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djpretzel

OCR01381 - *YES* Final Fantasy 10 'Journey's End'

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Not familiar with the source material - anyone? -djp

New remix yo.

I've been working on this thing since like October '04. I originally intended to submit it just an instrumental piece, but just as I was finishing up, pixietricks's name popped up on the OCR front page. So I sent her an email and here we are.

Gray Edit: For my part I added some more compositional, instrumental and percussive elements as subtle backing tracks to help fill some of the sparseness. I then redid the mixing and mastering - made the mix a bit more dynamic but also made the entire mix a bit louder. I also agreed with larry on the vocals, so I brought them more forward and as loud as I felt was feasible in this context.

In the likely event of botched-up ID3 tags, hither be ye olde track info.

Remix Title: Journey's End

ReMixers: sephfire, pixietricks, graylightning

Game: Final Fantasy X

Source Material: "People of the North Pole" (mp3 link below)

http://www.sephfire.com/music/gagazet.mp3

Original Composer: Masashi Hamauzu

Year: 2005

Remixers' URL: http://www.sephfire.com

Jill had some comments on the vocals (and the lyrics she wrote):

"The lyrics, inspired by the love story between Tidus and Yuna, take the form of a sort of call and response. As Yuna reflects on their journey and the disappearance of her lover, a reassuring voice emerges from the fog."

The tide's come in

But I can't go on again

I feel a voice within fading

I need your touch

Why does it hurt so much?

I've never known such loneliness

The world is right

But I'm so alone this night

I can't find the light; guide me

Chorus:

Take heart

I'm by your side

Though we're apart

I have not died

I think that be it. As always, thanks much and keep up the good work. ^^

Daniel (sephfire)

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honestly, while her voice is beautiful, this track should have remained an instrumental with her voice more fittingly used as ambience rather than lyrically. the sections when she is singing nonlyrically are fantastic and really does bring out the melody of the track... giving it a lot more body

on top of that... you have to either bring her voice out more if the error is on the production end or she needs to sing the words more clearly because they seem flat in the mix - this is something i had encountered working with my dear helen (destiny) ... at times, being so adept at singing atmospherically can be a drawback. just simply not sharp enough. beautiful but not sharp enough - the choruses are lost to me, entirely

that said, the arrangement is good. i'm honestly in awe at how soothing this is. i love the drums despite them not being particularly impressive but they work so well with the pads and the delayed lead you got going. excellent work on the music, friend.

her voice is fantastic... i recently heard some of her work at the chrono compendium and was impressed but this just isn't her most shining moment by any stretch.

i do feel that my qualms with the vocals are entirely individual and more or less inconsistent with how i'd personally have produced them. given that, this is quite fantastic and awesome work.

definite YES

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http://www.tzone.org/~llin/psf/packs2/FFX_psf2.rar - 405 "People of the Far North"

The opening piano sounds too synthetic and unnatural and just doesn't work in this context. Vary up the velocities and add the human touch to it. The production is awfully mediocre and lo-fi for some reason. The percussion is flat, and Jill's voice sounds poorly recorded and lacks clarity. During the busier sections, her voice needs to be brought up in volume.

On top of that, I felt the arrangement was way too liberal and doesn't sound a thing like "People of the Far North". Dan & Jill both make good work, but the mixing needs to be reworked from the ground up. As for the arrangement itself, I dunno if anyone else will agree with me after listening to the source, but I can't pass the arrangement in its current form. I'd certainly give it another shot if it was resubmitted.

NO (resubmit)

EDIT: Arrangement not an issue, plus the production has been subtantially overhauled by Gray. The revised vote's at the bottom.

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HELL YEAH!!!

I happen to know the source for this very very well and I can tell you that there is plenty of coverage of it in this mix. The original only had two melodies both of which were very short and both of which appear here and have been brilliantly adjusted to fit this HOT 6/4 groove. The cool thing about that is Hamauzu loves this type of 6/4 stuff... the kind that doesn't rely on that West Side story hemiola bull excrement. The vocals are mixed low making the lyrics less understandable but also allowing them to play a more ambient role as Zyko suggested they should.

I have no problems with this mix and I have to reiterate that I love the hell out of that 6/4 groove. More people need to use that!!

YES

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I also am quite familiar with the source, and agree that it is used quite well. It is SO Hard to include vocals in an OCRemix without sounding cheesy or contrived. It's not a real big deal to me that they're mixed relatively low, I agree that it aids the ethereal feel. I don't even care what they're saying. The lyrics are not Robert Plant, but they avoid painful cliche enough to be enjoyable. I'm VERY happy that the arrangement is so open ended, like they're weaving in and out of the original, seamlessly.

I can't think of a better way to do this percussion. It's groovy, but never overbearing. This could have easily been overdone. the restraint makes me shiver with delight! It leaves plenty of room in the soundfield, and fortunately, it's filled up by other, interesting elements. The production is generally pretty solid - every frequency range has a star player. The high end could use some reinforcement, but that's nitpicking and could alter the intended feel of the tune. It's not rock-solid compressed, but that's not a big deal. It does wonders for the dynamicism of the mix that it isn't slammed into a distressor and put on "nuke". The tingly percussion, the bell trees and assorted "far-off-ness" gives the track a very palpable texture. I disagree that the lack of velocity switches on the piano is necessarily a bad thing, I think it reinforces the distant, detached feeling in that particular section. Along with the stutter fx, this mix does well to combine robotic and cold motifs with more organic, flowing passages.

