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  • Real Name
    Beverley Wooff
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  • Collaboration Status
    3. Very Interested
  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
  • Composition & Production Skills
    Arrangement & Orchestration
  • Instrumental & Vocal Skills (List)
  • Instrumental & Vocal Skills (Other)
    Vocals (Death Metal; Female)

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Rexy's Achievements

  1. I've been hovering over this track for so long primarily because of the reasons behind this split - whether this is substantial enough to see on the site. The genre adaptation spoke for itself - changed up jazzy chords, modified the melody when required, transposed it halfway through, and all the fun sound effects accompanying the overall mood. There are two variations, so on paper, it feels like it shouldn't work, especially with how the ending just petered out with just the shakers and the notation - but we do have two unique textural run-throughs of the theme with different bass patterns, percussion riffs, and overall textures riding the top. I'm all for the change-ups for the BGM. Now, this mixdown, on the other hand, is as dry as a bone. Most of your instruments barely have much reverb compared to your shaker and some of the sound effects. There are attempts at humanization with the piano, but the velocities on the bass and the percussion are both very stagnant. When the percussion is inorganic like this, especially the kicks and snares, it gets difficult to change their tones while making them feel like the track flows. Hemo did mention the idea of changing up samples and velocity, though layering other types of percussion sounds, like claps and other blemishes, could offer them a different tone of life depending on their usage. Additionally, some percussion layer combinations could even fix the dryness problem we've got going on with your percussion. I like the ideas, and the arrangement is enough to sign onto the overall feel. But there needs to be some humanization tweaks to the bass - my best bet is dealing with layers or changing up key switches - as well as livening up those drums. I can see this going either way, but I think, "I want this, but it needs more TLC first." I hope you still have your project file because I want to see you get that sorted. :-) NO (resubmit)
  2. Way to make me feel split for weeks, Jordan. As usual, your production quality is top-notch, with amazing bass and distortion effects, smooth string articulations befitting the tone, juicy effects, and a strong balance that packs a wallop. There's just not much to say about this one other than you know what you're doing regarding the sound design. But then we've got the arrangement, which is a considerable debate. On the first listen, I heard the structure being two loops with slight variations, which isn't too much of a concern on the surface. I have seen the arguments about there being not enough differences, but here's what I've been able to figure out. Comparing 0:13-0:40 and 1:56-2:23, I hear a swung sizzling hi-hat on top of the previously established groove, which didn't change otherwise. Comparing 0:40-1:08 and 2:23-2:51, the build to the drop differs, as is the inclusion of low-passed drums for the first half. Then we got the drops at 1:08-1:35 and 2:51-3:18, and both used different LFO effects. The only identical segments are your loop endings, and considering that's how the track also ends, it does leave us with the impact of a wet sponge. So, there are more tweaks than some of the naysayers have said. However, they are primarily percussive and additive, not so much on source notation. Flexstyle has the right ideas for changing things and keeping the tone as an EDM / dubstep track. Yet, I'm all for seeing more melodic textural changes rather than going for elaborate key modulations or sudden genre changes. I'm talking about sections where we may have more pads and the melody on a piano-like instrument, or having a dubstep bass wub through the A-section melody line, or even a vast dramatic polysynth takeover. Honestly, it was difficult to see where this stands, primarily because I was asking, "Are percussive tweaks enough to make a difference?" - to which I have concluded that this track needs more than that. I'd love to see another version with tweaks done with melodic texture variation on that second loop, which I am confident is achievable. NO (resubmit)
  3. This demake is cute - it would fit right in an old-school Dragon Quest game as a shrine theme, which is appropriate considering Grandpa's role in Stardew. However, the consensus is already clear - it's two and a half run-throughs of the BGM, each with different textures and no compositional changes aside from a key change for the last 30 seconds. Arrangement-wise, there's not enough personalization, meaning we unfortunately can't accept this in its original form. Absolutely nothing's wrong with an NES / Famicom sound palette, and that approach is possible on OCR. But Brad's arrangement/transformation suggestions are worth looking into if you are to return to this concept in the future. Please keep up your efforts. NO
