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'Lost Radiance' - Hollow Bastion Theme - Kingdom Hearts (PS2)


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Update 08/12/12!

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+Different pianos used

+Mixing/Mastering fixed

+Altered sections

After the *NO*, I'm fixing this up for resubmission. Apparently - according to most of the judges - the arrangement was fine, so I've upgraded a few of the issues they had with the sample used and feel of the piano. Submitting for Mod Review just to get a final opinion before I resubmit this for good.

Tindeck - Free MP3 download: Kingdom Hearts - Hollow Bastion (Piano Version).mp3

So this is a 5-piano remix of the Hollow Bastion Theme from Kingdom Hearts. I really don't know the genre to define this as to be honest, but I hope you guys enjoy it.

Updates:

Version 1.1

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+More reverb

+Middle section included

+Velocities and volume levels slightly altered

Version 1.2

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+Created a more solid ending

+Cleared a few things up

+Several minor changes

Version 2.0

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+New soundfont for some parts

+Changed melody of middle section slightly

+Included a more personal interpretation of the major section in the repeat

+Fixed a few issues with volume and velocity

+Submitted for Mod Review

Version 2.1

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+General fix for most sections

+Proper linking between first section and middle section

Version 3.0

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+Humanisation and velocity changes for the melody and other pianos throughout the piece

+Newly programmed reverb

+Mixcraft 6

+A couple of fixes for note patterns that didn't work so well

+Volume change for base-chord piano

Version 3.1

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+More humanisation

+Fixes to the reverb and volume

+New soundfont (Piano One)

Version 3.2

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+Fixed distortion

+Fixed melody crackling

Version 4.0

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+New soundfont (Pianissimo)

+A great deal more humanisation

+Fixed every audio issue of crackling, distortion, and volume problems throughout the whole track

+Added just the right amount of reverb

+Finished every section by adding some new notes and removing some unneeded ones

+Moved down a single semitone to avoid soundfont issues (it's incredibly temperamental with high 'B' notes)

Version 4.1 (FINALISED, SUBMITTING)

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+Fixed final crackling problems

+Moved back up a semitone after resolving soundfont issues

+Added more variation in the repeat

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Man, I love these kinds of pieces, and I love this source too so this made me pretty happy :).

Really neat arrangement. I thought 5 pianos was going to be excessive but it doesn't sound cluttered at all really, so good job with the arrangement!

The samples need some work; apart from a few sections everything seems to be about the same volume. Adjusting the velocities will help it sound less mechanical.

The only other thing is that it sounds pretty cover-ish. I think it would be really cool if you were to extend it and add some more interpretation. The end is kind of abrupt too, so making it a bit longer might help.

Also, (this is probably just personal preference but) I think it would sound nicer if it was a little slower. Like maybe 10 bpm slower?

I'm really interested in seeing what this sounds like when it's finished though!

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@Mirby: After a pretty positive response to this, I've made the decision to keep working on this. :D I'm hoping to add at least another minute and a half (and possibly more) on top of that.

@Kuolema: Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. I'm actually going to go back over each part and try to create some more dynamic contrasts. As I just said, I'm also going to be adding a bit more to make the remix a bit more unique. Personally I like the speed, and I think it just gives a sense of urgency that wasn't necessarily there in the original (for example at around 0:55 in the YouTube version). This was actually intended to be the final version, but so far the mixture of extra ideas I've been thinking of and the positive response has made me reconsider, so I'll be working on this bit more.

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So here's version 1.1.

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I'm still working on a section after the first 'repeat', so it's not finished yet. I've also added a solo piano section in between the two main repeats, and I'm not so sure whether it really works properly or not.

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Tindeck - Free MP3 download: Kingdom Hearts - Hollow Bastion (Piano Version).mp3

So this is a 5-piano remix of the Hollow Bastion Theme from Kingdom Hearts. I really don't know the genre to define this as to be honest, but I hope you guys enjoy it.

I think that quintet is 5 right? Therefore it could be a piano quintet...although I think usually ppl go for piano duos :P

But, there isn't too much here in the way of personal interpretation I think - still this is pretty good as a cover nonetheless :nicework:

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I love the part you added, it's really pretty!

I think the change is a little abrupt though. Try putting in a pause at 1:04 before having the repeating note come in. I think it would make it that much more powerful.

