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Master Mi

1. work-in-progress Maniac Mansion - The Boys Are Still Back (Master Mi Remix)

10 posts in this topic

It's not too bad in its current state. You pretty much maintained the feel of the original, if that's what you wanted. Unfortunately this lacks a fair bit of essential components to differentiate from the original.

  • The arrangement sticks very closely to the original, and adapts those notes to other instruments without noticeable velocity variation. One might call this conservative and MIDI-like. It's less plodding than your other tracks, but still has that prevalent issue.
  • The piano writing is much too difficult for any real pianist to play without messing up, especially at 1:09 - 1:14 and 1:19 - 1:24; if you don't know much about playing piano, look at how a real pianist plays piano on YouTube or something, and study how hard they hit each key on fast passages. They won't be able to replicate this---trust me; I've been playing piano for over 10 years.
  • The lack of velocity variation makes this track lose all of its dynamics and expression; this is not an easy fix, but at least try to do something about it. Don't just have all velocities flat. Put in the effort to adjust them.
  • There is no transition at 1:24; how in the world did we get to a rock section? It's sudden. Try turning your screen off, closing your eyes, and listening to this track again in the morning, and convince yourself that you can't tell when the rock section is going to come up. If someone else listens to this track, there is no guarantee that they will read some sort of textual intro saying that you intend a rock section to come up. People tend to just listen to a piece of music as it is---music without anything else accompanying it.
  • There is quite a bit of copy/paste without significant variation; don't just vary your instruments, but vary your melodic flow and energy too. That arpeggio you keep using is in almost the entire track and it keeps the energy too consistent.

 

Sorry, but that's pretty much all I can say here. It was a decent attempt, but lacks substance IMO.

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So, finally I've made a huge update for this remix.
I've written some new notes for a preluding piano part, I've created a pretty nice rock part for the final and at last I've made a video with my own gameplay scenes for the German NES version of Maniac Mansion. More information about all the other changes in this version and backgrounds of the remix you can find in the description of the upload for Youtube.

Enjoy - here's version 1.1:
>>>


>>> https://clyp.it/y0v1j0f1

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I hope this hasn't been on eval since the end of January, as that's a bit too long. We've said (haven't we?) that it should take us about two weeks to notice and evaluate your track. If you don't have an eval after two weeks, PM us or something.

MM is one of the first games I have any memory of, along with Battle Chess. Never played enough of it for any of the music to stick, though.

eval

Long piano intro, seems like it's gonna be a piano-centric track. Odd stuff playing, but I don't terribly mind. It's at least interesting, though it's important that those odd parts in particular feel performed, intentional, rather than sequenced. I get the impression that they're imported from a midi in which they were played on a different instrument. The delay and reverb are messing with my impression of the piano. Later parts have a different keyboard instrument handling the arpeggio, but some rather stiff piano stuff on top. The background stuff isn't as important, but the piano needs to sound more human.

Not a fan of the piano+bass sound, but we'll see how it develops. Takes half the track for drums to come in. The track instantly feels a lot better balanced. Drums for the most part are quite straitforward, but there's some nice fills there at times. I don't think drum writing is much of a problem.

Fadeout ending. I don't think that's necessary. It almost sounds like a normal ending, one that works fine, except it also fades at the same time. Consider how you want it to end.

Source is obviously there, and while it sounds rather conservative, I think the genre adaptation and stuff makes it interpreted enough. No problem there.

I can't make sense of the choice of bass. Most of the track, it sounds randomly chosen with little regard for the overall sound of the track. The piano needs to feel more human. During some of the weird writing in the beginning, and when it's playing melody on top of the arpeggio and bass, it doesn't feel performed by a real person. It should feel deliberate and emotive, respectively. And the ending is cheap. You could just drop out the drums and let the guitar stop after a long note. That's an okay ending. There are other ways to end the track, too. But the fadeout doesn't work.

