Ok, the lead is like, this cheap midi sounding trumpet that modulates into a guitar or some crazy mess. As it is, it's completely unfitting for the song, which seems to have some crazy ambient synth lead.
The shakers seem a bit messy and all over the place, and the timing of the claps seems off. Also, fitting them with timbales, a questionable decision in itself, isn't executed to well and sounds out of place. I personally wouldn't use that clap sample as it sounds...well...cheap and amateurish.
Now the end of the loop, the timing on those notes is off. The second triplet of notes comes way too soon.
Overall, the whole thing lacks polish and seems something like a newbies first forage into remastering or something. The samples and instruments used seem so low quality that it completely undermines any feeling that was trying to be put in the song.
Simply put, ARZ is what they call "world music", and this doesn't sound like it. I'd say ARZ has an ambient Spanish feel to it. Perhaps you could try to convey that?
ALso, if it's timing and accuracy you want., use Putos SMPS2XM converter and get a module of the actual song to build off.
Ah, okay, I see what you're saying. I think it's a little harsh, but I can't hear the track how other people do since I've been working on it for so long. I don't really like the idea of copying and pasting music, I prefer to do things by ear, so I'll pass on the SMPS2XM for now, but I'll certainly consider it for reference in the future. I rather like how the track sounds to be honest, and as I said when I started, if something isn't good enough for Sonic2HD, I still enjoying working on it for my own sake, so for now I think I'll dedicate my time to another track, rather than over-work this one, which will probably never sound "right". I think a lot of what you're saying comes down to personal music taste and method. I prefer to create a reproduction of the track using the original intended instruments, and this is what I came up with, but indeed, despite the fact that the vsts I'm using are used in movie soundtracks, the brass instruments are severely lacking and I can't defend the lead any more than that. I could try eq-ing it to bits but it'll still sound weak. Amateur they are not, but in this particular execution, they probably do sound it.
The sax on HTZ is just way too obnoxious for me... and when it multiplies and starts playing over itself half way through it's pretty ugly. But, besides that, it actually sounds very good (the drums are virtually perfect) - it just desperately needs some variety in the instrumentation. Regarding ARZ, I think the main problem is that it has some mixing issues that need to be sorted out pronto. The biggest problem is that almost everything is panned center, which is making it sound very incoherent and lack focus... when everything is piled in the center it's very difficult to pick apart the instruments (and thus is difficult to critique). Regarding those shakers... I think they would actually fit pretty well if you panned them to one side and pushed them into the background a bit - so maybe add a little more reverb and roll off some of the high frequencies. If you could tidy up the mix a little and repost it, it would help us critique it considerably
Thanks scuba, sometimes your insight into the music is scarily accurate. XD I'm torn on whether or not to continue ARZ anymore, but I have to say, I didn't notice the panning issue until you said it. I was trying to follow the original track as much as possible, but it only just dawned on me that I recorded a .wav from youtube for use and I can't vote for it's quality. Might have something to do with it. I've tried lowering the shakers and panning the instruments and I think you're right, it does seem to make it a little clearer and more ambient. But there's little I want to change about the instruments themselves, like using a synth for the lead, just a personal thing, so it's probably not worth reposting.
In HTZ I was sure the saxophone was waaaaay too much, but I needed to post it to be sure. I do like how it sounds throughout the track myself, but the beginning is certainly not a good sound. I could try changing it to a softer sax, or maybe compress it a bit, I'll play around and see what works. Variety again, comes down to my take on the original instruments used, which I'm pretty sure is a sax, but I could be wrong. I've worked with midi for about 4-5 years, but not with megadrive format tracking. I added a guitar to it just to make it a little varied, but overall there's not much I can see changing about the instruments without deviating greatly from the original. But I'm glad you think it sounds good. I'll try to work on it a bit and if I think I've got it to a good point, I'll repost for your review.
Thanks for the help guys!