Sign in to follow this  
djpretzel

OCR01448 - *YES* Final Fantasy Mystic Quest 'And He Returned Home'

14 posts in this topic

VG: Final Fantasy Mystic Quest

Theme: Foresta (Town) Theme

Orig. Composers: Y. Kawakami, R. Sasai

If this song somehow is good enough to get posted .. please post it after the December 10th ..

Handle: Disposer ( Diggi Dis preferred )

Have fun ..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://snesmusic.org/spcsets/ffmq.rsn - "City of Forest" (ffmq-09.spc)

Frank let me get a first look at it a little while back, so I played this one on VGF73 a few weeks ago and knew it was coming our way. This is actually meant for an OverLooked ReMiX project. Sounds too good to qualify for OLR. Nice source tune, BTW.

Fairly decent piano intro to start things off. Good fading in of the beats and other instrumentation at :21. The performance there seems a little loose and some of the notes here created by the supporting instrumentation seemed to clash (e.g. :44-1:06).

1:06 established a nice groove though with a fakey string sample that was quiet enough to contribute positively, rather than sound too exposed. Nice way to brings the drums/percussion back in at 1:26 as a transition point to a more upbeat section lasting until 1:50.

Again, I was feeling some odd note combinations with the instruments from 1:50 until 2:11. The drum writing at 2:12 was rather plain and uninteresting compared to earlier (and later) in the track. I liked the idea of briefly changing the rhythm at 2:23 but dunno why you stopped there.

Nice move into the section at 2:34 with the singing though "Fi-iiiine" didn't harmonize properly and sounded out of place as a result, both here and in the mix's close at 4:06. Second syllable should have went lower, not higher. Nice work throwing in "Music to Make Love To: www.DiggiDis.com", and beautiful transition from the lo-fi sound back to hi-fi from 2:55-2:56.

Decent freestylish work from 2:56-3:18. The transition back into the simpler source arrangement at 3:18 could have been made more gradual, as the cymbal cutoff sounds too abrupt. Good stuff in the last section at 3:18, including bringing in the tambourine at 3:29. Loved the fairly simple but beautiful piano writing from 3:40-4:02; a great way to close it. Again, I would have liked the vocals right at the very end, if you change the note progression on "Fi-iiiine"; keep it in the same key as the music.

There's a lot to love about the track. I'm interested in hearing Vigilante and JigginJonT's opinions on this, though they may and likely could be more critical of where the track seems lacking. Personally, I felt this was like 85% of the way there, but needs some slight tweaking to fix the issues I felt were there. I've never seen Frank actually resub anything, but it would be criminal if he didn't in the event that this didn't pass.

I'm feeling the track here and I love the energy and ideas here, but it could use some more polish to really maximize the potential here. Best of luck with the rest of the vote, Frank, and I'll be hounding you like a dog on this one. Very nice so far.

NO (refi-iiiine/resubmit)

EDIT: Vote changed, read below for more information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, this isn't really the interpretation I would have expected for a quiet tune like this. The style, of course, very cool. It's reminiscent of Joshua Morse and po's stuff, with tight beats and smooth keys + synth parts. The production is definitely cool overall, with lots of changes to the texture and soundscape throughout. I really thought that was a very strong point of the mix, though I heard a *little* bit of clipping towards the end with the piano. Around 3:21 I think you probably could have expanded on the original stuff rather than returning to the lighter instrumentation again. But that's just personal opinion.

The vocals in the middle seem completely out of place. The pimp for your website.. uhh.. wtf? That section could have been entirely removed. The repeat of the same clip at the end is pointless and again, really brings down the entire mix. Take em out and put in a real resolution, please!

Honestly, PLEASE just remove that and replace them with someting else. The second you do, this gets a YES.

NO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought this sounded extremely cluttered, especially at around :30-1:00. The piano sounds so washed out without any detail. Specifically, I don't feel it wokrs in this kind of context. There's a lot of stuff going on without any kind of clarity or much attention paid to stereo separation. A lot of the instruments sound close to centered and/or without much definition.

The beats are annoying to listen to on headphones. It's like panned semi right. Only in a big orchestral/instrumental/drum and perc heavy mix could I envision that working, but when it's that exposed, the balance is completely off. Also a lot of the time this mix feels very heavily slanted towards the right side with little activity going on in the left side.

The vocals are pretty irrelevant to the mix, in a horrible way. There's no bearing, it doesn't fit, and it just ruins the mood completely for me. I also agree that self-pimpage of one's website is really cheap.

