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Everything posted by Emunator

  1. This is wicked groovy, I love all of the clever modulations and twists you spun on the melody while still keeping things recognizable throughout. Also seconding everyone else who complimented your drums!
  2. Just dropping a quick word that this blew me away. Easily one of the best things I've heard from you, the guitars and vocals add so much to your production. I'm excited to get a chance to evaluate this properly
  3. This is super slick! I don't really have anything to add to what DarkSim mentioned but I wanted to chime in and give this my thumbs up as a causal listener Would love to see this submitted to the site if you're keen to do so!
  4. This remix rides on the strength of the underlying groove and the sheer variety of instruments as you saunter through this arrangement. There's a distinct early PS1-esque character to the sample and production quality here, but not to your detriment - rather, it evokes a nostalgic, quirky quality that is mirrored in the arrangement. Throughout the track, you employ plenty of sequencing techniques, such as pitch bending and vibrato, to breathe life into each of your samples and make the most of what you have. I'm really surprised by how much I got lost in this on repeat listens - without needing a lot of high quality samples or effects, you crafted a wholly immersive experience full of life and character. 16 years since your last submission and you haven't missed a beat YES
  5. Hell yes, we finally get a Cory Johnson submission! I've been a huge fan of your work ever since your post-rock Zelda album ages ago. The sound design here is absolutely off the hook, and the way you've integrated it with more traditional rock instrumentation is incredibly seamless and well-produced across the board. A lot has been said about the guitars and the various effect chains you've employed here, but I also want to comment on the drums, which are written with a lot of finesse and nuance as well and always suit the energy level of the track at any given moment. There's a great ebb and flow throughout the entire track while always pushing toward a final climax, which finally comes at 5:22 - while I was expecting something to happen, the absolute ferocity of it caught me totally off guard and REALLY sold me on this arrangement as a whole. Way to bring it all home! There's a lot of good to speak about this arrangement, and I'm glad you've chosen to send it our way. I sincerely hope we hear more from you in the future!! YES
  6. Damnnnn I love this source tune so much. Honestly one of my favorite Pokémon sources ever, it has a very Chrono Trigger/Yasunori Mitsuda feel to the arrangement. I was fairly ambivalent about the opening minute or so of your arrangement - the samples and sequencing aren't bad, but the adaptation lacked any personal touches or flourishes that really made the orchestration feel unique. I think part of the issue is that the part writing is very static, as Brad mentioned - there's just not a lot of dynamics to that part of the arrangement. I wouldn't necessarily consider it bad but I did feel underwhelmed, compared to the more dynamic, mysterious nature of the source tune. ... which made me all the more surprised by where you took this remix next! After listening fairly extensively on loop, I'm finding myself more and more enamored by the approach with each listen. The groove is simple but effective, and despite all of the instruments having a General MIDI soundfont-ish feel to them, you use them to great effect. The pitch bent guitar really shouldn't work this well, but it absolutely does. On a conceptual level, I can't say enough good things about this - incredibly creative, unexpected stuff. Mixing-wise, I think this could use a cleanup to give a bit more separation between instruments. Especially whenever your woodwind instruments are playing (for example, :18 or 1:45) the whole song sounds very muddy and lacks clarity. I had to actually listen a few times to realize there was even a lead melody at 1:45. Automating the volume of some of your backing instruments ever so slightly, or doing some selective EQ cuts where you have overlapping frequencies can help you clear this up. I also agree that the arrangement just doesn't feel totally complete at just over 2 minutes long. There's a distinct intro, middle, and ending, but neither of the two disparate ideas really feel like they're given enough time to fully develop. Just when I'm really starting to get into the second half of your arrangement, it ends. There's a few angles you could tackle this from, but I'd like to personally see some combination of: Mixing cleanup, more fleshed-out arrangement, and/or something to make the first minute of the song measure up to the creativity and execution of the second half. Any combination of those should put this over the bar in my book! NO (resubmit!)
