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Gario

OCR03664 - *YES* Donkey Kong Country "Terror Plant"

8 posts in this topic

Name: CrimzonWolf777

Title of Arrangement: Terror Plant
Name of Game(s) Arranged: Donkey Kong Country
Name of Song(s) Arranged: Fear Factory
 
Comments:
 
I really couldn't think of a clever title for this, so I went with Terror Plant because power plants and I imagined what Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong would feel like being two monkeys in a factory (haha). As far as inspiration, I really like trance music. Hearing the original song, I really felt like it screamed of a trancey (is that a word? lol) type feel. So this came to be. This is actually my 3rd take at making this song. My last take was back in 2009.
 

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Ooo, we're going with a more classic approach - straight up, unabashed four-to-the-floor trance, even with those layered saws toward the end. The sound design works, but I do feel many of the instruments are pretty vanilla (especially the layered saw that starts at 3:51). The production works well enough, though I do hear some overcompression that occurs when everything comes together.

To be honest, this sounds like a classic OCR track from ~2008 rather than something that is normally produced here today. It's a close call, since the crowding that happens in the track is certainly an issue, but I think it edges past our bar with the nice pacing, the expansions on the theme present and the overall phat beats. I suspect this'll be a close call overall, though, so if this doesn't pass pay attention to the crowding that happens in busy sections, and don't be afraid to use less trodden sounds for the sound design.

YES

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The sound design is classic, true, but I got more an 80's synth vibe here, feeling a Eurythmics influence.  I don't have an issue with that.

The crowding is more of an issue to my mind. 2:12-2:39 and 4:05-5:15 in particular get a lot buried in the mid range, and 3:09-3:36 and 4:48-5:15 get fatiguing due to the highs being overloaded.

I too think this is borderline, and frankly I'd love to see this cleaned up and sent back.  There's a lot of really clever accompaniment going on that's barely audible, and I want to be able to appreciate it!  The climax in particular is such a cluttered mess that it's really hard to appreciate.  Ultimately I think enough of this works that I think we can post it--but my own best-case scenario would be if we could get a version with less conflict.

YES (borderline)

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On 9/8/2017 at 7:20 PM, Gario said:

Ooo, we're going with a more classic approach - straight up, unabashed four-to-the-floor trance, even with those layered saws toward the end. The sound design works, but I do feel many of the instruments are pretty vanilla (especially the layered saw that starts at 3:51). The production works well enough, though I do hear some overcompression that occurs when everything comes together.

To be honest, this sounds like a classic OCR track from ~2008 rather than something that is normally produced here today. It's a close call, since the crowding that happens in the track is certainly an issue, but I think it edges past our bar with the nice pacing, the expansions on the theme present and the overall phat beats. I suspect this'll be a close call overall, though, so if this doesn't pass pay attention to the crowding that happens in busy sections, and don't be afraid to use less trodden sounds for the sound design.

Agreed with this, and I'll add that I wish the four-on-the-floor beats during the heavier sections were more creative and varied. Adding in original writing alongside the source chorus starting at 2:45 was a nice touch that helped seal things from the arrangement/interpretation perspective. Agreed with both Gario and MindWanderer about the crowding, but I'll live as well; if we can get an update, awesome, but this can roll as is if need be on the strength of the arrangement. Good to see Crimzon back at it here. :-)

YES (borderline)

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Heh, two 4 on the floor dance mixes of Fear Factory on the panel right now :)

I think Gario and MW captured most of my thoughts on this with the crowding and vanilla-ish sounds used.  I'll also add that despite the crowding, the overall levels and impact felt understated for the genre to me.  I think with better mixing, this could be pushed to be a bit more in-your-face classic dance power.  

I also wasn't a big fan of the lead at 1:11, the somewhat slow attack/releases cause overlap and the tone is a bit meh to be, but fortunately it has a very short part in the mix.  The lead at 1:58 was better tone-wise, but feels too tiny & centered compared to the more lush, reverbed backing instruments and heavier beats.

Hmm, I didn't really even notice it the first time around, but there's another lead synth which is buried behind the other parts at 4:21.  Both because of mixing issues and understated tone, it can't cut through everything else.  This section in general is the weakest for me as it's supposed to be the big payoff for the track, but is cluttered and imbalanced (lead vs backing).

Arrangement had clear execution on the original themes while creatively adapting and expanding parts throughout.  Was nice and varied as well to keep it interesting throughout.

I know I'm in the minority here, but with the mixing and the leads having significant issues in my mind, I'm not feeling like this one is quite ready to go.  I was on the fence until the 4:20-5:20 section (the climax of the mix as mentioned before), which pushed it into resub territory for me.  I won't mind if it gets the nod, so don't mind me if I'm just the curmudgeonly old man judge on this one.

NO resub, please

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Instrumentation here was a little generic during the intro sequence, strings at 0:30 in particular were a bit too basic, but don’t play for too long. The lead sound which hits at 1:13 was a strange choice and didn’t fit, but the twinkle like lead afterward hit well. Things then retrace backward and build up again, this time with a lead synth driving things. The distorted lead at 3:09 had a great sound to it and was one of the better sounds in the mix, with some nice slides and licks. Things then break down and build up again based on earlier sections, making way for a basic trance lead that eventually takes us to the outro. Despite the sound choice here, this section brought some nice movement to the mix, but came a little too late IMO.

The arrangement here goes for a considerable amount of time, and although things do change up, the lead changes that occur throughout do most of the work in holding the listener’s interest (as opposed to changes in writing or entirely new sections). This isn’t necessarily bad, but I felt that things were starting to get repetitive near the 4 minute mark, at which point more significant arrangement changes did start to occur, which were sorely needed. Not to knock on the earlier portions (the mid way section was a great change of pace), but I found the last few minutes of content here were more energetic, which would’ve worked better in the arrangement if introduced sooner. Fills were noticeably similar through the mix, with the same drop sequence feeling overused by the time we reach the end of the track. Source is hinged off strongly, with original elements sprinkled through.

Production is somewhat of a mixed bag. There isn’t any major low end conflict here, although some parts could do with a little less bass to let the low end breathe better. Most sound problems for me came from the generic sound design used through most of the mix, as well as mixing issues with some parts, predominantly the lead instruments. Some backing parts were louder than they needed to be, while leads found themselves buried behind the supporting instruments at times due to the amount of parts playing. Things were a bit dry and lacking in reverb.

This is a tough one for me. The vanilla sound design would’ve been ok if it was the only issue, but I feel the arrangement goes a bit too long, with good ideas stretched a little thin. Tweaks to some instrument levels wouldn’t hurt here either to reduce clutter. I feel some small changes in track length, arrangement layout and mixing levels would make a large improvement to this track.

NO (borderline)

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This mix could be HUGE if things were stereo-spread better.  The entire drum track is hammering away in mono.  If this were my track I'd make copies of the clap track and the hats too, and make them very wide (haas, even) and mix the copies in with the original, and what a difference that trick makes.  Many of the synths could also have more movement, either filter movement or creative panning.  Even with the synths being vanilla, some creative movement would bring this track to life.  In a track like this, having a soundscape that is alive is everything. I like the track, and none of what I've said here is enough to reject it, but I see a lot of lost mixing potential here.  Perhaps suggestions for next time.

YES

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I'm in line with the YES borderline group here. There's definitely some overcrowding and if that were cleaned up it would be cool, but the track flows well and has some nice personalization on the arrangement. The track didn't feel overly repetitive either through s some good use of personalization. Good luck on the rest of the vote.

YES (borderline)

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