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About Rexy

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    Judge, Project Chaos Asst. Director

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    Vocals (Death Metal; Female)


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    Beverley Wooff
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  1. Did somebody ring for my attention? I agree with Larry in that the arrangement is solid stuff - and thank you so much for putting the source breakdown in your video performance! It's a cohesive framework that focuses way more on "Birth of a God" and uses occasional motifs from the others. The presentation does have that sweet jazz fusion stylization to it, with the appropriate sound palette, drum writing, and backing keys. It's a pleasant listen. Regarding the production values, I'm also in Larry's frame of mind in that the soundscape is thin. Your performance is tight, so I can't fault that at all. But if you're working with organic instruments like jazz guitars, it can take some further post-production to make them sound more realistic. I appreciate that you showed off the Evolution Strawberry guitar VST as your primary sound in this case, so it made me analysis so much easier. You've already demonstrated the use of keyswitches to get different articulations for your guitar sound, so you've made good progress already. But it is still possible to take it further. Look at the effect keys at the far right of the keyboard. Pressing them at appropriate times can add a muted or sliding effect into the performance, varying on velocity or how high up the virtual frets they are. It won't do anything about the flat attacks, but they can show off more of what Strawberry is all about. Take a closer look at the Tone and Setup tabs. Odds are you've done the former already with the number of guitar tones currently present. But the setup tab has a lot of custom options for the pick position, the static attack/release, the number of guitars multitracked, and other variables. See if playing around with them can add more life to the tone. And while I'm on it, consider setting up envelopes. All Kontakt sounds can have their settings mapped to one of these. By programming one in, you can change more of the tone/timbre on the fly. A more realistic guitar sound is one thing, but let's say for some reason your present tones are quadruple tracked and still sound flat. If so, consider layering a warmer guitar/synth underneath to add more fullness to the leads. If you would instead stick with the one sample, try getting more mid-range warmth from an external EQ effect or by altering the tone. Similarly, boosting the appropriate frequencies on your drum kit can add more fullness, as can delay and compression when necessary. But don't do too much on the overhead, as it'll make them sound less organic and I doubt they'd work well in a stylized setup like this. Nevertheless, that's a lot of production crits from me. Keep the arrangement as it is - it's already fantastic as it stands. But do experiment further with Strawberry's settings and consider further processing the sound for added realism and thickness. I believe it's possible to get posted with the sounds you have, so I do hope you get the opportunity to revisit this. NO (resubmit)
  2. You got the source undoubtedly present, and with subtle subtractive arranging between each variation. The piano run set the stage, the orchestral metal variant added some new wind/string flourishes and harmonies from 0:55, and eventually added brass stabs near the climax. The Indian folk-based section at 1:42 went loose with lovely accented percussion, and an expressive sarangi (?) lead with some subtle pitch-shifting. Add that with a sweet guitar solo at 2:38, and I can see the fun ideas all laid out. It does stick very close to the source's notation throughout, but it's not afraid to explore different textures, and I can respect this decision. Production-wise, the mix does feel unbalanced, though. When the lead guitars appear among the orchestra backdrop, the rest of the instruments bury them entirely. They're supposed to be dominant among the orchestral backing, and it's especially jarring with the strings and brass swallowing the lead guitar solo's energy. Your guitar tones are fantastic as always, so I feel they can be brought further into the mix without altering another instrument's EQ settings. Talking of EQ, there's a peculiar emphasis on low-mids. The piano intro covered a limited set of notes, mainly spanning the low end and sounds muddy. One straight-forward fix other than changing the piano tone is to bring the right hand an octave higher. The orchestra itself also has an emphasis on lower tones, with the stringed backing providing it at first and the brass getting more aggressive later on. EQ cuts among the lower-end can give them a more defined place within the mix