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danny B

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Everything posted by danny B

  1. This one is tough for me. I like the style, the textures are all totally authentic and groovin. But it does seem to repeat an awful lot, even for the genre. The percussion is way too cliched. I like to see trance artists expand on their oom-tss groove with some imaginative rhythmic work. I've heard it before, and done well, but unfortunately it's not done here. I've heard this beat before a thousand times. And I like it a lot, I really do, but it doesn't take a lot to throw a standard trance beat over some (well programmed) synths. The gratuitous Zero sound byte is here, and done well, but again totally cliched. There is no problem with the instrumentation, just the fact that this song has been done before. The offbeat, rough analog synths and the detuned leads, over arpeggiation....there's got to be more to trance. I know there is. It needs more focus, and it needs more originality. Oh, and the ending is a total bummer. It just.....ends. This kind of music always has a massive cooldown, in my experience. And, there is the problem of the clicking in the right channel. I'm unsure whether it is clipping or just an audio glitch, but that in itself warrants a re-render or re-encode. A very nice song in it's own right, but audio problems and unispired arrangement make this a NO go. -D
  2. First timer here.... here it goes.... No one can deny the production values here. Aside from a few weak samples and minor blending issues, the song has texture and style. I'm very much impressed with the arrangement, it's one of those great things where it sounds almost random.... but....isn't. The guitar fits fine for me, it has a raw synthetic quality that really contrasts with the smoother, ambient instruments. The sound effects really add a nice touch. Marc has done a great job eliciting emotion with sound, as it's quite tense while also somewhat depressing. As if a massive space battle ended in tragedy. The kick drum is my biggest gripe. On it's own, it's passable, but when the double kick sessions come in, it's painfully articificial, and not in that cool techno-y way. Velocity modifications would have done wonders. As would some EQ. It needs more low end and less slap. More 80-150 Hz and less 1K-4KHz. I absolutely adore the choir work following the 4:30 mark. In addition to the creative synth programming and dynamics, I see no reason not to YESify this. -D
  3. My ASIO latency is 5 ms. Works great. Fucks cubase sx up though . Just make sure you have an ASIO card, like an Audigy or Audiophile. -D
  4. As you may remember, I completely trashed Tororian Love Song. This song is better in every way, and is far more enjoyable. The terrible cliched lyrics are gone, the singing is exponentially better. The recording is of higher quality. The guitar parts are quite impressive. My only major beef is the drums. I can't find myself anything less than hating them. One major piece of advice - Drummers can only do limited fills while riding on the hihat. This song has pretty complex drum fills that already don't make much musical sense, and the fact that a hi-hat is droning impossibly doesn't help much. Drum sample quality is terrible, and it seems as though mastering and EQ'ing wasn't even considered. But that's only one blemish on an otherwise excellent song. You've got the ballad form of rock music down pretty well, the acoustic break was rad, but like it has been mentioned before, the harmonies are very wrong, and I kept expecting a grandiose finale. If the harmonies were replaced by a buildup to a triumphant reiteration of the emotional and pleasing chorus, I'd wanna have babies with you. Great work, you're improving rapidly, and I've almost forgotten about Tororian Love Song . Great Work. -Daniel
  5. That is single-handedly the best review i've ever recieved. -Daniel
  6. UH oh! I guess it's my fault for not including the link, but this version is very out of date!!! This is a very old version, before I did major work on most of the problems that djpretzel mentioned! ahh!! If you can change it to this one, I'd be very much obliged! -Daniel EDIT - Fixed! Thanks djp, you rock.
