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Sam Ascher-Weiss

*NO* Super Mario Kart 'Pentagon Path' *RESUB*

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Original Decision: http://www.ocremix.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=51338

Little bit of info about the mix:

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The track is "Rainbow Road" from "Super Mario Kart", an already well-covered piece of music. Most of the inspiration for the mix was given to me from the original track itself - I decided to take the original, and augment its ideas rather than reconstitute them entirely, by keeping the harmony mostly the same, but adding new rhythms, a different time signature (5/4, which is where it gets it's name 'pentagon'), some new sections (giving the track a longer, more song-based structure), and also gave it a bit of a drill/d'nb feel with the percussion. The original had quite a modern jazz feel so I kept that in mind and chose instruments that I felt would be most associable with that, for instance, sax and rhodes, and introduced more electronic synth pads and arpeggiations.

Also of note; this is a resubmission of a track I submitted back in December [was judged through February] where it was a stroke away from a YES. It's still not full audio production, and uses retro sounds, which is for the reason that I'm currently not in posession of anything "better", and I feel it works for the mix's purposes (aforementioned); augmentation of the original material. I've revised things to be a little less 'chaotic', made more panning/volume/mixing adjustments and all that boring stuff!

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Remixer Display Name: B1itz Lunar

Real Name: Dave Harris

E-mail Address: daveharris.lunar@gmail.com

Site: http://lunar.shakal.net/

... and of course, I hope you enjoy it :).

____________________________________________________

This song is amazing! So full of ideas and creativity. I think the 5/4 works just fine. It does have a 4 + 1 feel sometimes but I much prefer that to the all too cliché 3 + 3 + 2 + 2! Also allowing the fifth beat to sometimes feel seperated from the rest of the bar makes the transition into 4/4 into a beautifull release. I'm pretty sure this was intentional on the part of the ReMixer because the 5/4 doesn't always feel disjointed... only when it's being used to build tension.

The retro sound quality works with the vibe of the mix and also was intentional on the part of the mixer. The percussion is constant but it is well respected by the other instruments which keeps it from feeling intrusive. The breakdown at 2:10 is GORGEOUS! The teamwork in the instruments is extra-ordinary... everyone knows their role and they all support eachother.

I understand that some people might find this song annoying. I could imagine that if you put it on while trying to do something else, or if you don't give it your full attention, it could be quite irritating... but I only listen to music in a completely concentrated state so I have no problem with it. That's what this song demands of its listener and for all the wonderfull stuff in here it certainly deserves it!

YeS

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i don't think this decision will turn out much different than the first one,

this version isn't much different aside from some iffy panning.

but, my vote stays the same.

yes

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http://www.snesmusic.org/spcsets/smk.rsn - "Rainbow Road" (smk-12.spc)

:'-(

I've gotta say, I was really disappointed in this resub, cuz I thought it was gonna improve upon the first version and give it that nudge it needed.

The production was a lot duller this time around. The track lacked clarity and the panning/stereo placement was actually more varied the last time around.

And while I realize that other judges thought the CRAZY beats were too over-the-top, scaling them back so much took away all the power in the track. It also left the other samples sounding very thin and exposed. Small example, there's no release on one the synths at 1:50 and again at 3:01. It was covered up decently last time around, but it easily stuck out this time.

Neutering the drums/beats also made the track too empty despite the other activity going on. When you had people criticizing how the sounds were MIDI-grade, I think the last thing you wanna do is make a move where the samples are too exposed. The way the beats layered over the rest of the instrumentation filled out the soundfield and masked many of the weaker sounds. I thought the first version was the hotness but this is nothing but a step back. Sorry bro. Not trying to hold you back, but I can't say YES to this.

NO (resubmit)

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analoq hit the nail on the head, "this version isn't much different." Regardless, I think 7 months have passed and standards have gone up at the very least slightly. I can not in good conscience keep my old vote of borderline yes. This simply has not evolved too much for that to happen. While I still like the ideas represented in this mix, I feel like before, but to a greater degree with the passage of time, this just sounds flatter, less dynamic and even sparser.

