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djpretzel

OCR01347 - *YES* Ghosts'n Goblins 'Wanka Factory'

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I know it's "Wonka," not "Wanka."

This is a Ghouls and Ghosts remix. Compy Fox mastered it for me so it fills up a bit more of the stereo field and is comparable in volume to most OC ReMixes, he compressed my drums before I did the postproduction but the arrangement itself is not a collaboration; I arranged the piece and Compy engineered it. So, many thanks to him.

http://www.studio-compyfox.de/guestartist/shael_riley/Ghosts'N_Goblins_Wanka_Factory_OC_ReMix.txt

And just in case, juuust just in case someone doesn't like Compy's master but would pass the song otherwise, I have my own master here.

It's a little bit less compressed towards the middle frequencies. I still used Compy's compression settings, but this is the stereo output WAV before I sent it to him:

-Shael

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http://www.zophar.net/nsf/ghst_gob.zip - Track 2

Just to clarify on the source tune & game, this ain't Ghouls 'n Ghosts or the C64 version of Ghosts'n Goblins. Cool string & electrosynth intro. Was really impressed with the synth layering going on here from :09-:29 as two electrosynths handled the source tune melody, with the background synth being extremely creative and interpretively arranged. I thought the percussion could have sounded a bit thicker and more settled into the rest of the track, but the snapping drum shots were good. The bassline also could have been fuller but was also very nicely sequenced. Loving the belltone type stuff in there as well. Nice texture overall.

Nice work into :40 with the source's chorus being rearranged. I felt the strings could have been a bit louder, but they didn't sound as realistic as possible, so it was better not to expose them. Nonetheless, the string breakdown at 1:19 followed by another iteration of the source melody at 1:30 were fairly strong. Felt there could have been a bit more separation there to bring the strings out, but they sounded alright.

Nice minimalist, belltone-centered section from 1:50-2:09. Shael made a good move keeping the Willy Wonka samples at a reasonable volume level so that they accentuated the track without overshadowing the instrumentation. The belltone arrangement was very intelligently handled as well. The snare work from 1:50-2:29 changed up the feel of the percussion but was relatively dry and could have used a bit more varied activity - certainly had its pros and cons. Nice bassline solo area working in tandem with the SFX from 2:10-2:29. The background was a bit dry, but there were some nice scratching effects there that helped fill out the soundfield a bit and briefly add another dimension to that section.

I was glad to offer commentary and criticism to Shael on the piece way back. Never thought this would have actually seen the light of day, but Shael really put the effort into making the arrangement quality. After convincing him not to keep drumloops that would have limited the potential of the mix, he expanding his horizons a bit by fashioning his own drumwork instead of relying on any loops to do the job for him. The SFX usage could be thought of as gimmicky by some, but I felt it was tasteful here, well mixed and apropo to the concept of the track.

In terms of compositionally reworking the source material, this was very strong & spirited rearrangement. The instrumentation & arrangement were capably varied up; no uncreative retreading or looping to be found. Some of the sounds, particularly the percussion & strings should have sounded richer, but they weren't used poorly at all in my opinion, and the end result was really strong. Roland's mastering work certainly helped on the presentation side. May not have any niggagigasamples or Miroslav strings, but this was substance with style.

YES

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May not have any niggagigasamples or Miroslav strings, but this was substance with style.

According to him this used Reason, which is more than enough to produce professional mixes, not to mention also some of the highest quality mixes up here at OCR. Not sure why this was brought up? It's like putting down a $60,000 BMW because there's a $100,000 Jaguar available. If anything, this is a slight indictment of the shortcomings of this mix; in that it doesn't use Reason to a level it's capable of (at least as far as the sound quality/production of this aspect).

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You've obviously never driven both cars before!

In all seriousness, whatever the mix's shortcomings, indict away. Feel free to give Shael and/or Roland some tips on effects and processing to use Reason more optimally, because you're right Gray in that I thought some sound aspects could have been improved. Nonetheless, the arrangement & also the production were pretty solid taking all aspects of creation into account. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna drive off in my Jaguar now...

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You've obviously never driven both cars before!

