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danny B

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Everything posted by danny B

  1. I'd have to disagree with Israfel on this one. Maybe our marching band experiences were a bit different, but I feel this is a pretty solid performance from a marching band, especially a high school level one. Especially the brass. The drumline stuff is definately simplisitic, but it's certainly not a mess like most high school drumlines. The pit stuff is just fine - they've got some decent mallet players in there for sure. So, apart from some brass flubs and a fairly conservative arrangement, i'd say the performance overall about covers it, and the fact that's it's a cohesive presentation is more than enough for me. Not a huge fan of the intro thing, and the outro slowdown, but at least whoever encoded this actually put time into it rather than just slap it in the wav editor and press encode. Honestly, I don't know how much more we can expect from a marching band performance without expecting a recording of a DCI corps. Good show. YES -D
  2. Well, now. This really isn't bad at all. From an arrangement perspective, I like a lot of the ideas here. It's very low key in its presentation and original in its utilization of the original. I like some of the guitar parts a lot, especially 2:05. It sounds VERY james bond. and I like that. However, Larry covered most of my opinions. The drums are decently arranged, but they need some kind of variation and the sample quality is disproportionatly low to the rest of the mix. Properly produced and mixed, a good solid drum track would do wonders for this song. Also, i'm not sure what was done to do the guitar - it sounds too good to be a soundfont. But if there was some kind of strumming patterns in certain sections such as 3:58, I'd be much more pleased with the overall presentation. The whole song is pretty on-beat. I think if dub, low key style is the goal, there should be plenty of syncopation. And what better to do syncopation than a rhythm guitar? Let's get the sound quality more consistent and the arrangement a bit more interesting, and we'll talk front page status. For now.... NO -D
  3. NO Here's why - Simply put, the arrangement of the original surpasses this ReMix. The goal here is to improve upon or at least put a song in a new light. This is Squidfont without velocity alteration. Very dry, static and uninspired arrangement. Instead of adding or changing things, it takes the "lazy minimalistic" route. The most interpretive things done are single timpani strikes or minor additions with a horn or string line. There's nothing here that's really at all beyond the scope of the original. On the other hand, the vocals are incredible. By far the most talented vocalist to potentially hit OCR. Let's get a production that does this voice some justice. -D
  4. Wow. Another promising guitarist for the community. Great arrangement work here concerning the guitar. I look forward to your future endeavours. Even a nice little synth ditty in the beginning. Nice. The guitars are uniformly excellent here. Unfortunately, the length and the drums kill it. Give us at the very least a developed song, rather than a 1:37 demo. The drums are arranged fairly well, passable in that respect even. However, the double kick starts to dominate the entire mix. Also, some of the kit going-ons are exceedingly artificial. A bit more velocity TLC and it'll be fine. Length, and drum quality. That's it. Resub please. I look forward to it. NO -D
  5. There are two kinds of bad sample qualities - ones that negatively affect the mix and ones that don't. One example fresh in my mind is Shnabubula. He almost makes low-fidelity samples his hallmark. And I greatly respect his work for it. The reason I mention this is because this mix is a similar situation. Although the sample quality isn't very good, it honestly doesn't detract very much. I actually like the beginning piano thing. Sounds like a synthetic player piano. The tempo change is totally fine by me. There's nothing illegitimate about abrupt tempo changes, especially if they're handled like this - effectively. I'd agree that the velocity switches aren't very effective, but it's not like the whole mix is a static, boring affair, either. The worst offender in the SQ department are the drums, but none of the samples really stick out as being downright terrible. Overall, there are some considerable sound quality blemishes, but this is certainly a case in which great arrangement can transcend such issues that are minor in comparison. This is barely, just barely a YES -D
  6. It's got some nice execution of electronica fundamentals, but it's not a very inspired arrangement, and some of the chords are not the same as the original. Not a problem if they work...but they don't. They're pretty blatant which ones are off - 1:31 is a grand example. Not sure if the harmony is off or if the chord is off - it's awkward and sounds like it needs to resolve. It's a diminished triad if i'm hearing it correctly. Any other criticism has already been covered. NO -D
