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*NO* Chrono Cross 'Stars Frozen in Time'

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Remixer name: TheLeviathan

Real name: Jake

User ID: 14128

Name of Game: Chrono Cross

Name of song: The Star-Stealing Girl

Hey all, I finished this a few months ago and finally decided to submit it. I got the inspiration to begin this remix after seeing Diggi Dis' version posted way back. Chrono Cross is one of my favorite OSTs, and Star Stealing girl is on the top of that list. I thought that the track was screaming for an even more ethnic version, even though the song already had ethnic elements. I tried to expand on them and add some of my own stuff to add my own personal touch to the piece. Instead of focusing on one set of ethnic instruments, I thought it would be neat to blend Asian, African, and European instruments together. I am finally satisfied with how it turned out. Hopefully you'll enjoy it.

LINK:

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http://tzone.org/~llin/psf/packs2/Chrono_Cross_psf.rar - 306 "The Star-Stealing Girl"

Good personalization, solid new part-writing the whole way through, finishing off with a pretty interpretive last third. The chanting felt slapped on top, but was otherwise a reasonable concept; definitely something Mitsuda would have done if you're familiar with his modern work. Good job retaining the melody while making this its own animal. No hate here. Where ya been, Jake? Welcome aboard!

YES

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Lots of diverse sounds here, very interesting. It can be difficult to execute something like this well, but I thought it was pretty cohesive and certainly unique. The first third of the song is a little conservative, keeping the mood and melody similar, while adding new backing parts. But it only gets more interpretative as the song goes on, culminating in the final third, which has a great, prominent triplet piano part.

The full pause after the first third was a little strange and I think it might have sounded better without that extra beat of silence. I also think at times instruments are too soft (like in the intro), but it never hurts much. These are small complaints, I'm happy to pass this.

YES

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absolutely beautiful

a very moving, engaging and sweeping interpretation of a dead horse suddenly risen to run unhindered through strings and bagpipes and some thick drums. this sounds straight out of braveheart.

the chants do sound a bit out of place but not as an orchestration element... sounds as though they're mixed out of place, rather.

either way. i can't complain. this nearly brought me to tears at a point, it was so revealing and real.

YES

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Interesting. Africa, Asia, Europe huh? This mix suffers from severe schizophrenia :<

I guess I'll be the first one to say that I didn't think it worked as well on paper as it may have in your mind. All in all, it's not a bad track at all. However, despite the fact that there's obviously some high quality samples being utilized (East West, I'll wager--sounds like you've got everything from Colossus to RA to Symphonic Choirs in here) but oddly enough, I just didn't feel like the samples were as compelling as they ought to have been. The solo violin seemed particularly unconvincing to me at the beginning. The slow attack keeps any semblance of slurring from happening, and to me, that makes it sound mechanical. The choir was probably my favorite part of the mix overall. The vocal chants on the other hand were not only out of place in my opinion, but a bit on the tacky side, especially at 3:34 or so. The double triggers, REALLY takes the realism away in a bad way. I would think that anyone musically trained or not can tell that it's a triggered sample and not a real choir, and that to me, ultimately defeats the purpose of the high-end samples. It's like buying a 50 inch HD television, but then deciding that you only want to watch VHS movies on it.

I do like the Celtic elements a lot, I really love Celtic music in general, so I tend to be a little partial to it. But again, I'm not so sure the bagpipes mesh well with the other instrumentation.

On the arrangement end, I don't suppose I have anything really critical to say, other than the fact that the ending sucks. Sorry bro, there's not really a nice way to put that--nothing personal. Just speaking objectively. It's absolutely too abrupt.

Well guys, fellow judges and submitters alike, I may seem inconsistent here, but I somehow feel like this one is not quite there. If I were Jesse, I think my vote might sound something like this:

The instrumentation is ambitious, but is ultimately awkward. The chants are out of place and the sequencing somehow manages to feel rigid despite the quality of the samples. There's also plenty of headroom, so it should be normalized. The low end lacks, and needs to be boosted around 100 Hz. And that ending is terrible. Sorry, this one needs some more work.[/Vig]

NO (rework, resubmit)

Let me again say, that this is not a *bad* track by any means. I especially would like to hear Andy vote on this, since he's familiar with a lot of these samples. And yes, I suppose I might be wrong in my assumption that they're East West stuff, but the core issue remains the same.

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I have to agree with Jimmy here. The samples sound expensive but they just seemed sequenced in a rather mechanical way. No automation or serious dynamics to speak of. The chants struck me as tacky, and the latter part of the arrangement was meandering IMO (though the concept of the track as as whole was solid in termse of interpretation.) I also thought the ending was rather weak. I'd like to see this one with further polish, ie. more expressive control of the samples, production tweaks which have been suggested, and a re-thinking of that chant part.

NO, resub

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Heh, don't mean to speak for him either, but I had Andy listen to this one at his folks pad when I went up for the Comp Expo, and he did agree with me that the lead violin is super mechanical with the slow attack. East West has keyswitch patches. Use them, my friend. :)

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I can see the potentially bad issues brought up, but the only one that comes close to annoying me or ruining the concept is the chant near the end, and thats over in a few seconds. Other then that I think this is pretty enjoyable. I know the sequencing could have been better for the solo spots, but it didn't become grating to me and probably wouldn't to most people. The ending was abrupt but again, not a deal breaker imo. The track is still enjoyable and works as is. I wouldn't complain if the mixer wanted to fix a few things, but I wouldn't mind passing it in this form.

