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Gario

*NO* Secret of Mana "Heaven Forgive Me"

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ReMixer name: Myrddin Triguel
real name: Myrddin Journaux-James
email address: 
userid: 35033
 
Name of game arranged: Secret of Mana
Name of arrangement: Heavens Forgive Me
Name of individual song arranged: Fear of the Heavens / Angel’s Fear (depending on the version of the game)
Your own comments about the mix, for example the inspiration behind it, how it was made, etc.:
I always loved the music of the game so I got the idea to make an album with Secret of Mana music as “real” songs with vocals and a more diverse structure instead of just being looped BGM.
I want to keep the order of the OST and I get inspirations for the lyrics from the original titles of the songs in the game.
There is already a version of this song on YouTube but for this submission I removed the sample from the original game, changed the title to an individual one and also improved the sound of the piano.
I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making the song.
____________
 
Myrddin Triguel Music
 
℅ Myrddin Journaux-James
 
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Email: 
 
Edited by Liontamer
closed decision

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I'm glad to see this one was submitted - he was questioning whether he should based on the title of the arrangement (which used to be the name of the source), so I'm glad he found another title to work with (and it works pretty well, considering the lyrics).

Overall, I think it's a really cool track: the rock ballade interpretation of that source is a solid one (even if it starts pretty conservatively with the piano and strings), and the vocals really add another layer to the track. The lyrics, while a bit down, actually hit on a pretty relateable topic, which I thought was quite well done. The sequencing of the other instruments (strings, piano), while not perfect work great as an accompaniment. Funny aside, that piano in the beginning almost sounds like the one used in the original source (I know it's not, no worries). Not a bad thing, just an interesting one.

Stealing from my commentary on the WIP boards for a bit: when singing, be careful in your lower ranges. It sounds like you're straining in that range, which causes you to go a bit sharp and overshoot leaps. There are a few other spots where you over/undershoot leaps as well (like at 2:20), so it's something to keep an eye on. Also be mindful of your vibrato; while most of the time it's alright, it does get pretty extreme from time to time (like at 1:11), which causes it to get more out of tune than is stylistically appropriate. It's not terrible (most won't catch it on casual listening), but if you're looking for perfection it's something to watch out for next time.

Most of the vocals line up well enough harmonically with the rest of the arrangement, though at 2:30 it clashes a little. Personally I think it sounds okay - it's not THAT bad of a clash, and in other contexts it would create a pretty interesting cluster chord, but in here it doesn't sound intentional. I'm not going to ding it much here because it's not THAT bad, but do be aware of the harmonies below when otherwise retreading melodic lines.

The production of this is quite solid, with a pretty great mix to tie it all together. The vocals could use some improvement, but they're not quite a disqualifying element in my book, either. Watch those lower ranges and leaps next time, but this time I think it'd sound pretty good on our front pages. We'll see if the other judges agree - good luck on the rest of the vote!

YES

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I think the potential is here for something good, Myrddin, but this needs some additional work on the production/mixing, as well as more interpretation of the source tune for OCR's arrangement standards.

The first dealbreaker was that the treatment of the source theme was extremely straightforward and conservative. There were some good brass countermelodic additions, as well as some original bassline work, but the source instrumentation might as well have been the SPC file if/when it wasn't; it didn't sound like there was any meaningful/substantive difference with the instrumentation, tone & tempo. Also, I felt the source tune had no synergy with the vocals either, IMO.

Also a second dealbreaker, I didn't like the imbalance of the source tune instrumental's volume vs. the vocals and rock part-writing; the source sounded very pushed back and marginalized once the lyrics arrived at :25. Particularly during the choruses, it seemed like the vocals and rock instrumentation were competing to be heard instead of complimenting each other (all while the source tune was quiet). Stuff like the source tune woodwinds at :49 also didn't click with the vocals, IMO.

It's not a terrible track, but it's also a strong NO based on how I see the arrangement standards, as well as factoring in the imbalanced mixing. Not enough effort was done to interpret the source theme, and it feels like the rock instruments and vocals aren't carefully combined with the source tune.

NO

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Holy reverb, Batman!  Definitely in accord with Larry about the vocals overwhelming the source, in no small part because of that massive reverb applied to the vocals.  Plus the source is mostly piano, a sonically greedy and hard-to-mix instrument, and they're both fighting with chorus, woodwinds, electric guitar--everything other than the lead vocals is extremely muddy, and I can only hear bits and pieces of many of the instruments.

I think the arrangement is probably fine.  The piano is extremely conservative, but the addition of the vocals and the accompaniment is good enough--insofar as they're actually audible, which mostly they're not.  And I felt like the vocals meshed perfectly well with the instrumentation, although Gario's comments about the performance are worth emphasizing.

Give the mixing a solid workover and this'll have my vote, but for now I have to give it a

NO (resubmit)

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This one is mixed quite loud, had to turn down my volume from its usual place. Based on the instrumentation, the intro initially left me worried this would be a straight cover, until the vocals are introduced. There's a Bowie feel to the vocals which is quite creative, but I feel the verse parts are mixed too loud. The change in timing/pace at 1:14 worked surprisingly well and things transitioned back to the main theme without any jarring changes. Good job there. The guitar lead portion in the verses' second play through was good for changing things up. The arrangement ends fairly quickly, but not suddenly.

While there arrangement is fairly straight forward, I thought this almost brought enough original elements to the table with its vocals, transitions and additional backing parts (which play around with the main melody) to constitute a remix under the standards. I do see where the others are coming from though, as your arrangement relies heavily on the original song's structure and instrumentation and doesn't depart greatly from the original. Personally, I believe there is room for improvement on the mixing side - if the track wasn't mixed quite as hot into the master bus, and the vocals in the verses were dialled back a bit to sit with the instruments more in the verse sections, things would be working really well here. I'm sure this could pass if revisited.

NO

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From the start, the sequencing feels pretty rigid, especially with the piano hitting the same hard timbre repeatedly (though I hear the volume varies a bit).  Choir that comes in later also has some rigid note changes. 

Balancing feels a bit off to me, like the various elements don't quite exist in the same space and volume needs to be balanced a bit more.  When vocals kick in, the overall volume jumps quite a bit and the backing elements & melody from the original get pretty buried.  Part of it also is there is a mix of really dry elements that are quiet, but then you have loud vocals which have delay on them (and are quite a bit louder) and guitars and drums, which sideline everything else.

Arrangement-wise, this is interesting as the backing non-rock elements are almost verbatum to the OST, but the vocals, drums, & guitar are original additions.  I like the energy you've brought to it, especially with some of the faster, harmonized vocal runs, but  I feel it needs more development of the backing source parts to bring some more personalization to the track beyond layering stuff on top.

Great start here and tons of potential.

NO resubmit, please

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