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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

Recent Profile Visitors

2,875 profile views
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. *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
  8. *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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. *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
  12. 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)
  13. 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
  14. *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
  15. Interesting choice of sounds. I quite enjoyed the old groove box style beats and low fi instruments, it was a fairly original direction considering the soundtrack has seen a fair share of remixes. Mixing between parts is mostly good, although some parts share a bit too much frequency space at times, which for a minimalist track like this, could have been more separated. Initially progression is solid, with a nice rhythmic progression between sections that absolutely helped in keeping interest, and was a clever way for adding variation over adding more and more layers. I will say that due to the minimalistic approach, by the midway point things felt a bit samey and repetitive. Thankfully, the solo portion at 2:10 saves this portion and makes things feel different for the second half, which was a saving moment for me for this track. The ending is definitely abrupt, I feel this was a missed opportunity to really break things down and do something interesting to close the track off. Overall I don't have any major problems with this. You've managed to create something quite original around a small number of sounds, I just wish there was a bit more variation across the piece. YES