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OCR01281 - *YES* Dragon Warrior 4 'The Grief of Aktemto'


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Tagged for OCR (might need to change the filename):

If geocities doesn't work, there is a version at

vgmix:

Contact Info:

Ryan8bit

Ryan Stern

the8bitavenger@yahoo.com

www.geocities.com/the8bitavenger

Not sure what my userid is (on my profile link there's a 383)

ReMix Info:

Dragon Warrior IV

Aktemto town/Death music

I made this song for a contest for Dwelling of Duels at rock-out.net in May 2004, and so far it has been probably my best produced and most liked mix from what I can tell. I don't know if I meet the standards of this site anymore, so I thought I would test this one out to see.

It was inspired by my feeling sad about the death of my grandmother and I couldn't really express it in any other way than just by arranging this song.

Thanks,

-Ryan8bit

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hmm

this mix is a bit rough around the edges. The performance isnt perfect.

however, i think the arrangement is strong. the recording quality is good, although perhaps a bit more reverb on the acoustic guitars would have been a good idea.

what stuck out for me in this remix was that the dynamics and the expression were just great. lots of feeling, lots of dynamic contrast. pay attention, folks, these are the building blocks of an effective piece of music. gonna say

YES

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http://www.zophar.net/nsf/dq4.zip - Track 14

This one tied for 4th in Dwelling of Duels for May/June against some stiff competition. I'm always glad to see DoD material make it's way over here. I covered this one in early July for VG Frequency.

(For anyone that'll agonize over it, the JAXX mix I was talking about is available over at VGMix.):

Liontamer]Ryan8bit - Dragon Warrior 4 "The Grief of Aktemto" [Dwelling of Duels: Free Month / VGMix2 #1782]

Just like JAXX, Ryan Stern is another guitar guru that hasn't dropped anything on the people in a while. And while the wait for Ryan8bit's newest release (2 months) wasn't nearly as long as the wait for JAXX's latest, Ryan's here to bring it to ya as well, with this DW4 mix that starts off with acoustic and acid guitar elements before adding to the background with some orchestral swells. And while this beginning also isn't the style one would be most familiar with Ryan's work, the halfway point brings out the electric guitar work that those OverRocked ReMix fans worship him for. A nice change of pace to hear two guitar rock mixers like Ryan & JAXX moving a bit out of their traditional bounds, both in the same week.

Like Vig said, this was excellent rearrangement with a few flubs (:51 was particularly noticeable) that didn't detract from the strength here.

Great sound choices throughout that fit together well and kept the ideas fresh. The orchestral stuff moving over into the rock work was all excellent. Started off very solemn, escalated via the orchestral builds along with the percussion just after that, and then got into what represented a much louder representation of agonized grief with the guitar work before winding down. The structure was pretty natural given the inspiration.

Ryan's a guy I feel we don't see enough of at OC, so I'm really glad he submitted this one. Sorry it had to come about under such circumstances though. Hopefully people will know the story behind it and, on that level, appreciate the emotion put into this.

YES

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First off, I'd like to commend Ryan on a very adept arrangement effort. Much better from an arrangement point of view than most submissions we get.

Unfortunatly, the only criticisms I can levy are ironically the ones easiest to fix. With the blatant nature of some of the flubs, I can't in good conscience pass this when I know that a couple hours polishing this pig would produce a very impressive guitar track. That, along with the painfully ho-hum orchestral work (from a SQ standpoint) and very bland drums with awkward, static-velocity fills.

The orchestral section is once again - well arranged, but it lacks any real dynamics other than BAM I'M LOUD. To make an effective bridge section, I really think some dynamic touches would give some much needed impact. The percussion is also near-inexcusably simple, with the snare being decent enough, but the every-beat-crash-cymbal thing makes my head want to explode. Once again - dynamics.

The drums come in well enough, but I can't help but feel let down. Often it feels awkward during fills. I think this is - you guessed it - due to a lack of any real dynamic contrast. I think the snare is even panned pretty far left, I may be wrong, but it's really distracting.

