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Liontamer

OCR01975 - *YES* Sonic the Hedgehog (XB360) 'Absolution Comes in Dreams'

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ReMixer Names: Cyril and M-One

Real Names: Connor Pelkey and Matthew Dunne

E-mail Addresses: cgpelkey@yahoo.com and m-one@talk21.com

Websites: http://cyril.sheezyart.com/gallery and http://mone.sheezyart.com/gallery

User IDs: 25520 and 26547

Submission Title: Absolution Comes In Dreams

Instrumentation:

Connor: Guitar, Bass, Cymbals, Mixing.

Matthew: Drums, Strings, Vocals and Mastering

Name of Game: Sonic the Hedgehog

Name of Song Arranged: Dreams of an Absolution (Silver's Theme)

Composer: Lee Brotherton from Remix Factory

System: Xbox 360 and Playstation 3

Year Released: 2006

Soundtrack Link:

Connor's Comments:

Back in July 2008, I was being plagued by Dreams of an Absolution being stuck in my head. A few days later, though I was talking to Matthew about the fact that he owed me a song, and I instantly thought of a doing this, becuase this song could really benefit from both his voice and his amazing wealth of instruments. So, I showed him the original song and he was hooked, soon enough I had a nice live percussion part on my computer. The vocals took awhile, 4 months to be exact, but I finally got them, and placed them in the mix. Then, someone suggested that it may be fit for Overclocked ReMix with the proper editing and mastering. So, I did so. And then Matt took the liberty of mastering it as well. Very polished for something that just started as a selfish little way to get a song out of my head. Oh, the title is just a reworking of the original, as this is a reworking.

Matts Comments:

This collaboration is the result of days after days of hard work. Though I must admit, we did have a near 4 month period of doing nothing, due to me being overly critical about my voice and not actually sending them to Connor until I re-did it. Though once that was out of the way, I gradually started to really love this version. All the acoustic-ness and groove sets me going and singing along. I would have more to say about this song, but I am currently speechless. I just hope that you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed performing and collaborating with Connor."

----------------------------------------------------------------

Awesome song from Mariko Nanba with lyrics & vocals by OCR alum LeeBro, now known as Bentley Jones.

Sonic the Hedgehog Original Sound Track - (301) Dreams of an Absolution ~Theme of Silver the Hedgehog~

Short and sweet. Pretty good for a cover. Though the lyrics were 98% the same, the different pacing, new instrumentation & supporting parts, new vocal delivery and different vocal production really made this a different animal, IMO.

The muddiness of the last few minutes was pretty bad though. I thought the first chorus at 1:47 was a little cluttered, but nothing that would be a dealbreaker. 3:31 until the finish had the vocals & sounds bleeding into each other too much. If you can tweak that, you've got my full vote, but for now I need to go conditional YES.

Regardless of that issue, this was a good example of taking a modern song and showing how it's possible to retain the basic structure and still give it a new, creative coat of paint.

EDIT (7/23): I wasn't a fan of the NOs honestly; this was a pure conditional YES on tweaking the production.

Interesting changes to the arrangement. Hand drums sounded pimp as per the last version. On the minus side, I wasn't a fan of the new drums at 3:32. One of those things that will definitely annoy me, but I could live with it. Really didn't need those at all; the dynamics were fine before and they didn't add a thing except clutter. They weren't cohesive there IMO, since they were too loud and the pattern was too simplistic and bland. That also meant the last section was still a bit crowded, but it wasn't a big deal; this was much better than before in terms of the mixing.

I'm a big fan of the original, and this handles it well. I'm glad to change my vote from a conditional YES to a full YES. Hope y'all collab again, guys, this was solid stuff.

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I always like it when remixers take on newer songs, because like Larry said, it has to involve rearrangement, not just sound upgrades. This is similar to the original, but given a nice, laidback vibe and a different instrument palette. The vocal delivery suits the song very well - you've got a good voice, Matthew. The playing could be tighter and the mixing could be cleaner, but I think this is pretty cohesive. I'll call this a conditional YES too - the last few minutes need some clarity. Those strings eat up a lot of space so I'd start there. Nice work!

YES (conditional on mixing after 3:31)

Edit (7/23): Marked improvement over the last version IMO. Still a couple timing issues and I agree the new drums in the end aren't that cohesive, but the mixing and balance is much better, really helps sell the song. I'm a

YES

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I'm liking the new vocal arrangement, totally different feel to this. Performances are good. The big problem is the clutter, mainly in the choruses. The strings in particular take up room from the other instruments, and the compression hurts down the stretch when the track's at its fullest. The vocals are so faint and blend in so much with the other instruments at the end that they are really hard to make out. Fix that up and you've got a real winner here.

YES (conditional on mixing)

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I know this is a great track and everything, but it's really poorly mixed, and frankly that's a NO, not a yes conditional.

The vocal treatment is nice, but where is the bottom end? That bass is really thin and bare. My speakers are usually boomy as hell around 110Hz, but there's nothing here.