I could extol the virtues of this one for a while. I'll stop now.

YES

-D

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Too many production problems in this for me to pass, as is a NO. There's a lo-fi sound going on throughout, due to over EQ which helps create that problem as well as clear degradation in the mp3 encoding; a combo that doesn't sit well with me. In addition, the result is there's too much air lost in my opinion. Dan correctly noted this aspect. Also several peaks are problematic here and hit near the red zone and would clip with.

Arrangement, execution and pixie's vocals are all great in my book. No issues for me there other than I wish the composition and pads were a bit thicker. Clearly one has to balance certain atmosphere with sparseness to allow for breathing room. Sephire has a lot of reverb and delays here that need room to get the intended effect. Busying up the mix would cloud those tails and delays.

With those production issues fixed, it's a yes from me.

I gave sephfire my thoughts and advice on the mix and/or offered to help in the mixing and mastering front this. He's taken me up on the offer. More to come soon.

Edit: Now that I'm part of the collaboration team, I'm not voting and feel free to ignore my previous comments, if need be.

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Being around my old roommates and their FF love I’ve become pretty familiar with the source through osmosis. That being said, I’ve got no problems with the arrangement. At times the combo of the entrancing vocals, the modified time signature and the slick percussion overshadows the theme and allows me to forget that I’m listening to a remix, but honestly I feel it is well incorporated throughout.

The reverb drenched synths create a flowing backdrop for the vocals and percussion which drive things along quite nicely. The production is high quality, and in the end there’s nothing in the newest version that warrants a NO, however there are some issues that concern me. While Jill’s vocals are beautiful, they are mixed a little loud and high for my tastes. This produces some sharp S’s and T’s (0:43, 0:47, 1:56, 1:59,…) that I feel sometimes make for a harsh listen and at points don’t mesh with the flowing pads and soft piano. There is also a mid-heavy feel to the vocals that is especially present in the sections with lyrics as opposed to the ambient oohs and ahhs, which are very hot and fit well. In the end, as zyko said, some of my problems come down to me projecting how I would have mixed things in this mix. All-in-all the vocals here are a wonderfully effective carrier of the haunting melody.

Great collab.

YES

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Still opposed to this one on an arrangement level, because I really don't recognize the source being used in anything but a very liberal sense here, but I'm willing not to push for extra votes as long as no one else agrees with the arrangement being too liberal.

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Still opposed to this one on an arrangement level, because I really don't recognize the source being used in anything but a very liberal sense here, but I'm willing not to push for extra votes as long as no one else agrees with the arrangement being too liberal.

Hamauzu is mentioned in my profile and I know this song very very well.... if I could somehow show you on a piece of manuscript paper how the source is being used I would, but the problem is you don't exist outside of the internet and manuscript paper doesn't work on the internet. Please trust me! The reason you're having trouble hearing the source is because it was changed to 6/4. Keep that in mind and you might find it easier to make out.

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Still opposed to this one on an arrangement level, because I really don't recognize the source being used in anything but a very liberal sense here, but I'm willing not to push for extra votes as long as no one else agrees with the arrangement being too liberal.

Hamauzu is mentioned in my profile and I know this song very very well.... if I could somehow show you on a piece of manuscript paper how the source is being used I would, but the problem is you don't exist outside of the internet and manuscript paper doesn't work on the internet. Please trust me! The reason you're having trouble hearing the source is because it was changed to 6/4. Keep that in mind and you might find it easier to make out.

Oh not even the 6/4, I just didn't recognize the sections after the first being taken from the source tune. Here's me listening to the source tune again and my train of thought talking to Gray while he was busy tweaking some stuff:

<Liontamer> yeesh

<Liontamer> I'm fucking deaf

<Liontamer> why'd I vote NO on arrangement

<Liontamer> has the fucking string chorus right there

<Liontamer> yeesh

<Liontamer> Jesus, how embarrasing

<Liontamer> chorus comes in like around 1:20 in the original

Mea-culpa, I'M DEAF NOW! Have a hot size-29 YES. With the arrangement issue out of the way, it's time to re-review the main issue of the production quality, going by the version Gray touched up.

The production was a LOT better on this go. Sorry but the previous version was mixed poorly; just sludgy last time and Jill sounded very obscured. I agreed with Harmony that Jill vocals sounded good except for when the pronounciations of S's and CH's got sharp. Kinda pierced the ears there, but like Gray said the most practical solution to touching that up would be outright recording things, and even that's not very practical.

Overall though, Gray really hooked it up on that front, so while I still think it's a bit rough around the edges, this was really given a lot more polish. Dan's instrumentation sounded a lot clearer and cleaner while still retaining a very ethereal atmosphere, certainly accentuated by Jill vocal delivery as well. Vocals didn't blend well when they were left pretty much alone from 3:57-4:09; made them sound like they were recorded on a subpar mic. Nonetheless, pixie's harmonizations were spot on and I hope I hear something in the future like "Prayer" where the recording quality isn't an issue. Keep 'em coming, Dan & Jill, solo or collab!

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This produces some sharp S’s and T’s (0:43, 0:47, 1:56, 1:59,…) that I feel sometimes make for a harsh listen and at points don’t mesh with the flowing pads and soft piano.

Fair enough. I guess on some monitoring systems (headphones, speakers, monitors, etc) this might be portrayed in a different manner. I have re-eq'd, changed my deesser settings a bit and have done some volume automation on the specific T and S parts to try and balance things out a bit more. New version sent to djp...

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