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Star Fox - Corneria

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Well, this is officially the first time I've actually felt good about a remix I put together, or at least thought enough of it to not throw out the file before it was finished. This one's been developed over the past few weeks, and I was aiming for a soft, minimalist feel in the music, even though I can't stick it to a specific genre. It's a short one, a dozen or so seconds shy of 3:00, and there's not really much to it. But I'll shut up and let you listen:

avli

First off, I'm rather inexperienced at the whole export process, so if there are equalizer issues or some other technicality is skewed, please let me know. I know the track is too quiet as a whole, but I've been having trouble fixing this. If you've got a recommendation, that'd be wonderful.

As far as the music goes, the main problem I see with it myself is what I said earlier: the song's too simple. If you've got any suggestions as to what I can add to it or change, I'm all ears.

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The layering build-up was done quite well, and the piece certainly fits into the minimalist catagory - I guess the one thing which you could extend upon is more originality from yourself to wake up the listener; by which I mean not just remixing the theme but also adding your compositional accompaniment right next to it.

Even with a subtle approach this piece can be effective and gripping. This piece has quite the potential and I like where it's going - find the pace and build on that as much as you can, making sure that there is some variation between loops.

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I really like what you have but I think there's a lot you could do with it to make it really incredible. For instance, you do a brief break strain and then throw in a powerful electric guitar solo melody that harmonizes with the theme. I understand a suggestion like that makes it not really minimalistic, but I think it could sound really epic.

Either way, this track is really engrossing and atmospheric, I love listening to it.

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Excellent work you have here! I love how you've turned the run-'n-gun sound of the original and turned it into a reflective, quiet piece. Your layering is very good, but I would personally like to hear your cello a bit louder in some places. That's just a nit-pick, though.

You're right about what you said the flaw in the piece was - the lack of variety, although lessened by the instrumentation and the application thereof, still hurts. My humble suggestion would be to put the second half of the piece in near the middle; I'm thinking the piano/cello combo. Plucked cello on the bass line, piano playing your version of the second half's theme, maybe the chorale quietly making a drone or something. Make it really low, then cut to just one of the three and build up your layers again for the end.

I'm really, really hoping you keep this one up - I personally really love it, and with an extra nudge you could turn this great remix into an OCRemix. I'm cheering for you! Keep up the good work!

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The most popular remix song in the entire series. Originality is key here, so let's see what you've got.

Nice to hear acoustic instruments at the start.

:14 - A little too much bass drum

:34 same thing.

Back the piano off a little bit when the cello enters.

When the chords in the violas come in at first, they are barely audible.

I like the feel of the piece, for the most part, but it gets a tad bit repetitive by the end. More on that in a second.

Back off the bass drum. It is too harsh for the sound. You should go for more rumble than impact, which can be tough to do with samples, but what you have now is too much.

Dynamics could make this piece soar. Also, don't be afraid to do a little phrase shaping.

Despite the original idea you have, you fell into one of the most common traps that comes with arranging this song: You passed over most of it. Those six or so bars are not the whole song, and they do not contain a lot of material to work with. Because of this, the song get's repetitive. Using more of the source will reduce the repetitiveness. Also, you need to break that 8th note motif at some point to keep things fresh. You moved it to a different sound for a little bit, but you never truly broke it and it mostly stayed in the piano. You did attempt to change it up a little, but you didn't differ enough to create a different sounding motif.

It is really easy to fall into a repetitive trap with this source, so be careful. Don't let the 8th note motif dominate the song, or you will have repetitiveness. Also, there is more to this song than the 8 heavy note melody near the beginning. That phrase itself can get repetitive too. Hirasawa recognized this and threw in another melody and later in the song changed up the beat as well.

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Version Two

Well, I know it's been a while, but I've changed quite a bit here. I dramatically changed the ending after just deleting the second half and rebuilding it from there. I tried to incorporate original composition, some effects on the cellos that weirded me out a little, and I play a bit with the eighth note drones, when they take center stage for a second time. I also did massive amounts of tweaking as far as volume and equalizers go. The song as a whole is now considerably longer, which I consider to be a good thing, clocking in at 3:50.

