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About MindWanderer

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  1. Got a really nice WIP shaping up from Moiré Effect, I'm pretty hyped about getting it in here! Might be a good opener. Please note that the next check-in deadline is just 3 weeks away! If you haven't sent me anything since the last checkin, now's the time to crack down and get it done!
  2. The remix starts off great, building into a nice energy level, but then it sort of peters out. The rise going into 0:37 promises an explosion of depth and energy, but then it doesn't really deliver. The percussion is very thin, distant, and limited. There's also a significant lack of bass presence, just a simple pad in the mid-low range, used throughout. The highs, on the other hand, get very complex and busy: 1:15-1:27, for instance, has what sounds like four different synths, all similar in timbre, competing for a very narrow range of frequencies. They're crisp and don't step on each other as badly as they might, but they still fight for the listener's attention--and that's not counting the percussion, which is also stuffed into the same spectrum. They're a little shrill in general, and you only use a couple of different leads (the saw and the square) the whole time, which is fatigue-inducing. 1:34-1:39 doesn't sound right to me either. Sounds like there are some clashing notes in there. It sounded unusual but OK to me up until then. The arrangement is a lot of fun, and while it was a little conservative there was more than enough additional accompaniment and riffing to make it interesting. Spread those frequencies apart, go somewhere a little more interesting with your synths, come up with a better ending, and fix that clashing section. Sounds like a lot, but you have a lot of strong work here that actually has you most of the way there. NO (resubmit)
  3. What he said. Borderline creepy but lovely. I thought the lead theremin in the middle was a little on the piercing side, and it definitely could have done without the fadeout ending, but otherwise the length, repetitiveness, and lack of exploration are what's holding this back. It's a great start, it just doesn't go far enough. NO
  4. I'm increasingly happy with my Switch purchase, too. Odyssey looks amazing, Mario + Rabbids looks surprisingly promising, Splatoon 2... looks like an incremental improvement, anyway, I'm still not sure about Salmon Run mode and its impact on the game. Games I'm not personally interested in, like Metroid Prime 4, help to cement the "Nintendo is getting it right this time" impression, which will help with 3rd party support. They've brought out nearly every one of their main IP's, just missing Smash and a core Fire Emblem at this point, that I can think of.
  5. Not quite cornered. There's a strong jazz presence and some "orchestral lite" (~4-8 live instrumentalists and/or vocalists). But for 100% live instruments, rock/metal is definitely the most popular supergenre.
  6. I definitely concur that a minority of tracks include even one live instrument--most are 100% synths and/or samples. But a substantial minority do include at least one live instrument, as well. That number goes up if you include vocals. I will add that we come down pretty hard on sequenced instruments when they lack humanization. You can go through old judges' decisions to see for yourself: when an instrument is lead or exposed, it's much more likely to get rejected when it sounds obviously fake. Being able to play lead violin and electric guitar yourself is a huge boon if you'd like to use those instruments--I think that as leads, those two instruments tend to trip up mixes the most when sampled.
  7. Really? I mean, they wouldn't be developing a whole new pair of Pokemon games for release in 2018 if the 3DS were really done. There was less support for the Wii U by the time the Switch's name was even revealed. And there's Metroid: Samus Returns coming, too.
  8. Really? There's something strange in my settings or something then, because when my powers recharge I just get the sound effect, no voice clip at all. I have it set to Japanese voices, English text. Maybe I'll fiddle with it and see if I can get the behavior to change.
  9. I'm in complete agreement with Gario about the excessively long intro, but it's not the only issue I have. The lead guitar in 1:44-2:15 is far too quiet, getting muffled by the vocals, rhythm guitar, and percussion especially. It's better in 2:15-2:47 but still muddy. The outtro is also on the long side. It's also pretty quiet overall. Not egregiously so, but it could definitely stand to be at least increased to peak closer to 0dB, and I personally think a little bit of limiting or compression to get it just a little louder than that would be welcome. There are some neat conceptual elements here, and I also agree that the atmosphere is excellent and definitely interpretive enough for our standards. But I think the balance needs quite a bit of work in the meatiest part of the arrangement in addition to the intro being shortened. NO (resubmit)
  10. The whole new dungeon is supposed to come with Expansion Pack 2. Although now that I've finished the game and learned how short the dungeons are (15-30 minutes for me), that's still not a good value. Interesting note relating to this, now that it's in the Judges' Decisions: I was initially really confused when I heard the voice clips Chimpazilla referred to ("Revali's Gale is now ready" for instance), because I had switched to the Japanese voices before completing any of the dungeons, and those clips simply don't exist in Japanese. I guess they figured the American audience is so unobservant they need a voice cue to know the abilities have recharged, instead of just the chime?
