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Vyper

Chrono Trigger: Frog's Theme (RC 3)

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Hi all,

I'm rather new to this and haven't posted any OCRemixes so I thought I'd get some feedback here before trying to submit.

I know it's been done several times before, but I decided to take a stab at an electronic dance version of Frog's Theme. It's quite a bit more intense than the remixes already on the site.

I think the parts without the theme might be a little too crowded and it might be a little too long, but I'm not sure. Please let me know what you think. I won't be shattered if you think it's hopeless.

Link: http://boxstr.com/files/4679378_imofg/Frog_v3.mp3

Thanks.

~ Velly

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Hey, I like this! It is pretty intense.

I'm no expert on this genre (though certainly a fan), but I think the only thing getting in the way on this one is repetition. The only melodic content in this is the Frog theme. The submission standards do require a fairly even balance between original content and source content. Of course, your choice of genre, texture, etc does account for a bit of that variation but a good chunk of the variation evaluated is in the melody. The breaks that you have where the melody isn't playing certainly helps as well. You do end up repeating the source 4 and a half times though. Try changing the melody up on one of those times. Play with the rhythm, harmonization, heck, even write something completely original instead. There are lots of ways to add variation. Be creative :D

Also, when you aren't playing the melody, the background even gets a bit repetitive. Of course I understand that repetition is the nature of this genre, but there are ways to keep the beat phat without doing the same thing over again. I really like the change in texture at 2:20. Maybe something along those lines?

As far as production goes everything sounds good as far as I can tell. Just add a good deal more variation to your composition and I think you'll have a good chance of getting posted!

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Thanks for the feedback. I've just finished an updated version.

I changed the theme for one of the previous repetitions as you suggested, but kept to the general feel to maintain the energy. I also added an original piano "subtheme" to the parts that lacked a theme and modified a couple transitions. I broke up the background to vary between being level and rising, though it's a bit of a subtle change.

Further feedback is much appreciated.

Link: http://boxstr.com/files/4683801_cwjnd/Frog_v5.mp3

Thanks!

~ Velly

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dude. this is a very nice mix, and i'm not typically a fan of the genre. also, it's cool that you're willing to mess with what you've got and make changes--that alone will significantly increase your chances of getting a mix posted.

as i said, i think it's solid, but here are a couple humble comments:

-the dropout at 0:56 is cool, but consider building up more beforehand to really accent this gesture.

-the 'b' theme at 1:24 rocks. it makes me want to start raving, but the rest of the mix doesn't amp up the energy when this new theme appears; the background material is very similar to what just preceded it. i know you don't want to hit a climax too early, but maybe a litte change of texture here would sell your new theme nicely.

-also, the bridge bit at 2:20 is baller. we get 4 bars of the 'b' theme, and then it repeats before going back into the hard stuff, but what i'm wondering is if the repeated 4 bars there could benefit from an additional piece. say, for instance, we go to the bridge at 2:20. then, at 2:27, when that bit repeats, you add the bassline only back in. that way we're even more pumped for the re-entrance of the full beat at 2:34. this is the climax of the mix right? it's the final entrance of frog's theme after the buildup, so there should pretty much be a sign on this part that says, "THIS IS WHERE YOU ROCK OUT." maybe my interpretation of what you're going for is wrong, but if it's not, we as the audience need to be led to that moment as much as musically possible, and we need to enjoy the hell out of ourselves when it hits.

anyway, hope that was helpful. i said a lot, but that's because i feel like this mix has great potential. it's already awesome, so i'm really excited to see what you decide to do with it. best of luck!

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Thanks so much for the feedback. I've made (yet another) update with almost all of the changes AJiLe suggested plus a few other minor tweaks.

The only thing I didn't do was increase the build-up before the 0:56 break because I'm not entirely sure how to go about that without being too crowded or too repetitive. Any suggestions would help. Is there a part that isn't repeated enough in the track that I could use for the build? I don't want to add any more themes because I think that would make it feel scattered.

Once again, any and all feedback is appreciated.

