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KyleJCrb

OCRA-0013 - Tales: Summoning of Spirits

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Here's a bunch o'more!

Disc 1, track 10: Momentary

I'd love to love this one. I really like the, don't know, (curiously) dry sound of the piano, and this really reminds me a lot of Tori Amos' playing (this is a high compliment from me). The arrangement falls somewhat short, though. It lacks structure.

There's many cool ideas, including a lot of brave deviations from the original key (some are frankly real bad), but I'd love if it they were really elaborated on. I get the impression of the artist tweaking individual notes rather than considering the whole. On the other hand, there's a kind of an improv quality going on, where the improviser deviates just a little around the track without really taking command of the tune. Either way it's somewhat weak.. but there's still some honestly musical quality that shines through, and as I listen on repeat to the track while writing this, I just start liking it more and more. Mind that I still think it's seriously flawed.

Okay, let's see what happens if we take a tour:

00:00-00:17 goes through the theme twice in a moderate pace, establishing it. I love the sound, perfect reverb too.

00:18-00:25 going through it once a little less cautiously, playing with it a little.

I'm quite expecting it to go through it once again, but it then sort of sticks to the first chord of initial chord progression, and is then left hanging in some middle ground. 00:34 it feels anchored again, but it seems it always pulls back to the first chord of the first theme, and that gives a static feel, the feeling that it's going nowhere. 00:57 there's a note that sounds totally wrong.

01:01-01:03 it - quite suddenly - goes into minor scale (I think) - and I LOVE HOW THAT SOUNDS. Of course, the structure should really set up this change somehow, it feels very random.. and whoosh, we are out of it just a few seconds after. This is exactly what should be elaborated. (I guess you could argue that this bit foreshadows the later minor sections, but I don't really agree it does so substantially enough. Hehe, look, I'm arguing with myself.)

01:05 sounds sort of bad, but it also sort of resolves to the next chord. It one of those bits that would make more sense if it had more context to it. Elaboration, elaboration.. 01:12 another bit in minor that sounds good in itself, but, hmm.. the whole 01:09-01:17 sounds like such a bunch of randomness.. and like suddenly drawn by a magnet, we're back on the first chord. The rhythmically refreshing, riff-like figure at 01:09 really promises a lot, but it's not enought the break away from gravity..

Then that riff-magnet cycle sort of happens again. I just.. this is really frustrating to listen to, really. 01:22-01:24, really nice little figure, an image of swordplay flashed in my mind. 01:23-01:27 the driving little riff again, 01:27-01:29 the sound of the batmobile very nearly driving off the road. Please, drive carefully! (sorry, I'm going a bit crazy here) 01:31-01:32, back on track, a nice sort of a continuation of the riff. 01:33-01:35, almost a really gripping transition to a minor chord up on the scale, but then we're stuck on that. damn. chord. like. glue. ARRRRRRGHGHGHHHH 01:37 is a weird chord.

After 01:41 things actually get pretty decent and consistent. It could be improved, but I'm not so confused anymore. There's a definite change of mood and a change of rhythm, especially after 02:02, and here we endeed enter a minor feel in a consistent and good-sounding manner. There still is a feel of overplaying, cluttering the whole with notes (around 02:00 there's a definite stray), and I certainly feel the right hand should play minor at 02:23-02:24, but the track finishes up really beautifully. It unwinds. Nice touch.

Ghuh, let me listen to it once through completely without analyzing. Hmmh, yes, I like it. No problems. Sticking to that chord in the middle makes it seem static, there are a couple of inexcusable "wrong" notes (but not too many), I am wishing for a less-is-more approach - just the right, beautiful notes without the clutter, letting go of that. chord. - but I guess I can listen to this as it is and appreciate it.

(I hope this wasn't too incoherent. If my attempts at humour felt offensive, I deeply apologize. I can clarify as necessary.)

Disc 1, track 11: Gentry is a Five Letter Word

Intriguing, playful track that's very likeable from the start. I like the bass, and the part with the organ playing the chords - I guess it's the chorus, first starts at 00:53 - is really nice.

