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djpretzel

OCR01305 - *YES* Super Metroid 'Dirty Sam'

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Here is the link to the song:

Sorry I haven't submitted any songs in a while. I've been busy in the mix of developing my music career since I've graduated. I went to Japan for a month and have been building my portfolio, trying to find a decent job.

As far as this song goes, it's a jazzy twist to a few of the Super Metroid tracks. It was done on a Yamaha motif 6, that I received as a graduation present. I hope you enjoy the song. Please let me know if there are any problems like before in getting the song. Thanks and have a happy holiday.

Marc Star

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http://www.snesmusic.org/spcsets/sm.rsn - "Opening ~ Destruction of the Space Colony" (sm-15.spc), "Samus Aran's Appearance Fanfare" (sm-30.spc) [1:05-1:21], "Item Room" (sm-s-03.spc) [1:54-3:15]

The primary source tune's melody (which you all know as Kraid from the original Metroid) was pretty low in volume relative to the rest of the music for the first section, about the first 2 minutes or so. The sounds are full, the beats are hot, the production is nice as hell with a good separation of sounds. Very very liberal but nice reference to the Samus fanfare with your bassline notes from 1:05-1:21. That was an excellent idea for a brief changeup in the action.

The transition to the Item Room portion of the arrangement at 1:54 was sudden, so that may be a negative for some though it didn't bother me. The momentum of the first section easily carried over here, so this section wasn't too uncomfortable, per se. Yeah, just listening this long, I've gotta say good shit on the distorted bassline. Marcus told me it was the 'gangsta bass' from the Motif with some EQing. Very nice sounds, once again.

Interesting sudden use of the strings at 3:00. You get used to them over time. So, while they were jarring initially, I liked how chaotic and somewhat suspenseful they sounded. Marc mentioned that the source melody in the first part was supposed to be subtle, but didn't know if it came off well. On the first listen, it made the track seem reliant on the beats and not the arrangement; of course the later stuff disproves that, but that's just something I initially saw. The chimes handling the Kraid melody were almost too subtle, but worked better around 3:30 when the arpeggiated synth was actually the lead and the other stuff functioned as light embellishment in the background. I would have recommended bringing the levels up on those little chime dealies in the first 2 minutes, but then having them scaled back in the next section like you had at the halfway point.

The only other thing I would have looked into revising myself, but again it's just my subjective opinion, is the section from 4:37-5:09. It dropped the energy level down a bit and was kinda plain compared to what else you had. The break section ending at 5:08 went back into the same beat I heard before, so on that level, the arrangement can get repetitive for some. Luckily though, you brought those hand drums back in, and subsequently changed it up a bit as you faded the beats and percussion work out by 5:45 to move to the finish. Hopefully no one will feel the track went long without having enough development.

The more distorted type sections worked for me. Being that track's called "Dirty Sam", you were going for a rougher vibe for some of the track and I'm feelin' that; no complaints there. I liked the percussion activity in particular, as it always kept things fresh; not a key player in the mix, but something my ear particularly picked up on along with the phatty bassline work. It was a cool idea introing with the ambiance and hand drums, then bringing in the big beats and synth stuff, while for the end, you slowly phased the ambiance, hand drums & big beats out, going for an electro-centric finish. Good contrast of styles for the intro & close.

Overall this was some very nice arrangement that could have used something a bit more engaging for the end. Other than some minor little things there, I liked everything I heard. Great stuff, Marc, and good to see you still in action. Looking forward to more stuff from you, bro.

YES

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ok. so this mix is six minutes long. perhaps four of those minutes are exactly the same.

the 1/8th note pulsing thing gets reeeeally annoying.

but it's inconsequential because really, the mix just doesnt have enough ideas to pass. the title theme repeats...and repeats...and repeats...nearly identically through most of the 6 minute song. it never goes anywhere.

not to say the mix is all bad.

The bassline is funky fresh, and the ELP and strings interlude is excellent.

but in order to pass this thing needs to do more than merely slapping these ideas together, it's gonna need some kind of direction.

NO

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I love how Larry writes an essay, and Vig just writes a few sentences. Personally I fall into Vigilante's camp on this one. Short review is the way to go. ;)

Personally I think this mix has direction enough; it just keeps going in that direction for way too long. Cut this down man; the repetitiveness of the title screen music is killing this piece. There are some great breakdowns with distorted beats and stuff, but a lot of this song is just 'doom, doobadee doom...doom, doobadee doom...' with a gating synth over it.

The string/rhodes stuff ROCKS THE HOUSE. More of that please.

Less doobadeedoom, more stringatystring.

Resubitio~

NO

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I don't know if i'm listening to the same song as these bozos. It's typical Marc Star awesomeness in a much more groove-based, chill package. While the near-entirety of the song is based on a single musical idea, it effectively transmogrifies the entire time, reiterating only the major ideas. Primarily, the 70's cop show vibe sticks out the most as the coolest in the bunch.

This track uses abrupt transition to its advantage, notably at 1:54 when the drop-out keeps the groove-a-shakin, but with a new, spooky vibe. This leads into the midsection that has a darker tone than the rest of the mix. This in turn effectively transitions back into a reiteration of the original chorus. I must comment how great the strings and rhodes sound. The whole thing is VERY chic and portrays a level of sophistication rarely seen on OCR, if anywhere. So it's no secret that I love the production, and the arrangement qualms my fellow judges have - I simply don't agree with.

