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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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  1. Nice tidy arrangement. Your melding of different sources was quite impressive here, with no real points in time where I found the transitions jarring or overly noticeable. I somewhat agree with Larry regarding the piano in this piece. Being a solo piece, it was certainly noticeable that the piano lacked body and weight in its notes. When notes were struck with more velocity the patch felt better, while softer portions were a bit weaker and underperforming in comparison. If there were other production issues present here as well (eg: strong compression of dynamics, narrow stereo width, sharp EQ), this would have certainly caused my vote to go elsewhere, however I didn't find the piano lacking so much that its lack of weight dragged it under. Pacing and articulations across the arrangement feel well done, and while not overly complex, there was a good level of variety to be heard here - which certainly helped take the attention away from the patch being fairly average. YES
  2. *NO* Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 'Wood Requiem'

    The song starts quite suddenly and doesn’t waste any time. I found what you did throughout the duration to be well done, in terms of progression and sound choices. I didn’t think the sweeping pans of the hats posed too much of a problem for me personally: they are fairly low in volume and created a sense of movement that completements the main percussive rhythm as the mix progresses and builds up, but I can understand that some would find this distracting - to compromise you could look into making the panning half as fast by taking an entire bar to pan as opposed to half, or alternate hat sounds between the ears. Comparing to the source: I didn’t have as big of an issue here either with usage, I see where you’ve expanded on the original. What is hurting you here however is that you’ve been too transformative in your creation. I feel this submission would’ve been better accepted if you had used the introductory bars to introduce more verbatim source and then transitioned into the more rhythmic version we have here as things progress, while taking the opportunity to circle back every now and then to tie verbatim source into the mix. I think this can make it if you can work in some of these suggestions. NO
  3. 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
  4. 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)
  5. 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
  6. Interesting to be judging a track both composed and remixed by the same artist. Nice tune btw. Things start off fairly subtle, with the main piano motif playing, with some string accompaniment. Synths progressively drop in from 0:35 following a couple of patterns, with these patterns layered to create variation. There are a few subtle sound affects along the arrangement which are appreciated, and changes between collections of instrument layers happen fairly often to help retain interest. The biggest thing that stuck out to me was the main theme is echoed here pretty regularly throughout, with a reliance on the accompanying instruments to bring the originality. This is of course ok to do, but I would’ve liked to hear more original sections which broke away from the main theme entirely, as well as less repeats of the original material that is here. The strings for example play similar parts, and do the same fill each time a change to a new section occurs. The synths play fairly consistent patterns. Coupled with the main piano motif, by the end of the track, this repetitiveness became pretty noticeable to me, which shouldn’t really happen for a track of this length. Production quality here is ok. The low end sometimes gets a little too busy but not to the point where I couldn’t make out the individual parts. There is a slight muffle to the overall production, which would be fixed if the highs on some parts were brought out more. Overall the remix is ok, but I think the arrangement is lacking in variety and original material. Yes it has its own sound compared to the original piece, but in itself I don’t feel enough happens here. YES (borderline)
  7. *NO* Lufia 2 'The Heat of the Battle'

    You'd don't muck around and just get straight into it, I like that. First thing that comes to mind - I think you have too much compression across the mix here, which I feel might be a master bus issue. It's preventing the track from breathing properly and causing a little bit of pump. The mixing is also a bit cloudy as well, with parts blending into each other a bit much. In sections where the guitar and strings play on their own they are quite clear, so I gather from this that your bass or other accompanying guitars have untamed low end. The part at 1:39 is off and the notes need fixing. I thought the arrangement here was ok, but it didn't take many chances and it felt more cover like than I would've liked to hear. Having a section completely break away from the core progression would've been interesting to hear you explore. Reviewing my comments, I think the mixing issues here need fixing. If the compression is eased off a bit, and the low-end dialled back on some parts that don't need it, it would make a big difference IMO. You also need to revisit those off notes. NO
  8. Things start off well with a widely panned soundscape of synths and rhythm guitars. A violin takes the job of the main lead, which has a smooth tone and fits the arrangement well. As we progress through subsequent parts of the arrangement though, the violin isn't as loud as it should be in comparison to the other parts. While I don't think this is deal breaking on its own, I really feel like this needs adjusting. For the track overall - the mixing isn't the clearest I've heard but individual parts can be made out fairly well (when they're loud enough). There also appears to be a right channel bias here with regards to placement of sounds. During the second half of the middle section around 1:43, I noticed that when the left rhythm guitar changed to offbeats, something de-synced with the other parts playing, which I found distracting. I know the guitar is used as a background instrument here and I do understand what the artist was going for with contrasting rhythm parts, but I felt like the timing was slightly off on something there. Thankfully the section doesn't go for long. The following violin solo is very nicely done, although during the second half when the guitar reenters it's a bit too soft in volume and should again be increased. On looking at the other judges responses here, considering the violin was the main point of contention and could've been easily fixed by the artist in a short period of time, I'm puzzled by the initial reaction to the NO vote. The production quality on this is ok, but the violin really should've been louder as it's a front and centre instrument playing the main source melody and didn't pop out like a lead should. Coupled with the other niggling problems mentioned, I don't feel this pushes this to a NO, but I would strongly suggest using the feedback here to better yourself in future. YES
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. *NO* Donkey Kong Land 'Another World of Dreams'

    Nice intro build up. Progression is solid, with clean transitions into each section. Things repeat themselves a bit in the final third of the mix, it would've been nice if the arrangement changed up more during these sections. I feel there's a bit of a problem here with clarity on the accompanying instruments - parts can be heard but feel muffled at times, like the highs have been sloped off a bit too much. The kick drum has a good thud, while the other drum parts seem to get lost. The vocals and piano are clear in comparison. I didn't have major concerns with the piano or string quality, apart from the strings abruptly ending at times - this could be sorted by adding a reverb or delay tail to the final notes to make them fit more into the surrounding soundscape. I think this really needs another mixing/production pass, to separate the parts more from each other and to introduce a little brightness to the mix, which should take it over the line no problem. NO
  12. The intro soundscape - while full, isn't too bad, although is pretty much at capacity right from the starting point. Around 30 seconds in however when the synth comes in things get crowded, which gets progressively more crowded when we get to the main theme chorus portion. Parts seem to share a little too much frequency space. At 1:37 when the lead guitar comes in, while sounding great and easily heard, comes at the cost of clarity for the underlying elements which were already having a hard time finding their own space to begin with. At 2:42 the synth here fits great and lets the other parts breathe better. This is a shame because I really like your arrangement here - I feel it's a solid rock take on the original theme. Guitar tone is strong and suitable, with no piercing element that I can make out. Drums surprisingly don't become too muffled with the amount of layers going on, but cymbals at times do get lost. As the others have mentioned here your primary problem is clarity. I think a lot of this can be fixed by controlling your rhythm guitars more, either via a volume reduction on the far panned left/right channel parts, and possibly even some HPF to slope off some of the lows in them that may not be needed, then some general rebalancing of your parts. It wouldn't take much I don't think - it's definitely close, but I'd rather see a clearer version of this posted than let this through as is. NO
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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