Gario

*NO* Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon 'What Lies Ahead'

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ReMixer name: Kamex
Real name: Erick Nunez
Email address: 
Website: https://www.youtube.com/user/GreatGabite
UserID: 32509

Name of Game: Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon
Name of Arrangement: What Lies Ahead
Name of songs Arranged: Tree of Life 
Remix: 
 
Edited by Liontamer
closed decision

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Pretty straightforward electronica, but it gets the job done.  Switches things up frequently, so even when one section is getting a little bland, it's over soon, so the listener doesn't get fatigued by it, for the most part.

The one exception is the main arp, which starts at 0:22, really leaps out when exposed at 0:44-0:54, and starts getting old by the time it lets up at 1:15.  It's nice that it gets a makeover in the next section, but then it's back to the same simple loop later on, and even the variants get old.  It's easier to count the parts of the track when it's not playing: in 0:00-0:11 it's played by pizzicato strings instead of the synth; then none from 0:11-0:22; back to the strings, staccato this time, at 3:07-3:27, and it stops at 4:34.  That means it's playing in some form or another for all but 19 seconds of the track, and using the same synth for 82% of it.

Incidentally, 2:11-2:22 is from Undertale; I know it from "Hopes and Dreams;" not sure if it appears more prominently in another track on that OST.

That repetition of that one line is my only real beef; I really like the arrangement otherwise, and the production is fine.  And while it didn't bother me a ton right off the bat, now that I hear it, I can't un-hear it.  Do something a little different with that part and I don't have any major concerns here, but that repetitiveness is killing this for me.

NO (resubmit)

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I've pretty much in line with MindWanderer on this one - it's decent electronica, fairly well produced, and that arp does get a bit old. I won't go as far as to say that it's a dealbreaking aspect of the arrangement, as there are attempts to change up the timbre of that arpeggio at various points in order to make it more interesting. Also, be careful with the release on some of your quicker synths (particularly the arpeggio synth), as when things are too wet it creates unnecessary mud.

I enjoyed the Hopes and Dreams cameo in there, though it's strange that it wasn't labelled as part of the arrangement. No biggie, but we might need to include that in the song description if this passes.

Some of the parts get stale in this, but overall there's quite a bit of life that keeps things interesting for the listener. I like it, let's post it.

YES

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Not too much to add here, except I'd like to point that there are also times that the drums also get a bit repetitive. In addition, I felt like the lead synth starts to feel a little plain by the end. I think some different production or switching out the lead could help, along with varying up some of the other parts. I'm just on the NO side of this, but I think it's close!

NO (resubmit)

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OK, interesting intro for a dnb type mix.  Strings would probably have a hard time with fast, repeated pizzicato like that, but I'm not if you're going for realism with the orchestra parts.  Liking the songs energy when things kick in.  

Repetition does bother me a bit with this mix.  The arp in the background is fairly omni-present throughout.  It also has some sort of off-tone resonance - probably caused by reverb - from :22 to 1:17 that got a little irritating to me, even on the first listen.  The beat also has room for more variance beyond the occasional glitched snare hit (it does in the breakdown, but not in the main beat sections).  2:45 sounds like the immediately preceding 2:24 section, which could do with some additional elements or changes to keep listener more engaged.

Production is pretty clear throughout.  I was a bit concerned on song balance in the intro due to some quiet elements, but once the drums come in, mixing sounded fine to me.

Arrangement is clear on connections to source melody and backing patterns as well as plenty of creativity on the adaptation.

For me personally, I can understand if I end up in the minority, but the issues above don't quite bring it down to "no" territory for me.  It's creative and well produced with some room for improvement in things like repetition.

YES

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I quite enjoyed this one.  Sure, it's pretty vanilla at times, and I can see the arp getting on some people's nerves, but I do like when some hooks are used to ground an arrangement as long as the arrangement is dynamic to compensate.  I think I mirror most of Nutritious' thoughts on this one except for that, so I don't have much to add to his vote, except that some improvements could've been made in some of the vanilla instrumentation and drum sequencing but it's not something that drags it under the bar for me either.