It's a groove-based track to begin with, and complaints of too much repetition, in my opinion, are exaggerated. While it uses some similar information throughout a lot of the track, it really does make a (successful) attempt at making each section different from one another. The only exception to this is the actual chorus itself, and the fact that both incarnations are identical only helps bring the song tighter together. The mix could have probably been 5:10 instead, but I really think this tune is to be experienced as a long-term experience rather than a quick-shot fix.

Excellent, impressive work once again from a Marc of a Star variety. Please keep making musics forever.

YES

-D

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this track rocked my balls on vgmix last march. its still rockin my balls

the groove on this is infectious. my review on vgmix says most of what i'd say now anyways so here are parts of it:

this is funky. i'm loving the mood and composure that the track uses to exemplify dirty but jazzy barcelona sewers or some other dingy urban metropolis. then it hits those chorus sections where it treats the "hi, i'm samus" theme (yea, i'm not a big metroid nerd and don't know what every theme is from but basically from 1.05 - 1.21 is pure gold) with this funked out yet smooth jazz-reminiscent vibe. pure badassness.

then the spooky stretch around the 2 minute mark adds that novel break in the action and develops into a groove again, the same groove as before but with the all new theme and the introduction of string phrases from about the 3.00 mark to about the 3.15 mark. this is a neat touch because it continues to add the suspense to the track. and then you're brought right back into the main groove. the break around 4.45 is neat and necessary since this track was startnig to suffer from being too repetitive.

dig it.

i do and so should you. this is a YES

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Definitely a mixed bag. One thing that annoyed me right off the bat was the right-panned pulse synth. I'm sure it's not so bad on speakers, but on headphones, it's very annoying - sounds like it's almost clipping, in fact, maybe because of all the resonance. Please ditch that. Anyway, it picks up once the drums come in, which are REALLY groovy - reminiscent of tefnek's drumlines, except with more of a house feel. The rhodes/string parts do also kick a lot of ass, as DS mentioned, and I'd love to see more of them. I don't know why there is so much repetition of the groove, though. At least throw in some variations of the synthlines or put some rhodes/string stuff in the background rather than just repeat the pulse/drums/bass over and over. Transition to item room is pretty abrupt too - smoothing that out with a reverse cymbal or a breakdown would help. During the rest of the item room section, I would, again, prefer more interesting stuff than just repetition of similar drum/synth lines.

A few more positives: the production values, such as the synth design, electro-drum breaks, and automated processing are all outstanding. A lot of what you have now doesn't need to be changed, timbre-wise, except for the pulse (but that might just be me).

The arrangement really sort of just burns out at the end. Why? There are some truly excellent parts earlier on, such as the processing breakdowns and the 70s style rhodes/strings sections, but in the end, it doesn't even go anywhere. At least a repetition of that combo pattern you used several times would have done. This is pretty cool stuff that I would like to see slightly reworked, polished, and tweaked. The main issues: excessive repetition of the simplistic passages (rather than the interesting ones at least), the right-panned pulse, the unfulfilling ending.

NO - resubmit!

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I had reservations about this mix and thought it should be panel bound on the prior discussion of this, for the very same reasons Vigilante mentioned.

The pulsing synth sounds mono and panned hard right. This pulsing I found very annoying to listen to on headphones. You have something very strong going on in the right, and some in the center, while the left is totally vacant.

6 minutes of repetition for me could have been done without. I think this should have been a 3-4 minute mix without getting too repetitive.

Still, there's a lot to like in this mix, and I'd have no problems if it passed. I'm quite torn on this, but the repetition and the way the poor mixing was handled in the instance of the very annoying pulsing synth leads me to a borderline NO. I suggest mixers listen to their mixes on both headphones and speakers before submitting.

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The pulsing synth on the right would probably do some kind of sucking thing to your eardrums on headphones (which might be uncomfortable!)

The production is absolutely crisp, these motif sounds are solid. The vibe is excellent, however subjective that might sound!

I thought that overall this was more groove based than anything, and it does get a little repetitive towards the end; perhaps if the mix was shorter it would have had more of an impact.

However, with those wicked rhodes chords sections, and the way this was put together, I just gotta say

YES

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That pulsating synth in the intro does get annoying, and close to distortion too.

Four minutes through, I was still impressed by the arrangement. The repetition until that point was negligible, and everything was a go. Past that, the gated synth and recycled beat manage to keep the mix on life support for two MORE minutes. That was unnecessary and detracted from the experience; this really should have ended at the four minute mark. Aside from that, this manages to be an enjoyable groove-based arrangement of repetitious source material, which MarcStar has proven able to achieve.

YES

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I see rampant stupidity hath festered among the Judges in my absence!

This mix is quite delectable, a joyous child sired from the electronica future and the 70's funkadelics. Truly, we have a entered a golden age of the trans-genre mix!

As much as I loathe repitition, this mix exempt because in each phrase, some new (however minor) element is being added. Beyond that, the repeats are so rich in texture and concept that they are a joy to re-listen to.

YES

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