and let other parts stand out alongside it. Looking over your symphonic orchestra particularly, the articulation here feels minimal at best. You've got the brass stabs in nicely, but the other parts sound robotic in the mix. They are center stage for a full minute, but the constant attacks and releases make them fall flat. The slow attack on the strings also makes the melody too hard to hear. They alone can easily benefit with both key-switch experimentation and a less sluggish attack value at least. Nevertheless, key-switches and envelope manipulations are two handy tools that can give more human life to your classical backing. It's an okay arrangement - safe, but I see it as borderline acceptable. But I would like to see you go through another mixdown pass, with more emphasis on the guitars and more clarity/realism among the symphonic orchestration. Never stop experimenting with different sounds though, Jean-Marc - that's a strong asset that I'd like to see carried over to future work! NO (resubmit)
  3. Oh boy, I remember this! Sir Nuts linked me to the decision thread not long after I got added to the Judges and asked which way I'd vote on it. Here's what I thought: once the melody started at 0:21, the source clicked for me there and then. The harmonies and effects contributed actively towards subtractive arranging, which is heard as the main arrangement attraction. The horn performances and manipulations were spot on, added to that textural thickness and are all cleanly placed out in the mix. And do you know what else this track brought to mind? It reminds me of the Tortoise section of Camille Saint-Saens's Carnival of the Animals suite. Saint-Saens used the main melodic riff of Offenbach's "Galop Infernal" (otherwise known as the Can-Can) and slowed it down by 2.5x, while here the source is brought down to 4x its speed. This arrangement is a more extreme case, but at the end of the day, the BGM is dominant and has an interpretation approach seldom seen around the VGM scene, period. If I were on the panel at the time, I would've been in the Yes camp. Nevertheless, you did boldly, and I hold mad respect to the result that popped out. The original Super Mario Bros has tunes covered a vast number of times, but this is a sign that proves there's still room to make something unique out of it. Nice work!
  4. Ooh, I love the expression on your lead guitar! I understand the Satriani-esque vibe you were going for with that. The arrangement itself is a straightforward rock cover complete with solos, and even they felt sweet and dense like a virtuoso work should be. It's an interesting minimalist setup with just a single rhythm guitar, two leads, bass and percussion. And yet, most of the time it doesn't feel too empty all things considered. I do have issues with the drums like my fellow judges. First, I'm going to have to disagree with MindWanderer regarding the tom groove (not machine gun drums) at 0:19. It's the most engaging part of the entire drum track, with the writing and occasional 16th note flourishes. I do agree on it sounding mechanical, and that also is a problem with the rest of the track's notation. You've made a start with adding accented notes when necessary, so some further velocity tweaks around the quieter notes can add some human life to these patterns. Talking of patterns, I sensed a lot of cut-and-paste among the drum writing as well. You have the ride groove at 0:58, the 16-beat at 1:17 and the 8-beat at 1:36, but these parts repeat in sequence from 1:55 onward with no alterations from the previous section. It's fine to have an established groove for a specific part of the track, but you can spice them up with different fills, flourishes out of nowhere or even changing up the kick pattern. Take the time to experiment and see where it takes you. I also feel the balance can be improved as well. I'm in a completely different direction to MW yet again here - I can hear the bass, but the rhythm guitar feels buried whenever the leads are in play. With a minimalist setup and the rhythm guitar being the only instrument in the low-mid section, it does become a problem. If EQ tweaks can't work out, it's an instrument I would like to hear a touch louder. Support with a keyboard pad can also help fill out that area if further assistance is required, but this will depend on exactly which Satriani track(s) inspired you. It's a satisfactory arrangement with an ear-catching lead tone and a more intriguing soundscape for rock arrangements, so it'll be neat to hear on the front page down the line. But to get it up there, I'd like to see you spice up those drums and get your rhythm guitar to stand out more. I too thought it almost went over the bar, so I do hope you keep working on it. NO (resubmit)
