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Everything posted by Nutritious

  1. From the start, the mixing just doesn't sound right. As mentioned, it sounds very compressed and muddy, but not due to trying to push the loudness envelope. I think some of the low end (on bass/rhythm guitars probably) is being pushed way too high and triggering the compressor really hard. Reigning this in with a mixing pass may improve the clarity a lot. As mentioned above, I'd like to hear better merging of the two themes instead of just essentially pasting them together in the track. On the other hand, I really like the performances and arrangement. Themes are very clearly represented throughout. Harmony notes at 1:48 & 1:56 sound a half-step too low or something. There's also some questionable notes around 2:11. Tons of potential here, but I don't think it's ready yet. NO resubmit, please
  2. Big fan of the Tekken series and it's music from back in the day. Very cool to see it here. In general, it sounds like like you chose to keep a similar style and instrumentation to the original. Really LOVED how you changed it up at :52 & 1:41. Great energy there; these two really take the arrangement side over the top for me, as this is when you take the track in a new direction from the original, while still incorporating the backing synth riff from :17 in the OST. I have to agree with Jive on the crowded mixing, but I think I'd even take it a step further and say that I feel there are mixing issues throughout. The kick is taking up a ton of freq room, top to bottom. The bass synths are taking up most of the rest. When the two drop sections hit, it just exacerbates the situation with additional instrumentation causing even more overcrowding. You can hear it when you compare the drums here to elsewhere in the mix: lots of the low end gets squashed out and you get mainly the high-end click of the kick and a overcompressed snare coming through. I will say, the synths and guitar sound great. Energy is great. I'm good on arrangement. I think this one is very close and I'd be on board with another clearer mixing pass. NO (borderline), resubmit please
  3. Yeah, this has the somewhat odd issue of being pretty quiet overall, while also getting distortion from audio levels being pushed too hard. From my experience, this is usually due to either missing or insufficient compression or specific instruments hitting the compressor too hard. Based on hearing some low-end rumbling during these points, it's possible the remixer boosted sub-bass/bass frequency EQ and maybe added reverb on the percussion, which is inaudibly overloading the compressor. However, looking at the waveform, it looks like there's a brickwall limiter triggering at -2dB, and it's being pushed pretty hard in the more intense sections. If this is the only compression on the track, that could also explain the issue. Ideally, you should be able to improve the mixing to get the parts more balanced, get the percussion levels under control with compression, and moderately boost the levels of the entire track, while eliminating all audible compression artifacts or distortion. Beyond that, the instrument samples themselves sound great, but the many of the writing consists notes without velocity/timbre changes. Some dramatic swells on the sustained notes, variation on the stabs could go a really long way here. Liking the energy here, this definitely has potential. NO, resubmit, please
  4. I think short mixes can work, as long as there has been enough arrangement work to personalize it. That said, sub 2 mins is VERY brief, so IMO it's going to need to check a lot of boxes really quickly. Performances sound really good. The leads are oddly quiet compared to the rhythm guitars. They're audible, but definitely feel like they should cut though more. Some minor mixing tweaks would be an easy fix there. Super nitpicky me feels like the snare is a bit overcompressed, making it sound kind of tiny and squashed, but that could be personal preference. First run through of the melody is pretty close to the original writing, though the second go takes more liberties with writing. From 1:30 on is simply atonal guitar chugs and drums over the background synth sequence, which honestly felt like a really big letdown after all of the energy and cool performances prior. I guess I have an opposite opinion than Jive in that respect, because it doesn't really come off as much creative arrangement to me and more trying to quickly wrap up the track with basic, repetitive writing. The fact that this takes up a full 25% of the track is really not helping on the arrangement front IMO. Hope I'm not coming off as too tough on this one. I can see both sides on this, but for me it's not quite enough to push it over. NO resubmit, please
