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Old 12-11-2011, 03:57 AM
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DragonAvenger DragonAvenger is offline
Deia Vengen, Judge, Unsung Heroes Asst. Director
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*NO* Pokémon Black & Chrono Trigger 'Oracle of the Spire' *RESUB*

Original Decision

Contact Information:

ReMixer name: AlmightyArceus

Real name: Jordan Wynne

eMail address:


UserID: 33305

Submission Information:

Games arranged: Pokémon Black/White ; (Chrono Trigger)

Name of Arrangment: Oracle of the Spire

Name of individual Songs Arranged: Tower of Heaven ; Secret of the Forest

Composers: Junichi Masuda/ Yasunori Mitsuda

Links to Originals: Tower of Heaven -
Secret of the Forest -

More Information about mix: This little gem was created after one of my favorite songs from Pokémon Black and White. I changed the feel of the song to something of a more light, relieved setting than that of the tense, minor feel of the original; while still keeping the mysterious air within the song. I wanted less of a strong drum beat, and more of a smooth, flowing piece, like the feeling you would experience by standing at the top of the tower, with clouds surrounding you and the sun setting in the distance. A feeling of prophetic influence and glorious release to the sky surrounding. As such, the arrangement focuses less on the drums and more on the chords and flow.

Many have made the remark that the melody of "Tower of Heaven" is nearly identical to that of "Secret of the Forest," and with that fact in mind, I decided to mix that in with the rest, to make a nice minor bridge of the song, both pulling some of the original tension and feel from the OST, and also referencing the close connection between the two songs. "Secret of the Forest" was not meant to be the main feature of the song; it is more of an excerpt to express similarity and to add a bit more tense--but beautiful--feel to the bridge.

This track was produced entirely on Garageband 2011, by ear, aside from the drum tracks which were arranged on FL Studio 9 by TheGuitahHeroe. TheGuitahHeroe also assisted in cleaning up the production of the composition for the resubmission. I take massive pride in this production as it is one I have spent the most time on this piece. I particularly enjoy the lead writing I produced for this arrangement, as well as the solo piano chorus that is written in. I do enjoy using the chords and toying around melodically with them, so you will definitely hear some playful sixteenth note chromatic licks within the song.

I hope you thoroughly enjoy the track I have to offer!

Last edited by Palpable; 04-11-2012 at 01:56 AM. Reason: closed
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:04 PM
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Deia Vengen, Judge, Unsung Heroes Asst. Director
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There's a definite difference in the production compared to the original submission, but the rest of the arrangement is the same as before. Listening to it this time, I will agree with Andrew on the last vote that the noodling makes the track feel like there isn't a clear sense of direction going on. Despite that, I do feel like the piece does develop, and I do feel like there is development of the source material.

I'm a little torn on this as a result. It's a close vote, for sure, and there are some factors that could be changed to make this a stronger candidate for a YES. For me, I think it is over the bar as is, but I can see other judges going the other way.

Old 12-19-2011, 07:50 AM
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Well, the drums are sounding a lot better than I remembered, and that was probably the weakest point of the song for me last time I heard it and with TGH's help and the improved production quality it's definitely passable now.

I still feel like your poor-quality samples are bringing down the quality of your songs overall, despite some very strong writing and improved production, I would look into what kinds of upgrade packs or even a totally new workstation that you could get your hands on, if GarageBand is too much of a limitation. It's possible to make OCR-level material GarageBand but upgrading to a more powerful DAW, or even something like Reason would likely help out your craft immensely. Just my personal opinion though, go with what you're comfortable with.

The arrangement is still very meandering and I'm surprised it's taken me this long to notice it, but at the same time I find myself digging the approach all the same. Taking a pretty basic melody and going almost constantly back and forth between soloing and source is chaotic and somewhat unconventional, but it lets you showcase your lead-writing talent in a very unique way, and I don't think the approach lessens my enjoyment of the remix to the point where I'd NO it. It's a close call at the end of the day but I'm willing to go in your favor. You've put a huge amount of effort to fixing this up and even though you've still got a long way to go in terms of reaching professional production standards, I think this could hold its own in OCR's catalog. Good luck, keep improving!

YES (borderline)

· OCR Staff · Judge ·
Old 01-20-2012, 06:26 AM
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I agree that it goes a little off the rails melodically, but the sources were never lost on me. production was a definite improvement, passable imo, but I agree that you might wanna think about expanding your horizons, in terms of your workstation.. like Emu said, it's not like you can't make good things in GarageBand (you've done so here), but.. well.. I'll just leave it at that.

nice job,

Old 02-28-2012, 01:05 AM
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As a former garageband user, I recognize a lot of the limitations you have to deal with here, and I think you've done a pretty good job with a lot of them. The synth still doesn't have much modulation, though the portamento helps. The piano sequencing is super stiff, and the section where it has some crazy run was way too exposed to sound so mechanical. I think the plinking here and there throughout the track can work being mechanical, but for the run, you gotta massage those velocity levels.