Production is average. There's not much going on here to make the samples sound better than they are, and they are average. This could be improved on with more clever and sophisticated production, mixing and mastering techniques. I have no problem with the retro sounds. But better use of reverb, delays and eqing will help this go a long way. Also consider layering your snare with other snares. The one here is really weaksauce.

It's a fun listen as it was before, but I can't find too many things evolved from the previous version conceptually and in execution or enough here for me to give it a yes. Needs more work in the arrangement, execution and production for me to yes with this much time that has passed. It sounds like you spent an hour or less tweaking this for resubmission. Please don't get discouraged, keep at it, because I genuinely want to hear more from you as a resub or new material. But this is a NO as it stands.

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this is chaotic and while very interesting, it sounds like a fish out of water... awkward.

the source material had a distinct groove to it and it was a fabulous one... i'm all for reinterpretation, believe me and the 5/4 is good in a disconcerting way... but you took that beat and cut it up and while that's great, you could have at least done it in a mildly coherent way. the percussion is nerve-racking... i feel like there is somebody jumping around and hitting shit inside my head. there's a difference between flamboyant percussion and excess syncopation - be a bit more discriminant next time.

the breakdown and the ending are probably the track's only saving graces.

sorry but this is just too jarring

NO

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Yeah...my opinion remains the same. there are certainly some interesting things going on, but they are few and far between...the rest just seems like chaos with no purpose. I can certainly respect the complexity of some of the ideas, but it takes a lot to make a song like this work. as it is, i think this song still needs more direction...more of a method to the madness.

still a NO.

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Tough call here but I’m going to have to go NO. Just as a solo piano piece is challenging because of the need to control the musical atmosphere and progression with only one instrument, mixes of this type need to control the dynamics of the piece with one key element: chaos. While there are many examples of this done successfully, in this mix there doesn’t seem to be a decent amount of control of the clutter’s subtle nuances to successfully differentiate complexity from confusion. The result is a piece that’s a lot less exciting than it could have been.

However, this is a fun mix for sure with dynamic percussive elements, sound FX created from instruments, cool wobbly leads and a beautiful supporting chromatic deal that gets pleasantly exposed at 2:09 for the excellent breakdown. The biggest contributor to my vote is the sometimes untamed percussion that doesn’t really seem to lead me anywhere. 1:15-1:38, 3:01-3:17 are examples of it. I’d love to hear this with the percussion reworked as I think a lot could be done with an incorporation of what works here and a few fresh ideas.

Good work Dave. I’ll be keeping this not just because I’m a big Mario Kart fan but also because there really is a lot to enjoy here.

NO

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This piece is really great. Personally I think everything locks together QUITE nicely. Maybe I'm losing my touch, but I'm not hearing this incohesion or dull mixing at all. Everything sits in the mix really well.

The arrangement is superb, and I love the texture. Great sounds all around. Percussion is incredibly detailed and fills up every little empty space with something to listen to. There's just so much going on, but it never loses its way.

YES

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Maybe i'll be criticized for not being "consistent" enough for this, but here goes -

This is a classic example of a ReMixer taking constructive criticism, and coming out on top because of it. I don't have the original submission to compare, but based on my comments on the first submission i'd say there's a commendable improvement here. This is definately engaging and dynamic percussion work. Maybe it's just hitting me differently now, but I think I remember the original being very flat and uninspired. This version is totally full of beans, and is entertaining and interesting throughout.

The samples aren't Willy McGee's Dee-lux Sample BBQ Edition, but thet don't need to be. The wacky synth bass is a lot of fun, none of the leads are annoying - they fit in just right. There's a really nice arrangement here, same as the last time. This one just needed a nudge.

Sir, you've provided a nudge, bump and a skip. Nice Work.

