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danny B

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Everything posted by danny B

  1. Nope, sorry dude. I know what's going on here, and it doesn't work for me, because vocal samples can work in this context for breaks and small "storytime" sections, but this is far too much dialogue and not much real music other than a sample of the beginning doodoo's along with rudimentary expansion upon the theme with substandard samples. That was a long fuckin' sentence. NO -D
  2. DJ Orange. Damn you. Damn you, sir. Your shit is so damn hard to judge. Because sometimes I can't tell if you're doing some things on purpose. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it just makes sure all your shit is totally crazy and off the hook. Drum n Bass is a form of art that is widely misunderstood and grossly underappreciated. It is absolute hell to get right. My beef with this tune is that half of it is dead-on, and half of it is very....off. The sampled laser sounds get real annoying. Real fast. The beginning percussion sounds like something that would be named "DnBLoop3.wav". I've heard it before. It's been done. The uber-distorted synth at :40 is totally unjustified in the context of the soundscape. The snare sample used is very much tiring, and could have used some DSP luvin. Therefore, I am forced to designate this song as the NO variety, due to unoriginal and tiring percussion programming (besides some sick cut-ups; too little too late, unfortunately ), questionable EQ and mastering details, along with rhythms that are far too consistent to fit in with the random DnB nature of the tune. This song could use a redrafting, maybe a slight rethinking to achieve a more direct, focused sound that better serves your formidable programming abilities. I'll catch you on the final draft-side. -D
  3. OK, so we've got lo-fi breaks connecting sparse progressions and melodic statements. What are you guys going nuts over? I can't recognize the original save for a few major taglines, and it seems like someone is using fruity loops and alternating between 3 drumloops while throwing in different synth patterns every few measures. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot to like. The wah guitar is sick, bass is generally kickin', and synth programming is pretty good. However, this song consists of strewn-about ideas that need arrangement and a much more concise presentation. this is a 3:30 song in a 5:00 song's body. Slim er' down, she ain't gettin' no lovin' from me just yet. NO -D
  5. The mission of this site, at least to my understanding, is to take preexisting works and rework them into something new. Harmonic alterations, melodic interpretations, rhythmic interludes; all means to an end. Because our goal is to be objective and abide by guidelines, this makes the judgement of additions, subtractions and alterations a difficult job. It's nigh-impossible to avoid subjectivity. The only reason I bring this up in this writeup is to address the ever-growing criticism of the judge panel. This is my first opportunity in the position of a judge to make such a statement, and this is my perspective. This song is a perfect example of how hard it truly is to decide that fateful yes or no. I'm very familiar with Halo's opening theme, and a beautiful theme it be. Thankfully, Arkimedes has done well not to butcher it. I'm not very impressed with the sound quality, and i'm less than thrilled with much of the instrumentation. Many synths are awkwardly EQ'd, and the warbly sine-wave portamento thingy sounds like a background instrument trying to break into the frontline. There is a bit of clipping around 1:42. No biggie, just a blemish. Many points in the song, such as 3:13, i'm waiting for the buildup to lead to something BIG. But each time, i'm a bit dissapointed. There seems to be a lack of low-end throughout, and it really hurts the flow. The "can't stops" bother me a little, but that's no reason to reject a song. The arrangement is tight and to the point, and does very well to incorporate the original sample in seamlessly and effectively. Referring to my earlier comments, this is why I say YES. This tune demonstrates competent arrangement ability, and while lacking a bit in the sound quality and mastering areas, I find that it is mixed well enough to get the point across. I don't agree with some of the musical decisions; some synth runs and chords aren't wrong, but seem to contradict the ideas being presented. But like I said, in an attempt to remain objective, I can't detract from this song because of sound musical ideas that do not negatively impact the arrangement as a whole. -D
  6. The vocal assault knows no end! Tune in next time!!! -Dzl
  7. Listen up chillin'. This song is how you use reverses in a break and don't suck. I see Malcos' point about samples that definately could use a bit more subtlety, and some mixing and mastering is a bit rough. But what we've got here is a raw, energetic, asskickin' remix that takes some risks and does well not to tank. It's got a variety of timbres. It moves around, stylistically and musically. A lot of people can make this kind of music, and make it boring. It takes a bit of finesse to keep an upbeat electronica track rockin'. Binster's got the RAWK. In Spades. GG HF GL GJ TTYL YEEAAAAYYY[/Lil' Jon] -D