I have production gripes though - it's way too soft for it's own good, and the drums seriously lack power. This drains the energy the piece really would have. I feel like I'm listening through a soft blanket. Flutey leads aren't great either, but passable. The organ that was mentioned is alright.

Ending is a bit of a cop-out, it just stops. The instruments could have signaled the oncoming end, e.g. going into it with a strong(er) drum fill, that sorta stuff. Otherwise the structure is good, there's a lot of varying, very melodic material, there's a lot to like! (..the chorus just came on again, I love it!)

Disc 1, track 12: Wind Dry My Tears

Bluesy/lamenting guitar effort. Timing and tuning are not perfect, but nothing I couldn't live with. The use of voice in this track is one of it's key features. It's quite good. I like the variety of guitars used, all are very consistent. I love that chord staying where it was for a while at 03:10.

Low strings at 03:29 sound very nice. I like the dramatic chord changes, and they're handled very well. Again, personal appeal to me isn't huge, but I can appreciate a lot of things here.

Disc 2, track 1: Beyond Absentminded

A very strong opener. Hale-Bopp's lead voice is a bit too boybandish for me to totally appreciate, but holy cow those harmonies sound great, great, great. And part of the time his leads sound more like the 60s, which is totally fine with me. :> Cool backing track too. Apart from the weak-sounding solo (it's pretty lifeless - the melody is good though!), the guitars are very nice, the rest I actually pay no attention to at all, in good or bad, so they probably serve their purpose.

Disc 2, track 2: Summoned Without Reason

I actually like this one much better than The Unholy Wars. Probably because it's not constant in-your-face guitar lead wailery. I love the guitar solos here, though. I'm not a huge fan of thousand-notes-a-minute (unless it's Robert Fripp), but the first two sections of the solo part are very cool, and the restraint there makes the later flurry sound good even to me. And the it turns into a violin - nice!

My main gripe is with the lifeless synth lead - some legato would be nice, I don't like how with each new note trigger it's the same filter envelope again and again. This is tiring especially during where the notes are longer - curiously, it's ok when they're closer together.

The intro is very effective. I really like the material, so this made me check out the original as well. There's this, er.. "ganbatte!" feel to the track, don't you agree? :)

Disc 2, track 3: Middle-Aselia Biology

Begins very nicely. The bells remind me of the soundtrack to a game called Zeliard. This gives me happiness! I like the writing, a lot. I have the same production gripes as with "Gentry...", and the lack of power in the drums is even more unfortunate - especially since the percussion writing is often pretty cool! That ride cymbal in the intro! (Although the most quiet notes on it are a bit too quiet, disappearing and creating a gap in the rhythm.)

I like the sound of those bells. I like also the electric piano after 02:21, although it's very quiet. The flute sample is rather subpar, bothers me more than the same/similar patch in "Gentry..." Don't like that off-key note at 02:56. Hmm. Can't decide if the lead writing from there to the part at 03:18 is strong enough, it sounds a bit like it's running out of steam. I'd really like if the lead that starts around 03:45 was handled by a different sound than the flute.. it's getting a bit shrill on my ears. It could switch back at 04:16.

Cool mood, production is a bit weak, I tire of the flute, feels a bit long. Yeah. To sleep now. Take care.

--Eino

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And this is why you'll never see me get picked up for an "elitist" OCR project. :lol:

Anyway, thank you very much for your feedback on my Phantasia tracks, 'talo. (lol don't know what else to refer to you as!) You got it right on that I have issues with drums mastering, and that's rarely something I can get done right, but I still feel happy enough with my compositions nonetheless.

Concerning patches and stuff, both tracks were made in completely different production settings. "Middle-Aselia Bilogy" was forged in a music tech classroom some cold December of 2006, and "Gentry" was cleared with my current home setup as per April 2008, with what was then seen to be one of the most powerful keyboards in the UK market. None of the tracks have any patches in common at all, so I wouldn't see them directly affecting each other at all.

Of course, for the lead-writing in the aforementioned Treant work, I somehow ended up taking a few tips from some of Yoko Shimomura's tracks for Live-A-Live and layered different instruments on doing similar motifs. You may not notice it, but there's also a string patch underneath the flute that plays more of a straight conversion of the melody, and I thought that would help try and soften the tone a bit here. Besides, since it was a forest mix, I thought it would be more natural to make it more woodwind-oriented to try and reflect the tone of the setting, which was what I was feeling with my initial direction with this.

