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OCR03527 - *YES* Super Castlevania 4 "One Two Three, One Two Three, WHIP!"

11 posts in this topic

Hey, it's been a while, a bit of an unorthodox submission here, hopefully it meets the standards but I'd understand if there are some issues.

 
I've been doing this weekly thing where, at http://www.hitbox.tv/shnabubula on friday I do an 8 hour stream where people ask me to learn songs, and then 2 days later, on that sunday, I perform all the songs in a kind of concert format.
 
Starting with the 3rd sunday, I've been able to get good quality recordings using a portable tascam audio recorder, the only thing is, it's not a real piano, the sounds come from my YAMAHA S90, I quite like the sound of that piano, while 
it's not particularly realistic, I find the timbre pleasing and especially flexible, suited to multiple genres, and often times these setlists can be quite varied. I know in the past piano performances with so-so samples have been accepted, however,
the standards of the site are always improving and this might not be up to snuff anymore.
 
The other issue is, it being a live performance, for humorous reasons and because a part of the source so very much reminded me of it, I very briefly quoted Fur Elise, that composition is in the public domain, and it takes up like... less than 4% of the total song
time, but again, I'd understand if this is a violation of site standards in some capacity, though I'd hope it would be okay.
 
Anyway, the remix is of "the chandeliers" from Castlevania IV, and I've decided for the purposes of OCR to call it "One Two Three, One Two Three WHIP!" Here is the song:
 
 
 
Also, for anybody interested, here's the video of the performance:
 
 

 

 

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Oh man, I'm on the fence with this one. The playing and performance are both good and fun, but the piano sound (as you mentioned) is not amazing, and feel like the arrangement suffers from a lack of direction and noodling at times. That being said, there's plenty of interpretation of the source and even in its meandering way the source remains an is continuously interpreted in different ways. I'm definitely curious what the others are going to think about this and I may change my mind later but for now I'm going with a

Yes (borderline)

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I've been chewing on this one for about a week now.  On one hand we have a genius performance and arrangement which explores the original in so many ways I lost count.  On the other hand, that piano sound really irks me.  It sounds better in some sections (the moonlight sonata intermission and the following saloon-style are good examples imo), but for the most part it sounds really thin and expressionless.  I think this would've been a definite yes for me if a different piano was used, as in a piano solo arrangement the most important thing about the production, besides recording quality, is the piano sound.

As Deia pointed out, the arrangement does feel like it loses direction at times, I think this could've been at least one minute shorter and not much would've been lost and it would've been a more focused arrangement.  Overall I'm still undecided about this one so I'll just leave my comments for other judges to see and I'll come to a conclusion later.

EDIT 6/30: So I listened again today and man, that piano sound still sticks out to me and distracts me from fully enjoying this.  It works better in some sections but for the most part it's just pulling my attention to it at every opportunity.  The sparse sections where the arrangement meanders about are the ones that contribute the most to expose this, as the listener has less to focus on arrangement-wise.  I however found the arrangement in general to be even stronger on subsequent listens.  I've made my bias for arrangement clear many times, and looking at the other votes the piano sound obviously bothers others less, so I'm willing to borderline pass this.  I passed another Shnab arrangement that used the same piano not too long ago, albeit in that context the piano worked much better.  I think many people will enjoy this and won't mind the piano, and I think the arrangement is too good just to shelf it.

YES (borderline)

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The piano sound was definitely making me want to go NO in spite of the performance and arrangement when I first heard this, but I don't have a vote yet. On production though, currently feeling NO. No vote from me until I formally evaluate it.

EDIT (6/10): I haven't timestamped this on source usage grounds, but heard a fair amount of CV4 involved. If pressed, I'd be glad to time it out. Onto the production quality, some of the lower chords in particular sounded pretty lifeless, and I just feel the thin and stilted quality of the keyboard is ultimately too much of a negative sound quality choice. It sounds like a MIDI in places; there's not nearly enough velocity sensitivity here. Sam's performance dynamics are just undermined the entire way, so this is a case of the tools not adequately conveying the energy, humanity, and precision of the performance. I'm afraid I have to go NO on this version.

