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Chimpazilla

finished Legend of Zelda: "A Stormy Affair" Resub Version!

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OK so who doesn't love "Song of Storms?"

This remix is meant to really impart the feeling of a storm brewing... weather changing almost imperceptibly at first, sense of something coming, sky getting darker, thunder in the distance... rain begins but then fades... then suddenly a crack of lightning and thunder... the storm is in full force! Wind howling, rain driving down, run for cover! But then as quickly as it began, the storm recedes... leaving a sense of calm and the earth refreshed.

Written in 4/4, a new twist on an old favorite!

"First some wind, then some rain......"

A Stormy Affair, resub version updated 3-5-12

A Stormy Affair, original submission (submitted to judges 11-29-11, rejected with suggested resub)

By: Chimpazilla & Anterroir

Comments are requested and appreciated.

Sources:

"Song of Storms"

"Zelda's Lullaby" (bridge) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qPtuOfQbyI

(seriously, if you need to look at these source links, hang your head in shame, what are you doing on THIS forum?) :-)

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I laugh at your new twist. :P

There's good stuff in here, but it also feels very conservative despite the adaptation and the many additions. The first adapted version feel forced, and does so until around 0:31 when the instrumentation changes. While a bright piano certainly has its uses, I don't think the 0:14-0:30 stuff works. It's basically change through addition or subtraction of elements, which tends to feel stiff and lazy. A more creative way to get to the base of the track would do the track a lot of good.

Drums could use some variation, which can be difficult when you're doing a 4 on the floor beat. You could bring in the other layers of percussion earlier (maybe filtered), as that tends to add a sense of momentum in the track. Drop some of them back out in the break and then start bringing them back for the main melody part nearing the end (the big finale or final chorus part or whatever).

From 1:28 and on, the tracks works a lot better. The lead synth gets a little too loud, and the piano could possibly use a little more volume. It does feel a bit same-y when the backing follows the same chord structure and a simple rhythm. Some changes to both of those, at least the former, would do this track a lot of good, especially in conjunction with the old ones. You can do a lot with a chord progression by repeating it with a single chord changes... much like the source does after the first 8 chords (the actual change is on chord 13 and on). To hear what I mean, try a C6/E (E in the bass, GAC as the chord notes) as the fourth chord (so D, Em, F, C6/E). That should give you some idea of what you can do with the chords. Note that when you rewrite chords, you should check to see that they still support the melody - which the A in the chord does (the C and bass E to a lesser extent).

For further variation, especially in the track's sense of momentum, consider changing the rhythm of the bass. The bass is noticeably repetitive, and this hurts the track. You could make it more intense, or less, depending on what you need where. I would suggest keeping what you have as the more intense rhythm and figuring out where the bass could be less intense. This is pacing, and a thought-out, deliberately less intense section can do wonders for later sections that are more intense. Beyond just the rhythm, altering the bass writing can do a lot, too. If the bass plays DGFG instead of DEFE you get a quite different feel. If it makes sense to you to swap it out somewhere, try it out. As long as the bass supports the chords and melody, you shouldn't have a problem.

Can't listen to the production without digging out my headphones, which I'm too lazy to do tonight, but the lack of transitions and the simple rhythm make it sound newby. Whether it's a drum fill or melody (2:10 is doing it right), or some textural fx whoosh fade filter thingy, those things give the listener some idea of what to expect. As for the rhythm, the aforementioned layering of percussion stuff and bass writing edits should help with that.

It's a cool track, but it can be better. A lot of the sound design works really well, and from listening on low volume on speakers, I'd say the production only needs a bit of tweaking (can't say what without listening properly). Compare to similar, well-mixed tracks and you should hear the most obvious differences. Too much/too little lows, too loud/soft hihat, too close/too far backing, etc.. You're doing quite well. Now do better. ;)

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Oh my... wow... *head spinning*

It's going to take me awhile to absorb everything you just said Rozovian... but I wanted to say thank you very, very much for that incredibly detailed and thoughtful critique, and thank you for the words of encouragement (much needed after incredibly detailed and thoughtful critique). All suggestions are excellent.

Whew. We shall see where this goes from here! Thanks again.

Oh, and your SoS is, of course, amazing!

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Thank you for the lengthy review.

I sat down today to rework some parts of song - seems I can help Kristina a little more then just giving her some mixing tips and the solo part. :mrgreen:

So the fire is burning -> the kettle is set up -> something steamy hot is boiling in the kitchen here -> let's wait till the misses serves that up :)!!

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Much better, intro to 0:47 works well, then we get a way too loud instrument coming in, one that doesn't sound quite as good as the rest of the sounds at that point. Careful with the bass, tho, it's got a bit too much lows, making it take up a lot of headroom, at least on the notes it shares with the bass drum.

The iteration of the source at 1:13-1:27 feels a bit redundant, it's a single lap around the original and doesn't do anything interesting. It's also a bit too short to justify fitting it between two breaks like that. Make it matter, make it longer, make something more out of it, or figure out how to best get rid of it.

