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OCR02117 - *YES* DDRMAX Dance Dance Revolution 'Insomniac Skies'

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Remix title: Insomniac Skies

Remixer name: diotrans

Real name: Amy Hsieh

Email address: amy@amyhsieh.com

Website: www.amyhsieh.com

UserID: 21446

Game: DDR MAX/Dance Dance Revolution 6th Mix

Platform: PS2/Arcade

Song: Look to the Sky

Composer: Sota Fujimori

Source: There are several remixes of Look to the Sky in the DDR

series, but the true color extended mix is the one that I based my

remix on:

I used to be a huge DDR freak, back when the DDR craze was at its

height. Besides playing the game obsessively, I loved the soundtrack

and frequently listened to many of the songs from it. Look to the Sky

was always my favorite song from DDR, and even though I no longer play

the game or listen to the soundtrack, I still think the true color

extended mix is amazing.

I really have Level99 to thank for the existence of this remix,

because it all started when he suggested participating in the PRC's

annual free round (where every participant is free to remix any

source, with bonus points if there are no OCRemixes of that source). I

knew that the DDR soundtrack had not been remixed much on the site, so

I instantly thought of my favorite DDR song, Look to the Sky!

I named this "Insomniac Skies" because I was having major insomnia at

the time, and a lot of the work on the song was done in a very

sleep-deprived state. Since the PRC version, I added a real violin and

wrote original lyrics for the 2nd verse to make it less repetitive and

to fit the insomnia theme of the title. Many thanks to Level99 because

this remix wouldn't even exist if it weren't for him, to Level99 and

Palpable for convincing me to polish it up and submit it because I

really wouldn't have if they hadn't insisted it was good enough to

sub, and to Palpable for all the production help again.


1st Verse:

Feeling sad and lonely 'cause I can't find you

Call your telephone and there's never an answer

Said you love me, kissed me, we were in heaven

Said I'm sorry, love you, want you forever


Every night I look at the sky

Call your name

And wonder where you are

Every night I look at the sky

Baby, miss you

Won't you come back

2nd Verse:

Stars are out and I'm not lying in bed

Tossed and turned, got up and walked out instead

Minutes pass I wait here wondering why

We were happy, now it looks like goodbye


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Awesome source selection, that was one of my favorite DDR tracks as well; and I was definitely not expecting this style.

There are a lot of cool things about the mix, but a few choices i'm not completely sure of. The track is seemingly a little left heavy early on with the synth arpeggios, though later on it evens out. The vocals were very well done, with a strong performance and some nice melismatics that were subtle but very welcome, though it seemed like the very first vocal entrance was a millisecond late. It's not crushing the track, but it seems somewhat obvious and easy enough to fix.

I didn't think the drums were interesting at all, and though they started out nice, I think halfway through they should have been maybe made more interesting somehow, maybe with some additional layers or possibly switching to an acoustic kit. They just felt placeholder for a lot of it, though with this kind of vocal song, the singer is the highlight, and since things were clearly mixed that way, it's not as big of a deal.

Production is clean and balanced, if a little empty in some spots. I think some subtle pads would have helped a little, but perhaps I am just used to the jam-packed original.

Either way, the clean production, unique arrangement, and good performances bring this about the nitpicks I have, and this is a definite improvement over your debut submission. I like it. :-)


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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't think there's anything I can add to what Andrew already said. The vocal performance is strong, and definitely is the center of the track. I like how the track was made a little more melancholy, and the second verse fits in very well with the rest of the lyrics.

It feels like the backing is left a little empty, and the drums are definitely the weakest point of the track. Nothing to really bring the track down, but some things to work on.

Very much improved over your KH mix, and I'll look forward to even more improvement on the next submission.


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It's got kind of an 80s pop groove with those synths. Very sweet sounding. I dig it.

Vocals are strong, no question there, but the percussion is lacking a bit; seems to be on autopilot, but they fit with the style.

Live performances are spot on, balance and mixing is tight. Very nice.


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  • 1 month later...

With such heart pumping original source material, it's cool to here a more laid back take on things. This is definitely a pleasant arrangement with pleasant instrumentation - violin, acoustic guitar, gentle vocals... It gels well.

Purdy vocal harmony! I think some of that was your original creation?

There are some sparse sections, but when the guitar comes in that helps quite a bit. The only thing that really sticks out for me is the drum pattern: it's just so basic and boring! I know you wouldn't want to go crazy since that would detract from the relaxed feel of the piece, but some variation here and there could have spiced things up a lot. What I would have especially loved to hear are bongos or some other similar kind of hand percussion in addition to (or instead of) what you already have. Not only would that help fill in the gaps, but it could bring in an extra organic element to help tie the percussion together with the rest of the track.

I hear clipping at 1:13 on: "said I'm SOOORRRYYY." Assuming this gets passed, can we give Amy a chance to fix that one bug?

Anyhow, I'm definitely cool with YESing this as is... but I'll admit that part of me hopes Amy will snazz this up further at some point, just because I think it'd be nice. (I could totally imagine Brandon "Harmony" Bush or Doug "DrumUltimA" Perry on bongos!)

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