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I didn't have a problem with the tone of the piano here - for what Sam is doing with his streams and trying to cover many different styles in a short period of time, having a relatively simple, nimble piano patch like this gives you a lot more flexibility with improvisation. Even if it's not the most realistic sample, it's not overly dry and tinny, and there's enough velocity expression that the performance is still very dynamic.

I haven't checked the arrangement so I don't want to write out a full vote yet, but I'm really surprised to see that others are considering going NO based solely on the piano tone. If anything, I initially felt like the overly noodly/directionless arrangement would be what sunk this track. I'll have to chime in with more later.

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This isn't the greatest piano sample, is it.  It most certainly does not sound like midi to me...  although sections like 1:42-2:10 (where the notes are played single-file) are really not well served by this particular sound.  I wouldn't even know how to begin timestamping this arrangement, I'll leave that to Larry but I seem to be hearing plenty of source.  I like this arrangement quite a lot.  If there were a way to upgrade this piano sound I'd say let's get that done, but absent that I'm still a YES on this cool arrangement.  I love the style change at 4:38 (following the Fur Elise interlude)!  The good outweighs the bad for me.

YES

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Finding it a tough one like the others. If you're doing a mix with a single instrument, that instrument *needs* to be strong. While I'm not a piano expert, I do feel the piano sound certainly isn't the greatest and does let the overall track down. It also sounds very dry, I wonder if a touch of reverb/room ambience would liven this one up? As I understand it, this is a recording of a live take, and thus, the ability to change/update the patch is not available.

This is a shame because there is some great playing here and some nice changes in pace. I like the transitions to different parts. Arrangement sometimes comes across as noodley, but keeps direction most of the time. Due to the amount of changes here, I didn't find myself getting bored. Considering the arrangement is 1 instrument and over 6 mins long, this is an accomplishment.

I think this mix belongs on OCR. I just wish the piano sound was stronger. Knowing this can't be updated (apart from maybe the addition of some nice reverb or something) is disappointing, although because of the performance, I think this is passable (just).

YES (borderline)

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Shnabubula!

Yeah, that piano sound does not serve this track very well, especially at the beginning. When the piece gets more dense toward the middle and the end, it doesn't sound nearly as troublesome, but in the beginning it's far too dry and exposed.

The performance is amazing, as expected, but it does meander a little bit, and that Fur Elise portion actually doesn't mesh at all well, for me. It could be personal preference (others here seem to enjoy it), but it's very distracting due to how famous it is, and honestly doesn't sit the right way with me as far as being so prominent in a VGM arranging site.

Mmm, it's a very good arrangement, and either without the Fur Elise portion or with a better piano sample (or a real piano) I feel this would've still passed for me. With those issues in combination, though, I don't think I can pass it.

NO

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Shnabubula keeps to impress me like he always has and probably always will. I think this arrangement is amazing, and the performance is just as great. I agree that the piano sound undermines the quality of the piece, but not nearly enough to bring this below the bar in my humble opinion.

YES

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I wasn't really feeling the NOs on this until the sparse sections that Chimpa pointed out. When this drops down to one hand and not much is going on, you're hyper-aware that this is not a real instrument and it takes you out-of-the-moment. As far as arrangement, I don't think I could timestamp it easily but it sounded pretty connected to me. Lots of use of the chords and melody.

Argh, I can see why this was a tough decision for everyone. I will admit that I skew a little lenient on solo piano production, and I think that is gonna push me towards the YESes. With a weaker arrangement, this probably would have been a NO, but there's only 1-2 short sections in this that really make me consider the realism of it. There's enough good here that we shouldn't throw that away. I'll leave this open since not everyone who posted has made a decision.

YES

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3 hours ago, Palpable said:

I'll leave this open since not everyone who posted has made a decision.

No worries. We can re-open if there are any strong objections and anyone asks. IMO, 6Y/2N is well over, so we're good to go. :-)

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