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About Jivemaster

  • Rank
  • Birthday 07/06/1982

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Australia (Brisbane, QLD)

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  • Biography
    Made a name for himself by being one of the first to bring old Sonic tracks back to life with some creative synthage and a touch of guitar. Now lurks the boards from time to time, adding the odd comment, and submitting the odd remix.
  • Real Name
    Joel Bird
  • Occupation
    Systems Training Officer; Producer, Designer
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  • Xbox Live Gamertag
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Artist Settings

  • Collaboration Status
    2. Maybe; Depends on Circumstances
  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
  • Software - Preferred Plugins/Libraries
    Plugins are for pussies 8-)
  • Composition & Production Skills
    Drum Programming
    Mixing & Mastering
    Synthesis & Sound Design
  • Instrumental & Vocal Skills (List)
    Electric Bass
    Electric Guitar: Rhythm
    Vocals: Male

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  1. Jivemaster

    *NO* Secret of Mana "Heaven Forgive Me"

    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
  2. Grindy noise stuff to start us off. Snare is a bit weak. The next section with the solo synth shows promise. Things fall apart when the drop hits - drums become lost, bass overwhelms other parts, and a low end muffle becomes present. 1:37 brings us back to the synth lead playing alone, with some percussive elements and accompanying synths are introduced. The parts here while right in some ways, don't feel like they fit together in the melodies they're playing. At this point the main arp theme has repeated with change for some time. 3:20 again introduces us to the wubs. Some nice sound design here, better than the first round. Muffle is still present but not as much. The balance is off a bit with the wubs being quite heavy but mostly occupying one stereo channel over the other. Otherwise the section while chaotic worked ok. We then fade out with more grindy noise. I appreciate the work that has gone into trying to paint the melody in a different light over the course of the duration. I think the mix would've done a lot better if some changes to the main arp melody were made over time, or at the very least, the synths playing it were tweaked over time in some way. Sadly, most times where these sections are playing things are fairly static. Conversely the chorus sections are quite busy with a number of changes happening each bar (almost too much in some circumstances). Ultimately I think the mixing on this one holds this back - when many instruments are playing things sound crowded and lack breathing room, and the drums while trying to be impactful are very weak due to being drowned out by the layers taking their sonic space. I feel there are parts playing in the busy sections that could at the very least have their low end dialled back so the growls have space to wub in. This would bring much needed clarity to the piece. NO
  3. Feels like a slower paced, film focused version of the original tune. Agree with the others that there is some nice chord usage here across the arrangement, altering the feel and emotion of the original. Brass patch sounds quite basic however, which really dragged down the overall orchestral illusion. The stronger brass sections were also very crowded sonically, with a lot of frequency overlap between the instruments, with cloudiness as a consequence. This would've been a lesser issue for me if the sections weren't revisited several times, more care should've been taken here when mixing. Otherwise I found the sound quality and mixing mostly passable. As the others here don't have any major problems with the mix, I am ok to let this through, but the presentation would be far stronger if the brass were corrected. You've brought a new angle to the original tune with your arrangement, with a soundtrack vibe making it feel suitable for a DK animated short. YES
  4. Very funky, retro instrumentation melded with a modern soundscape. A lot of nice articulations in the background instruments, which add a professional flavour. The piano solo at 2:17 sounded somewhat robotic, but had a good melody to it. The instruments complement each other well. I hold the same opinion as Chimpa and NutS, the vocals float above the mix far too much, and the outro fadeout is insanely short - I know tracks on the game did this but I don't think it needs to be done as aggressively, it didn't suit in this case IMO. I would appreciate a revision of the outro to fade things out over a slightly longer timeframe, and have those vocals descended into the mix more, so they feel a part of the presentation. I'm not sure how rapidly this can be achieved. I'll NO for this moment but happy to Yes if I can hear the improvements. NO (conditional on vocal mix and ending) Vote updated on 180224, based on new mix: I like the vocals more now than before, especially, during the chorus portions. I do feel they have become too dry during the verse sections, but overall a solid improvement - they no longer feel like they've been dropped on top of everything and no longer overpower other portions of the mix anymore. I can also make out a lot more of your vocal articulations in this mix, which make your vocals easier to appreciate. You have a great voice, one which doesn't need to be buried in effects to be appreciated, which is trait many would kill for. The outro was serviceable. Of course this could be pushed even further, but this passes for me. Good job. YES
  5. Nice tidy arrangement. Your melding of different sources was quite impressive here, with no real points in time where I found the transitions jarring or overly noticeable. I somewhat agree with Larry regarding the piano in this piece. Being a solo piece, it was certainly noticeable that the piano lacked body and weight in its notes. When notes were struck with more velocity the patch felt better, while softer portions were a bit weaker and underperforming in comparison. If there were other production issues present here as well (eg: strong compression of dynamics, narrow stereo width, sharp EQ), this would have certainly caused my vote to go elsewhere, however I didn't find the piano lacking so much that its lack of weight dragged it under. Pacing and articulations across the arrangement feel well done, and while not overly complex, there was a good level of variety to be heard here - which certainly helped take the attention away from the patch being fairly average. YES
