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  1. It's certainly an interesting arrangement; despite very little variation on the theme, there's a lot of different instrumental takes. It's still a little on the conservative side, but the additional backing and the guitar noodling push it over the top in this regard. Production-wise, however, it's extremely quiet overall. And Rexy's completely right about the highs being too quiet in general. There are instruments that should be hitting that range--flutes in the orchestral sections, violins in the orchestral rock sections, and of course the lead guitar in the climax--but they seem filtered. Balance seems mostly okay to me; 1:31-1:42 is losing some details, notably the choir, due to being so busy, and the lead guitar is too quiet at 2:35-2:39 and 2:53-3:00, but those are brief. As for articulation, I generally cut orchestral rock some slack in that regard, since it's generally understood that the orchestras are nearly always synthetic in those, but the attack on the violins is slow for sure. This one's close for me. My biggest concern is that it's just too quiet. The conservative arrangement, the lack of highs, and the other minor issues would normally make this a borderline pass in my book, brought down to a YES/CONDITIONAL based on the volume, but this is a very busy arrangement here. You can't just boost the volume because you're already peaking at about 0dB, and a simple compressor will make it pump in the louder sections and probably drown out some of the parts. I think this is 99% of the way there but it's going to take a little bit more than a 5-minute fix to get it the rest of the way. NO (borderline, please resubmit)
  2. Oof. There are some really good ideas here, and the accordion-playing is on point, but it's true that the drummer doesn't seem to have the same thing in mind as the rest of the performers. And yeah, it sounds like you ran out of ideas halfway through. It loops through the melody twice, and then there's no real ending. Production-wise, the violin... is it just me, or is it out of tune? It definitely sounds excessively filtered, and the volume of it is inconsistent. And the harp is both far too quiet and again overly-filtered; I didn't hear it at all on the first listen, and even on subsequent listens I didn't realize it was a harp until I noticed that Earth Kid was credited. There's a good foundation here, but it does indeed need more ideas represented, as well as some production work, especially to make that violin and harp shine. NO
  3. I agree with the above, for the most part. I would suggest that, in general, conservative sections punctuated by original material are fine as far as our interpretation standards go. However, this is pushing it, partly because of how simple and minimal the source treatment is, and partially because, as Larry said, there's a lack of flow between the source material and your original writing. A big part of that is that the original writing is very avant-garde; it comes across as directionless, which can be pulled off but everything else has to be in place. Otherwise, ditto to the above. NO
  4. Rexy has it right, I think. The mixing is all over the place here. The drums are wet, the rhythm guitar covers too much of the spectrum, the bass guitar and lead synths are quiet, and everything in general sounds muddy and distant. However, regarding those synth strings, I'd hold off on looking at those until everything else has been addressed. Because of the balance of everything else, they're simultaneously too quiet and too loud: too quiet compared to the rhythm guitar and drums, too loud compared to the lead guitar. I think in orchestral rock, they should sit just behind the lead guitar in terms of loudness, but right now there's just no room for them. I suggest dealing with those last. Also, the ending (3:13 on) is a little odd, since most of the arrangement was traditional rock with a bit of orchestral synth, and now you're adding new synth elements. 3:38 on especially introduces a new, unique instrument, as well as a different texture to the rhythm guitar. This is when you want to tie things up, not introduce new ideas. I think it would go nicely as a bookend, if you'd opened with the same stuff, but as it is it's a bit of a curveball. It's a fun, if straightforward, arrangement of a great source I'd never heard of. Please fix it up and send it back our way. NO (resubmit) Revision 9/4: Much better. The percussion sounds great, if a bit loud, and the bass is clearly audible. The rhythm guitar is still wet and mushy but it's less problematic. I don't know what's going on in 2:07-2:25, but it lacks clarity severely. When the synth pads are playing, the lead guitar is too quiet; it's muffled when it's playing by itself (e.g. 0:49-1:00) and swallowed by the harmony part when it joins (e.g. 1:00-1:12). The lead is also too quiet in 3:12-3:35. I'm still not thrilled with the ending's structure, but that's more of a subjective thing. It's almost there, but not quite, IMO. Still too many sections where the lead is muffled--basically, everywhere there's a synth presence, plus that breakdown. NO (resubmit)
