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OCR01817 - *YES* Tales of Phantasia 'Just Go'


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Nutritious, Fishy

Justin Medford




Tales of Phantasia

Go A Step Further & Go Over Adversity

Note: This is a PROJECT submission for the Tales album.

Being on several OCR projects that were quite a long time away from being released, I started looking around for other projects that were close to completion. I literally joined the Tales project at the last minute after convincing Kyle that I could start and finish my mix before the deadline two weeks away. I submitted a nearly finished mix a couple days before the deadline, but got some feedback that the lead synth wasn't quite strong enough to carry the melody. Fishy graciously agreed (on the day the mix was due actually) to record a couple of guitar leads to double up with the synth, which turned out awesome.

Anyway, about the mix. I started off remixing just Go A Step Further (sounds like a fanfare song probably), but couldn't come up with enough material from that song alone. At around 1:40, the mix transitions to the second song, Go Over Adversity, with a modified time signature (I think the original is 5/4). I really wish I could've incorporated more of this song, because it has a very cool chorus that plays after the first melody. However, time constraints prevented me from doing this. Around 2:20 it switches back to Go A Step Further with a bit more shreddage from the Fish. Hope you guys enjoy.


http://snesmusic.org/v2/download.php?spcNow=top - "Go a Step Further" (top-133.spc) & "Go Over Adversity" (top-220.spc)

I'm feeling the arrangement, though the source tunes didn't really have much to work with melodically, which somewhat carried over into the mix. Aside from Cain's guitar, the track didn't really have any other hooks, not that that had anything to do with the decision. Just leaves me wanting something a little catchier.

Not feeling the snare tone at :32; I always complain about that stuff. The mixing wasn't awful, but both times Cain's guitar was involved (:59-1:19 & 2:49-3:16), it just barreled over everything. I like that it's going for balls out energy, but to me it obscured the rest of the instrumentation when there should have been synergy.

I liked the writing of the brass section at 1:46, but the low brass from 2:08-2:21 didn't sit well in the mix; sometimes it sounded more like an audio deformation than brass samples. Minor stuff: the awkward note movement at 3:23 exposed the string samples, and the fadeout also cut off a bit abruptly at 3:36.

Some of Justin's subs pass and some don't, but a fairly consistent issue throughout them is that the attempted synergy between orchestration and other instruments/styles isn't quite there. Even when the textures work well enough, they could be better. I wish I could articulate it more, but hopefully some others Js can elaborate if they agree.

I like your style, Justin, and you have no reason to move away from it, but there's still room for improvement. I may be in the minority, but I think this could use a little more fine tuning on the drum sound and mixing choices before it's good to go.

NO (refine/resubmit)

EDIT (8/6): The triggering of the strings at 3:23 still sounded awkward and exposed the sample badly; a shame it wasn't fixed. 2:36-2:49 sounded a bit muddy and crowded thanks to a warbling effects on one of the synths. The other issues though (levels of Fishy's guitar, brass deformation, weak snare) were addressed well. The snare tone almost sounds TOO punchy now, but at least it reasonably works, unlike the last time. The sound balance and polish turned out better, so this was more solid, and pushes it over the line.


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the snare was hard to deal with but that was primarily because it was there the whole time through.

the arrangement has its merits... it develops nicely, bringing in new elements in a timely fashion. the track is well thought-out if only roughly executed in the mix. this is good to go on every point but the production, where the guitars are overwhelming (though very well written and performed) and the orchestral elements in the intro swell up into a headjarring facelift. you have a great combination of textures here... the electronica, the orchestral and the metal all in one which can work (and i try all the time haha) but is heavily dependent on your ability to mix because of how different the dynamics of all three are. this track comes short only in this department, really. and that snare.

otherwise, this thing is very close. the track is groovy enough, creative enough and on point in nearly every aspect outside of the mixing and that godawful snare, to warrant a conditional vote rather than a resub one from me.

but i will not let my YES vote count without these changes


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Holy hell I love this arrangement. The marriage of those strings, brass, and the stuttering, electronic trickery is perfect. I agree with Larry that there's not much of a hook here but texture, detail, and atmosphere makes this track. I love your filtered synths sweeping in and out, and Cain's guitar is just fantastic. Amazing performance, and stellar effects on it. I'm not sure there's anything that needs to change in the writing.

Production... not quite there. The snare has already been picked on twice, rightfully. It barely has any sound to it, and needs to be less muted. Something with more bite and power to it. The rest of the drums too, to a much lesser extent. I think high-frequencies are lacking in the track overall, and the drums could fill that space well. I also felt that the guitar covered too much of the track, awesome as it was. Taking it down in volume a tad might actually be all it takes to fix that. The brass samples in the bridge were a little weak. Larry's description of the low brass was dead on, it was hard to make out what it was.

I would love to call this a YES with a conditional like zyko, but those sticking points aren't five-minute fixes. So it's a NO, with a for-the-love-of-god-resubmit.

NO (resubmit)

EDIT (8/6): I can roll with this.


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The snare is too muffled, but you know that already ;) The song sounds a little bit over compressed, the orchestra turns into this wall of sound instead of something dynamic. It was probably to make it cut through the electronica and metal but you shouldn't force it like that. I like how you coupled it with electronic elements though, I'm all for genre-blends :3.

Fishy's obviously the hook, but it's a good hook so I won't complain about that. The guitar is a bit too loud though, it really just kicks the other instruments in the balls (in a bad way). It seems very stereo-widened in some way (chorus?) too, and it interfears with the rest of the piece. I also have to agree with larry about the low brass and exposed strings, didn't sound very natural. The arrangement is over the bar though, absolutely, even though the sources didn't have that much to work with.

I'm with Vinnie on this one, I'd love to go conditional but I think it's a lot of work balancing all these different sounds so..


Edit: Vote changed, see below.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So.. let's see..

Snare is fixed. Better in my opinion but still a tad hard for it to cut through the wall of sound. Fishy's guitar has been toned down, still a bit wide and fx'd but it doesn't bother me as much when it's quieter. The bridge sounds about the same but since this was a minor crit even before I'll let it go. The soundscape sounds a bit cleaner too.

Honsetly, now there's nothing that really drags this piece down. While the instruments could've been even better separated we can't demand a filmscore-$$$$$-sound. This is great stuff and this is a YES.


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  • 3 weeks later...
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