  6. Relaxed and atmospheric. The 16-bit flute sounds were ok but I found them slightly out of place amongst the synths/sting/pads during the intro. When the piano arrives around the 1 minute mark, you can feel the master bus compression/limiting is quite strong, with some noticeable “heat” on the piano notes,which I felt was worth mentioning. Things continue on at a relaxed pace, with the flute returning as lead around 2:50. At this point of the mix it is quite buried in the sea of atmosphere synths/strings/pads, and being the only melody playing at the time, I felt it really should’ve been louder. 3:40 introduces a nice breakdown with layering back up over time - even though the song’s pacing didn’t require it, it was a welcome introduction. 4:50 returns to the main theme, flute is again too soft for being the main lead here. The main groove marks the final portion, I found the outro somewhat lacking, with the song kind of just ending on a few notes instead of winding down and closing us out properly. Apart from the outro I don’t think the track here is too bad arrangement wise, but it does have some mixing issues that hold it back - such as the flute not being loud enough for lead duties, and some sections feeling a bit too hot compression and/or limiting wise (which was more apparent due to track’s overall softer vibe). If it was me I’d want another crack at this for fine tuning, as these issues would be quick to fix and would strengthen the presentation here. NO
  7. Quite a busy track here, things kick off fairly suddenly with guitar and brass riffing. The groove developed over the course of the first minute of the track was gradual and well executed. 1:24’s vocoder break was great and unexpected. The subsequent synth solo and organ afterwards were a cute addition. 2:47 presents us with another solo, and a short vocoder section closes us out. The song feels like it crams in a large amount of content for the tidy duration. A couple thoughts after listening - while things were quite busy through the course of the mix, there wasn’t really ever a time where the soundscape was too full, which is a testament to good mixing. A slightly more developed intro and outro would have been to the track’s benefit, as I feel things started and ended a little too quickly. I also felt that while the source was there, it would’ve been good to have thrown in some verbatim use of the main melody as opposed to the faster more embellished version found here. Otherwise, solid job. YES
  8. Things begin with a swelling synth intro with water/splashing samples panned between ears. At 0:50 a rising synth somewhat reminiscent of a drill hits creating the beginning build-up. Where the song should’ve begun at 1:06, a build-up instead occurs again for a few more bars, finally leading into a buzzy and somewhat mid heavy bass line driven groove at 1:37. The main theme is finally introduced at 2:18. A portasynth with a smooth amount of slide plays lead, and while basic, brings with it a somewhat spacey atmosphere which I think works well. Things go on like this for a while until 3:34 where a distorted synth comes in playing an original melody. Some notes here were slightly strange but didn’t seem too out of place. A variation of the earlier grove continues to play bringing us past the mid point, with a synth string lead taking over. The portasynth lead returns at 5:43 accompanied by the string synth. The distorted synth returns at 6:35 with a slight variation on its prior melody, adding some much needed variation. 7:25 brings back the rising drill and returns us to the spacey atmosphere, with obligatory wave/water samples to help close things out over the next 2 minutes. I have mixed feelings arrangement wise with your track. While there are quite a few different sections across the arrangement, the mix felt like it went for too long during some of these sections. Some sections took too long to build up, or didn’t vary enough over the duration they played. The outro took a long time to wind things down to a conclusion, and could’ve easily been halved with all content retained. Drums throughout the mix were heavily looped and could’ve done with a bunch more variation. Source was noticeable throughout. Mixing was not too bad but improvements could be made. Some of the later leads had too much bass (like the distorted synth), which took over the low end when they were playing. Parts are mixed quite loud against each other, and although there wasn’t any point here where I found things overly crowded, it would have been nice if there was some more space between each layer. While the others didn’t have any issues with the length/variation ratio, I did find the track overly long for what is contained here. Yes there are a number of different sections, but not as many as you think - returning sections might have a new layer over them for example, but often play out in similar ways, taking away from their individuality. This is further made noticeable by the drums, which almost play the same pattern for the majority of time they’re present. For close to a 10 minute song, this is a long time to play the same drum line. I may stand alone, but I couldn’t help but feel the strong content you do have here is spread unnecessarily thin over a long duration, and would benefit greatly from a rethink of the song’s overall progression. NO
  9. A very strange intro sequence indeed, leaving us wondering where you’re going to go with this. The first 30 seconds contain some basic percussive and string elements, then we build up to a brass driven version of the main theme. Lots of changes throughout the mix, with various instruments taking turns at leading, as the others riff about. The change of pace at the mid point was short lived but worked well to allow things to build up again. The sax solo in the final third was unexpected. Mixing is clear and separated appropriately. While there could be a bit more compressive glue between the parts, I appreciate that the artist has instead sided with open clean dynamics. Although the source is delivered in a fairly straightforward manner here, there is a good level of variety between sections and instruments used, making the mix feel fresh for the majority of the way through. A solid original take on the original. YES
  10. Jivemaster

