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Everything posted by MindWanderer

  1. I can't argue with any of the above. It's a clever idea, but there needs to be more interpretation and better production for us. NO
  2. Interesting approach. The intro is basically a sound upgrade, but from there it trades off between metal, violin solos, and synth work. It's eclectic but for the most part it works. However, the mix still isn't quite there yet. The bass is frequently overpowering, and the leads often struggle to stay on top. There are a lot of parts, and some of them, like pads, arps, and SFX, are much louder than they need to be. Regarding the drums, I don't think that they're too quiet per se. The main problem is the hats, or rather the lack thereof. Drums need to have some high end, usually hats, sometimes claps. Sometimes snares can fill this role, but your snares have no high in them. There are hats, on occasion, but they have their highs filtered out as well. The result is that the whole mix seems lethargic. I'm not great at writing drums myself, but my impression from listening is that this isn't the only reason the drums seem lifeless, and that the drum writing also needs improvement. Hopefully one of my fellow judges can provide some more constructive pointers on this front. There's some great work here, and it's a fun arrangement. It just needs a little more work to get it over the top. NO (resubmit)
  3. Kind of wild how many times I've heard this music and never really "heard" anything past the first part. Salmon Run clearly leaves no room in my brain for anything but "AAAAH!" Crazy, however, is one word that does not describe this remix. It's very repetitive. Most of it consists of short loops of a simple phrase repeated several times. The most problematic is 0:42-2:35, which is nearly two minutes of just a few measures repeated over and over; 3:46-4:21 reprises even more of that same section, then it repeats the beginning again. I'm afraid this comes across as a 2 minute arrangement stretched out to over 5. The performance chops are certainly there, production seems fine to me for the genre, and it's a solid genre conversion of the source material. It just needs to introduce new material or interpretations more often, or else be drastically shortened. NO
  4. The lo-fi instrumentation here certainly is... something. I don't think it's even PS1-quality; I think it's more similar to 90's Sound Blaster audio. "Charming" isn't the word I'd use. The cymbals aren't great, but they're fine IMO. The gongs do have a problem in that they have enormous tails---so long that they're still going 10 seconds later when the next gong hits. Given that it's clearly, obviously fake, I don't see how niggling with humanization is meaningful. It's not like robotic timing breaks verisimilitude. I also don't have a problem with the mastering, for the most part. Everything can be heard comfortably at one volume level. Things do get a smidge mushy at the crashes. That said, my setup doesn't has as much sub as proph's does, but I can see in a spectrum analyzer that yeah, there's no rolloff at those frequencies. And I can hear enough of the sub to know that's why Larry had a problem with 0:42-1:04. That's an issue that will clearly need to be addressed, making this a Conditional at best. And there is indeed a long tail that needs to be trimmed by about 7 seconds. Proph's also right in that there are no highs here. I didn't even notice at first because the crude PC music this is imitating usually had the same problem, but it's still true. There's enough reason there to send this back, but in closing I'm going to add that I'm just not a fan of the aesthetic choice here. I don't think it's close enough to a specific chipset to work as an homage. To me it just sounds like you're trying to remix on a 386. I can't even tell how much of it is intentional. If this is resubmitted, even with all of the above issues fixed, I'm personally going to have a hard time YES'ing it because I just think the palette sounds bad. It doesn't mean I wouldn't, and it's not a dealbreaker, but it'll be harder to hear the strengths of the arrangement despite it. NO
  5. I was a borderline YES on this the first time around, so it's an easy vote for me. I don't totally care for the mushy lo-fi intro, but otherwise this is a rubber stamp. YES
  6. Funny enough, this doesn't sound as quiet as most of Rebecca's remixes, though I can certainly see what looks like almost 9 dB of headroom. Not a lot going here, but the source is super simple, so this does do an adequate job of expanding on it. I too would have liked to hear more than just bells out of this, as it does get pretty boring. I don't think it's as clearly above the bar as proph does, just because it's quite monotonous. I think it does meet our standards, though. YES
  7. I'm with proph on this one. The cinematic arrangement is great overall, but production has notable issues on several levels. The brass in particular sounds like an ensemble of childrens' toys; the tone is harsh, tinny, and unrealistic. There's not much presence in most of the bass range, but there's huge sub-bass. And the timing in the climax is just bizarre---the drums hit some strange interval before the beat, and it's really jarring. The levels aren't great but I don't think they're as problematic as proph suggested. I can hear everything comfortably without adjusting my volume, which is more than I can say about many mixes that pass. However, I suspect that if I were to listen to this on a setup with strong sub response, that might not be true; they're loud even on the headphones I'm using now, which are light in that range. Lots of excellent ideas, but the execution just isn't there. I recommend taking this to the Workshop and iterating on it a few times with feedback. NO