  8. First impression - major sound quality issues. Some effects seem intentional, some don't. The guitar work is a good idea, and in general is executed well. However, the recording is very substandard. The hissy background, peaking strums, etc. Sounds like either a bad mic or lack of a decent preamp. In transitions from the more intense percussive sections, there is an abrupt cutoff of the ambient fx in the soundfield. This, along with noticeable skips between some notes/samples, makes for a messy presentation. Not much to talk about in the arrangement portion. A pretty basic arrangement, and the additions do little to enhance or redirect the feel of the original. The mallet instrument doesn't sound much like a xylophone, and it sticks out a bit. In a bad, awkward way, not a cool, funky way. Work on recording technique, arrangement and sound quality. NO -D
  9. The drums are very retro. Too retro, i'd say. There's nothing really making them interesting. There's a difference between a "retro" sound and an "old" sound. Unfortunatly this tune falls victim to the latter. The whole deal sounds like it was composed on a commodore 64. True the commodore 64's chip was capable of some dope soundage, this mix doesn't acheive said dopage. I'd like to hear some more acoustic samples if i'm listening to blues tunes. This is far too synthetic to get my groove shakin'. The arrangement doesn't really do much to expand upon the original's progressions. NO -D
  10. I'm not hearing the Sonic Adventure connection here, unless the underlying chord structure is supposed to be it. Saria's Theme in no way fits the key put forth by the bass. Sometimes it's close, but it sounds....off... the whole time. The drums are all low fi and mixed low, and the solos are very random. The ending is a simple stop, and doesn't serve to conclude anything. Serious sample upgrades and harmonic fixes before this one's passable. NO -D
  11. Mostly real similar to the original, not much to separate it. The main drum groove sound like a concert bass drum and snare from a GM MIDI set, with the snare panning every which way. It's distracting, and doesn't seem to serve any kind of rhythmic purpose. The piano is a high point, but not enough to save it. Work on keeping the musical ideas focused and building a more solid drum groove. NO -D
  12. I'm with Ani on this one. Too close to the original, and not developed-enough synths to make a big difference. Chill beat, yes, but a drum groove alone can't carry ambience. Bassline's a nice touch, not enough to save it for me though. Get some EQ in there, and try to vary your timbres a bit. NO -D
  13. Definite quality issues here. GM MIDI, anyone? First order of business - aquire better samples and synths. This actually seems inferior to the SNES original in many ways. It isn't balanced as well, the attacks on some instruments are awkwardly slow, and the drums are about as rudimentary as they can get. The arrangement sounds pretty close to the original. No major differences i can detect. Maybe some EQing, synth tweaking and new drum sounds might give this one a kick. And try to put a new spin on the original, maybe some original musical ideas to mix it up a bit. NO -D
  14. Given the difficulty that piano arrangements truly are, any nicely executed piano solo is acceptable in my book. It varies the original, displays an excellent technique and makes good usage on dynamics. Nothing else to say, but - TALLY HO! YES -D
  15. Wow. I am totally diggin. The chop effects are way rad. Definite groove happening here. The main beat that kicks in is a bit dissapointing, it's not as focused and straightforward as I had wished. Then afterwards, it cuts out to a break that doesn't do much to break up the monotony. It never really emerges with the same intensity (or moreso) than the climactic part, and that tends to make it seem like the latter half is a terminal cool-down. After such a badas intro, there needs to be something to do it justice. Instead, it gets real sparse to the point of sounding like loop addition/subtraction. Get some more interesting things happening if it's supposed to be a jam track, or cut it back and do some processing if it's supposed to groove. Right now it seems a bit in the middle. Definately work on a more conclusive ending. It ends with a whimper, when with more energy, it would certainly end with a bang. There's some very creative volume stutter fx, effective instrumentation and synth programming, but the arrangement issues and lack of supporting dynamics kill it. Give 'er another go, put some stank on it! NO -D
  16. I had a long review typed up with all kind of nitpicks and such, but then my surge protector electrocuted my computer. I'll just paraphrase what was said. GarageBand is a nice little program, but it isn't really designed for great sound quality. It's fun to use and a great way to get into making music, which is awesome, but it lacks many features that allow it to sound good. The arrangement is pretty similar to the original, and doesn't really explore much of the tune. The drums are messy, and the crash cymbals are low quality and mixed way too low. I know the program doesn't have much to alleviate this, but it's necessary to have something a bit more powerful to multitrack effectively. I would recommend exporting midis from garageband and importing them into a software suite like Reason 2.5 or FL Studio. FL isn't that expensive, but the quality jump is huge. Work on sound quality, sample quality and mixing. NO -D
