Jivemaster

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About Jivemaster

  • Rank
    Judge
  • Birthday 07/06/1982

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Australia (Brisbane, QLD)

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://www.jivemaster.com

Converted

  • Biography
    Made a name for himself by being one of the first to bring old Sonic tracks back to life with some creative synthage and a touch of guitar. Now lurks the boards from time to time, adding the odd comment, and submitting the odd remix.
  • Real Name
    Joel Bird
  • Occupation
    Systems Training Officer; Producer, Designer
  • Twitter Username
    jivemaster
  • Xbox Live Gamertag
    jivebird
  • PlayStation Network ID
    jivebird
  • Steam ID
    jivebird

Artist Settings

  • Collaboration Status
    2. Maybe; Depends on Circumstances
  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
    Live
    Logic
    Reason
  • Software - Preferred Plugins/Libraries
    Plugins are for pussies 8-)
  • Composition & Production Skills
    Drum Programming
    Lyrics
    Mixing & Mastering
    Synthesis & Sound Design
  • Instrumental & Vocal Skills (List)
    Electric Bass
    Electric Guitar: Rhythm
    Vocals: Male

Recent Profile Visitors

2,992 profile views
  1. Smooth groove within the first 30 seconds. Enjoyed the change soon after, although the distorted synth sounds a bit squelchy. 1:25 introduces some nice ambience. The minimalistic approach to instrumentation and layering seems to work well here, with not too many things happening at once, but with sections changing often to maintain interest. At 1:56 we’re taken to another section slightly varied from earlier, and 2:27 the drop once more. The drops did not hold the kind of impact that the listener was expecting, but were passable. The sounds are quite reminiscent of minimalist 80’s soundtracks at times, with basic synths and more realistic percussion sprinkled through. 2:51 brings a good uplifting change to the baseline which changes the feel of the top layers. 3:47 I wasn’t as much of a fan, the basic choirs confusingly detracted from the rest of the mix - it shouldn’t have made a difference because the mix to this point was based on more basic sound design, but it still didn’t feel right to me. Beginning the close out with the electric piano which built up into a larger extended ending, was enjoyable. Source is strongly apparent throughout with a decent amount of originality thrown in to take us to duration, which was impressive given the source is quite short. Production seemed ok, parts were very dry and could have done with a touch of reverb in places, but while things were minimal they didn’t feel empty. I found this mix to be quite original in its execution, with clever use of changes to arrangement to keep things interesting. YES
  2. Instrumentation here was a little generic during the intro sequence, strings at 0:30 in particular were a bit too basic, but don’t play for too long. The lead sound which hits at 1:13 was a strange choice and didn’t fit, but the twinkle like lead afterward hit well. Things then retrace backward and build up again, this time with a lead synth driving things. The distorted lead at 3:09 had a great sound to it and was one of the better sounds in the mix, with some nice slides and licks. Things then break down and build up again based on earlier sections, making way for a basic trance lead that eventually takes us to the outro. Despite the sound choice here, this section brought some nice movement to the mix, but came a little too late IMO. The arrangement here goes for a considerable amount of time, and although things do change up, the lead changes that occur throughout do most of the work in holding the listener’s interest (as opposed to changes in writing or entirely new sections). This isn’t necessarily bad, but I felt that things were starting to get repetitive near the 4 minute mark, at which point more significant arrangement changes did start to occur, which were sorely needed. Not to knock on the earlier portions (the mid way section was a great change of pace), but I found the last few minutes of content here were more energetic, which would’ve worked better in the arrangement if introduced sooner. Fills were noticeably similar through the mix, with the same drop sequence feeling overused by the time we reach the end of the track. Source is hinged off strongly, with original elements sprinkled through. Production is somewhat of a mixed bag. There isn’t any major low end conflict here, although some parts could do with a little less bass to let the low end breathe better. Most sound problems for me came from the generic sound design used through most of the mix, as well as mixing issues with some parts, predominantly the lead instruments. Some backing parts were louder than they needed to be, while leads found themselves buried behind the supporting instruments at times due to the amount of parts playing. Things were a bit dry and lacking in reverb. This is a tough one for me. The vanilla sound design would’ve been ok if it was the only issue, but I feel the arrangement goes a bit too long, with good ideas stretched a little thin. Tweaks to some instrument levels wouldn’t hurt here either to reduce clutter. I feel some small changes in track length, arrangement layout and mixing levels would make a large improvement to this track. NO (borderline)
  3. Slow paced rendition of the original. We start off with a short introduction of sound effects and organ chords, followed by a clean guitar lead that plays for most of the reminding play time. The guitar fits the lead part well, with some good levels of originality featured in the riffs played. At 2:38 we break into some distortion lead playing mostly the same notes from before, until 3:16 where we get some lead doubling followed by a solo. This made the section feel more original and less like what had come before it, but should’ve come sooner. The arrangement progression while safe, did include enough original material amongst the main melody to keep things fresh. At 4:20 things felt like they were winding down well but kept going - not that the material here was bad, but it felt like it drew out the distortion lead section for too long. The clean guitar comes back in to close us out, which featured some nice layering of foreground and background elements. Not a bad mix. Quite an original take on the track, although I feel with the ideas presented here and the slow pacing of the track, if we had just transitioned sooner between each part, we’d have a better mix overall. YES
