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danny B

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Everything posted by danny B

  1. I don't know much about the intricacies of mix addition/replacement, so I don't think i'm qualified to make a steadfast vote on what should happen. The new mix is definately a better track overall, and I don't think anyone will miss the old one with this one taking over, so I would think replacement would be the best option. However, if it's easier to just add it without screwing the bittorrent thing and violating lockdown procedure, go for it. Whatever's easiest on Dave. -D
  2. I'm kind of wondering if i'm hearing the same song as these two. The drums switch up plenty for me, and the distorted textures, along with spooky string samples, etc create a pretty convincing dNb atmosphere. This is definately NOT "looping 37 times". I hear quite a concerted effort to create a dynamic and morphing electronic environment. In the same vein as the (excellent) Water Warning mix by DJ Seith, I find that this mix, while not exemplary in its utilization of harmonic and melodic information from the original, does a sufficient job of expanding on a simple motif. I don't see any difference between the innovative use of the Sonic drowning sound and this. 1:16 is killer, btw. Very mind-warping. This whole track is atonal goodness. I like it. A bunch. Voice sample usage is a bit cheesy and overdone, some chopping and warping fx might have helped. However, I think this is one of the most innovative and unique tracks to ever hit OCR. Not to mention it sounds like it's straight off a dNb vinyl album. Bias against abstract forms of electronica should not prevent its publication. Certain judges should become more diversified in their appreciation of synthesized music. But i'm eating a lot of Bran Flakes just in case. YES -D
  3. I think my noble compatriots hit most of the major points here. It is quite close to the original. Combine that with mostly synths that have no type of filtering or DSP to differentiate them from freshly generated tones, and you've got a tune that needs quite a bit of work. It does have an energy to it, now let's get some more originality and attention to sound processing. NO -D
  4. I've gotta give it to Flik - It's a very nicely produced "concept piece". The arrangement isn't a modern Tchaikovsky, but it doesn't matter. It works. The "YOU SUCK"s are awesome. The flubbed beginning picking and subsequent "damn it" is great. The production is generally of pretty high quality, with each instrument clearly defined and spaced in the stereo field. The percussion is definately a weak spot, but convincing synthesized ballad drums are a rare thing to come by. When the electric piano came in at 2:30 I swear I was warped back in time to a junior high dance. And that's exactly the point. The track works mostly because it's transporting. I can't find enough flaws without nitpicking to reject this. gg afk YES -D
  5. The intro reminds me of Hotel California. Brownie Points, there. The arrangement is overall pretty decent; it doesn't take any huge risks but doesn't have any huge pitfalls either. However, without a stellar arrangement job, sound quality has to help make up for it. No dice, here. Very SNES-ish, especially the vibrato on the synths. The "volume" fx that Larry so eloquently referenced sound more like velocity glitches than actual attempts at melodic artistry. I'm not hearing the uber-wunderbar transition. I'm hearing a fadeout into some nicely done, ethereal pads and filter work. This part would have worked nicely as an introduction. Instead, it further alienates my interest in the piece, and the abrupt piano-synth "strum" brings out the ancient sound quality issue again. Leaves a bad taste in the mouth, per se. The percussion work throughout is very ho-hum. Nothing really going on except for a very simple ballad-esque beat played with very bland, top heavy samples. Give that kick some meat, the snare some snap, and the metals some sizzle. Til then - NO -D
  6. I may be overstepping my authority here, but - NO OVERRIDE I've played plenty enough frozen throne to know that it is, indeed the original with a drumloop placed directly on top of it. There are some time-morphing fx, but that's it. This doesn't even cover the whole song, i think. If there are any additions, (harp, etc) - I can't hear them. Correct me if i'm wrong. -D Nice drumloop tho
  7. Often times to make a decision, I weigh the sum of good vs. the sum of bad. The mix in question has a smattering of both. I'll list them off in a stream of conscienceness kind of smattering - First off, I could have sworn that the intro guitar was a sample, and not played live. This speaks volumes for the guitar quality throughout. The melody is played well enough, but there are several notable, technical problems. :35-:36 - The guitar pull-off is sloppy. 1:38 - Somewhat sloppy pull-off. 2:18-2:22 This is random, haphazard note jumping that doesn't really fit the key suggested by the underlying rhythm guitar. 