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*NO* Life Force 'Bane of Zelos'

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Name of submisson: Bane of Zelos

My info:

Remixer name: Year 200X

Real Name: Tim Lydon (registered OCR member). Other members' names: Jake Bryan, Rance Tatroe, Ian Whiters, Tony Oliver

Email address: timlydon@gmail.com

Band Website: http://www.year200xband.com

User Id = 40724

Submission info:

Game remixed: Life Force (nes)

Individual songs arranged: Level 1 BGM, Level 3 BGM, Boss theme, Level 6 BGM (medley)

Composer info is on ocremix

Link to OST: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=94853362E435D619

Comments: This is a full band remix of several levels from the game...drums, guitar, and bass are all live instruments.

DA Note: Order of songs in the medley are Level 1, Level 6, Boss, Level 3

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Pretty solid live performance. The drum recording was a bit dirty, but the fact that it was performed live and still pretty solid is a distinct plus. The Eq is a little heavy in the low mids, but things are still pretty audible, and there is a lot of power behind the recordings. The arrangement has a lot of nice transitions and change-ups that make this feel very personalized. The performances are all very good, and the harmonies and articulation are solid. Even though there are several sources, it never felt like a medley to me, and all was cohesive.

I think the production could be cleaned up slightly, with a little bit of EQ on the drums and rhythm guitar to clean out some of the low-mid frequencies, but otherwise I was pretty pleased with this one.


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This was fun to listen to. Despite there being four separate sources in here, there was only one transition that really played up the fact that this was a medley. The section between Level 6 and the Boss level has the song come to a complete stop, which felt pretty awkward to me, especially compared to how nice the other transitions were. Certainly not a dealbreaker, but noticeable none-the-less.

As Andrew said, the EQ needs to be cleaned up a little on this. I'd like to see that get done, and I think it'll be good to go.

YES (conditional)

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  • 2 months later...

The transitions weren't awkward except for the full stop, but I did feel like the song had some abrupt shifts indicative of a medley (or Dream Theater song). It was a decent arrangement, but leaned conservative. Almost all of the additions are guitar harmonies and dynamics, the melodies and structure haven't changed a lot. Those two in combination make this already a close call, but the mixing could have been improved as well. The guitars are coming through clear, but the drums and bass get a bit lost in the muddy low-end. No one issue is a dealbreaker, but when I look at everything together, I don't see a pass. It's a shame too, because you guys obviously have good chops and arranging skills. This song can probably be fixed (and may pass anyway), but I'd prefer to see a non-medley from you guys, which I think would be great.


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  • 1 month later...

no medley-itis here, but I gotta agree that each of the sources were handled pretty conservatively. ultimately, with some nice embellishments and solos, I think the arrangement is passable, but coupled with production issues (crowding, buried drums, muddy low end), I'm leaning towards a resub. a more extensive EQ'ing could really get this sounding clearer.


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Just to clarify, medleys are always fine at OCR, the structure and flow of the arrangement just has to be cohesive.

This opened up pretty intense, though the melody was VERY buried at :12. And as the song went on, it stayed buried. Not much interpretation of the Stage 1 theme, and nothing I haven't really heard from past rock arrangements of this theme.

Not a great transition at 1:21 to Stage 6. Yeah, the melody's still buried at 1:25 for the build up, but at least 1:35 we could finally hear the lead writing more upfront. Pretty bland take on the melody briefly from 2:01-2:08, it just sounded flat.

Not really hearing much interpretation of Stage 6 along with the mixing unfortunately being too indistinct. The way the drumming was mixed so loud ended up competing for space too much.

Midee & prozax covered Stage 6 and Boss in a straightforward but much more personalized and expressive way in "Tactile Freefall." http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01192/ This take is duplicating the conservative melodic treatment without the production or performance chops those guys have. I'm not saying they're the standard, but when this arrangement has enough similarities, it invites the comparison. It's just not up to that level, and the other one dropped here 7 years ago.

Had no big issue with the full stop transition to the Boss theme at 3:07, as it was followed by a the fade-in immediately afterward. Not great, and I could understand why people would be bothered by it. This section was thankfully slowed down a bit to present a bit more of a personalized feel.

At 4:10, we got into some harder stuff with a decent dropoff and re-building towards heavier stuff with Stage 3 at 4:30. Again though, the melody was fighting to be heard until 4:42 because of the machine gun-style drums. From 4:43 on though, the balance was much better, including when the drums came back at 4:54, so the finish felt a lot stronger than everything from the first 4 minutes.

The soloing at 5:18 was solid enough, and helped this one close out pretty strong and with more expressiveness than everything that came earlier. Why wasn't there more of that creativity and personalization for the treatment of the other three themes?

I like Year 200X, I've watched them perform at MAGFest, I know what they can do, and I've seen them improve year by year. That said, the last 3 minutes were stronger, more interesting and more substantially personalized and interpretive than the first 3, and much of the track had balancing that Vinnie did the best job of elaborating on. No hate, but it would really take a lot of mixing tweaks to get this sounding stronger, and I'm not feeling the level of interpretation as much as the others are, otherwise it would be a much tougher call for me. This isn't poor, but I agree with him all the way that the sum total of the issues dragged this down to NO. Sorry, guys.

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Sorry for taking so long, real life etc. :tomatoface::cry:

I didn't think the balance issues were the biggest dealbreaker. The drums ARE mixed too loud and you pan your guitar leads very wide with not much of the cut-through frequencies which does make them slightly less the focus of attention. The big issue for me with the production was the lack of bass frequencies. You can hardly hear the bass and there's no punch in the low end to speak of, even in the kickdrum. Play this side-to-side to your favorite metal reckord and you'll see what I mean (I personally compared it to The Pot by Tool and some other tracks I had close to hand). I realize this is a live recording but sadly that doesn't mean I can treat this differently from how I would another sub. The low-mid is just a mess.

The arrangement was pretty cool, you stitched the sources together well. However there weren't THAT MUCH interpretation. What was there was nice but some original harmonies and melody alteration would come a long way.

For me this is a very tough call, borderline even. The production DOES need work but it still sounds quite good all things considered. However as a whole I just can't bring myself to pass this. Please see if you can take another shot at mixing this to give it some more clarity and proper bass frequencies. Sorry!


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Wait, you think the drums are too loud? If anything I think they are at the right level, but not present enough. The cymbals get a little crispy, but the snare is dull. Got to agree about the bottom end though...there isn't much of one. The kick has very little going on outside the paper range (500Hz-2kHz)

The guitars are pretty ballsy, but I'm not psyched about the drum performance. I know metal drumming is really difficult, which is why big name metal bands very often do lots of drum editing and quantizing. It would be really impressive if the drummer had nailed the part, but there's a lot of rhythmic drift which really detracts from the tightness of the song.


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