  8. I have to agree. There's good energy here, even if the synths are a little old-fashioned, but 44 seconds of copy-pasta out of 188 seconds of remix is an awful lot, and it fees like even more with the relentless percussion and repetitive accompanying lines. There are some more sections that aren't strictly copied but are very similar to other parts. I don't think it's too far off, but it does feel like not enough ideas to fill out a whole remix. NO
  9. "Soft" is the right word for how the drums feel, for sure. They're quite quiet and it sounds like they're aggressively filtered in both directions. The other instruments sound filtered as well, especially the rhythm guitar. The organ is much louder than everything else, and it's an odd choice to accompany the rest of these instruments. The arrangement is excellent, and the guitar sequencing is more than adequate; it's great. But the soundscape needs to be a lot more robust. I'll be adding my NO vote to Larry's, but I'll agree that more detailed feedback on how to make these instruments pop and not sound so muffled would be helpful to have before moving this into the Decisions queue. NO (resubmit)
  10. Yeah, that's a rough call. The problem is, it's not just the chorus. The bass is also Thriller's, and it's playing all the time. The notes of the melody are from Ghosts 'n' Goblins, but the rhythm of them is from Thriller. It's very clever, the singing is great---not MJ but credibly done in his style---and the production is superb, but it's far too close to Thriller. Only the bridge is a clear and obvious departure, and even that keeps the Thriller bass. I wish we could post this. I really do. But our standards say, "Any incorporation or arrangement of source material not from games (mainstream, classical, etc.) should be extremely limited" and that's just not true here. Regretfully, NO
  11. It's true that it's an overly conservative approach, although it's a well-done orchestration. The sample quality, though, is really not great. The strings especially are super fake, and the horns aren't much better. The vocals and bass play bit parts but still prominently falls short (and the bass is really loud during its solo). The attack on the strings are also slightly slow, putting it behind the beat in places. There's room for improvement on the production front, too. There's no presence in the highs; the flutes sound like they've had the highs cut out, and the cymbals are nearly inaudible. Sounds to me like the sub-bass might be filtered a bit too much, too, but I'm not listening on studio cans and it's hard for me to tell for sure. Thanks for the submission, and it's pretty good for what it is, but I do think this needs more than an interpretive expansion to pass here. NO
  12. it may be an overdone source, but that's because it deserves it. This isn't a groundbreaking treatment, but it's some solid synthwave for all that. Great synth choices, good progression. Practically a textbook example of how to do a creative bridge for an OC ReMix track: clearly derived from the source material yet clearly original. It occurred to me that if you trained a really, really good AI to create OC ReMixes, it might come up with something like this; it's essentially the archetypal track for us in terms of source material, structure, genre, and approach. 2:23-2:53 is a repeat of 0:16-0:46, but 30 seconds of a 3:16 track is acceptable. The weak ending makes it feel more repetitive than it really is, since there aren't any new ideas for nearly the last full minute. It's not a dealbreaker, though, and nothing else about this is. YES
  13. This is a fun, creative arrangement with some production decisions bringing it down. The track opens up with an entire ensemble of bells with massive amounts of reverb. In fact, in place of a pad, it's using what sounds like a bell with infinite reverb. The result is that the sounds overlap significantly and everything conflicts with everything else. This bell/pad continues into the main melody, without variation in tone or volume, for two minutes, and it felt fatiguing to me within the first 10 seconds. I'm not too picky when it comes to guitar realism, but the lead and rhythm guitar here fall short of even my bar. It's clearly sampled, although the samples are good. The bass is better. They also have very strange timing, especially the rhythm guitar, which is so far offbeat that it's unclear what they're even trying to do. At 1:50, a bell synth joins in that has the same problem of being strangely behind the beat in a way that doesn't sound intentional; it just sounds like it has a really slow attack. And of course there's no ending to speak of, it just stops. I love your use of the themes here, integrating all four into a neat little ballad. Other than the ending, I felt like the arrangement was great. It's a solid direction, it just needs some tweaks in a few key areas. NO (resubmit)
  14. I'm gonna disagree with my peers here. It's true that there's very little bass presence here, but there isn't zero. The transitional sweeps that Emu hated so much have plenty of bass presence, used for emphasis. I don't think it's too loud at all, and I definitely don't think the arrangement on the whole is too quiet by any stretch of the imagination. The arrangement on the whole is meant to be light and ethereal, and having rumbly bass throughout that would defeat the purpose. The samples, while imperfect, are still pretty darn good. If the piano were solo, or even the lead, for more than the last 4 seconds, I might have more of a beef with it, but as it is it's perfectly acceptable IMO. The drums seem fine to me as well; they're on autopilot for long periods, but not that long, and the sample quality seems well above our bar to me. I've been listening to this for a week trying to figure out why this got two NO's, and I'm just not seeing it. It's an elaborate and creative if short arrangement, with great sound design and an evocative soundscape. Its few flaws are minor and easily forgivable, by me at least. YES