  5. Power drills and wine glasses? Sign me the heck up - that automatically makes the soundscape unique! The arrangement is easily more organic than the original, again due in part to the choice of instruments with only the electric guitar and the power drill providing a subtle synthetic layer. The framework is also tight, with an intro, two full sections based on the source, and a mellow breakdown at 3:14 complete with a sweet guitar solo and tom groove. I like how in the second source block (starting at 1:59), Sean saved the track from repetition with playing around with the melody and contributing to the backing instrumentation. Natalya's role is minimal in comparison, but her harp added a sweet response to both Reuben's acoustic guitar and Sean's lower strings. Top that with a tight and bouncy banjo lead, and by concept alone, I see it as one of Reuben's best. The instruments and SFX all feel clear as well and appropriately placed in the stereo field. I have no problems with the higher strings at 1:05 as I thought they were intended to have the main melody line. I would've liked more EQ separation between Sean's strings and Reuben's acoustic guitar/banjo, but it's more of a nitpick here. The track is also quiet with the volume hardly peaking above -6dB, but I can also make a case for organic parts needing room for expression and can function as-is. It's one of the most standout Fear Factory arrangements I've heard, for sure. Combined with tight performances, a one-of-a-kind sound palette and one of Reuben's better productions, I'm more than happy to see this on the front page. Excellent job! YES
  6. I received a mixing update from Garpocalypse this morning. The new version (linked in the OP) has addressed my mixing criticisms, and I'm a lot more confident with what he's got. Here's the changelog: For the bass, I wanted to hear more of its tone anyway and not the harmonics, and that's exactly what he set out to revise. The kick has more of a presence now, the guitars are cleaner, and I had no idea you can use saturation as a mixing tool in this kind of situation - it's paid off and added a much more defined sound. The only issue I had with this particular version is a couple of weird off-the-beat woodblock sounds at 0:39. I don't know if they were there before, but they stick out and don't belong in the soundscape. I've contacted Ryan to get him to look at that, and since it is a 2-minute fix, I believe this track is almost ready for primetime now. I've got my fingers crossed! [EDIT: Less than 6 hours later, Ryan got in touch with a render that fixed the issue - which turned out to be a punched-in metronome. The sound is gone, the track sounds great, and I am confident in giving it full approval for the front page now. So glad he was able to chip in!] YES
  7. I'm not too sure why you linked a fan arranger's 40-minute medley to show your basis. But I do see that the first track in sequence - "Echt of Sorrow" - has an evident inspiration based on structure and instrumentation. It also fits for Edgar and Sabin's bond in the game, so good thinking referencing that particular source from Re:Zero. I love how you adapted the central Figaro theme to a slow waltz - it feels sweet and sentimental. The strings throughout and the vocal sample at 0:56 are also beautifully articulated and grabbed my attention. And the decision to give the "Coin Song" section at 2:17 one of the thickest backing setups alongside the change to 4/4 has some liveliness that wasn't present in the source material. And to give some respite for Larry, there's straight source use from 0:15-3:05, 3:32-3:50 and 4:04-5:10 - so it's dominant as well. In all seriousness, the arrangement is fantastic. However, that solo piano section at 3:05 doesn't feel natural. The velocities and timings feel way too robotic, and Gario also pointed out the uncanny volume envelope that shaped it. I understand that you want the piano to sound bolder as time goes on, and that's acceptable in concept. But the only effect I heard is a tech crew member realizing they placed their microphone too far from the piano and needed to edge closer carefully. If your other samples have an alternate soft sound when played gently, surely the piano VST has something similar to let it stand tall as well. I'm also unsure about how much of a non-VGM source should be in a submission. Based on this, it's also a safe bet to change the harp's notation to something that's more "inspired" by the animé, not directly fitting it in. Nevertheless, it's a lovely concept, and I enjoyed every second of it - but that robotic piano section sunk it under the production bar. The woodwinds were okay at best - not as lovely as the string and vocal articulation - but the piano needs work to make it sound as beautifully realized as the rest of the instruments. Consider looking into your harp and changing the notation, so you don't run into a standards violation either. I don't know how much non-BGM you can use in a track at the maximum, but it's better safe than sorry. Regardless, please revise the mix and send it back to us! NO (resubmit)