  7. Really cute selection of sounds going on here, I particularly like the contrast between the playful electronic lead and the more organic backing instrumentation. Slowing down the source into this lazy, hazy groove definitely personalizes it to great effect so that you're not just retreading the same ground as the original song. The pause sfx cutaway was a clever stylistic choice that anyone who's played Yoshi's Island should appreciate (on a totally personal level, as someone who's extensively played Yoshi's Island myself, the repeated use of the crying sfx throughout the whole song actually took me out of the chillout feel of the rest of the song because of the ingame context. I would have liked to hear that used at max once or twice, but that's totally a matter of personal taste.) The main downfall here is that the arrangement sounds incomplete, or intended to function as a loop, which unfortunately doesn't vibe with our submission standards. If you could flesh this out with at least another minute of content and development, I think it would have a much stronger case, but right now this sounds like a strong first demo that needs some more time in the oven. Would love to hear an expanded version of this if you're up for it! NO
  8. I found my opinions to be right on point with @djpretzel in terms of really enjoying what you've laid down here, but finding that it fell just a bit short during the 2nd half of the song. The use of live bass really brings the groove to life, and capitalizes on the funkiness of the original source but in a wholly unique way. This works so well as a lo-fi arrangement, but the concept loses steam as a standalone arrangement when it essentially repeats without adding anything substantial during minute #2. I don't necessarily even think you need to extend the arrangement much, just adding more in terms of embellishment before closing out the track would also achieve the same result. Either way, I dig this a lot but it feels like this could be fleshed out further without sacrificing the dreamy lo-fi feeling you went for. Very close call for me, I don't think this would take much to push it over the bar! NO (please resubmit!)
  9. There's some really lovely writing here! It feels distinctly out of the Pokémon D/P canon, full of nostalgic warmth and unconventional chord changes/melodies, but elevated by a more organic, high-quality sound palette. The sequencing is a mixed bag for me, with most of the leads feeling just a touch robotic but nothing standing out as a major dealbreaker, either. The samples themselves have pretty great tone across the board, so despite the flaws in the sequencing, it still sounds quite pleasant to listen to. Brad touched on the copy-paste section at 1:55, but the addition of the percussion keeps the arrangement progressing overall. Is it the most sophisticated, nuanced choice? Probably not, but certainly nothing that can sink the arrangement for me. I'm sold on this! Good luck with the rest of the vote. YES
  10. Brad did a great job covering this from a theory/writing standpoint, so I won't try to retread that same ground. I will say that the arrangement felt properly dynamic and expressive and I had no qualms from that angle! 3:25 was a jarring transition but the section that followed was properly dramatic. I wished that the ending had a little more time to tail off, the fade felt quite abrupt. This definitely had a "keyboard sampler" quality to the instrumentation, but I have to commend the work you did with what you had. The piano tone, while it wasn't the most realistic, was very responsive to the dynamics of your performance and felt very dramatic. The rest of the instrumentation took on a supporting role and as such, the lack of realism didn't hurt things as much. I feel like if @Liontamer were to vote on this track, he might say something about "not making perfect the enemy of the good" and I would wholeheartedly agree with him! This arrangement is ambitious and grandiose, and it's clear that you put a lot of thought and effort into executing it as best as possible within the limits of your sample libraries. YES
  11. Just a quick co-sign on what the two gentlemen above have stated - there's a lot of great stuff going on here. The groove is fun, and you're tapping into a wide variety of synths that all sound great together, tonally. However, the mixing definitely needs a second pass to ensure that the right elements of the song are coming through at the right times. There's plenty of times where I can't tell what instrument is intending to be the lead melody because all of the melodic elements are mixed around the same volume level. I like the sound of your sub bass, but I'm not sure if it's filling out quite the right frequency range - it sounds strangely detached from the rest of the track. I think Brad is onto something by recommending some additional element to pad out the low-mid range and glue the bass/drums in with the rest of your instrumentation. Right now, there's some great tones and writing at work here, but it's not clicking quite yet. I'd love to see a second pass of this with the mixing tightened up and something new added to the second half to ease up on the direct repetition. Great start! NO (resubmit)
