Chimpazilla

*NO* Final Fantasy 'Journey Forward'

12 posts in this topic

Hi OC Remix,
I am submitting my first official remix based on Final Fantasy I’s Dungeon Theme.  Thank you!
 
 
MP3 File:  
 
 
Contact Information:
 
ReMixer Name: CelestialSonata
Real Name: Zeo Chan
Email Address: 
Website Address: www.celestialsonata.com
User ID: 22831
 
 
Submission Information:
Name of game(s) arranged: Final Fantasy I
Name of arrangement: Journey Forward
Name of individual song(s) arranged: Dungeon Theme
Additional information about game including composer, system, etc. (if it has not yet been added to the site):  Nobuo Uematsu (composer), NES (system)
Link to the original soundtrack (if it is not one of the sound archives already available on the site): http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Dungeon_theme,  http://ocremix.org/song/16520
Your own comments about the mix, for example the inspiration behind it, how it was made, etc.:
 
This remix was started years ago around when I first learned music production and how to use a DAW, FL Studio.  After a few months of production, I paused the project as I felt it wasn’t ready for the public and my ability was not where it needed to be.  I had hoped to release it to OC ReMix back then, but I wouldn’t have been happy if I did.  A few months ago, I’ve recreated the project entirely.  I titled the track “Journey Forward” because it represents how much time I spent learning just to get this track to this point.  It spans the entire length of time from when I first learned music production to today.
 
The Final Fantasy I Dungeon theme is very short, around 25 seconds long on repeat.  The challenge was to make it over 4 minutes, which meant a good amount of original material had to be added in.  I really do love making long intros; you’ll find one here; no rushing it!  1:37 - 1:42 pays homage to the original track.  The remix is produced Logic Pro, Native Instruments, and my Gibson SG guitar.  Enjoy!
 
 
 
-Zeo
@CelestialSonata

 

 

Edited by Liontamer
closed decision

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Well, this is certainly an interesting arrangement overall. It doesn't take the directions that I expect at all, but it certainly refers back to the source. It tends to avoid the much easier part of the source to recognize from the NES version (the faster moving notes). It's a good thing that you gave a link to the GBA version, as you use a lot of elements that are unique to that version. I'd even argue that this should be labelled under the GBA version of the song, for that reason, but I'll wait until there's another opinion on it.

The instruments that are used in this are alright, but there're a few quirks in some that could use improvement. The guitar tone (especially when it's the lead) sounds thin and unimpressive. It's not too bad when it's rhythm, but the lead just doesn't have too much presence with that tone. The synth at 0:36 has a little too much in the upper-EQ range and could use a little low pass, to take some of the shine out of it.

I think the mixing could use a little TLC, as some parts pop out unexpectedly, and sometimes it loses focus of what is important. However, I don't think it takes it below the bar, either.

Despite what I said, I actually find the arrangement to be refreshing enough to look past some of the issues that this has. There are a lot of unexpected (and awesome) twists that this takes that sets it apart from an average arrangement. Moments like 2:32 really give this arrangement some depth. Mixing and tone aside, I think this has enough substance to inch it past the bar. It's a pretty close call, and I can see it swinging the other way, but I think this is still good enough for a post. Nice work, and great job on continuing to improve yourself!

YES

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Wow this was pretty damn cool!  I really liked the tone of the rhythm guitars! The lead guitar though, sounds a bit thin in comparison, specially on high notes.  As you said, the original is pretty short so you had a pretty tall task here of expanding this theme without falling into repetition, but dude you really stepped up to it.  

This isn't a straight-up metal arrangement either, there are quite a lot of different elements at play here, and I particularly loved the second section of the track, which cuts off to a very intense staccato strings section, which then jumps to a breakdown with industrial-style drumming before finally landing back into the guitar arrangement that started the arrangement, but with different variations and tempo changeups.  Great ending too.

If this is your first submission then I'm impressed.  It's not perfect, the piano sounds slightly mechanical in some spots and a few sections seemed emptier than they should, but overall this is pretty solid, Nice Work!

YES

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Melody at :35 briefly sounded atonal at first, but after a second listen it didn't sound jarring. Wow, I'm sorry but I hated the drums at :49; they sounded so exposed as hollow and flimsy when the soundscape wasn't at its fullest.

Fun changeup at 1:34 to the brief chippy cameo.

Why was the panning so wide from 2:03-2:29? It makes no sense especially because those same leads had been more centered when used earlier at :35.

Another good lead change at 2:38 for a cameo to keep things fun. The piano at 2:55 was pretty blocky-sounding, but didn't need to sound very humanized... UNTIL it was paired with the electric guitar work from 3:21-3:44; in combination a fuller live electric guitar and thin, fake-sounding piano don't work well.

Arrangement-wise, this was creative, Zeo, but the number of smaller issues above added up to a lack of TLC that dragged the piece down below the bar, IMO. It's a great first pass that merits some tightening up so that more of the potential of the writing & arrangement are better realized. Beef up the drums, don't make the panning so wide for that one section, and try to create a richer, more realistic piano sound.