It still kinda irks me that you have a long way to go to reach my other two tracks for the project (which I think are both heads and tails above what i managed to do on the Phantasia side IMO) but for now, I'd have to say thanks very much for the informative feedback :)

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Man, "No Better Time Than Now" is awesome. Dang.

This could be doable...

Or maybe not. A lot of the earlier PMs are gone, and file dates are unreliable. Hmmm...

Well you can fudge the actual dates, just a general idea would be nice. And you can always check the dates in the finished tracks forum.

And for OverCoat:

http://dhsu.vgpiano.com/misc/ToP_MysticForest.mp3

(This is not me. Also lol @ 32kbps 11KHz MP3.)

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I've been waiting about a year or two for this to come, but i can safely say this was well worth the wait. Top stuff from everyone who worked on the album :grin:

(BTW: Sixto, you remix of Raine's theme kicked some seriously smooth ass :<)

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Well the only thing I know is that it was performed by Marc Fossey a.k.a. "GigaShadow" and it's from 2002.

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And good morning again..

Anyway, thank you very much for your feedback on my Phantasia tracks, 'talo. (lol don't know what else to refer to you as!)

Heh, 'talo is fine. =) My handle is actually my initials ("evk") with the last half of my surname tacked on. "Talo" means house. Not that you actually asked. But I did think just a week ago or so how incomprehensible the handle must be for non-Finns especially.

Concerning patches and stuff, both tracks were made in completely different production settings. "Middle-Aselia Bilogy" was forged in a music tech classroom some cold December of 2006, and "Gentry" was cleared with my current home setup as per April 2008, with what was then seen to be one of the most powerful keyboards in the UK market. None of the tracks have any patches in common at all, so I wouldn't see them directly affecting each other at all.

D'oh, now that I've read this and am listening to them side by side, this is really obvious. The flute isn't the same at all. I also do note that "Gentry"'s overall sound is a notch better, which probably has to do both improved equipment and skill. The way "Biology" begins with such a cool sound made this more difficult to notice, which means it was good work on the intro. ;)

I can tell that you like soft production, and I think it yields some great things, as the bass in "Gentry". Overall though, these two mixes would benefit from having more crips aspects in the mix (the drums). This helps the softer aspects shine. I'm no fan of soft pop or new-age or so, where an overall soft sound might be the genre-appropriate thing.

Of course, for the lead-writing in the aforementioned Treant work, I somehow ended up taking a few tips from some of Yoko Shimomura's tracks for Live-A-Live and layered different instruments on doing similar motifs. You may not notice it, but there's also a string patch underneath the flute that plays more of a straight conversion of the melody, and I thought that would help try and soften the tone a bit here.

Ah yeah, I notice it now. That is indeed a nice touch that does soften up the sound. (The flute is still quite shrill). I also forgot to mention that I definitely like those little trills on the flute.

It still kinda irks me that you have a long way to go to reach my other two tracks for the project (which I think are both heads and tails above what i managed to do on the Phantasia side IMO) but for now, I'd have to say thanks very much for the informative feedback :)

You're welcome! I'm very happy if you've found my ramblings useful, so thanks for the feedback on the feedback. :)

--Eino

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I was gonna wait until you got to all my tracks, Evk, but I really do appreciate all the time you're spending on my tracks. Good & bad that you find, it's awesome that someone is actually picking them apart. I think, for the most part, the things that are irking you are the things I tend to do on purpose, because I'm weird, & have strange tastes.

Though, I am a bit surprised that you liked what I did to the ending of Momentary, as I thought that section was the weakest in the track. But it's awesome that you're putting that much thought into your critiques. I love reading them!

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Yeah it's great to have someone listening closely to all of the tracks and give long, constructive feedback. I know you haven't gotten to my track yet, but we all appreciate this kind of comment

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As a HUGE fan of Tales of Symphonia, I had to comment THIS. As many, I've waited years for this album. I'll give some feedback (that can't be compared with evktalo's ones, I'll be very simple, and not "long and constructive" as pu_freak said... not that I don't want to, I just can't :oops:), mostly on the Symphonia part. And sorry if my english is bad ¬.¬

First of all, The Unholy Wars. That's the style I love, and the arrangement is so good that I can't dislike it. The intro is just amazing too. Perfect opening for the entire album.