  4. Well, there's one answer on how to address a small source - theme and variations. And with your EDM approach, that means a whole kitchen sink of themes and variations. It sounded like it went from two-step to dubstep to breakbeat to French house to hardstyle to a wall of noise in two minutes, so I understand Wes's "order every seasonal drink at the bar" analogy. Very rarely would a break between sections be used more than once - aside from the frequent use of Navi voice clips - and combined with the eccentric barrage of music ideas, we've got something that was short, sweet, and probably a bunch of other flavors in there while we're at it, and doesn't outstay its welcome. The sound design also has a lot to love. With the territory comes rich synth textures, various genre-ready tones, and some befitting EDM tropes. We're talking dreamy sustains in the first 20 seconds, snappy 808 hats during the lighter two-step sections, multi-layered dubstep basses, glitched gates before the end of the first minutes, juicy sidechains not long after, enveloped basses going in after 1:30, the absolute noise that is the big final bass at 1:43 and a room reverb finish. I don't sense anything overlapping with each other frequency-wise, but I would've liked a clean fade-out rather than the sudden cut at the end. It's no dealbreaker if the project file gets lost, but it would be nice to remedy it before being ready for primetime. You saw my words right there. This track surprised me, as should the other OCR regulars when they hear it. Nice work! YES
  5. Your detailed source breakdown was helpful and helped me appreciate your arrangement craft big time. This approach broke down the individual segments of the theme and built upon each one in turn, all with a charcuterie board of concepts and interpretations. You've got parts where you overlay the melody over different chord structures, the sneaky Jenova cameo, a couple of sections where you kept the chord progression of the segments but went into brief noodling, and then you caught me off-guard from 2:32 with two key signature changes in a row - first into 7/4 for the D section twist, and then into straight 4/4 rather than 12/8 for the dive into the E section at 2:54. I'm very impressed with your scale of twisting the source while maintaining a solid structure overall. It's also a well-mixed track overall, with clean performances throughout. I sensed some great guitar tones from Jabo's side, beefy Hammond organ action, and plenty of layered synth instrumentation complimenting each other. The lead saw wave does sound exposed when alone, but when noodling for solos, there was enough done with pitch bends and modulation to make it feel fuller. The same applies to your snare tone, but it's not to the point where it's overlapping with anything or poking through the landscape. Here, the entire production line wanted to sound like 90s-era Dream Theater, to fantastic results - and I can roll with it. You got my approval, you two! It's a fun prog twist on a classic battle theme - mad props! YES
  6. The original Puzzle Bobble / Bust-A-Move theme is so happy! That makes it an excellent fit for trap/hip-hop, and you managed to get at least a good foundation going. However, as mentioned, we have a sampled audio intro, a rendition of the theme, and some sax noodling over the accompaniment of the A section before a closure. In a fuller remix, splitting the track at 0:55 would turn the two halves into bookends, and with the kind of groove you have, the best suggestion I have is to allocate yourself more track time for re-interpretation and other ideas. Passing a shorter track isn't impossible, but I doubt the pacing and style would suit something of this current length, so adding more would have to be the better solution. Then, we have the current production state. Yes, the instrumentation is relentless, the subtle sidechain worked well with your kick, and the render surprisingly doesn't have any clipping despite the emphasis on your bass. But at an RMS level of -10 dB and too many details trying to appear all at once during said B section, there's not a lot of thought going on to balance overall. You buried the sax underneath the higher-frequency percussion, source melody and sudden arpeggio textures. Rather than have everything go full-throttle, it'll be a good idea to balance the instruments' volume based on overall importance, pan similar elements to get them to stand up against each other, and if there's still some frequency clashing, either opting for some EQ cuts or shifting octaves depending on the part. As of right now, the submission you sent in sounds more like a two-minute rough sketch of what would hopefully become a stellar developed track. I'd like to hear a revision with more source interpretation and an overall cleaner sound, so I hope you'll be able to keep at it. NO (resubmit)
