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danny B

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Everything posted by danny B

  1. This one's nothing stellar in the sound quality department, but the amount of rearrangement done here to the original is impressive. Not much I can nitpick on here, either. YES -D
  2. Oi, there are quality issues. Sometimes it sounds as though it's going for a nostalgia feel, then it goes into a hodgepodge of random synths. It's clear that an effort was made to use complex arpeggiating harmonies, but the muddiness of the instrumentation masks it as being simply messy. The wah-esque synth is pretty choppy, and doesn't do much to put the groove on. The meshing of the two songs is a bit awkward; it doesn't seem as though much attention was paid to transition here. Work on sample quality, blending of instrumentation, and smooth transition between musical ideas. The flute parts are pretty dope though. NO -D
  3. Man, this really reminds me of when I was a kid and i'd put on midi files all day long while I played shareware Windows games. That said, I enjoy the arrangement immensely. But the sound quality is just ridiculously low. Even applying Fluid Soundfont or Squidfont would kick this pig up a few notches. I can't, in good faith to the other pieces on the site, pass this, when the sound quality is so drastically substandard. It isn't hard to get at least decent orchestral samples, and the skill shown here in the arrangement suggests the ingenuity to program them effectively. I'd pass this in a second if it was run through a better soundfont. For now, NO Please, I beg of you, resubmit with better samples. http://www.fluidfonts.com Give Fluid a shot. You might be surprised. -D
  4. I can see the points from both camps on this one. The arrangement obviously shows a lot of work done, but it seems like it's the score for an excellent arrangement put straight into MIDI with no dynamic work done to it. There are countless awkward moments and GMish sections, and the piano simply sounds mediocre. I like the original a lot, and in fact I do enjoy the piece here, but it needs transitions, dynamics, humanization, expression, etc etc etc. Israfel pretty much nailed it. 2:45 is just a mess. The straight eighth phrasing, with the haphazard (LOL ROFL ISRAFEL I STOLED YOUR WERD) lower voicings, create an uncomfortable chaos. Followed by the impractical light-speed solo, it really makes the whole experience feel artificial. You've got a potential masterpiece here. Hire a pianist or spend some serious time tweaking this thing 'till it's humanoid. Till then.... NO -D
  5. Well, one thing's for sure. The guy knows his processing. Very nice synths, their application is borderline random, but never in a n00bish, bad way. The arpeggio at approx 1 minute is mixed way hot, and comes out of nowhere, but I'll be honest in that it shocked the shit out of me. This mix does acheive superior ambience and atmosphere, and utilizes dynamics effectively. It is sparse, but seems to acheive emotive expression with its limited soundscape. I'm with Wingy McLesserson on this one. More good soundscapes can't hurt. YES -D
  6. We've got some awesome grooves happening here. I like to hear that other people appreciate the beauty of spy music ala Soma FM's "Secret Agent" station. It's lo-fi, yes, and originally I was going to reject it on that point, but man, as I write this review, I can't stop myself from gyrating to this tune. I think the subtleties of the off beat, distorted hi-hat, and the grating, synthetic horns give this piece a lot more depth than it seems to have at first. I can really see this in a spy flick. I don't mind the drum loop, it's switched up and filtered enough to keep it fresh. And not to mention the way-rad, uber-low bass keeping a droning pattern through the breakdowns, chord changes, etc.... it just gives it an ominous and intense feeling that I mad dig. I can imagine myself running from the turks to this music. Let us remember that the original being modified here was at a point in the game which was coolly low-key, and I think too much melodic or harmonic reinterpretation would spoil that atmosphere. You don't fuck with Nobuo's atmospheres. You mix it up, Funk it up the yin-yang, and serve it on a tasty DJ Orange platter. Dig? That being said, I think the main selling point for me on this track is the total attention to detail. The weird, bendy horns....the out of control, nicely done drum break....man...i'm quite impressed with a lot of what is going on here. Great work, man. YES If you don't get me, check out the Soma FM link, and listen to the Secret Agent station for at least 10 minutes. If you don't dig, you aren't fit to be a world class agent.. -D
