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Liontamer

OCR02189 - *YES* Chrono Trigger 'The Frog Dance'

14 posts in this topic

ReMixer name: DJ Velly

Forum userid: 27583

Name of game arranged: Chrono Trigger

Name of song arranged: Frog's Theme

I've been working on this mix for a very long time. It's the largest music project I've ever compiled, having spent countless hours tweaking and adding extra layers. At first I was a little skeptical about whether I should even bother with this source tune, since it's already been done eight times on the OCR site. Still, none of these mixes were in my style (whatever that is!), so I figured it was worth a shot, given how much I absolutely adore this theme. And I'm quite satisfied with how it's turned out.

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Chrono Trigger - "Frog's Theme"

Really disliked the opening breaktbeats; they sounded like premade loops that were taken from somewhere else.

Basically no source usage until :38. The melody there was so quiet compared to everything going on. But at :53, the source tune came in full force. The melodic variations were there, but some seemed more for the sake of not sounding 100% like the original than sounding like a natural interpretation of the source. Not always a comfortable fit, but still some capable ideas.

Production-wise, this was too cluttered for my tastes, and should have sounded cleaner, but it was nothing that was a deal-breaker. Rough around the edges, but ultimately it's got the bread and butter arrangement & production qualities needed to get above the bar, even though I'm not feeling this all the way. Keep improving, Josh.

YES (borderline)

Hahaha! I only now looked at the mix title. That kind of stuff doesn't actually affect my vote, but that'd definitely a rare instance of a very n00b, form-letter-sounding title making it through. No offense, it's just kind of...yeah. :lol:

LT Edit (11/14): Vote changed to NO.

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I think Larry did a pretty good job of describing this one; there are some pretty distinct ways to improve this track in both the production and arrangement side, but it clears the bar. I think cleaning up some of the mud would help, and a few of the melodic alterations were a little weird, though some of them were very effective. Transitions were solid, and the beats and backing instruments were all instruments.

The original writing in the segues was pretty nice as well, and the instruments chosen fit together well. I wish the lead synth that played during the breakdown section had a little bit of modulated vibrato, but overall I am comfortable passing this track.

The title seems like a throwback to 2000-01 to me, which I find pretty charming. ;-)

Yes

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Not much I can add here, since Larry and Andrew summed it up so well. I can definitely agree that some of the variations on the melody aren't totally fitting, but there's nothing that is glaringly wrong either. It is good to see that you are comfortable with experimenting, though. Keep it up.

The production could be a little cleaner although, again, there's nothing that is sticking out as something that needs to be fixed. I would focus on trying to clean things up overall in the future.

YES

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No.

Can someone who voted YES please tell me what you liked about the song? Anything? OA liked the original material in the transitions. The rest of the comments are generally along the lines of "eh, nothing way too wrong." And that's not incorrect; there's nothing offensive to the ear here, but this mix is completely cookie-cutter. The most interesting thing going on is the drum sequencing and processing. There's very little in terms of development. I could elaborate more, but really if you mention any element, I'm going to say "not bad, but it's not doing anything new or particularly creative." Sorry to the remixer if I'm sounding harsh; you're really not bad, it's just that we need more than a standard dance adaptation to make it on the site.

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Not feeling this one much, except for the piano sections, which bring some much needed brightness to the song. It's pretty focused on the lows and the production is cloudy as a result. A lot of the melody variations are labored and come across like attempts to make something different at the expense of melody. Also like Larry, I disliked the intro, and the breakbeats there weren't that well-incorporated. Come to think of it, since I'm nearly copying his vote, why did he vote YES? :<

I will grant that the background writing is solid and the song has good detail and variation. With a clean, more-rounded production OR some melodic alterations that don't sound as contrived (or ideally both), I would pass this. The fixes probably aren't that hard to make, but should be made.

NO (resubmit)

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Arrangement is really tight; some awesome syncopated riffs on the source material, nice development throughout the piece. Some nice polyrhythmic stuff going on too (triplets vs. straight 8th basslines).