  12. This is immediately serving up Deus Ex vibes. Those detuned FM bells that enter at 1:22 are juicy. The production here is immaculate across the board, full of texture and richness. The pacing of the arrangement is exceptional as well, absolutely nailing the slow build without ever lingering on one idea too long before introducing something new for the listener to enjoy. The fakeout ending at 3:40 was such a treat too, and the glitchy percussion that enters is tasteful and impactful. I can see myself coming back to this a lot - great work! YES
  13. I will say that the piano sounds sequenced better than some of the previous submissions I've heard from you, so the improvement is definitely noticeable! This does feel locked to the grid to a certain degree, but almost in a "player piano" sort of way, so I won't hold that against this track too much. The lack of reverb and dryness of the arrangement overall is probably my biggest complaint, but Brad made a really insightful point about the lack of cohesion between the ensemble that I strongly agree with too. There just doesn't feel like there's a whole lot going on here and it never seems to coalesce into a full-bodied ensemble sound. It's a great concept but I just don't feel like it ever properly clicked together. NO
  14. Hah! That Lost Woods BOTW theme really goes with everything, doesn't it? Right off the bat, I'm digging the adaptation of these themes into a darker electronic rhythm. You take your time building up to full steam but I appreciated the slow burn. The sound design throughout the first few minutes was perhaps smoother around the edges than I would have liked, but the gritty lead that enters at 2:37 gives this the necessary bite to carry the arrangement home. I want to echo Brad's critique of the kickdrums that enter at 2:36, which lacked nuance and didn't sound great to my ears. The other judges have correctly identified that this is a very bass-heavy mixdown and the master limiter gets pushed pretty hard during the choruses. It's less than ideal, and unfortunately features some of the same issues I had with your first submission, but like that one, I found that this was carried on the merits of the creative arrangement and sound design. I do hope you can take some of these critiques to heart for future submissions and use that to improve your mixing game even further! YES
  15. The rhythmic changeups are off the hook!! It's certainly true that this doesn't stray far from the original source, but the way you changed the cadence of the melodies gives it a whole new feel. Your percussion is excellent too!
  16. This is hot! Totally not what I expected out of Deedubs but this keeps getting better and better as it goes on. The production toward the back half is seriously rich. Love this!!
  17. Contact Info: J-BHarmonized James High Soundcloud.com/jbharmonized 33741 Submission Info: Pokemon Black/White Version Tower of Break it Down Original Composer: Shota Kageyama, GAME FREAK https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4u6ht7TtVo
  18. Certainly very close to the original source material, but with some subtle additions. This is on the edge of what I would consider too conservative, but the small changes and additions you brought to the table aren't lost on me! However, the instrumentation and sequencing is another aspect of this track that I feel falls slightly short of expectations. Most of the instruments have a very rigid feel to them that belies the warm, organic soundscape you're looking to create. The biggest offender in my book is the electric piano, which has almost no expressiveness whatsoever and plays heavily quantized to the grid. The piano is definitely the most natural sounding performance of the bunch, and the rest of the instrumentation falls somewhere in between. I find that realism in sequencing is especially important in an arrangement like this where you're working with so few sounds, and everything is so exposed. I have no problems with this conceptually, but the execution in creating a realistic, organic soundscape is not quite there yet, but could easily get there with little effort! NO (resubmit)
  19. This truly does feel like a natural evolution and expansion of some of your previous piano-centric experimental arrangements. It's fascinating hearing some of the same techniques applied to a different palette of instruments. The string ensemble that enters at :40 offers excellent padding for the numerous plucked textures and field recordings that are going on around it. When we transition in the back half to a more synth-driven take, there's still subtle sound design that keep this grounded in the same realm that you've established thus far. It's something clearly different, and the symbolism of the turning of a page is certainly not lost on me, but it still feels like part of a cohesive statement. Keep doing what you're doing... which is, of course, doing something completely different and unexpected every time! YES