Smile and Forgive now. IMO, the theme isn't that good in the game, so I didn't expect to appreciate that much the track. The sadness in there is very touching. Just love the rythm, the melody...

Café Mantra is a bit too "oriental" for me, but even if it's not my favorite style, I can just admire the quality of the arrangement. A very good job.

Chaotic Heart... just by listening to the intro (I saw the remixer's name after) I knew I'd love this. Didn't imagine the theme being remixed like that AT ALL, but it fits ridiculously well, especially when the chorus is playing... Rocky Raine = WIN.

Desert Nights. Disco time. I don't really like this in general, but that made me laugh when I made the comparison with the atmosphere of Triet xD

Strike of the Devil's Axes : two words. EPIC. WIN. I wanted that kind of remix for THIS track since the game came out. This one is just awesome. Definitely one of my favs.

The Fall of Iselia - I'm not fond of happy themes. But this track brings me some good memories, and I LOVE the dramatical part (2:50 :shock:). Too bad it doesn't last longer IMO. The reference to the story of Iselia along the track is a good idea.

Continental Divide is not very far from the original. I liked a lot the music in the game, it put a particular atmosphere. Continental Divide enhance it with a great arrangement.

Like A Glint. Rock and solid arrangement from a battle theme I like a lot is more than enough to make me love this. Though I think it lacks something... I couldn't say what . Anyway, very nice additions to the original track, especially the guitar riff beginning at 1:21.

Sacred Ashes is really beautiful and sticks well to the original. Ozette (is it the name in English too ?) has a special atmosphere, and is an important place in the game for me since I love everything around Presea. As a fan, I can say this track is a success.

Altar Perception. The instruments in this track are a very good choice IMO, and the entire mix feels nice. Not much else to say... it goes smoothly and sounds perfect.

Ah, Dream Traveler. I said it earlier, I'm a Presea lover, so it's only natural for me to fear this remix and to think "Please, it MUST be perfect !". I have to say I'm not disappointed. I don't know, there's something that "elates" me (is it the right term ?), and that's why the title fits also perfectly. The string coupled with the piano result in a great arrangement. Beautiful.

My Secret Forest is a bit too far from the original for me. The moments I prefer are when the original music is easily recognizable. Still, the whole track is composed with a master hand and feels very good to listen at. R.I.P, Reuben Kee.

Apogee. The intro is just totally awesome. Actually, the whole track is. Very nice variations from the original melody. I especially love the intro, outro, and at 1:40 and 3:16 with this amazing bass ! The original track was great, this one is even better.

Holy Judgement... damn, I didn't except something like that. A 12 minutes track, are you crazy ? And are you allowed to create such an epic arrangement after all these amazing tracks ? I must admit I was afraid at the beginning. In 12 minutes, there MUST be something I dislike... no ? Could everything in this track be incredible ? I don't know if it's me or not, but you just CAN'T hate this arrangement, at least if you already beat the game once. I won't give you the details, it'd be even longer than the track itself.

First, the different characters' voices fits perfectly... even Genis' one gave me the chills (thanks to the choirs). Every instrument is played as and when it has to be played (I know what I mean, that's the important :tomatoface:). Every part of the arrangement sounds very epic. I think there's not much else to say about it. Thanks, guys.

And to finish, Summoning of Spirits. Another "Fighting of the Spirit" remix, but still very different. IMO, it closes the album (without the Ratatosk bonus) perfectly, with a very beautiful and calm arrangement. The piano section at 3:41 is just... wow. Well, almost everything else in the track is great, but I particulary loved this part.

That's all for me now. I hope you appreciated the feedback, though a bit "noobish" (and frenchie too).

I will just thank all of you for making this entire album, that's some incredible work. One last thing to say : :nicework: (much better than a speech)

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You know, I wish the alternate tracks got more attention. It's really interesting to hear where other people arrived when they approached Arche's theme.

Also, I'm amazed at how different the project version of "Cold Memory" is to the initial finished one.

