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Chimpazilla

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Phoenix, AZ

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  • Biography
    I started remixing in April 2011. I LOVE video games and game music! Anything Zelda, anything Mario. I could live in a Zelda game and be perfectly happy. ;-)
  • Real Name
    Kristina Scheps

Artist Settings

  • Collaboration Status
    3. Very Interested
  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
    Cubase
  • Composition & Production Skills
    Mixing & Mastering

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Chimpazilla's Achievements

  1. This mix is very conservative in terms of source representation and the instrumentation and vibe are similar to source. As the other two Js have pointed out, there aren't a lot of new ideas presented until the sax joins in and that is a weak sound, although the writing there is really nice once it begins interpreting and soloing. The sound palette is cohesive for sure, but the entire mix sounds extremely dated. The mixing works well enough but lacks any sparkle and the low end is on the weak side. The drums feel very weak and every drum element is located dead center of the soundstage making the entire drum track very flat and lifeless. MW is right, this mix would have fit right in 15 years ago. The energy of the piece never evolves or changes as it moves along, making it feel longer than it should, at least up to the point of the solo. Perhaps if this were redone with more modern sounds and more unique elements and writing appearing earlier in the arrangement this would be a much more exciting mix, but as it stands now it's just too plain as well as too conservative. The idea is solid and I would love to hear this again with some sound and writing improvements. NO (resubmit)
  2. The opening does sound like a straight cover, almost midi-rippy as DS said, but once the beats kick in I'm onboard, I love the soundscape and groove even though it is so conservative still. The mix sounds dynamite. Then the original/interpreted section begins at 2:24 which is just awesome! But what the heck, I'm in the middle of a full-on drop section, and it fades out??? I may be in the minority here by actually saying no to this, and I apologize because this mix sounds so good, but I feel (as the others have pointed out) that this is indeed not a full arrangement, even at the length of 3:27. If you came this far with it, why not finish? Instead of a fadeout, what my ears are expecting is some kind of resolution. It could be a second breakdown (something a bit longer, epic, and story-telling) followed by another full section (revisiting the source motifs but with new elements or drum groove or something) and then a proper cooldown and ending, or if that sounds like too much, skip the additional full section and just make a drumless cooldown lasting 30-60 seconds, featuring the original writing again, and controlling the energy down toward a proper conclusion. Make it make sense! MW said he has never rejected a track purely for a fadeout ending, and in eight years as a judge, neither have I (although I find them super disappointing every single time). But in this case, the sudden fadeout truncates the track at its fullest section and it just doesn't feel right. PLEASE finish this track because I love what's here. The production is on point and even though the master is super loud it never sounds overcompressed, so I have no production crits at all, great work. But DarkSim said it very well when he said that the extra arrangement work would elevate this mix from "passable" to "one of the best Aquatic Ambiance remixes of all time." Good luck to you on the rest of this vote. This track may pass, and people will surely enjoy it, but this might be one of those tracks where, a couple of years from now, you feel regret at having missed the opportunity to have really polished this arrangement to the awesomeness that it can clearly be! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Edit 8-29-22: Neon X sent in a revised version with a proper outro, and it works for me. Upon listening today, I hear the over-hyped highs Larry was talking about. Not sure how I missed that before. Regardless, this revision gets the job done for me. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Edit 8-30-22: Longer version is just what I was looking for. Perfection! YES
  3. Another lovely interpretation from Rebecca. As usual, the track appears to not be mastered; the peak max is -5db at the loudest point, although the track spends most of its time around -9 or -8, which is super quiet. I do not understand why the mastering critiques we give on each submission are never implemented or even acknowledged. This remains disappointing. The articulations are passable, although with consistent feedback from the judges I'm not clear on why no attempts are made to address the very specific issues that appear in each submission (unnatural releases and vibratos, thin/robotic textures). Larry is right though, the evolving textures an introduction of various instrumentation as the piece moves along keep the arrangement fresh and appealing. YES
