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Reminiscent Choices - Super Mario 64 File Select Remix


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Well, I really like the way this song has progressed, so here are my final thoughts (really trying to nitpick, so I have something to say):

In the intro section, there seems to be a lot of reverb on, I think its the percussion. And just after, the tom-tom has a bit much reverb too. Actually, it just seems that most of the percussion has a bit much. The percussion sounds like its in a giant amphitheater, while the strings, guitar, and flute are all up close and personal.

The dynamic change at 1:48 seems a little quick, possibly spread it out over a few more notes, or time the jump with a specific chord or note.

And again, if you can bring out the guitar at 2:15 more, it sounds like its carrying the melody there, but other instruments are kinda drowning it out.

The hi-hat at 2:35 seems a bit too dominant to me.

But thats just my picky stuff. I really like the way this has gone. Thanks for never giving up!

Edit: I like the new name for it. File Select just lacks a certain ring to it. :)

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I agree that the percussion seems to have too much reverb. But the biggest problem I have is that in the guitar solo section starting around 1:05, some of the notes are just too soft that I feel should be brought out a little more.

I also don't really like how that section repeats. It doesn't feel to me like adding the percussion to the phrase made it different enough for a section that sounds so much like improv. Maybe you could add another instrument in there to carry it along and give the sense that it is building. It may make the crescendo at the end of the phrase feel more...fitting.

Also, I think you could add a small something to lead into the big section at :43. Maybe high hat, or ride cymbal with (ta 4 ti te ta 1) with the first 'ta' being split into 32nd notes, crescendoing into the new phrase, if you know what I mean... I wish I could type in music notes, lol

Anyway, I LOVE this remix, and I can't wait to see it posted as a finished product!

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Once again, thanks to all of you for your critiques. I genuinely appreciate it. I took many of your suggestions to heart in this next iteration. The update is, again, in the original post.

Some of the changes include the following (spoiler warning!!):

1) I attempted more humanization of all the lead parts in an effort to give it more depth.

2) I adjusted some volume levels to achieve a better balance.

3) Changed the reverb effects on the percussion. After listening to it a few times, I definitely found myself agreeing that the percussion was way amped up on the reverb compared to everything else.

4) Added a small leadin to the first buildup.

5) Added a new part to aid in the big crescendo to the main motif.

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especially in the beginning the guitar sounds pretty mechanical, and the xylo when it fades in starts up as a hiss pretty much. its a good idea but id rather be able to hear the xylophone part first as opposed to 'oh what's that hiss, oh i see now its a xylophone'

maybe get someone to play the guitar part?

i like the overall structure though

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Liking that guitar more and more. I'm feeling a more improvisational spirit in the middle section. Even more would be great, IMO. :-) Maybe add some more grace notes and ornamentation, if you feel so inclined. I think there's also some added accenting in there, which is nice.

Minor point: I'm hearing a dissonant note at 2:47, not sure if that's intentional.

If I find anything else to nitpick, I'll let you know!

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The percussion sounds MUCH better, lol. And I like the new part at 1:27, but the rhythm at 1:37 is a little confusing to me. I had to replay the section a few times before I understood what happened, lol, but maybe thats just me. In case it isn't just me though, maybe you could add a few accents or something to make the rhythm sound more solid.

I like the background piano towards the end of that phrase too, it sounds like a vibraphone part I played in a drumline show a few years ago, haha. I wonder though if you could add some dynamics to it around the note changes to make it even more interesting. Maybe build-die down-build more-etc, kind of like ripples increasing in size up to the new phrase. Maybe the last few notes could go somewhere, take the run either up or down. Then again, it might be better off the way it is (the vibe part I mentioned stayed the same if I remember correctly lol)

Also there is one part that just sounds awkward to me. The beginning has this nice build, and we move along until 1:05 where it all just stops. I actually like that it jumps to something new, but there is just something about it that sounds off to me... and I can't exactly explain what I mean... Maybe the percussion part could be changed a bit there to make that lone guitar note feel a little more "justified" if that makes any sense... idk

Nitpicking aside, I like what I'm hearing, keep it up!

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Hmmmm, I found one more thing that I think could use a little attention. In the beginning, at around :11, some of notes sound a little too harsh. Maybe you could change up the dynamics there, (1 la li 2 -- li 3) instead of (1 la li 2 -- li 3) The crescendo doesn't have to be much. And actually, you could do the first two measures of that similar pattern the first way I mentioned, then do the 3rd one the 2nd way (the way it already is), then do the last one (1 la li 2 -- li 3). It doesn't have to be that exaggerated of course, it just needs to feel a little more natural in my opinion, and hopefully you know what I'm talking about lol, Ive never been the best at explaining things

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Man, you really gotta get some live guitar on this. I LOVE the feel of your arrangement, but the guitar sample, unfortunately, is bringing things down a lot :-(

I think I'd be able to approach this mix a lot differently with a live guitar in there, because the arrangement is packed with a lot of emotion. All of the countermelodies are really beautiful, as are the backing strings.

