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*NO* SaGa Frontier 'Solitude Absolute' *RESUB*

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LT Edit: Original Decision - http://www.ocremix.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=48031

Contact Info:

Damon Campbell (Blue Magic)

E-mail: bluemagic1984@bellsouth.net


ReMix Info:

This mix is from the SaGa Frontier soundtrack. I believe the original title was "Alone" (Biolab theme).

You can find my mix on my web page. The link is up above.

I worked on this one a long time ago (it was like my secon mix) but you guys didn't like it very much. So, I made some badly need improvements and now I believe this version is a winner. I hope you all feel the same way too.

Peace out and enjoy.

-Blue Magic-

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http://www.tzone.org/~llin/psf/packs2/SaGa_Frontier_psf.rar - 216 "Alone"

The intro was a little thin-sounding, but the samples are used decently. The percussion coming in at :36 doesn't mesh well with what you have in my opinion, but it's ok. The guitar melody at 1:09 sounded very mechanical, which was one of the larger drawbacks here. Over time, the structure of the percussion drags on as well. Think of ways to change not just the patterns, but the overall feel in order to keep the piece fresh.

Just as I said that, you changed it up at 2:49, which was good, but the track could use the change a lot earlier on. Also, the new snare pattern there until 3:22 was really plain and needs to be spiced up. The arrangement was still conservative, but much more creative as a more straightforward genre transposition than your previous take on "Alone."

There was never really any significant change in the feel of the track, which was an important issue for me. This is pretty good downbeat material, much like "Moon Dust" but needs a little more work to keep the track engaging throughout the 4 minutes. Repeating myself from earlier, change the feel up with some more changes in the instrumentation or different effects.

Nonetheless, with a bit more work this could be your third posted mix, and I'd love to see this worked on further. I'd appreciate any other Js to give specifics on how this could be brought to that next level, especially because I felt the production was a bit dull-sounding as well. Nice work so far, Damon, I sincerely hope you don't drop this one.

NO (resubmit)

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This is one of my favorite themes (there's only one or two that aren't crap) from Saga Frontier.

I think this is a much improved resubmission. I like this a lot more. Some of my gripes from my original vote are still here though. I think overall you took this mix up several notches, but the arrangement is still a bit conservative.

Also as someone who does this kind of music a lot, I have to point out one major issue here. There is nothing that drives this mix. A mix of this nature needs something to drive it with either percussion or rhythm or a powerful atmosphere. I'd like to see more pads with some fx processing here. I think this mix needs more reverb and delays too outside some of the percussion and string pizz.

What is key here though for me is some form of evolution, either in the rhythm or instrumentation. That is an important element I'd like you to try to focus on.

The highlight for me here was your ornamentation of the piece with the heavily reverbed string pizz, particularly in the opening section it was very beautifully done. I also really liked the distorted guitar sustains with the bends. They added a nice texture to the piece.

I'd like to see you continue this mix as it's very very promising and could end up as my favorite of yours. Fix up the issues cited and especially please expande your arrangement some more. Very promising, but it's not there yet.


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I’m stuck on two significant problems with this piece: the percussion and the mechanical leads. Other than that, the backing strings are solid, the bass is simple yet holds its own, and with the already decent arrangement, this has the potential to be pretty cool.

As Larry mentions, the acoustic kit doesn’t mesh well with the atmosphere created by the other instruments. I would be in the market for something with a richer kick, a softer snare and a ride with much more presence. I have no idea why it was created this way, but the Ken Ardency kit uses a very GM-ish ride and its use here isn’t giving the full effect that I think you were after. The drum sequencing is also rather static. Alternate the closed hi-hat and ride velocities loud-soft-loud-soft to take some of the metronome feel away. In general, watch out for long stretches where the velocities are too similar on any instrument. You might also try adding some triplets or possibly 32nd notes during the fills to liven things up.

The leads are also in need of humanization. With such a potentially moving mix you don’t want to roboticize it with solos like the guitar at 2:00-2:24, or the piano from 0:36-0:52, 3:23-3:40. It really comes down to good old fashioned practice but it’s well worth it when you hear your pieces like this sounding more and more human, more and more realistic. There are some pretty good tips on humanization in the remixing forum if you haven’t checked it out already.

Good stuff. Keep working at it.


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I am in agreement with harmony's suggestions of adding 32nd note [maybe 16th note depeding on your BPM] or triplet fills, and avoiding constant velocities on your closed hats. As gray suggested, the drums have the potential to be the source of foward motion in this piece, so you might as well give them some more magic to invigorate them. Try new emphasis patterns like having a snare/stick on the "and of 3" every bar for a section or two. Go for more off-beats instead of the constant 1 and 3 bit you have at the moment. While you're at it, how bout more movement in the bass sometimes. Just like the drums, the bass has the option of emphasising those off-beats. Right now it's locking in with all the other folks on 1 and 3.

At 1:11 the piaannoo first plays the repeated note end of bar tag. This is good! There is a game of catch being played by the piano and guitar. You could try reversing these roles at times having the piano begin a bar and the guitar swoop in with a repeated note or some other non-distracting melodic action to segue into the next bar. Finally, alter the chord progression every once in a while to get some more of that interpretation going on here. This piece runs out of steam quickly and is lacking a driving force. The bass and drums have MONSTER potential to make this happen as do the other instruments by hightening their already strong interplay. Throw in a less conservative arrangement for the kill and you'll be ALL SET!


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