Liontamer

OCR03560 - *YES* Tales of Phantasia "Magical Forest Medley" *FALLTHROUGH*

11 posts in this topic

So Rebecca actually pulled this and replaced it with her FF7 submission, but IMO she wrongly believed it would be rejected. It is a medley of 3 songs, but I thought the flow was fine, so I believe it deserves a vote. - LT

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RebeccaETripp
Rebecca Tripp

http://www.crystalechosound.com/
ID: 48262
Game: Tales of Phantasia
Song's Remixed: Unicorn, Mystic Forest, The Treant's Forest
Song Title: Magical Forest Medley

Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CmsF_XXM-A

Dropbox link: 
 

 

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So Rebecca actually pulled this and replaced it with her FF7 submission, but IMO she wrongly believed it would be rejected. It is a medley of 3 songs, but I thought the flow was fine, so I believe it deserves a vote. I'm being a bit of a badmen here, but since the Content Policy allows us to post whatever's submitted and not necessarily give into a removal request, I chose not to accept the withdrawal and to panel it anyway.

Note to musicians:
DO NOT SELF-REJECT YOUR WORK.
DO NOT SELF-REJECT YOUR WORK.
DO NOT SELF-REJECT YOUR WORK.

We'd much rather you gave it a shot and submitted it, even if it risks a rejection. I know for a fact that there are talented musicians in the community who -- despite making really strong stuff -- have chosen not to submit particular songs because they assume they would get rejected. The evaluation process is here to lift you up, not beat you down. We'd love to have the ability to check out your work, offer constructive criticism where we can, and praise and encouragement even if it doesn't make it.

Onto the mix, the layout is:

:00-:38 - "Unicorn"
:38-2:00 - "Mystic Forest"
2:00-4:20 - "The Treant's Forest"

Rebecca often submits medleys, and some judges have taken issue with the structures not flowing enough like one overarching composition. At :38, she uses the background bowed string line to connect the themes, while the harp is common instrument connecting the transition at 2:00. To me, the changes in themes were apparent, but I felt the changes from each theme to the next, while quick, were smooth enough in the big picture. The overall piece felt like one with movements rather than just a slapdash combination of themes with 0 flow.

Arrangement-wise, I was impressed with how expansive her takes on these themes were in the adaptation to new age. Dynamically, there could have been more contrast overall, but the deliberate pacing that has worked for her in past tracks like her "Final Fantasy Forest Medley" works in exactly the same way here.

YES

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I don't have any issue with the source usage here.  "Unicorn Forest" works perfectly well as an intro, and the other two flow together well enough.

I do think that the lack of contrast is a more serious issue, though.  It's very static overall, with the string ensemble, the maracas, and the bird cheeps especially getting very old by the end.

The bird cheeps also seemed to me to be very loud and high-pitched, which certainly didn't help endear them to me.  They hit that same spot for me that the chimes did for others in Rebecca's Final Fantasy mix.

There's also a sort of quaver in places, e.g. the oboe starting at 3:14, which sounds almost like overcompression.

Still, I don't think any of these issues are dealbreakers, and it's a lovely arrangement overall.  Perfectly happy to see this on the front page.

YES

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Appreciate your use of stereo separation here as you build up the parts of your arrangement. Production is solid, the sounds are nice and things fit together well.

I felt the bird chirping from 1:18 was unnecessarily loud compared to the rest of the orchestration. They were quite heavy in higher frequencies, and were also quite dry - this combination brought them above the mix, bringing too much attention to them compared to the other parts. A slight low pass filter, volume reduction and possibly a hint of reverb would make these sit better in the mix, making them a background element (rather than a foreground one).

Section starting at 2:03 and the following sections are were a little dissonant in places but not too bad. Transition between sources sounds good for the most part, not too abrupt. The ending closed down nicely.

Musically I think this is fine, but the bird chirping, because of their volume I felt it was distracting. Your track may certainly pass, but if just a minor tweak was made to this part, things would sit more nicely together.

NO

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I specifically thought that the transition between Mystic Forest and Treant Forest was really smooth and creative. Not sure if I like the speed-up after that, but it does add a layer of interest that you don't normally hear. The production overall is very nice, and Rebecca really knows how to work the lighter instruments to add a lot of humanization in them. I agree with the others that the birds are a bit too loud and definitely should be brought down a bit. Not sure if it's worth a Conditional vote, but it might be worth asking if it can be adjusted if it's to be posted.