  4. This is definitely a straight cover, two playthroughs of the theme and a fadeout, which is not what we look for. But it sounds very good! The production is good although as my fellow Js have pointed out, the mix is loud and low-end heavy. The master compressor is working too hard, causing some unwanted sizzle and a high RMS value (-8.9db RMS is quite loud for an orchestral track, and at that volume it sounds overcompressed). If you wanted to stretch this out into a full, real arrangement, including some unique, interpreted sections, perhaps some original writing somewhere as well, with the mastering tamed somewhat, we would love to hear it! NO
  5. I have no problem hearing the source connections in this mix. The mixing though is very flat and lifeless. The vocal chants sound dry and they are sitting on top of the soundscape instead of living within it. I do love the idea of this arrangement, but I have to agree that the soundscape palette sounds the same throughout and as MW said I've lost interest at the two-minute mark. Some of the elements sound very rigid, for example the plucked string that begins at 2:35. It is rigidly timed as well as mostly hidden within the soundscape. The track requires a mixing overhaul with EQ to bring each element into it's own place in the soundscape, and also a drumless breakdown would be nice to break up the repetitive energy level. The drum pattern remains mostly unchanged once it begins, and it eventually becomes fatiguing. Dropping out a few elements and adding new and surprising ones would also help break up the feel of this. NO
  6. This mix sounds surprisingly good for having been made on a phone, I wouldn't have thought that was possible. The arrangement is short yet effective. But ultimately I agree with my fellow judges on every point they made. The production just sounds a bit too rough. The elements need a good EQ treatment to remove lows from everything that isn't kick or bass. Some sidechaining of all the elements in varying amounts would clear up the soundscape quite a bit and get the arrangement grooving a bit better, reduce the load on your master limiter, and the drums will punch through better. You've done a lot with some very vanilla sounds. The track overall is mastered very loud and SPAN shows me it is clipping like crazy. I attribute this primarily to less than optimal EQ treatment throughout the track, this is a very common issue. If you're this talented on a phone app, you're gonna be crushing it with a DAW. Get yourself a DAW and do this (with this theme or another one) again, and please let us hear it! NO
  7. The orchestra here is very full and layered in unique and interesting ways. I do love the switch to 3/4. Some of the writing, especially lead writing sounds a bit stiff (mostly where strings are playing lead) but overall the instrumental execution is terrific. The brass sounds especially good to me. Arrangement stays fresh as it moves along. Many lovely interpretations of the source theme. It's a luscious waltz. YES
  8. This is an eclectic mix of sounds if ever there was one. I love it, everything gels together amazingly and the arrangement moves along like a spooky adventure story. So many changeups here, rhythmically, energetically and instrumentally, all while sounding cohesive. Mixing and mastering are on point. Loaded with ear-candy. The leadwork near the end, with the string backing, is utterly epic (I wish that part was longer). I'm giving this two snaps, a twist, and a triple YES YES YES
  9. I haven't heard the original submission, but I like the soundscape here, very grungy dystopian. The chug guitars and drums sound very good although they are too repetitive; there are very few drum-pattern changeups. The arrangement is very repetitive; the energy level is the same throughout the majority of the track. At 0:35, what is that sound playing lead? It is definitely not a lead sound, and probably would work better as a layer or backing element. If it is a guitar, it has been distorted and fuzzified way too much. At 0:53 the lead works a little better but still sounds odd to me. At 1:10 that non-lead sound returns and doesn't work at all. Generally, the leads in this track are too fuzzy and diffuse to work as leads, so the track sounds essentially leadless, which hurts the arrangement in terms of repetition. I think what is here could potentially work, if some proper leads were applied to each section, with writing variation and perhaps a solo in one section, but what's here now is just too loopy and repetitive. Also, the ending is quite abrupt and the final sfx is cut off before it finishes. NO