Not yet ready for ocr. Sounds promising tho. And nice choice of source.

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Thanks for the review.

I guess I'll keep working on the track - especially at the piano stuff, maybe at the drums and maybe at the ending (although I thought the fade-out was fitting pretty well in this track).
Besides - which piano parts exactly do you  mean with odd - the very first notes or some parts afterwards?
And would you say through the perception via your headphones that there's too much reverb and delay is going on in the prefatory piano section?
 

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The intro piano stuff is odd. The first 20-ish seconds. It's difficult to get a grip of the first notes of the arpeggio, but that's a very briefly passing issue. Once the arpeggio begins playing, it's fine.

The delay is a bigger point of confusion than the reverb. I'm fine with the reverb. The delay is probably too loud. Can't tell what's delay and what's actual notes. That's an issue. It's going to confuse listeners. Maybe that's the point.

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I would replace the piano altogether with a synth of some kind. Too much work making that part sound like a real piano. 

 

The guitar part sounds fine to me. What guitar vst/library are you using?

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For what it's worth I enjoyed your remix. The only parts I have issue with are:

1-the bass part is a little strange at times before the drums come in.

2-the drum parts from 2:30-2:52 and 3:24-3:44 (they are the same part) are not how a real drummer would play the part, at least not for more than a measure or so. For triplets like you're dealing with a typical drum beat would be X-xX-x (X=down beat hit, x=optional hit, -=no hit), not Xx-Xx- like you have. Also there would be no hi hat during tom fills. 

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Maybe the idea with the synth instead of the piano is not bad at all - at least I tried some synths that would fit pretty well.
But I'll also try to make the piano stuff more realistic - a good classic instrument for a good classic game wouldn't be too bad either.
---------
Does somebody have the problem with the delay at the piano part as well?
According to my headphones I can't hear a problem with the delay there - but maybe you have better headphones to filter out some annoying stuff much better than I can do with my ones.
Which kind of headphones do you use, Rozovian?
---------
The bass part before the drums is just the previous synth bass that goes over into a clean power guitar bass as a little prelude for the following heavy guitar part.
Thanks for the hint with the drums - I'll work on this.
What exactly is a down beat hit (you mean bass drum?) and an optional hit (snare or hi-hat?) in this case? Or is your beat code just about the bass drums?
---------
For my guitar part I use following VSTi and VST stuff:

- for the bass guitar stuff: "Vita Power Guitar" >>> http://www.magix.com/int/hidden-extras/additional-instruments/2015/

- for the rhythmic guitar stuff: "Vita Century Guitars" (just look for Century Guitars at the same link as for the Power Guitar above)

- for the lead guitar stuff: an own preset for an electric guitar from "Independence Pro Library" (just listen to the second demo track of "Acoustic & Electric Guitars" after clicking on the speaker symbol there for listening to one of the clean electric guitars) >>> http://www.magix-audio.com/ie/independence/libraries/#productMenu
With this as a base I use a VST-Plugin called "Vandal: Virtual bass and guitar amplifier" with a self-made preset on it >>>  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRalAVOvxd4
I really like that one - you can build nearly any kind of guitar sounds with the complex functions of Vandal in connection with a real electric guitar or a good clean electric guitar VSTi with lots of articulations/key switch functions as a basis.

 

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23 hours ago, Master Mi said:

Thanks for the hint with the drums - I'll work on this.
What exactly is a down beat hit (you mean bass drum?) and an optional hit (snare or hi-hat?) in this case? Or is your beat code just about the bass drums?
 

It's not just about bass drum hits. X's are hits on the bass or snare drums that must be there. At the x's you can choose whether to hit the bass, snare, hi-hat, or none of them. For instance, if you choose a X-xX-x pattern, a single bar of 6/8 (high bpm) might look like

hi hat O--O---

bass drum O-O---

snare ---O-O

(O=hit, -=rest)

Now loop that, but occasionally drop the second O on the bass drum and/or snare.

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