  7. I don't hear any problems with dynamics here - effective use of sforzando, crescendo, etc. Nice arrangement. At first I thought it was a little bit like an orchestral arrangement in a piano solo's shoes. But the more I listen to it, it's more like a crazy romantic-era-style interpretation. Forgive me if I've mis-classified it (Israfel?). Arrangement - No qualms. Dynamics are fine. Sample Quality - Not bad, one of the better piano samples i've heard lately. Could be better, but definately past the bar quality. Clipping - Not acceptable. Reencode and try again. Too easy to fix to let this through. NO -D
  8. I really like the vibe here. There's plenty of energy, and there's no qualms about playing ability. I have no problems with the arrangement, this effectively uses the KD melody we all know and love. This could easily be a track in the game..... If it weren't for the sound quality. It's a very muddy recording. There is little definition between frequencies - EQ is very necessary here. The whole thing is 192 KBPS, but it sounds more like 64. TLC on the SQ, or you're SOL. I really want to see this posted, the arrangement is totally fine by me - let's get this puppy past the sound quality issues and get 'er on the front page. NO -D
  9. I don't know if i'm listening to the same song as these bozos. It's typical Marc Star awesomeness in a much more groove-based, chill package. While the near-entirety of the song is based on a single musical idea, it effectively transmogrifies the entire time, reiterating only the major ideas. Primarily, the 70's cop show vibe sticks out the most as the coolest in the bunch. This track uses abrupt transition to its advantage, notably at 1:54 when the drop-out keeps the groove-a-shakin, but with a new, spooky vibe. This leads into the midsection that has a darker tone than the rest of the mix. This in turn effectively transitions back into a reiteration of the original chorus. I must comment how great the strings and rhodes sound. The whole thing is VERY chic and portrays a level of sophistication rarely seen on OCR, if anywhere. So it's no secret that I love the production, and the arrangement qualms my fellow judges have - I simply don't agree with. It's a groove-based track to begin with, and complaints of too much repetition, in my opinion, are exaggerated. While it uses some similar information throughout a lot of the track, it really does make a (successful) attempt at making each section different from one another. The only exception to this is the actual chorus itself, and the fact that both incarnations are identical only helps bring the song tighter together. The mix could have probably been 5:10 instead, but I really think this tune is to be experienced as a long-term experience rather than a quick-shot fix. Excellent, impressive work once again from a Marc of a Star variety. Please keep making musics forever. YES -D
  10. Everything's mostly been covered already. I had to turn my speakers up almost all the way to hear anything. Terrible recording, metronome for a ride and no appreciable attempt at rearrangement. Better luck next time. NO -D
  11. I don't know much about black metal either, but my functional knowledge of it tells me that awkwardly retriggered MIDI samples of distortion guitars aren't very "black". What is indicative of black metal in this track is the subdued, synthetic section complete with flute. This part I actually found quite enjoyable, save the annoying distorto-robot voice. Still not hearing what song this is a remix of though. After one iteration of the loudness and a quick run-through of the cool middle section, it just ends. No good. This is black metal without any double bass, and without blindingly-fast drum fills. Like I said, the best parts of this are the tremelo, synthy sections. Would sound nice with a a church organ. If this had decent, real guitar, I might be able to pass it. As of now, this is a 20% completed WIP of a pretty damn cool song. Refine. Resubmit. Recycle. NO -D
  12. First off, the opening voice clip is cheesy and unnecessary. Then, the main synth comes out of NOWHERE and is very jarring, and not in a cool, SURPRISE kind of way. Sounds like a mistake. Then the MedSci tune comes in with a patch i'm not too fond of. Through the entire MedSci portion of the medley this is simply an attempt at an upgrade, and if you'd listen to the original, it isn't actually an improvement. This pattern continues through the entire arrangement. It suffers from medleyitis greatly, as each tune is connected either with a drop-out of all percussion or by the 4 on the floor. The percussion is very noisy and dominant, and it is very abrasive. It straight up hurts my ears to listen to. I am intimately familiar with the System Shock 2 soundtrack, I was an avid player and listened to the soundtrack in my car all the time. I can tell you from experience that this is nothing but an attempt at a sample upgrade and conversion to 4 on the floor dance music. There are so many cool things missing that were in the originals that I can't say this in any way improves or even expands upon the original. The..... "thing" at 1:10 almost bastardizes the original song for me. It doesn't fit into the context of anything else going on. It's just like "HEY LOOK AT ME I'M A TRITONE". The original handled the progression much better. 