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Sam Ascher-Weiss

OCR01425 - *YES* Sonic the Hedgehog 3 'Aquatic Pressure' *RESUB*

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Original Decision: http://www.ocremix.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=60842

new version

There you go!

This is the full revised version. I hope you all like it! =D

I can't really see how I could improve it more so I hope this is passeble. However, if there's anything you notice that may be a certain reason for NOing this PM me.

You can post this version on the Judges Pannel aaaand... I can only star hoping now =)

Thanks again Shnab, you've been a great help in the improvment of this song.

Cheers!

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http://www.zophar.net/gym/SK+SONIC3.RAR - 07 "Hydrocity Zone 2"

The lead was somewhat tepid introing in, but I'll willing to see where things go with that lead pad along with some nice belltones (:06) and hand percussion (:10) creeping in. The drums at :21 are kind of plain and loopy here, and for some reason the strings are panned pretty strongly towards the right channel with nothing to fill out the left, plus the string samples are a bit exposed.

Alright, :43 got things going with the supporting beats from Hydrocity Zone much like I remember from last time, the first real usage of the source. I could tell I wasn't gonna like the brass sample again thank to it's first appearance at 1:05, but the performance on it was handled alright. No glaring performance issues there with me and things were arranged around a little bit.

There's just something plain and flat with the drumwork from 1:10-1:31 that makes me feel as if it doesn't drive quite the track along; less plain patterns and more good fills like the one you were using could spice things up. I also noticed that the some of the higher frequencies didn't play much of a factor here; boosting those up a bit could sharpen things up and give it some shine, which the whole track is lacking, as it sounded noticeably dull in my headphones. More panning and separation is likely needed to get this sounding as good as it could.

2:01-2:16 finally reached the source tune's pretty conservatively handled chorus as most of the elements dropped out, but then went back to the freestyle original material until 2:31. Good job making the lead elements much more prominent in this resub. Before, the drumwork had all of the presence but you scaled that back appropriately.

2:31 brought the melody back in with some arrangement that was relatively conservative but changes some of the notes around a bit. I do like the new support instrumentation and ideas going on with the bassline and strings to try to accentuate the melodic material.

The Hydrocity chorus was basically taken verbatim at 3:04 then doubled from 3:19-3:34, though the whole track was too loud and cluttered during that whole section, so please clean it up. Decent original stuff until 3:49 as well.

The tempo was changed at 3:49 with some lounge-style keyboard and effects going on, and I liked how the phrasing of the melody was changed a bit, especially compared to the rejected version. The electro effects sounded totally out of place after 3:57, drowning out the melody and making the timing seem awkward. Those effects hurt the abrupt tempo change at 4:09, which did help arrange the source tune again in yet another instrumentation variation.

Had another original section at 4:25-4:39 with some hand drum action that felt a little too loud, but was a worthwhile addition overall. 4:29 had more verbatim melodic usage, but the backing elements were good. Meh, not a fan of the beats returning at 5:07 whatsoever; switch it up. The synth brass was pretty fakey the whole way through, which was disappointing, because I think it could have sounded better. Hate the last drum and cymbal shot ending. The cymbal fades too quickly, and that kind of close is just tacky to begin with. It's not worse than the gunshot ending, but it's still not any good. I'd just say let it fade out or maybe warp the sounds a bit as you fade.

Now that the beatwork got scaled back a bit, the arrangement more prominent like it should be. I respect how you used the baseline of the original as the foundation of the track and then at least changed up the support instrumentation of the track during the melodically verbatim sections. The meat of the composition didn't change from the last time around, but you get props for making some detailed but notable improvements.

If the sound of the drumkit could be improved, I'd love to hear other Js weigh in on that. Plus I think the track needs to sound a bit sharper. Especially in lieu of some of the sounds/samples not being icy hot, if there were no hangups in the mixing and production that would make a YES a lot easier. Dunno if people will criticize the length. I'll admit that this sometimes sounded like it lacked direction, but to me it didn't drag on the way a lot of these 5:30-7 minute subs have tended to do lately.

Overall, I'm really borderline on this one, Caio, but gotta go with the NO and push for one last go at revisions (please). I think the arrangement was conservative on the surface, but showed itself to be pretty creative. The arrangement was still weaker last time, but I didn't give it enough credit the last time around.

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Man, this is REALLY enjoyable, but there are enough technical issues to keep it back.

First off, i didn't notice it until I put on my headphones, but most of this tune is clipping pretty bad.

I like some of the instrumentation choices, and there's a pretty solid ratio of original/new material. The new sections are highly motivic and comprised of mostly rhythmic jams. It's refreshing to hear an arranger confident enough to not reinvent the wheel on every breakdown.