  17. Sorry bout the news, man. I feel just as bad as the next guy doin this, but I can't pass this song. It's got a real sparse nature; the backing pads and supporting synths could use some EQ/Volume tweaks. The drum loop just really doesnt sound good. That panning shakerish thing is killin me. Other than that, there's only a kick and snare sample goin, and the snare sounds way to low fi and indirect for its own good. Get a tighter snare and eq some fatness in on it (~250Hz, roughly 3-6 db boost) I think the kick is used a bit too extensively, as well. Try spacing out the kicks a bit more, and use fast patterns only to transition. The mix also doesn't do much arrangement-wise, it's pretty much reiterating the original in similar timbres. The breakdowns consist of the support instrumentation playing their standard groove, which makes the breaks feel uninteresting. More stuff in there, embellishment-wise and possibly harmonic-wise might juice it up a bit. Sorry bout your tough times man, hope you feel better soon. Definately give this one some more gusto and send it on back. NO -D
  18. K, i really can't see how this is in any way a midi rip. It's got a totally new groove, and it's constantly morphing and changing. I'll be really dissapointed if this doesn't pass, it's one of the more innovative tunes to hit the site in a long time. Sincerely, The D
  19. Good ideas here - interesting usage of build-ups, effectively emotive bridge, solid trance synths. No problem there. Some elements, however tend to drag this down. The sound effects in the bridge are very awkward. It's been done before, and better. I'm not saying that to be a dick, just to get the point across that novelty embellishments, such as Rayza's subtle yet effective sfx in his Ice Cap Remix have a limited appeal, and only if done well. The samples in this are pretty random, and i think leaving them out would fit the song's mood a bit better. But that's a matter of personal taste, no right or wrong on that one, i'd say. There are some issues when the song drops out to a breakdown that consists of one of the synths soloing, then building back up within a short amount of time. I really jars the listener out of his/her "trance". I've found that a good way to transition into a breakdown in this kind of music is to end the phrase with a huge crash, synth bandpass sweep, Kick Drum, whatever, and let it fade out over the reemerging instrument. Helps to get the groove to cool a bit without a shock to the system. There are countless other methods to pull off such a transition. Oh yea, and what they said, too ^ NO -D
  20. Well, the extreme nature of the clipping gives this an automatic NO. Fix it and resubmit please. However, even if resubmitted, it suffers from a few problems that would cause me to repeat my vote. Like Darkesword said, some sections sound like they're on autopilot with the velocities. Get some dynamics in there, doesnt take long to do. The guitar is pretty good in general, and I don't really hear the bad chords Darky's talkin about, but i hear an awkward note in the vibraphone around 1:31. The arrangement is an upbeat, energetic tune, but piano solos come out of nowhere, the rest of the song halts, and a drumloop comes in. Not really the most effective way to end a song. PAy a bit more attention to EQ, transitions and mastering issues. -D
  21. Hm. Well, you've got some nice retros timbres here, the brassy analog lead is awesome; and if cleaned up and refined a bit, the electrical lead would be nice. Unfortunatly, sample quality is pretty low on this guy, despite an obvious attention to many sonic details. I think you're over-distorting in many places. Try to compress some things down, work on balance and EQ, and you might have a good thing going here. But for now, NO -D
  22. You've got some interesting instrumentation happening here, but often said instrumentation is a bit too sparse to keep attention. It suffers from the medley curse a bit, sounding like jointed songs rather than integrated songs. Some samples are pretty nice, others quite not so. The percussion samples are effectively chosen with nice attention to timbre. However, sometimes certain samples (shaker, most notably), sound much louder than the rest of the drum mix. A bit more use of compression on the drum track might have alleviated some balance issues. Other than that, certain sections like the panning fast hand drums show a good bit of skill in percussive arrangement. The individual sections of each song are quite seperated, and the transitions need much more attention. Between each part there is a void of any kind of connecting phrases. Try to keep the piece sound like a fluid experience. In the context of this song, some drum fills or rythymic chord changes to link the musical ideas together. The pizzicato strings, and strings in general are very GM MIDI-esque. An increase in their sound quality would greatly help. The "knocking" sound at the end is a bit jarring and could have used some filtering or EQ to make it a bit more pleasant. Work on keeping your phrases connected a bit more on sound quality. This is a great mix in a mediocre mix's body. NO -D
  23. POTRICITY IS A JERK SO I HATE HM AND THS SONG U SUK>>!!>!11 Excellent execution as usual from the Asulin. I challenge anyone to master DKC2 like he has. -D
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