  7. Oh wow, I remember the original album version and the flaws that held it back as a direct post - but I'm glad you and the rest of the gang kept refining it, Mel. I'm pleased about that. So, this started as a melodically conservative lo-fi take on the source, and then by 1:45, we've ended up with some improv that primarily leans into the A section melodically, all before going back into the A section and further playing around with that theme until the unusual SFX ending with the tape sounds and footsteps. There are several tweaks here compared to the album version. The beat is more engaging and meanders way less, Zach's saxophone sounds way more expressive and compliments Greg's clarinet much better, and the additional live instrumentation adds a greater sense of intimacy. The only thing I would've liked to have heard is for the bass to remain rooted and let the melodic parts do what they need to do rather than trying to step around like a countermelody at times, but it's more of a stylistic decision rather than something to send back. It's also phenomenal to compare all three versions and see how far the performance side has gone. I was initially okay with Greg's clarinet, but Zack pushed through with the overall quality behind the other instruments and heeded critique from the first attempt to redo the sax. Everything's well positioned, and the presentation emphasizes warmer tones and less on your higher frequencies. It would've been a challenge to balance, and I would've preferred the bass to be a touch quieter because of it, but this shaping is essential when it comes to lo-fi. I can co-sign with the fellow Js and say that you've finally hooked yourself a winner. Great going with all the feedback, Mel - let's get this on the front page! YES
  8. I'm down to see a Croc arrangement on the site in some form - that OST has some fantastic jams. But unfortunately, I concur with the barebones borderline MIDI-rip approach that Larry and Brad brought up. I'm hearing a palette change with no writing transformation, some very exposed and reverb-heavy drums, no articulation on your melodic instrumentation, and overall, no development. It would have had a direct rejection if you submitted it under the old email system. Don't feel discouraged, though. You have the workshop for research on interpretation and production, and for asking for feedback, so please keep working on your craft. Hang in there. NO
  9. Working on orchestral metal isn't easy, but you managed to nail source recognizability down to a T, going as far as doing a lot of chopping around and overlaying the chosen sources while still making World Revolution your leading hook. Rather than relying on two keys like the source, you kept the structure's first minute in the same C minor key as the original's beginning. The two segments with the time signature changes (9/4 at 1:44 and 7/4 at 2:50) allowed the sources to transform themselves to fit the overall pacing, as did the sudden slow-down for your bass solo at 3:57 before going into your build and ramp-up for the ending. Add in your trademark juicy guitar solos, well-articulated arps, and textural changes to divert it from the pure orchestration of the source material, and what we have here is classic Hakstok, just with multiple more instruments this time. Those multiple instruments are a thinker when it comes to production, though. Yes, the individual parts of the orchestra were bound to face overlaps when you've got the rock part of it at center stage. But when it comes to this kind of orchestral rock setting, the orchestra should ideally face treatment as a separate instrument, so when working with the guitars simultaneously, they feel clean and add some air into the mix that would've otherwise been from backing synths. The bad news is that until the guitars make their first appearance at 0:40, said orchestra-synth combo is all one would hear, and both of them have conflicting frequencies that make it hard to hear one over the other. But once the rest of the instruments arrive, everything starts sitting better, with the kind of recording and VST quality I expect from you. I bet you had your work cut out for you here, but it was worth it to fare well in the DoD, and I'm all for seeing this on the front page. Keep doing what you do best, Ivan, and rock the heck out :-) YES
  10. I had never heard the original sub, so I must go by ear for this one. We got evident source use, with some lovely transformations like the choice to bring in the B section's bass (albeit offset by two measures) over the A-section at 0:18, sprinkling in bits of the C-section at 1:24 and 1:33 during the re-build, the double-time at 2:07, the call-and-response between the original writing and source section in that entire section that starts at 2:11, and the shift to a minor key at 2:29. Interpretation-wise, you understand how to personalize a track, and I can see the cases for the Yes camp liking this one based on the general idea and presentation. However, I have some qualms with its presentation. As mentioned by my fellow Js, the textures are very bare-bones and rarely ever have anything more than bass, melody, and percussion happening simultaneously. Other parts like pads, arpeggios, and keys can go a long way and add more density to this. You do have instruments like your bells that have enough layers to function as three at once, and you substituted the percussion aspect at 1:17 for a pad underneath - but they further expose the gaps in the soundscape. See if you can add some other subtle textures underneath to thicken things. Even if you do that, there is still the problem of mixing everything. As things stand, the bells are way too loud, even with the brick wall master in consideration. The kick drum is barely audible and could fare better with some EQ shaping on the bass to make it stand out. Additionally, the only multi-layer instrument you've got are those bells, as mentioned earlier, meaning your dry/exposed parts of the percussion kit need some textural tweaks if they are to be more upfront. I appreciate the creative direction behind the mix, Troy, but the sparseness and your mixdown are two significant issues that I'm afraid I can't shake off. This track needs some further TLC with additional instrumentation and a thorough mixdown, and I'm glad you've spoken to Hemophiliac as an extra pair of ears to help you out. I hope you get back to this one soon. NO (resubmit)