  10. You've changed the harmonies here. I'm not well-enough versed in music theory to comment on it, but wow it feels dark, and not necessarily in a good way. The way that piano sounds, it could almost fit in a season-one Westworld episode, old-school (sounds like an upright) yet apocalyptic. I think the other Js nailed it, this track just comes off sounding overly sparse, instrument-wise and writing-wise. I like the idea of a "space mix" but just leaving the soundscape bare and depressing doesn't really accomplish that. What about adding a proper bass instrument, and maybe some "spacey" sfx? Sweeps and chimes, beeps and boops, and whooshing effects? The piano and e-piano in the mix have way too many lows, perhaps since they are trying to cover the entire spectrum? To me the mix has a muddy low end without having a proper low end, if that makes sense. Very interesting idea and a great start, but more is needed to make this a complete arrangement. I'm actually going to batsignal @prophetik musicand have him make some comments about the harmonies, I think that might be helpful. The section between 2:08-2:35 bothers me the most, harmonically. NO
  11. Gonna have to agree with my fellow judges on their comments. The idea for this track is solid, but the lack of variation in sounds is problematic. The 8-bit drums never change other than a few dropouts in the final section. 8-bit is cool but doesn't really compliment the piano and lead sounds you've used, so the drums sound weak and sizzly in the mix. I think it would be a fun idea to extend the intro, maybe with more 8-bit sounds, leading to the drop, but then at the drop replace the drums with something more substantial, and vary the writing a bit, perhaps with a few fills. The pads don't bother me all that much, but the pad feels like it's barely there, like a whisper. Perhaps additional padding here and there could add interest to the mix, something with more texture or movement, or additional backing elements and/or ear candy. As for lead writing, it is very close to the source much of the time, and there are two sections that repeat verbatim. The writing variations you have done are great, but since the entire track has the same lead sound, the writing feels stale by the end. By the time the piano lead shows up, the track is just about over. The ending is super abrupt and the reverb tail is cut off before it finishes. What is here sounds good but has some structural defects to be worked on before it can pass. NO
  12. Batsignaled... ok I'm here! Listening. I LOVE the concept here, omg it's great. Fun beat. The squelchy bits are awesome. I really love all the sounds used, and the glitching is cool. Bassline is solid, I love the pitch drops. The beat does get repetitive after awhile but there are so many unique things going on that it isn't a problem. There is a ton of ear candy and creativity all throughout the track. The arrangement is fairly liberal although I feel like there is plenty of source here, with many variations of the melody line and chord structure. But... the mixing is tanking this. Every element is blasting me at the same volume and in the same frequency. There are so many awesome elements but none of them ever gets to shine, they are all competing. I should be hearing a lead stand out at some point, and growls standing out at other points, but as it stands everything is the same volume. I don't hear any (or enough) sidechaining which is a shame because this arrangement could really be grooving. A track like this without sidechaining has such an awkward feel. I want to bob my head but I feel like the instruments aren't bobbing their heads! The drums should be punching through so hard but most of the time they are buried under the wall of sound. The entire mix also needs EQ treatment, most especially removing lows from anything that isn't kick or bass. When you try to mix and master a track where everything has low-end content, your compressors are going to be working overtime, especially when the kick hits, which leads to an overcompressed too-loud mix. This mix hits -5db RMS at its loudest point which is insanely loud. The mix is fatiguing to listen to. Also, some of the vocal clips, most notably Mario's "hoo" is painfully dry and sticks out of the soundscape uncomfortably. Final gripe is fadeout ending. While not technically an OCR dealbreaker, I am always disappointed by a fadeout when a proper outro to wrap up the ideas and drop the listener off at the curb would be so much better. So to summarize, the track needs a mixing overhaul. Start with rebalancing the volumes so things aren't all playing at equal loudness. Do some EQ work so there are no stray lows playing in any element that doesn't belong down at the bottom. When you do this, don't cut frequency enough to change the character of the sound, just make sure nothing is playing that doesn't need to be. Experiment with some sidechaining. In my mixes I sidechain everything, in varying amounts. This will make the track groove and breathe. Finally, you can make those vocal clips fit in better by lowering their volume and giving them a good amount of reverb. Ping-pong delay is also fun to do with vocal clips for emphasis (just don't do it on every one of them). That all may sound negative but I really dig this arrangement! This is the kind of track I personally love to mix. If you want help with this, I'd be glad to help, just let me know. NO (please resubmit)