4:19 - 4:33 - More haphazard voice leading. The staccato doesn't help, either. With strings flowing through, I expected legato picking and the strings to let ring. More personal taste, but I think a more solid technical base would have made this sound much more pleasing. Given the fact that one is submitting a track to be posted on a website to be heard by the masses, it's assumed (by me, at least) that every effort is made to make a recorded performance shine. Same reason I rejected (or had issue with, can't remember) Shadow's FF4 ReMix. Some aspects of the mix are just simply mistakes. Raise objections about subjectivity all day long. They sound like mistakes to me. Another issue is the altered chords underlying certain sections of the melody. I don't think it's necessary to go through each example, there's one every few measures. It sounds as though the artist is attempting to create a "pleasing dissonance" of sorts with the altered chords that affect the melody in different ways than the original did. Nothing wrong with this at all, I often preserve the melody and alter the harmony. However, in this case, it really does cause problems, as the chords seem to have no tonal relationship with the melodic ideas being set forth. In layman's terms - the butter don't mix with the frosting. Now, on to the "wrong notes" that occur in the closing sections. I am notoriously liberal to questionable notes. Even good ol' J.S. Bach used Non-chord tones. Using NCT's can create very pleasing situations, such as the resolving of a leading tone in a natural minor key, or the resolution of an augmented third down to its major self. Unfortunatly, this mix doesn't, in my mind, utilize "clashing" chords for its own good. Thus, I find that the chords are inherently incompatible with the melody. While I can see an effort to compensate for the notes that don't fit the key, the compensation is too little, too late. There needed to be at leasta modulation or some kind of warning to the blatantly off-key notes to make it ok with me. Sorry dude. NO -D
  8. This has been one of the hardest songs i've ever had to judge. There is obviously a grasp of mixing fundamentals, as well as attention to sound quality (mostly) all across the board. However, there are several parts of the mix that are quite problematic. The first of which is after the nicely played re-chorded (albeit far from revolutionary) piano intro. The violin sample is a classic example of lazy instrumentation. It's quite obviously got far too slow of an attack, and it makes me feel like the rhythm is dragging. Just a very sloppy, inexcusable sound quality issue here. It would take 5 minutes of experimentation and realignment of the sample to fix. That, and it's hardly audible on certain notes. I wouldn't be so anal on this, but it's a very blatant sound quality issue that I personally see as very subpar. I wouldn't reject it based on one bad instrument, however. The second major problem is the "transition" into the main groove. I'm not entirely sure as my ear training is vastly out of practice, but I could swear that the groove is in a completely different key than the intro. That, without an appropriate modulation or rhythmic transition, the sheer lack of any kind of effort in the way of smoothly introducing the "meat" of the tune turns me off to the whole deal early on. The percussion is fairly well done, but quickly establishes itself as a simple droning 808-ish pattern to support the synth and guitar work. The aforementioned synth work is good enough for a submission, not taking too many risks but not falling flat either. The guitar work is easily the strongest point of the mix. The acoustic solo is rad, and the distortion guitar work is sufficient for me. Aside from that, all I can really hear is a simple pad synth helping to keep things trippy and a jumpy bassline that really could have used much more exposure. This formula dominates the arrangement throughout, with little in the way of breakdowns or bridges aside from a solo that doesn't really do anything to intensify or calm the going-ons. The ending is a straight cutoff with some reverb and pads ringing through. A totally legit choice, but the tune seemed to be groovy enough to warrant something a bit more rhythmically involved. Like I said, this was a tough call. There is enough originality to make it a viable arrangement, but this just seems too much like a late-version WIP. The main driving force is obviously the guitar, and I can't pass a mix with one great element, many mediocre ones, and a handful of plain bad ones. In the interest of keeping the bar raised, I'm going to play Sandra Day O'Connor and dissent. NO -D
  9. Yet another textbook case of a song that the FAQ should have prevented from ever being submitted. We accept rearrangements. Not covers. It's nice that you can make songs with whatever softsynth, keyboard or whatever you're using, but to cut it here, we need at least a bit of attention to EQ, mixing fundamentals and a semblance of sample quality. Casio Keyboard samples don't make the grade. Sorry. NO -D
  10. Etc, Etc, Etc. See Above. Let's make this official. NO -D
  11. I don't think there was any chance that anyone would go for this one. And if anyone did, you know what would happen to their lawn. NO -D
