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*NO* Chrono Trigger 'To Far Away Memories'


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I liked it quite a bit... some questionable notes here and there in the third minute - djp

hi, first off, i'd like to apologize for the crap i submitted before which was rightly rejected (Total Annihilation: Unreal Annihilation). in order to redeem myself, i'm submitting this remix. ok, on to the info:

remixer name: Neil Benjamin

real name: Neil Benjamin

email: nobodygetshurt@nyc.rr.com


user id: nineinchneil

game remixed: Chronotrigger

song remixed: To Far Away Times

this remix has been strongly inspired by mv's Time Circuits remix; he's the man! also, feel free to post my email and website if you approve this song. thanks. take care,


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Oohh this is really mellow starting out. Very nice guitar sound. I like the pulse. Great progression.

WHOA. Ugly note in Chrono's theme in the third minute. It's just totally off key. :( Everything sounded great until then.

BLEH decisions decisions.

I'm going to give this an EXTREMELY borderline NO and see how everyone else votes. Should we conttact the mixer for a fixed version? I really like this song, but those bad notes have got to go.

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bass is... is there bass at all? If so, way too quiet. Sounds like there is, but too quiet.

This is pretty much a direct cover, and in that regard, I'd choose the original over it. Basically the reason is that this remix doesn't offer much besides guitar lead instead of flute and piano. However I feel the percussion in the original was much more fitting.

Theres some improv later on, but its simply alternating notes in the chord playing again and again. Could have been much more interesting.

I hear the 'off note'. I wouldn't call it an off note. Its in the key of the following chord which resolves a step later. The note is fine.

I like how the song picks up at 4:00 but again could have been far more well done. Again guitar plays the lead directly, and the only variation offered is 1/8th note hits on the lead.

Good stuff, but lets try to do much better next time.

Audio glitch at 2:05

I can really hear the mp3 loss in this encode. Use vbr next time.


Edit: I just want to clarify that these issues I stated are indeed the only issues I have with this song. If even some of them were fixed, this song would likely get a YES from me. I would highly recommend taking our advice and fixing it up. Then message one of us and we'll put it right back up on the panel. Good luck.

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The lead guitar work was alright (little too sedate for my personal tastes, but that doesn't affect my vote), but everything else here managed to bring this down. I didn't like the sound of some of the rhythym guitar work underneath the melody (started at :44, but 1:12-1:34 was an exposed example of this), since it didn't sound right in tandem with the lead. The bongos were decent, but the cymbal, tambourine, and (in particular) drum patterns were boring/plodding after a while; the percussion support could have used some variation in the beats or instrumentation at some point to keep things fresh. The string support in particular is pretty exposed moving from note to note, conflicting with the lead at 1:59 with an awkward note transition as well as several other points & needs to be significantly more humanized, and again the acoustic support chords from :44-1:34 also needed to be tightened up since they don't combine well with your lead guitar.

These issues I had though really sapped a lot of the potential out of this one and were enough for me to NO. This was a promising arrangement moving things over into an acoustic guitar setting (and not a mere cover), but figure out how to get those support instruments to properly accentuate the material and resubmit. Right now, they don't mesh well and drag the piece down. I didn't hear any off-notes in the Chrono's theme reference (those were fine as Prot said), and the second half was stronger than the first in terms of the notation IMO, but working on these issues would make this an easy YES with a resubmission.

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Mostly a cover of the original theme with rough acoustic guitar takes, weak percussion and accompaniment, and serious notation issues. Something bizarre is going on at 1:03 - 1:10 and 2:00 - 2:01. Rhythm guitar sounds generally off throughout the mix.

Good feel, but the execution is extremely lackluster. Instruments are messy and notation/playing is awkward or just wrong. Not too much original material besides a few new chords and transitions, and what is new is not so interesting.


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I disagree strongly with the votes thus far and am keeping this open. Even if every last judge votes no I may still post it or contact the mixer in question myself for a revised version.

I think it compares favorably to recent mixes approved by the panel by panelists or friends of panelists.

I don't trust Binnie to make assertions about what are right or wrong notes or 'notation' issues, and I think the term 'cover' is being thrown around far too readily recently. It's one thing to wield a vocabulary of musical terms and another thing to be a little more intimate with the guts of what the words mean.

I'm not saying this is the best thing since sliced bread, but the rationale seems fairly bogus and I have a hard time letting this slip by when I feel like we've approved comparable mixes recently that happened to be from more familiar faces.

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I'm fine with that.

Btw, this notation-issue bullshit binnie brought up was verified by liontamer, myself, and danb thus far.

Its really not a huge issue, but it is definately there. I mean. Its a problem. Thats it.

Some may pass problems, I personally do not. But when at least 4 people hear the same thing, it should not be dismissed so easily.

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I have to say, I agree with the other judges here on other issues, though this definitely is not a mere cover as far as I'm concerned. There's a lot of similarity in the structure and form, especially obvious with the melody. But there's a also a lot of additions with the underlying work beneath the melody, further additions here and there in melody and harmony, percussive work for it to qualify as an arrangement in my book.

I also hear the bad notes that other judges mentioned. The two sections that Digital Coma cited has like 2 or 3 instances there that I'd call iffy at best. I agree with that as well.

At times to me some of the accompanying guitar work almost sounds like it has random notes here and there. It just sounds messy to me.