YES

-D

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REALLY REALLY weak as a resubmit. I listened to both versions over and over and really couldn't find any major differences. I think my original critique still stands, that the sounds aren't great, but they are used well. I nonetheless recommend that future resubmits should try to improve on more aspects of the mix than just one.. also, cmon man, get better samples!

YES

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The fate of the galaxy rests with my black ass

YES

now, here's why

I've read, carefully mind you, all the pros and cons of this particular song. When you are relegated as the last judgement for any song, it's really an absolute judgement. Meaning, for all intents and purposes, it's either going on the site, or back into the whirling vortex of musical oblivion.

I am in partial agreement with Vigilante about how the complexity doesn't really serve a purpose within the song. Read another way: the complexity is there for complexity's sake. It doesn't really a well integrated part of the song, and it doesn't particularly have some vital stake in the overall arrangement. It sounds as though our charming remixer decided, "I want this to sound complicated because I like that style", and thus, a remix was born.

But -- the reasons for dismissing this mix do not outweigh the reasons for posting it. There is a consciousness about the complexity, and a decent sense of clarity and spacing. The samples, while not stellar, are serviceable, and when viewed on the whole, remain consistent. There's some nice drum work, a few clever ideas here and there.

I believe this is more worthy for application than it is for dismissal.

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Can someone explain to me how extremely minor changes and what zircon dubbed "REALLY REALLY weak as a resubmit" or analoq's "this version isn't much different aside from some iffy panning." How does this fit with the standards we've required of requesting more than a minor evolution, not to mention this is grossly long after 6, 7 months since! So if this were 9, 12, 14 whatever months later, would the vote remain the same? Don't we expect more? The standards have not changed at all more than half a year later?

Considering the standards issues, close vote and very divided opinion, I'd like DJP to weigh in on this mix. If he thinks its a yes, at least it's another vote in your hats.

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Alright, I've listened to this like a dozen times now, just to be sure. I hear where both of sides are coming from, and seeing as how a majority felt I should still step in on 6/5 votes and "tiebreak" (even when it's technically not a tie), I'm going to do so in this case.

One thing to clear up first - I hear a lot of judges saying "I don't care if you have great samples" or "Arrangement can compensate for the worst samples in the world" or whatever; I appreciate the sentiment & intention, which is to get people focusing on arrangement, but by the same token, production *is* a factor. There's great free stuff out there, and we're not being snobs or elitists to expect that it be utilized. We're an MP3 site and not a MIDI site for a reason. Granted, I know some of you feel strongly that excellent samples shouldn't compensate for lackluster arrangement, and this is DEFINITELY the case... just don't go overboard in the other direction, either: excellent arrangement can't always compensate for lackluster production.

Please keep this in mind.

That being said, I don't think that's really the core issue, here. Production really isn't bad - in fact, some of the ambient effects are rather slick, and the mixing on the whole is clean. What I take issue with more is sound SELECTION, not sound quality; specifically, the oompah synth bass just becomes overly grating after awhile. Also, pitching snares as is done here is initially neat, and very tightly done, but it too becomes both expected and bit grating. What I think this mix has going for it is some very slick programming and a willingness, similar to Shnabubula's in nature, to try some unorthodox & elaborate compositional ideas out. However, there's some repetition of the "chorus"/main melodic motif that drags a bit the second and third time it's done, with minor alterations. When you come up with something this challenging for a listener's palate to appreciate and track (due to rather ornate programming), I think the last thing you wanna do is throw the same passage back at them with only minor changes.

It's close. I could argue either side convincingly, I feel. Ultimately, for me, some of the repetition, the overuse of pitching percussion that usually isn't pitched, and the unfortunate bass chosen combine to form an Achilles' heel that's problematic enough for me to agree with the hesitancy on the parts of the 5 no votes.

Seeing as the remixer has resubbed once, albeit without an amazing amount of overhaul, and has indicated he wants to move on and not revise further, this is unfortunate, because there's clearly some good ideas here. However, that's background context and shouldn't really affect my decision, which is

No.

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