  4. The strings, choir and guitar lead mush together a little too much in the opening bars, and the tone isn't that pleasing. The main theme afterwards is very solid. Most sequenced parts are very mechanical, although a lead synth takes the place of the strings which makes this rigid sequencing more acceptable. The guitar works well, with some tight chugging. The build up from 1:45 does get a bit full at times and is somewhat cloudy. Things close out relatively quickly after this point with layers added until we're presented with an abrupt ending (which I found a bit disappointing). The arrangement wasn't overly varied but I thought it was decent enough given the length. I'm not as concerned about the compression use here - I was expecting to hear a lot of issues with the compressor clamping down hard but I didn't really feel like there was a point where it truly broke the track. Normally hearing wavering cymbals would be a dead giveaway but that wasn't really present here, and the snare and bass were relatively easy to hear through most of the mix. I do agree overall however that more clarity would benefit the track and it would benefit from less compression to remove that subtle pump. I also thing further use of wider panning and EQ tweaks on some backing parts would be beneficial in keeping things separated. This one was close for me. NO
  5. Good opening piano, if a bit mechanical. What strikes me initially is that apart from some lighter strings, most parts occupy the right channel for the first minute, which I find a bit odd. Even after more parts come in, the right channel still seems to noticeably dominate. The transition in arrangement and pacing midway through was well implemented and a welcome departure from the previous section which had started to get repetitive. The boom at 1:54 caused some distortion in the dynamics and should be revisited. Confusingly the kick is also in the right channel, which at this point, caused me to check my hardware. I can hear your snare hitting in the left channel, but it lacks enough body to offset the kick. While I can appreciate that off-panned instruments can be a interesting design choice, with the left channel under utilised throughout the majority of the mix, I feel the technique doesn't work here. I feel this really needs a rethink of the mixing side, to balance the instruments more appropriately across the stereo spectrum. What you have here otherwise is decent and a solid take on the original. NO
  6. Somewhat good level of clarity for this mix, considering the amount of content crammed in here. Lots of layered work in each section, this helps in greatly varying up the overall sound, strengthening the uniqueness of each area while tying things back for that needed cohesion by retaining layers from previous sections. There are times where things get a bit too busy causing the listener to lose track of what they should be focusing on. Some sections could do with less parts to make the overall mix less chaotic, instead of keeping the same pace from beginning to end. I'm all for chaos provided it's done well, and this leans towards that end of the spectrum for me personally. It actually caused me to miss the abrupt changes that the others have mentioned here, which I do acknowledge after a couple of listens. My main concern with the arrangement was more to do with the fact that there isn't much in the way of a break down and build up in the mix to give the listener a rest. I think that this would add greatly to the overall track as the power and heavy hitting nature of things gets lost when it goes for too long. There were also some small things I didn't like about the mixing, like the synth lead being a little too loud compared to the rest of the mix, but overall nothing here is overly bad to detract from the presentation here. YES
  7. The authenticity to the production here carries a certain charm, and I was impressed initially. The brass sounds here are quite strong, and the piano backing fits in smoothly. I feel things started off well, with some nice transitions and articulations throughout. Some sections here did play for a little too long. The first major departure from the main theme occurs fairly deep into the arrangement (3:20), which was made more noticeable by the drums playing that same pattern throughout the majority of the entire track. This is a shame because I feel otherwise that this mix has a lot going for it - there is a good amount of detail in most of the instrumentation, production is mostly solid, things are mixed well and aren't crowded with highs at relatively pleasing levels. The repetitive nature of the earlier sections and the drums for the entirety of the track detract too much from what is otherwise a solid mix. If some revisions could be made to the arrangement and drums I'd be on board. NO
  8. Vote based on revised version. Things start off pretty sparse at the start, with a heavy distorted organ and whistling to open things up. I feel this portion goes for slightly too long, thankfully things move forward just after this feeling sets in. In this next section, the brass on the left channel feels unbalanced with what's happening on the right, where the strings have a lot more low end to them, the brass is definitely the weakest sound here. The organ in the next section has some nice articulations, as does the guitar after this. The drums do plod along through the majority of the track, and don't offer much in the way of variation, although I don't think additional activity here would add a great deal. Sections do transition well, with no collection of instruments running too long before another comes in replacing something. This is a good way to keep the arrangement exciting and fresh. At 3:30 where the song begins to close out, there is not much happening in the way of activity in the right channel, which made things feel off balance again. This would be ok if it was for a short time but it goes for almost a minute like this. The flute was a great addition to the final closing. Mixing had some issues with clarity in some sections, but seemed passable for the most part. I felt the mix was ok overall, but the balancing on the L/R channels did bother me somewhat, as did the brass which when compared to the other parts sounded less realistic. I am not quite sure how balance would be achieved here, as the instruments involved are fundamentally different. I don't think this complaint is enough to warrant a NO from me however (considering the amount of YES's here already), but if this does get sent back for some work, I would like to see an attempt to fix this. YES
  9. *NO* Final Fantasy 7 "Cetra's Last Cry"