  7. Listening to this piece, I remembered that I haven't commented on it. This piece is absolutely incredible. It shows a mastery of music theory concepts and instrumentation fundamentals. Russ knows what to put where, and it shows. A very rare case in which extremely high quality samples are put to good use to enhance the song, rather than carry it. The brass fanfares and string progressions are beautiful. The reinterpretations of harmonic and melodic ideas to flow inbetween different EVO pieces work perfectly. This song brings back all the good memories of my EVO days. Very professional production here, Russ. The world needs more music like this. -SM
  8. This song opens up with an incredible reinterpretation of the opening ambience of Final Fantasy 7. I absolutely loved it. However, at about 1:35, from then on, what I really hear is a very high quality MIDI-Rip with minor additions. I'm not saying the arrangement is without skill, just without anything amazing to signify a mastery of arrangement. I'm sure Mr. Robson knows exactly what he is doing, but with these quality samples, I think it's imperative to reinterpret and reorchestrate to play upon the original and come up with something half-original. But that's just my take on it. If you're looking for a near-verbatim, high-quality version of the originals at hand here, this is great for you. But I sure wish that people with gigas and super high quality samples would not depend on them so much to MAKE the song. Rather than use them as a crutch, they should be something to enhance a great arrangement. Again, I mean the artist no disrespect, but this could have been a true masterpiece with a bit more creative input and rearrangement. But if that's not what the intent of the song was, then so be it. -SM
  9. Alright, I know i'll get flamed or molested or put on gay porn mailing lists for this, but I can't really say this is as excellent as everyone else says. Good, yes, but there are too many problems that simply drag it down to sounding "exceedingly amateur" that could have been prevented, I think, with a bit more effort. First off, I'm sorry man, but I don't dig the vocals at all. There are a couple parts that rock my socks off, but mostly, it's just a note-for-note lyrical line that struggles to stay on tune and is plagued by cliche'd and unimaginative lyrics. Take for example - "All this pain and hatred, never knowing from whence it came..... but playing this game, it's always the same" "As I look into your eyes..." I have heard this thousands of times. I hate cliche's in lyrics. Hate hate hate. And while i'm not a huge lyrics fan, they can negatively affect a song. Take Staind for example, because strangely enough, this song suffers from the same problems that make me hate Staind's music so much(don't worry man, this is better than Staind ). Great distortion guitar work, but the lack of any attempt on innovation within the genre and subpar singing with unimaginative lyrics absolutely kills it. If you want my advice, and you probably don't, try thinking outside of the box for lyrics. Avoid lyrical taglines such as pain, anguish, fear, and fall apart unless they are in a suitable context. "All this pain and hatred", for example, just makes me squirm with discomfort at its blatant attempt to elicit emotional response from a few weakly presented words. Think about what you're trying to say in your lyrics, and express it as eloquently as you can. Lyricism is an art. And it isn't difficult to construe cliche'd lyrics as a distant cousin of plaigiarism. Basically what i'm saying is that the lyrics in this song are so homogenous that they could be in any song, and could be interpreted to mean anything. You said it follows Cecil's story, but with such open-ended language, It might as well follow Howard the Duck, because "As I look into your eyes" and "playing this game" could reference a billion different things. Simply put, however strong the emotion in your singing, it doesn't matter if your words mean nothing. The acoustic guitar intro sounds more like the artist is struggling to play it correctly than trying to reinterpret the rhythm in his own musical experience. Sometimes the strings aren't being pressed hard enough, and give that nasty, "empty" sound. The drums lack any dynamic depth, and could have added a great deal of rhythmic interest, but instead lay flat except for some contrived drum fills. The piano sample is awful, and the arrangement is questionable. It sounds like the artist was trying to do some interesting things with dissonance, but it comes out as a jumbled mess that is hardly musical near the end. This is not to say that the piano completely sucked. There were several passages that insinuated a solid knowledge of chord structure. I understand this is "one take" or whatever, but even then, it sounds like it was rushed and unrehearsed. Comparing this style to Kurt Cobain or Alice in Chains is ridiculous. Yes, those artists seemed to shoot for simplicity and spontenaity in their music, but they played their instruments with an energy and voice that simply fucking rocked. "Tororian Love Song" doesn't express any emotion to me. Maybe i'm being extra harsh because the FF4 overworld is one of my favorite songs ever, and improvement upon it is immensely difficult. As I said, I'll probably be raked over the coals by a crowd of fanboys, but I assure my tone is not of dismissal, but of genuine criticism that I hope silent will not take as a personal attack. I invite you, silent, to AIM or Email me if you have any questions about my comments, i'd be glad to talk to you about it if you would like. -SM
  10. Well, actually, one of my favorite things about Final Fantasy IX was Uematsu's use of character themes. Vivi's theme is pretty much the same as Black Mage Village, and for good reason. It provides a musical bridge between Vivi and his brethren. If you listen to them both, Vivi's changes up at the end of the main melody. But yea, I based this off of a midi I made of Black Mage Village a few years ago. A self-contained midi-rip, if you will . -SM
  11. It's not a medley, it's just the Black Mage Village song. I did a lot of reconstruction on the chord structure, but yea, it's all still the same song . Thanks for all the comments y'all. When I redo this one down the road, i'll be sure to take out the voice clips. Well, most of them, anyway . -SM
  12. Sorry yall, but I really don't see what the big deal is about these samples. Some of them are certainly good, but by no means great. The attacks on the string ensembles are still too drawn out inbetween notes, and the timpani, i'm sorry, is just horrible. Some timpani samples work fine, like at :21, but each other one is simply too harsh and mechanical. And i'm pretty sure a different method of arranging them would have helped tremendously, such as softer dynamics or usage of roll samples. :49-:51 absolutely made me cringe; it was incredibly mechanical and lifeless. Once again at 1:48. Ouch. The crash cymbal sample is also thin and papery, and sounds much more like a techno/trance cymbal than a set of orchestral plates. Maybe i'm being a little harsh on the percussion, but playing these instruments for 9 years gets you somewhat used to how they should sound and be utilized, and this is pretty off. I don't mean to sound cocky, i'm just trying to establish where i'm coming from on this. If the arrangement had also strayed more from the original in terms of chord structure or melody usage, all would be forgiven. But, aside from a few minor tweaks to the harmony, and a simple (albeit effective) marcato violin lead over the more active points in the song, it sounds nearly identical in composition and instrumentation. While the horns are actually quite impressive, they are shoved into the back of the arrangement and forgotten. This, among the other issues, causes the whole song to feel unbalanced. I also agree with DarfaceX about the constant stopping/starting. It really breaks up the momentum, and doesn't really lend much suspenseful appeal. I understand it was made in a week, but there is still obviously a lot of work that could have been done prior to submission. As of now, like Disco Dan said, it sounds very incomplete. Good ideas and attention to atmosphere (reverb is done very well), but as it stands now, this doesn't last in my playlist. -SM
  13. Yea, I thought maybe I heard a little bit of reverb, but I was tyring to get the point across that it wasn't enough. Yea, I personally prefer a kick drum with boosted 60Hz and heavy reduction around 180 Hz. I sometimes boost around 4KHz to get the actual articulation boosted a bit. Just a preference though. Yea, don't gate it too harshly, just enough to eliminate anything but the balls of the sample. That's my advice, whatever that counts for. -SM
  14. A pretty good work. Some of the guitar parts sound really thin, and the kick drum sample is, to be blunt, disgusting. It's got way too much mid and high frequency in it, and it almost sounds like someone is kicking a pillow. The snare sample isn't any better, it's really tinny and lacks any punch whatsoever. This might be the intended effect, to give a spacey, lo-fi feel, but it mostly sounds like bad sample choice and lack of attention to EQ'ing. Reverbing the snare, even slightly, would have helped tremendously. Gating the kick sample and boosting the ~60-100Hz range while dropping some 250-300Hz range would have given that bass drum some balls. I was actually quite impressed with the hi-hat work, as it wasn't too intrusive or whacked out, but fit very well with the rest of the song. Ride cymbal sample was great too. The drum doubletime at :53 starts to get things going, but it quickly reduces again to the original beat, and the poor sample quality absolutely destroys any enjoyment of the percussion for me. The fast beat comes in again later, and while lasting through the guitar solo does an admirable job of keeping the energy and tension up. However, the guitars at that point seem to all occupy the same frequency range, and it sounds...well.....convuluted. The instrument that solos around 2:57 (i'm guessing baritone guitar, but it's probably just a regular guitar tuned low) doesn't seem to mesh with the overall effect at that point, and the drum backing is too plain to keep it interesting. The special fx, most notably in the beginning and end are done very well. I'm not saying the mix is bad. Arrangement is done well, guitar fx and panning are quite well, and it seems as though a lot of attention was paid to atmosphere. Overall the mix is generally very clear and easy on the ears except for a few spots. It doesn't particularly strike me as spooky or grim, as it's too full of a sound to imply isolation, and too thin a sound to imply bombardment. Get me? Simply put, had the guitars been EQ'd/balanced differently and the drum samples been acceptable, this would have easily been on my playlist. But damn, man, that kick sample is killing me...... -SM