3:08 is a nice change of pace, and is easily the best part of the song. We finally get some interesting percussive work, and some nice interaction between melodic and harmonic elements. However, since this section is the part most similar to the original, I can't consider this a strong point. Then, after all this, the ending just....craps out. No attempt at bringing the listener out of the "trance" that 4 on the floor electronica is generally intended to do, in my experience. There are effective, abrupt endings - this is not one of them. 2:54 has some cool filter work though. Overall, there is a noticeable amount of good synthwork here, but mostly it's just more of the same with regards to "dance/techno/electronica", whatever you want to call it. There's no attempt to make this track original from a production standpoint, and it certainly doesn't deviate enough from the original to pass by virtue of arrangement. Listen to the SS2 ST and you'll hear what I mean. NO -D
  13. I'm definately torn on this one. For one - I hear a lot of what Jesse is saying. However, I don't think it's nearly as bad as his scathing review indicates. I'm simply not hearing any appreciable amount of rhythmic flubs (caused by the ENTIRE band) that bring down the mix as a whole. I don't agree that the "changes that the bass doesn't make correctly" or whatever actually negatively impacts the song. Overall, it's a decent arrangement that is unfortunately plagued by some pretty major issues. The guitar is straight-unnacceptable. Jesse covered that well enough. Check his review to find out why. I didn't think the rhythm was as bad as he did, but it's still definately shaky. The organ is on most of the time - only rarely can I catch it being blatantly off. The bass is totally fine by me. No wrong notes, bad changes, etc. The drums are easily the highlight of the mix, however - they are pushed into the back of the mix. If they cut through better and actually had some decent volume, i'd be much more impressed. The sax is most definately out of tune. It isn't a HUGE issue, but it's definately not dead-on, A-440, and all that jazz. Basically, what we've got is a very decent cover of this tune, with kickass drums, solid bass, acceptable organ, and a good sax performance except for the tuning. The guitar must be fixed. That alone would stop this mix from acceptance. However, there are other factors that contribute to its rejection, most notably the production. It's like Larry said - very low-end heavy and lifeless. Did you use any compression on anything? Doesn't sound like it. I don't think I hear a multitrack recording for the drum kit either. At the very least, get a good stereo image and the kick/snare individually mic'ed. The snare has no snap and the kick is not very defined. These basic recording issues turn me off to the whole deal right from the start, and while there are definately good things about (most of) the performances and arrangement - it can't be saved. Ending isn't too impressive either. Give me something conclusive and creative....don't leave me hanging. Get a decent recording, get the parts down until they're way tight, and you've got a winner here. NO -D
  14. Gotta side with the majority on this one. The original, in my opinion, had some badass progressions and crazy rhythmic shit going down. This takes the preliminary going-ons and simplifies them further and with lower sound quality. This music here is not meant, in my opinion, for an entire arrangement. It isn't conclusive. It doesn't "weave a tapestry" of ideas and emotions. It SETS UP a coming storm of emotive and fulfilling music. I don't feel like this conveys a complete musical idea. This is most apparent when the low-note piano drone comes in. It really runs out of steam right here, and I don't get any interest back for the rest of the piece. That's as far as i'll critique on the arrangement side. Concerning sound quality, it's definately got a GM vibe to it. The main problems are vibrato that is distinctly mechanic, reverb-free orchestrations and winds that stagnate quickly, with no kind of envelope or attention to aftertouch. There is definately a bit of good arrangement sense here, in the instrumentation department, mostly - but overall I find that the arrangement (what some would call "notation" ) is too dependant on the original, and a section of the original that is unable to stand on its own. NO -D
  15. I'd say there's enough addition both in timbre modification and reinstrumentation that this qualifies. Typical mazedude quality. YES -D
