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DragonAvenger

OCR02630 - *YES* Zero Wing 'For Great Justice' *RESUB*

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Original Joojment: http://ocremix.org/forums/showthread.php?t=33858

I thought I had resubbed this already on May 16th, but I had sent the link the wrong way and it wasn't received -- i blame myself.

Write-up:

The idea for this mix started pretty huge, as it was originally going to be a medley of all of the songs. Right now it's only 3 songs (2 if you count the intro as 1 song) and is clocking in at almost 5 minutes, so a full medley probably wouldn't fit on an OCR post. I knew that I wanted to write the non-Engrish version of the introductory dialogue, so I wrote out a little script and asked Brushfire and Level 99 if they would be up for doing the voice acting. They did it, and I'm very thankful for that. They made about a 9 minute recording that was pretty much a mini-episode of OCAD and I chopped about 30 seconds of dialogue for the song from that.

They did a few variations of each part. You can hear the opening voice almost goes into a laugh at the end, because Level 99 found that performance to be "over the top". Brushfire commented that is sounded like Snake. Naturally, I slapped a cloner on there and pitch shifted it down a bit to maximize on that. There's a lot of instances where I chose the performance that they probably would have considered too silly, but it came out very well and I threw a couple jokes in there as well. There was a ridiculous amount of sound effects and dialogue in there. Here's a few fun facts:

- The wilhelm scream appears twice, signifying the death of Level 99 and then Brushfire

- The second explosion is combined with a jaguar growl, a tribute to the movie MacGruber where I had heard that

- There's a ton of sound effects from Star Trek throughout the opening.

- During the second source, there's a truck backing up sound, a conveyor belt, and an electric garage door engine. This is supposed to recreate the "move zig" portion of the original game intro.

- The 8-bit sounding explosions at the beginning were recorded by me personally from Zero Wing's sound test.

I'd like to give a big special thanks to Level99 and Brushfire for the dialogue for the opening. I'd also like to thank OA for giving very specific details of which levels to fix on the mix before resubbing this. :P I'd like to thank the audience who listens to this and firefighters everywhere. Without you, there'd be a heckuva lot of fires.

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Stevo and David for the 2011 Imison award!

The track is improved overall, with the timing sounding much more solid. The compression could be a little less, but the changes made are enough that I'm fine passing this one. The arrangement definitely is strong, and the vocal performances are really fun.

Yes

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I'm still hearing a little in the way of timing issues, but they are minor, and I am nitpicking. Aside from that, I'm feeling this one a lot better than last time. Agreed that compression is a bit heavy, but it's also not a dealbreaker.

YES

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Hahaha, these stupid voiceovers definitely added to it.

Once things kicked in at :56, the guitar performance should have been a little tighter and more expressive, but what's here was noticeably strong enough on both of those levels.

I was cool overall with the production of the drums, though the machine gun drums from 1:37-1:51 sounded muddy and overcompressed. The production sounded a bit too lo-fi (not a huge deal), and was heavy on the compression, which was noticeable in how bleh the cymbals sounded during the beefiest sections.

The beeping at 1:51-2:16 during the stage introduction theme just makes you think of a garbage truck backing up, not anything spacey. :lol:

With the stage 1 theme at 2:37, the background sounded empty, and the skimpy drumwork didn't adequately fill things out. Luckily that only lasted until 2:49 when some good guitar chugsfilled that role nicely, followed by some doubled guitars. 3:29-3:41 had the same issue.

I love the arranagement, but I'd honestly say one more production pass at this to reduce the overcompression would be a blessing for this. I could live with this being posted as is, and not make the perfect the enemy of the good, but if Brandon can take another final production stab at this, I think he'd find it holds up a lot better down the line.

YES (borderline)

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I'm not hearing the overcompression as much as everyone else, but I do get the feeling that this could still use a nice coat of polish first.

At 1:52, the beeping sfx really tread on whatever lead instrument you've got going on there (I think it's a synth,) and it just makes things sound awkward. At least do some panning work there so that the two sounds there aren't stepping on each other as much. The organ sound that appears at 2:38 is written a little too low for my tastes, it just doesn't carry the song as a lead IMO.

The drumwork throughout the song wasn't really amazing me, but it's serviceable at least. Your snare sound in particular isn't really very inspiring.

Personally, when you're jamming out to the Introduction theme on guitar, it would be really nice to have a harmonizing part to give that classic theme a bit more of an epic feel. Right now, it's slightly underwhelming to me.

Compound this with the other issues that Larry brought up, and the sloppiness on the instrumentals, and I feel like this isn't quite ready. I may be in the minority but this seems like a really cool arrangement that is brought down by a lot of nitpicky things that aren't a big deal on their own. However, when you add them all together, it does hurt my enjoyment of the track and I don't think it's nearly as strong as it could be.

NO (resubmit!)

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I relistened given Emu's crits, all very valid crits, but I'm fine with what was there. The drums were definitely the weakest point for me, even though the production on them was a bit better than some of Brandon's NO-level stuff. They weren't as exposed here. There's some production/clarity issues; good suggestions on handling the beeping.

The overall strength of the interpretation and reasonable cohesiveness of the performances were good enough, on the seesaw of good vs. bad, to meaningfully outweigh the bad. It could be improved in a number of ways, and I imagine if Brandon continues to improve, he'll look back in 3 to 4 years and be able to distinguish what needs improvement, but what's here was solid enough, IMO.

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The beeping at 1:51-2:16 during the stage introduction theme just makes you think of a garbage truck backing up, not anything spacey.

I read this comment at the exact moment I hit that part in the song, and had to LOL. Garbage truck.

Yeah I fall on the line of solid enough. The compression wasn't bothering me much, but the mixing was more noticeably off. The backing track feels just a bit murky and thin compared to the awesome guitar leads, but not enough to significantly hurt this. I enjoyed it quite a bit, especially the voiceover work, which I don't think is usually this well-integrated in subs we receive. This is fine to go.

YES

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