*Flashes the Stevo Signal!*

Sure hope you can find some live guitar for this, it absolutely deserves it :-)

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Thanks Emunator. I've tried to bring the sample I have as far as I can, but it seems like a consensus that it's the main drag on the mix. :banghead:

I don't play guitar, nor do I have the adequate recording equipment to record someone. I did, however, solicit a guitar player in the collab section of the forums 3 weeks ago, but I have gotten no response. :-(

If all else fails and that sample really makes the whole mix a hard sell, I might opt to replace it with another instrument. I'm really just out of options other than some additional tweaking, so if you have suggestions or know someone who would play/record it for me, please let me know!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a small update with just a few more volume level tweaks, a slight change in the melody of the guitar in the middle section, and keeping the remix link fresh for those who wish to listen.

I've solicited an artist to try to record me an organic acoustic track that I can replace the samples with, but it may be a while, but keep your eyes peeled, folks! Thanks for all your support and feedback!


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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...

Wow, this is amazing. I just had to say it. I saw this remix on the WIP storage, and I loved it, and felt like I knew it. I had to ask in the community forum to find this thread and the name of the song. Turns out I never played super mario 64, and yet you made it nostalgic somehow. This is simply amazing. I hope it gets accepted if you submit it.

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Thanks, Jordan. A good way to bump this thread and remind me that I still need a guitarist...(hint hint). I went ahead and updated the link again.

I haven't gone back to mess with this mix since January or so. I think I'm about as far as I can get without a real guitarist, so I'm at a plateau, but of course, criticism is still welcome.

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  • 2 months later...

Hello there.

Cute intro.

Okay right off the bat... I like the idea of all the instruments coming in together. The problem is, they are all in the upper register, a little too tinkly, and have too much resonance overall, and there is definitely some frequency clashing when they are together.

Some things need some EQ bad... The piano seems to be the lead, but it gets lost easily... I would EQ around that piano w/ your other instruments, don't be afraid to cut out some frequencies. I really like your electric piano sample, however I don't get to hear it most of the time which is a shame.

Also the piano is very dry, which can be appropriate except for the fact that a lot of other instruments come in and that seem unnecessarily wet in comparison, where I think the piano could use the wetness instead. In fact, I think that you should cut the reverb down on a lot of instruments by at least 10 - 20%... When they all come together, there's too much resonance and things get muddy, especially when the drums come in.

The drums are also a bit too wet IMO, I do like the rhythm though. Also I think your suspended cymbal is a bit too loud when it fully rings, maybe turn it down again by about 20%?

When the bass/cello whole notes come in, they are too overpowering for me (but I am on headphones so take that w/ a grain of salt)... And I think maybe it's also too overpowering in the lower-mid ranges... I'd have it taking up the 20 HZ ranges, EQ'd down in the 50 HZ range, and maybe EQ'd up a tad in a sweet spot (listen for where it sounds best, usually around 1-2 khz range) ... As for the writing of the bass... I also think that maybe having that tuba or w/ doing quarter notes and whole notes the whole time is a little too plain and actually detracts from the rhythm... Maybe try for some rhythmic changes w/ your bass at the "FOUR AND" in each measure instead, don't be afraid to mess around like you have w/ everything else. Keep your drum patterns in mind when you do this.

I also think the lower mids to mid range seem kind of sparse, especially if you take my advice about your bass... It may need to be filled up a little bit, the violin notes do this alright, but I think you could possibly chord up the song w/ that electric piano to fill the void nicely.

Also the song feels too short, like you were just getting started.

And finally, overall I would say it's very cute and a nice foray into a mostly ignored theme, but the execution just needs to be rethought/improved, at least for OCREMIX quality. But that aside, the rule of thumb is when writing music like this... You want things to stand out as separate in interesting ways, and sound good that way when they are doing their own thing, but be very balanced when they join in w/ other instruments without clashing. This can be very hard to do, because music of this nature is extremely fragile and when things go wrong, they are exposed to the listener very easy. I should know because I am a huge "omg I have 25 instruments playing at once and I want them to stay there I love all them forever" person myself lol.

Hope this helps and good luck!

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