NO (resubmit)

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The other Js' crits are completely valid.  This arrangement is really good and it is full of lots of nice little details and creativity.  The piano does sound quite fake.  You should learn how to sequence piano with varied velocities so it sounds more natural, and a better sample would be an improvement too (or just use a synth timbre).  That piano is really a shame, it takes this track just under the bar for me, most especially the section starting at 2:58 since it is so exposed and repetitive there.  

The drums are well written but they could be a drop louder.  The guitar work here is quite good, no complaints.  I like the little chiptune interlude at 1:36 a lot.

You should work on balance; Gario is right that some parts tend to pop out unexpectedly, volume-wise.  My other main crit for you is you need to work on transitions, you want to always signal the listener that something new is coming, even just with one or two bars of something, even a white noise sweep.  The transition at 2:31 is total silence, and I think that is a lost opportunity for some kind of awesome sound effect or sweep.   

My vote is very borderline as I think this is close, just needs a bit more TLC.  Please resubmit this!  I expect to hear even more improvement from you and more good submissions going forward.

NO (borderline, resubmit)

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A lot of great variation across your arrangement - things feel fresh most of the way though, with repeated parts spaced out and small once off interludes that are appreciated. Most changes fell together well, while some transitions like at 3:00 were abrupt and didn't quite work.

Instrumentation had a good mix, I quite liked the piano tone personally, though I can see the other judges had some problems with it. I will agree it's a bit stiff. Guitar chords add some nice meat to the mix without overcrowding. The lead guitar is a little thin in comparison and could've done with more low end, but it's not used often. Drums seem ok, with fills dotted about. Organ is a bit overpowering in volume at times, which also had some odd frequencies poking out every now and then which were distracting.

Overall your arrangement is strong. Your sounds are decent IMO. I've been flipping back and forth a bit in my mind - although you have some problems here, but I don't think they're collectively deal breaking. The strength of your arrangement certainly carries this. If this is indeed a first mix, you've done a great job.

YES

 

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That piano is SUPER mechanical. Not sure how I feel about it. It doesn't sound like it's trying to be real but it's so exposed.

I like what you're trying to do here, but I think Larry and Kris are right. Guitar sounds great but there's weird balance issues. Some of the synths get a bit messy and piercing.

Needs another look.

NO

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Off the bat, the mix sounds murky, frequency-wise.  There's a lot of low end fighting for space, some mid-range elements, but not much in the high end.  

:38 did sound off-kilter to me a bit, note-wise.  Even as the song progresses, it still irks me a bit every time this lead note hits.  It didn't seem to bother the other J's as much, so take it with a grain of salt.

However, the high synth lead that starts at :38 is really shrill and doesn't have a strong, interesting timbre.  I'd really recommend replacing it.

Piano throughout felt both dry and rigidly sequenced.  It's gives sections like 3:00 a disjointed feeling with the piano sticking out so much like that.  Could really use some velocity variation - especially on the bigger note jumps - and some EQ/verb/something to help it blend a bit better.

Overall, despite not covering the full frequency range, the mix sounds cluttered to me.  The background pads are taking up too much mid-range room and cluttering things up.  They'd probably be better served occupying a higher frequency and toning down the mid-range freqs.  They don't always seem to be properly following the chords of the leads at times, so may want to look at that (like whenever the main melody line kicks in, they just sound like conflicting noise to me).  I think an overall mixing rework to better balance the frequency ranges would help here.  

Really liking your arrangement work here.  Great ideas on display.  Interesting use of transitions and switch-ups to keep the listener interested.

Some production tightening up will go a long way here.  Good luck to you.

NO resubmit, please

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Cool intro. I agree with the other votes on the piercing/dry quality of your samples. I'm feeling too much compression. The guitar stuff is well done, but it tends to overtake the mix, especially in the lo freqs. Not a huge fan of the kick, but the snare has a nice crack. The mix gets crowded. Busy sections like 1:30 could use some EQ. The arrangement is cool. Unique production focused transitions and some wack harmonic sense. The piano sounds off but ultimately works.

YES

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Gonna throw my vote in here with  NOs. To me the compression, mechanical piano, and thin guitar are just adding up to be too much. I think this is an awesome start though, and I really hope to hear it again!

NO (resubmit)

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Oh, my ears.  That shrill synth at 0:36 is actually past the pain threshold for me, and that bright piano is actually really close to that line as well.

I also agree with Gario that the volume tends to jump dramatically in places, which really stands out due to the schizophrenic nature of this arrangement.  I'm not sold on all those sudden twists--some of them work, but with so many, this is almost not a coherent arrangement at all.  It's certainly interesting.

I didn't hear an excessive amount of compression until about 3:47, but it's pretty strong there.

I definitely agree with the other judges about the piano being too stiff.  The guitar didn't bother me, though.

Ultimately, it's all fairly minor stuff, but it adds up.  I think you can get this back to us and over the bar, and for a first effort, that's pretty darn good.

NO (resubmit)

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