  20. Gario nailed it - this is a fantastic take on the source, but less than a minute simply doesn't give you enough time to substantially expand on the concept presented. If this were double the length (obviously without direct copy/pasting) so this could feel like more of a fully-developed musical idea, it's an easy pass - your guitar chops and the way you've expanded on such a short melody so far are A+. No shade intended to you as a musician, just that this doesn't feel substantial enough for the standards that we've established for OCRemix. Hope to hear more from you in the future!! NO
  21. I agree with this take 100%. Rests and space between notes are still an integral part of how a source melody can be transformed and presented in a unique way. Another angle I like to look at source usage from, when we're so close to the 50% mark, is how it is distributed throughout the arrangement. If there was 100% source usage for the first half of the arrangement and absolutely none in the second half, I would judge that more harshly than what I see here, which is a recognizable motif that is used frequently throughout the remix. Although the source is not strictly present at any given moment, you revisit it frequently enough that I never forget that I'm listening to a TMNT remix. Not trying to skirt around the standards here, but in my book this is so close to that 50% mark that it really does come down to a gut feel, so this is my attempt to explain what goes on in my head in a scenario like this. In this arrangement's case, I think you come out on the winning side of the debate. Source usage aside, this is a bangin' track with a rich soundscape, meaty bassline & drums, and a satisfying dynamic curve to keep things from growing stagnant. I dig it! YES
  22. I find myself agreeing 100% with Deia on this - it's very anticlimactic to end the arrangement on a 1-for-1 repetition of a section that was already run through earlier in the track. Even a little arpeggio/countermelody or a change in synth patch to offer some variation is all this needs. It's so close, but the way it's currently presented feels like a letdown. And I also agree that the vocal clips could be better integrated into the mix with some reverb/leveling. This should be a super-easy resubmission if this doesn't pass - love everything else you've got going on here! NO (resubmit!)
  23. I've been holding off on this one for a while because I hate to reject a track that is clearly well put together, well-performed, and by all measures an enjoyable listen, that doesn't meet the standards of interpretation that we're looking for at OCR, but I don't want to keep this languishing for any longer. I love this in a bubble and want to commend your musicianship, but the two judges who have already chimed in have the right call. No shade intended, and I certainly hope to hear something from you with a bit more of an interpretive take in the future! NO
  24. I have to agree the gentlemen above - this has a ton of potential and it's clear that you're doing some fun stuff with the original source material. Prophetik hit the nail on the head that the lack of attention paid to volume is hurting this track a lot. It gives the impression that there's not enough dynamics or "breath" in your arrangement. This is a simple fix that could be accomplished with more selective volume automation, or if you want to give it even more character, filter sweep automation with a bit of resonance baked into your filter. This will help the dynamics of your mix match the natural rise and fall of your arrangement, and also clear up some room so that the synths you really want to highlight at any given point are front-and-center. It will also help some of your synth lines from sounding too vanilla, and add that extra touch of texture to the track overall. Solid stuff overall, but the mixing still sounds like it's unfinished. Hope to hear this again! NO (resubmit)
  25. I've been sitting on this one for a long time. I don't really have a lot to say because I'm not really a fan of this style on a personal level, but the execution is solid enough in my book and is certainly bolstered by the ambition of the arrangement as a whole. Cyril and HeavenWraith both gave spirited performances that carry the track in spite of the technical issues that have been covered, and the mixing is honestly pretty good overall too! The main issues I see are timing-related and some inconsistent reverb levels, but none of that sinks the overall product for me. I'm happy to sign off on this in its current form. YES
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