Arrangement is obviously a pass. 2:18 to 3:08 in particular is very strong and really emotive, reminds me of a certain other remixer.

YES

Might be worth asking Jake if he does want to fix up a few things?

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Violin sounds so fakey. :(

I agree with the issues with the choir, and I also want to add that the bagpipes in the middle section end up having intonation issues when the choir is chanting behind them. Might want to look at that too.

Great concepts but it needs some work in the execution.

NO, definite resub

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The violin does sound fake with the slow attack. Potential easy fix depending on what samples you used. It's not horrible though, I think it was outweighed by the rest of the piece. Didn't have a big problem with the bagpipe intonation since bagpipes tend to be slightly off-key (although this was a tiny bit too much). The chanting near the end is also a bit rigid but it wasn't a dealbreaker for me since it was so short. Otherwise the production was clear and the other instruments (flutes, choir, piano and so on) sounds great.

The arrangement is fantastic for sure and I'll leave it at that. (Fishy's favorite part is my favorite part too actually :3)

You probably could've worked some more with your samples but I think the arrangement and otherwise good production outweighes this. Keep the points brought up here in mind for your next submission though, it's all valid criticism. For me though, this is borderline BUT it's borderline yes.

YES(borderline)

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The solo violin attacks did sound strange in the first section, and the hard attacks of two instruments together in the section that starts at 1.37 did sound odd at times. Choir shouts at 3.27 sound very mechanical, in stark contrast to the great way the other choir patch was used. This is a very expressive mix, using very good samples indeed, although I do think they could have been used more appropriately and edited more in order for the piece to sound more cohesive ie ADSR envelopes etc.

The arrangement is great and the blend of instruments is quite original - this was not an easy concept to pull off. This would be a good addition to the OCR catalogue, but I feel that with just a few tweaks the mixer could do themselves more justice (is that grammatically correct?)

NO (borderline/excellent candidate for resub)

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Guys, may I reitterate that those chants are not just bad, they're downright awful.

I thought they were mixed in too loudly, and there's definitely the cheese factor, but a dealbreaker? 19 seconds? Couldn't go that far, and I've had my share of dealbreakers.

But yeah, just chiming in to say I re-listened, and didn't hear anything that dipped it into NO territory for me.

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I'm glad Malcos is bringing some common sense back to the eastern continents :lol:

Guys, may I reitterate that those chants are not just bad, they're downright awful.

You make me cry at times :'(

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You make me cry at times :'(

Doesn't mean I don't love you <3

Also, Larry, If I write a really stellar track, but record a 19 second series of flatulence in the middle, is that passable? :P

*edit*

It should be noted as I was playing this track over my monitors (usually judge with phones so as to not disturb her) that Amanda turned around and made a face today during the chants without me soliciting her input. I'd say since not really musically/technically inclined when it comes to music, she has that "general public" kind of feel. She gives genuine impulsive reaction to how something sounds without *understanding* it per se.

I promise I'm not trying to throw any hate on Jake, I'd be happy for a RESUB, but man, there's just some stuff that's gotta get changed first.

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The instrumentation is ambitious, but is ultimately awkward. The chants are out of place and the sequencing somehow manages to feel rigid despite the quality of the samples. There's also plenty of headroom, so it should be normalized. The low end lacks, and needs to be boosted around 100 Hz. And that ending is terrible. Sorry, this one needs some more work.[/Vig]

NO (rework, resubmit)

Something like that. Although I'm not one to talk about headroom. I don't know shit about 2-mix compression.

My main problems with this track have to do with how the samples are used. Certain instruments just aren't sitting right. To be brief, but going through the whole track, I love the chorus, but that pan flute is a bit dull. The uillelellelelleiean pipe sounds really wierd and dry. Like it's sitting in a different space. It perhaps shouldn't be panned so hard? I would say that about a lot of instruments. You could really afford to brighten up this mix. Especially the strings and pipes. I'd definitely worry about that before fattening the bottom.

Yeah, those vocalesque things around 3:40 get a big ol' WTF from me. They don't make any goddamned sense. I think part of the problem is they are such obvious samples. The attacks are unnatural and the releases are cut short. Get rid of that nonsense.

NO

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Weird/bad/fake sample usage starting off: violin, bagpipes, etc. Arrangement is niiiice, though, emotive and stuff. Transition at 1:37 is kind of weird, but section isn't too bad. Mechanical writing still, though. 2:15 comes and I'm like "wow." Picking up intensity at 3:08 is good, just need to nail the big finish and this one's in the bag.

And then the chanting comes in.

Maybe if the rest of the mix were immaculate, I could overlook that section (it doesn't bother me as much as it did on the first listen), but there's too much bad with the sample usage and writing to pass this. I'd love a resub to make things sound less fake and more expressive, and very preferable without chanting.

Also a little bit of extension of the ending, because it's pretty abrupt. Especially the strings.

NO (resubmit)

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