  8. The arrangement structure is by-the-numbers, but my gosh did the source get used well. You've changed the key, no section sounds samey, and each variation has its way of being played differently. It's a safe structure though with two run-throughs, subtle original writing, and some careful building down with the C section at the end. I also thought the use of the Capcom logo jingle at the start was charming, as well as tastefully using lower-quality percussion/harpsichord soundfonts at 3:38 to add more of a game feel. It's nice stuff. Alas, the balance feels off to me. First of all, the drums feel wet and distant, with an equally rough tradeoff of the kick's attack being inaudible. It's fine to place that meaty reverb onto your snare for that big rock sound, but the kick didn't need as much with all the fast movements it had throughout. Secondly, the rhythm guitar has muffled the bass. I get the trope for mixing metal tracks - no one's going to hear the bass player - but it's still an essential part of the beat's foundation. I feel it's best to add a slight high-pass onto the rhythm guitars just so the bass can pass through in the mix, but if that affects the tone too much, boosting its volume can be another alternative solution. And this is more of minor note, but your lead-supporting synth pads (0:49, 1:37, 2:25) should be quieter. The lead guitar is meant to take center stage with the support only adding to its presence, not swallowing it whole. It's an enjoyable yet safe arrangement, and I appreciate the opportunity to get the judgment fast-tracked. But all in all, I feel the mixdown needs a revision before bringing it onto the front page. Take a look at the reverb surrounding your drum set (especially the kick pedal), find a way to give the bass more presence, and go through your instruments' volume levels. This track is one I'd like to hear on the front page in some shape or form, even if it takes an extra attempt to do so. NO (resubmit)
  9. Ouch - I see Larry asking for "rock musician" judges to help out and we don't have any. How do we rectify that? Anyway, Larry also nailed the track progression. I do also find it interesting that you took motifs from all four movements of the source and turned them into a compact rock sound in the space of 7 minutes. By that merit alone, it's one of the more interesting "Dancing Mad" arrangements I've heard in a long while. What I like about the arrangement is that it doesn't go from point A to point D straight away. The first minute alone has lush choirs citing the first movement, leading into a heavy metal rendition of the third. Only then does it decide to explore the sequence in order before calming down with a choir-driven reference to the source's finale. You thought wisely using the third form for bookends - it's a balls-to-the-wall opener that sets the mood, and it offers familiarity for the finish. I don't mind the transitions as it's an expected component of the source material. But if there's any way to make them segue further, transposing the first movement sections up a semitone can mask it. It's not something that'll keep me up at night, though. Alas, with so many rock flavors, the mixing needs a lot more care. On the broader picture alone: The cymbals have too much sibilance/sizzle overall so consider cutting out some of those higher frequencies. Whenever the choir and rhythm guitars appear at the same time, the former gets brutally drowned out. If you're unable to cut EQ from the guitar without sacrificing the texture quality, think about carefully bringing the choir's volume up. And even more jarring, there were several points in the track with unintentional distortion. A revision on the master chain is a suggested idea to remove them if a revised mixdown doesn't solve it. Additionally, the blast beats at 3:24 is an excellent idea for the second form in theory, but the mixing here feels careless. On top of the previous cymbal and choir issues, you'd also have to accommodate for the snare drum barrage as well, and I can barely hear that either. Again, this can be a case of trying to make cuts in the guitar to get the snare to pop through, or bringing the snare volume up if it screws over the guitar texture. Or another idea is to change the snare's tone so that it doesn't fit the track's key, giving it more of a chance to push through the soundscape with less effort. In a vacuum, this track is enjoyable, and I'd love to hear it on the front page in some shape or form. Unfortunately, the mixdown is so cluttered I can't see it as this incarnation. You got plenty of production crits from all 3 of us, so keep them in mind if you decide to give the presentation another pass. Hearing a cleaner version of this track will be amazing. NO (resubmit)
