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djpretzel

*NO* Final Fantasy 7 'Well-Oiled Machine'

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I liked it. -djp

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Remixer name : Shinray
Real name : Benjamin Dupré
Website : www.shinray.net
Userid : 33399
 
Submission information : 
 
Name of game arranged : Final Fantasy VII
Name of arrangement : Well-Oiled Machine
Name of individual song arranged : Opening - Bombing Mission
 
Comments : 
 
"This is a track that took us a really long, loooooooooooong time to finally finish re-arraging. Trying to mix both versions (the original one, featured in the game, and the symphonic arrangement for orchestra) with heavy metal elements such as heavy rhythmics, riffs, solos, etc., proved quite challenging. Furthermore, this is a game that we love beyond reason, featuring a tremendous soundtrack by Nobuo Uematsu, and sometimes it can petrify you because you're afraid you will not be able to do something that's worthy of it all.
 
So it all began as a cover of Bombing Mission only in the first place. It has that martial rhythmic element going that is just fit for drums, bass and guitars to get playful. Over the cake, plenty of space for keyboards and symphonic arrangements to bring a sense of majesty to it all. And you can even put piano in there! God, Nobuo Uematsu really is the man!
 
But this track would of course not be complete without the "Opening" part, which immediatly brings back some fond memories to a lot of players around the world. That's where the gentle lead guitar comes in, underlining a simple melody that gives you a taste of fantasy that you will find throughout your experience with the game. And then, the grandiloquent overture... as if it was MADE for a rock band to play!
 
When is this damn remake released again???"
 
 
We've also released a video with our cover, here is the YouTube link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-UM0P5UOro
Some videos have already been featured on remix pages, so maybe you could link this one as well, if you think our cover is worthy of course :)
 
Cheers,
 
--
 
Benjamin Dupré / Shinray
website : www.shinray.net
 
 

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Great performances all around, and solid sound to the production on this, too - very meaty. The arrangement sticks very, very close to the source. I can overlap the source and this song on top, and save for a moment or two where they get out of sync they line up perfectly (I literally did this). Even a lot of the backing instruments are of the same type (Strings in the beginning, piano for the arpeggio when the song picks up, etc.). It's a great cover, and there's nothing wrong with a great cover. However, OCR by design requires a little more interpretation of the source, as per site rules.

While the production is great, the backing instruments are pretty mechanical. The dynamics have little variation, the attacks are all the same, no vibrato for longer notes, etc. Take a look at how performers play their respective instruments, and utilize the different parameters on your samples to emulate this for your instruments. The more you make the sampled instruments sound more like a live performer, the better, so I hope my advice in this area helps.

Overall, it's a great cover with mechanical backing instruments, but the biggest reason we can't post it on OCR is due to the arrangement being too conservative. The performance is great, though - you guys continue to impress, as far as your musicianship is concerned. Rock on.

NO

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I see Gario's point about having issues with with the arrangement and how close it matches the original. Though the structure was the same, I thought this went in the right direction in personalizing the adaptation to rock; it doesn't pass on the level of interpretation in the arrangement for me either, but there are additive writing components and live performance flourishes that deserved credit.

That said, I agreed with Gario on the lack of sophistication in the sequenced material. The lack of realism in the brass and bowed string sequencing, and the piano tone were pretty exposed weak points, and that pulled this down below the bar when considering that alongside the relatively close arrangement.

If the sequenced/sampled instrumentation were better humanized and/or the arrangement did more to vary from the original source tune, I could pass this. Shinray's a great band, so if they're interested in further polishing this, we'd love to post it in some form.

NO (resubmit)

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I was actually surprised that this was done by Shinray, as the previous remixes were amazing but this is honestly pretty bland.  I have to agree on the stiffness of the instruments, moreso on the the brasses and the strings that play in the second half.  The mix is clean and the instruments themselves don't sound that bad, but the performances need work.  The arrangement is also very conservative.  I like the idea of mixing the rock and orchestral elements for this particular song but the delivery is lacking.  Please rework it, we would love to have another amazing Shinray song on the site.

NO (resubmit)

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I first heard this without the context that it was in part inspired by the orchestral version of the same piece, and actually thought it sounded similar to the version by the Black Mages.  If you came up with this without being familiar with theirs, that says a lot about your arranging skills!

I felt like there was enough interpretation here not to call it a "cover" per se.  There are a number of novel sections, and the guitar riffs are a lot of fun.  It's still too close to the source, though (and the ending, while not in the OST, is taken verbatim from the orchestral version).

I'm also on board with the crits about the orchestral instrumentation--the strings sound inhuman, and the brass comes in consistently late.  As for the piano, note that in the orchestral version, the piano plays melody only when very few other instruments are also playing.  When other instruments come in, the piano just plays a simple repeated chord.  That's because even when you're not doing much with it, piano hits all over the spectrum and tends to compete with everything.  When there's a lot going on, it's very difficult to EQ a piano so it doesn't sound choked or fake.

I'd love to see this reworked to conform to the site standards, though!  I feel like the production issue is comparatively minor, and with a more original arrangement, it wouldn't take all that much more to get it posted.

NO

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