Link: http://boxstr.com/files/4691610_sttzn/Frog_01-20.mp3

~ Velly

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I could get down to this.

Really, nice mix. It has very high energy (which is good) but it seems just a touch slow (I'm talking a click or two, or 4-8mm). Bring it up about that much and tell me if that helps bring the intensity out even more (Not too much, though... then it'll be a 'FRANTIC' mix... ick).

The EQ is a little on the high side, so I'd bring those highs down, it'll help with the mud in some parts. The piano behind the mix are drowning in the mix right now. They're good, but they'd be better in the foreground of the mix rather than the back. The levels in general could be better balanced between instruments, as well.

It's a little on the short side (and my suggestion to bring the tempo up won't help that, either :P). I don't know if that can be helped, but I want more! GIMME GIMME GIMME!!

Ya, the main thing bringing it down right now is the EQ and levels, after fixing those it'll be easier to hear everything else going on in here (which is a lot, I might add). Fix em' up, and I'll give this another go!

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this is good stuff. for the most part, i like the changes you've made, but here are a few concerns:

-first of all, please don't take anything i say seriously unless you agree with me. (: i'm just trying to point out a couple things i might change, but definitely don't feel you should listen unless it helps you better crystallize your vision for how this piece should be. that's what it's all about.

-with that said, let me make a couple quick points. the 8 bar break at 2:20 has an additional line in it now, a sort of high bass sound playing a rhythmically different version of the melody until it's back to the theme at 2:34. i know it was my suggestion to add a bass part there (and actually the part you added is cooler than what i had in mind), but what i meant was to add it at 2:27, where the second of the two 4 bar phrases happens. maybe you know that and this is how you chose to do it, which it fine, but i just wanted to make sure i was clear.

-my favorite moment is 1:38. not a complaint--just letting you know. i think that's the strongest part of the original material you've added, which is all good.

-SplinterOfChaos noted a concern about the lead you're using not being strong enough, and i mostly disagree. however, i think he's right, too. what i mean is that i think it's fine, even "naked," but you might want to consider changing the sound a little as the mix progresses. go listen to AeroZ's "Turning Terrors" for an example of what i mean--at 0:27 the main lead is brought in, but already by 0:39 he gives us a new version, which really helps to sell the melody it's playing.

it's all more small stuff... if you want, you should also check out Star Salzman's "Airships Make Me Happy," especially the section between 0:43 to 1:11, for some more ideas on varying the main lead. anyway, the only thing that matters is if you love your work. you see, a remix is like a pokemon--working stats to increase certain areas is useful, but if you don't love it... well, we all know how ash's pikachu faired against lieutenant surge's raichu. that's the power of love right there, man.

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Thanks again guys.

@Gario: I tried to tweak the EQ and levels a bit... not sure how successful it ended up. The rotating acid arp and sawtooth bass are louder now because I think those are the parts that were getting lost. Let me know if you have any specific suggestions about those things. As you suggested, I upped the tempo -slightly- and extended the remix.

@AJiLe: I understand about how your comments are only suggestions. I just happened to agree with most of them. The bass thing I did was, as you suggested, a reinterpretation of your suggestion. I think I'll keep the 1:38 bit in without repetition so it's memorable. As for the lead, I decided to opt for a change of pitch and a little bit of additional detuning for the lead; it's subtle but I don't think I'd want too much change.

...and I love the Pokemon analogy.

Update: http://boxstr.com/files/4697014_7q6yf/Frog_v8.mp3

I can never get enough feedback. ;)

~ Velly

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I really like the extension to the song - it sounds much more complete overall :)

The EQing did help me hear all of the parts much, much better. Before, I thought it was catchy and cool, now I realize that you have a whole lot of action going on down there! That's good, believe me. I think your EQ work was a little overshot, so as weird as this sounds, I think the mix in general needs to be just a little higher in the EQing (Drums and lead, in particular). The drums need a little more bass to it, too. I'd be more specific, but it's hard for me to imagine exactly what needs EQing (as I am relatively new to that)... Play with the mids, perhaps even automating them, tailoring them for each section of the song as it needs.