Also, from 1:18 to 1:32 I think the left hand could be doing something more interesting than what it's doing. The rest of it is really good, but I find that bit a little unoriginal.

Finally, I think it would be perfect if you extended the major part at 2:30 and went crazy with interpretation. I'm pretty sure the end is still too conservative for OCR and there's just so much possibility for that section.

Keep up the good work though, it sounds great :).

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Man, I love these kinds of pieces, and I love this source too so this made me pretty happy :).

Really neat arrangement. I thought 5 pianos was going to be excessive but it doesn't sound cluttered at all really, so good job with the arrangement!

The samples need some work; apart from a few sections everything seems to be about the same volume. Adjusting the velocities will help it sound less mechanical.

The only other thing is that it sounds pretty cover-ish. I think it would be really cool if you were to extend it and add some more interpretation. The end is kind of abrupt too, so making it a bit longer might help.

Also, (this is probably just personal preference but) I think it would sound nicer if it was a little slower. Like maybe 10 bpm slower?

I'm really interested in seeing what this sounds like when it's finished though!

I agree with this mostly. I don't know the source, but the remix sounds awesome. (I don't have time to listen to the original and comment on coverishness, but more interpretation can never hurt) Needs note velocity variation. Maybe instead of slowing the whole thing down, just drop some of the quick parts out here and there, or make some of them half-time. Since those quick notes play through the entire song, it feels very fast, and causes the track to lack some dynamics. So do some quick and some slow parts. Piano tone sounds great, and each part is coming through clearly, nice job there. So adjust velocities, vary the speed, and I'm happy. Nice work!

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@HoboKa: A piano quintet actually involves only a single piano, with two violins, a viola and a cello. That's what I like about the style I went for with this - it's not a very used way of making a piece, so I can actually make a unique version of a song. In the sections coming later in future updates I'll also be adding quite a bit more personal interpretation.

@Cheersm8: Glad you liked it! The final product should be (hopefully) coming fairly soon - possibly in the next week.

@Kuolema: I really like the new section as well! It's a nice little break from the previous section, and helps to break the whole thing up a little. As with adding a pause (which now I come to think of is probably necessary), how long would the pause be? I'm thinking 1 or 2 bars, but it either seems far too long or slightly too short. As with the left hand, that may be a good idea because at the moment it sounds a little too simple (even with the expansion that happens in the later bars). Thanks for the useful feedback! :D I'll probably also do what you've just said now for the ending with an extended version of the 2:30 part to slowly wind down and then end with a sudden acceleration into a final chord - or if that doesn't work I'll just finish it with a quiet solo repeat of the main melody with a lot of deceleration as it approaches the end.

@chimpazilla: Thanks! As for the velocity variation, how do I make it more convincing? I played each of the parts in realtime with a bit of quantisation, so I really don't know which route to take on doing that kind of thing. Do I emphasize each high note, each starting note, or go along different lines? I'm really at a loss with this sort of thing because I'm fairly new to adjusting velocities at all (most of my work before I got a MIDI keyboard used the same velocity throughout). With the dropping of some of the faster notes, I can see where this idea is coming from, but - and this may just be me - I feel that it adds urgency and helps to contrast to the middle section where the piece goes quite a lot slower.

Next version will likely be up tomorrow.

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As with adding a pause (which now I come to think of is probably necessary), how long would the pause be? I'm thinking 1 or 2 bars, but it either seems far too long or slightly too short.

Maybe try using a different time signature for that measure. 4/4 or 6/4 might work.

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Maybe try using a different time signature for that measure. 4/4 or 6/4 might work.

I've decided to halve the length of the phrase after it and make it just a single two-bar pause with the normal bar length.

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Here's version 1.2:

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I basically cleared everything up here. I still might add a bit more interpretation nearer the end, but at the moment this appears to be close to being finished. Any suggestions would be appreciated! This should be the penultimate version before I actually submit it.

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Here's version 2.0! This is the finished version of the song. :D Everything is done, everything is fixed and the final product has finally been reached. Any changes from here will be minor ones made before I submit it to the actual judging process. I'm also going to change this to Mod Review to hopefully get some sort of idea if this might be good enough for actual submission.

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Very nice :).

I'd still like to hear more arrangement in the last section though. I know you've changed what some of the hands are doing but I still think it feels too repetitive. Some melody changes and/or phrase extensions would sound really nice I think.