The arrangement has some good personalization throughout, though I do feel that at times its still pretty close to a cover. I do think that Rebecca's arrangements have been more personalized of late and fit much better with the standards than some of the first submissions (not that the medley's before were bad, just not for OCR arrangement standards). 

Overall I think this gets the job done.

YES

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I love this arrangement, it's off to the Enchanted Forest, as per usual from Rebecca!  I have a few issues though.  I'm not a fan of heavy panning, especially for example in the intro where there is almost nothing in the center, and the main elements are left and right.  There are some percussion elements sitting all the way left at some points, and other elements sitting all the way right at other points in the piece.  I find this totally distracting as it feels so unbalanced; it kills the mood for me.  The birds are dealbreakingly loud for me, and they are chirping in some piercy territory.  The backing harmony from 2:37-3:59 is somewhat dissonant, I can't quite tell what is going on there.  

The overall track volume is quite low, I just threw some mastering plugins onto the track and it sounds so much better.  I gladly volunteer to master your tracks Rebecca, should you want that.  This is an easy pass for me with the panning not so extreme, and the birds lowered in volume and perhaps some reverb added to the birds too, lower volume plus some reverb will put those birdies in the background where they belong.

NO (please resubmit and hit me up for mastering if you want) 

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Oh, I hear some Edvard Grieg in this one (0:39) - that's a fun little cameo from 'Morning Mood'. Of course that's also from the source material (Mystic Forest), so it's not like that was the intention, but still... Grieg, Morning Mood, right theeere.

Small bit of fun aside, I think there's a decent amount of playfulness in this track that makes it really enjoyable. I listened to this track on its own before checking the sources, and while there's virtually no transition that I can make out the sources sound so natural together I didn't notice any change in flow to the track. It's a medley, but I'll certainly say it works well enough as a single song for me, here.

Chimp and Nutricious are definitely correct on that bird tweeting (mixed too loudly), and the overall levels of the track are definitely quiet. I just put it in Audacity and got an extra 3.5dBs without any production errors. 

I'm pretty partial to the humanization on this one, too - the strings have that attack swell on every note. It's not too big a deal since they're all in the background, but it does make them more notably mechanical. The mixing of the instruments feel like they lose track of what's important in various places in the track, too - for the Mystical Forest part (0:38 - 1:28) the themes are drown by the arpeggios, and the Treant Forest section (2:38 - ~End) is pretty rough with how all the elements are mixed; it's like all of the instruments are trying to play in the same space at once.

Overall I'd say not any one aspect of this is enough to give this a NO on it's own (and I wouldn't be upset if it were accepted at this stage, even), but everything together swings my vote. Mix down your bird noises, balance your mixing, and bring up your levels if you can. That would make this a great addition to OCR!

NO

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Short and sweet vote:  Nice orchesration & arrangement work - feels like a cohesive piece for the most part, though the different sources are pretty distinct in their use.  As mentioned, mastering sounds low and the bird chirps are too upfront and loud.  While I'd like both of these addressed, and perhaps they can if passed, they're not dealbreakers for me personally.

YES

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Hmm as others have mentioned I ended up feeling like this was just a smigde too quiet, however, that's minor and something we could ask Rebecca to do before posting.  

This track can be sparse at times, but the fusion of the three themes works very well for me, although this is low on the interpretative side of things, but nails the adaptation.  I think Rebecca's style excels with these kind of mystical-ethereal sounding tracks, although this one is sort of in-between that an a soundtrack-style orchestral song.  I do think the bird chirps need to be lower too.

Since my only two issues with this track are extremely simple to solve (raise the overall levels, lower the chirping), I won't ask for a resubmit but a conditional.  This should be on the front page and getting such simple fixes from Rebecca before that should be no problem .

YES (Conditional on level adjusting)

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30 minutes ago, Sir_NutS said:

Since my only two issues with this track are extremely simple to solve (raise the overall levels, lower the chirping), I won't ask for a resubmit but a conditional.  This should be on the front page and getting such simple fixes from Rebecca before that should be no problem .

I'll just note that Rebecca has lost some project files in the past and this one is older. So, though I don't know for sure on this one, keep in mind there may not be the possibility to revise this.

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Dead ringer for a modern remake of Tales of Phantasia. The Sakuraba is strong with this one.

The harp is a bit mechanical, which is not so great when it's such a prominent sound in the beginning. There's a hardpanned shaker in the right that's distracting too.

Overall though it's nice. Don't see any big issues that haven't already been mentioned. I like it.

YES

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