  5. Yeah, it's a very simple instrumentation compared to most of Rebecca's mixes, but I think that only adds to its strength. It's well-mixed, clean, and crisp, but still has a rich soundscape, which is hard to achieve with so few instruments (although I would suggest that the last section is a little bass-light). I was a little worried when the title mentioned a specific instrument, given that Rebecca sometimes struggles with humanization with exposed instruments, but this exceeded my fears. A great remix of a little-known soundtrack, and an excellent addition to the site. YES
  6. This is a pretty great rock arrangement. I love the copious additions you've made to the original, from little riffs to entirely original sections. They sound like natural parts of the existing material, no small feat. Although boo on the fadeout ending. However, I completely agree with LT's criticism of the drums; that whole first section is overly simple and mechanical, and even when the percussion pattern gets more interesting, it lacks humanization. And of greater concern is the lack of bass. The bass is super, super quiet; I wasn't sure there even was one until almost a minute in, and even then it's hard to hear most of the time. Between the percussion and bass both being underwhelming, this sounds almost like a proof-of-concept than a completed arrangement. The lead and rhythm guitar work, and work well, but they lack support. The bass is so quiet it's hard to evaluate; it sounds like it'd probably be fine if it were only louder (although take that with a grain of salt for the time being), and the percussion could really stand to be livened up. NO (please resubmit!)
  7. First of all, we ask for either attached files or downloadable links. This helps us visualize the audio and provide more constructive feedback. I hear pops throughout the whole thing, light pops almost constantly, loud pops intermittently. Because I couldn't download the file, I can't say why exactly this is happening, but it is. Also the whole thing is pumping unpleasantly; I can't tell if this intentional warbling, trying to be disturbing, or an artifact caused by compression. I agree that it's underdeveloped, and that all those layered pads in the mids are causing a lot of conflict. It's hard to pick out a lot of what's going on. So, yeah, we're looking for something more fleshed out, and something much cleaner. Please provide us with a direct file next time and we may be able to be more specific about some of the production changes you need to make. NO
  8. Yeah, the playing is superb, but there are both production and arrangement issues here. Rexy and LT made some good recommendations about mud, clutter, and repetition, but I have a few additional comments. The rhythm guitar transition switches jarringly from lead to bass at 0:10. It's so abrupt, and such an odd choice, that it almost sounds like two arrangements pasted together there. There are also some off notes in the rhythm guitar that sound like mis-plays, although they could be distortion; I caught some at 0:24, 0:51, 1:33, and 2:04 at least. I'm also not sold on the original material at 1:09-1:29. The transitions into and out of it are abrupt, and it's very different, making it sound more like a medley with some other source. I wasn't crazy about 1:40-1:50, but at least the transition out of it works. Finally, that conclusion... it's neat (although it crackles badly), but it's severely at odds with the rest of the piece. I think it would be really neat as a bookend--starting the arrangement as well as ending it in this style--but just as a conclusion I don't think it works. I thought the final synth note was fine, though. It's a solid first effort, but it definitely needs some work. Clean up the production, switch things up a little in the second loop of the source, take another look at the solos and their transitions, and think about revising that intro. And of course it needs a real name. It sounds like a lot but you have the meat of a good ReMix here; the hardest part is out of the way. I hope to see a revision! NO (resubmit)
  9. I agree with Rexy about the levels, for sure. More importantly, the accordion pumps significantly, and it's really distracting. The repeated section didn't bother me so much; my threshold for repetition is about 25% of the mix, so 1 minute out of 5 is fine by me. The key change for the comping also seemed fine to me, and it didn't feel out of place to me at all. And sure, the timing was off, but it's close enough; loose but not sloppy. It's a fun arrangement overall, and I don't think many of the issues described above should be enough to hold it back. I do feel like the levels need to be addressed, and I don't think simply slapping a limiter on it will do the trick, as that will likely make the pumping more severe. I think it's borderline whether you could fix it in 5 minutes, but it's possible and I'd rather give you the benefit of the doubt. YES/CONDITIONAL (levels and pumping)
