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Kingdom Hearts "Hikari" Piano cover


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I like the arrangement it's simply yet evocative. The sound quality is not crazy good. But really good solo piano performances either involve really expensive microphones or really expensive samples.

Some feedback to maybe improve on the track. Focus on dynamics and subtle tempo changes. Use them to help enhance the emotional response of the track. Here's a perfect example:

http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01159/

or

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This arrangement is very heavily based on the orchestral version of the song. The recording I linked is also entirely tracked, as I don't have access to a piano or full-size keyboard for recording. I made this arrangement back in 2004-2005, and have gradually tweaked it over the years. I'm glad you like the arrangement, as that's the important thing for me. Sound quality and mixing are my weaknesses, and I've been working on that some lately. I'm hoping soon that I'll be able to work up a true recording, which should help with the dynamics.

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  • 1 month later...

As a pianist and a Kingdom Hearts fan...

1) The intro and much of the piece feels insanely heavy, what with a lot of chords on the lower register...... Broken chords/arpeggiations to the rescue please!

2) Did you ever let go of the damper pedal at all????? -__-

3) 1:49 picked up the piece quite a bit. The chords got largely better.

4) On the subject of chords...... Your chords at the beginning of the melody, after the intro (Donna toki datte...) sounded off. There were chords in later parts which actually did sound off too.

5) 2:29: Melody and bass line in consecutive octaves........ Really big no-no.

6) There wasn't much dynamic variation; the notes stayed at the same loudness. In the original, the verses (Shizuka ni........) are softer, and then they build up. You might want to actually take a leaf from the original book and see what you can pick up from there.

:| Overall.... it really needs work.

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Yeah there's no dynamics, you never let go of the pedal, and the sound quality isn't very high. If you just fixed these things up I bet this would sound quite nice, since the arrangement isn't bad. By the way, what are you doing to produce this song? If it were me, I would use a plugin like FL Keys and then play the song with a MIDI keyboard.

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so much good potential here, especially with this particular source. this is a really good arrangement already. in my opinion the main things holding this back is

1) too much use of the sustain pedal (it makes some of the juicy chords get lost and become under appreciated since it's all pretty much heavily blended together). add some more short parts, maybe even a few staccato parts for some emphasis on the change in dynamics and note length. this is entirely up to you to play around with, but i'd say that the only parts that need the sustain pedal are 0:07-0:14, 0:18-0:22, 0:32-0:40, 0:48-0:52 (it would even be nice to do a subtle, gradual crescendo roll thingy right here, i don't know the the technical term for it), 0:52-1:14, 1:20-1:26, 1:32-1:39, 1:42-1:53 (definitely increase the sustain slowly over this period because it'll produce a nice growing effect with the fanfare/march kind of feel to this part), 2:05-2:27, 2:30-2:40 (same as last time, allow the sustain to slowly grow), 2:44-3:01, and of course 3:16 to the end.

in my humble opinion, everywhere else would sound immensely better without the sustain and it would bring out the rhythmic emphasis much more.

2) "humanizing." i personally think this is a pain to do with point-and-clicking because having a pianist play/interpret pieces like this seems much easier (to me, at least), but i think FL and some other DAWs have a "Strumming" or "roll" feature or something along that name which allows some of the chords to sound like they're being played slightly individually rather than simultaneously like a robot (ex., compare 0:54 to the strum thing around 1:37). you don't have to roll everything, because that's just unrealistic, but some of the triplet parts during the march around 1:43 sound waaaay too precise and it would make the arrangement sound a bit more fluid and organic if you add slight "humanization."

you could probably add a bit of EQ-ing to clear the sound up a bit, but i like the current sound of your piano, i just think that sustain is covering up much of the good parts in this mix. if you'd like you can send me the MIDI file and i could humanize it a bit for your own comparison.

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  • 1 month later...

I greatly appreciate all the feedback thus far. It sounds like my best bet is to work up my piano chops and just do a full recording of it. In the meantime, I'll continue working on my tracking to take these critiques into account. A lot of the things mentioned I think will fix things I wasn't happy with, but couldn't really put my finger on what was wrong with it.

Many thanks!

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I like it. :D Lovely arrangement! I think playing it naturally would make it sound INCREDIBLY good. Like, seriously, any dynamic change with natural expression, and natural offsets of notes and durations would make it sound absolutely brilliant. If you gave me sheet music for it I could probably record myself playing it for because it doesn't sound too hard.

Anyway, keep up the brilliant work! :D It's nice to see another Kingdom Hearts pianist.

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