The guitar sample feels really dry and artificial. There's a few different techniques to giving it a bit more body and life, but I'm not sure which would be most appropriate for what you guys wanna do with it. The piano from 1:38 could be pushed a little further back with some reverb and EQ (losing lows take away some of the proximity effect, and losing highs make things sound muffled and obscured... and reverb make everything sound more distant).

I'm wondering what the stuff at 1:38-2:11 is. It sounds original, but I can imagine it being based on a slow take of Zelda's Lullaby. Still, it could be a little more clearly stated somewhere in the track that there's a second source used.

The new instrument at 2:11 sounds good, but it might be a little too loud. AT 2:28, you've got almost all instruments in the track, it seems. Loop that part while separating the tracks with eq, reverb, and track levels. Don't do anything too drastic, as it's not that big an issue, but it still needs to be done in order for the track to sound a little cleaner. Working on the separation of tracks in a place like that lets you hear how it'll sound at the messiest part of the track. When it's passable, the other parts shouldn't be messy at all (and might even need some beefing up somewhere - new track with new settings or use automation for that).

Using the 147* note timing in the 2:11 take on the melody works the best imo, so consider alluding to this later usage in earlier takes on the melody, as those 135s* can sound a bit stiff.

* whatever you wanna call it. notes at position 1, position 4, and position 7, repeat after 8. 135 respectively.

Changing the bass before the piano chord changes make for an interesting, syncopated feel, tho you should _generally_ try to support the chords with the bass and/or the other way around. Just a thought.

I'd say some comparison listens should do the mixing and sound design some good, and then it's just some minor arrangement edits and a volume boost before this track is ready. Not sure I'd be ok with this being an ocremix, tho there's certainly parts of it that would fit in just fine. I'd have to think about that and come back with fresh ears, but I do think it has a shot at it, given the right edits.

Nice work. :D

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All issues have been addressed and hopefully remedied. Some new subtle melodies have been added, and some nice effects. Zelda's Lullaby should now be more clear during the bridge as well. We love it... what do you guys think?

We would love a few more opinions, then it's a bump to mod review, after that it's off to submit for judging! :grin:

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-> another chime in for support :smile:

----

and to get a little ot:

I personally come from Cubase and always looked at Fruity Loops with a little *awkward* smile on my face. But after having to grapple with it for helping Kristina with this remix I'm somewhat amazed by it.

Sure - it still is an unorganized cluttered mashup -> in terms of patterns, step sequencing, piano roll; shoving instruments and wave forms into that step sequencer panel and the try to combine that in the playlist feature. The mixer with it's chaotic relative routing (in terms of oversight and a quick look what goes on where) makes it really hard to go through projects you didn't start yourself. You really have to behave yourself, label everything accurately or in the end you will drown in your own mess here.

But the big BUT:

I would instantly kill for that automation/envelopes handling. Thats just pure magic. The handlers, that little tension point thing, curve types .... copy and paste the whole clip, drag it, drop it, move it, cut it. It's so freaking easy and comfortable. Cubase still sucks donkey balls here. And we're pledging Steinberg since version Sx1 for the ability to move automation with events. (VST 5 could do that before) They just pretend play dead in that area.

So - Fruity - you are a fine DAW. You Don't need to hide behind your brothers even with your sometimes messy hair and unusual clothings. If someone knows how to dance - you're the ideal partner.

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Transition from 3/4 to 4/4 now bothers me, and the whole thing begins a bit abruptly. Humanizing the piano and solving the transition somehow would let it begin smoother. There's some other places where some piano humanization would improve the track, like around 2:10. Also, in keeping with the vinyl noise in the intro, more of that might help cement that the intro is just an intro, as well as distract a bit from the mechanical sequencing. I'd start with the piano and probably also add some soft old record player noise to the intro, but that's me.

That the lead goes so high towards the end creates a bit of a problem. The backing tracks get quite high in the frequency range to cover it better and keep the whole thing balanced, which imo doesn't sound right. Having a more melodic mid-range backing would help, and softening the lead could smoothen it out a bit more. Then there's the classic methods of doing some eq separation. The current backing still has a problem with repetition. It's nice and detailed, but it still feels like it's written over a loop. Breaking up the rhythms a bit with fills and syncopation (in appropriate doses and places) would help cure that.

Having two breaks so close to one another around the middle of the track really breaks the structure of the track. The more upbeat part in between them (1:13) would either need to be more substantial and longer, or mellowed down to their level, making it a single, longer break instead. Then again, that's the Rozo way of doing things, which gets stale and predictable after a few remixes. ;)

Nice and detailed, varied and interpretive... it has a lot going for it, but I'm not sure I'd YES it if I was on the panel. There's something intangible and mystical missing, and if I knew what I'd have a lot more remixes posted myself. You could try running it by one of the judges and see what they think, or you could put this on mod review and get a workshop mod to have a look. :)

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"A Stormy Affair" is ready for an official moderator review!

