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Gario

OCR03657 - *YES* Secret of Mana "Under Cover of Night" *PROJECT*

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I might as well sub this to the site as well. Part of the almost released by now Secret of Mana album. Comments about the remix can be found on the album.
 
Files, v13, mp3 and wav:
 
"Under Cover of Night"

source: #12 In the Dead of Night

 

 

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This is an interesting track. It's a really slow-burning build-up with a solid payoff, build with some simple sounding samples (I hear you, artificial choir). It's repetitive, but it's repetition done right; areas that sound like they're going to repeat material take unexpected turns. The ending peiters out in a bit of an unsatisfying way, but it's not that big of an issue.

Considering the overarching presence of the kick in this, it could've used some more body. It's got the low end covered, but if you're going to be sidechaining for space with it some more lower mids to give it more presence would've made them stand out better, and just sound more satisfying overall. What's here isn't bad, but in my humble opinion it could've been better.

I'm going to note that the overall instruments used in this are pretty vanilla, but I really like how they're handled overall - they all have some nice presence, and they're sprinkled throughout the track, utilized in different ways and combinations throughout. The instruments are vanilla, sure, but they're handled in such a way that they don't ever feel distracting or boring. Kudos for that.

Overall, I think my issues are nit-picky and minor - overall this is a smart arrangement and blending of sources that really grows on you. Good stuff, I like it.

YES

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I'll echo my eval of this for the album:

This is a tough source to work with, the melody consisting of only 6 notes, the bass of just one note, and that's all there is to it.  When I saw in the notes that "Angel's Fear" was also referenced, I figured Rozo cheated by using that to pad it out, but he actually used it very little (3:15-3:45 and 5:19-6:20).  Otherwise, this does a great job on building extensively on very little.

There are some briefly conflicting sections, especially 5:51 on, but I think this is more than passable even with them.  It's clever and surprisingly enjoyable.

YES

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Smooth groove within the first 30 seconds. Enjoyed the change soon after, although the distorted synth sounds a bit squelchy. 1:25 introduces some nice ambience. The minimalistic approach to instrumentation and layering seems to work well here, with not too many things happening at once, but with sections changing often to maintain interest.

At 1:56 we’re taken to another section slightly varied from earlier, and 2:27 the drop once more. The drops did not hold the kind of impact that the listener was expecting, but were passable. The sounds are quite reminiscent of minimalist 80’s soundtracks at times, with basic synths and more realistic percussion sprinkled through. 2:51 brings a good uplifting change to the baseline which changes the feel of the top layers. 3:47 I wasn’t as much of a fan, the basic choirs confusingly detracted from the rest of the mix - it shouldn’t have made a difference because the mix to this point was based on more basic sound design, but it still didn’t feel right to me. Beginning the close out with the electric piano which built up into a larger extended ending, was enjoyable. 

Source is strongly apparent throughout with a decent amount of originality thrown in to take us to duration, which was impressive given the source is quite short. Production seemed ok, parts were very dry and could have done with a touch of reverb in places, but while things were minimal they didn’t feel empty. I found this mix to be quite original in its execution, with clever use of changes to arrangement to keep things interesting.

YES

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Talk about getting a lot from a little! I was quite impressed with how long you were able to make this given the very short source you had to work with. It's especially impressive given that you were able to add a ton of details that really kept things interesting without staying too far from the original. Aside from that there's little to add that the others haven't already brought up. Great work here.

YES

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