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danny B

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Everything posted by danny B

  1. Attempts to radically change harmonies to fit the original melody are difficult. This is a case where the original progression to a relatively simple tune is even MORE simplified, and the interest levels suffers. Aside from the relatively low sample quality, which can actually be utilized to be stylistically "ol' Skool", the overall arrangement is in a word, n00besque. The different instruments mixing in and out of the groove aren't interesting enough on their own to effectively supplement the melody. Given that the harmony also makes the melody sound questionably different to the point of near-ouch-bad-clashy-dissonance, I can't in good faith give this one the go. See above posts. NO -D
  2. I don't mean to stir up a piggy already nestled in its own filth, but I really don't think this is OC Quality. The drumwork isn't really "tricky" as much as it is sloppy and random, with enough stutter and filter fx to almost entirely mask the problem. It seems like the coolest parts are acheived through "carpet bombing" drum licks. Through enough fills into a piece, one of them will eventually be pretty cool. It consists of nearly identical instrumentation throughout, and awkward moments like 1:15 that grind the tune to a halt. Also, about 90% of the song is distorted to hell and back, and it's hard to make sense out of all these annihilated frequencies clashing against each other. The latter half of the tune's percussion divebombs into a smattering of frequencies and an overbearing albeit appropriate beat scheme. And once again, in comes the filter to make the drums interesting, rather than actual percussive arrangement to flesh out the tones in use. And then of course, there's the ending akin to hitting a brick wall. Just wanted to express my dissenting vote. NO -D
  3. Well, in addition to my comrades' already sufficient commentary, I'll just add that the percussion is by far the weakest element. It really doesn't serve the purpose that a drum kit should in such an "80's style new age/rock" tune. Some fills consist of eighth note rides on an open hi-hat followed by awkward crash cymbal patterns. However, the strings do a good job of keeping the juices flowing, especially the use of tremelo at the right places. The orchestra bells keep it interesting, and the little touches like the tambourine add some interest to an otherwise drab piece. Guitar is slightly out of tune sometimes, but in more of a rockstar kind of way than a n00b kind of way. Basically, it's a blemish that doesn't reduce the whole product. YES -D
  4. It's nice to see a mixer attempt a track with a broad, epic scope and a cinematic flair. No beef with the sectional arrangement side of this. Nice feeling of an intro flowing into a rockin' ditty. The sound quality, however, is substandard all of the way through. The acoustic guitar is very boomy and muddy. Many sections seem unfinished, such as 1:40. It feels like the main groove just got cut off, with effects reverbed and delayed over the change. Then a crazy warbly synth comes in to segue into probably the best section of the mix, the piano with the acoustic guitar backing. While the notes are fine, the SQ just screams SNES. At 1:21, the piano isn't necessarily OFF. It just sounds like they aren't the best notes that could have been played. Overall, I do appreciate the level of effort that seems to have gone into this, but more must be done in the realm of sound quality and transition. The songs seem pasted together with weak, SFX-laden segues, and the overall vibe is GM MIDI. Work with DSP, EQ and fluid transitions. NO -D
  5. OK. First off, I do really enjoy this mix. It's very.......GothLektro. There are ways to do a chiptune, and ways to screw up a chiptune. This track is halfway between chiptune and drumloop addition. That said, it does sound good. It would fit in in some crazy bondage club or something. It's got a raw energy that many musicians forget to try and capture. Unfortunatly, the guidelines kill this one for me, and for good reason. While the drumloop additions are well done and appropriate, and the breakdowns are phat and precise, I can't look past the fact that most of this is a straight transcription of the original. If there was some kind of melodic improv, or at least some subtle harmonic alterations, i'd consider it an arrangement and not a cut & paste. There is an obvious attempt to utilize atonal, timbral improvisation, most notably in sections like 2:14. Nice work there, but it's still just different icing on the same old cake. Put some more originality in the presentation of the notes and chord structure you're initially working with, and i'm quite sure you'll be able to pull it out. The retro sound scheme is working for me. If you'd like to hear a pseudo-chiptune done right, check out Shael Riley's Technomancy. It's not done with the GBA chip, but it's a great example of how to keep it interesting even with low-fi sound sets. NO -D