  13. I do love the early 90s feel added to this arrangement, the brass hits and scratching fit the vibe perfectly. Other than this though, as my fellow Js have stated, you did too good a job recreating the track almost entirely. The arrangement is much too conservative for OCR standards, although the production is very good (mastering could be louder). I would actually love to hear this again, remade into a proper remix with some writing variation, instrumentation variation, drum pattern variation, arrangement variation (a short original B section, a proper drumless breakdown, drop the vocals at some point and introduce leadwork, short solos, etc.), maybe do some glitch work on those vocals for a few bars, add some ear candy here and there, proper ending instead of fadeout. There are so many fun things that could be done to set this apart from the original and have a very enjoyable remix! NO
  14. Gotta agree with MW that this sounds like a very old remix, I'll use the dreaded word "dated" here. That said, I think it's not that far from becoming "nostalgic" rather than "dated" with some mixing improvements. The main things I hear are volume imbalances and lack of sidechaining. Some instruments are excessively loud. The intro organ is quite loud. When the first lead hits at 0:27 it is so much louder than the rest of the soundscape that it is quite distracting. It doesn't help that the sound used is very static and unchanging (no filter movement or any effects of interest). The drums generally sound very weak and tame; the snare has no bulk to it, it's all sizzle, same with hats. If a drum sound isn't working for you and you've applied a billion fixes to it (as I see that you did from your writeup), time to replace it with something that works. Maybe go through Splice.com, they always have up-to-date samples of everything. The lead at 1:38 also comes in startlingly loud compared to the backing. I can't hear any bass at all in this mix. You've got some lovely arpeggios that are getting clobbered by the loud leads. So yeah, the mix needs a rebalance. I think the kick might actually be ok but it comes across as weak, I think due to the next thing I'll talk about which is sidechaining. But first, I recommend applying EQ to every element in this mix, cutting unnecessary lows out of everything that isn't kick or bass. Example: pads don't need to be heard lower than 100-ish Hz generally, same with plucks, other backing elements and most leads, you can cut the lows out of these elements allowing kick and bass to be the only elements playing in the lowest ranges. Hat loops and high-end elements can take even stronger EQing-out of lows. You'd be surprised how many useless lows and inaudible rumble are in elements in a mix, stealing mastering headroom. Apply the EQ gently enough not to change the character of the sound, just to cut out useless rumble and inaudible lows. You'll be amazed at how much this simple trick cleans up your soundscape, and your mastering compressor will thank you. NOW for the sidechaining. Sidechaining can be used to clean up a mix when applied gently, and of course it can be used for an effect when applied heavily. In this mix I think both methods can be used. If this were my mix, I'd sidechain your kick to your bass fairly heavily (8-10db of gain reduction) but with a quick release, heavy enough to hear it almost pumping if you solo kick and bass. Then I'd sidechain the pads similarly but less gain reduction than bass (more like 6db GR), not quite enough to hear the pumping but enough that the kick punches through when it hits. Then, sidechain the other elements including your leads. Yes, you can sidechain leads! It will add some groove to the arrangement and also clean up the mixing, provided it is applied gently enough (low ratio, very quick release, and high enough threshold that you can't hear pumping at all in the mix, only about 3db of gain reduction). When everything is sidechained purposefully, gently, in varying amounts, sanely... the mix will come to life. I know that was a wall of text but I see that you're trying hard to learn this and I remember being in that position myself and how hard I worked at it. Please keep going! (If not on this remix, maybe on something new, using what you've learned.) This is a cute arrangement and I think it will work with better mixing. NO (resubmit)
  15. OMFG THAT SUB BASS...... the production here is so over the top good that my jaw is hanging open. This may be lost on anyone without an actual sub, and on a phone speaker it may not translate at all, ugh... but on my Presonus Sceptre 8s and my subwoofer... this is the best sub bass I've ever heard. Thanks Wes for the source check, 59% is enough for sure. As for repetition of how the source is played, Wes is right. The entire track consists of several elements written as loops and layered together in various ways to create an arrangement. It does make for a repetitive-sounding arrangement overall. If I click through the track, I hear that mostly the elements are layered differently; I don't hear any sections that are 100% copy pasta, but yeah it's repetitive. This is gonna be a close call, but I'm going to vote on the side of it being enough variation to pass. If others feel as Wes does that this repetition is too egregious, I will change my vote, but for now, I'm going with YES (borderline)
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