I didn't say or assume it wasn't a real problem, I just said I'm kinda on the fence about it. I don't yet 100% believe it and I don't yet 100% not believe it. I want to wait for more development on the subject before I can be convinced either way, but I'm not definitely not going to claim it isn't real either.
Some of this is ironic to me as many years ago I could easily have been the poster boy for video game addiction. I've shown a lot of addiction signs to it over the years and, to some degree, I still do. My own personal experiences with that stuff is why I'm on the fence and waiting for more development to occur before I choose to accept it or not.
[This is an automatically generated message]
I've reviewed your remix and have returned it to Work-in-Progress status, indicating that I think there are some things you still need to work on. After you work on your track and feel that you'd like some more feedback, please change the prefix back to Ready for Review and I'll review it again! Good luck!
Ok, before I get to anything else: the use of the lavos scream sample at 0:30 would instantly disqualify this mix, as OCR cannot accept mixes with samples from Square games.
With that out of the way, let's see how the rest of the mix holds up.
The whole thing is very compressed and busy, and my ears feel tired long before the track ends. Go lighter on the compression, let the parts breathe. The bass synth has too much presence in the mid range.
The melody isn't changed much, but the accompaniment/background is sufficiently interpretive. However, at 1:05, you repeat the previous section with no variation that I can detect; if you're going to repeat the main melody immediately, it should have some sort of variation to keep it interesting. The brief slowdown at 1:50 was awkward. The already-repeated section from earlier repeats once again at 2:30. The fadeout ending, while characteristic of the synthwave style, still felt disappointing.
On the whole, the mix feels very busy and repetitive, but I feel like you have enough material here to make a much more interesting mix. First of all, I recommend backing off on the compression. But arrangement is, I think, where the most work needs to be done. Throughout much of the mix, you have a lot of different synths competing for the listener's attention; by allowing these various parts to take the spotlight at different points, rather than having them all going at once for pretty much the whole mix, you could use most of the same sounds and ideas to craft a much more captivating arrangement.
As-is, I think this mix would very likely be rejected.
I'm SUPER glad you're not suffering from video game addiction, but please don't assume it isn't a real problem just because you don't have it. Keep in mind people used to doubt addiction to hard drugs and alcohol in the same way, attributing their addictions to "bad choices" rather than the actual neurophysiological changes that had taken place. Pretty much anything that produces a dopamine response can be addictive and lead to problems with impulse control as well as being extremely disruptive to motivation and memory circuitry. An inability to abstain is the feature of addiction, and video games are designed to keep people playing. This applies so much more strongly to modern games considering developers have had decades to refine their methods, and in a lot of cases modern games are downright predatory in this way (games that combine gambling with gameplay in particular). Not everyone who plays games will be addicted to gaming just like not everyone who drinks will become an alcoholic, but it IS an extremely fast-growing issue.
Before I prepare to send in my "resubmit", I would like to seek some guidance from the folks here on the forums. I'll include a link to the judge's comments below this paragraph. The focus of the critique was the production side of things, as I had numerous issues with balance (EQ, volume, panning) that needed addressing. I'm happy to hear any ideas you all have about the composition itself and the instrument choices, but my main motivation for coming here is help with the production work - mixing, mastering, etc.
Since reading their feedback, I've been hard at work reproducing my track to fix the issues they mentioned and a few of my own. I want to know what you guys think and if you have any other suggestions for improvement.
Thanks for listening!
1. Here's a link to the current version of the track:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/xb4td7ecvn93r6c/Rainbow Resort ReMix 2_22_2018.wav?dl=0
2. Here's the version of the track that the judges critiqued: