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danny B

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Everything posted by danny B

  1. I would like to start this review with a preface. I love goat. There is nothing I enjoy more than injecting myself with a hot load of goat-ReMix-aggression. His arrangements wail in my car, through my computer speakers, though the very fiber of my being. I love goat. I hope this review conveys no disrespect. The first thing I notice about this track is the sound quality. Sadly, I can't give this very high marks in that regard - Harp - The harp is immediately a synthetic giveaway. Rather than a gentle crescendo/decrescendo, I hear soft-soft-soft-soft-LOUD-soft-soft-soft-soft. Like the velocity has only triggered on one note in the phrase. This gives an immediate impression of "OMG GM MIDI", and kills any mood-setting delicacy that could have been acheived. I think an overall volume reduction along with a much smoother velocity curve would work wonders. A different sample wouldn't hurt either, this one isn't bad, but it certainly isn't impressive. Flute - The flute comes in rather abruptly, despite entering on the beginning of the measure. It sticks out of the mix, mostly because of the vibrato. It's raspy and over-pronounced. Also, velocity alteration is nigh-nonexistant, again not helping "GMMIDIitis". Cool phrasing in some parts with grace notes. Strings - They enter nicely enough, and do well not to dominate the mix. However, the attack is way too long, and I get a pumping sensation from them. I like the chords being played here, but they've got far too much of a slow attack to really convey the progression effectively. At 1:46, I strongly dislike the horn doing the arpeggio. Maybe it's a personal preference, but I have a hard time imagining that instrumentation in an actual orchestra. Who cares, you say? I think it sounds awkward and furthers the problem of the GM sound. Orchestration is just as important, if not moreso than the composition itself. At 2:06, a rhythmic motif comes in that in a way, embodies my main beef with this mix. It's symphonic music orchestrated like metal. It sounds like it was directly transcribed from a metal band's take on the theme, especially with the eighth-note percussion crescendo that leads into the next part. At 2:41, we get to what is now essentially a rock ballad with orchestral elements. There's some nice ideas here, some interesting harmonies and such, but it's still heavily dependant on the rock elements, and the very linear, non(un?)-dynamic string lines that trudge on through the section. The section feels like it should be airy and free, but feels weighed down and cumbersome. It isn't as easy to listen to as it should be. The standard rock ballad drums don't help much. I think a more disjointed, rhytmically diverse percussion approach would do well here. Overall, I'm just not feeling the combination here. It's got good use of rock fundamentals, and decent use of orchestra elements, but they just don't seem to mesh very well. The end is well done, and is probably my favorite part of the tune. It's got the most originality in it, and seems the most emotional. The guitar is top notch, of course, as always. But even though I love that particular element, I think this track has a lot of work to be done, both conceptually and technically, before it should pass. Good job, though. NO -D
  2. I don't agree that this arrangement attains the level of originality that we aim for here. Rather than expanding upon the original, I hear mostly showboating (which isn't in itself, a bad thing). It sounds like the source is being quoted very closely and accompanied by guitar licks. Other than the ridiculously busy drums, there isn't much difference from the original in the structure itself. The playing is fine, and the recording is decent. However, the mixing/mastering leaves a LOT to be desired. The instruments are not very well defined among each other, and all I can really hear is a low-mid range mudfest. Everything else is peeking out over top of that, and lacks definition. The drums are well done, but seem to utilize complexity for complexity's sake. It's not very pleasing to me to hear a drum solo all the way through a song, which is about what the percussion amounts to hear. I don't advocate hiding drums behind a mix, but they really do need to kick back and let the guitars do the talking sometimes. I'm guilty of overplaying my drums often as well, and I realize it's a difficult thing to restrain. The major keyed ending is awkward and contextually innappropriate, in my opinion. It seems gimmicky to start the song with the battle soundbite and end it with the victory tune. Overall, this song need to be more of an arrangement and less of a demonstration of virtuoso passages loosely tied together by the source. NO -D
  3. Original is the buzz word here. We've got 4 pianos apparently, and the artist does well to use this configuration to innovate. The arrangement has been effectively written for this ensemble of pianos (piani? pianoes?) and contains many interesting transmogrifications of the source material. Given the level at which i do appreciate the arrangement, the muddy sound quality and questionable mixing is not enough to ground this. I'd like to have a resubmit sans clipping and PUDDLES OF MUDD in the lower registers, though. YES -D
  4. Shael has directly solicited me to pass this. He has offered sexual favors and wealth beyond my wildest dreams. YES But seriously, folks - this mix is chock full of phat beetz, curiously unique improv, and some questionable voice sample usage. I completely disagree with gray on the percussion, it feels real beefy to me and pushes the mix along nicely. It's not propellerheads or prodigy, but it definitely does good enough to pass. The separate pieces are mixed so that no individual piece gets tiresome by the end. There's even some nice subtle, rhythmic improv by several different timbres, which helps the rhythm seem more like it is its own living beast than a straight drumtrack. It's refreshing to hear a varied percussion track. Nice work. The synths are also varied and intelligently layered, with a pretty standard synth bass topped with chimes, warbly, and whistley synths. These are combined with some real decent string orchestration. Samples aren't too bad either. The whole thing is mixed well, rearranged to a point that shows originality and skill with production. There's not much else to ask for in an OC ReMix. Welcome back, Shael. -D
  5. I had a lengthy review and IE ate it. So i'll summarize. It doesn't use the limited source (tee hee get it?) in a way conducive to being an actual song. It's an interesting experimental tune, not an OC ReMix. I'll elaborate if this vote gets protracted. NO -D
  6. Not much to add to the above comments, but I'd like to say that a track like "bowser is pissed" is a great example of a highly interpretive track that meets our guidelines. That track uses the original as a basis for the ReMix. This is an original that happens to use the sample from the game, and awkwardly uses the melody with a very cheesy sample. Then.... hamsters. I thought Israfel was being facetious....but come on..... NO -D
  7. I don't know where to start on this one. Maybe it's my groove bias, but random crazy sax shit to me should actually fit in somehow. Also with the lack of any substantial backing underneath it, or appreciable rhythm, I can't see any reason to pass this. This is too weird to be interesting even. I can't even think of any constructive criticism. Sorry dude. NO -D
  8. As a percussionist, I do appreciate the effort at an actual, authentic percussive piece. I've played more than my fair share of them, and have no problem imagining this as an actual performed arrangement. But unfortunately, there in lies the problem. This is a decent arrangement plagued by shoddy production. Normally it isn't too much of a big deal if the instrumentation and orchestration is solid (which it is, in this case), but the production really weighs this one down. It sounds like the artist is trying to make it sound humanized, but it really just sounds sloppy in many cases. Along with the totally fake timpani entrance, and the chimes that are a bit to ringy, GM sounding - there's enough of a sound quality problem to reject this. Also, the arrangement is indeed fairly similar to the original, not enough to warrant rejection by itself, but enough to keep it from redeeming the rest of the piece's problems. Almost there, a boost in SQ would probably put this one into acceptance territory. GJ though. NO -D
  9. Alright, so we've established that the intro needs work. Other than that, I don't think the track as a whole is too bad. It's got some very slick percussion work, and even some decent synth work. On the sound quality side of things, it's very unbalanced. While the drums are nice, they really dominate much of the mix. I'd LOVE to hear some phat bass supporting this track, but all I really hear is a faint synth bass with a very slow attack. I think a pointed, aggressive bassline would do wonders. Now, i'm not too familiar with the Wind Waker soundtrack, but listening to the source a few times, I can't help but feel a bit lost listening to this track. I don't hear a very solid connection to the original. I'm sure some of the same progressions are used, but overall, it feels more inspired by the original than derived from it. Because of that, and due to the blatant sound quality issues, it's an enjoyable but unnacceptable track. NO -D
  10. This is a ridiculously simplified guitar arrangement with ridiculously simple percussion and string additions. Ridiculous. Let's hear an arrangement next time. NO -D
  11. I definately dig some of the arrangement ideas here. It is indeed very interpretive of an over-covered theme. While the musical ideas are fairly solid, the sound quality is very lacking. I get very tired of the "WAAAAAOOOO" synths, and every synth that comes in sounds derivative of the same patch. It's almost like every part was composed and put into a variation of the same tone generator, and then minor changes were made to each machine. The percussion is about as basic OOM-TSS as it gets, and the only thing that ever consistently goes off of a whole-note rhythm pattern is the lead, and some harmonies. There are some rhythmic patterns in the mix, but nothing more complex than the standard syncopated trance riff. This track needs dynamics, instrumental variation and rhythmic diversity. Nice arrangement ideas however - that part is passable. Til the butta matches the pork - NO -D
  12. The first problem I notice is that while playing the MIDI to compare to the original - I notice that the sound quality is very similar. There is a slight amount of arrangement going on, but not really enough difference from the original. There are original ideas, but I hear them more as gimmicks than anything. Vocal clips cannot make a song. The guitar is pretty cool, and sounds pretty decent to me, but zyko's correct in his suggested improvements. I think everything else has been covered. NO -D
  13. Nothing to add. Nothing to see here. NO -D
  14. My favorite electronic music is the kind that flows along gracefully, all the while entrancing you. Maybe they should create a designation for that type of music. Anyway, that's what this is, hypnotizing, entrancing, and mesmerizing. I'll try to think of some more 7 dollar words later. This track is not Paul Oakenfold, Fatboy Slim, or Crystal Method quality. It has an underground groove to it that is edgier to me than the sometimes over-produced sound of the big time DJs. Long story short, this track has a raw quality to it without falling into the territory of "amateurish". The panning, modulating synths are thick and juicy, and the pads are blended well and provide a very nice atmosphere. Some of the toms are a bit too 80's for the context, but it helps to give it that ol'skool retro feelin'. There is plenty of alteration to the original, and none of it feels contrived. This track seems to have evolved from the original, rather than arbitrarily assigned to synths, as most dance submissions we get seem to. This is going on a cd right now. Not much else to say but America! FUCK YEA!!! -D
  15. There's really not much to say about this mix. I really like it. It's got a very solid, authentic, almost tangible retro quality. Fortunatly, this doesn't mean bad sound quality. The original didn't have that good of sound quality to begin with, but this ReMix really nails it. The robot voice is a little iffy, but it definately fits the style. And man, the orchestra hits. OH the orchestra hits. I love 'em. Could be punchier, but that's nitpicking. The whole mix is clear and well-defined, and other than the panel's bias against creative ReMixes there's no reason to reject this. Good job, dude. A very 80's YES -D
  16. Tha beetz R a bit PHAT! but there's no 5UB5TANZ to the arrangement. The whole thing is messy. The synths are automated and interesting, but they don't really fit with each other, or seem to be tailored to the song. It sounds like a bunch of random synths are layered on top of each other with little attempt at blending or mixing. The bass is way too much. I think I know what the remixer was going for here, but it's excessive and is rife with clipping (the bad kind). There is no usage of the original other than the beginning chord progression. This is a rejection more because of lack of use of original than sound quality issues. NO -D
  17. I'd like to see all the votes counted on this one, if you all don't mind. /Algore
  18. If I'm not mistaken, i see 6 Y and 4 N. There's still possibility of a tie.
  19. Really isn't much to add here. Real low sound quality, and not as much to do with the original as i'd like to hear. Much of the time, there is melody that isn't very well supported. Makes it sound thin and awkward. Sample upgrade + more substantial arrangement and harmonic support. NO -D
  20. Actually, this would probably be considered "fast" 6/8 time. But that's nitpicky bullshit. I like the attempt here, but there simply isn't enough variation to cut it. I really like some of the ideas presented, but the super-low sound quality and blatant repetition kill it. We need more creative arrangements like this, but this really needs above GM MIDI quality and a bit more variation to the themes. Nice concept, though. The other judges covered everything else. NO -D
  21. Not much to add to these votes. Dry strings, no attention to DSP on most anything, and very little arrangement until the super-minute additions at the end. A textbook NO. -D
  22. This is better than the original submission. I said yes to the original, so obviously, YES -D
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