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Gario

*NO* Pokémon Black Version 'Bittersweet Journey'

8 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Contact Info:
Whitetail
Kare Wade
 
34226
 
Remix information:
Game: Pokemon Black/White
Arrangement: Bittersweet Journey
Songs arranged: An Unwavering Heart
Game info: Nintendo DS, composed by Shota Kageyama
 
 
Additional notes:
Sometimes starting your adventure is the hardest part.
I've always loved songs that take you for a journey through different moods and I hope I pulled that off here. Sombre tones in the intro making way to more hopeful melodies within the main piece. I've sat on this piece for a long time, I can connect quite a bit with the feeling of being held back the piece normally accompanied within the game - it's actually been a long time hope of mine to submit here but I've always been too anxious to do so. Aside from that though my main aim was just to make a piece of music that's fun, and I hope that communicates well through the piece.
 
Edited by Liontamer
closed decision

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Oh, I remember this on the WIP boards. Looking back I didn't comment on it, but I probably should've... and said I thought it was pretty awesome. The shift in styles is effective, even if the slower portion lasts a little too long. The Eurobeat in this is quite well done, and it really ramps the calming source up to 11. The production, while loud, is pretty crisp throughout that part.

The dryness of the pizzacato strings against the piano in the beginning is quite stark, and it makes the two parts sound strangely disconnected. It would've been better if the strings could've had more reverb as to match the wetness levels of the piano better, as right now they just don't sound like they belong in the same piece.

I really do like this one otherwise, though. The long opening and dry strings bother me, but not enough to give this anything other than my thumbs up. Great work!

YES

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Oh yeah, those pizzicato strings are super dry and sterile.  The other tenor strings in the intro are dry, too; less so, but still problematically.

Nearly two minutes of intro is an awful lot, but you do use it as a bookend, and there's a brief piano section in the middle, so it at least doesn't seem like two songs stuck together.  But it's such a dramatic contrast between the sections that it's really jarring when the Eurobeat kicks in.  I think this would be better as two songs, but I don't think it's a dealbreaker as-is.

The dynamic contrast is really strong, and I can't set my volume to a point where I can hear the intro and conclusion well without it being painfully loud during the middle.  You have about 5 dB of headroom in those sections, so bringing up the volume there would be much appreciated.  It's actually pretty impressive how clear the sounds are during the Eurobeat section despite being smashed up against the limiter virtually the whole time, though the bass does get swallowed during the busiest sections.

I have very mixed feelings about this.  The middle section is pretty solid, and the piano work is very nice but the dryness of those strings is a severe drawback, and the quietness of the intro and conclusion is a problem for my listening comfort.  I'll mull this over, listen a few more times, and put down a vote later.

Update: All right, I'm back.  I can live with the dry violins, but not the difference in volume between sections.  That should be a simple enough fix, though.  I'd recommend both making the piano/strings section louder and the Eurobeat section quieter.  They don't have to be the same overall volume, but they need to be at least in the same comfort range.

YES-Conditional (on adjusting volume)

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The dryness of the pizz strings from 1:12-1:47, and even the string accents first brought in at :25, was pretty brutal and short-sighted. The thing is, I'd probably go conditional as well, but I don't feel this is a conditional fix. A musician J can correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like there would probably need to be a more involved fix; IMO, the pizz strings were so upfront that it wouldn't be enough to just slap some delay on them, you'd need to adjust other things with the mixing in conjunction with addressing that first problem.

Scratching my head at the complete lack of transition to the more upbeat dance stuff at 1:49, along with the massive volume disparity. There's gotta be some sort of effort given to an actual bridge from one aesthetic to the other, even just some sort of sweeping SFX to tie it together. After 1:49, the textures sounded really cramped and muddy until the dropoff at 2:48, then again during the fullest section from 4:08-5:06.

The boom-tss beats starting at 3:13 felt pretty basic and vanilla in terms of the writing and sound design, but I'll live. Would have liked something more sophisticated with the writing, but what's there was serviceable.