  5. OK, also coming in fresh here. Liking the intro synths. Drums sound very repetitive & stilted sounding for much of the track. They could also use some more punch to stand up against the louder section. Before that section, it was a pretty cool retro-ish synth take with all the delay in there reminding me of some of Alexander Brandon's work. I'm really not sure about the 1:12 section, honestly. The synthy guitar really overpowers everything, especially the drums, which get just about completely buried. It kind of just sounds like a mess, both mixing wise and guitar writing (I'm really sorry to say ). The 1:49 transition/slow down sounded awkward. I feel like it's in the unhappy medium between a quick, dramatic drop-off and a more gradual slowdown. The later speed-up hit more on the gradual side and sounds ok. This came off a very cover-ish for the first almost two minutes. Honestly, it almost felt like the track didn't truly start until the violin section, which I actually found to be by far my favorite portion of the track. It's super chill with an interesting take on the original. I kind of wish the whole song was this style, or maybe a combination of this and the chill delayed synths towards the beginning. I was a bit disappointed when it ended and we got a retread of the original synthy parts with some additional elements added in. Ending felt unfinished as it's mainly just elements dropping out with a drum fill. This has a lot of potential, and I will reiterate how much I actually really love the middle violin section, but I think it's all being dragged down by mixing, drums, & the synth guitar sections. NO (resubmit)
  6. I really love the ideas you've brought to this. Great arrangement, lots of energy. Performances sound really good with plenty of little touches added. Progresses really well from section to section, keeping it interesting. I will echo 100% the issues with the track pushing the levels way too hard. It's hard to bring this many elements to the energy level you while keeping a clean sound, but it is possible. This needs a complete rework on the mixing/mastering side, making sure to avoid clipping & squashing things with a compressor. Also agree with Rexy's take on the notes on the 2:51, as it definitely was not clicking together correctly note-wise (and thanks to her for the specific note callout making it easier to fix). Sweet track, just needs production love. NO (resubmit)
  7. I'm not sure how to fully elaborate on what Larry & Rexy are hearing, but overall, each of the elements to me sounds dry, upfront, and without much nuance to the synth patches. The melody line specifically stays right in your face for a really large portion of the track - basically, the majority of the second half of the song stayed in the same gear, with the same instruments, lead, etc (even when the track changes to the B section of the original or into your original writing) until the outro starts at 3:06. It honestly gives me the impression of being the background music for a mobile version of the game that isn't necessarily trying to present a standalone track. I liked how you started to take 1:30 in an alternate direction, with some original writing playing around the original melody. I'm not 100% sure all the notes gelled with the chord structure at 1:56, but it seems to work overall. I don't mean to be too negative on this one and it's entirely possible I'm being too critical with the above, but I really would like to hear a bit more development of the soundscape to give some contrast between major sections beyond just the subtractive breakdown in the middle. You've got a really solid base here and I'd really like to hear it come back. NO resubmit, please
  8. Nice powerful, yet clean sound through the intro. The 1:30 beat is pretty sick, I like that section a lot. Melody use is pretty straightforward, but I think it works here. I really only have an issue (like the other J's) that the melody feels a bit overpowered by the other elements. I will also say, though, that it never was to the point where it became inaudible, nor the notes unclear to me. I think it would service the track better if it were upfront (and I'd certainly like to give the mixer the opportunity to do so), but I think I can live with it as is if necessary. YES (borderline, melody levels)
  9. I was having trouble articulating my thoughts, but I think proph really articulated most of what I was hearing. To add to his thoughts, I felt like the drums were underwhelming, both in production and writing. They're very repetitive save the occasional basic fill. The drum samples themselves, while not great, do work OK for the most part in context, except the kick, which has almost no presence. I'd drop the ride/hihat/cymbal levels as it sticks out a lot and adds to the repetition for the second half. Not to sound too negative, I like the arrangement, if indeed it is a bit straightforward - more so in the first half IMO, it shows a good amount of creativity. However, I feel like this needs more work than just levels to get it up to par. NO resubmit, please
