2007 @ 11:39 AM
Quote: radiotimes…you can produce better work.

mmmhhh - by that measure I am always guilty of underachieving. While I spend rather long hours on each of my remixes, and have lost sleep over each one of them, I could always spend more time on them and thus produce better work. By that measure I should only publish one remix the day before I die. Because only then do I know that I can’t do any better any more. :-)

And to be honest, RT - I am missing the “constructive” part of your criticism. There’s nothing in your review which indicates a specific suggestion for improvement in the remix. Which is too bad, since you are one of the most idea rich remixers I know.
permalink   Fireproof_Babies Mon, Dec 3, 2007 @ 7:18 PM
I am so with spin- tell us exactly why you are dissatisfied, and enlighten us with your suggestions.
P.S.- my remix is coming- I wait with
bated breath for your review.
permalink   essesq Mon, Dec 3, 2007 @ 7:31 PM
He’s dissatisfied because he’s been doing so many remixes that he’s worn out his ears :-). RT’s been very encouraging in the past so I’ll chalk this one up to temporary insanity.

FB I can’t wait to hear it (please take your time though) , but I wouldn’t get too worked up about my review. I am of the belief that once art is born into the world it’s life course is out of the parent’s hands.
permalink   Fireproof_Babies Mon, Dec 3, 2007 @ 7:58 PM
Whoah- forget it. I was just tryin’ to stick-up for a song I believed in.
permalink   Fireproof_Babies Mon, Dec 3, 2007 @ 8:16 PM
P.S.- I did not know you guys had an artistic history. I have this bad habit of stickin’ up for a perceived underdog. My apologies…..FB
permalink   essesq Mon, Dec 3, 2007 @ 8:36 PM
“Artistic History”… if you mean commenting on a handful of mixes, perhaps. RT saw tremendous promise in my earliest works (there are only maybe 7 total, so what’s early? Beats me.) There’s no need to apologize, FB, I think an explanation or suggestion of improvement is the least any negative commenter should offer if the comment is made publicaly. You are quite right with or without the history. I only hope if I go astray of common courtesy a little, someone like you will come along and put me on track again :-).
permalink   Mon, Nov 19, 2007 @ 8:55 AM
Well, LS still mentioned this “vibe” and moog phrase as for the basic theme. I do agree this amazing track (much earlier published than expected!) really reminds on the soundtrack of “Dark Star” (1974)from John Carpenter. It is that specific moog(?) sound for example that makes this track to a favorite track of mine. If you haven_t seen this movie, you should do so, not only because of the soundtrack. It is great fun!

So this is your first remix on ccmixter, but a few here still know your stuff from RW remixed.

I think there is no more need for calling yourself a “newbie”.

For me you are now “RG” -“RemixerGirl” ;-)
permalink   essesq Mon, Nov 19, 2007 @ 7:23 PM
Thank you for my first big thumb. That silly little moog sequence was all I could come up with musically so thank goodness somebody liked it. I’m still hoping someone will teach me how to write music, but until then it’s awfully nice having kind, warm souls like yourself offering encouragement.

Well you may want to see me shed my “newbie” identity, but I’ll hang onto it as long as I can. There are a myriad of basic remixing skills that I still need to pick up and until I’ve tried them all at least once, I’m still new. That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

RemixerGirl? Wasn’t she the estranged relative of the Incredibles? (orange and black suit, headphones, keyboards, mug of coffee, bottle of wine (actually those yellow and black Sennheisers of mine would go quite nicely with the suit, what’s the name of the little designer lady????)
permalink   synthetic1 Tue, Jan 15, 2008 @ 12:43 AM
Well fine work, it’s too dark to remind me of Eno, but it does remind me of :zoviet*france: and that’s a good thing! I agree with the suggestion to let the last main sounds trail off gradually with reverb or very slow fade 30-40 seconds.
permalink   Fri, Oct 31, 2008 @ 11:25 PM
I don’t know about the ending, intentional or not, but apart from that this is a great piece of music. But then again, I like dark atmospheric stuff. If this is the work of a newbie, then I still am a newbie too. Or maybe you just have more talent than I do, which is probably closer to the truth.
permalink   essesq Sat, Nov 1, 2008 @ 3:48 AM
Thank you very much Subliminal. I am a scrupulously honest person so before I said the next thing I am about to say I went over to your page to remind myself of what I said about some of your work. So I can now say that I definitely do not have more talent than you :-). I’m also not a complete newbie (I got yelled at for trying to claim that status). I like listening to the interplay of sounds and just feeling the way they impact my emotions. Blending ambient samples is fairly easy for me to do, picking the samples and ordering them is another matter :-).

I am pleased that you enjoyed this piece. Looking back on it, I am a little disappointed in various things about it but I still like the atmosphere of it which was totally down to the time-stretching of that LS guitar sample which I knew would produce something really cool and I was thrilled when I heard the result. That was the core of the piece, the rest was really just jewelry and makeup :-) (no offense to the other sample providers ).