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djpretzel

OCR01428 - *YES* Legend of Zelda 3 & Golden Sun 'A Rose for Zelda'

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http://www.snesmusic.org/spcsets/loz3.rsn - "Princess Zelda's Rescue" (loz3-22.spc)

Harmonic simplification is usually a bad idea if you're not going to ADD some other significant element to compensate. You completely eliminated the G diminished chord [that's relative to your key. Bb Diminished in the original]. The fact that this is the most complex chord in the original progression makes me think yours was not a stylistic choice. If it was, then there would have been more significant alterations. Instead we have a situation where the one complicated chord has been replaced while everything else is basically intact.

The first part of the arrangement has one guitar playing the melody, another doubling it an octave above often out of sync, a third guitar playing a never ending 3 note line, a fourth guitar playing a repetitive also frequently out of sync strumming pattern and a fifth guitar playing bass notes. This is all lazy arranging. Each part is given a very specific linear function to perform and it does so OVER AND OVER without the slightest bit of variation. The rhythmic sloppyness of the playing actually helps to cover this up a little.

During the next section with the distortion effects, the 3 note pattern keeps going in its endless cycle while the distorted lead with just enough vibrato to make it sound off-tune plays a barely audible version of the melody along with a left panned guitar that would be easier to make out if not for the centered one. At 3:00 the left panned guitar abandons the centered super-vibrato one and then a whole family of heavily reverbed guitars joins it in the same part of the frequency spectrum. Gradually the original sloppy strum pattern fades its way back in. Next is the first section PLUS a few additives that don't do much to help things but don't damage them either and provide a decent amount of variation.

You took out the most interesting chord from the original, gave each part a single ever repeating role that they almost never deviate from and don't necessarily compliment each other [e.g. the strum pattern was outlining the chords and the 3 note line wasn't providing any notes that weren't already in those chords or the melody] leading into distorted lines with tons of vibrato that can hardly be made out thanks to all of the other parts surrounding them. HOWEVER the vibe here works great. That peaceful sensation wonderfully complimented by the ocean sound effects. Unfortunately that's not enough to make this passable.

n0

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Certainly wondering how zyko, Vig, Harmony, and analoq would receive this. I liked the intro here. Shna disagrees, but I don't see what was so bad about "simplifying" the theme here. I heard some male vox humming the theme VERY lightly in the first section. Not sure why that wasn't played around with more to fill things out somewhere within the song. The layering of the guitars was pretty good here during the intro. Production is a bit rough at :35, when the melody picked up and things were kind of cluttered until 1:04. Possibly too much low end. In any case, there were three or four guitars going on at once, and I liked the atmosphere. It worked very well. Nice lil' strumming going on at 1:19 in the back.

New section at 1:33 repeating the same melody but going for a more gentile feel and using the piano. Good stuff transitioning into the more tense/tortured electric guitar at 2:02 though it's really subdued and doesn't really convey that sense of anguish well. It needs to be louder, especially since you made the supporting elements so quiet as well. You should have amped things up, IMO. The bassline was decent, but also not much of a factor as well. Punch that up and make it more prominent to give that ghostly/ethereal section a bit more direction. Things plodded along around 2:33 as you kept running with this section being so quiet. There's a melody, and it may simply be the style, but the melody and countermelody bleed into each other so much that it becomes a mush of sound and loses direction.

2:45 at least brought back some strumming in there and gradually increased the intensity, though the idea was getting plodding because everything. By 2:59, I would have figured how to transition out of that idea, since it was lasting too long, again IMO. Seems like you gotta cut the fat, or add something more to the picture to give that section more direction. You used an SFX sample of a girl right at the beginning. Perhaps the tasteful addition of additional SFX of a girl could fill things out and play up that tenser section. I was leaning on YES until I really honed in on those spots.

Decent, but somewhat awkward move back to the acoustic guitar at 3:36, as the fade-out/fade-in combo didn't really mesh well. The last section is again a little spotty on the production as a lot of sounds are mushing together from 3:50 until the close. YES or NO, Harmony might have some tips there in case he agrees on that point. Shna was right in that the performance of the various guitars not synching up actually does manage to cover up some of the repetition. I thought the melody was straightforward, but Phil nonetheless provided an evolving texture the whole way through, so I don't think the general approach to the mix should be criticized. I'd like to see some of the issues looked at, but this was very promising. Hearing some of Phil's earlier work hitting the panel, his sequencing and work with synths/samples needs a lot of work, so this mix did a better job focusing on his biggest strengths.

NO (resubmit)

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This is definitely a creative mix that certainly brings some interesting ideas to the table. The overall style reminds me strongly of Vigilante's work, particularly "MayFortuneSmileUponYou, but there are plenty of things that make this mix unique as well.

I thought that the arrangement was excellent. The original was very simplistic in its melody and progression, and in my opinion, somewhat boring and predictable. This track is clearly a remix of that source in that the melody and some of the fundamental rhythms are the same, but the changes to harmony and progression, as well as the addition of LOTS of new material makes it a great rearrangement. What I especially liked was the new progressions and chords added towards the middle of the song, which fit perfectly with the feel and composition of the source tune. 2:03 and beyond REALLY makes this mix, with the combination of acoustic, electric, and heavily processed material.