  10. Can I say first of all that I enjoyed your choice of SID-inspired synths in the disco section? The arpeggio adds a nice unexpected texture, and the lead itself has good use of legato and a flanger effect to get it to stand out. I also appreciated how the first and second variations of the source's B section (1:56-2:12 and 2:20-2:35 respectively) have their subtle differences in how it's performed, with the second going as far as having a harmony along with it. I also saw in the workshop that you made the bass groove entirely by hand - and it's tight and full of fun, so be proud of that. However, this track does have some problems - most importantly, the little amount of source presence. Here's what I heard: 0:44-1:15 - Strings going through the source's A section. 1:48-2:12 - C64 arpeggio going through half of the source's A section, followed by the lead going into the first variation of B. 2:20-2:35 - The lead's second variation of B, complete with the mentioned new harmony. 2:44-2:52 - The C64 arpeggio repeating what it did at 1:48. 3:08-3:24 - The lead's third variation of B - almost the same as the second, but the C64 arpeggio appears in the background doing its own thing. That's 94 seconds of source, meaning 42% presence. If it's not dominant, I can't pass the track as it is. It's still possible to salvage the structure and find other places to fit parts of the source that had gone unused. You have the entire C section, the bassline, and the marimba parts - and it's a good idea to go over the uncovered areas of the track and see how you can adapt them. Even other Golden Sun BGM could get squeezed in as well, depending on your overall vision. [EDIT 18/09/2019: In light of MindWanderer's source findings, I re-listened to the harp at 0:12 and compared it with the xylophone in the source. Unfortunately, I can't hear a connection between either of them and I can't count it towards source quota.] As for the production, there's a significant amount of flaws in the second half that all add up. The drums are as dull as dishwater. For most of the song, it's a basic four-on-the-floor beat with just the kick and a snare, with a ride cymbal popping up only occasionally. I know you wanted to avoid doing dance beats in your work, but it helps to study dance grooves and see what you can add beyond just the kick-and-snare foundation. The lead synth's timing feels sloppy. It's fine to go off the beat if you're using organic instrumentation, but a synthetic soundscape requires all synth parts to be as tight as possible. There's no shame in quantizing synth leads here. There's no presence at all in the high frequencies. Usually, with dance grooves, it's felt through higher-pitched percussion (like hi-hats), but with no hi-hat at all, this part of the soundscape fell flat. The only instrument trying to push for any presence up there is your lead synth's buzz, and amplifying that will only make it sound worse. It rolls back into spicing up your drum groove and the potential of adding other parts of the source, so remedying those can go hand-in-hand. The drums themselves get buried whenever pads appear alongside them. Consider putting a high-pass onto your pads, effectively cutting out the lows and some of the low-mids. It'll give your percussion (and even your bass) more room to breathe in the mix. The track as a whole also sounds over-compressed. If your master chain has a limiter, try weakening it to reduce the unintended pumping. As it stands, there's a foundation that can lead to a nice-sounding mix, and I do indeed like your synth palette choices - but the track itself is both rough-sounding and source-light. I'd be happy if you take a look into my production-related bullet points and integrate more source material. Whether you decide to continue working on this track or doing something anew, I'm excited to see where your musical development goes next. NO
  11. Now, that is what I call no-brainer fun! Larry nailed the source breakdown and progression of the track, so consider yourself good with fitting the theme in and adding in some robust original writing. That solo at 2:10 was fun, expressive and had a surprisingly pleasant tone, and that's something I would like to hear more of going forward. All this and the framework is tight and evolves appropriately despite the structure being as pop-rock as it can get. I do also relate to the issue with the 2:43 section dragging for longer than needed, but I also didn't feel entirely sold on the drum writing. Yes, we're going back there - an issue that I had already touched upon in your prior DuckTales submission. There is a changeup on the kick pedal in the second run-through on the source - but that's it. Even the fills have the same repeated tom roll going down in pitch and moving from left to right across the stereo field, and that's going right across the track. I can accept it here as the energy from the other instruments is sweet, but I'd still like to see you keep working on it for the future. Looking at the production, it does feel biased on crunch