Go go go! I want to hear the next update!

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I like the techno feeling, though you need to add more original parts, because the song is too straight forward, is just the main melody over and over again. You got a nice. The mix is pretty good overall. Just don't give up.

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Ok, here's another quick update.

I didn't mess around with the arrangement too much other than adding another synth to take over the piano part for a little more variation on the third repetition of the melody-free part. It doesn't transition as nicely as I hoped it would... but maybe that works... I don't know.

I also changed the lead instrument to something slightly fancier and more (for lack of a better term) happy-sounding.

I did some major fiddling with the EQ. It seems to me that the playing field is rather even now, but let me know if you think otherwise.

Link: http://boxstr.com/files/4707818_pc626/Frog_v9.mp3

Thanks again for the feedback.

~ Velly

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Great work DJ V, I've been following the updates since v3 - and hearing a remix grow into something even more spectacular is just what OCR is about.

A few comments on what you've changed / introduced:

Firstly, the lead instrument sounded fine in the v8 rendition - the new one you've introduced is lighter yet it decreases the solidity / clarity of each distinct note in the beginning (it also brings to mind a cat-like overtone, just me maybe?); the previous lead ins. should sound fine with the EQ refinements you made in v9.

The sword-draw foley at 2:28 right before the scale change was pure brilliance - great addition. If I may say so - make it louder so the listener will definitely hear it!

Lastly, the flute lead at 2:55 sounded as if it were trying to capture the root of the piece - as in the subtle essence; I suggest cutting out the drums and background for the 16 sec between 2:55 -> 3:11 - reintroducing it exactly at that build-up at 3:11 to really heighten that sense of moderation and allow the listener a moment to 'breath' so to speak before wrapping it up. Have a listen to that and see if it makes a difference. Also consider changing the flute to something a little more fluid in transition between notes, possibly a brass instrument such as a trombone or tuba for a moment of grandiose.

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I'm hearing lots..and I mean lots of compression and limiting issues. This problem alone will kill your chances with the judges. The arrangement seems OK but your production needs quite a bit of work.

IMO, ease off the compressor/limiting, bring the volume down a bit - maybe even less reverb. The whole song seems a bit harsh as well so either bring up the low end (300ish) or tone down the high end (5000ish)

But I like the direction you're going, so keep working!

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The mix has gotten louder in general when you raised some of the EQ's, and clipage has resulted. Of course, this is what happens when dealing with EQ. Take a look at your levels and adjust them accordingly.

The lead in the beginning, as it stands now, is a little bit 'punchy'. The attack env. should be tweaked so there isn't such a prominent strike for every note. The 'meow' sound mentioned by Orpheon sounds like an osillation option that is set on the sample. It gets in the way of the mix, so I'd change that, too (or follow Orpheon's advice and bring the original lead back in - we thought it was fine before...).

I like the song, and I like your arrangement. PrototypeRaptor is right, however; the production is the killer. This will be a great piece to get a lot of practice with that, so take advantage of this! Wantin' to hear v10, now...

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Yeah, I wasn't so sure about the lead change myself, so I changed it back.

I changed the introduction to utilize a part that I think sounds awesome and I only had the chance to use once before. It feels like a better introduction to me but I worry that it's too many repeats (3) of the simpler original bit at the beginning. I tried to bridge over into the theme more easily with the more subtle theme playing right before it. It's slightly jarring but maybe that works - wake up the audience? or something like that.

I dropped a compressor (I was over-compressing because the EQ had boosted things a bit too much) and manually adjusted the levels/EQ to make things a bit smoother. I haven't had much practice with that kind of thing so I don't know how well I did but I tried. If there are any parts that distort/clip, let me know, because I'm probably overlooking them.

Instead of replacing the oboe with a brass instrument, I layered it with one to make a fatter sound for the break. I also modified the synth strings backing it so it's not repeating from the other parts. Removing the drums works wonders for the relaxation of that moment, but it feels a little empty to me - but maybe that's the point.

