Gario

*NO* Castlevania 3 'The Devil's Son in Law'

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The Sexual intellectual
Isaac Flowerday
 
 
User ID: 34155
 
Submission Information
Castlevania III
The Devil's Son In Law
 
 
I always wanted to incorporate video game music into Hip Hop. I felt like they have so much in common. For instance, the early compositions in both types of music were both based around extreme technical limitations. The SP-12, or the drum machine favored by many early Hip Hop producers only had 2.5 seconds of sample time. The SP-1200 had 10 seconds. This limitation forced composers and producers to do a lot with very little. It lead to a lot of focus on little bits and pieces of sounds being spliced and layered on each other to form the composition. Likewise, Video game Composers only had 5 Audio Tracks to work with which lead them to do a lot more with a lot less. This is partly why game music is filled with arpeggios. They make the track sound fuller. It's two different limitations admittedly but I always liked the creativity that comes out of working with limitations and I wanted to bring the genres together as they are two of my all time favorites The attached track is an mp3 at 192 bit rate. Hope it meets the criteria and thanks for the work you guys put into expanding this genre of music. It really is invaluable.
Edited by Liontamer
closed decision

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Okay, I actually found this arrangement hilarious (Shootin' Dracula in the dick with lightning, lol). The hip-hop lyrics are tight, though, and it's crisp as hell. It's pretty minimalistic on the source (a hip hop beat beneath the source, for much of it), but the hip hoppin' does count as creatively expanding on the source, in my book, and that bassline that the track leans on heavily at points really compliments the style this track goes for.

One issue that I've got is the heavy delay placed on the square that carries the theme, as it makes the theme sound muddy and cluttered. It would've been better off just having the square play on a clean channel.

I like it - it's catchy, the lyrics are clever, and the source, while minimalistic in its use is certainly well represented. Let's do it.

YES

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That opening bass FM synth isn't a great start.  In the intro, its slight detuning makes it sound unpleasant on top of the main gritty bass.  When it plays alongside the pulse wave later on (e.g. 0:19-0:28), they conflict heavily and the FM bass gets smothered.

I definitely think it's enough interpretation.  If it were just rapping over the original source, no, but even though the melody is carried by the same lead instrument as the source, all the other instruments are different, as is the general arrangement.

I don't agree with Gario that a clean square wave would be an improvement here, since it would make it maybe a bit too close to the original, but I do agree that it's too wet and should be altered in some other way to clean it up.  The main bass hook that plays throughout most of the arrangement is also a little a little too gritty, and I find myself identifying it as part of the source more because I know what it's supposed to sound like and my imagination is making the connection than actually being able to hear the notes.

The lyrics, while not to my personal taste, are clever and very well-executed, perfect for the genre.  I love how little repetition there is, and how effectively that repetition is used in the context of the narrative.

Ultimately, I don't think any of these synths except the percussion are good choices.  Clean them up a little so that each one can shine on its own and this will make a great addition to the site.  But right now I think this has to be a

NO (resubmit)

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I do wish the synths were more sophisticated, but that's not a big deal. The core beats were super repetitive, so I wish the beats got more varied somehow, even in subtle ways; but the way the lyrical delivery never was repetitive helped the track not drag out too much (though it did drag).

The mixing of the lyrics was solid but felt like it had too much high end and could have been pulled back just a little; totally no big deal, just a personal taste thing, and the recording & performance were both excellent. Besides the mixing sounding too squeaky clean, you've definitely got the classic 70s-80s hip hop aesthetic in mind with this, albeit with more swearing (hey, hey!).

The source returned in the background as a quiet, distorted line at 1:04-1:43 & 2:02-2:40, but it's SO quiet and marginalized, so it's difficult to count that as a meaningful connection. Even on headphones, it's way too quiet. If you bump that up in some way, either in volume or with another synth chorused with it, then I'd be behind this. That's literally the only update I'd like to see with this, to ensure the source tune usage truly dominated the arrangement.

The track was 4:15-long, so I needed to hear "Demon Seed" overtly used during at least 127.5 seconds of the arrangement for the obvious source tune usage to be over 50% and "dominate" the arrangement per the Arrangement standards.

overt: :00-45, 1:43-2:02, 3:18-3:55.5 = 101.5 seconds or 39.8% overt source usage
quiet: 1:04.75-1:43, 2:02-2:40 = 76.25 seconds or 29.9% (very) quiet source usage

TL;DR - Beats are repetitive, but the rest of this is strong and we should post this in some form. The "Demon Seed" melody usage from 1:04-1:43 & 2:02-2:40 was so quiet that it may as well have not been there, so please use that more audibly, but watch that that line doesn't sound abrasive if you would just bump it up in volume. Great work otherwise, Isaac! If this passes as is, I won't die, but I feel you marginalized the "Demon Seed" theme for too long here. If you're willing to vary up the beats some as well, that's cool too, but not necessary IMO. Let's please get this posted in some form!