  15. And the constructive part of that criticism is..............
  16. No way, man! It's all about the shoutout! Do eet!
  17. You know, i've been a diehard DJ Crono fan since Eres Des Points. And man, when I saw there was a new DJ Crono song, I was ecstatic. Unfortunately, i couldn't be more dissapointed. The rapping is really good, yes, but everything seems way below the other songs. This isn't a personal stab at Crono personally, as I really dig his tunage, but man.... The balance is way out of whack in many parts, and sometimes the drums, while done well, just simply do not fit. The synth guitar (or whatever it is) is mad out of place, and the chorus vocals don't mesh well at all. The piano parts sound....wrong. Not referring to notes or chord structure, but in style. Overall, the song sounds...forced. The other three DJ Crono songs are classics in my mind, and this sounds like...a first effort, almost. Well, that's my take on it, and trust me when I say, Mr. Crono that it is nothing against you, but I know you're better than this. If the rapping remained and the production was redone, i'd be much happier with it. -SM
  18. Yea, since Square did SMRPG, they decided to throw a tribute to final fantasy of sorts in there for good measure. Great song I say. As for the Remix, pretty good work all around, the standard for me is really high because FF4 boss music is probably one of my top 3 favorite vg themes, (the other 2 are final fantasy boss themes too...hrmm...). but DC13 has done a good job overall. The intro ambience could have been....cleaner.....but conveys a great feeling anyway. The drum sequencing I have no beef with (actually pretty impressive), but it seems like he 'verbed the whole drum set, and that, for me at least, is a huge no-no. Verb the snare, maybe toms and cymbals LIGHTLY, NEVER the bass drum, but verbing a whole drumset to me makes it sound synthetic no matter how good the samples are (which they are great samples, btw). Again, if the whole set is not verbed and I am wrong, sorry. I personally dug the chiptune interlude, especially because it isn't "authentic", per se. It has reverb, and is really clear, unlike actual nintendo music. So it's kind of like, an updated chiptune. while the transition into it isn't perfectly smooth, the outro back into the regular song is done very well. Now personally, I wish he would have stuck with the one song, but his transition into another song (the name eludes me presently) is a decent addon to a great tune. Overall, transitions weren't on par with the rest of the mix, and some mastering/fx issues got in the way of a real saucy sound. But great work overall, and it does the original justice. This one's a keeper. -SM
  19. This song is gorgeous. I've never heard a song on OC that so strongly expresses emotion. The intro and outro are simply beautiful, and the innards are very-well produced metal chuggage. Could have stood a longer ending, but still excellent overall.
  20. I'm going to mention how I dig the song because it's funny so this post can be considered a ReView. Now to mention how i've lost faith in all of humanity in the ability to understand sarcasm. Woff, Just so you know, there's at least ONE person here who got the joke.
  21. If this is what Mustin considers the most professional-sounding mix on the site, I feel sorry for his fucked perception of a professional sound. Wow. It uses reverb. Wow. It has recorded vocals. Wow. It is in stereo. Wow. It's at 160 Kpbs. Wow. Basic Recording Know-how. Wish I could be that professional. Nothing against you Dale, I dig the tunage. WARNING - GOOD AUDIO QUALITY DOES NOT ENSURE GOOD MUSIC.
  22. PxFury is my boy. PxFury did an excellent ReMix. PxFury will go far. Go Px, Go.
  23. The first time I ever heard this mix was when I was at Protricity's place, and damn, was I impressed. It's amazing what this cat can do with just a computer, a keyboard and an acoustic guitar. He's done Nice Work! before, but this one floored me. Maybe it's because it's the first time he's really used actual recordings. Maybe it's because he apparently has the ability to capture timbres from the world over. Who knows? It rocks my socks off.
  24. Wow. Fucking Wow. Usually I don't dig a minimalist approach to music in general, but this guy has found a way to really reinterpret anxious heart as the beautiful song it had the potential to be. I didn't really like the song in the game, but man, this remix finds a way to reinvent the chord structure and explore it in such a new direction. I wish this was the song in the game. Very emotional. Very well done. Easily one of the best songs i've ever heard, not just as a ReMix, but as music in general. It's like new age meets industrial meets breakbeat meets..... I don't know. GREAT SONG. This is a song my vg-hating buddies could kick it to. Once again, for effect - Fucking Wow.
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