So, overall I'm unsure about the transition from the introduction and the (perhaps too) simple break, but I'm pretty happy with this version.

Thanks again guys, and I look forward to more feedback.

Link: http://boxstr.com/files/4714055_o2jxu/Frog_v10.mp3

~ Velly

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In my last comment, I complained about the lead instrument not being strong enough to be naked. It seems you took AJiLe's advice and changed and it turned out really well. The song is really good. More dynamic.

The violin at 3:22 just isn't cutting it for me.

Occasionally harmonizing with the lead instrument might do interesting things.

I'm sure there's something more that you can improve about this, but I'm not catching it. (A little out of genre too.)

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Your change to the intro was very cleverly done; bringing out your original sequence before the introduction of the remix keeps listeners waiting for that cue, little by little the tune becomes closer to what is familiar - that has been perfected here quite well.

I have little more to say - the subdued break has definitely made the entire piece much more dynamic just with the removal of the drums; great work there, although one note: the layering of the oboe in that segment seems to have also compounded the amplitude of the output resulting in an uncomfortably high volume - see if you cannot reduce / subdue that to make it as subtle and as fluid as possible.

That's all for now, from what I've heard this is starting to sound more like the final piece.

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It's sounding a lot better. The intro was a neat change, BTW, and keeps the listener engaged better. The lead is a bit loud, right now, but only a little. I'd turn it down 5 notches or so - having it drown by the other instruments is worse, so if you can't change it without losing it, don't :)

I understand what you were doing with the fat oboe, but dropping the drums seemed to be enough to make that part work well. I liked the oboe the way it was before... Actually, if you want something a little more striking than the oboe, try using an English horn. Trust me, it's not a horn - it's an oboe with some bite if you need it. The fat oboe seems a little much in that part, though, so I'd change it around again.

The violin at 3:22 splinter was talking about was a connection to earlier in the piece. I think you should use it still, but at this point amplify it (so you can hear it over the texture) and add someting like reverb or delay so it doesn't sound so dry against the rest of the music.

Sounding great, keep it up!

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Erm. I had stuff to say, but just about everyone has said it already?:oops: So I skipped to V10.

It's my preference that unless your drastically changing the interpretation of the piece (like when you use original content) notes in the melody shouldn't be changed much, if any. At least not in pitch, sometimes it's neat to cut a note off or lengthen one for a transition or somefingg.

I very much like the breaks that come between the original stuff and the frogs theme stuff.

Sometimes because of the delay/effect on the instrument, the intricacies of the triplet pattern get too dirty/messy for my taste. 2:26-28 I always feel like that triplet thing is the highlight of the song.

It may just be me, but the whole thing seems too loud. I have it on a playlist on Winamp and I keep going 'this one, that one' and it's louder than all the other things on that playlist... But I may just be crazy, but even the Amon Amarth on my list seems quiet by comparison. :-P

That's all for now

-H

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It's my preference that unless your drastically changing the interpretation of the piece (like when you use original content) notes in the melody shouldn't be changed much, if any. At least not in pitch, sometimes it's neat to cut a note off or lengthen one for a transition or somefingg.
Understandably, it is your preference, though I do need to disagree, there. Changing the melody around in an improvising sort of way is a great way to keep to the original while adding some originality to the music. Just thought I'd throw a second opinion in here.

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Thanks much to everyone who commented.

The oboe has returned to its solitude with a more subdued synth string backing.

The lead delays drop for the triplets and flip back on for the final notes. I personally like the effect more than I thought I would.

I downed the square lead and upped the saw lead to make the lead instrument feel more complex and to decrease its volume ever so slightly. I might be able to get away with an even quieter lead but I'm not sure whether that would work.

I'm not sure whether the oboe is distorting or if that's just a part of its sound. I guess the only thing that matters is whether it sounds good. I'm pretty sure it's ok because that tint of unrealism fits better but if you have an opinion I'd love to hear it.

A tweak here, a tweak there, and we have version eleven. Let me know what you think of this one.

Link: http://boxstr.com/files/4723808_6ykpb/Frog_v11.mp3

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