  10. I love me some old school Star Fox music. I used to listen to the Asteroid theme from the SNES game on loop while studying. So, years ago I tried my hand at a few short sources, but I can't remember ever trying something so basic as this. Very interested in where you're going with it. So, Jivemaster basically nailed my thoughts with this one. The performance is excellent. You've managed to both anchor this well to the original, while somehow keeping fresh ideas flowing throughout. I legit thought we were going into the Star Wars credits at 2:26 (which would probably not have been a good idea :). I agree with the comments about the low-heavy EQ, but I wouldn't go as far as to make it a conditional vote. Impressive track here for sure. YES
  11. Wow, this is definitely a difficult style to pull off. I don't think I'd ever be brave enough to try something like this with the vocals so exposed. I think overall, the vocal performance is well executed- though it may have some points of improvement in the performance pointed out above, which is outside of my wheelhouse. I did notice several instances of slight popping when the vocals were playing, which may indicate an issue with the recording setup. Other than that, I'm never in doubt of what is being remixed here throughout, though definitely exhibiting your own style. The minimalist instrumentation works, mainly I think because of the interest brought from the vocal performance. I won't beat a dead horse on the volume, so fix that up! YES edit: volume fixed, switched to yes
  12. Chimp really nailed my feelings on this track. I'm especially nodding my head at the crits on the levels/compression (I just judged a track with similar issues). I think this would be served so much better by backing off the levels a bit and letting your instruments/synths breathe a bit so we get better presence & tone out each of them. I also agree that 2:43-3:26 felt longer than it needed to be. Maybe I'm missing some subtle changes, but the last run through on the main melody felt like just a retread of what we've already heard in the beginning half, so it would be nice (though not necessary) to bring something else/different to differentiate it from the beginning. It may not be the most creative take on Mute City, but the arrangement is solid and there are good, creative ideas on display here. I think this is close. I'd probably go for it even if just the levels/compression were toned down a bit. Keep at it! NO (borderline) resubmit, please
  13. Sick OST, love it. So, I'm falling in the camp of the levels being overly high for me. Not just because it's loud compared to other tracks (and thus, I had to turn down my volume), but I definitely can tell there's a loss of audio quailty/fidelity from overcompression. Drums sound more slappy, without much mid/mid-low body to them. You can hear pumping on parts like the string runs on transitions. Listen to the synths at :55, how they get squashed because it's just pushing the levels too hard. This happens throughout the track and it detracts from my listening experience. I felt the sound design was quite good, so I don't really get the vanilla complains. I will agree, though, that theres a bit too much copy/paste going on and think there's more room for development & creativity. Love the energy you brought, though, and the connection to the original is clear. Track just kind of... ends, barely even a fadeout, just like "we're done now" type of thing. It honestly felt lazy compared to the amount of work that clearly went into this. I think this is ALMOST there. I honestly really like your track, I just think some tightening on both production and some additional development will easily push this one over the bar for me. NO resubmit, please
  14. Very creative use of instrumentation and weaving in counter points along with the melodic lines, while keeping the connections to the original quite clear. Maybe it's my listening setup, but while this is somewhat the quiet side, what bothered me more is it feels imbalanced. Some of the backing sustained instruments and choir (even some percussion) tend to be on the louder side compared to the instruments carrying the melody. See places like 1:40, 1:55 where the track gets more crowded and the various elements start competing for space. In the last minute or so, the Timpani(?) gets overly loud (or just too boomy in the low end), which is especially apparent near the very end as it dies down. I'll echo Larry that the choir sounded fakey with the rigid sequencing.in some places, like 3:11. It kind of comes out of nowhere there and sounds like the notes are clashing with the rest of the orchestra. Fortunately it was pretty short as it was pretty jarring to me as a listener. Additional possible wrong notes :55-1:08, 1:18, 3:49, & 4:06, though I may be able to be persuaded at least some of these are intentional. I can see the points mentioned about repetition. I felt like there was enough dynamic and instrumental contrast to prevent it from being too egregious for me, though there's room to vary up some of the core elements further for a 5+ minute track. I think some tightening up on the mastering and balance as well as some sequencing improvements could give this a nice boost over the bar for me. NO resubmit, please