    *NO* Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 'Wood Requiem'

    The song starts quite suddenly and doesn’t waste any time. I found what you did throughout the duration to be well done, in terms of progression and sound choices. I didn’t think the sweeping pans of the hats posed too much of a problem for me personally: they are fairly low in volume and created a sense of movement that completements the main percussive rhythm as the mix progresses and builds up, but I can understand that some would find this distracting - to compromise you could look into making the panning half as fast by taking an entire bar to pan as opposed to half, or alternate hat sounds between the ears. Comparing to the source: I didn’t have as big of an issue here either with usage, I see where you’ve expanded on the original. What is hurting you here however is that you’ve been too transformative in your creation. I feel this submission would’ve been better accepted if you had used the introductory bars to introduce more verbatim source and then transitioned into the more rhythmic version we have here as things progress, while taking the opportunity to circle back every now and then to tie verbatim source into the mix. I think this can make it if you can work in some of these suggestions. NO
  11. Jivemaster

    *NO* Final Fantasy 4 'Devotion to the Motif'

    The arrangement progresses steadily, changing things up not long after parts are established. The choice of opposing rhythms I feel worked for the most part, creating a more upbeat version of the original. What I feel didn’t work here as much were the points where some notes met, causing occasional clashes or odd combinations which were rarely a once off but repeated fairly routinely throughout the patterns that played. The combination of sounds fit together ok. The strings and synths occupy a large section of the spectrum, which causes a bit of crowding to occur between each other in the mids and low end. Some tweaks to EQ and a HPF on the parts that don’t need as much bass would alleviate these problems. The pitch bends throughout the mix I felt were overused, this in combination with some already dissonant notes, became jarring on the listener over time as a result. At the halfway point things pick up a bit, when the main groove brings things together and fills out. This is where the mix shines the most, although we still have the various issues outlined above that continue on and bring the track down for the remaining duration. My thoughts are that the track here has promise with some unique ideas but overused techniques that need polish and refinement, as well as a rethink required of the overall arrangement to in some way, avoid harmonic clashes. NO
  12. 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
  13. 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)
  14. Slow paced rendition of the original. We start off with a short introduction of sound effects and organ chords, followed by a clean guitar lead that plays for most of the reminding play time. The guitar fits the lead part well, with some good levels of originality featured in the riffs played. At 2:38 we break into some distortion lead playing mostly the same notes from before, until 3:16 where we get some lead doubling followed by a solo. This made the section feel more original and less like what had come before it, but should’ve come sooner. The arrangement progression while safe, did include enough original material amongst the main melody to keep things fresh. At 4:20 things felt like they were winding down well but kept going - not that the material here was bad, but it felt like it drew out the distortion lead section for too long. The clean guitar comes back in to close us out, which featured some nice layering of foreground and background elements. Not a bad mix. Quite an original take on the track, although I feel with the ideas presented here and the slow pacing of the track, if we had just transitioned sooner between each part, we’d have a better mix overall. YES
  15. Interesting to be judging a track both composed and remixed by the same artist. Nice tune btw. Things start off fairly subtle, with the main piano motif playing, with some string accompaniment. Synths progressively drop in from 0:35 following a couple of patterns, with these patterns layered to create variation. There are a few subtle sound affects along the arrangement which are appreciated, and changes between collections of instrument layers happen fairly often to help retain interest. The biggest thing that stuck out to me was the main theme is echoed here pretty regularly throughout, with a reliance on the accompanying instruments to bring the originality. This is of course ok to do, but I would’ve liked to hear more original sections which broke away from the main theme entirely, as well as less repeats of the original material that is here. The strings for example play similar parts, and do the same fill each time a change to a new section occurs. The synths play fairly consistent patterns. Coupled with the main piano motif, by the end of the track, this repetitiveness became pretty noticeable to me, which shouldn’t really happen for a track of this length. Production quality here is ok. The low end sometimes gets a little too busy but not to the point where I couldn’t make out the individual parts. There is a slight muffle to the overall production, which would be fixed if the highs on some parts were brought out more. Overall the remix is ok, but I think the arrangement is lacking in variety and original material. Yes it has its own sound compared to the original piece, but in itself I don’t feel enough happens here. YES (borderline)