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About Jivemaster

  • Rank
  • Birthday 07/06/1982

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Australia (Brisbane, QLD)

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  • 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
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  • Xbox Live Gamertag
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Artist Settings

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

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2,734 profile views
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. *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
  5. *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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. *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
  9. Great opening sequence. The combination of acoustic guitars for rhythm, and the electric guitars for lead works very well. Across the duration the mix is packed full of licks laying over each other which help both with transitions to new sections as well as keeping things fresh. Parts are well played, tight but not overly nudged. Backing instruments create a full soundscape. Arrangement wise, parts are not visited long, with something new frequently presented to the lister. Bird chirping is a little loud during the section around 2:00 but they don't go for long. Mixing wise things are quite full, sometimes overly so. You don't always have a heap of instruments playing at the same time, but even in sparser sections the parts share a lot of frequency space which tends to cloud certain areas (the worst of this was later on during the section starting around 5:10). There wasn't a point where you completely ruined the clarity, but the mixing in these kinds of sections definitely pulled this down a bit for me, I felt some tweaked eq for sections that were fuller was definitely needed. That said, as the others I think this is overall very well done, you've expressed a lot of creativity in particular with the guitar in this track, having it fill a number of roles (rhythmic, lead, backing, sfx) which I found impressive. YES
  10. *NO* Final Fantasy 10 'One Dream, One Destiny'

    Gentle tones, very emotive. Completely agree with Deia here. The use of dynamics here are great. The shift in pace of the piano playing is great as well. I did also share the same concern of the mechanical nature of the track. Things sound quite realistic as you have them here, but at the same time there is an almost inhuman tightness to the progression, which sticks out even more due to the otherwise strong pacing and dynamics. I am not sure if this is due to some quantising after the fact, or if things were written like this intentionally, but it is noticeable. I enjoyed the arrangement progression for the most part. Some bits near the end felt a little similar to those that opened the piece, but there wasn't too much of this, and I felt the length of the mix fit the content you had well. No mixing issues here either (to be expected for a solo instrument piece), piano tone is solid and has a good balance of highs and lows. Tough one for me here, as things are by no means poor, but I feel that due to the nature of this being exclusively piano, I think you need to revisit this and humanise the notes further to take things to that final level. NO
  11. *NO* Sonic Adventure "Big Fish"

    I agree mostly with what the others have said here. I enjoyed the opening sequence and atmosphere, the organ like synth, bass and drums set things up nicely. When the lead guitar comes in I feel there's a few issues. Firstly, I'm with the others that it's too loud compared to the other parts. It already sticks out frequency wise, you should really consider dialling the volume on this back. Speaking of frequency, you do have some piercing frequencies here on the lead that should be tamed, I'm sure an LPF or surgical notch EQ would be enough to ensure this remains relaxing on the ears. Breaking away a bit from the others, I also feel the lead guitar is a bit too clashy note wise here when paired with the other parts, to the point where it felt out of tune at times. I understand what you're going for here - the lazy surfer vibe, and I also know the original has a lot of slide notes which you're trying to represent here. But there was quite a lot of clashing here with the backing elements. I'm not skilled enough to understand exactly what's at fault, but things feel off. Arrangement progression is certainly interesting, and you've got a good level of original elements here accompanying the source. I know my vote is more critical of what you've done than the others, but I did feel strongly about these issues. First and foremost focus on the lead volume/EQ above all else, perhaps this may make it fit in the mix better and overall make things more cohesive. NO
  12. Felt the emptiness on the left channel during the intro a little off putting, thankfully things begin to fill out over the next minute or so, but the left always tends to feel less active than the right. You have some nice writing here, and I enjoy the orchestral instruments you have chosen, there is a particular sweetness to them. Your originally across the arrangement is noticed and much appreciated, I feel you've done a good job melding original progressions and licks with the original material. Duration is fitting. Your production is fairly decent, everything is audible (a given considering the minimal nature of the track), instruments have a good level of body to them EQ wise. I don't think there are any major issues here holding this one back. YES
  13. An impressive (if somewhat predictable) rock take of the original. Your guitar tone has a good level of brightness to it, the distortion levels have a nice level of bite while keeping things clear and audible. Performance is solid. As the arrangement plays out things start off fairly conservatively, although we do see a number of licks presenting themselves over time to maintain freshness. Parts transition mostly well, although some feel too sudden (such as the break at 1:17). The panning used on the lead to alternate parts added a nice feeling of movement. Pace maintains fairly similar throughout most of the song, which for a duration of almost 3 minutes is a long time, especially at this tempo. One noticeable nitpick is the drums play the same pattern through almost the entire song - even the main fill that plays before transitions is very close, if not the same each time. In contrast to the real guitars they also felt somewhat robotic in their performance. This I felt detracted from the otherwise solid presentation here. Not enough in my opinion to hold this back, but more variation here really would've been nice. I also feel with the level of skill you display here, more risks could've been taken to depart from the source providing opportunity for more original material. Maybe next time. YES
  14. *NO* Shadow of the Beast 'Shadow of da Fonk'

    Quite a funky vibe going on in your track. Things start with a fairly full soundscape, without wasting any time. The main groove has some nice movement to it, and supports the various leads that play over it as the arrangement progresses. Sounds work well with a nice combination of synths and real instruments playing together. The detuned far left/right panned synths add a level of eerieness to the track, although their presence felt overused at times. Things are pretty good in the first half. The main groove evolves over time with a nice transition into the chorus - I particularly enjoyed the fake brass. As we progress to the second half of the track however, a lot of ideas are reused, with not much in the way of new content. The short break with off beat flute licks at 3:15 were a nice touch, though I thought they came in a tad too late. This is a shame as the content you have here is well done. Production wise things could do with a bit more punch. Mixing works but isn't perfect - parts were blended a bit close together, with the drums sometimes being overpowered and lost underneath everything else that is going on; but for the most part things remained audible enough to make out the individual parts. I feel this mix is close. If you could do some more during the second half to differentiate it from the first, you'll cover a good amount of the concerns that have been raised here. NO
  15. The source is an interesting one, with the original's melodic content largely hinging on a bass line and specific percussive elements/patterns. Having trouble with this one as well, drawing a true connection between this and the original. When remixing a source track which is atmospheric, minimal and percussive, you'd need to capture the vibe (melodic, rhythmic material) of the original and return there at various times to remind people of the connection. For this mix you've taken the bass line progression and moved it to a new instrument, which ties it back somewhat. However the melody here feels more background regulated, and everything else is completely original. This isn't a bad thing in isolation - the instrument palette is great and you've done a good job at arranging something that could fit alongside these original tracks, but for me it feels too little of a connection over the duration. I think it would've helped massively if the departure from the original was dialled back a bit to make things more obvious in some sections, perhaps to the extent of imitating some of the percussive progressions - this would really help bridging that divide between the original source and your own material. Sound wise I enjoy your mix, but my initial impressions are it doesn't sound enough like the original. NO