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Author Topic: Covering songs by ear? Isolating parts?  (Read 1843 times)

Offline KillaMaaki

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Covering songs by ear? Isolating parts?
« on: March 08, 2016, 05:22:04 PM »
Heh, not sure where this goes in the forums so I put it in off-topic.

Trying to do a song by ear - Radical Train (The Chase) from Sonic 06. Terrible game, fantastic music. Currently doing a MIDI mockup in FL Studio, then will most likely do an Arcade module cover afterwards.
I'm already not great at doing things by ear, but this part in particular just has me stumped (the other parts weren't that hard, just this one). It's just about impossible for me to properly hear what's going on with that electric guitar, the rest of the mix is really in the way: https://youtu.be/ncnMzBxP9x4?t=118

Anybody here have any pointers? Maybe there's a way to try and isolate that part to hear it better?

Offline mihaelkyeah

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Covering songs by ear? Isolating parts?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2016, 06:25:32 PM »
Not to mention that solo sounds a lot like they told the guitarist: "hey, play something that sounds cool" and they just improvised a bunch of generic pentatonic progressions adding up a lot of noisy pick scraping and minor/major 3rds with a huge amount of distortion gain to make it impossible to understand. So the final mix is something like: "Sounds cool? Yes. Is the chord progression noticeable? Yes. Can you tell what each instrument is doing? No? Doesn't matter. IS COOL, YEAH, WAY PAST COOL, YEAH, FAST"

Offline KillaMaaki

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Covering songs by ear? Isolating parts?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2016, 06:35:34 PM »
Heh, maybe I should just make something up that sounds vaguely similar... XD

EDIT: Hm, one of the issues I had was that whatever I came up with just didn't sound right, but then I tried throwing in Shreddage 2 so I could get some nice articulation and distortion in there (better portamento support) and it does sound quite a bit better (not surprising I guess, plain MIDI never really "sounds right" to me). Not exactly like the original, but seems like a lot of the sound of that part is in the performance rather than the notes. So I'll have to keep that in mind when I go to do the Arcade cover later.

EDIT 2: Alright, here's what I've got so far for the mockup. It'll probably sound kinda awful because I put forth zero effort into actually mixing or mastering, and half of it is just the Windows GM MIDI soundfont. Also still not sure if I'm happy with the second solo part. Also took some liberties with the drums... I didn't hear a snare in the original, but I liked the sound of it.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/99106620/Music/Covers/RadicalTrain_MOCKUP.mp3

EDIT 3: OR... alternatively, I cut out that part and just make an arrangement of everything else. That's also an option.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2016, 03:14:35 AM by KillaMaaki »

Offline mihaelkyeah

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Covering songs by ear? Isolating parts?
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2016, 04:02:38 PM »
Another thing you could do to hear the guitars better and stuff, could be making it into a mono track using only one of the channels (or both of them); and, the so-called "karaoke" filter a lot of programs have, merely leaves out the sound that's only hard panned left and right and mutes the centre, kinda like when you plug your headphones incorrectly into a jack. That's usually handy for isolating double-tracked rhythm guitars.

Offline KillaMaaki

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Covering songs by ear? Isolating parts?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2016, 04:45:13 PM »
Audacity doesn't have a filter like that (EDIT: Or maybe I'm a dummy and it's called "Vocal Remover and Isolator" with both a "Remove Center", AND an "Isolate Center" option), but I figure splitting the stereo track to two mono channels and inverting one of their phases would do the trick (anything center panned should theoretically be canceled out). And.... well that solo part is just about impossible to hear now. Turns out it's not double tracked.
Good news is I can now hear some of the background rhythm guitars now. So there's that...
I wonder if I can do the reverse, cancel out anything that ISN'T center panned...
« Last Edit: March 10, 2016, 05:01:30 PM by KillaMaaki »

Offline KillaMaaki

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Covering songs by ear? Isolating parts?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2016, 10:39:06 PM »
So I filled out more of the backing track, and did another try at that solo part. Same link, apologies in advance for how much the mix sucks.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/99106620/Music/Covers/RadicalTrain_MOCKUP.mp3