overall. The timbre on the drum pieces has more of an emphasis on higher frequencies. The synth that appears at 0:21 has a high-tone buzz that luckily doesn't interfere with the body. And the guitars also have that same balance between tone and harmonics. But at the same time, the instruments are still appropriately balanced, and I can identify the parts in the mix - sometimes with more presence than anticipated (!) - and therefore has gone further over the bar than the arrangement. I mentioned my issues with the composition, but neither the drum repetition or lengthy original sections are dealbreakers. The interpretation and original sections as a whole sounded great, and the production values are also serviceable. I can see this on the front page, and a solid debut at that! YES
  12. I'm going to have to disagree with Larry regarding the arrangement. Yes, there's mood changes and subtracting some of the brisker parts of the source material. But at the end of the day, this is just a cover of the second half of "Omen" - and that alone is not enough. We've had arrangements this short before that have made significant transformative alterations to the source, and there's a lot that you can do to get up to a similar level. Playing around with the melodies, changing up the chords, and adding new rhythm parts and countermelodies are three such ideas that immediately popped up into my mind. You are right with "Terra" in all of its incarnations being massively overdone, but that doesn't mean you have to play too uncannily safe. However, my production analysis isn't as accurate as I've had to rip the track directly from Soundcloud. But I sensed unbalanced instrumentation with the pads having too much emphasis, and that caused a lot of mud in the low-mids. It's a shame because I like those shimmering textures - but I can barely hear the melody and struggled to detect other backing parts. When you're mixing down instruments, it's best to get the percussion balanced out first, then fitting in the bass, the melodies, the pads, and the rhythm parts in turn. After that, consider doing further EQ separation on your mid-range instruments, preferably allowing for your lead to have a presence in your soundscape. Re-balancing the instruments can also fix another issue I detected, and that's the number of pops. I'm not sure if it's a CPU or compressor plugin issue, but it feels weird to hear so much clipping and yet no peak in the ripped Soundcloud file go beyond -3dB. Consider going through each of your instruments/plugins to get to the source of the pops, then see what you can do to remove them. Summing my thoughts up, the track in its current state is too safe and too roughly produced to take onto the site. Look into changing up the arrangement, re-balancing the mixdown, and doing something about the consistent pops. Not a bad foundation, but it'll be lovely for you to revise the track further. NO
  13. I was struggling to pick out the source material, so I got in touch with Michael, and he provided a concise breakdown. 0:54-1:05 - The blippy synths at the 1:29 section. 1:12-1:17 - A syncopated piano from Phendrana Drifts. 1:27-1:29, 1:33-1:35 - The sine wave as heard in Torvus Bog. 1:41-1:56 - The blippy synths at the 1:47 section. 1:56-2:28 - The constant sine wave throughout the source. 2:28-2:43 - The blippy synths at 1:47, with the sine wave in the background. 3:15-3:30 - The blippy synths at 1:47. 3:35-4:02 - The constant sine wave throughout the source. The sine wave in the source didn't have a set pattern, but they did have a set rhythm, and Michael's interpretation kept that intact. Amazingly, this ended up a second over the 50% mark, and that alone is remarkable. I also understand where the vision is going with this one. Whenever the sine wave is present, it's there to signal chaos in a short-term relationship. A lot of the track outside of it is more melodic, which of course signifies the more positive aspects of love. It's a weird direction that uses less of the source material than I was expecting, but there is a foundation here. The production left me with even more questions. Yes, the writing has minimalism, but the textures are still meaty, and there's a good use of layers on the instruments. Yes, the "argument" section at 1:56 is tonally weird, and there are moments where the backing is stripped down to the bass, a melody and some simple drums. But at the end of the day, Michael intended this track to be a work of art. The only thing that looks off is how quiet the track is. The mix does peak, but beyond 1:56, the volume rarely goes beyond -6dB. You can quickly remedy it by making adjustments to a limiter if there is one in your master chain. I could mark it as a conditional on volume right here and now, but like MindWanderer, the artist's intention has me questioning whether an art-based piece like this is cohesive enough for the OC Remix front page. Technically there is an arrangement, and there's a working production. But the oddities it has makes it hard for me to cement a vote right away, and I'm afraid I'm going to have to sit on it for a while. [EDIT 02/10/2019: Having seen prophetik's vote, I am in agreement that the Phendrana Drifts part isn't considered to be overt. I still see nothing troubling with the direction or production values otherwise. It's almost there, but to make it ready for the OCR front page, it just needs more clear source - preferably more distinctive parts from them. You're knocking at the door Michael, and I know you can make it. Keep going!] NO (resubmit)