  15. It's not bad for a first attempt. The performances are excellent, no complaints there. However, it does seem like it's an early effort on your remixing journey. What leaps out immediately is the production. It's very dark and heavily filtered. The bass is pretty quiet, but there's no treble at all to speak of; even the cymbals have been almost completely cut away. The bulk of the sounds are smushed into a pretty narrow range in the mids, resulting in a thin soundscape with not much clarity. It doesn't help that the instrumentation is very busy, with not only the usual metal instrument set, but some deeply resonant cinematic synths, which sound like they're pretty epic but I can barely make them out. Arrangement-wise, it's very conservative. The only original content is in the form of an intro, a bridge, a transition, and an outtro (0:00-0:23, 1:34-1:58, 2:25-2:30, and 3:18-end respectively), which together make up only 38% of the track. The rest is pretty much a cover. Furthermore, 2:30-3:18 is an abridged repeat of the first time through the source; I know it's not copy-pasta since each is performed separately, but the treatment is identical, and it's 20% of the track. Either one of these issue by themselves isn't necessarily a dealbreaker, though they're borderline, but together they make for an arrangement that doesn't contain as many interpretive ideas as what we look for. I might be giving the interpretation less credit than it's due because of how much I'm losing to the production issue, though. I'd work on that first, because even with no changes to the arrangement, this will sound pretty sweet with more frequency spread and cleanliness. Then we'll be in a better position to evaluate the transformation. NO (resubmit)
  16. I can't argue with any of that, and I'll add that I found this to be pretty repetitive. Starting at about 3:30, there aren't any new ideas, just minor modifications to stuff we've already heard, and the track is barely over halfway through. I kept thinking I had this track on repeat because I felt like I was hearing the same things over and over. There just aren't six minutes' worth of ideas here. If the bass were less intense, and either the composition reduced down to about 4 minutes or some more creativity were on display in the second half, I could be on board with this. NO (resubmit)
  17. I've had this one on repeat for a while, mostly trying to get myself past the lo-fi production. It's clearly an intentional choice, but the result is the lack of lows throughout the whole piece---I hear a faint bass pulse (maybe an 808?), but there's not much to it---and long stretches with not much in the highs, just the one arp, which is also pretty thin. The beat is great, obviously. The rap/chant is performed and produced excellently, and works perfectly with the source material. It's catchy. I enjoyed it, for sure. But the thin soundscape isn't doing it for me. The bass in particular needs beefing up: you could either fatten up the bass parts that are already there, or add pads or something else to fill it out. More in the highs wouldn't be amiss, either, at least in some of the sections where that arp isn't playing. NO (resubmit)
  18. I can definitely feel your love for this track. It's a killer cover. However, it's little more than a cover. There are some switch-ups in what instruments are playing which parts, but overall the structure isn't substantially different from the original. More importantly, this needs another pass on the production front. It's heavily filtered throughout, and also arranged to be extremely mid-heavy. There are no highs or lows to speak of at all. Not only are almost all the parts written for the very center of the frequency spectrum, the parts that should still have highs and lows, like the cymbals, kick, and bass, have had all those frequencies stripped out. It's such an excellent performance and reinstrumentation that I'd waffle on passing this on an arrangement front, but not on the production front. Please give this another go and send it back to us! NO (resubmit)
  19. Unfortunately, I can't argue with any of that. The sax recording is really poor, with a background crackle that's impossible to ignore; that alone would be enough to send this back. There's a buzz to the triangle pad as well. The sax-led sections are copy-pasted. The ending comes almost out of nowhere, and yeah, I count 52 seconds of silence at the end. I don't think the arrangement is all that bad, although I can't comment on the piano in as much detail as proph. But it does feel underdeveloped, and the production has some pretty fundamental issues. NO