Very solid dance track.

YES

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I liked the melodic variations more than everyone else did, it looks like. Kept things interesting through what otherwise is a very straightforward dance mix.

Overall production is not bad, but could definitely be cleaner, so that the lead stands out a bit more and sections like 3:15 are less cluttered. Also yeah, those beats in the intro are a bit distracting.

Nothing's really pulling me strongly in either direction, but I'm a little more on the NO side than the YES side.

NO (resubmit)

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Okay, sorry to perpetuate this evaluation even further, but I have to say that I'm in the "not feeling it" camp here. :/

On the production end, we have a cluttered soundscape - and even with the panning used, it feels flat and one dimensional. The generic boom-tss beats get tiring quickly, the kick is muddy and muffled, and it all sounds kind of lo-fi. I also found the breakdown at 2:50 a little ear-piercing on the high frequencies. (Is that just me?)

As for arrangement, I do think you had some good variations on the main melody. But when it was over, I was a little surprised to see that the song had actually lasted over four minutes. I never felt an overall arch of ideas; it just seemed sort of aimless and meandering. I do see that you were going for a "bring it" moment at 2:23, but I don't think there was enough dynamic contrast to pull it off. Have fun! Take chances! Think about what makes your style unique, instead of regurgitating the same old things we've heard countless time in early techno songs.

I don't know... I think it would be kind of a shame to pass this mix as is because the reception would be underwhelming. I disagree with some others that this just barely passes the bar, because there's no real originality showcased here. There is enough merit to the arrangement that you could take it further, learn a lot in the process, and resubmit. I suggest you do! ^-^

NO (resub)

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Really thought long and hard about this. While it's not the best arrangement on OCR it squeaks over the bar for me. There IS some variation that I enjoyed, both in instrumentation and melody. Could've add some harmony changes but it's definitely not super conservative. The production wasn't the cleanest but it was nice with a pretty decent balance all things considered. Didn't have anything against the breakbeats at all.

To me there's just nothing pulling this under the bar to become a NO. It might not be perfect but it's passable. I look forward to hearing more from you in the future!

YES(borderline)

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OK, I'm going to be that guy who disrupts things way after the fact, but after listening to this again with Vig's vote in mind, I really oughta revise my vote to a NO. Sorry, Josh, but I feel my original vote was way too lenient, and geared more towards the arrangement at the expense of the production.

There's still a lot of good-sounding elements, yet while I didn't agree with Vig in full (I disagreed with this being a "standard dance adaptation"), the following really stuck out:

There's nothing offensive to the ear here, but this mix is completely cookie-cutter. The most interesting thing going on is the drum sequencing and processing. There's very little in terms of development. I could elaborate more, but really if you mention any element, I'm going to say "not bad, but it's not doing anything new or particularly creative."

From a sonic standpoint, indeed, there were just too many sections with average production & textures that didn't fully lock together. For every portion where something clicked, the next section would lack cohesion. When you treated the source conservatively and just gave it your personal sound, it actually managed to click better than when you got more interpretive.

:00-:26 - Very generic sounding breakbeats & synths.

:26-:39 - Better stuff with the piano coming in, even if the synths were a bit generic & grating

:39-:52 - Really generic saw for the melodic lead; the melodic variation compared to the original was OK, though it sounded like altering the melody for the sake of it not sounding like a complete copy, rather than sounding like a cool melodic variation.

:52-1:18 - Much cooler lead. The textures really clicked nicely here. The breaks were a little vanilla, BUT everything was mixed so nicely that the breaks and bass provided a really nice background role, locking things together without exposing the sounds. You had those same strengths from with a different (but also good) lead sound from 3:30-4:09 to finish the track.

1:18-1:44 - The boom-tss added here briefly seemed stapled on top, but as things moved forward, that too settled in nicely and enhanced the sound.

1:44-2:10 - The piano writing was somewhat meandering. And the saw with the melodic variation for the sake of variation, both seemed awkwardly written. Neither part was particularly melodious or posessing direction.