    There is noticeable wavering in parts of the track where the compressor can't handle the signal coming through. This starts at 1:10 just after the bass comes in - when the guitar returns its dynamics are very wobbly. The guitar parts that proceed to come into play get progressively loud from this point, which only detracts from the overall mix, rather than adding a sense of power that I believe is trying to be conveyed here. The lead activity occurs on the right channel more often, although this is balanced occasionally by other accompanying instruments on the left channel. Drums are drowned out through the majority of the mix, and need space to breathe, even for a guitar heavy track. The arrangement progresses ok, although I feel most sections go on for too long without much change. The outro portion at 5:20 was well done (if also a bit long). This needs a revisit when it comes to mixing and EQ - parts are stepping on each other and creating a cloud over your mix, making it difficult for the listener to appreciate what you've done. Adding layers is a great technique but you need to balance these layers appropriately so you don't just keep getting louder and stepping over what is already there. I would also look at either value adding to some sections or shortening them in order to warrant the length presented here. NO
  10. Mike pretty much sums up my original concerns with this mix on hitting play. There's almost non stop dialogue for the first 1 minute - using voice samples isn't a problem, but here they were so frequent, upfront and loud that they felt disconnected from the mix and consequently felt out of place to me (some reverb on these samples would go a long way). When the mix moves past this we can appreciate the main groove a lot more. The arrangement here is pretty chill and relaxing, with a good choice of instruments to fit the style. That said, the change at 2:14 IMO took too long to actually occur, with the mix essentially relying on the same groove up until this point. Makes me wonder if the voice samples were used to mask the lack of variation/content. Updated: 2:29 didn't sound right to me and I share Kristina's concerns (dun care what Larry says ), the piano hits unpleasant dissonance with those chords in the lower register - not sure if it's due to the octave or the actual notes used, but after a couple listens I think it may not even be the piano at all but actually the bassline not playing nice. If these chords were elevated up an octave they'd be clearer, wouldn't share as much frequency room with your bass, and you'd then be able to tell more clearly if your bass is the culprit for the clash. The final section runs smoothly however. Not sure how to feel here, voice samples aside, the mixing is decent, and you've made a good choice in sounds. The arrangement I felt was a bit lacking and could've changed up a bit more, especially in the first half. Now on the third listen and I still can't get past it, the 2:29 portion just doesn't sit right. Combined with the over use of voice samples that feel disconnected from the rest of the mix, this tips this into the negative for me. NO
  11. *NO* Dark Souls 3 'The Ashes Judge'

