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OCR02804 - *YES* Donkey Kong Country 'Focus'

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Hello judges!

ReMixer name: DarkSim

forum link: http://ocremix.org/forums/member.php?u=33879

Game arranged: Donkey Kong Country

Arrangement name: Focus

Song arranged: Fear Factory


Composer: David Wise

Now then, I've attempted a ReMix of this source before in a drum and bass style that was rejected, but I love this source so much I thought I'd do a completely different ReMix attempt. This time I've gone all-out progressive house, inspired entirely by deadmau5 and his epic 10-minute long masterpiece "Strobe". This isn't quite 10 minutes, but at almost 8 I feel I achieved my goal of having the 3 sections present in Strobe that are the ambient beginning, the driving beat in the middle section, then the final climax of the song as it leads into the outro. I could go on for ages about how good David Wise's compositions are, but I rather like reading DJP's writeups so hopefully I'll get one for this!



Edited by djpretzel
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This is a slightly tougher call than it should be.

The intro is fantastic, but the weakest part of it is the only part that bears any relationship to the original; that being the piano melody. The atmosphere is wonderful, but the piano is bland in sound and writing. It's also an extremely long time before the source comes in.

This is a consistent issue throughout. the groove and atmosphere are fantastic, but the actual interpretation of the original is bland and almost clunky. Particularly again at the 4:45 mark. The piano is just so weak, and the strings are playing whole note tonics.

I love your groove and synths, but you've got to do a little more to make the source fit in aesthetically.


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  • 2 months later...

string pad part from source with original writing on top: :00-:34.25, :36-38.5, :39.75-:42, :43.75-:50, :52-54.5, :56-58, 1:00-1:10, 1:12-1:14, 1:16-1:20, 7:04-7:20

1:32.5-1:39, 1:51-2:13, 2:22-2:30, 2:37.5-2:44, 2:54.5-3:11, 3:15.5-3:24, 3:30.75-3:38, 3:46-3:57.5, 4:01.5-4:58, 5:02-5:44.25, 5:47.5-6:18

Vig missed an important part of the arrangement usage. The repeating string pattern used in the very opening corresponds to a backing part that drones much more slowly for the first :29 seconds of the original. So there's always that aspect of the source in play during the extended buildup, and it's a very important reason why the source tune sounds so eerie in the first place.

Some of the instrumentation during 2:14-onward could be viewed as generic or bread-and-butter, and the beat pattern could have been more interesting. Pretty underwhelming string lead from 4:15-4:45 as well. While the energy could be called plodding, I thought the subtle dynamic builds and drops all clicked.

Usually, I'm in agreement with Vig's criticisms on arrangement, but I just thought he was off-base on this one. In the big picture, I thought DarkSim's overall sound choices were solid enough, and things were mixed reasonably well. It doesn't have to reinvent the wheel as far as the instruments, and the arrangement evolved nicely throughout. I thought what was here executed the bread-and-butter sounds and arrangement approach nicely. Let's go.


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I do think some ideas get a little on the long side, and/or could have used a bit more variation to add just that one more layer of interest, but I agree with Larry on this. The mix is pretty enjoyable overall, and the production is good.


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  • 1 month later...

Great atmosphere established here. The extended intro works for the feel that he's trying to establish.

Solid production work here. Everything's gelling nicely in the soundscape. Yeah, that lead at 4:15 was pretty underwhelming. I think something that cuts through more would've been more effective. Oh, hai there lead at 5:18, I guess you were saving the stronger lead for later :).

I'm hearing the crits on the simplicity of parts of the track, and agree it could be trimmed down without really hurting the arrangement. Still, I'm definitely digging what I'm hearing here, and it hits the mark on both the arrangement and production fronts. Nice job darksim.


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