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Everything posted by DragonAvenger

  1. I am also feeling a little put off by some of the harmonic choices going on here. The pad builds I think are the worst part of it, but it definitely through me off. The groove is really nice, and the soloing overall feels pretty good, despite being a little out of time and some occasional intonation issues. I do think that the track strays pretty far from source territory for decent chunks of time, and I think I'd have liked there to be more connections (like in the backing part or even rhythms during a lot of the soloing). There's enough there for a pass, but there are definitely moments that feel like an entirely different song. The crunchy bass and the overall soundscape are a fun combination, and when it is together it feels good. I'm pretty on the fence here, but I do think it slips by here. YES (borderline)
  2. There's not much to add here, but it's a really fun overall soundscape you have here that works well. Definitely plays well with the original and enhances the overall groove feel. Just going to add some small nitpicks that didn't affect my vote. I would have liked a lead change somewhere in the track to let the rhodes have more impact when it came back in. Started to feel just a little same-y towards the end. Additionally the drums have some nice flourishes, but they do stick out a little more than necessary and sometimes are sitting on the same rhythm a little long. Lastly the solo section feels like the comp part is just a little loud and competing with the lead. Really fun track, loved listening to it YES
  3. Nothing much to add that hasn't already been said. I do feel like there are parts that feel a little too mechanical and could have used a little more personalization/humanization in the playing. The arrangement is simple but has a comfortable feel. Very cozy. Overall it's a lovely take on the original. YES
  4. Really torn on this. The arrangement has some nice touches, especially the changes in tempo and the overall changes to approach throughout. But those samples are pretty painful. Brass especially, but I also felt like the snare was super thin. Maybe if the arrangement didn't rely on the brass so much it would be a cleaner choice. In the end I think it's just not there yet without some changes to those samples, and getting the volumes a little more normalized would definitely help as well. NO (resubmit)
  5. Dang, Tiggs has got an impressive range. You go girl! That being said, I feel like the vocals are hitting some very light clipping almost throughout the track. There sounds like there is a light crackle throughout, which is distracting. Not sure how fixable it is, if it's a production thing or if it's from the recording itself. Hopefully something easier to fix than a re-record. Brad wrote a lot. And he's got a lot of good advice. My main crits on the arrangement are that there are some parts that definitely are feeling a little stiff overall, and that the backing doesn't always line up with the vocals. I think the issues aren't a super deal on their own, but with the vocals sounding crackly it just adds up. I think this needs another pass to get those fixed up. NO (resubmit)
  6. Brad really hit a lot of the nitpick points here. I'll add the small one I found as well; the intro harp comes in pretty left-panned which really sounds unbalanced until more instrumentation comes in on the right. Once the piano, etc., did come in it was fine, but the 10-15 or so seconds solo was very strange, especially at the opening of the track. The arrangement is lovely, and I really enjoyed all the little details you've added here. Everything feels very fleshed out and fits in nicely with the original. I especially enjoyed the 1:00-1:20 mark, which had some lovely strings really nicely in line with the melody. Taking into account some of the mechanical instrumentation and some balance issues, I don't think this is the strongest pass ever. However, I think the arrangement makes up for it. YES EDIT 11/6 Listened back to this, and I do think Larry is right on further inspection. When there's a full string ensemble, around the 1:00 mark it sounds relatively fine, but the woodwinds and piano in particular are sounding pretty fake/mechanical throughout, and any exposed sections really bring that home. The intro also exposes the strings and they don't shine well when it happens. I think it needs another pass. NO (resubmit)
  7. Yeah, really not much to add on here that hasn't already been said. I do enjoy the idea you have behind the arrangement, and the little flairs you've added to the melody are very nice. If you can fix up the mastering to not be so loud/varied I'd love to hear it again. NO (resubmit)
  8. My first thought after listening through is that this one definitely goes on for longer than it should without some new content going in. There's definitely areas you can trim here so that the mix doesn't get to repetitious. I'd also look into maybe doing some melodic variations to add a different spin to the mix and give it some more personalization. I'm with Brad here on the bass being too muddy overall. It's also got a pretty strong buzz to it that gets very tiring on the ears over time, and when it does drop out later in the track a different synth comes in that is about as harsh, so there's no break. I'd love to hear something less tonally harsh to give the track a dynamic range. I think the overall idea for the soundscape is promising, but currently it's not working. Definitely see about massaging the sounds to let the track breathe a little more, and trim it down so there's less repeating overall. NO