  7. I know i'll lose a bunch of brownie points and get flamed up the ass and it'll pass anyway, etc etc etc, BUT.... NO Here's why. I was already pretty familiar with the original, but on closer inspection, I find that the source material indeed in some ways remains superior to this remix. In some ways, inferior, as well. Specifically, I don't like new drum track. The hats stick out terribly and don't fit as well into the groove as they do in the original. There is no dynamic contrast in much (not all!) of the high-frequency work. Some of the drum fills and breaks are often awkward, and tend to jar the listener out of their "trance". Places like 3:49 just irk the hell out of me. It just doesn't fit in with the rest of the atmosphere created. The synth programming in general is pretty impressive, but the impressive sections are few and far between, and consist mostly of synth patterns that are mainstays of the genre, and really bring nothing new to the table. It consists of the same filter patterns and addition/subtraction arrangement method we've heard a thousand times before. There also isn't much in the way of dynamic contrast, Which in trance generally isn't an emphasized feature of the genre, but I think a much more in-depth EQ job could do wonders here. Keep in mind, I am very much borderline on this track. I enjoy a lot of blind's work, personally I really dig the F-Zero megamixes. But this one falls short for me. And like I said, I'll be flamed, ridiculed, tarred, feathered, castrated, whatever.....I simply don't think it brings enough originality to the original to warrant postage. -D
  8. Nice ambience in the beginning, but the high marcato strings just ain't doin it for me. I'm not getting the feeling of a "Wall of sound" here, more like a "Wall of drum loops". It's a drum groove with a melody and a very weak bassline. It needs to be filled with musicness. Try breaking up the monotony of a groove-based tune with breakdowns, drum fills, and maybe a bridge or a B section. This tune stays at the same intensity all the way through, regardless of the build in the beginning, which just goes to show how weak the main groove section is. Get some intensity goin on, fill up your chords, vary your instrumentation, and try to control the intricacies of your synths a little more closely. The bass synth seems to come in with a bite then fades off. Give it some filter res, and crank it up with the rhythm. Overall, much more synth programming needs to be done to keep things interesting. NO -D
  9. Cookie Cutter. Some interesting additions; staccato synths are nice. Binnie's right, except I can hardly tell it's a booster mix even after the melody comes in. This piece sounds like it's halfway between beginner and pro. Some parts, like some of the synth programming and the scratching - They're rad. But the drum track and the lack of variation....evolution.....anything emotive to move the song along..... it feels beginner-esque. After the scratching break down, it sounds very empty, and when the synths come back in to fill it up, I keep expecting more. It needs to be filled up with sound. Right now, what you've got is a decent framework. Get your harmonies kickin, and you'll have somethin grand. NO -D
  10. Well, I'm not a big fan of the timbres used, or the sound quality. It certainly isn't "top-notch", but it doesn't suck, either. There isn't much variation in the voices being used. However, the amount of arrangement present in this mix is pretty impressive, and that alone can get me past the bland instrumentation. I'd really like to hear a melodramatic acoustic drum track, with a snare washed in reverb and over-the-top slow tom fills, but I guess if ethereal's whatcha want, ethereal's whatcha got. YES -D
  11. Yea. What they said. Some interesting synth work and vocal samples, but other than minor additions to a near-verbatim original, I can't hear any real arrangement. Sorry dude. Too short, too. NO P.S. - I really do like your strings, and the bouncy synths. Definately consider reworking it a bit, rearranging and fixing it up. This thing's got potential. Chord work is nicely done. -D
  12. There are some parts of this that are awesome, but a lot that....aren't. The guitar playing on a whole is nicely done, perfectly fitting a heavy metal doom rendition. Unfortunatly, it has some noticeable sync issues with the drums. This takes away a bit from its intensity. The percussion arrangement overall is pretty well done, nothing mind blowing, but surprisingly authentic. Nice samples, too. However, some parts feel a bit bland, and could have used some phat metal fillage. For example, the hi-hat rhythms leading up in the beginning do well, but around :20, it really needs a build up. You know, like snare + floor tom going boomboomboomboomTAKATAKA on the snare. It's surprising that with such energy in other parts of the piece that this section was so lifeless. Arrangement and sync qualms aside, this is simply too short. Many will argue that speed metal/death metal/bunny metal....whatever...needs to be short, but this song screams for a solo and some harmonic development. What this is presently is a very promising Work in Progress. Keep going with what you have, give us at LEAST 3 minutes, and you've got a winner. So, until there's some fine tuning and musical elaboration, NO.