It's pretty interesting throughout, and the synthwork is of a generally high quality, although some of the more...organic elements need some work. Please modify the volume or modulation on your strings a little bit! They sound like robot strings, and not funky-happnin' robot.

In general, a bit more dynamicism wouldn't hurt, although there is a pretty solid effort at it already. The cutoff ending is not acceptable.

Overall, there's a pretty commendable effort on making this your own. There are however, major technical issues to be resolved before I give this one the go ahead.

NO

Give it one more shot, I think it's almost there.

-D

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Yeah buddy, fun stuff. In spite of the near verbatim melody usage of some sections, the arrangement maintains a creative edge with a fresh drum track, a good number of breakdowns and plenty of instrument variations. Six minutes is pushing it a bit but the later sections bring some fresh ideas to the table which helps in this regard. The jazzy grooves from 3:50-4:38, for example, are a great break in the drum action. However, they’re a little lifeless imo. The chromatic lead after 4:10 sounds very ‘sequenced’ and the flute is in need of some modulation, breath noises or something along those lines to give it some character. The subtle snare is repetitive and doesn’t contribute much as well. Although I like the contrast that the sparseness of this section provides, you might try a ride cymbal to bring some high frequency action and additional groove into the picture.

I’ve got few problems with the first 4 mins; some truly pimp stuff is pulled off in that time. The break at 1:53 is especially nice. I understand Larry’s drumset concerns but I honestly wouldn’t change it much. I like the thick dirty snare, dull hi-hat and solid kick combo that you have. If anything, some of the hi-hat work could be made a little sharper with some EQ and some of the lows from the snare and kick could be subdued to give the kit a cleaner sound.

I really don’t find anything objectionable enough to NO this mix except for the clipping. It’s especially bad when that thick drumset is pounding away. Yep, so fix that and while you’re at it, implement some of the suggestions that we’ve given, give us a real ending and you’ll be good to go.

NO (Please Resubmit)

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The website hosting this file seems to be unable to properly provide the download. If anyone has it, please host it on the FTP so someone can close this out with a final vote.

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Well I really like this. I think RTF has done an excellent job with bringing originality to the Hydrocity theme without sacrificing what makes the original so great. I love the percussion; it does what good percussion should do: it interacts with the other elements in the song.

The arrangement is constantly changing, I love the section at 4:08. SOOOO chill; the bassline is perfect.

Some of the samples and sequencing in this piece are raw and mechanical, but I think that adds to the piece's charm. There's no pretense at reality here; this is raw, synthy breakbeat stuff through and through, with more than enough variation.

A bit long, but nothing that kills the mix.

I give it a wholehearted YES!

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my gripes with this are:

1) slight clipping

2) ending cymbal crash should be complete.

but these are 2 very simple things that can be fixed through the remixer without asking for another resubmit.

and in this case, i'm not going to ask for another resubmit.

i wanted to reject this but i'm hearing a bit too much effort in this one to toss it out at this point.

this remix belongs in a time where every keyboard player owned a korg m1 and a minimoog,

this has an 80s synth sound that you'd expect to hear on tv either as a themesong or a commercial background.

it's not a sound i'm particularly fond of, but it's one that feels reminiscent.

while it's entirely possible this wasn't what the remixer was going for, i connect with this at that level.

either way, this guy had a lot of fun with the hydrocity zone music, and here he is sharing it with us.

yes

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this has an 80s synth sound that you'd expect to hear on tv either as a themesong or a commercial background.

It strongly reminds me of Janet Jackson's "Pleasure Principle" actually!

I liked the first version but felt that it didn't significantly feature the source and it never settled into a groove without providing enough action to draw attention away from the inconsistency.

Both problems are more than solved. The melody is in there all over the place, and where the action originally became subdued, it now continues to build until we're finally ready for the break at 3:50.

YeS

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Those pads at the beginning are very nice, I'm not getting the strange panning Larry mentioned. It all fits together pretty well. The drums filter in nicely, but then once we get a clear beat going, I'm not too fond of the set chosen. Such heavy drums don't really sound like they fit with the general sound of the mix. The bass used in the mix sounds all right. However, on the initial listen through, the mix sounds like it has a slight room reverberance over it, which is giving everything a very strange background echo at times, and a general feeling of flooding over the instruments. It's especially doing this to the bass-synth for me, which just doesn't work out too well.

The brass instruments used over the top of the mix do sound fake, however they're utilised well enough through the mix. The lead-synth used sounds dry and would probably benefit from adding some effects.

