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Gario

*NO* Final Fantasy 5 'Machine Music'

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Posted (edited)

Download link: 
 
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Submission Information
  • Name of game(s) arranged: Final Fantasy V
  • Name of arrangement: Machine Music
  • Name of individual song(s) arranged: Musica Machina
  • Link to the original soundtrack: 
Source Usage
 

  I sat on this one for a while before submitting it.  It's shorter than I would have liked, but since the original track is something like a 40 second loop I didn't have a whole lot to work with.  I managed to get it up to 2:45 mostly utilizing instrumental and textural changes in the arrangement.  

I was going for sort of a Nine Inch Nails vibe with this one, especially with the intro. The main riff is played first by the acoustic guitar, then the electric, then a synth.  It builds up to a sort of nu-metal drop at 40 seconds.  I used a piano with some distortion for the melody, and then again later without the distortion overtop a quiet bass groove.

Thanks!

 

Edited by Liontamer
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Well, this is interesting. Although this is abrasive and pretty non-tonal, so was the source, so... Yeah, I can't fault you, there! Given what you're working with, you do get some mileage with the texture changes that you have throughout, so you definitely avoid having the track getting stale. Production is quite good, though, and the arrangement, while on the conservative side does shine a different light on the source by transforming it into a chuggy metal track.

I'm not sure I agree with the mixing choice on the piano part. At 1:01 and more prominently at 1:35 the theme is push pretty hard into the background, even being as spacious as the soundscape is at those points. Because it's so open it's still easy enough to hear the part so it doesn't sink the track, but it's a strange mixing choice, for sure.

That steelstring in the beginning has absolutely no release, which makes it sound fake (like General MIDI fake). Okay, maybe not THAT fake, but it's a very weak instrument to open the arrangement on. Some more release on the sample would help make it sound more realistic.

It's well produced, the material remains fresh throughout the arrangement, and it's definitely interesting (even if I don't find this or the source that palatable). I don't think the issues it has (minor mixing quirks, fake sounding steelstring in the beginning) holds this back from being posted; it's not for everyone, but I think it'd be an interesting front page candidate

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EDIT (06/02): Going back on this, I can sign on to the idea that the thin instruments (steelstring, piano) really do drag this down below the bar. I mentally debated that point when giving it a before, and I think I stand on the other side of the fence now on re-listening. The distorted synths and guitar sound quite good, but those other samples really drag an otherwise cool arrangement down. Fix those up, balance them better in the mix and send this back our way!

NO

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Opened up super-thin and robotic-sounding with the acoustic guitar, and I thought the escalation into the distorted stuff at :16 was still pretty empty, with the beats in particular sounding flimsy. More stuff faded in at :23, and the soundscape filled in as much as it was going to at :39.

The piano lead at 1:01 was very rigid and with a thin tone; it does contrast with the electric guitar, but the piano sounding rigid doesn't really come off as a stylistic choice as much as the sample simply being exposed. Same with the little accents of acoustic guitar work first used at 1:35, which also sounded very mechanical and stilted.

IMO, this is a solid arrangement, but the production of the instruments was lacking. If you can humanize the piano and acoustic guitar and achieve a richer tone with both of those and the drums, this would be on more solid ground. There's a quality disparity between the arrangement and the instrumentation right now that I can't overlook, but this is a great base, Sebastien.

NO (resubmit)

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I came out of this strongly feeling both Gario's and LT's crits of this.  That opening was quite thin and weak, the piano was both mixed too far back behind the noodly bass.  Additionally, the slap bass that starts at 0:05 sounds really low-fi and generic, very much out of place in this mix in terms of both sound design and environmental space, and really just kind of unpleasant to boot.

The overall arrangement is pretty cool, and I have no complaints about the guitar-led sections, but the production and synth instrumentation do indeed need some work.

NO (resubmit)

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Nothing to really add here, I agree with Larry especially that the arrangement is really pretty neat, but the production on the instruments isn't holding it's end of the deal here. I'd love to hear this again with the opening especially filled out a little more and some more humanization added in. Good luck!

NO (resubmit)

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