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Suitmonster

Chrono Trigger - Secret of the Forest

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I have been working on a remix of the Secret of the Forest (or whatever translation of that title is canon these days). I have about 2:40 of solid material, but I am at a point where I feel I want to know how it sounds (and my wife is no musician, and so nice to me I think she'd lie out of kindness). Perhaps you all could tell me where I need to improve?

http://www.lav.wtfpwnt.com/Music/ctforest-wip.mp3

I guess I should say something about who I am, instead of popping up randomly on the radar (unless that's typically how things are done, in which case ignore the following).

I took 4 years of what was called "electro-music lab" in high school... mind you this was '94 through '98, and I was using a very early Cakewalk and a Roland XP10. All that work was midi composition and basically practice. Anyway, I did a lot of remixing back in those days, though I don't think I knew about OCRemix.org till later. From 1998 till 2006 I abandoned the idea of synthesizers and keyboards in lieu of actual instruments. I recently have decided to give sequencing a try again... and I have to admit I'm woefully out of date.

As a long-time fan of several of the remixers commonly published here, I felt I could find no better audience for constructive criticism. Fire away!

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Sounds really nice! I'm liking how you've incorporated Lavos into the animal ambience ;) I'm thinking maybe I'd like to hear from him a bit less? Also, I'm liking how you're incorperating other themes into this, from the Magus quote to the final boss drumbeat near the end of what you've got. I can't think of much to say production wise, either, though I normally can't ;). I can't wait to hear where you take this!

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I really like where this is going. The concept is very unique, and the Memories of Green cameo at the end was cool. One thing though, turn down the volume of the shakers a bit; they can get a bit tiring to the ears. Also, make sure the main instrument in the second half (the part without the melody and just chords) can be heard over the other percussion.

Great job so far!

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Nice update; only thing I recommend is to turn up the volume on the piano a bit in the segment around 2/3 of the way through. It kind of gets eaten by the other sound effects in the background.

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Okay, time to get a little more in-depth...

ARRANGEMENT / INTERPRETATION

[x] Too conservative - sticks too close to the source

PRODUCTION

[x] Low-quality samples

[x] Drums have no energy

PERSONAL COMMENTS (positive feedback, specifics on checklist criticisms, any other thoughts)

First of all, is it fair to say that this is a remix of both Secret of the Forest as well as Chrono's theme? Because I'm hearing both of those holding equal importance. I like the way you transition into the latter theme, but unfortunately right now I'm not hearing enough interpretation of either theme. You interpret Chrono's theme much more, especially with the orchestral-sounding arrangement of the background to the B section of that theme, as well as the layering against the secret of the forest ambiance. That being said, secret of the forest still needs a lot more interpretation. Maybe try segueing into chrono's theme completely, and then superimposing elements of secret of the forest, mirroring what you'd done before? Just an idea. All that matters is that right now you have secret of the forest playing almost exactly how it was in the source, and that's too close to being a cover.

See if you can get a better bass sample, otherwise I like your soundset. Drums sound really cool--I think they could be a little less lo fi, especially in the snare (except at 1:30 where they're supposed to sound lo-fi ;) ), and your cymbals sound a little soft. It also be nice to get some compression on the snare so that it pops out a bit more. Use your discretion. I also think maybe things could be a bit less muddy, but I didn't find it that offensive. Check to see the concentration of frequencies in the mid range, and see if it's too dense.

I really like what you did with the opening...have you played cave story? It really reminds me of Egg Corridor from that game... Your mix sounds so good, just concentrate on fleshing the arrangement out!

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The lead's very bassy, I'd do a liberal low cut on it to filter out the mud. Will leave more space for the other instruments.

Interesting tune, I like it.

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