  16. Yep. Definately not a renaissance piece. Renaissance pieces don't have this kind of repetition and direction. They also don't have GM MIDI quality. There are no velocity changes here, and an overall lack of dynamics. The arrangement is uninspired and directly linked to the original. Make it yours. My compatriots summed everything else up nicely. NO -D
  17. Not much to say that hasn't been covered here. I agree with analoq that sections of this demonstrate a solid knowledge of trance production. But the whole mass of this track is sloppy and cliched. Go for some innovation and a more in-depth attempt at acceptable sound quality. NO Some nice ideas though. -D
  18. First off, i'm not going to critique the vocals too heavily, as I am myself not too great in that area myself. Overall, they seemed.... uninspired and dry. Not bad, but my socks are most definately still on. Then we get to the arrangement. It's exceedingly simplistic. I understand that hiphop often benefits from a pleasant simplicity, but this is excessive. It's got some decent atmospheric effects, and a generally smooth groovin' vibe, but it feels very weak. The percussion has no punch whatsoever. I expect to be bopped, rocked, and hippity-hopped with these kind of tracks. The bassy-electro synth is interesting enough, but it stagnates quickly. There is no effort to filter, envelope, distort - anything. It's a static preset that gets old quick. There is little to talk about when it comes to transitions here as well, it's just intro - synth - synth with drums - vox - repeat, basically. The vocals can't save this one. Make it interesting with some kind of synthwork or a more solid rhythm section. Until then, NO -D
  19. Nice original. Oh wait, about 4 minutes in I finally recognize something. Larry said it best, when he said, "NO". -D
  20. The acoustic guitar sounds good enough - unfortunatly it repeats FOREVER until something new happens. I got tired of the acoustic the first time through. The melody was presented well enough, and the backing piano-esque thing was alright - a bit dry, could have used some kind of filter envelope or vibrato to keep from stagnating. Then, after a weak little whisper of a snare drum, it blows into a metal section out of nowhere. There really should be some kind of musical segue into the new section. The little tap that is there right now definately doesn't cut it. Also, the guitar - seems a bit fake - sounds a bit out of tune. Add to these factors that there is little expansion upon the original, if any. When I think metal, I think IN-YO-FACE guitar shreddage with a fully exploited stereo soundfield. This sounds very empty and weak, and really doesn't do anything to expand upon the original. It also doesn't help that the drums sound like they're from Duke Nukem 3D. Give this one some attention to arrangement and sound quality, and we might have a winner here. NO -D
  21. Not much to add here. A nice first effort, some potential shown in the rearrangement area. But mostly, a simple transcription of the original with very minor additions, altered instrumentation and modifications. Keep at it. NO -D
  22. Alright, this is composed of one or two synth presets. One is playing a drone, one is playing exact transcriptions of melodies off the ff7 soundtrack. OH, and some bangy and whistly sfx. Let's hear an actual ReMix next time. NO -D
  23. Damn. What a cool ReMix. The style is real nice - hippity hoppity but not trendy or goofy. Nice. However, the criticisms i will levy against the the track are ironically some of the rarer shortfalls that plague ReMixes. This track is too complex. As my hallowed compatriot Vigilante so succinctly summarized - the brass clashes. It's too busy and active for its role. It should be a supporting cast member that shows off once in a while, while the star of the show, the melody, is taking a break. You've got hammy brass. You've got some decent samples here, it's a shame to hear them all fighting each other for control. Given the moderate length of the track, i'd suggest fleshing out some of these ideas in their own sections rather than trying to smash them all together. Unfortunately, I'd say that between the few "off" notes that vig mentioned, and the overcluttered nature of the apex of the tune, this mix is a few bucks short. "tweak it a bit" NO
  24. First off - I am the one and only DB. Get a new remixer name. Cool pads starting off. I agree that the arpeggios are simply....wrong. I tried to listen past it and hear it as a timbre-enhancing weirdness, but nah - it's just off. The percussion is effective, but exceedingly simplistic. It could use at least a little bit more variation. Some kind of rhythmic fills or dynamics would help. The entire mix sounds like it's on auto-pilot with regards to dynamics. Good sounds used here, the vox are kinda cool, but they also don't seem to fit the key. Work on making the dissonance more acceptable or consider just making those areas consonant. NO -D
  25. A fairly conservative arrangement in terms of scope, but more than enough of a reinterpretation. Excellent playing, impeccable recording. Sure. Why not? YES -D
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