  6. This tune is a textbook example of HOW to arrange a preexisting, regular song into hip-hop. The timbres are all convincing and authentic. The guitar with vibrato does a great job of stating the main melody with that quirky hip-hop feel. The verses are all very well executed. It seems almost as if the original theme was hip-hop in disguise. Like I said, this is how hip-hop arrangements should be done. That said, I would accept this mix on its instrumentation and arrangement qualities. However, the loud beep at 2:42 is unnacceptable. I'm thinking it's a bleep, but considering I don't know the language this is in, I have no context to work off of. It needs to go. When it is, I'll reconsider. And while that bleep is being removed, please try to EQ the percussion and whole mix in general a bit more carefully. The kick needs more thump, the snare needs more snap, and the instrumentation needs more definition as to which frequencies each synth is supposed to be dominating. Right now, it sounds like cookie cutter default synth presets. Beef up the bass with some low frequencies and a bit of ~4KHz to give it some twang and presence. The synth leads and backgrounds just need their most favorable frequencies amplified. Give 'er some TLC, and i'll call her my baby. Until then, NO -D
  7. This song has nothing to do with Final Fantasy 7. This song seems to have nothing to do with music. I know the FF7 OST by heart, it's my baby. I'm telling you, there is nothing in the remix even remotely similar or arranged from the original. I might be stepping over the N00B-line, here, but NO OVERRIDE Correct me if i'm wrong. -D
  8. Once again, the Lante of a Vigi variety sums all that needs to be said. The main issue is the GM midi quality. The arrangement shows some promise, no major pitfalls with harmonies or clashing chords. Get some sound quality, and a more straightforward approach to the genre, and we'll give 'er a go. NO -D
  9. Honestly, I really dig the low fi guitar work. Sounds like an electronic infusion into 70's cowboy movie music. I'm really torn on this one because I do enjoy it, but I know I can't pass it. There's nothing else in the mix that insinuates that the lo-fi guitar is an intentional thing, and not just a by-product of sub-par mixing. The choir is a nice touch, and once again, I enjoy the synthetic nature of it. But what the tune needs is some kind of percussive backing to keep it moving. The sfx are slick, but on the very edge of being overused. There is also little variation between the parts, much like the typical ABAB nature of the original. It needs a bit more arrangement and attention to sound quality details. Then I'd gladly sponsor it for just pennies a day so it can recieve medical attention, and the schooling it needs to survive. God bless! NO -D
  10. The Vig hit it on the head. Two note harmonies, typical oom-tss groove, and little variation in instrumentation. Too default, too Eiffel 65 without the excrutiatingly annoying lyrics. Juice this pig up. Give it something to diffrentiate it from the 328462389565293 other oom-tss tunes. NO -D
  11. A very simplistic mix that does little to expand upon the original, rather than send the portamento lead on wacky journeys to higher octaves and back. Combine that with synth programming that sounds more like "load default sample" than "make a sample that works", and you've got a pretty dull track. There are sections few and far between that actually get a complex and interesting groove on. Unfortunately, they are surrounded by many sections of the same old, same old synth rhythms and default drum kit patterns. Much more needed in the areas of arrangement complexity, synth programming and thicker instrumentation. NO -D
  12. The drums sound real nice when they come in at first, very intense and in-yo-face nekkah! But then they just....keep...going. Right before 1:20 was a grand place to put some kind of breakdown in place, eschewing the crazy breakbeating for a more chill section. The piano and bass definately insinuate such an arrangement, but the drums continue to drone. The percussion would also do well to reinforce the syncopated mix-ups like the one at 2:20. Instead, it drones on. What i'm hearing is a very decent mix with some nice playing and arrangement, but one overriding factor that absolutely kills it (the percussion) and many small ones that help to bring it down. First off, the sound quality is a bit muddy, i'm not hearing much differentiation between high, low, and mid frequencies. My sub isn't firing on each pulse-pounding, phat beat as much as it's just in a constant state of random flux. This means that the low-end is in no way as defined as it needs to be in this breakbeatish type of musicosity. The high frequencies are notably absent as well. It's a smattering of wide-mid-range. EQ could have done wonders. While I do respect that you actually played all these parts live rather than sequence them, this track simply needs more love on EQ, fx processing, and most notably, SOME kind of percussive variation. Give 'er another go. I'm diggin', but not to the point of OCR acceptitude....yet. NO -D