Add to that - the electric guitar section is mixed way too loud. The lead is exrutiatingly loud, and the rhthym is nearly nonexistent in the sound field. I'd like to hear some kind of processing done to the guitar tracks to make them easier to listen to and discernable.

A commendable arrangement effort, but I think a solid debug session would push this one into acceptance territory.

NO

-D

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Whoa. Vigilante YES'd a guitar track? Hell hath frozen over, and Larry Oji has a six-foot afro.

I agree with Danny B. that there are some fairly rough patches here and there. However, I was not so mired in the errors and therefore, find that the heart and performance outweigh the general list of flub-dubbery.

In other words, good enough for me.

YES

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The orchestral section of the song comes off as sounding very cliché, and the percussion at that point in the song is painfully simple. Single snare hits along with overuse of the crash cymbal does not an orchestral percussion part make.

Wow that last sentence sucks. :(

Anyway, the guitar playing is certainly competent, but I agree with Dan B that the electic guitar section is mixed too loud. Some weird stuff going on with the percussion hits around 2:49—might just be the double kick, but the guitar is loud and isn't in balance with other elements, it makes it hard to tell.

Otherwise I think it's a pretty good track with nice arrrangement. The guitar playing is competent enough, but I think there are some issues, especially that orchestral section, that comes off as amateurish.

NO (polish and russian...I mean polish and resubmit)

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Acoustic guitar is recorded well, flubby but expressive. The mix's aesthetics soon deteriorate with flim-flam orchestral snares and a very loudly mixed electric. Not at all smooth dynamically. Percussion is very poor throughout.

Although this is 3:44 minutes long, it seems two minutes less because the song jumps from one idea to another: acoustic - orchestration - electric, with no real cohesion or development.

Refine. NO

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hmm

i love the arrangement and performance of the clean acoustic sections, ryan, very impressive. i like how you placed them sonically although they are missing much needed reverb on at least one channel or the lead... just to give it a tad more life.however, whatever you did with the production on your distorted sections is mindboggling considering how well i know what you are capable of doing with guitar mixes. they are abrasive, too loud and too shrill. the tone on the distorted guitar is just ack. the problem is most sharply defines is that the drums behind it are so uninspired and weak. that sounds like ken ardency drums and not very conducive to the bright element of steel you have in front of it. i just wish wish wish you had balanced it out a lot more and made the heavy sections more bearable to listen to - no problem listening through em because the playing is passionate but tone it down a bit

everything else is straightforward in the soundfield.

the arrangement screams metallica instrumental... somewhere in between orion and to live is to die... and a lot of spaghetti western.

i think there isn't nearly enough to discredit this mix. its a very emotional and inspired performance and although this needs some refinement i enjoyed it for its raw edge and power... often overlooked when giving a

YES

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I'm pretty much with Darkesword. First of all, I'm a little confused about how the orchestra stuff is supposed to fit into the mix- you have a 3:35 piece with a 20 second "orchestral" section- that just doesn't make any formal sense. And given that the section doesn't add anything to the piece (IMO) it sticks out as an idea that may have sounded neat at the time, but doesn't quite work.

Guitar performance seems a bit hesitant at times (particularly during the acoustic section) and would likely have benefitted from a few more takes. Some of the phrases aren't cleanly played (such as the slur at :22) and you have a tendency to rush things. Plus the performance isn't very smooth- for example at :41 where you cut off the note too quickly. Now, this is clearly an amateur performance, but then, this is an amateur music community so it's not *that* big of a deal. I do feel that this had the potential to be a much better performance with more takes and a bit more attention to detail, but I'm not of the opinion that the guitar is in and of itself a dealbreaker.

I do however agree with the others that the electric section is mixed too loud.

This is a difficult mix for me to say yea or nay to- but in the end I feel that while a good number of listeners would likely enjoy it, I just don't think the pros outweigh the cons.

a lukewarm NO

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i thought the orchestra worked well for dynamic effect. dont think he claims to be beethoven, but the ochestra beefs up the sound, providing dynamic contrast that 90% of the mixes on the website completely lack.