  11. I actually wasn't a big fan of the voice and SFX usage before the 2:26 mark. I'm fine with them used melodically, but here the voices are just used as voiceover for the most part, and at 0:48-1:00 they're just thrown in seemingly at random. They don't add anything to the music. At 2:26-2:50 they're more a part of the music, but that section is massively overcrowded and chaotic, very muddy, crowded, and loud. It's actually still kind of crowded and loud from 2:50-3:05 or so, too; it's not just the SFX. It's worth noting that the "Temple of Time" theme from BotW is itself a remix of the Song of Time from OoT, with the gaps significantly lengthened and the melody simplified for solo piano. I'm not willing to count just the first two notes of that as source, and I can only pick out more than that in 0:49-0:58, 1:13-2:25, 2:51-3:14 (interpreted liberally), and 3:14-end = 142-165 out of 255 seconds, or 55.7%-64.7%. But it's worth mentioning that a lot of the source is literally silence, and every time it repeats its main 6-note refrain, there's a 3-second gap after the second and after the sixth notes. Even though yes, the source is present in more than half the remix, if you count the gaps, I'd be hesitant at best to say its use is "dominant." As a sidenote, the vocal clips do contain story spoilers. Not a whole lot, and the biggest reveal is something most players will learn within the first hour or two of the game, but still, that's kind of uncool IMO. Gario's crit about the muddy middle section is more than enough to be a dealbreaker, but I'm not 100% sold on the arrangement with all the SFX in general, or with the source usage. I'm a little more on the fence about those aspects, but regardless this is still a NO
  12. Takes a while to get going, but that's typical of the genre. The source material is little more than hinted at in a lot of the mix; I heard it from 1:32-2:46, 3:19-4:16, 4:24-4:39, 146/306 seconds, or 47.8%. That works by me, since there's definitely subtle reference to make up the remaining 2.2% in my book, but I imagine Liontamer will want to listen carefully to see if he can pick out any explicit references I didn't. The dynamic range of this was pretty wide. I had to keep lowering the volume while listening to it, since it starts off moderately quiet and slowly gets a lot louder. I agree that the balance is frequently an issue. 2:02-2:16 is an example of a particularly crowded section where several instruments are stepping on each others' toes. Gario's right that cutting the release/reverb/delay a little shorter would help the instruments stand out against each other much better. I actually really liked the flute-like synth at 4:02, but I agree with Gario that it needs to pop out more there--it's a big impact moment, since it's the part of the source melody that hadn't been used yet, and it's stylistically unique. I didn't notice a panning issue with it, but I might if it were more prominent. I like the arrangement for the most part, and it's a cool approach that I think worked out quite well, but it has several small issues that add up. I think it needs to be a little cleaner to be front page material. NO (borderline, resubmit)
  13. Gario's got this dead on, and like him, I can only listen to this for so long, so there may be other issues I'm not picking up on. Tweak that guitar and we'll talk. NO
  14. Finally finished the game. Unfortunately, the ending was really a whole lot of nothing. It looked cool and all, but the challenge was negligible and story really isn't the game's strong point. If I ever do play this game again, it will be in Hard Mode with the DLC. But I probably won't do even that--you can't "re-explore" a world you've already explored, or "re-solve" a puzzle, and those were the best parts. I have no interest in repeating the grindy bits needed to upgrade armor, or the pointless fetch quests that reward you with pocket change or an item you can find lying around anywhere, or worst of all the stealth and escort quests (which were all part of main quests).
  15. Yes, but they haven't said how many games would be included. Right now they're promising only three: Super Mario 3, Dr. Mario (NES), and Balloon Fight(!). It's also still only $20/year (now a firm price), and they're putting off its launch until next year at least. Maybe they'll use that time to build out the VC library. Including just those three games is just a quirky, oddball decision. Perhaps they're using those as a sort of demo for a higher-cost Netflix-like service? In other news, Hori has released a diagram of their, perhaps appropriately, somewhat Lovecrafitian Splatoon voice chat headset. It includes a splitter so you can listen to chat and game audio at the same time, and of course it also needs a dongle if you want to connect it to a newer iPhone. No idea how it would work when your Switch is docked; perhaps they just assume you'll use your normal phone speaker/microphone in that situation. I suppose future headsets could simply include dual Bluetooth antennas? One to connect to the phone and one to the Switch? Not sure if the Switch firmware would support that option.