Tindeck's still down, so I uploaded it to a Google page

I'm thinking of changing the ending a little more, but nothing too dramatic, mostly just getting the timbre of those feisty cellos in line. I'll worry about perfection there later. What I want to hear from you all is whether or not I've improved, whether or not I properly addressed the repetitiveness, and whatever suggestions you may have for me at this point.

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Oh yeah.

I love to see mixes that are already strong but still show so much room to grow; that usually means it will be a major ass-kicking when it's finished.

So about the song. I thought the buildup could have been a tad faster. It wasn't so slow that I was daydreaming, but just enough that my concentration started to ebb.

Shift at 1:12 was nicely done.

1:40 to 2:20 is BEGGING for either a lead or harmonizing violin.

The rumble at 2:38 definitely merits some follow-up power; maybe an electric guitar?

Don't ask me why, but at 3:06 I started hearing some monks ala Halo style harmonizing with the main melody; pay no attention to this remark if you disagree (or any of them for that matter.)

Even without my comments, this mix is still good enough to go on my MP3 player as is. If this doesn't get passed I'm burning my virtual membership card.

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You've definitely got an idea, here, and a take on the theme I haven't really heard done. My problem is that I feel like the first minute or so is a perfectly acceptable, building introduction that holds a lot of promise, and then... the rest of the track just does the exact same thing, at times with less intensity.

I think it'd be nice to work more of the source in, as DZ suggests, but the key shortcoming is that this arrangement, as is, is begging, pleading, & screaming for a lead melody to come in, and it has to have balls. Solo guitar (see if Sixto can quickly collab), solo vocals (mix title IS aria after all, and it could be done), solo... SOMETHING. The piano is anticlimactic and there's not enough of it there... it *could* also work if it was a really baller piano solo, very elaborate, etc., but I think a different lead entirely would be preferable. Even if there isn't a solo that takes over, if you can't find anyone to collab or can't think of something to throw in yourself, the bottom line is that the dynamic needs to go in the opposite direction - the intro builds and develops, and then things just flatline and actually go a notch down in intensity.

I'd like to hear this completed because I think the first minute shows promise and is a rendition of the theme (which I love) that I *want* to hear completed, but imo at the moment you've got a really solid intro and that's it.

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Okay, I won't speak to you as a sound quality critic, but as an arranger.

That arrangement is almost what I wish for - a full orchestrated version of Corneria. But this version is okay.

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I've reworked it, and tried to follow DJPretzel's advice concerning structure and melodic leads. When I was done, there were a lot of new choral tracks, some harmonies I think turned out quite nicely, and even a celesta at 1:40. But I'm still unsure of whether or not the melodies have the strength and "balls" that they need, and I think the structure might also be too skewed to work properly. Either way, I do think it's better. And longer, now clocking in at 3:55. Enjoy!

Version 3.0:

stats.png

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Good, definitely some improvement.

That new piano section at 1:40 was great but way too subdued. Bring it more to the foreground and add some punch to it; it sounded too good to be so overshadowed.

I still think you need some sort of soloing lead in a couple of sections. IMO a violin would sound great, but you could go a couple of other ways with it.

The new chorals are a nice touch.

I know you wanted to keep this track minimalist, but I think you could have a truly epic piece if you brought some more power to it. Just a thought.

Nice work!

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The introduction and first minute or so in this is great. The build up and drop to a single instrument at 1:11 is nice, then the very basic melody.

At 1:40 bells enters and sound good. The while I like the bell sound, this area feels like it needs more of a lead instrument. You maintain that great sound scape, but don't really have anything to lead it.

At 2:20, solo 'ahs' and a slight build, leads to the same problem as before; A+ on sound scape, but no real leader. It sort of builds to the same level as before. I'm not so much thinking of volume or intensity, as sort of a need for something to stand out.