We have made every effort to address all the arrangement and production issues that Rozovian has been kind enough to address. Some of the suggested revisions have not been made as it comes down to a matter of individual taste. David and I are very pleased with this song!

Thank you Rozovian for spending so much time and effort helping us with this song. Your words of advice have pushed the song, and the artists, to the next level.

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Slick arrangement. I love the intro with the vintage piano processing (iZotope Vinyl?). This is a really good take on the source, and I feel that it has a good chance of passing. Seeing as you've already sub'd it, dunno how much good my crits are now but I'll give them anyway.

Only real crit is the arpy synth at :45 sounds bland and generic (in general it doesn't fit). Next time, or if it gets rejected, try it with a bell synth and added a phaser to it. It gets better when it becomes more processed as the song goes on.

The melody could have been used a bit more to tie in the source and make some of the emptier sections feel fuller, such as the last section of the song before the piano comes back in.

The song could have also been expanded to really grow and explore other arrangements of the theme. More piano usage and interplay between piano and synth would have been a neat concept to have used to fancy up the melody line. Just an idea!

Transitions are good, production is good with room for improvement. No qualms with instrument mixing, did a good job there.

Best of luck with this!

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Thanks so much Stevo! Those are great comments, and great ideas. At this point we will wait for the judges comments, and if we need to revise it we will take your suggestions into consideration. Thanks for the kind words and your vote of confidence! :)

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Hello fellow ReMixers!

A Stormy Affair, resub version as of 3-5-12

by Chimpazilla & Anterroir

David and I submitted this song to the judges in November, and the good news is that it seems they liked it! The bad news is that they found fault with it! But the crits were totally valid, and David and I have been working diligently to improve the song.

The judges' primary criticism was that the entire first half of the song was devoid of lead writing. Shame on us, how could we have overlooked that? So we have added some very cool new lead writing, with some new and unique takes on the storm theme.

The judges' secondary criticism was our static "auto-pilot" drumming. Yup, busted! So we've varied the patterns and added quite a bit more groove.

We also removed one of the two breaks that occurred in the first half of the song, making it kick along at a better pace. Rozo, I believe you were the one who disliked the two breaks. Good suggestion!

The judges also mentioned that the song was a bit bass-heavy, and this too has been addressed and corrected.

So now it's time for more criticism, or better yet... praise! Is it resub-worthy, yet? Thanks in advance for helping us finalize this!

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Yo.

Okay so I like this, it gets progressively better.

My problem is there are a few weak parts that would make me as a listener, not want to wait for the song to open up, as it really does.

1:10's transition is weak. It's lower in volume, so I suppose it's kind of a cool down section, but IMO it doesn't really give the listener a real chance to breathe before your cool bridge.

Upon listening to it some more, I don't think the arpeggiating synth there should be the forefront. Really lower the volume of that, is my suggestion, and maybe slowly fade in some synth choir chords instead. Maybe get a real stereo/soft/reverby instrument to accompany the choir, let it hint at the melody, or build in rhythm, hell maybe even add a couple other zelda nods if you can... Something that gets out of the repetition. You need a cool/soft build until your bridge that adds emphasis to when it drops. The point is, with a cool-down, even if it's not a big deal, you want to get the listener to feel comfortable w/ what is next to come. That whole section until 1:40 just needs another approach, because it is just kinda bland.

Another problem I have I think is: :36, which is earlier and very similar... It's just way too subdued in the wrong way.

The gated subtle synths are really nice, but I think maybe the gates are not necessary yet. Maybe keep them flat until :45. Same with the arpeggiating synth, it's way too exposed... Those elements are just too synth 1 for me, relying on old hat tricks that may not be necessary until your beat drops or main sections. I feel that again, since it's kind of a weak/building section into your main, it takes away from the song overall. You wanna establish a mood, that really brings out what things are to come. Up until :56, the main lead coming in isn't anticipated, so it loses its strength. Be more deliberate in your build. It's hard to talk about actual writing, but be mindful of CONTRAST as a tool that can help the following sections stand out more.

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Hey MB, thanks for the thoughtful crit! Those are all excellent points, and great ideas. Gonna play around with them and see what we come up with. (hhhmmm choir, I LOVE choir!) (and more Zelda nods, how bad could that be?!) :-D

Skinner, glad you like the song. Maybe we will allow downloads when it is finished, as clearly it isn't, yet!

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<insert everything Monobrow said> :)

I think you could benefit a lot from some high-end percussion as well. I can hear the very soft high hat and very soft crashes here and there but nothing really interesting.

Even if the high hat kept doing what it's doing but was a bit louder, that'd work.

Throw in some reverse cymbals to transition into a new section with a nice crash at the end and it can do wonders for you.

As it is, the whole song seems to lack some of the higher treble frequencies imo. Adding that higher end percussion would help with that.

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Thanks, Darangen. You raise a great point. Will look into that. Working on the Monobrow issues right now. The next version should be quite nice!

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