To be frank, on the general level this mix just sounds too loud to me, and as a result it sounds like it's missing out on the opportunity to build itself up to a more complete level. In a lot of sections, we're left with just drums, a basic bassline and fake brass/dry synth playing. Later in the mix we get some very basic monotonous pads which come in to back up the mix, but this does very little for the overall sound. If the general levels of the mix were dropped down a little, there's a lot more room for development of the theme, and for work on the general cohesion of the piece.

As for the arrangement. The style of the remix is very similar to the style of the original. Stretching a source material that's only 53 seconds long into a roughly 6-minute mix is no easy task, and you've done an admirable job in stretching out the arrangement here. While the cohesion of the piece isn't too crash hot, the way you've arranged the leads. The break at 3:50 was pretty cool, though the sample quality of the rhodes aren't too crash hot, the sound is nice.

In my opinion, this needs a fair bit more work. The mix needs to be mastered much better, the quality of the instruments needs to be given a look at, whether they're replaced with better quality instruments or just mixed better (some clever mixing and effects-handling can cover up even the most basic free soundfonts.) Just work on making this mix feel more cohesive and pleasant to listen to, really. The arrangement is all right, it just needs that solid sound to give it that extra nudge over the line.

NO (Please Resubmit)

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Did anyone else notice lots of default Reason drumloops here? I thought that was sort of disappointing.. I mean I don't even use Reason and I can still hear all the presets being used.

The rest of the sounds are good, minus the brass, which other people have pointed out as well - pretty creative synthwork, and the overall mixing/mastering seems solid to me. However, a higher VBR encoding wouldn't have hurt, as it makes it seem like the mix is lacking in brightness (when it was probably there initially). Despite all the Reason percussion being used, there were some nice variations and slicings in there that made them more interesting to listen to, so props there. One little production nitpick that I heard was that when you had the dual layer percussion in the middle it sounded like there was slight phasing on some of the drums, and the kicks were almost causing clipping. This created a sort of weird effect that I'm not sure you wanted.

3:49 felt a little weak in its sparseness and lack of the same interesting/layered sounds you brought in before. The lofi percussion and the flute felt particularly exposed when they came in too. I thought perhaps as a transition section, it was a little too long. Considering the length of the mix and very abrupt ending (just completely cuts off!) I think you could have cut down on this section, and probably some of the repetition from the earlier parts, and worked on a stronger resolution.

Arrangement seemed very good overall, with an intelligent structure that I only had a few problems with (see above). So while I think this mix could have used some tightening in a few places and a bit more polish, the overall strength of the production and rearrangement makes it passable in my book.

YES

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This is creative and very enjoyable, but I'd like some of these production issues fixed. The only issues I have really are the ones analoq cited. Can we get the mixer to resubmit it and fix the clipping and that wonky cut off ending?

NO until those issues are fixed. Everything else is nice.

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I'm in the Darkesword camp with this one. There are new ideas constantly being thrown around, evolved, permuted, experimented. The technical issues seem rather petty when scaled against this piece's more lustrous qualities.

YES

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I agree with Gray and analoq on the two major issues. If the ReMixer is unable or unwilling to resubmit, I''ll vote, but I'd prefer we hold out for an answer. Those two things being addressed would largely remove my hesitation in approving this mix.

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I'm at 2 minutes, and so far i've heard close to zero arrangement. the drums(loop?) are holding up this track. the B section a bit after 2 minutes is pretty cool, but then back it goes. Try to hear this song without the drums. it would be really really weak. It sounds weak as it is to me.

4 minutes, the ELP with the LFO makes some really sketchy note choices. sounds akward to me. the whole song sounds this way to me. a lot of the supporting instruments just seem to be there to take up space, there's little thought or care in what notes and rhythms they actually play. 4:40, the organ plays a major when everything else plays a minor. there are all kids of little sloppy mistakes like this.

sloppy overall

NO

feel pretty strongly about this one.

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This is creative and very enjoyable, but I'd like some of these production issues fixed. The only issues I have really are the ones analoq cited. Can we get the mixer to resubmit it and fix the clipping and that wonky cut off ending?

NO until those issues are fixed. Everything else is nice.

Now that these issues are fixed, as promised my vote switches to yes.

This mix really grew on me. I gotta say, I think it's fantastic. This is probably one of the more interesting arrangements I've heard in a while. I like the creativity, I like the instrumentation, the synths.

My one little production gripe is I wish there was a bit more reverb to create a sense of spacing. Everything seemed a bit upfront and lacking in dimension for my taste.

I like the style, the sound this is going for, and it's executed wonderfully. Fun, sophisticated and enjoyable work. Great use of Reason software to boot. Definite YES

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