  9. Definitely a very in your face mix right from the start! I think there's a ton of energy here, and the track really melds the two tracks pretty well. I do agree that the track does get tiring towards the end on the ears, and I think some sort of break in the middle would have been nice. Similarly, the track does meander a bit, but overall a solid take on two sources, and they transition pretty well back and forth. Couple tiny flubs but they don't sound egregiously bad in the long run. Really nice use of drums overall, they do a lot to support the arrangement and have lots of nice fills. YES
  10. Yeah, not too much to add here. I agree that this wanders too and from the source, and while it might not pass Larry's standards I'm good for it. I will say that this is a really nice take on the source that I wouldn't have expected. Lovely use of synths and great adaptions of chords throughout. YES
  11. Yeah, this is really tough. There is a lot going on here, and a lot of it is really great, and there are some things that are really holding this back. The arrangement is lush and very well fleshed out. As DJP mentioned there's some Hans Zimmer feelings here, and I can definitely see a woman walking her way through a great wheat field as this plays epically. I appreciate that you absolutely put a lot of care and detail into the various sections of this, and is very much shows. That being said, the flaws do stick out. I don't think there's anything I could bring up that hasn't already been mentioned here except maybe that when the vocals come in and layer with the brass later in the track (~4:40) they start out strong/solo, then repeat with the brass at a lower volume that feels strange. The vocals feel like a soloist, and having them then get swallowed by the brass soon after creates a strange dichotomy. I think keeping the vocal volume up and bringing the brass down as more of a supporting role would alleviate this. All this being said, I think this is a smaller issue in the grand scheme, just something I didn't see brought up by the others. I think for me, the order of importance of things to fix would be: Drums, vocal sequencing, accelerando, and then the rest, with the first two being larger issues than the rest. I've flip-flopped a lot on this, even as I've been typing this out. I think it passes, but it's about as on the fence as I've ever been. Good luck on the rest of the vote! YES (borderline)
  12. I will say that the lead bouncing as it is is a little jarring on headphones. I thing centering it just a little more might have made it less of an issue, but it's a fun concept overall. Really not much to hit on that the others haven't mentioned. I think the style adaption really makes up for the straight forward take on the melodies overall, and the track has a good groove. I'm down for this. YES
  13. Arrangement is fantastic here, really enjoyed listening to this! The mix is energetic and powerful, it really highlights the melody well. I do think the samples aren't the greatest, but the way you wrote for them specifically fits nicely with each instrument's strengths. I also appreciate that the sections have varied moods, and do a decent job of transitioning between each other. Overall to nitpick I do think the piano section sounds like a completely different room sound, and feels out of place comparatively. It's a little jarring, but not a deal breaker in the long run. I'd also have appreciated some of the sections to overall be quieter to allow a bigger dynamic variation. The string section at ~1:57 could have started much quieter (and maybe more rubato too!) and swelled up to create a bigger contrast. Really lovely track overall. YES
  14. This is the first time I've heard this track, so I'm judging it on a flat table here. First thing that I notice is that the organ and vocals are slightly out of time with one another, specifically the attack of the vocals. You may want to adjust them to be just 'ahead' of the beat so that they will land together and make the timing feel better. After that you've got a fun transition into the EDM section which has a nice build. Overall sounds pretty good and punchy, and there's some fun original melodies, but I'm not really hearing where the source connection is until the melody comes in around 0:58. That's close to 48 seconds of not addressing the source, which is substantial in a sub-3 minute track. My first thought is to maybe cut to the melody sooner, like the ~0:42, and save the those 15 or so seconds as a break later in the track. Similarly it could be also done earlier. Doing that would keep the source in the listener's mind more often while also letting you sprinkle the original stuff around and break up the track. I appreciate the variations you've added to the source melody and don't let it play straight every time too. My one nitpick there is the ~2:07-2:11 section is a little bit strange and sounds a bit sour. Maybe see if you can adjust that a little. The other judges have done a far better job of hitting up the more technical aspects of the mix, but I'll definitely third that the compression is definitely pumping here, and I do think the drums feel thin throughout. Please take a look at their advice, since I don't have a better explanation on how to improve them. Appreciate you taking on a great source here, and you've got a lot of good done here, but it's just not ready yet. I know this is a few resubs in, but there's some promise here and learning these sort of tweaks and skills is only going to help improve your mixing and arranging for the better. NO (resubmit)