2:10-2:49 - The BOOM at 2:23 was pretty cheesy, but not a huge deal. The more conservative melodious take on the source there until 2:49 ended up sounding the best. After that, many of the past ideas and textures repeated, so that basically covers it.

Ultimately, taking a harder look at this and having another good POV made this difficult to sign off on taking another look at it. Sorry, bro, but if my opinion changes with more information and better insight, I've gotta call it fairly and honestly.

NO

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Yo Vig, I'm real happy for you and imma let you finish, but I think you guys are being a bit harsh.

Sure the style is a little generic but it's hardly "completely cookie cutter" with the really quite sophisticated layering and polyrhythms going on. The sounds used are stereotypical I'll grant you but there's loads more going on here then in some stuff already on OCR. Cookie cutter to me would be removing all the layers and the cool rhythm augmentations and just having kick/bass/leads (of which there is a fair bit on OCR anyway). Cookie cutter is MY trance :D.

My only problems with this are on the production side. Slightly muffly kick, some weird pads here and there but on the whole it's balanced. You're right to say there's nothing overtly wrong but I think Velly has done a pretty good balancing job considering the amount of layers involved. Everything is audible, maybe not crystal clear but good enough for me.

I like it. It's euro-gubbins guilty pleasure sorbet, whatever that is.

YES

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after listening to this again with Vig's vote in mind, I really oughta revise my vote to a NO.

This Thread Has Been ViJacked.

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The first thing that came into my head here is that this reminds me of old-school OCR. Retro drumloops, synths and a sort of rough production style overall. It would have fit right in around 2003 or 2004, so the question is whether it merits a post now. The amount of arrangement and original interpretation is pretty impressive, IMO, and I disagree with some of my fellow judges that there's nothing original going on. The production might be on the plain side, but there's definitely a lot of interpretation and we've certainly passed FAR more coverish dance mixes. We should recognize when a dance mix is going above and beyond.

I'm with Fishy: I don't agree that the sounds are all completely cookie-cutter and unoriginal. There are a lot of generic sounds, yes, but we've gotten so many more generic pieces than this, AND we've passed a number of them. Let's not be hypocritical. Not every mix needs to blow us away with originality in production. As someone who has made his fair share of dance music I can identify when someone is really on autopilot when it comes to sound selection, and when a good amount of work has gone into sound shaping, layering and design. In this case, it's the latter.

A fairly close...

YES

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No.

Can someone who voted YES please tell me what you liked about the song? Anything? OA liked the original material in the transitions. The rest of the comments are generally along the lines of "eh, nothing way too wrong." And that's not incorrect; there's nothing offensive to the ear here, but this mix is completely cookie-cutter. The most interesting thing going on is the drum sequencing and processing. There's very little in terms of development. I could elaborate more, but really if you mention any element, I'm going to say "not bad, but it's not doing anything new or particularly creative." Sorry to the remixer if I'm sounding harsh; you're really not bad, it's just that we need more than a standard dance adaptation to make it on the site.

Alright, I'll chime in: This mix isn't cookie-cutter, by my definition.

We've all heard FAR more generic, auto-pilot, by-the-numbers submissions that I might call "cookie-cutter," which are usually MUCH more conservative as well. This mix has several permutations/variations on the melody, competent production with substantial variation, etc.

Don't get me wrong, this arrangement isn't overflowing with innovation, but it crosses the T's and dots the I's and most importantly DOES go beyond "cookie-cutter" in terms of the arrangement. The production is dance/electronica - it uses a lot of staples, fine, but it uses them effectively and competently.

Not every mix is going to be the second coming or reinvent the genre; it's enough - by our own submission standards, as written - that the source be arranged in a fashion that shows clear interpretation, and that production be sufficiently sophisticated for the genre/context.

I believe this mix meets both of those stated criteria, and that adding an additional criteria for innovation within the production aspects of a genre is not necessary. It's better - amazing, even - when mixes DO color outside the lines a bit more, but I'm not comfortable with saying that coloring within them makes a mix ineligible.

YES

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