  13. I'd like to see this pass. I think the amount of effort obviously expended on the project with very creative loop chopping and synth addition makes it a worthwhile listen. I think this mix just goes about being creative in a unique way. Oh well, I guess it's up to a tiebreaker. -D
  14. Electronica usually goes one of two ways - dependant on Melodic/Harmonic progression, or dependant on synthetic timbres interacting with each other in interesting ways. This mix seems to lie somewhere in the middle. Some parts are reminiscent of club dance music, but others are reminiscent of harder, darker genres. It's confusing. And the questionable sample and synth quality doesn't help. Any further critique? See above reviews. NO -D
  15. What else is there to say? There's little to no dynamic variation in the percussion, the hi-hat and tambourine samples in the beginning are lifeless, constant velocity runs. The acoustic snare sure fits Darky's hyperbolic "guy hitting snare" decription. It's totally out of place both in the context of the drum loop and the electronic timbre overall. Default sounding samples, with default sounding cliche trance beat. There's nothing here that goes above and beyond a simple electronic arrangement. There's a lot of potential here, but the mix's flaws lie in its lack of utilization of said potential. The piano sounds nice, and the ambience is pretty sweet, but when the chorus comes in, after the snare buildup, it seems like it actually gets quieter. True, choruses do not always have to be louder, as songs like finger eleven's "Above" and Radiohead's "Karma Police" demonstrate, but for this genre and the intro's energetic buildup, it just don't work. Fill up your mix, spend some time altering velocities on the percussion and instrumentation in general. With some more in-depth processing, synth programming, and sample selection, you'd have quite a sexy groove goin on here. NO -The D
  16. There's some interesting things happening here, musically and rhythmically, but the sample quality is pretty bad. It sounds almost like a DOS game soundtrack. Which isn't bad for nostalgia or style, but in this case it's a bit iffy on the direction it seems to want to go. Mixing is on average somewhat poor, the frequencies seem to melt together in a hodge-podge of synthesis. More in-depth EQ would help to clearly define each instrument's contribution to the sound field. The arrangement consists primarily of different musical ideas strung together with arbitrary transitions. It lacks direction, and thus seems to go on for a lot longer than it does. Work on the mixing, and synth programming, and try to arrange it a little more cohesively. Try to blend the separate parts together a bit more smoothly. Your percussion programming is pretty adept, however, I like your panning and retriggering effects. NO -D
  17. Default synths, unnaccompanied claps for far too long, and no real arrangement to speak of. The second half garners some attention, but there's nothing very interesting in the entire mix to speak of. Flesh out some ideas, add some diversity to the percussion. NO -D
  18. Not much else to say here. The synths don't mesh with each other, the mixing is extremely sloppy, the percussion is a virtually nonexistant mess of low quality samples. The electric piano is completely out of place here. Rarely more than two voices going at once, it's extrmely bare. Add some harmony, spend some time on mastering, and you'll have something worthwhile. As of now, NO. -D
  19. Serious sound quality issues here. I think I prefer the SNES chip to some of these samples. Attacks are often too slow, and the whole piece suffers from poor EQ. The retriggering of the snare drum is painfully artificial. Many instruments are even hard to identify. The arrangement is extremely simlar to the original, just with strings instead of organ. Much more needs to be put into original arrangement. As of now, it sounds like a low-quality MIDI-rip. NO -D
  20. Yes. Oh yes. This is nice. Great production values, excellent drum work. Add some awesome breaks, sampling, and clear instrumentation. I see no reason to hold this back. YES -D
  21. Like I said, I know the song extremely well. It expands upon it enough, I say. -D
  22. Ditto, and Ditto. Nothing much else to say. A commendable effort of orchestrating instead of electronicizing the theme, but sample quality and simple arrangement kill it. Let's see some improvization and expansion upon existing ideas. NO -D
  23. I give you props for your ingenuity and having the balls to try something new. The synth programming and rhythms all suggest a lot of time was put into this. I agree with pretty much everything Darky said, so take his words to the head. Overall, the mix sounds very messy. It seems like you're trying to do a lot too much at one time. While a musically dense mix is not something to avoid, unfortunately, many of the textures don't blend well, and sound awkward. There's quite a diversity to the synthetic timbres, but they don't really....agree with each other. And also, the same synths are used almost throughout the entirety of the piece, which tends to make it seems like it's dragging on. The Gerudo section starts out grand enough, the squeaky synth at 2:10 works in the key, but all of it after that sounds like it got transposed off a step or two. Either modify the supporting harmonies to accept the melody, or modify the melody to fit the harmony. I don't find the drumloop that offensive, as you do a lot of processing on it to keep it fresh. But a little more expansion on it's primary beat pattern would add mucho interest. The portamento sliding on the main theme in the end sounds really....awkward. The sliding itself isn't a bad idea, just the degree at which it is sliding. Overall, you've got some great rhythmic and ambient things happening here. Most of the chords and melodies are spot-on, but spotty arrangement and questionable instrumentation put this one just below the threshold for me. Do keep at it, i'd like to hear a more polished version of this track. NO -D
  24. I'd like to preface this with saying that I played Bust-a-move so much in my earlier days, that I think this song is now a dominant part of my subliminal mind. The percussion is a bit more subdued than I would like, and an EQ-fest would more likely fix that than an actual volume increase. E.G., fatness in the snare (~250 Hz), Thump in the Kick (80-150 Hz), etc etc etc. But given the silly-ass nature of the piece, I don't think it subracts too much from it. The synths are well programmed, obviously a lot of care was put into their portamento and timbre in general. The gutteral, analogish bass works great with the more floaty leads. Enter 2:25, the lead solo. Very well done. A bit on the louder side, doesn't blend as well as it could, but still acceptable. I actually like the "Casio Keyboard" sound to it. Mmmm... Nostalgia. Aside from minor balance, EQ and blend issues, I see no reason not to pass this. JA (yes, auf Deutsch) -D
  25. The bass notes in the beginning work for me. It's dissonant, but dissonance is not always bad. Like the D^2 said, it resolves. I like how a lot of it is similar to the original, but a lot of it is totally different as well. It keeps it fresh, while at the same time familiar. Performance skill is top-tier, no qualms there. Recording works for me, could use a dash more reverb, I say. It's a new take on the ff6 battle theme that I never thought possible. Good Stuff. YES
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