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OCR01024 - *YES* Secret of Mana 'Drifting Towards the Stars' *FT*


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This is a completely different take of my Distorted Star rejection some months ago. It's done in a very mellow new age/ambient style. There is some new harmony and instrumentation added to the other version I submitted. My vision for this mix is to give the feeling of an eternal space voyage, something that feels eternal and constant.

Game: Secret of Mana

Title: Drifting Towards The Stars

Mixer: GrayLightning


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No, j/k, not this time...

This is more a case of extreme dissonance, and not blatant off key sections...

I know the original rather well, and I must say that I liked distorted star FAR better than this one :(. That song had some real style to it, aside from the problems. This one lacks any real style aside from 'slow' and 'downtempo'.

Regardless of how this does fit as dissonance rather than 'off key' there are several sections that completely lack any musical structure and are little more than lots of sections playing different things at once.

Secondly, nothing is happening aside from repetitive keychimes and strings.

I'm kind of borderline.

I'll give this a NO for now and listen a few more times later.

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Off-key? What are you on Protricity? All I hear are 'deep chords'. 8)

This is nice, but it really is ambient background music. As I was listening I found myself drifting off and thinking about something else entirely, then when the song ended I suddenly realised I was meant to be judging. Not quite sure what that means, so I'll come back to this one.

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I really think this could be more powerful than it is now. There's alot of

untapped potential here that's getting lost in the mixing process.

I think this is postable as-is, but really could be even better.

I'll give this a YES, but I wish there was a deeper balance in the elements.

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Prot and I have different ideas of what types of harmony and dissonance sound good.

this sounds good.

the chords are, in fact, understated and unconventional with regard to the melody. i really just enjoyed this mix. it carries a great feel, and the quality is topnotch.

Some complaints: my biggest complaint, which is a complaint i frequently have with GL's mixes, is that it doesnt build enough. He asked me what i exactly mean by this, so i'm going to try to explain as clearly as i can.

thegraylightning: what exactly do you mean by 'it doesnt build dynamically?

thegraylightning: like volume dynamics?

JTnights: not just volume. when i say dynamics....

JTnights: hmm

JTnights: imagine the song as a line graph

JTnights: the level of the line is a measurement of volume, tension, busyness, and density

JTnights: i want the graph to start out reallly low, and slowly get higher until maybe 75% thru the song

JTnights: when it will reach a peak

JTnights: then drop way down.

so maybe that wasnt as clear as i wanted it to be. anyway, i would like to hear a more noticeable build. also, i think the lead volume is too loud throughout, and the ending should be more gradual.

this gets a YES regardless, but i'd like to hear GL make some slight changes.

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Dynamics would be nice. Dynamics aren't ALWAYS necessary, but in a song as slow as this one, they sort of help. As for wrong notes, I don't really hear them, just sounds like some clashing passing and neighbor tones in the melody as the root remains the same. Either that or my penchant for dissonance has gotten better with time.

I have only 50% of an idea of what I just said. Anyway, build up here is either not there or so subtle that I can't pick it up. It's not really technically repetitive, as the notes do change, it's just that it's dynamically repetitive. I hear a slight increase in volume at the end, but other than that, the volume levels pretty much stay the same, and the building up and layering of parts doesn't seem to take place at all. And in a techno/trance piece, that wouldn't matter as much, but in this case, it has to make all of the difference. So... I'm gonna go ahead and be my usual self and say:


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Does a nice job of expressing the title- definitely feels like you're drifting. I like how the areas where one might expect a climax (1:28 ) are the most understated of all the sections- gives a fresh, unpredictable sound.

Nice effect with the bells changing timbres throughout and the interweaving melodies- creates an enveloping mass of sound.

Cool stuff


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  • 2 weeks later...

This grew on me. It's nice to have a dynamically high-octane mix that kicks your ass the first time you hear it, but stuff like this... now here's a different story altogether. Instead of a musical escalator, reaching its finale at an apex, we have a wave whose climatic crest rolls under itself once, twice, thrice, and more until it washes off at the shore. It would seem that GrayLightning is experienced with a woman's nature of physical relief.

Had to sneak in a relevant reference to sex. Anyway, the underlying chromatic melody repeats, but the harmonies are constantly morphing from submissive to dominating and back again to create, as Israfel says, an enveloping mass. Also, this probably wouldn't sound half as impressive if everything was in the same key. My only gripe is the backdrop pads' collective reverb sounding muddy at times; closer attention to mid-range frequencies would've helped.

Me like.


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