YES

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I like that pizz string opening; nice work. The whole intro was pretty cool, including the brass work and chiptune accents.

The beat at :54 immediately struck me as tame and basic but fine for a build, so I was waiting for it to beef up at 1:16 and that didn't happen. It just feels simplistic, flimsy and repetitive as a backing, and at no point did it have any more power, so I was glad it was replaced by some breakbeats at 2:00 with a similar sound, but a more creative tone. Nice little "Hopes and Dreams" cameo from 2:11-2:22.

Back to the weak beats at 2:22, though I liked the higher-pitched synth lead, which had nice contrast with the previous section. 2:52-2:55 & 3:04-3:06 had some brief rhythmic alterations to the beats; where was that creativity and variation before? That kind of stuff in heavier doses would have been great to keep the track interesting and dynamic.

Nice dropoff at 4:12 then moving onto the piano with subtle but lushly chorused backing strings, making good use of those samples.

I'm seeing complaints about the arp; though I wouldn't mind variation there with that sound, I didn't have any criticism of that part and it didn't cross my mind in my own evaluation.

The core of the arrangement doesn't need to change at all, but the beats are what's sinking this, IMO. Right now, the dynamic curve is so flat due to coasting with this vanilla beat pattern. Beef up the tone of the beats for that pattern, and vary up the pattern as well. It doesn't need to go super crazy and complex, just not so plain and metronome-ish like it is now. IMO, this needs one more pass to make the beats more powerful and/or sophisticated in the writing. Good work so far, Erick. It certainly wouldn't take a lot more work to get it posted, so don't be discouraged if this doesn't make it as is.

NO (resubmit)

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The song builds up quite nicely. Good use of layering, particularly in the intro buildup. Your mix of orchestral and electronic instruments worked well here. 

I shared Larry's thoughts regarding the drum break that drives the track feeling somewhat weak, and I too thought a more heavy hitting beat was going to be introduced at some point that never eventuated. This contributed to making your "drops" less impactful. The piano felt quite thin at times but I do understand this was done strategically to fit it in the mix, and to be fair is quite standard for a electronic track. I did notice a distinct lack of low end punch across the mix though, and while I prefer this over too much bass, you had headroom there to make some parts bigger (like your kick drum for example).

The arrangement progression wasn't too bad. You've got some good build ups and break downs. Some parts did go on a bit too long without substantial changes, particularly the main theme at 2:23. I felt by the 3rd minute things had mostly played out and the track could've cleanly ended around that point as it was breaking down, but instead it built back up and stretched out for another minute. For me this was my biggest gripe with the piece.

Overall though, I can't say anything I've mentioned above stands out as a big enough problem for me to hold this back. I just wish it wasn't quite as long.

YES

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The overuse of the arp bothers me, even with all the timbre change-ups.  I think it would be better off dropped out for a section or two, and then brought back with a massive amount of filtering and movement on it, but as it stands the arrangement already feels stagnant to me, it hits full speed and stays there for the most part.  I don't hear any sidechaining to speak of so there's a lost element of groove for me.  The instruments being very vanilla, and the beats unchanging, is enough to make me ask for another pass at this.  I love the concept though, and hope to hear it again.

NO (resubmit)

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There's a lot of reverb on that arp. It's really washing things out, especially because it's sitting right in the midrange with all that reverb all over it. This is primarily a part-writing problem; if you want the arp to take center stage, then keeping it there in the midrange is fine; but if you want to use it as a background element underneath more important melodic lines, get it out of the midrange; bump it up an octave, pull back on the reverb, and lower the volume or velocities of the notes. Consider moving it to another instrument that's not flooding the soundscape with reverb.

I think the arp is a real problem here. The arrangement I like, the DnB is good and I like the instrumentation choices. But that arp is killing me here.

NO

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