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Sim City, Metropolis Theme: Urban Escape


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Alright, I'm throwing myself down on the sacrifice table...

or something less dramatic.

-- This is a remix of the Metropolis theme from Sim City for the SNES

I recently got Reason and have been hobbling my way through it. It comes with a great demo track called 'Narrow Escape' and I was kind of using it to observe and see how things worked. It helped me learn how to build my own instruments and how to route stuff. I did this by having it open on the left and a blank slate on the right and seeing if I could go through all of the nuances and details and actually duplicate the same sound on my own. Through doing this, I half-accidently realized that the rough composition and sound would work really well with this song, and I was a big SNES Sim-City freak as well, so it all works out. Anyway, it may border on taking too much from the work of the artists that created the original 'Narrow Escape' (including the title, but I think it works) But I think it is made enough from my own to be classified as --paraphrasing-- especially the melody and chorus synths, which were born all from my own creation! Regardless of all of that, I've spent the last few weeks antagonizing over every little detail in it and I kinda want to share it with the community.

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Hey Drew.

I've submitted three pieces to OCRemix over the past several years and was rejected every time (the first go to judges' decision, and the others were never even replied to). It's hard not to take it personally, but I do. However, I keep coming back and trying because I love video games and video game music and making it. Never give up.

I really dug your remix. It strays quite a bit from the source material, but is still recognizable. I like the instrumentation a lot, too. The dissonance starts to get a little overwhelming at about the halfway point, though. Overall, great job.

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Some clashes with the vox tho. Repetition might also be a problem with it. Your detuned saw thing might need some improvement but the other sounds are ok (if they'd be in key, anyway :P). Breakdowns are especially cool.

Pretty cool stuff. Stylewise and as far interpretation goes this could make it onto ocr. Needs some production touches and possibly more pronounced source stuff. Hard to say without listen to source over and over and digesting the melodies, which I'm too lazy for atm. :P I can hear two parts from source in there, despite my tendency for being source-deaf, so you could be in the green. Dunno, so don't take my word for it.

Really nice work tho, shouldn't take a lot of fixing to get this OCR-ready. :D

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  • 4 months later...

I'm listening on super-treble-heavy headphones right now so I can't really give an accurate mod review, but I listened to your song and wanted to give some preliminary feedback.

This is a really interesting mix, the production values seem generally good and you do a lot to vary up your very simple melodies and not let the song get too busy while still making it feel full-bodied, as well. I guess what I'm saying is that I like your mix, it reminds me a lot of the Earthbound soundtrack in its quirkiness.

The biggest issue I can find is that your drumloops are pretty simple repetitive and don't always reflect what's going on in the rest of the track, energy-wise. That snare hit every beat tends to get grating after a while. Also, where's the ending? The track just kind of drops off into nothingness without any sort of climax or inclination that it's going to end :-(

If you'd like me to go more in-depth on production or source usage, I could try that, but see what you can do about the repetitive drumloops and maybe adding on a more conclusive ending before we delve into that. I feel like the production could probably pass as-is but the arrangement needs some touchups first :-)

I like what you've done though, good luck!

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To add to Emu:

When I first heard it, this honestly felt like two songs stacked on top of each other. You've got a loop + nice bass synth going to start off - though I'm pretty familiar with this source, I couldn't figure out how you were going to have it mesh with the existing foundation. When the source did come in, it didn't feel like it agreed chord-wise with the bass line.

Now :47 actually sounded a LOT better. The parts sounded like they were on the same page. There still were a couple clashing notes, but on the whole it was closer. Easily my favorite part.

Back to the same clashing at 1:23 as before. 1:52 felt especially off in this respect.

I'll also echo the repetative drum patterns that really could use some variation.

Cool breakdown at 2:17.

Now, maybe I just don't know the genre and/or you're purposely going for an atonal feel, but I really think you need to get back to the bass part (and that pad that occasionally comes in) and reexamine how it follows the proper chords.

The synths on a whole were pretty cool. I wasn't really feeling the lead as much as the others, though. It was a bit on the bland side and had a pretty slow attack given the style of the rest of the track. Made it feel lazy, compared to the agressive bass.

Besides that, I think you could add some variation in general to the writing in the song. 1:23 basically rehashes :20. 2:45 retreads 1:48. 3:11 repeats :49. You get the idea. Don't just copy/paste. Try and bring something new and interesting to the table. Get some new elements besides the 3 basic synths you're using now. Vary it up.

You've got yourself a base here, but I feel like you could do a lot more. Good luck, man.

EDIT: I should note that this is a source I've wanted to remix myself. So it's nice to see someone tackling it.

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Love all of this! These comments are giving me just the direction I need to get moving with this mix again. (not sayng she'll be ready to launch next week or anything, lol)

A note on the ending:

It is certainly a challenge to get a source song that was made to loop over and over again so well to end. The current end is admittedly kinda lazy...

Nutritious: I agree with your observations on the difference between the sound of the snyth that comes in at :47 as far as meshing with the rest of it. This was the push that I needed to make this major change, and now I see why it always felt kinda wrong to me. The first synth really does compete with the sound, whereas the synth I use at :47 agrees.

Emunator: My original musical background is in drums, you'd think i'd pay more attention to it, but before your comments I hadn't even realized that I had greatly overlooked this! Fully agree that the drums need some help.

Thank you guys so much.

Question: should I pull this back off of 'mod review' when I feel i've gotten enough feedback for now?

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