  15. This is pretty! Agreed with the others mentioning that this would fit really well in a movie or a trailer or something. The leads were definitely the part that felt the most robotic on the sequencing, but I think when put in the whole of the nice orchestration and overall personalization it's not a dealbreaker. Great use of tempo variation, though, I think that is what really sold the mix for me. YES
  16. I think I'm with Gario here. The repetition is pretty obvious, and considering how long it is it really stands out as such. Would love to hear some changes there, even if they are more subtle, or some sound changes. The vocal clips also sound very up-front in the track, and feel like they are tacked on instead of incorporated. Minor thing, but would be nice if they fit a bit better in. Definitely no qualms with source usage, and there's a good amount of energy throughout. Hope you bring this back to us! NO (resubmit)
  17. This is definitely a close one. I really enjoyed the genre change here, and I think it absolutely sounds like it would fit into an 80's highway night drive movie scene. Gotta agree with the others above that the repetition is just a little too much here. I'd love to hear some more change-ups and little differences to bring this alive. The others didn't mention this, but even some subtle changes to the drums would help out. Hope to hear this again! NO (resubmit)
  18. I love an easy mix to close out voting on! Excellent atmosphere, really good melding between the themes, and pretty recognizable throughout. The build-up near the end really gets the heart pounding a bit, nicely arranged to convey a sense of urgency there. Solid mix. YES
  19. Gario and prophet both have the production side of things covered, definitely agree that the balance is just not working well here. I do like the personalization to the track in terms of making it a bit harder hitting and adding the industrial sounds in. I wouldn't mind a little more of an adventurous take as the track repeats the chorus and verse, but I think it does get by in that aspect if it was left as-is. Balance for sure. NO (resubmit)
  20. The piano might be following the original with the higher note/lower note motif, but honestly I would never have picked that out on it's own, and even then it feels like a reach for me. The soundscape has a really creepy vibe to it, and I agree with Brad that it feels very harsh and over compressed overall. The soundscape can definitely work for the bleak feel you're going for, but definitely needs to be brought back a little. NO
  21. Agreed with the YES gentlemen here. There are some balance issues, but I think they aren't a dealbreaker. There were a couple of times where I did want the bass to come out just a touch more as well, but hardly worth going back for. I really enjoyed the combination of instruments, and the overall bubbly nature of the track. Both energetic and relaxed at the same time. Fun track. YES
  22. Brad definitely has this. Nothing I can add here, he summed it up perfectly. I think this is a great piece to really get some solid production practice in on, especially in regards to adding the humanization/pedal in to get a stronger performance aspect. Good luck. NO (resumbit)
  23. Dear lord this source is just about painful to listen to. The arrangement is really a bouncy and playful take on the original. There's a lot of added instrumentation that really fills out the soundscape well, and the use of dynamics really adds a lot of character here. There's also a good amount of variation to what is happening, so no part felt like a repeat, and I was at the end before I knew it. The master is definitely quiet overall, wouldn't mind a bump there. Otherwise enjoyable! YES
  24. Not much to add here that hasn't already been said. There's some good playing, and going for a metal style here really works for the source. Drums really fit well into the track, and they do a lot to accentuate the melody throughout. Nice solo at 1:19 as well. The piano is definitely a bit of a detractor, being as blocky as it is. The overall production is definitely also suffering a bit, lots of mud, especially when things get busy. Definitely something to work on in the future. I also wasn't feeling the squealy stuff going on near the end. It's hard panned, and to me just was a distraction overall. Maybe bringing it back in the mix and centering it a touch more might have helped. Overall this is a close one to me, and I could see it going either way. I think the genre adaption and playing does squeak it over the bar, though. YES (borderline)
  25. Yeah, absolutely agreed with Brad that when it's close in terms of source that gut feeling works well. Listening to this I could recognize the source, and the vocals, while overused, do keep the connection going. I think it's completely fine in regards to source. The mix is catchy, while a bit minimal at times, which really helps emphasize the melodies. I personally wasn't feeling the transition at 1:52, but it's pretty minor overall. The sax solo is fun, would be pretty killer if it was live. The mix is definitely very wet, but it works well for the style you're going, and everything remains clear overall. I'm good with this. YES
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