  14. You got a decent grasp on the arrangement for sure. Every instance of the Marble Zone BGM had this played-around melody that maintained the pitch but had note rhythms changed up. The downward arpeggio in the source also got changed to a triplet feel to adapt to the groove's shuffle focus. Plus, there's a delicate writing balance to let the two source-free segments (0:03-0:19, 2:34-3:03) calm the pace down. There is some repetition with the played-around melody being the same in all instances, though. But the layering of other instruments breaks up the monotony slightly - whether as modest as an arpeggio (0:39), a drumbeat (1:18) or a low e-piano (1:58). However, the biggest flaw the track has is in the production. The soundscape feels thin as if there's only one instrument doing each assigned role with no other parts backing it up. Going by your description, if you're working with FL Studio presets, it's ideal to use a lot of them all at once. The lead at 0:19 is a particular example of this - the flanger effect sounds interesting, but the tone doesn't have any impact. If you layer it up with 1 or 2 more leads, it can add some thickness to the sound. Should you go down that path and find a solution that works, consider looking into your other instruments and figuring out whether they need similar treatment. You'll also need to be careful with multiple instruments, though. As more gets added into the soundscape, you'll need to add more care to instrument balance and their EQ. Even in the track's current form, the strings and arpeggio at 2:54 tonally bleed into each other. Then at the busy section at 3:32, it's hard to listen out for either of them without thinking. If you want my take, I felt the strings would've needed a cut in the mids to let the arpeggio push through, but that's only assuming you'd want more synth presence than the other way round. Nevertheless, as you get more layers, you need to think about which instruments get EQ cuts/boosts to accommodate the production. This track has some cute ideas that stick around for longer than needed, but the soundscape itself is thinner than water, and that is a huge dealbreaker. New instruments and use of delay are two ways I can think of to thicken that soundscape up and make it sound way more ready for primetime. The minor repetition is a close second but should get checked out to reduce further fatigue. Not a bad move you two, so I'm keen to see this back in the inbox in a revised form. NO
  15. The arrangement mostly turned out fine. Like a lot of your other works, there's an emphasis on keeping the source structure as it is while adding other parts into the background. I like how the intro has some subtle playing around with the theme on the strings and reeds. The first variation of the main melody also has good use of a marching bass, padded brass backing and woodwind countermelodies. The second variant is more reliant on softer bass writing and more countermelodies, with even the brass stepping up to provide it at 1:52. The only irk I have with the bass writing is the questionable decision to have a string of C notes in the bass from 0:41-0:43 when the chord at that point is D major. That's only a nitpick here, so it doesn't matter. However, this is another case where the articulation feels flat. The balance is satisfying, and I can make out what all the instruments all are, but the attacks for the brass and strings feel constant and stiff. It makes the intro not feel as dynamic as it should, the marching first variation sound unnatural, and the gentler second variation feeling watered down. If you want them as the main emphasis, articulation is vital - and whether you work with envelopes or key switches, they can add some much-needed humanization. Larry also pointed out the clipping at 0:49, which is minor in comparison but still needs checking out. Think about either reducing the master volume or putting a limiter into your master chain to nullify it. As it is, I can't see it getting posted on the site in its current form. The arrangement is okay if not a little by-the-numbers, but it needs another pass regarding instrument articulation, as well as another mixdown to take care of the clipping. You've handled this before, Rebecca, and I know you can do it again. NO (resubmit)