  13. Ah, "The Other Side of the Mountain". One of my personal favorites from my favorite OST, and one of the few songs i can actually play on piano. The mix consists of primarily orchestral fare, broken up by melodic lines on piano. I personally think that the harmony of the original really made the tune, and unfortunately, i don't think this track does it justice. Aside from the fact that latter half of song is an obviously minor-keyed attraction, and then arbitrarily resolves to a major ending, there are harmonic problems abound. Muddy bass notes do more to conflict with the other voices rather than supplement them around the 2:41-2:55 area. It makes it a bit difficult to enjoy the rather pleasant chord progressions occuring at that time. Come 3:42, we finally get the main piano melody playing with sufficient harmonic background. Had there been more sections like this, it might be acceptable. The vocal sample is enjoyable, but to me it sounds very out of place. My ear training isn't the greatest, but I think the sample is jumping a minor 6th, the interval of an augmented triad between the two outer notes, then resolving to a 5th, within the context of minor chords. A bit awkward to my ear, and certainly not theoretically wrong. Maybe others might enjoy it. Vigilante was right about the continuity. It's definately a problem. The piano sample isn't very good, and it's solo melodic sections really stick out as sounding unfinished. There is slight harmonic reinforcement via string chords and a woodwind instrument, but the strings are static and simply provide a chord to play against. The woodwind instrument (oboe?) simply gives the piano something to resolve against, and then a simpler phrasing of the melody to accompany it. Not very interesting, to me at least. The different sections suffer from sounding pasted together, as there's no real transition, apart from awkward silences that appear to attempt dramatic spacing. This, along with the unnaccompanied melodic piano, comes out to being more boring than interestingly spartan. The sound quality is also a bit of an issue as well. The vocal sample within sections of higher activity sounds decent enough. However, sections like 2:24 contain a kind of "rumble" sound that cuts off abruptly. I'm also hearing what sounds like low quality mp3 artifacting, but since the mp3 is in 128k, I can only conclude that it's a sample conversion issue. This tune has a lot of good ideas, but it suffers from sound quality issues and continuity issues that fall below the criteria. A bit more variation in instrumentation, more attention to harmonic detail and a more fluid presentation would do wonders for this work in progress. Give 'er another go and fix up these issues, and then YOU'RE WINNER! NO -D
  14. So the instrumentation is a bit muddy, and the arrangement is a tidbit anti-climactic. I don't really hear much dynamic contrast or harmonic variation between most sections (aside from a nice key modulation), but there is enough here to signify a grasp of basic orchestration techniques. Coupled with a decent rearrangement, and an acceptable mix utilizing high-quality samples, this mix is worthy of the grail. YES -D
  15. I'm going to go the cliche route and mention that this is "typical Mark Vera" something-or-other. Great mixing and mastering, great authenticity in regards to a retro electronica sound, and a very focused, defined development from intro to ending. Great work. Personally I don't know why Mark's tracks are hitting the panel at all . YES -D
  16. ..... This is a smattering of drum loops, a verbatim iteration of the main melody, and some kind of cool Game Boy sounds. It's also 1:24 long. It has basic string samples supporting the chord structure. Make it a decent length, at LEAST 2:30, show a semblance of arrangement, and find a way to separate your tracks, instead of a plum pudding conglomeration of center channel, lo-fidelity auralification. NO! -D
  17. We've got some nice rhythmic ideas here, but unfortunately they're overshadowed by a shoddy mixing job and samples that don't seem to adequately cover the necessary frequency ranges. Firstly, the percussion is nearly piercing throughout the piece, not to mention unrelentingly repetitive - and the accompaniment underneath the "solo" type sections are weak and underdeveloped. Now normally I can deal with a great deal of repetition, I dig trance and all kinds of ethereal electronica, but this is obviously a case of someone running out of ideas. The original has so much more to do than what this arrangement lets on. Filtering effects and simplistic, repeating chop effects don't cut the mustard in this kitchen. Add some varie-tay and add some more music into this smattering of special effects. Till then - NO -D