  10. I personally think LT and Rexy are being too critical here. Sure, the choir and the strings won't be fooling anybody; both attack and decay are notably mechanical, and that's sure some robots singing at 3:10-3:13. But for the most part they aren't too jarring; there's some attempt at humanization and we've heard much worse. The arrangement and balance are great. Like Larry, I can see this going either way, but I'm erring on the other side. I think it's passable. YES
  11. I'm going to disagree with the above, but only in focus. The realism of the instruments, especially the strings, wasn't up to where I expect it. They weren't mechanical per se, but many of the instruments had really odd attack and decay envelopes, fading in or out in unrealistic ways. This also had the effect of making the instruments sound out of sync with each other. Also the reverb across instruments wasn't consistent, making them all sound like they were recorded in difference spaces. With so many instruments involved, especially a string ensemble, they'd need a large space to play in, and many of them sounded more like they were in a small, sound-dampened space. Also I'm not as sold as Larry on it sounding less unfocused over time. Some of the noodling, especially the organ solo, really seemed like it was doing its own thing and didn't go with the rest of the parts. The flute solos work better, since almost everything but the percussion drops out. The bass piano being panned left was a little distracting, and there wasn't anything on the right to balance it. The ending was a little abrupt and felt like a change of tone from the rest of the arrangement. So yeah, even with more source I think this needs a few realism tweaks before you re-submit. The rest of my concerns are fairly minor, and I'd forgive them if they were the only issues. The arrangement is a lot of fun and I'd love to see a revision, though. NO (resubmit)
  12. That's a great writeup from LT, covers almost everything I was going to say. The cymbals are hot, the mixing was inconsistent, and the switches in and out of lo-fi style were jarring and seemed random. There was also a weird key change at 2:25. And I did appreciate the return of the dueling guitars at 4:37 (and some nice driving percussion there as well; this whole section was a highlight for me). I also didn't have a problem with the vox mixing, but did have a problem with the organ, and whatever that is at 3:43-3:53. There's a lot here that I like, including the arrangement as a whole (other than the key changes and some of those transitions). Dialed down to just the rock stuff, this is stellar. There are just some sections that don't work so well. I feel like this is very close; there's just enough that I feel really ought to be cleaned up a bit. I wouldn't mind this passing, and I look forward to what other judges say, but for now I'm going to come down on the side of NO (please resubmit)
  13. I had a lot to say about this, but Larry and Rexy already covered it all. They've given you plenty of good advice to work with, so start there. NO
  14. Funny that LionTamer felt this was more like the deepest depths of the ocean than the original; I feel exactly the other way. The lighter tones of the remix give me the impression of sunlight filtering through the surface of the water, while the deeper sounds and whale-like pads of the original sound like they're happening deeper underwater. Anyway. It's certainly pretty, and the production is more than adequate. Despite its ambient quality it doesn't seem overly meandering or long; when I did check it thinking it really ought to be ending about now, it was. Source usage is clearly fine. It's true that it could stand to be a bit louder, but it's not problematic. A good arrangement all around. YES
  15. I personally don't feel the need to stopwatch this. There's plenty of explicit use of a good chunk of the source melody, and the uke arpeggio is clearly referencing the xylophone. Subjectively it seems well over the top in that regard. I also personally feel like my fellow judges are nitpicking the performance. It's not perfect, but it isn't sloppy either. It's clearly more than competent, and I don't feel like our bar needs to be higher than that. The minor performance flubs do stand out in such a minimal mix, and I do think they'd be less notable if there was more in the way of accompaniment, but at the same time I think adding more layers would be a disservice to this arrangement as well as to the artist's intention. It works with what it is. I respect the concerns, but I think this does far more right than it does wrong. I'd be happy to accept it as-is. YES