This is not a big issue in that you can remix it and resubmit it and it shouldn't take you a ton of time, but as is,

NO

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I'm 100% with Jesse here. Now, this doesn't happen often so be sure to screencap this.

The track is good and it's always nice to see someone tackle a newer source. Would've loved to see some more intricate instrumental sections where you could arrange the source even more but I'm cool with the arrangement as is. Performance (especially bass) could be tighter though. Vocal performance was good though!

The production is however very odd. The mix lacks bass, mainly because the bass sounds like it's been put through a tape recorder and the guitar lacks body. Most elements just sound very thin, distant and almost flimsy which makes the track unfocused when coupled with the loose performance. It also sounds like the acoustic guitar has been treated with a stereo imager a bit too much which adds to how distant it sounds. The final section is even more cluttered but the new guitar sound is more preferable than the one you used for the first part of the track IMO. The vocals could use some MINOR de-essing but that's not very important.

Sorry to say but this needs too much work for it to be a conditional in my opinion. Great take on a newer track but not quite there yet. Keep it up and resubmit it!

NO(resubmit)

EDIT August 11th:

Yeah, sounds much better now. Think the vocals aren't clear/loud enough and that it gets a bit cluttered around 3:32->. When it all comes down too it though, I'm down with this.

YES

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So yeah this is pretty much the mix holding back a pretty nice performance. I'm with Jesse on this one also, it sounds very thin, no real bass presence, tinny guitars.

Even as is, I'd rather listen to this then the original, auto-tune raped vocals, but the mix has gotta be better, and you might want to think about re-recording the bass making sure you capture the lows properly. I'm sure this would be well recieved once its sounding bigger. Nothing to add that hasn't been said already.

NO - Resub plz

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Compared to the original, I am feeling this arrangement a lot more on just about every level. The newer tempo feels a lot more natural, and the phrasing has a much better chance to breathe.

The vocals are really well done, with a great voice and some nice harmonies. Transitions were nice and subtle, but thought out and suited to the style, and the breakdowns were nice as well.

That being said, there are some production and performance issues that are holding this one back from being as amazing as it could be.

Some of the acoustic guitar strumming in the choruses could be tightened up- it sounds like you are double tracking the guitars and panning them, but when you do that with acoustic guitars and busy strumming passages, you need to be uber tight.

I'm cool with the bass performance generally, as there are some great personalized touches and fills there, but the sound on it is really washed out and is missing a nice low end. Trimming down some of the kick drum and getting the bass in that space will make the mix feel a lot less hollow.

The strings also do well to fill out the mix when they come in, but they fill out a little too much of the mid-lows.

I also agree with Anso that a bit of de-essing would make the vocals even sweeter, but it's not as crucial as the low end and some of the guitar takes.

I love the song, but I think it deserves to sound it's best.

no (resub)

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Other joojes have said what I wanted to say better than I could have said it, so I'll just say this: I think this is very imaginative and I really like your approach. I think that it could do with a little filling out in the mid- and bass-sections, and things get messy around the end. I'd like to see this song on OCR, but it needs fixin'.

NO

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Have e-mailed these guys with our comments, since it looks like we all want the mixing fixed.

EDIT (7/7): They're gonna send us a new version. Here's what they said:

Hey Palpable, It's Matthew. Thank you for getting back to us. Connor asked me to ask you to ignore his last email.

Thing is, instead of just resubmitting the same piece with mixing revisions, we're going to take all factors on board and redo the whole thing (but of course in the same structure and style). We are both confident that we can get a resounding "YES" from you and the rest of the judges. We really appreciate the comments and remarks you've given us so far, and we will be using them to further better the piece.

Thank you again Palpable, Liontamer, CHz, Vig, Another Soundscape, Fishy, OA and Darkesword.

We won't disappoint! ;D

- Matt (M-One)

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This is pretty coverish, perhaps we should strike up a conversation in J-disc or #j-chat to address the general guidelines of acceptable cover-arrangements vs. re-arrangements. As for me, I feel like this is very close to being a straight-up cover, in a different style, obviously (after all, that's what covers are, right?)

That being said, it seems that most of my compatriots in remix evaluation seem to be OK with this being considered a rearrangement and not a cover. I say it's a more of a cover, but who am I to argue? Besides, this is a phenomenal track, even if it is more conservative than I think it should be (to keep us from looking hypocritical when we NO other cover-ish songs for being that way). And heck, it's technically a remix of a remix, right?

The source music was nice (albeit a bit too Autotuned IMO) but this is better, according to me. Matt, you have a SOLID voice man. Reminds me of Peter Gabriel, and I dig PG. I thought the bass was *almost* a little overpowering in the newer version, but then again, the mids and highs were kept pretty high as well, so I suppose that evened it out in the big picture. I wouldn't have minded the mix being a tad quieter simply because it sounds like we ran into some minor over-compression issues a couple times (3:32 for example) but they were by no means severe enough to break the vote. I also wouldn't have minded if the drums were mixed just a tad softer, but again, no deal-breaker there.

I'm gonna roll with the approving votes here.

YES

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