In all seriousness, whatever the mix's shortcomings, indict away. Feel free to give Shael and/or Roland some tips on effects and processing to use Reason more optimally, because you're right Gray in that I thought some sound aspects could have been improved. Nonetheless, the arrangement & also the production were pretty solid taking all aspects of creation into account. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna drive off in my Jaguar now...

Yeah I agree it's a neat mix in many respects, I'll touch on some of the trouble spots for me when I vote soon.

Also, Paige graciously provided a link to the Jaguar you used to pick her up recently. 8O

ugly_amx1.jpg

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Tough call. I've heard a lot of revisions of this, and though it's gotten better each time, some of my complaints still stand. The major thing that I'm not fond of here are the drums. I just was not feeling a constant 'groove' even though there was a lot of variation in the drumlines. Most of the other elements of the song (synths, pads, bass) flowed well and fell into a defined rhythm, but the timbre and sequencing of the drums just didn't seem to fit the rest of the mix.

However, there are a lot of strong points here. Very interesting uses of effects and soundclips, for instance, and the layering of the different instruments changes rather than repeating again and again (which, given the simplicity of the original, could have easily happened). The overall production is solid, and the arrangement is certainly strong.

While there are some things that could be better here, there are enough positive aspects to outweigh the nitpicks I have.

YES

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Loving the way that all sorts of different drum sounds were used here. The mastering really helps things sound tight, and while I agree that the strings and other instruments could have been utilised a little better, I'm feeling a groove here, so it all works for me. The texture changes add to this very-interesting-to-listen-to mix.

YES

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This is incredibly tough, I'm very borderline. This is a big improvement over the WIP versions.

As before with the wips, I still think the synths don't sound as good as it should. Honestly the synths sound like stock FL and the samples sound like generic free samples. I do like the bell synth though (and the composition of that instrument).

The arrangement didn't do much for me. It had a lot of good ideas, but I'm not sure it necessarily did something memorable, complex, original or have the hooks it should *especially for this style of music*. Which isn't to say there weren't good ideas here. I also felt the string writing was a bit weak and mechanical sounding. Another little issue is problem with the string writing and attack/decay during the faster sections, like at 1:32. This was a problem with the WIP versions as I remember mentioning it to you. But it's still there in one or two instances. A minor issue I suppose.

I'm not a fan of the vocal fx, I know it goes with the motif you're trying to do. But for me it sounds gimmicky.

Drum writing is pretty good, but in terms of sound quality I thought they sounded kinda limp and dull in color. It needs more punch with compression/EQ.

Production is a mixed bag. I think given your tools, the sample quality, usage and synth design sounds pretty basic. More fx processing (outside the vocal phrases), and automation would really help. The mastering by compyfox really helps makes this better. He did a good job in that regard.

Some nice ideas, but I don't feel it's there yet. Sorry, Borderline NO.

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Shael has directly solicited me to pass this. He has offered sexual favors and wealth beyond my wildest dreams.

YES

But seriously, folks - this mix is chock full of phat beetz, curiously unique improv, and some questionable voice sample usage.

I completely disagree with gray on the percussion, it feels real beefy to me and pushes the mix along nicely. It's not propellerheads or prodigy, but it definitely does good enough to pass. The separate pieces are mixed so that no individual piece gets tiresome by the end. There's even some nice subtle, rhythmic improv by several different timbres, which helps the rhythm seem more like it is its own living beast than a straight drumtrack. It's refreshing to hear a varied percussion track. Nice work.

The synths are also varied and intelligently layered, with a pretty standard synth bass topped with chimes, warbly, and whistley synths. These are combined with some real decent string orchestration. Samples aren't too bad either.

The whole thing is mixed well, rearranged to a point that shows originality and skill with production.

There's not much else to ask for in an OC ReMix. Welcome back, Shael.

-D

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I love that lightly-distorted snare. 8)

The synths in this piece have a nice balance; they lock together quite nicely. You would think that with all the stuff going on stuff would sound messy, but it doesn't.

Oh man Gene Wilder; wtf awesome. XD

Yeah this piece is totally groovy. Nice production, nice beats, nice package. Good stuff.

YES!

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