  15. Late to the party on this one. I have to say, I love the writing on here and the energy is fantastic. It builds excitement very well up until the very end. I really love this track. I definitely agree with the concerns on the mixing. This is pretty imbalanced in the EQ ranges (heavier in the mid/mid-low range, lacking in highs), has muddiness from parts bleeding together and becoming indistinct (listen from 2:58 on, with everything going at the same time), as well as general instrument levels. Normally, I try to give specific tips on how to improve things, but with something as complex as the mixing and mastering process, that's really difficult to do here without being hands-on with the song and showing you. Here's the best I can say at a distance: 1. Take a well-mixed/mastered track in a similar genre and listen side-by-side with your track to get a general idea of levels, balance, etc. you should be trying to attain. Listen to how leads cut through, but don't dominate the mix. How backing instruments fill up space, but don't overcrowd, things like that. 2. Practice doing a proper mixdown, lowering all the faders for your instruments and then raising them up to listening levels one by one. Personally, I'd set the track to loop on a problematic section like the last :45 or so and listen for when you hit the point where instruments start getting cluttered together and do some tasteful (light) EQ, panning, and/or compression to try to tame the worst offenders. I want to reiterate that this is a really fantastic track and can only get better with some improved production, so don't be discouraged!! NO please resubmit!
  16. Interesting concept going with different winter themes from multiple mario games. Going to echo concerns on the transitions. :08 off the bat felt a bit jarring to me. Maybe the timing is slightly rushed or the way everything comes in suddenly. :48 on the other hand was more just weaker writing connections between the two themes, but wasn't as jarring. Ditto for 1:30. 1:52 is a full stop and restart with something else. Can't help feeling like themes could be blended better together overall. I liked the flute lead and overall organic feel to it. The exception, perhaps, being the accordion sequencing - but I can tell there was effort put into trying to humanize it. Connections are very clear, but personalized nicely with counter play and other added notes/changes. Balance-wise, I agree the tambourine was a bit hot, but not excessively so. Overall, I can hear all of the various instruments pretty clearly. I can see both sides on this one for sure. While it has its flaws, I feel like it's bringing enough to the table interpretively and technically to just push it over. YES (borderline)
  17. Not much to add here. This song is fantastic. However, I'm pretty much getting the same source breakdown as Larry. I can say from experienc, it's pretty difficult to stretch a pretty sparse and repetitious original to a full length remix. Maybe if you could figure out how to get that 6 note motif to carry through the track in more places in creative ways to anchor it to the OST we could get it going. Again, great track. Production sounds solid and the vocal performance is excellent. Regardless of the result here, I hope you can release it for folks to enjoy. NO
  18. What a fantastically produced and executed track. Great performances, very clear production and good balances. Darn it, I wish there was more source in here. Improv is a centerpiece to Jazz music, but somehow this would need these extended sections anchored to the OST. Overall, there's more original stuff than Zelda stuff. This song is awesome. I wish I could pass it. NO
  19. This is a very similar approach to the original in instrumentation, writing, style, tempo, etc. I literally was able to sync both tracks simultaneously and they adhere completely with each other as the track progresses in all the core elements for the first 1:30 or so. This, unfortunately is going to disqualify this one off the bat with our arrangement standards. We're really looking for more interpretation, rather than covers or sound upgrades of the original songs. On the production side, the balance and levels need some tweaking as some elements are significantly higher than other (cymbals, bass synth at 1:30, etc) and there's noticeable distortion on the cymbal hits due to pushing the volume too hard. Overall, it's loud and crowded when things going and it just gets worse as the song progresses and more instrumentation is added. I don't want to take away from your effort here, it's a fun concept and would sound really cool if the production issues were fixed, but it doesn't align with the philosophy of OCR. NO