I do like the arrangement, instrumentation and style of this mix a lot though, in general. Very nice, chill vibe. Needs more work imo and worth doing so as this is promising and has a strong foundation for a resubmission.

After talking to digi about the mix, and making suggestions his new version addresses a lot of the issues I had. Vote change. :arrow:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys are completely nuts.

YES

EDIT: I've told the judges what I think about this mix at length, but to recap for the public, I disagree that the cluttering gets too bad. at parts the acoustic piano comping is a bit...akward, but it's never too cluttered.

assuming that by strange "note combinations," larry means "chords," or "harmonies," then they are objectively not there. there are no wrong or even nonconventional intervals in the segment cited. larry, this criticism is just going way too far. Saying this kind of shit looks like you're making stuff up.

THe issues of the vocals and the URL: they dont bother me. I like the vocals just fine, i dont think they detract at all. If you dont like them, or are morally opposed to the URL being in the song, for the love of crap just say as much and lets get him to remove it and lets post this thang.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you guys are incompletely nuts. ;)

The quality of this piece is way above most of the contributions we get on the site. I strongly disagree with Gray about the beats. The panning to the right for the rhythm is a unique effect, and since the beats are still spread over both channels, and the piano is favouring the left channel slightly, it balances out well.

The vocals are fine. If you want an example of a song where vocals are more of an accompaniment than the focus, check out some Boards of Canada stuff, or "Beautiful Crazy" by Space Raiders.

The arrangement in this is really nice. The piano, EP, light strings and bells all work together to bring out a really nice sound. I think there's enough here to warrant a place on the site for sure. I'm yes'ing this on the ground that the mixer removes the advertisement for his site from the middle of the song. I don't know about anyone else, but I listen to music to enjoy the music, not to be advertised to.

YES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright, I'm gonna have to agree almost verbatim with Jesse. In fact, had I been more familiar with the original, and had the URL not been in there, this might even have been directly posted.

There simply aren't any clashing notes or questionable intonations; it's smooth as butter. If anything, you might criticize it for being TOO smooth, not really bending the limits much, but we're not all Thelonius Monk and this was appropriate for the genre.

I think a mix of this nature generally needs to be able to pass through the panel; I'd be uncomfortable saying this was below any threshold we set for the site. It's interpretive & polished, and on headphones at least, I hear no clutter problems or anything of that ilk.

My one caveat is that the URL pimping is just plain weak. It doesn't integrate well at all, it sounds totally out of place, and it comes off like... well... an advertisement. I get that the lo-fi sound switch is similar to a radio effect, and this could be thought of as an ad, but... it just doesn't work. I'm not proposing a blanket policy of rejecting ALL mixes that pimp URLs, as in a rap or with more context it could *possibly* work, but here I think it's just blemishing a really strong piece from DiggiDis.

In summation:

1. I think we need to be a little more careful about observations on clashing/incorrect notes. I've said that before, and I'll say it again. Now, if it just 'sounds off to you', that's fine... but if no one else is hearing it BUT you, I think revising a vote on technical grounds is justified.

2. I'm pretty sure this is above both the arrangement and production thresholds set for OCR. We've raised the bar pretty high, but I don't think we've raised it this high, nor do I think we should. 'Tears of Contention' passed easily and garnered rave reviews, but in my mind it's not wildly different from this.

3. Let's see about getting a version without the URL. Honestly, if DD refused to alter his vision, I'd still probably say this should be posted, but I'd like to try, as I think he's doing his own hard work a disservice leaving it in...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Out of all the things though to complain about though, why is the mention of "DiggiDis.com" so taboo? While we're at it, let's make weed take out the mention of "VGMix 2.0" in Niggaz 4 Life because it's somehow "tacky and cheap". Let Frank leave the URL in there. With the way it's blended into the track, it's not slapping anyone in the face. It's meant to be a tongue-in-cheek reference anyway. If he said "OCReMix.org" in the same manner, I doubt anyone would be asking him to take it out because it wouldn't seem so jarring, and I think the urging for Frank to do so here is a mistake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The URL in the mix is in a way just subliminal advertising, although in this case not so subliminal. I speak for a lot of people in saying that I listen to music to listen to music, not to listen to advertisements. It's a completely unnecessary addition that I personally find overly egotistical. It would be like watching a movie on television and having the channel randomly put their big logo in the middle of the screen during one of the scenes.

Even if he said "OCRemix.org" I'd say that's unnecessary too. There's just no need for advertising in a song like that, regardless of what you're advertising. If people like the music, they will seek out his website through his OCR Profile, which is not exactly hidden away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He sent me the new version: without the vocals and other editing with the mixing.