I also found the tone of the guitar quite dull. There's no life here, almost like there's no effects or reverb going on at all throughout all the instruments.

This is a borderline NO from me, there's some good stuff here and certainly warrants postage after at least a few issues are worked on.


DJP - I'm fine with that. There certainly will be times where we all won't see eye to eye on some matters so the discretion of what to do with this mix is certainly up to you. In the grand scheme of things I have no problems with this going up as is. However, I think the panel as a whole have cited some issues that are holding this mix back enough where a resubmit would be beneficial. Just my two scrilla.

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To clarify my vote; the only issue I have with this song is the really bad note that happens in both iterations of Chrono's Theme in the 3rd minute of the song. If those TWO notes (which are both the SAME bad note) were fixed, I would easily yes it. I think its something that's so simple to remedy, that's why my vote was NO. Otherwise, it's an easy yes for me.

There are some instances of interesting choices in the strings, but I don't think they detract from the overall quality of the song so strongly.

I also disagree with Binnie's claim of SERIOUS NOTATION ISSUES. They're not serious at all.

I would like to see this eventually posted.

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Bear witness to why Wingless fucking gums up the works!

I'm going to completely circumvent the technical and somewhat rhetorical parts of reviewing, and go right to that ephemeral, ghostly quality called the 'soul of the piece'

I really, really, REALLY enjoyed the piece, and the atmosphere it set out to create. In this regard, the piece is very successful. It has energy, it has development, it has that certain jeeh nuhh sayy qhaa that I certainly try to put into my music. Yes it has technical flub-dubbery and yes, nit-pick if it pleases you. But I believe, taken as a whole, this piece works, and would touch the dork and dweeb community in a wonderful, wonderful way. I can't honestly think of a reason why this should NOT be put up.

So, on the basis of the wildly subjective and superpartial--


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a few things. first, i agree with djp that this could be an easy resubmit. however, if he feels so strongly that he would post it regardless of our votes, he should not have put it on the panel in the first place.

now my issues with the song:

there are bad notes. not just in the third minute as DS said, but more or less throughout. the most egregious example in my mind is at 2:02. this is a result of another problem thru the mix, that is really bad strings. the strings are harmonically too straightforward and they are rhythmically uninteresting. more or less whole notes throughout, even when the chord progression changes before or after the whole bar. (resulting in that ugly ugly thing at 2:02).

the arrangement is passable in my mind. i don't think it's a straight cover.

the guitar sounds weak for a number of reasons:

1. it's live, and it's dry. slap some verb on it. actually, what would probably do the trick is playing down an octave. could just be the way you miked it, but it sounds like you're too high up on the fretboard for that acoustic guitar.

2. small performance flubs like at 1:18 detract from the feel. the solo at the end is terribly uninteresting and rhythmically...well...it's exclusively staccato eighth notes. not cool.

3. the rhythm guitar is WAY, and let me repeat that; WAY out of tune. it's flatter than an 8 year old girl.

aside from that, i hear lots and lots and lots of little audio glitches. Prot mentions one at 2:05, but i also hear glitches at 1:48, 2:17, and i may have missed some others.

this is clearly a NO.

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Often times to make a decision, I weigh the sum of good vs. the sum of bad. The mix in question has a smattering of both. I'll list them off in a stream of conscienceness kind of smattering -

First off, I could have sworn that the intro guitar was a sample, and not played live. This speaks volumes for the guitar quality throughout. The melody is played well enough, but there are several notable, technical problems.

:35-:36 - The guitar pull-off is sloppy.

1:38 - Somewhat sloppy pull-off.

2:18-2:22 This is random, haphazard note jumping that doesn't really fit the key suggested by the underlying rhythm guitar.

4:19 - 4:33 - More haphazard voice leading. The staccato doesn't help, either. With strings flowing through, I expected legato picking and the strings to let ring. More personal taste, but I think a more solid technical base would have made this sound much more pleasing.

Given the fact that one is submitting a track to be posted on a website to be heard by the masses, it's assumed (by me, at least) that every effort is made to make a recorded performance shine. Same reason I rejected (or had issue with, can't remember) Shadow's FF4 ReMix. Some aspects of the mix are just simply mistakes. Raise objections about subjectivity all day long. They sound like mistakes to me.

Another issue is the altered chords underlying certain sections of the melody. I don't think it's necessary to go through each example, there's one every few measures. It sounds as though the artist is attempting to create a "pleasing dissonance" of sorts with the altered chords that affect the melody in different ways than the original did. Nothing wrong with this at all, I often preserve the melody and alter the harmony. However, in this case, it really does cause problems, as the chords seem to have no tonal relationship with the melodic ideas being set forth. In layman's terms - the butter don't mix with the frosting.

Now, on to the "wrong notes" that occur in the closing sections. I am notoriously liberal to questionable notes. Even good ol' J.S. Bach used Non-chord tones. Using NCT's can create very pleasing situations, such as the resolving of a leading tone in a natural minor key, or the resolution of an augmented third down to its major self. Unfortunatly, this mix doesn't, in my mind, utilize "clashing" chords for its own good. Thus, I find that the chords are inherently incompatible with the melody.

While I can see an effort to compensate for the notes that don't fit the key, the compensation is too little, too late. There needed to be at leasta modulation or some kind of warning to the blatantly off-key notes to make it ok with me. Sorry dude.



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