  20. Wow, this is a really pretty source tune. Has a sad vibe to it. On to the mix: Cool take with the instrumentation. The pace and beat already feel like they're plodding a bit, though. I think the writing may need a rework on the drum part at the very least to make it feel more natural at this pace. Timing also felt really loose at times, like :41, 1:06, 3:03. Layered in with other elements, the drums sounds seemed ok, but when alone and/or when the sequencing doesn't sound natural, they get more exposed and fakey sounding. A few nitpicks: 1:30 & 1:38 (and elsewhere, but here most notably) there are some hard bass notes that stick out of nowhere above all the others, probably because of the way this particular instrument was sampled. When I'm using an instrument that has some obvious timbre changes between notes, I've sometimes been able to get around it instead using a note above or below the offending note and pitch bending them up or down to match. I do want to emphasize that this type of approach is extremely difficult to pull off - doubly so with sequenced instruments because it's so easy for the sample or sequencing to become exposed in a solemn, spare arrangement. So big kudos for putting yourself out there and going for it. At the same time, I really got the feeling that this sounded more of a scratch vocal/instrument recording than a finished product. With some work, I could see this one getting the nod. NO resubmit, please
  21. Cosigning this. Ooh, I love the way this starts off. The backing synth reminds me of the Tron soundtrack. I wasn't as big on the beat when it came in, since it sticks out a bit on top of the other elements for a while until the sub comes in. Overall, I still like the vibe. I'm going to echo some of the concerns above on repetition really hurting this one, but I actually felt like 1:30 already could've used more contrast from the previous section, sound texture wise. Though, the following sections had some nice development in the writing, the textures and energy level felt pretty static for much of the track. I agree with Larry that this could just have a reworked 3:31 and on and be good to go. I'd also consider bit more contrast in the sounds used between some of the main sections. In all, I really like this song and the approach. A lot. Looking forward to hearing it come back. NO resubmit, please
  22. Co-signing this one. Liking the approach with the distant reverbed synth leading things off. Good way to catch the listener's attention. Unfortunately, the very next synth (and things like hat hits) are super loud. I had to turn the volume down quite a bit to listen after the :10 mark. At 1:12, when it transitions, the sustained whole note synth really crowds out everything else and it gets really cluttered. Overall, despite being really loud in general, the mix itself seems to have some gaps in the mid-lows/lows range, making it top-heavy. I don't want to take away from your creativity and effort here, though. There are good ideas coming through, but it's hard to appreciate them with the balances/loudness so out of whack and the grating synth textures. Keep working at your craft! NO
  23. Great points by Larry above. Off the bat, the mix is sounded a bit cluttered and over-compressed, especially when it has loud leads/backing elements + kick/snare hitting at the same time. Specifically, listen to the snare in places like :12 - :18, :32, :39, :45-:47, etc.. Because the compressor is getting hit too hard, it's smashing the snare sound and making it sound slappy/hollow. It's hard to put into words, but try to listen to how it changes tone depending on how much is going on in the mix. Rebalancing the mix overall, perhaps dropping some of the supporting elements, or carving out some EQ space for everything to sit better together should help. I don't really have a problem with the lower tempo, but I can agree that the piece felt plodding at times. The backing rhythm patterns are well written, with drums fills to transition sections, but I think it needs to be varied more within the sections so you don't get the near-constant 2/4 snare, kick pattern, and off-beat hats for the whole track. I think the sound choices were pretty solid here. I liked the bass writing, though I honestly didn't notice it until I read the write-up and was listening for it. The other elements really command more listener attention at their levels. Guitar performance was solid. Sax sounded cool as well. I'm almost never a fan of fadeout endings, and this isn't really an exception. I do think I see what you're going for, though, almost as if this track could appear in a Street Fighter game and it's presented in a way that a looping OST would be. Overall it's a very solid start and I could get on board with some production tweaks and some variation mentioned above. NO resubmit, please
  24. Funky source, love it. MW really nailed my thoughts on this. I agree this is mixed on the quiet side and that things need to be balanced better. The loudest element by far is the rhythm guitar, while the drums get really buried in the background. Really nice performances on display here, however, and while the arrangement is pretty conservative, I like what you've brought with the nuances of the live performances. I enjoy this a lot overall and I think it could pass even with just some better balancing (and perhaps some variation on the acoustic guitar). NO (borderline) resubmit, please
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