Structurally, while it is on the minimal side, the creative guitar processing and ambient pads/electric guitar parts that are added later on make it dynamic. The mix between the washy, ambient stuff and the acoustic strumming is superb. It's very difficult to pull off that kind of thing without the song sounding muddy and completely washed out, so major props there. In fact, I had no problem with any of the production elements here. The initial wave sounds were a bit lofi (sounded like 8bit 22khz or something low like that) but otherwise, recording, playing, mixing, processing.. all great.

Overall I think this is a very creative and well-executed mix that is a LOT more engaging than most guitar mixes we get. Fantastic job!

YES

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My goodness I enjoy this mix. Excellent work Phil. The theme is stripped to its bare essentials, melted and swirled into ambient magic (certainly reminiscent of Vig classics as Zircon mentioned), then brought back from the climax to a simple serene resolution. Needless to say that the arrangement is more than passable in my book.

Compositionally, I understand the claims that this is repetitive. The simple recurring strumming patterns and melodies team up with the waltz-time and limited number of instruments to make for a very static feel at times. There’s a lot going on though that makes up for compositional simplicity. The performance is absolutely nailed in the sense that the off-tempo strumming and picking add complexity rather than clutter, human variety rather than human mistakes. This is especially true in the acoustic sections. A small exception comes during the resolution (3:50-ish) where the guitars get somewhat muddled. I’m going to blame this on the light faster strumming. Way too much pick/string noise is picked up in the recording which clutters up the scene. It’s a common problem when you’re playing softly on an acoustic/electric with a piezo pickup, which typically gives pretty poor dynamics for quieter strumming. If this is the problem then how do you fix it? Mic your guitar. It’s not a big deal though.

Also adding to the compositional complexity is the rich guitar layering and subtle SFX that fill this piece out. The ocean SFX and the piano at 1:33 are wonderful. I’d love a higher quality ocean sample but I know how difficult that can be to find. I think that the hand percussion should be punched up a bit. It’s a potentially endless source of variety and accentuation that I don’t feel is being used as effectively as possible.

I agree with Sam that the return of the strumming patterns at 2:45 and 3:14 are lazily done. A slower fade in or possibly a fade from heavy to light reverb would work a lot more smoothly. The distorted section is generally well done though.

Great stuff Phil and I’ve really got no significant problems with this. Parts remind me of the CSNY song “Guinevere” with its 3 part guitar harmonies and minimalist composition. That’s a compliment indeed. This mix has got development, it’s got arrangement, it’s got good sound quality and it’s got my vote.

YES

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I think this is great. I love how the piece slowly evolves; the ocean samples are so appropriate, because this piece really has an ebb and flow to it. It's relaxing, and while the source has been simplified, it's got a lot of nice subtle textural things going on. I really like the distorted section; it sounds very deep.

Production is clean enough, arrangement is nice, I say YES.

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The way this mix starts is so gentle. The ocean sounds, the giggle in the background, and the panning of the melody and rhythm guitar all fits together nicely. The mix builds in and out of the heavy sections, breaking into softer areas until it eventually builds into it's main section at 2:00. I'm not sure what's used for the background here to give it that clear distorted sound, but it works well.

The original theme was a basic piece, which didn't really leave a lot open for reinterpretation from what I could imagine. What we have here is in my opinion a remarkable work of arrangement. It doesn't just stick to the original theme over and over, but rather builds around it with subtle changes and work on the acoustic guitar to give it it's own unique sound.

While some parts are sloppy, they come together nicely over all. There's enough work on the theme here to convince me that this is worthy of a spot on OCR.

YES

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Larry suggested we invite Suzumebachi for a guest vote:

This song gets the Suzumebachi Seal of Approval. A very solid arrangement put forth by the layering of guitars, guitars, and more guitars. The song hardly sounds like the original, except that the main melody is still very prominent and easily recognizable. Intricate harmonies play off each other, creating life in the song. These harmonies along with interesting chord usage and subtle processing convey said melody with prejudice. Also guitars. The recording quality here is nice, with some exemplary usage of panning. Some string pads and subtle percussion are used in places to help fill out the spectrum. The break in the middle comes in at the perfect time to stamp out the repetition a bit, as well as adding a whole new emotional layer. And there are guitars. I must give props to Tepid for being unafraid of showing emotion in his music, which there is plenty of in this song here. Plus… there’s guitars. Tepid is totally The Guy (I wanna be The Guy too). YES

also: omg guitar bias.

I really enjoyed this. The source material was short and basic, but this mix really captures the spirit of the original, yet takes it into new uncharted territory at the same time. The vibe and the texture of the mix is wonderful and like a rose, as it goes on the mix continues to bloom. The section especially at around the 2 minute mark was wonderful as the textures continued to evolve and expand. Enjoyed this a lot. Good arrangement and good production makes it a YES. I do have one gripe, that cheap zelda sound fx ending. I thought it was really out of place.

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Golden Sun Anthology OSV - 81 "The Elemental Stars"

I just contacted Phil about what Golden Sun material was referenced in this mix, since the VGMix description had that game listed alongside Zelda 3. I didn't remember that until recently and wanted to verify there would be 0 issues with the usage. It's the same source tune used in EgM's latest ReMix "Sol Sanctum Guitar", and Phil pointed out that he briefly referenced material from 1:00 of the original there. Everything checks out, so we're good to go. Congratulations on the debut, Phil!

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