    A nice more "hopeful" sounding take on the original. Arrangement is quite strong, with lots of great changes in pace and mood. Sections are rarely repeated, you've written this well. I agree with the others regarding the pops in some of the samples, you need to investigate what is happening there - it's not audible all the time but it's a definite issue. Balance wise the right channel feels more busy than the left, some revised panning of some parts to would be welcome. Mixing could be improved here, and I wasn't too disappointed with the high end, but things did feel clumped together in the frequency space. I still feel the parts were audible for the most part but there is without a doubt room to improve on clarity. I think this is pretty close to goer if you address the mixing and sample issues. NO
  12. With Deia, Larry and NutS on this. The intro section felt very similar to the original track, which made me a little worried initially. The pizz strings were robotic and very dry - probably the biggest problem during this portion. At 1:51 you drop us into upbeat DDR style electronica, revealing the meat of the track. The synths showcased here are quite basic, such as the synth brass, but it suits the style well. The break at 2:48 was a good time to relax and ease off on the energy. The subsequent build-up included a good amount of original material, which at that point was greatly needed, as up to that point original material was lacking. Mixing wise, things are not too bad - the electronic sections do get a little busy, I feel this was attributed to the leads creeping into the low end a bit much. This wasn't a major problem though. I feel this one is close - the pizzicato strings are the biggest problem here for me, I'd like some attention placed on these to bring out some realism, and if you're revisiting, taming the synth leads slightly so they don't overpower the mix during the busier sections would be appreciated. NO
  13. The song builds up quite nicely. Good use of layering, particularly in the intro buildup. Your mix of orchestral and electronic instruments worked well here. I shared Larry's thoughts regarding the drum break that drives the track feeling somewhat weak, and I too thought a more heavy hitting beat was going to be introduced at some point that never eventuated. This contributed to making your "drops" less impactful. The piano felt quite thin at times but I do understand this was done strategically to fit it in the mix, and to be fair is quite standard for a electronic track. I did notice a distinct lack of low end punch across the mix though, and while I prefer this over too much bass, you had headroom there to make some parts bigger (like your kick drum for example). The arrangement progression wasn't too bad. You've got some good build ups and break downs. Some parts did go on a bit too long without substantial changes, particularly the main theme at 2:23. I felt by the 3rd minute things had mostly played out and the track could've cleanly ended around that point as it was breaking down, but instead it built back up and stretched out for another minute. For me this was my biggest gripe with the piece. Overall though, I can't say anything I've mentioned above stands out as a big enough problem for me to hold this back. I just wish it wasn't quite as long. YES
  14. *NO* Final Fantasy 10 'Stranger Seymour'

    A very original take on the source tune. When the track starts up, things are promising, with a soundscape that fits your theme of inspiration well. However as things progress we run into a few issues. Your general progression in the arrangement here is lacking. You have a solid selection of sounds and a build up of parts that work well together, but they play similar things for too long. This wouldn't matter if the progressions were more varied and/or alternated more often, but the repeat points on the headlining parts are quite short. This is compounded by the repetitive arpeggio. The changes in background textures across the mix are largely lost due to its continuous pattern. It's quite distracting, and while I don't hate the pattern, it would be nice if it changed across bars, or at the very least, had some parameter tweaks to make it evolve over time. It's also quite dry compared to the other parts which exposes it further. You have a good overall sound here, production feels mostly solid with nothing (aside from the arpeggio) really standing out as a major problem, but it feels like you're only at the starting point of a good groove to springboard off. The content alone IMO is not enough to sustain duration. I would really like to hear you take this further. NO
  15. You have got some solid progression here throughout the arrangement, most instruments feel realistic enough, and there is a nice conversation between them as the track progresses. Reverb is a bit strong nearing Enya like levels at times, although I don't feel this hurt the track apart from making some portions sound a little clouded. Agree regarding the lack of cohesion in the choir. This realisation hit me around the portion starting 1:42, where the rapid note changes weren't gradual and as a result didn't sound natural (though it didn't sound too bad on its exiting notes). This jumping between notes with a robotic character is most noticeable in the sections where the choir is exposed without other accompaniment. This surprised me as the other parts you have going here sounded solid and fit together well. On the flip side, I couldn't help but feel it paid homage to how SNES choir sounds were presented at the time, drawing the listener back to the realisation this is a remix of a SNES tune. Fairly sure this wasn't intentional, but I found it less jarring because of how it tied my brain back to the retro source in that regard. I'd also highlight that the portions where it brought attention to itself were fairly spaced out and didn't occur too often. I personally enjoyed your arrangement, you have some nice changes throughout, moving from a full orchestra at times to sparse twinkle dotted interludes, you provided a different feel for each section. I think the strengths here made things like the choir more challenging to ignore. I share the others concerns, but I feel this scrapes through. Perhaps the others would be happier if you revisited the choir? YES (borderline)