--

[14:01] Diggi Dis: yeah .. mixed it one headphones :(

[14:01] Diggi Dis: 11 pm here.

[14:01] Diggi Dis: too much noise for neighbours etc.

[14:01] Diggi Dis: but doable i guess.

[14:02] Diggi Dis: uploading.

[14:02] Diggi Dis: i panned the piano more left.

[14:02] Diggi Dis: i remeber you saying anything about the piano

After having a long discussion on my issues with the mixing yesterday with Diggi along with the vocal gripes I had, he's pretty much addressed the main issues I had with the piece. The stereo balance is a lot better now with the percussion being shifted, it doesn't sound as off kilter imo. And now even during the busier sections there sounds like there's more definition between all the disparate elements that in my opinion are critical to mixes of this style, there's also more balance now with the new pan assignments. Without the questionable and what I called cheap website pimpage and vocal part, I think it doesn't cover up the pretty instrumentals either. I like this new version a lot more and satisfied. Vote change to YES.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

YES

sounds a little shaky at parts, but overall this is over the bar.

the EP and keyboard comping is interesting, if a little frantic at times.

i dig.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I'm peeping the revised version without the vocals. I'll say that I preferred the vocals being in there as they created some nice contrast/variation in the arrangement. Not having them admittedly takes away some of the personality of the track and makes it feel like it has fewer ideas.

Frank hooked Gray up with a clip of just the "I wanna lay ya down" section and I still thought that the delivery on "fiiine" sounded odd IMO, but it worked a lot better when I heard the whole clip apart from the rest of the track. Part of the reason I thought "fiiiine" sounded out of place like that was because the resolution of that line (Frank later singing "girrrl") was buried by the traffic SFX and, ironically enough, the "www.DiggiDis.com" mention. Later on with the second use of those vocals, the track completely faded out before "girl", again making it feel unresolved. Just calling it like I see it.

I still had issue with that one vocal part last time around, but listening to the old version again from :44-1:06 & 1:50-2:11, I have no issues there and I have no qualms on admitting that my original criticisms there were offbase. The rhythms felt a little loose at first, and I can understand why it was hitting me wrong, but listening to the mix again with fresh ears, everything there is nice, funky, and well-constructed.

I let this mix marinate in my head before it even went on the panel, since I had it earlier, so I want to make it clear that I don't sit here making impulsive or biased decisions on stuff this creative and obviously well-made. But like Shnabubula's FF9 "Hunter's Community Chest" over a year ago, I'll readily admit my first conclusion was wrong. I'm stubborn but not close-minded or willing to let a vote of mine stand that I don't agree with. Out of 1,000 votes, this is I believe only the 5th one I've ever felt was originally a mistake. Feel free to ask me what the others were sometime!

Onto the revised mix, while some may understandably have an issue with the significantly left-panned piano to open things up, I liked how Frank used :20-:22 to fade into the more balanced stereo sound. It provided some nice contrast moving to the next section that wasn't present at all in the first version.

I have to say, I didn't have issue with the production on this the first time around, but this revised cut actually sounds much stronger on account of more distinction among the various instrumentation like Gray mentioned. For example, the bassline and percussion have much more presence and both give off more energy. Listening to parts like the percussion from 2:12-2:35, everything sounds more balanced, and that's something apparent throughout the whole of the track.

I thought the piano note at 3:42 could have trailed off a bit longer, but that's just a minor issue which I point out because it was the very end. The arrangement was definitely very solid and a great genre piece, and the production is even further improved when IMO it didn't have to be. I liked it before, and I'm glad this was deliberated further, for Frank's benefit. While I would have liked the vocal sections to remain in there, Frank still has an improved product thanks to these revisions. "I have sinned." [/Jimmy Swaggart]

YES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Out of all the things though to complain about though, why is the mention of "DiggiDis.com" so taboo? While we're at it, let's make weed take out the mention of "VGMix 2.0" in Niggaz 4 Life because it's somehow "tacky and cheap". Let Frank leave the URL in there. With the way it's blended into the track, it's not slapping anyone in the face. It's meant to be a tongue-in-cheek reference anyway. If he said "OCReMix.org" in the same manner, I doubt anyone would be asking him to take it out because it wouldn't seem so jarring, and I think the urging for Frank to do so here is a mistake.

In Niggaz it was contextualized, here it just stands out as being rather odd. And yes, while I perhaps would have smiled, I still would have thought that 'ocremix.org' or any other URL would have sounded out of place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this