  20. I'm glad you're keeping your hand in, and I'm glad Caustic is seeing some love. It can be a worthy DAW if you use it to its fullest. Unfortunately, I don't think this submission does that. There are a few leads used, but most of them are saws of various types. A lot of the accompanying synths are saws, too. Altogether it's a single-note soundscape for much of its length. It's also quite loud overall. You're smashed up against almost +1dB almost the whole time. It should be a little quieter, but more importantly, there are hardly any dynamics, so it's fatiguing. Arrangement-wise, there's a lot of riffing right out of the gate. Then later in the mix, when you return to the theme, you play it more conservatively. The utility of riffing is to subvert expectations and keep an arrangement from getting stale. With an OC ReMix in particular, you don't want to open with it. It's complicated to begin with, boring to end with, and confusing overall. There are some interesting ideas here: you do switch up the synths frequently, there's some interesting automation, and the general structure is fine. It's a solid foundation. Keep at it! NO
  21. I was a bit concerned with that opening, primitive bass, but then the rich pads come in, and the high-reverb leads and punctuation fill out the soundscape. I'm honestly not hearing any of the issues proph complained about. The "hornet" lead sounds fine to me, and while slightly loud, I can hear all the other parts clearly through it. Sure, the same lines are being played by the same instruments each time, they appear, but it's always in different combinations. There aren't any sections repeated without something significant added, removed, or swapped. No section is long enough that the sounds start to wear out their welcome. The ending feels deliberate to me. So yeah, hard disagree from me. This does a lot with a little, and IMO it's a great illustration of how you don't have to do anything fancy to make a great remix. YES
  22. Yeah, it's weird as heck. I'm only hearing overt source, for a few seconds at a time at 1:36-2:27. I'm hearing more that sounds like it might be vaguely inspired by Hateno Village, but it's generally unrecognizable. I'm also not a huge fan of the abrupt tempo and key changes. They make the arrangement sound terribly disjointed and aimless. I appreciate what went into this, but I just think it's too hard to hear the connections. If I heard this in any other context, I wouldn't imagine it was based on Hateno Village, and I'm very familiar with the song (my daughter spent hours puttering around the town, and not doing much else). NO
  23. The arrangement is indeed killer. It's exactly what I love to see in a mashup. The energy is great, and it's hugely creative. However, proph is absolutely right about the production. There's a ton of sub-bass and very little in the highs, and actually not that much in the mid-bass range either. As a result, everything's concentrated in the mids, except for an extremely boomy kick that you feel more than you hear. It's a very thin soundscape overall. I'm also not as happy about the synth choices. To me, everything sounds stock and primitive. The bass in particular has an Ad-Lib sound to it that sounds like it was made by a bedroom producer circa 1999. They would have sounded great for an early OC ReMix, but I don't think they hold up today. I'm loving the hell out of the composition, but the sound quality just isn't doing it for me. I really hope we can post a revision sooner rather than later. NO (resubmit)
  24. I dunno, I think that's a bit harsh. None of the points proph makes are wrong, but I don't think the magnitude of them is all that great. The articulation isn't the greatest, but it's not terrible. The ones that stand out the most are the string ensembles that play like one person, and the dramatically different treatment of the glockenspiel the two times it appears. The clarinet is pretty mechanical, but it only stands out briefly. Everything else is present, but it's fairly subtle. On the other hand, the orchestration is pretty conservative, and large swathes of it are basically sound upgrades. Rebecca's arrangements tend to be conservative, and her approach makes more "modern" (I say of a PS1 title, grump grouch) tracks more challenging to arrange in an expansive way. It does enough, but not by a ton. I don't think anything here falls below our bar. It doesn't clear it by a huge margin, but I also don't have any concerns about it falling short, either. YES
  25. I didn't hear the first version of this, but from what I can tell, this is a vast improvement. Lots of variation to the instrumentation, textures, and beats. It's a really fun arrangement all throughout. However, you also got one critical piece of feedback that you don't seem to have taken advantage of: Balance. Every melody-driven part of the track has a problem with the melody being buried. In 1:05-1:29 the lead is played by a mellow synth that's too quiet compared to the bell and the percussion. In 1:30-1:55 and again at 3:00-3:25, you have the lead and a vamping counterpoint, played by the same saw synth, at the same volume, and they're stepping all over each other. 3:26-3:52 doesn't have the problem of using the same synth, but there's an extra layer or two as well; the warm pad in particular is right in the range where you don't want it. 3:53-4:19 features a bell lead that at least stands on its own, but again it's far too quiet compared to the bass and percussion. I really enjoyed the arrangement. The vamping of the melody was really entertaining, and the energy levels were just right. It's not quite as simple as a balance fix, because some of the synths you chose as leads are softer, more triangle-like waveforms, which have a hard time cutting through a mix, so you might want to choose different leads there, as well as something different to accompany the lead in the two sections where they're the same. (It can be a similar synth, but shape it a little differently and make it a little quieter; stereo separation can also help but is tricky when a lead is involved.) I really do want to see this back. Keep at it! NO (resubmit)
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