NO (refine/resubmit)

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I'm right about where Gario is here. I agree that the lyrics are tight and overall amusing. Not my thing, but performance is good and the mixing is crisp. The synth overall is a bit too wet for my tastes here, but I don't think it ends up being a dealbreaker in the end. I can see Larry's point about some of the quieter uses of the source, but I also felt that it was clear enough in the end. I can see this going either way, good luck on the rest of the vote!

YES

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Wow I'm right on the borderline here.  This is very creative, I love the lyrics and the vocals are well done.  The beats are repetitive and not processed in a very interesting way.  Hats are pretty loud and mechanical when they play.  I'm fine with the simple synths, even the delay on the square is fine.  My main issue here is the vocal processing, I hear NONE until 3:53 when I hear "NOOOOO" screamed with some reverb.  The entire track's vocals are bone dry and centered, wow what a lost opportunity here.  The vocal is the lead and the centerpiece here, and nothing is done to them whatsoever.  If this were my track, I'd use Nectar 2 Production Suite to add some compression, de-essing, stereo widening, some subtle reverb, etc. and I'd probably take some portions and double them with delay for emphasis (as in the final syllable of a line, with epic ping pong delay on just that syllable).  So much fun could be added to these vocals with some processing.  I see also that the track is very highly compressed and hitting -5.9db RMS which is WHOA loud.  

I wouldn't be upset if this posted as-is because it is so cool and creative, but I'm going to suggest adding a bit more source as per Larry's suggestion, and give the vocals just a bit of processing since they are the highlight.  ("shot him in the DICK!" hahahaha)

NO (borderline, resubmit please)  

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Wow, this OST is groovy.  I like.

Off the bat on the mix, the bass/fuzz synths sound offset on their timing, which is a little odd sounding to me.  Once the vocals kick in the mix gets pretty loud, especially claps, vocals, and the chippy synth lead.

Vocals are creative, funny, and well executed.  Arrangement connections are clear with the bass holding down the source connection whenever the lead drops out, but it's really been relegated to the background because of the much louder elements playing over it for most of the track.  Plenty of creativity here.

 Personally, I would've liked to hear some sort of change-up to the flow beyond adding/dropping parts, like a bridge-type section or something else to change things up, because there are long stretches with just repeated beat loop + vocal flow, which could use more variation.

I think this is really, really close and I wouldn't be mad if this one was to pass, I would just like to hear some better part balancing and variation.

NO (borderline) resubmit, please

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Lyrical writing is clever and performance is strong. Your musical accompaniment while genre accurate is a mixed bag. I don't mind the less complex synths you have going on here but it would be nice if they varied up a bit. The claps are a bit loud compared to the rest of the mix but do a good job at providing some much needed stereo width. The arrangement Is quite minimal, it's largely fitting through the first verse, but when you go minimal like this, you need to make good use of what you've got, and sections feel repeated in places with a lot of stuff sitting mostly in the centre. While I acknowledge that hip-hop drums don't vary up a whole lot traditionally, I do agree with the crits regarding the drums being a bit too samey all the way though and could do with some changing up. 

Despite the faults I've described, I feel you've brought a good amount of personality to the original tune, even though you're largely relying on lyrics to get this over the line (which is not overly different from what others have done before). For me I feel I can borderline this, some things could be better but I can't imagine those changes making a significant difference. We'll see where this goes.

YES (borderline)

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I'm all up for this.  It's hilarious, the choice of synths seems more like a stylistic choice than amateurish, and the vocalist is spitting hot fire.  This is some classic Hip Hop goodness going on here, but the rapping style reminds me of prodigy's diesel power.  Isaac knows when to switch cadence and when to stay on a fixed groove, he backing beat may be a bit repetitive at times, but the vocal rhythm is not, and that's what good Hip Hop is about.  I hear Kris' complains about the un-processed vocals, but I think there is some processing on them, I hear some compression an eq at least, and I don't feel like they need a lot of processing given the style chosen.  They come out strong and clear on my side.  I think this is a case of weak production vs strong performance and execution.  I think the latter wins, but not by much.

Also I'm a damn skeleton.  Bullshit!.

YES

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Lyrics and performance are K.I.L.L.E.R. Such a great old-school vibe.

Unfortunately, as Larry says, we need more overt source usage. Kris also makes a LOT of good points about how you could really take advantage of some vocal processing to give things more kick and emphasis. Hit us back with this.

NO, resub

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