  18. A duet guitar ditty with little actual arrangement, rife with technical errors and meandering, unfocused solo work does not an OCRemix make. Both parts suffer from obvious errors, a couple of flat out WRONG notes, which i'll list later, and a decent, while not in any way impressive mastering job. A basic, innappropriate cathedral-type reverb effect washes over the lead, nearly smothering it, the timing occasionally gets off, and a noticeable hum drones in the background throughout. If this was a similarly arranged piano piece, it would be rejected by now. The fact that it is a guitar track means nothing. The solos simply don't make any real sense to me. The player is running through the original, near verbatim, then using an ascending or descending scale up or down, with slight alterations. I don't mean to say that the guitar player is terrible or a bad person or has any type of venereal disease, as the rhythm often is very precise and crisp. There are great ideas here, that seem like they're only unsatisfactory because it's like this is pretracking for an awesome rock tune. I can hear a Tenacious D style accompaniment. But for that to occur, the length would need to be at least 2 minutes the greater. The errors would need to be removed, and the solos would need to be better defined and phrased in the context of some kind of cohesive arrangement. This is a 2 minute jam session that could have easily been put together in an hour or less. Don't we desire more effort than this? Clean up the playing, give it some type of accompaniment, or at least a form that complements a guitar duet. Then you'll have my blessing. NO Errors - :17 - sloppy triplet pull-off. :17-:21 - tempo problems on lead. :23 - another sloppy triplet. :29 - didn't hold fret hard enough, muted a note that needed to come out. :38-:39 - another sloppy pull-off/hammer on combo. :58 rhythm guitar went to the wrong chord (went to chorus rather than repeat verse) on the first strum, then fixed it. 1:11 - There is a wrong note here. Not abstract or obtuse - WRONG. 1:21 - 1:24 - Major tempo problems with the triplets here. The only reason i'm being so anal is because I've never seen a track with such plentiful technical shortcomings get YESsified as such. I hope my colleagues will agree and/or reconsider their decision. -The D
  19. I only heard the original of this a few times, as FFXI quickly siphoned my life away and I was forced to cancel the subscription. This track, regardless of its resemblance to the original, which is superficial at best, still suffers from many mastering and arrangement pitfalls. There are some interesting DSP effects on some instruments, but often it cuts out to just the drums or just an atmospheric effect, with little to no musical context for such a solo. Everything but the drums (which happen to be pretty lo-fi) suffer from extremely washy reverb, and sound like they're being played in a cathedral from a 3-inch speaker. Sometimes it seems to delve into random chord progression. Not only do the timbres not seem to mesh but often the chords simply don't work together with themselves and the melody. There is some good attention to DSP and processing, but the arrangement, sound quality and chord structure is far too sub-par to pass. NO -D
  20. Very low-fi and frantic. The arrangement jumps around between musical ideas with little regard to smooth transitions. The guitar is by far the highlight of the piece, and it is well played and mixed. However, the whole track suffers from a muddy, lo-fi sound that is unbecoming of such a rockin' ditty. The percussion arrangement is spotty and random in nature, with crashes and open hi-hats ringing out of nowhere, and with no real defined purpose, other than unnecessary and clumsy ornamentation. The bridge section near the end is very anti-climactic and makes any interest I had in the piece fade. It sounds like the band got bored and the guitarist is trying to get it going again. Much tighter arrangement needed here. The softer parts are nice touches, but they should be introduced appropriately, and not just pasted onto the end of a chorus or bridge. Clean it up, make a more concerted effort at a cohesive arrangement, and definitely resubmit (considering the yes monsters don't invade). NO -D
  21. Like it's been said, ditch the drums, work on the sound quality as a separate, dynamic piano arrangement. Then I'll consider it. NO -D
  22. At first, the encoding was getting under my skin. I was considering rejecting this, until the drums and flute came in. The hand percussionist is brilliant, whoever he is, he's got great technique and authentic tone production. The piano isn't jazzy or anything, but it's energetic, dynamic and just plain money. The flute is played with emotion and energy, and really lends a human touch to the tune, something that few if any OC Remixes possess. Honestly, the encoding is a minor detractor, and it even adds an air of live performance to the track. A lot of live CD's I have from big time bands like Sublime and radiohead sound like this. Very "recorded on the spot". It's gritty, it's aurally visceral, it's raw. I love it. YES -D
  23. Just so you all know, the "guitar" is a subtractor patch with a Scream 4 distortion unit. Check it out. http://members.cox.net/ocmaniac/shadowman.rps I love Reason 2.5. -D
  24. Like the Viggy said, underdeveloped. Needs more attention to SQ basics, like EQ and compression, and some kind of arrangement diversity to keep it from total monotony. Sounds like WIP v 0.5. Finish 'er on up, send 'er on back. NO -D
  25. Since the musical aspects of the mix don't really do any justice to the original, I can't pass it. However, kudos for doing some very innovative things rhythmically. NO -D
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