Plus, I wonder how "Chronometrical (teh epicness edit)" is being recieved, as opposed to the project version.

Quick note, I listened to the project in one sitting, while I did other stuff, it is indeed an exquisite ride. I'm really, really proud to have been a part at what was, & will probably continue to be, the best project I've had the honour to be a part of.

I shout , "We had some good times, didn't we?" And you'd whisper back, "Yeah, I guess!" Then blue dong appears & destroys a city.*

*I watched the Watchmen the other day. There was a lot of dong in it. Both blue, & of bird. it had boobs, too, so it wasn't a complete sausage fest.

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I still love what Usa did with Desert Flower. Honestly, disco was the last genre I thought we'd get for this thing, but I'm really glad we did.

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Oh, absolutely. I wouldn't call the production up to OCR standards as such, but what Dan did was pulled out one of the most creative surprises on the Symphonia side, and it's something like this that makes me feel all good inside.

Mind, I wonder if Usa ever posts here anymore >.>

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I was just going to plug in my link in spreading the word around...but I see you guys found the COE Podcast episode already. I plugged your stuff when we were finishing up our gaming discussions toward the end. :)

I've downloaded the torrent a couple of days back but I always postponed listening to the stuff 'cause it's overwhelming. Right now I just finished the bonus stuff from Dawn of the New World and they're all great tracks. I was especially surprised with "No Better Time Than Now" 'cause the male and female vocals were really cool(despite being drowned out at times) and the music is very Sakuraba-esque.

I'll continue giving some ongoing impressions here. Once I'm done perhaps I'll whoop up something for the gaming site I write for. Wrote a review of Voices of the Lifestream awhile back.

http://www.projectcoe.com

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First off, congrats on finally releasing the project.

Second though, I must say I was very disappointed ;_; I actually felt that the sound quality of some tracks or their samples was really odd, which made them a pain to listen to. Especially my favourite tracks didn't do it for me.

That's not to say that as a whole it was bad; it just didn't work for me even though I had high hopes after having heard the preview compilation a while back (the things that bothered me back then still bothered me now).

The project was a great community effort and it's good to see it still came out after all that time. :)

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What ever happened to The Law of the Battle aka Battle Royale? I thought PriZm and Christian had one cooked up and ready to go.

Edit: Never mind. I found it in the bonus tracks section. Shame it didn't get in the final track list. Absolutely adore it.

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What ever happened to The Law of the Battle aka Battle Royale? I thought PriZm and Christian had one cooked up and ready to go.

Edit: Never mind. I found it in the bonus tracks section. Shame it didn't get in the final track list. Absolutely adore it.

Never got done. Couldn't get any extra guitarists or rappers to commit to it, sadly. I think PriZm could try and finish it now though: Maybe get Sixto, Prince of Darkness, and Mega Ran in on that shee-it?

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Never got done. Couldn't get any extra guitarists or rappers to commit to it, sadly. I think PriZm could try and finish it now though: Maybe get Sixto, Prince of Darkness, and Mega Ran in on that shee-it?

Well I don't have the midi file anymore, but if you or Christian still have it, it might be worth giving a shot.

But since myf and kungfuchicken aren't around anymore, it might be hard to find rappers.

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Methinks PriZm needs to click on the Mega Ran link. Maybe get Fishy all up in this bee-yotch too.

I believe I have the MIDI, will post when I get home.

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Yes that guy ain't bad. I'll ask him if I can get a commitment from da other folks.

Get me the midi and I'll see what I can do. I haven't played guitar for almost a year now but I guess now would be a good time to start practicing again.

In other words, no guarantees :)

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I haven't played guitar in about 2 years, and I was an extreme novice to begin with, but I'll help with whatever I can.

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Well, I don't have a full MIDI, just two older versions (and the rendered MIDI-turned-MP3 that was released as a bonus track): http://kngi.org/miscstuff/PriZm%20-%20Law%20of%20the%20Battle%20WIP.mid and http://kngi.org/miscstuff/PriZm%20-%20Law%20of%20the%20Battle%20WIP%20V2%20Intro.mid

Maybe you can still make use of them and whip up a new version, eh?

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