  11. You know, Jack got the sound presentation right on the head. The bass is amazingly well textured, filters had worked great for the FX and arpeggios, and that choice of drumset has enough air in its snare tone to compliment everything else. Yet, the bass has so much coverage in the mix that it had also been smothering everything that isn't necessarily percussion or a synth lead, masking some of those background pads and textures like the gremlin laughs. A frequency analysis showed the sub-bass problem that Brad pointed out. Cutting that back could help alleviate the clutter, but a general cleanup wouldn't go amiss. It's not a dealbreaker, though, as the few flaws mix-wise more than compensate for it in the sound design, and that wore that badge loud and proud. Now, the arrangement is transformative. You've relied on mainly the A section for your core hook, a tweaked variation of the B section to compliment these, and then used your E and C sections for your builds. Rather than using the original chord sequence, you opted to go for your own to fit your EDM vision and have similarly chopped up entire melodic stretches in your favor. Yes, the repetition would be an issue, but here's how I broke it down. Your B variations at 0:18 and 2:29 approach the same kind of core melody line, though the latter one had some additional higher-pitched textures during melodic downtime. The B variation at 1:32 had the melody line do its own thing. Then there are the A sections, where the first and second ones at 0:04 and 0:32 differ with their drum flourishes, while the other three at 1:18, 1:47, and 2:43 are the verbatim patterns. Those loops impact around 30 seconds of a 3-minute track, which isn't much in the long run. For me, the way you treated the source more than made up for the flaws here, though making textural differences more obvious would be an idea worth exploring in the future. Honestly, this was a toughie, but the pros barely outweigh the cons. It's got that bounce I usually associate with you, and that source transformation is too hard to brush aside. Cool stuff. YES (borderline)
  12. I'll start with the production aspect. Yes, the original is superior in every way, but that was mainly because the acoustic strings in the original (Mandolin? Dulcimer? Bouzouki?) were live. Working with a sampled variation, it has a lush feel despite the key-switch limitations associated mainly with a dulcimer VST. The backing pad, while not entirely out of place, doesn't feel as deep as the original either - and some of the vibrato and pitch bending of the cello also gives off a more synthetic vibe. None of these are deal breakers, as when all parts get together, any accentuation issues get mitigated, and the balance is strong enough to make them all work cohesively. Yet, I'm afraid I will have to concur with Brad and the camp regarding the arrangement. Yes, the strings, some percussion, and some string harmonics (2:16) did their involvement under the source transcription to add some subtractive arrangement work. But the structure is still two loops of the BGM, with added instrument work becoming more prominent at 1:22 and only starting to get going within the final third. Now, usually, there's nothing wrong with adding other layers underneath to make a mix work - but when you still have the base pads and folky guitar being used in the arrangement, doing the same actions in the original BGM, there needed to be more to it and much sooner. Methods like assigning different instruments to play the melody, subtly altering patterns on the main parts, and some texture building like you did in the last third can bring this a long way. I'm sorry, but I can't pass it in its current form - and it's all down to arrangement and not enough thereof. You are the artist here; therefore, we want to hear more from you - so if you can revise it with a more original interpretation, that'll be fantastic. NO (resubmit)
  13. Yep, this is definitely "Time's Scar" played straight - nothing to say about the structure other than it being a stylistic vocal rock adaptation, with a thrown-in bridge based on the post-intro B section going between 2:05-2:40. I haven't heard the original version, so I have nothing to compare to re: vocal arrangement, but based on what I heard, the meat and potatoes after the first 60 seconds show great strength to compliment the style, though the modulation *within* the first minute feels overblown. That flaw may have been a basis for a no from other judges, but based on other vocal works from you, I can play devil's advocate and believe that kind of expression is your schtick, no matter the overall pacing. Everything also feels clean - I can identify all parts, there are some pristinely recorded live instruments, and timings have run a tight ship. I don't mind the drums on a grid, as they're doing the time-keeping for everything else. The main issue I had with the overall production, though, was the vocals themselves having inaudible consonants. Usually, an EQ tweak in the higher register could get them further front for increased clarity in your words. On the other hand, it's also seen as "vocals as an instrument," so something like that is "nice to have. " It's something I can get behind despite the vocal mixing flaws. It won't get past the vocal-song hate, but it doesn't need to do that - it's you, through and through, and it can shine on its own. Good luck with the rest of the vote. YES