  12. This dude will never stop amazing me. Neighburgers originally sounded like a cheesy-ass cover of a quirky tune, but after a few more listens, the complexity just oozes out. The honky-tonk piano is spot-on. The harmonies that slowly eek in and out of the mix with that creepy ep make me feel all chilly inside. The transitions are abrupt, but at the same time refreshingly original. I LOVE the intricacy at sections like 2:34 that signify a huge amount of thought put into the presentation of even the minor details. As is standard in Protricity pieces, a high level of sonic detail is present, but this track totally takes the cake with sheer micromanagement of every timbre and rhythmic detail. The bridge starting at 3:22 makes me want to cry, it's so damned good. Makes me feel all mushy. It's a simple section, but he's done well to keep it interesting with a very emotive progression and a wailing, melodramatic lead. The odd thing is, I wouldn't say the sound quality is at all stellar, in fact it very much sounds tracked. But Prot has once and now - again, proved that a (very) firm grasp of EQ, mixing and solid arrangement can plow through any sample discrepancies. I'm a fanboy. Count me in. -D
  13. I don't think there is an mp3 of the original. Like I said, I hear but one reference to the actual Halo soundtrack, and it's a subtle marcato cellos bit. Listen to any of the soundtrack and you'll hear the similarity to the style. -D
  14. Interesting use of samples to make Dracula rap, but this mix is not much more than a pretty annoying lead playing a cover of a kickin' metal/rock tune. The attempt at retro sound is not doing it for me, and the mix seems to depend on the novelty of the sound clips. Also, its basically using the same instrumentation throughout, with very little variation to break up the lo fidelity monotony. 1:37 - bad note on that downward melodic statement. Bring it one half step down. I think it's off every time that part of the melody plays. And I liked Technomancy so much..... This just sounds sloppy and unfinished. Sry d00d. NO Maybe this would work as a lead-in, but as it stands, there are too many iffy chords and nothing to really make it stand out to me as above the bar. -D
  15. I know someone who's going to have a big poop in his yard.
  16. No, No, No, No...I will not have mindless simplicity-bashing. Not on my watch. There are ways to make music interesting without utilizing a 12-tone scale based on the ratio of cornflakes to coco puffs in your neighborough-hood general store. As I have stated before with certain hiphop arrangements, simplicity must be used effectively to maintain any kind of musical interest. There is not always a need to modify the melody into a mutated beast of its former self. This track builds well, sustains a groove worthy of the highest paid jiggity-jivers in the whole damn town, and does enough breakdowns and mix-ups to keep it all jivin' without too much looping. There are subtle melodic mix-ups in the sine-wave lead that absolutely fit the new form of the tune in the best way. The way the rhodes and synth-a-plucks complement the chord changes runs chills down my spine. VERY well done. This is a textbook example of instrumentation and style adding enough to a track to look past the less-than-revolutionary arrangement. Absolutely. I will personally poop on any judge's lawn who rejects this. YES -D
  17. What this is is a new track for a hidden level on Halo. There are very small, subtle nuances to existing Halo tunes, but not enough to constitute this as a rearrangement from the game. Much like the very well done System Shock 2 ReMix I had to put down, a remix inspired by the music of a game does not an OC ReMix make. Incredible, epic and cleanly produced, but the guidelines need to sideline this one. Sorry. NO -D
  18. The rearranging done here is enough to impress me. Very creative running harmonies, countermelodies, etc. Percussion is neither omnipresent nor lackadaisical. I'm hearing no problems with instrumentation or melodic/harmonic shortcomings. The arrangement is unique, skillfully executed and utilizes the full dynamic range of the orchestra. The consistently innovative reiterations of the original main theme stir up John Williams feelings in my tum-tum. GJ. 3:30 gave me chills. Straight up. Excellence. The sound quality is, however, on the far side of badness. There are few samples that don't grate on my soul. But this is to be expected from such archaic "technology". Normally, such a sound quality shortcoming would not cause me to reject it outight. However, there exist several parts that sound far too MIDI and seem to reduce down to the more unnacceptable side of sparseness. While the arrangement kicks my ass to the curb, I simply can't see a track with such low production values on the front page. But tell you what - Get someone with even a slightly improved soundset, use some slightly more sophisicated DSP, and make this arrangement more clearly sing its gorgeous tune unto the world. Hell, contact me, and i'll run it through Orkester and some VSTs I have. I'd gladly do it, and i'm sure there are plenty of other musicians who would love to have a hand in this BRILLIANT arrangement in any manner possible. So for now, i'm afraid I must use the power of NO. You have my contact info. PLEASE get someone to help with the sound quality. I adore this arrangement far too much to see it dwindle into the annals of NOosity. -D