Great job overall though!

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Very nice :).

I'd still like to hear more arrangement in the last section though. I know you've changed what some of the hands are doing but I still think it feels too repetitive. Some melody changes and/or phrase extensions would sound really nice I think.

Great job overall though!

Thanks! I know there's quite a lot of repetition, but that sort of carried over from the original (despite my best efforts). That said, I sort of had my work cut out for me when I chose to have 5 pianos. It exhausts most ideas sort of quickly (hence the solo piano part in the middle of the piece). Also, I'd just like to say thank you for the feedback you've been giving since I posted this. It's been really helpful and I think that the remix is a lot better as a result. :)

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Thanks! I know there's quite a lot of repetition, but that sort of carried over from the original (despite my best efforts). That said, I sort of had my work cut out for me when I chose to have 5 pianos. It exhausts most ideas sort of quickly (hence the solo piano part in the middle of the piece).

Aha, quite true. I can imagine that would be pretty frustrating XD.

Also, I'd just like to say thank you for the feedback you've been giving since I posted this. It's been really helpful and I think that the remix is a lot better as a result. :)

Hey, no problem. I like the piece so I'm glad I could help!

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I think this could benefit from some more reverb - but not just any - a ballroom space would work best. The second half (or slightly before) is where, imo, the song really picks up and starts sounding more human - but it really feels kinda stagnant before that point; still this is much better than the first go at it, so good work :nicework:

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I think this could benefit from some more reverb - but not just any - a ballroom space would work best. The second half (or slightly before) is where, imo, the song really picks up and starts sounding more human - but it really feels kinda stagnant before that point; still this is much better than the first go at it, so good work :nicework:

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Is this the kind of thing you mean? I added quite a lot more.

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Im crying manly tears over this remix now. Its so beautiful. Nicely done.

Thanks, dude! :D Do you have any final suggestions or criticisms? I'm literally going to go over it in the next few hours and look for anything final before I submit.

I'm nervous...

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That reverb is perfect, wow... pianos coming from every which where... gosh... lovely...

I have only one crit now. In the middle, no wait, about 1/3 of the way through just as the fast part ends (sorry no time marker), right before the *gorgeous* slow part begins, it feels a bit like an ending! I'm guessing the judges won't care for that... I suggest making those last 10 (I think) forte staccato notes trail off into continuing echoes instead of ending abruptly with just reverb. The keyword here is "continuing." I think that would fix it, and connect it, and make it sound like there is more to come which there definitely is.

Ending = perfect.

Love love love this track. Best of luck with the judges!

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MOD REVIEW

Mmm, a lot of flavor in this one. The arrangement works pretty well - I like what you did with the themes in the middle, there. The reverb is wet enough, and the dynamics are pretty neat.

One issue that brings this down, though, is the static strikes of the notes. On a piano, the dynamics are not the only thing that changes when a note gets louder or quieter. While you have great dynamics in this track, the accents of the notes sound the same, as if the pianist is hitting the notes all the same way. Ask around and see if with your particular sample there are ways to create accents other than detache (Legato, Staccatto, Phrasing under a slur, strikes with the Una Chorda... or that 'Soft Pedal', etc. etc.). These are all very important in creating a great, live feel. There are people that can (and have) done this with their music before; Ivory is an example of someone that I know who can help handle this issue quite well. I don't know why I can't think of anyone else, at the moment, but that's at least one person who might be able to give some advice to achieve these effects.

You've got the arrangement down, you've got the dynamics, with this final step it'll sound as human as it can get, and it'll be ready for OCR. Not yet, though, seeing that while you put a great amount of effort into making it human (and it's paid off, so far), there's still just a little more that needs to be done. I'd like to see this on the front page, so I hope to hear even more progress soon.

By the way, I just noticed that you changed your link while I was making this review, forcing me to delete some of the commentary that I was going to give (since you fixed it). While that's great that you fixed the issues, if you know you're going to make a change please keep the thread as a Work In Progress, if at all possible, as that makes it easier on the Mods. I know it probably wasn't intentional, so it's alright, I'm just putting it out there for people.

*Ahem* Nice work, very close, but I think you'd still be called out on this one on the panel because of the single issue I presented up there. Mix it up a bit (not arbitrarily, of course, but in a fitting, pleasant way) and you'll be in great shape with this one.

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