MindWanderer

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About MindWanderer

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    Judge

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    California

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    http://mindwanderer.net

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  • Collaboration Status
    2. Maybe; Depends on Circumstances
  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
    Reaper

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    MindWandererB
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    MindWanderer

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  1. I've been thinking about this one for a long time as well, for exactly the same concern proph had. There are some extra bells and whistles here--literally bells in some cases--but adding chimes and a vox pad don't substantially change the nature of the arrangement. It's very pretty, but is it transformative? I'm hard-pressed to argue that it is. The production is one of Rebecca's best but it's just too conservative. NO (borderline)
  2. It won't be as big as I had planned, but I have 6 completed tracks, enough for an OCR-I. Just waiting on one more that needs a rapper; I've been looking but haven't been able to find one. Once that gets resolved, one way or another, I think we can wrap this up.
  3. I like the idea, swingy synthwave. The original writing is actually pretty good. But there are some issues that keep this from shining. First, the sound design. The opening bass with the LFO tuning is too much. A little bit of a warble can be OK, but this is going in and out of key too drastically. The 808 kicks are a critical part of synthwave, and these are thin and used sparingly. The soundscape is pretty minimal throughout. You have lead, bass, rhythm, and percussion, and that's it. You have very little in the mids other than the meaty bass, which is dominating the spectrum. Also, the energy level is pretty much static throughout the track. It just sort of plods along in the middle ground between high and low energy. There's no risers, no drops, no breakdowns. The ending is neither a climax nor a denouement. You need to play more with the percussion and bass lines to keep the listener engaged. I question the use of voice clips and whip cracks. They're so clean they stick out too much, and they don't really add anything. Of course, the whole thing is too quiet. There's 6.8 dB of clear headroom, more if you limited the claps. The melody writing is solid, it just isn't backed up by the rest of the track. Keep at it, though! NO
  4. It's an interesting take, for sure. I've had to listen to it a number of times to try to evaluate it, and it's kind of grown on me. But it's a bit of a mess. The main concern I had with it is clutter. There are a lot of gritty synths occupying the mids, and in the busier sections there's a lot of mud. Take 0:44-0:58, for example. There's what sound like 3 different gritty saws there, all competing with each other as well as the percussion (which is itself gritty, being a combined hat and kick, and is causing pumping). There's a lot going on and it's turning to mush. Even in less dense sections, balance is off. For instance, 1:43-1:56 is just lead, bass, and perc, and the lead is getting drowned out. For all the production concerns I have, this is actually pretty close IMO. I like the arrangement a lot, and the approach works surprisingly well. Just play with the levels and EQ a bit so that the individual synths can be heard clearly, especially the lead. Saw leads can be tricky, especially in a context like this, and need a bit of extra work to get them to pop. NO (borderline, please resubmit)
  5. Straightforward but effective. A lot of it is pretty conservative structurally, but the composition is a bit more than that, especially in the second half. The Ballad of the Wind Fish cameo worked really nicely. The bass line is a bit repetitive, but does get switched up a little from time to time. I'm on board. YES
  6. I started off liking this, it's an original approach that I wasn't expecting. However, the vanilla synths, repetitive beat, and busy sections with conflicting notes bring it down. It's also mastered pretty quietly. The overall structure and approach are neat, but it needs some more variation, some more attention to the sound design, and a pass for clashing notes, especially involving notes with long tails, like those chimes. NO
  7. Nice take on a neglected source. I like the Daft Punk-ish dark electronica approach. Why... why is there a hard limiter at -3dB? That's a very strange choice. The result is that the mix quiet but still slightly overcompressed. You probably want a soft knee there and a hard limit just below 0 dB. From 0:45-1:20 there's a gritty, wide-spectrum bass pad that's overlapping the melody and muffling it. Also 3:03-3:14 and 3:18-3:50 have a gritty arp in the mids that's squashing everything but the lead--the kick and bass in particular are vanishing almost completely. This is really close, it just needs some balance improvements. I almost gave it a Conditional on fixing that limiter, but the last section is muddier than it ought to be, IMO. NO (borderline, resubmit)
  8. There are some interesting ideas here, and it's a nice groove, but it's exceptionally static. The percussion and arp are nearly unchanged for the entire duration, and each section loops about twice as many times as they need to. This is nearly six minutes' worth of about 2 minutes' worth of ideas. And then it fades out, too. There are also several clashing notes, so watch your harmonies. You have the right general idea, with the transformation of the melody and the changes in lead textures. I've heard worse debut efforts, so keep working at it! But this isn't there yet. NO