The dropoff back to the piano only at 5:07 also felt very awkward and disconnected. I see what was attempted, but it doesn't work at all.

Watch the ending at 5:47 not being given enough time for a full fade; the track abruptly cuts off at 5:49, so watch the render and get everything in there.

This arrangement started off very conservatively, Kare, so I was worried on where it could go, but at least the DDR-style stuff later on presented interpretation. That said, this still needs some work to refine what's there. I thought both the transition into and out of the energetic sections were abrupt & low-effort, and the string dryness was a must-fix, NOT a nice-to-have. The volume disparity has to be addressed as well, and the fullest sections shouldn't sound cluttered. Let's not get sloppy with the detail work.

NO (resubmit)

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I'm with Larry on this. I think the track is really close, but the small details right now of the dry strings and the transitions between the parts are the biggest issues that need to be addressed. I also do think the intro is incredibly long for an intro which makes the transition into the electronic section that much more jarring. Also a small note that when the piano starts the melody in the electronic section it is pretty overpowered until the synth takes over. 

I'd say this is pretty close, but some polish definitely needs to happen.

NO (resubmit)

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Well uh.. this was... interesting.  I find myself in complete agreement with Larry here, to my increasing disquietude.  The pizz aren't quite cutting it here, but even then I was quite enjoying this song up to that point, until the completely out of the blue dance transition.  I don't think I can call that a transition though, since it straight up cuts to it with but a small snare roll to signal the change.  Given the very contrasting sections, in both mood and volume this was quite abrupt to put it very lightly.  I don't think the bulk of the Dance section is bad, in works as a high-energy eurobeat song, though I also agree with Larry that it comes off as very vanilla in some sections.  The transition to the ending was just as jarring as the first.

I'll also add that while the performances in the first section aren't too bad, they could also use some improvement in humanization specially the strings and piano.  I don't think this one is quite ready yet.

NO

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With Deia, Larry and NutS on this. The intro section felt very similar to the original track, which made me a little worried initially. The pizz strings were robotic and very dry - probably the biggest problem during this portion. At 1:51 you drop us into upbeat DDR style electronica, revealing the meat of the track. The synths showcased here are quite basic, such as the synth brass, but it suits the style well.

The break at 2:48 was a good time to relax and ease off on the energy. The subsequent build-up included a good amount of original material, which at that point was greatly needed, as up to that point original material was lacking.

Mixing wise, things are not too bad - the electronic sections do get a little busy, I feel this was attributed to the leads creeping into the low end a bit much. This wasn't a major problem though.

I feel this one is close - the pizzicato strings are the biggest problem here for me, I'd like some attention placed on these to bring out some realism, and if you're revisiting, taming the synth leads slightly so they don't overpower the mix during the busier sections would be appreciated.

NO 

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The votes above really echo my thoughts on the piece, so I'll try to keep it relatively brief when rehashing stuff already mentioned.

Dry strings need some 'verb.  Doesn't have to be much, no need to over do it.  Also, I'm not sure how the performers would do a pizzicato glissando like they do at 1:21 & 5:33. (But hey maybe it's possible...somehow?  Just trying to visualize string players doing some sort of sweep-picking with their fingers is a bit humorous to me :) )

The change at 1:55 was SO stark it was super unexpected and a bit jarring to me.  That doesn't mean it can't work, but transition could be more effective in introducing it.  The volume jump for this compared to the initial section also doesn't help and could use a bit of normalization between both parts.  The ending transition to piano was also sudden, but it doesn't jump out as much, probably because we've heard that type of tone/energy already.  Still, it could be more effective than just a sudden drop to piano.

The dance part sounded oddly EQ'd to my ears.  It sounded like it was missing high end on several (if not pretty much all) the parts.  It was most noticeable for me on the drums and bass synth.  It causes everything to have a dull tone.  Also, it's very busy in these sections, so cutting out some frequencies from supporting parts could reduce some sonic clutter.

That said, the writing in this section was fun and had a ton of energy.  I really dig what you've done with it, I just want to hear a more cohesive track in general with a few production fixes.

NO resubmit, please

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