Drums sound better for sure, and the overall production is improved, but the details on the synth and piano need to be addressed, and the noodled sections get really far from the heart of the source, I feel.

You are moving in the right direction, but still have a ways to go.

No, please resubmit
Old 02-28-2012, 12:52 PM
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The samples weren't the best quality and I felt there was a mixing imbalance. Drums were plodding, and the main synth was a little annoying because of the lack of movement that OA mentioned. I also agree that there wasn't enough flow to this piece - the direction and some of the piano and synth writing felt random. Sorry, I think this needs more work.

Old 03-11-2012, 08:37 PM
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There was no build to the over-the-top synth soloing only 26 seconds after the song truly kicked off, so the synth noodling during the very first section (:59-1:18) sounded VERY awkward, especially because it only dresses up an otherwise super straightforward melodic arrangement. It also ends up sounding out of place on top of such a simple, laid back groove. Some of the other soloing sounded a bit more measured at least, but the first shot was too much and too soon. I'd expect to hear something like that in a closing section, not the very beginning.

Fairly nice piano at 1:23. Agreed with OA about the mechanical-sounding sequencing, but compositionally it was very nice and the tone was very beautiful. More super-busy soloing from 1:37-1:50. At 1:53, the piano sounded a little too distant and lo-fi, but not a big deal; nice composition there. Realism aside, nice little piano flourishes at 2:21 & 2:32 as well.

The left and right hands of the piano along with the synth at 2:38 sounded pretty dischordant until 2:51, obviously on purpose (to create a sense of foreboding as the leadup to the "Secret of the Forest" usage). Though I'm not sure the dissonance quite worked, I see what you did there, and I'm ultimately cool with it.

Never been a fan of key changes, like at 4:01, but nothing that affects the vote. This kind super-busy synth soloing is better suited near the end, but it still doesn't click, IMO. This is more subjective, but be careful of this kind of soloing that doesn't sound focused. It's easy to go off the rails just trying to create something "different" from the source for the sake of satisfying the arrangement requirement and not copy-pasta'ing the source melody exactly. But it's gotta have more direction than this. I think a great example of pulling off memorable synth soloing is WillRock's "Waking the Fish," which you could check out for some guidance.

The source usage is apparent and things are fairly solid on that level, which is why I didn't comment too much on that. On that front, you just need to reign in and refocus the soloing parts so the positioning and flow of everything makes more sense.

This isn't far off from being passable, IMO, and I wouldn't be upset if it did, but I'm in the OA/Palpable camp that this needs some added direction and production TLC for the synth & piano would really get this over the bar.

Nice work so far, Jordan, and hopefully you give this one more shot if it doesn't make it; this is coming along nicely.

NO (resubmit)
Old 03-27-2012, 06:56 PM
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Overall vibe here is very cool. It's got a slightly Boards of Canada feel with the downtempo beat and bass chord progression.

Larry has some good tips on the synth soloing, so I won't try to add to that .

I agree with Vinnie that the mixing feels off here. The sustained backing pads & sine-ish bass are a bit too loud, creating a backdrop of constant noise behind what we should be focusing on - the melody lines. Kick feels plenty loud, but muffled, like you rolled off the highs from it. You could probably drop the volume on it a bit, and maybe boost the highs a bit to get it a bit more crisp sounding.

Ending felt like a cop-out to me. :P I'd recommend trying to develop it with a bit more closure.

Very good stuff here, dude, just needs a little more to get it over the bar.

No, resubmit please

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Old 04-02-2012, 11:21 AM
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The main lead is a bit tiring to listen to. The waveform is a bit too simple and it gets pretty grating. Needs to have some kind of modulation to make it more listenable. 2:30 piano just sounds a bit ridiculous, those chromatic runs are harmonically questionable as well as being a bit over the top. Likewise the main drum samples just sound a bit lo-fi in a bad way, i'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume those are just the garageband samples and you've done what you can.

Yeah the above three issues are annoying enough to stop me enjoying it, but the idea is creative and solid and the source tune is great so I definitely want to hear another version of this!


Old 04-11-2012, 01:44 AM
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The synth flying all over the place is excessive, indulgent, aimless, and distracting. Piano starts doing the same thing later on in the piece and it's extremely mechanical. Not really feeling this piece at all.

Other Js outlined issues with drums and balance, so I'm not going to rehash there.

Main offender for me is overdone 'soloing.'

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