I'd say the piano is the star of the show here. The bells from 1:40 might do well at the end and the piano can go there in their place, really building after that break. I can imagine things I want to hear that piano do and get away from the sort of static pattern I hear it playing, and the break seems long enough that the piano would be fresh and new again. You could also keep the bells there as is and add the piano on the top of them. Have the bells hold that more static part and let the piano be more creative. I'm against adding too many more instruments because someone mentioned the word 'minimalist', a word which always gives me the willies:puppyeyes: What you have now sounds so good, I don't think you should add any more sounds, just a little bit on the arrangement and some 'risk taking' solo work to pull the piano away from that static part in the middle.

All just my opinions of course, Hope this helps

-H

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Yeah. After a good long while of working and reworking, I quickly found that I've got nothing.

I'm just not a pianist.

What I really, really want here is a heart-wrenching piano solo played right over what I already have from 1:40 to 2:40. I've tweaked everything to do with the backup voices to the point where I won't hesitate to say that they're perfect. I can't improve on them any more. There's only one step left, and that's to fill out the gaping space from 1:40 pretty much to the end with a lead voice, which I just can't seem to do satisfactorily.

Perhaps you see where I'm going with this.

I'm asking anyone reading this who, unlike me, is a pianist: I need to collaborate. I feel that this song could be shining star if it only had a leader. Right it's like... I don't know, an army without a general. And it sucks. But with someone else's talent, I think the song has a fighting chance.

Anybody interested?

Oh, and I'll post the latest version, even though there isn't really much obvious difference between this and the last version.

stats.png

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Oh. Wow. I so hope you find someone to collaborate with. I already love it. True, it needs a direct lead but what you've got here - especially the intro - has a great presence, good depth. Immediately made me have to listen to Bear McCreary's One Year Later (BSG season 2).

Consider that a compliment!

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Good call, Vesh. I was wondering if anyone would guess what song I drew direct inspiration from. Bear McCreary definitely had a heavy impact on this song.

Anyway, this post will bump the topic, which will perhaps let anyone who's not seen the call above to have a chance to jump in and collaborate.

I say it again: I still need a pianist to give me a helping hand. Please, I fear this piece will never get off the ground if no one volunteers.

Any takers this time around?

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I gotta say the arrangement so far has gotten good enough to actually download it to my system. The intro is grand. I like the concept, but I am in agreement it needs a bit of a lead. It's an interesting take on the song, that's for sure.

Keep working on it. This is turning into an epic little gem.

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I was wondering if anyone would guess what song I drew direct inspiration from. Bear McCreary definitely had a heavy impact on this song.

I listen to most of his work, but honestly... almost anybody can throw a quirky piano piece in front of an orchestra and/or choir and I'm hooked. Before my go-to song for that kind of orchestration was One Year Later, it was Too Many Secrets from the Sneakers score.

All that aside, are you wanting a pianist to compose a lead for [for the middle bits], or just to punch up/humanize what's there? I'm only asking because I'm wondering whether you'd consider having another instr or synth as an emerging lead. If a synth, possibly something a little experimental, ethnically-derived and rough... but tweaked enough to complement (or hey, even conflict with) a choir.

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What I had in mind was a piano composition to take the lead, because I think it would fit the hole that's there like a foot in a sock. The piano plays important roles before and after the middle section, and I think it needed a place where it came to the forefront again anyway. A synth may work, and it'll be what I have to settle for if I can't lure someone into composing a solo for me.

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Okay, this isn't working. Anyone got any tips on finding people to collaborate with? Anyone got a friend of a friend who plays piano?

If I can't find anyone sometime soon, I'm afraid I'll have to fake something using a piano roll and settle for that. But, you know, if you think you can play piano better than I can (hint: you can) just let me know. This song needs you!

large_uncle-sam.jpg

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Hm. I say time.

I get to a point in my work where I come to the inevitable conclusion that I'm as far as I can go on my own; and I poke around for help. Right now I'm working out chord progression and learning, erhm, stuff. :puppyeyes:

I've bumped my own thread 3 times, and got maybe 1 good viable response. The forums here don't seem to offer life changing advice or anything. More few and far between. I have gotten feedback on the IRC chat (which helped, so I recommended it to you)

My advice to you is to take it easy for a while, sit this up on a shelf somewhere and learn new stuff or whatever to improve. Then pick it up again later.

Good luck all the same

-H

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