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Colaresmusic

mod-review '!' Metal Gear Medley Orchestration

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Edit: Okay, changing this to Mod Review. I think I've got the timing right, right? Just want to hear some feedback, even though Dj Mokram already said my piece is a little too conservative for OC (which might be true). What I really want to know is if I'm on the right track here. I'm pretty satisfied by the result, but I really want to get some professional opinions. That's it. Thank you very much!

"Hello there, guys! I'm new around here and was wondering if I could get some comments on an orchestration I made with some Metal Gear tunes! I used mostly orchestral sample libraries within kontakt on Cubase. It's a medley tying up together 'Operation N313', 'Theme of Tara' and 'Red Alert' from Metal Gear on MSX2. Always wanted to hear those chiptunes orchestrated, so I did it myself :-D

Almost a month work, so I would appreciate some serious thoughts by Metal Gear fans like me or anyone who can contribute with a nice critique. So here's the link:

I want to submit this piece to OC, you think it would be accepted? Or do I need to change anything?"

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Hello there fellow real Metal Gear fan (you know, not the usual MGS2-only type).

This reminds me I gotta get around to remix some MG2 - Solid Snake someday.

This is a very nice and comprehensive piece you've created here. :nicework:

Instruments are convincing and full sounding. Afaict, the orchestration is believable.

You've really captured the essence of the original MG, much in the way the songs from the MG 20th anniversary album did.

Personally I've enjoyed your take on those classic themes a whole lot, the arrangement side of things at least.

While I think it may sound a little conservative/medley-ish for OCR, I'll let the mods/judges decide on what's what.

Now, my main gripe is that the production is way too muddy and overpowering a lot of the time.

Problem is, I cannot say if it's due entirely to Youtube compression or if it's in the actual mix itself.

What would really help would be if you uploaded an mp3 version on like tindeck or soundcloud if you got one.

As it stands, the production (or how the mix appears to sound on YT) is gonna be the biggest roadblock on your way to OCR's front page.

Btw, make sure you add the links to the sources in your first post, if you ever want workshop mods to review your song. ;)

I'll keep an eye on this thread. Good luck with this awesome orchestral piece. :)

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I'm glad you like it, Mokram! I think I tackled a rather underground soundtrack with this remix, cause I never really get a lot of feedback. This game is not that old, is it? I mean, it was released in 87, and also as bonus content in MGS3!

I know what you mean, I think I overexagerated the ambiance and that's what's making it so muddy. I'm still getting around with the whole realistic ambience stuff so I might have messed up there. By overpowering you mean it's too loud? Maybe it's a bit overcompressed too. I tried to convey the stealthy action at the beginning of the piece and keep growing tension until Red Alert enters with full power.

I've got the piece on soundcloud too, but I don't know if it will sound a lot different. At least you can hear it in .wav format:

Soundcloud

Oh, and I included the source in the original post. Thanks for the advice!

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Wow, no feedback at all (apart from Mokram! Thanks a lot man!). Maybe this is in fact, too conservative for OC :-|, but no problem. Anyone knows when it should be a good time to change this to Mod review?

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Okay, changing this to Mod Review. I think I've got the timing right, right? Just want to hear some feedback, even though Dj Mokram already said my piece is a little too conservative for OC (which might be true). What I really want to know is if I'm on the right track here. I'm pretty satisfied by the result, but I really want to get some professional opinions. That's it. Thank you very much!

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*Not a mod or judge, but I can give some constructive advice*

There are some ducking issues(resulting from compression probably) and I think the section starting at 00:53(Before the percusion and everything else kicks in) should be on different instruments, just sounds kind of odd/out of place for this particular song, why not try some more brass or another instrument instead of Oboes/bassons(?).

It needs a proper ending instead of a copoutfadeout also I think. And perhaps a little more variation at the end since you've already established by that point to the listener enough of the source to be recognizeable.

And production issues aside I think this is GREAT. There is more to arrangement than just changing everything so it's not conservative IMO. Song structure and the feeling of the original when it comes to pieces like this need to be preserved when arranged. Plus this is NOT 1:1 either, since it's adapted for orchestra , hence it's an arrangement, because if it was a straight 1:! cover then there would only be a small few instruments playing. It may be 1:1 in song structure, but definitely NOT in instrumentation and arrangement.

I am a HUGE HUGE Metal Gear Fan and I very much loved this.

I would just ease up on any compression you are doing

(srsly, orchestral pieces in generally do not need it. My recommendation is to take all tracks;unless you have sends , in that case it will take a little more tweaking; and drag them down -10dB,then render that file down to a .Wav and import that into a new project for mastering. And do any make up gain at that stage)

Do a tiny bit of tweaking to the sequencing so it doesn't sound overtly robotic

(Hint: In real life no one can play everything 100% accurate spot on, so lots of tiny little variations in performance sound realistic),

Do some EQ'ing to the low end as well as it seems a little unfocused/muddy

Just some constructive advice

The intro reminds me of what I did for Dwelling of Duels a few months ago (Because I did the Operation Ntrude as part of a jingle medley)

http://dwellingofduels.net/dodarchive/12-03-Jingle_Month/02-BONKERS-MetalGearSeries-DoDied-DoD.mp3

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I am a mod and I think Bonkers has some good advice.

MOD REVIEW:

... Yeah, what Bonkers said, there. I think, rather than trying to fix focused issues on this track for the compression problems, decrease the volume on the entire track overall to deal with it. There's a lot of dynamic fluxuation in this, which is excellent for an orchestra piece, and I wouldn't want to see this lose that flair. There's a lot of clipping and compression issues on this one, though, so you need to lower the level on this song.

Most of the time it's hard to hear the mechanical issues in the track due to the complex orchestrations (which works in your favor), but in parts like that string + brass swing for Tara's theme (like at 0:12, for example) the lack of swell for something like that (and the fact that every single swing is exactly the same) the mechanical sound becomes very salient and painful. Some swells in that case, and fight the urge to copy and paste exposed sections and opt to make each one different from another, instead.

The arrangement is good... for a medley. Unfortunately, OCR doesn't take kindly to straight up medleys. It's also very, very conservative. Probably too much so for OCR, as it stands. Sorry, but you'll likely need to integrate the themes within one another better and mess with the structure of the track a little bit more in order to be considered for OCR - I can guarantee that this one wouldn't pass based on that alone, even if the production was touched up.

Better to hear it from me here than to wait a month or so and hear it from the judges - it's truly a great track, and I loved the energy that it produced, but it's not something that OCR would be able to accept, as it's structured. If you're still going to shoot for getting posted then this song will need some significant changes to the arrangement as to make it less like a medley and less conservative to the source.

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Thanks a lot guys! Can't say I wasn't expecting that. I agree 100% with your critique, and it was exactly what I was aiming for with this post: some serious feedback. I think I have learned a thing or two about compression within orchestral enviroments and music structure from your comments guys. I thank you kindly for that. I think now I'm starting to understand the standards here at OCR ^^

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