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percussion is lousy throughout the whole thing, some performance flubs are pretty bad...

but it develops at a nice pace;

the tensions builds, it unbuilds.

i like a lot of ideas here.

wish the execution was better but i'm going to pass it simply because of the panel's guitar bias. ROFL~

yes

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Please keep in mind that all i'm asking for to have this thing accepted is minor tweaks to improve the sound quality. It really wouldn't be too much to ask, and I think if it is passed we should at least ask Ryan if he's willing to debug the thing before postage.

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Please keep in mind that all i'm asking for to have this thing accepted is minor tweaks to improve the sound quality. It really wouldn't be too much to ask, and I think if it is passed we should at least ask Ryan if he's willing to debug the thing before postage.

Get in touch with him and ask him about it.

EDIT: I sent him an e-mail along with the decisions so far, so we'll see what he says.

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My problems with this mix have already been said. Guitar production could be cleaner, the orchestral section doesn't seem to really fit the flow in its current form, the percussion is dull, and there are a few performance issues in the performance. I do like the arrangement and the concept, though. If at least a few of the issues were fixed, my vote would change, but as it stands I'd like to go with a NO.

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I completely agree with some of the detractors of the mix, Israfel used the perfect word here. I thought the performance was hesitant at times. But overall, I have to say I enjoyed the arrangement and yes there are some performance flubs, the meaning of the mix clearly was expressed well. The orchestral section sit well with me personally, but I thought that part was very very mechanical.

Still, I really like the arrangement here overall, and I think the performance is passable enough where I don't feel it's necessary to force a resubmission. I also feel that clinically correct performances sometimes take away from the live and spontenous feel. I thought it added a sense of charm to some degree here. I also really like the pacing here. Emotional mix and a final YES from me to close the vote.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ryan actually PM'ed me about two hours before djp posted the mix, finally getting back to me on the e-mail that I sent him. I wanted to make sure his views on the judging of the mix were there for the judges panel and fans to check out.

I hope that Ryan, along with everyone else, has no problem with me making these comments public, as I think his comments are very informative for those out there who are interested in this very split decision.

Hey, well, I got home and checked the judges decisions panel and saw that apparently I've messaged you quite a bit late as my "Grief of Aktemto" mix has already been accepted.

I checked the critiques and I tried to work on some of the things the judges said (and I must say I was surprised to see some great constructive criticism... it's probably because half of the judges are different since I last submitted here, but I used to not get as many good comments). But after tinkering with the song for an hour or two, I didn't really notice any substantial difference. I think some of the issues stem from having to rerecord, and/or get better samples; both of which would take quite a bit of time (and matching the guitar mic setup could be difficult).

And some of Danny's comments, while very helpful, would seem to want resequencing of most all the percussion on top of some of the orchestrated parts. I hadn't really intended on changing a lot of the arrangement aspects because I was mostly fine with it (as were a couple judges, I guess). I realize there are some production issues (only so much I can do in my basement with sub-par equipment), and mainly I was just trying to see what the bar was for the site. I hadn't really intended on resubmitting anything, as I've done that a few times before. But since it was accepted, I guess that's all moot? I'd like to improve future mixes, but to a point I don't want to be a perfectionist and get caught up in lots of technical details. Does that make any sense?

So, I guess I'm content with the song where it's at. I'll definitely keep in mind all said criticisms and I'll surely look into improving dynamics and other things in the future if I submit again (or even just for my regular releases at dod and vgmix).

Sorry to type so much. Thanks.

I wanna extend my congrats to Ryan again for "The Grief of Aktemto" making the grade and bringing some Dwelling of Duels material to the site. I speak for myself alone, but I feel that DoD is a fairly recent, yet very important facet of the remix community that more people should appreciate. With Ryan & Crimson running a high-quality compo, I hope to see more artists there submitting a few tracks this way.

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