  9. There are a few different styles here, so I'll address each one in turn. 0:21-1:03 has a single high-pitched lead and a medium-pitched accompaniment. No bass, just percussion. This is okay for a few seconds as a breakdown, but it's serving as the main melodic core, and it's too minimal for that. 2:29-3:12 repeats this section with a mid-low saw arp that's sort of a bass, but not really; it's still pretty thin but better, easily the best-done part of the mix. 1:04-1:25 is an okay bridge--just one synth, the percussion, and the VFX, but for a brief section and a lead into the next section, it's OK. 1:25-1:46... what is this even. 1:46-2:08 is yet another minimal section, high this time, just a high-pitched synth lead and a high-pitched piano arp. The rest is similar to the above and has similar issues. There are usually just one or two non-percussion instruments playing at a time, sometimes as many as three but even then they're never split into high/mid/low. The soundscape is thin everywhere--not always in the same way, but always thin. Usually it's the bass that's missing, but often it's the mids. Often both. Overall the entire arrangement feels underdeveloped. It's a good foundation, but the main sections that are diving the melody need to be richer, using more of the audio spectrum. I think if this were fleshed out more it could be all right. Although I'm never going to like 1:25-1:46. NO
  10. So, this arrangement consists of two approaches, interchanged: Very close to the source material, but layered with a ton of Simlish voice clips. A straightforward DnB take on the source that's pretty conservative once you account for the genre change. I don't particularly care for the former. There's not much to the music part of it, just some instruments swapped and maybe a clap or sweep added, and it's a whole lot of voice clips, overlapping chaotically. As for the latter... it's better. It's more than a MIDI rip, because there are some other layers added to it--a static drum groove, some generic EDM saws--but there's not much to them. There's no ending, either, it just stops. I'm on the fence here. I don't like the voice clips, but I'm not sure they're such a mess as to be a reason for rejection. The DnB is vanilla, and a direct genre adaptation, which isn't very interesting but does qualify as transformation. The alternating sections make it so that the drum groove isn't constant over the whole piece, even though it is constant over all the DnB parts. I'm inclined to think that the multiple issues add up to pushing this below our bar, but I want to see some other opinions first. Update 5/21: My esteemed colleagues have confirmed and solidified my opinion. NO
  11. Pretty standard 2-loop arrangement, with the first loop being a straight cover and the second one adding some riffs and permutations, and then a fade-out. There isn't any one thing dealbreaking about this, but there are a lot of borderline issues that add up. The structure is really simple, basically the bare minimum that would count as reinterpretation for us. And it's only the melody; all the other parts are very to the source (and are fairly static throughout the arrangement). Not exactly identical to the source--there's a key change in the C part (1:05) that doesn't sound like it was done correctly and is causing dissonance. The sound palette is indeed similar to what you'd get on a Genesis, which can be acceptable but really needs to be backed up by a killer arrangement. Overall I think this just needs more... more. More changes than a second loop with riffs. More attention paid to all layers of accompaniment. More variation. More of an ending. This definitely illustrates the right direction, it just needs more development. NO
  12. It's conservative melodically, but the 3-lap format works well to hold interest and differentiate itself from the original. It's a creative approach that I think worked out. However, there are some production issues that need to be addressed. It's far too quiet overall; even though there's little headroom, there's also no compression to speak of. The instrumentation is extremely mechanical, with every note playing at the same velocity and with rigid timing. The sax in particular is really uncanny. Also, there's no ending whatsoever, it just ends. Please add one. I like this a lot as a start. It's clear and original, a lot better than many of the first submissions that we get. None of the issues I mentioned should be tremendous hurdles, so please give this a bit more love and send it back to us. NO (resubmit)
  13. Well, this is an interesting arrangement. But the production needs a lot of work. It's far too quiet overall. Some parts are too loud--most of the SFX, some of the horns--but overall it's hard to hear. Especially before 1:00, where there's a sharp jump for some reason, it's nearly inaudible. The horns in the intro are distorted. They sound like they were originally too loud to the point where they pumped, then the volume decreased afterwards. The same is true for the whole section from 3:45-6:08. All the the instrument playing is very mechanical, especially the staccato stabs, which are far too rigidly timed. Also some of the horn and flute stabs run together and sound like one long note. The soundscape is very limited. Often there's a lead, a too-quiet bass, and percussion. It sounds thin and incomplete. It's very medley-ish. There's the boss theme, then Kokiri Forest, then the Deku Tree. They don't really blend into each other. These aren't the only issues, but they're the big ones to get you started. I strongly recommend you take this to the workshop after addressing these issues to get more feedback before submitting again. NO
  14. 12 dB of headroom. Twelve. Seriously, Rebecca, I love your music, but stop it. Orchestral remixes of orchestral sources are a tough sell. They're going to be inherently conservative unless you make a dramatic change. There are some minor orchestration changes in the first half, but they're barely noticeable. The second half does expand on the theme, but it's sort of empty expansion, not really adding anything to or changing anything about the existing material. It comes across as little more than padding. I don't think this is transformative enough, taken as a whole. NO
  15. Loopy is right--it sounds like three identical loops with a brief intro and ending. That by itself is a dealbreaker--if you're going to repeat more than a small portion of the mix, you should change things up with different layers or textures. Throwing some actual rap on top of it would help, too. Is there compression here other than the limiter? I can't tell if the pumping is intentional, but it's strong and distracting. The ending is particularly odd given that you made an effort to not make it part of the loop, but chose to have it fade out anyway. You have a solid, fun groove here given that you only out a couple of hours' work into it. But we need something that's more fleshed-out than this (LOL, 'cause ghosts). NO