  14. I agree about the source being challenging to arrange, but when broken down, it's primarily different rhythmic patterns placed in a set structure. Rather than Michael Hudak's method of taking said patterns and making something completely different, what you did was keep the structure of the BGM and do some subtractive arrangement with your choices of pads and other percussion - then, from 2:20, you began to develop these rhythmic ideas and continue along to the end. It's rare for you to do things like that, as I had often heard you shape up the source and then go into comping for the end - so I am all for it. I don't particularly mind the dynamics of the instrumentation, given that more of the textural attention was on using volume envelopes to shape them, similar to the original. But I did indeed hear the frequency shaping that Wes and Kris brought up. I'm not so worried about the panning, as I can see it as more of an arrangement technique. Still, the rumble and artifacts from one of your synths (0:52, 1:49, 3:13, 4:46), combined with resonants appearing on the mid-ranges (1:18, 2:21, 2:38, 3:50), tell me that they've been leveled too loud to the point of mild distortion or that there are too many things going on in their space that would need some further separation whether it be panning or tweaking different EQs for their own separate space. That irk is only on headphones, though, so it's a fix that's nice to have rather than have addressed as a resubmission. Regardless, more boxes tick for me rather than get left blank. Irrespective of the outcome, I hope the feedback you keep receiving for each mix will transition into building up future material. Cool stuff. YES (borderline)
  15. To put this together across five years, you must've made this a real test of love. Nice! A seven-minute arrangement felt intimidating reading about it, but the overall structure is exceptionally safe. We got that Last Episode opening, into the source proper, into another run with some added bell/timpani/hi-hat action, a return to the A section with that rad clavinet writing, into a guitar solo, and a return to the second half of the source for the end, defining itself with a flute and a beefier set of drums to lead into the finish. Now, I have seen the arguments regarding repetition. I've seen mixes that have tastefully used repetition or have enough background changes to have their purpose, but the same notation with some layers tagged in doesn't feel like enough. I'm more in favor of the "radio edit" route that you mentioned in your notes, which would cut down that problem big time - but one tip for the future is that you can even let accompanying instruments do something else during second source run-throughs. I also agree with the whole issue regarding balance. Firstly, you name-dropped a lot of powerful VSTs, but there's hardly any articulation outside of keyboard input at best. It's better to make them feel more like a performer was using the real thing, usually by combining key switches, envelope shaping, multiple layers, etc. On the other hand, the guitar has hammer-on articulation, which is a big plus - but it's so behind volume-wise that it's barely audible. It sounds much better in that regard at 5:04 during the big solo, but the note density further exposes the thinness of the sound. A lot of the thinness sounds like they're from applying high-pass filters across your mid-to-mid-high instruments - which isn't bad, as it does get rid of many frequencies you don't need. However, warmth is valuable on more prosperous instruments like the piano, organ lead, and guitar. It's a good idea to look over your low-to-mid-frequency instruments, see where the EQ settings are, and see if there's a way to give them more of that warmth. Another reason is that the brass and strings have too much power, and they don't know whether to be a support instrument or a lead based on their writing. If your setup can handle some more channels for orchestral instruments, it would be a good idea to separate your writing for leads and for rhythm/pads into separate channels to differentiate them; if not, then it'll be fine to work with volume envelopes, dynamically changing their place in the mix over time. I appreciate you reaching out to us with the hope of getting more feedback overall, and I also understand your overall story for its use on an album release and how much passion you had in working on it. Despite this, I had been back and forth and found more reasons to want it revisited rather than go on the site outright. Personal attachment is something that I faced issues with some of my earlier works - and even a few of my later ones - and the most challenging part is motivating yourself to get back to creating more things, which anyone should still do regardless. That said, the vibe is excellent. The ambition is great. But revised articulations and another mixdown pass are what this thing sorely needs for me more than anything else. I'm all for seeing it on the site, but I'm afraid we will require you to make that possible. NO (resubmit)
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