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djpretzel

OCR01468 - *YES* Lufia 'Metastatic Bloodline'

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Hey Dave,

This one's a remix from Lufia and the Fortress of Doom. It covers Fear and Courage and throws a little bit of the Fortress of Doom theme in there as well.

Remixer: Darangen

Name: Michael Boyd

Email: darangen@hotmail.com

Website: www.darangen.com

URL:

Game: Lufia and the Fortress of Doom

Song/s: Fear and Courage, Fortress of Doom

Info:

I've played with these themes for what seems like a thousand times already, but the originals still hit home with me no matter how many times I've listened to them. Plus I've always wanted to get a Lufia mix up on OCR :P

This isn't really a hard-rock arrangement, even though it has some grungy guitar-work. I don't really know what to classify it as, it's just music. Hope you like it.

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http://snesmusic.org/spcsets/ed.rsn - "The Battle of the Island in the Void" (a.k.a "The Memory of the Last War") [ed-02.spc] & "The Island in the Void" (a.k.a. "The Fortress of Doom" [ed-30.spc]

[production whore]There were some less critical production issues that could be looked at. The overall feel here (aside from when the percussion is too plain) is good. I'm feeling that grungy style although I think there could stand to be more separation between the various instruments. They can mush together to an extent, but some of the fuller sections sounded way too crowded.

From 1:25-1:40, the supporting guitar and synth doubling in the background were really straining to be heard, and even then the lead/melody wasn't cutting through the soundfield either. Same with 2:28 or any other particularly full section. Everything's too cluttered in the mid-range, making it a little too difficult to pick out and subsequently appreciate the details you put into the instrumentation. It may not bother anyone else, I dunno, but I feel this would sound all the better with some more distinction among the various parts. It can still sound dense and strong without this level of clutter.[/production whore]

I get that out the way to then talk about the arrangement/writing. Not really feeling the intro, but that's a just a personal thing; not a bad idea at all, IMO. It's different and I do like that about it. Geetar action starts at :17. I thought the drums and hats starting at :28 sounded too plain, dragging down the rest of the track for a significant portion. Some of the changeups in the complexity of the drums made things feel hot and cold. You'd briefly have some very exciting stuff going on with the percussion, then kill the creativity with stuff that comes across like placeholder material. Areas like :27-1:50, 2:11-2:20 & 2:27-3:10 felt lacking in the foundation of the track as a result.

I felt the arrangement was pretty good. This is typical of Mike's style where he does a great job weaving original sections and ideas with the source material, doing so well enough that most people unfamiliar with the source material wouldn't be able to point out where Lufia passages end and original ones begin. It's a testament to his skill on that level, a skill which becomes more and more bankable as he submits more and more material.

So while I have no problems with this being passed, and might catch flak from others, I need much more creativity with the percussion writing from :27-1:50 & 2:27-3:10 (more important), and a bit more separation in the instrumentation so things don't sound too indistinct in this otherwise powerful and grungy soundfield (less important). Once you spice that up, I'm solid on a YES. Nice work so far, Mike.

NO (borderline/easy resubmit)

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heh...the intro is cool..but this track just sounds so generic to me. I'd rather not vote on this unless i have to.

for the record, i think the drums are fine. Expecting everyone to have DanB quality drum sequencing is ridiculous. Rejecting this track because the drums arent interesting enough is a might harsh, especially given the context of the track.

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Well.. in regards to the drums, I think the sequencing is fine but I really don't like the tone of the snare. It's kind of flat and hollow where the rest of the soundscape is dense and thick. I would really change that. The bassdrum is also mixed in such a way that you can hardly hear it over the rhythm guitar and bass. Overall though they're definitely at least "solid".

Arrangement is pretty cool. I would have liked to hear more of the harmony synth stuff and perhaps more changes to the soundscape. After the brief intro (which I liked a lot) the sounds are basically the same throughout and it begins to grate on the ear as everything is at the same dynamic level. I guess that's par for the course but I know you can more creative stuff, and that's what I was expecting here. In addition, some of the chords that played with the melody seemed off to me.

On the production end, the panning choices seem a bit over-exaggerated (some stuff panned HARD left, HARD right, etc). Stereo delay/reverb and a more centered panning would be my personal preference. Also the lead guitar probably could have been treated differently from the rhythm guitars to stand out more, as is it didn't really cut through the mix that much. The lead synth is way too thin/bright and doesn't really move enough to be interesting. I would change it to something else. Finally, the guitar playing here, in terms of timing, seems a little more sloppy than usual.

Overall, there are some pluses here but a lot of minuses. No ONE thing is particularly major, but they do add up. My main suggestions: tighten up the guitar playing, be a little more conservative with panning, change the synths, change the snare.

NO

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The drums are fine in the context of the song. Really, what are you expecting? :roll:

I don't think that any of the problems cited are really so much of an issue that it kills the viability of the song as an OC ReMix. Maybe this isn't my strong genre, but I think that this sounds fine. I like the arrangement and I like the performance. Swing section is a nice change up. This is a solid piece of work.

It's a good track.

YES

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Look, this was sent in December, and this wait time for Mike (or anyone else) is ridiculous.

The vote's split, you're gonna have to weigh in anyway. The guy's been waiting for over 3 months since he sent it in. He's not God or anything, but he's a regular. We shouldn't be treating our regulars like this.

What's the holdup, kids? Get your votes in.

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To me this mix falls in the line of a subjective mix. Decisions are made on the production side of things that I would call subjective from person to person. In some ways I do agree with the criticism, but overall, I don't really feel comfortable holding this mix back based on those - at least from my perspective.

I have consistently praised Darangen's stuff, but this is probably his one mix that kind of passed me over. I felt it was a little too generic, bland for the genre. I've heard this style/performance/deliverly/drum sequencing style much too much lately in this community. I'm starting to wonder if people who do a lot of music in this vein are starting to share one head. ;)

My criticisms aside, while I do think this is less than a surprising effort from what I'm used to from Darangen, I think this is a passable mix. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts as far as I'm concerned.

borderline Yes.

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I can agree that the drums sound all right in the context of the song. They just sound very standard here. I think the song could've benefitted from something more powerful and clear, rather than the standard soundfont sets.

In terms of performance, arrangement and production, this is no worse or better than Darangen's last mix. It's performed well, the guitar is enjoyable to listen to. The drums, as said, leave something to be desired, but they're just a background part of the mix.

My other issue is that the background of the mix felt a little empty. The bass could have been a little beefier, and the rhythm guitar perhaps a little grungier for my tastes. Other than that, an enjoyable mix and arrangement.

YES

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this doesn't have flawless execution or production, but that's not enough to sway my vote. the drum sequencing isn't spectacular, but the track has a good performance and a good arrangement.

enjoyable? yes. over the bar?

YES

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