  19. This post is from the review board of the song. ------------ One thing i'll never understand is the reverance for Kaijin's mixes here on OCR. I was under the impression that, according to the faq, a "ReMix" consists of sufficient rearragement to constitute something more than a simple upgrade to sample quality. True, there are very basic, minor additions in this piece, but nothing that would really take anyone with 2 months of music synthesis experience much effort to create. It's not a bad thing that Kaijin chooses to stick (very) close to originals when remixing, the Terra mix and the Sonic 2 mix case in point. There are uses for such tracks, just not on OCR, as far as I understand the policy. I hope this post doesn't come off as an attack, as it isn't meant to be. It's 1). A concise review of a concise arrangement, one that isn't worthy of an in-depth review, because of the close proximity to the original. And 2). A respectful questioning of a mix that was directly posted, regardless of what seems to me as glaring submission violations. Then again, I'm still a relative judge n00b, and my grasp on policy may still be whack-diggity. Again I reiterate, I am not attacking or demeaning the musical integrity of Kaijin. The track is well done and sounds just fine, it's just the fact that I have rejected many songs with the same or better sound quality based on lack of creative arrangement. I think that saying to stray too far from the original would "pervert" or "destroy" the original's musical intention is a cop-out, plain and simple. And again for clarity, I do not control this site, nor do I wish to impose my wishes upon the submission guidelines. But it seems to me that Kaijin's work as a whole does not really meet with the fundamental purpose of the site, to rearrange music with a personal touch and give it a new spin, as to at least differentiate it from the original. I would have also had to vote NO. Respectfully, -Daniel
  20. zircon.... You have come so far. Excellent work here, any flaws that could be considered would be but nitpicks. It's a solid arrangement, one worthy of our acceptance. Watch this kid, he'll be a star someday soon. YEA TOTALLY -D
  21. First off, the percussion issue Prot mentioned is pretty severe. I was trying to find some kind of crazy meter that it fit into, but to no avail. It's bad. Given the relatively low quality of the percussion arrangement as a whole, I can't excuse it as a fluke. Crash cymbals are thrown about recklessly in the more active sections. Needless to say, it gets a bit tired quickly. The snare and kick are nearly lifeless, with no punch to them at all. EQ is needed here, and a more consistent mix overall. The guitar work is consistently good, but nothing really goes above and beyond in that particular department. Nothing but a pretty direct transcription of the original with small embellishments periodically. Vig should be able to critique the axe better than I. The track's arrangement suffers from a sort of "droning" that is in part due to the measure-long guitar chords that well....drone on and on while the barely-audible percussion....drones on. The song doesn't feel like it builds and releases as much as it alternates between a boring section and a faster, much more interesting section. There are parts of this that totally rock. The outro starting at 5:30 is radically awesome. Why couldn't that have been the intro? Why couldn't the rest of the song have kept that kind of interest? I'd like to hear a more defined percussion set with EQ and a more complex arrangement than a slightly ornamented reiteration of the original with guitar. Until then, NO -D
  22. I don't have the familiarity with the original that Prot does, but i'll back him up. Despite a few good samples like the brass and strings, most of this sounds pretty bland. It's confusing what direction the tune is trying to take, and the blatant overuse of crash cymbals in certain sections hurts my sound holes. It's a pretty solid tune, but doesn't seem to excel in any particular way. Tastes like......wasted potential. NO -D
  23. I've got no beef with the loop. It's switched up enough to keep it on its groove track. What I do have a large platter of USDA select for is the lack of volume in everything that isn't the percussion. I'm really digging the arrangement and the varying instrumentation around the piano. The piano could use a bit of a better sample if possible and some EQ. And a more atmospheric reverb rather than a delay (sounds like delay....or a hard reflecting reverb) would be nice. The ending is a simple drum-out, which would work fine if there was flow occuring. No flow, no go. Fix the volume on the non-drum instruments, give 'er a more direct EQ, and if practical, get some flow. NO Very enjoyable though. Resubmit. -D
  24. It's got dynamics. It's got solid utilization of most the sounds of the orchestra. It's got an effective, cinematic flair. It's a bit sloppy during some of the more...ornate sections. It's got my vote. YES -D It's good to hear high quality samples actually being used to ARRANGE, and not just transcribe.
  25. It's all been covered in the upspace^ NO -D
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