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djpretzel

OCR01469 - *YES* EarthBound 'See Sixty Funk'

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Hi there, Mazedude here.

Haha, I betcha thought I was going to submit another American Album track, didn't ya? Well, you were wrong! I'm so proud of one of my remixes for "Bound Together" I'm submitting that instead.

http://mazedude.com/remixdescriptions/c64.htm

Title: "See Sixty Funk"

Game: "Earthbound"

System: SNES

Remixer: Mazedude

Composer: Keiichi Suzuki

Direct link to the MP3 -

Mazedude

http://www.mazedude.com

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Yeah, send some more stuff from the American Album when you have the chance. Perhaps The 7th Guest "Microscopism" or Zombies Ate My Neighbors "Zombies Ate My Tracker"? Honestly, almost anything would be fair game and very welcome.

http://snesmusic.org/spcsets/mo2.rsn - "Save the Miners!" (mo2-086.spc)

Played this a while back on VGF68 for the Bound Together prerelease show. There's nothing like Mazedude plus the SID-style spices. Nice stuff with the intro; the very beginning there was a very authentic homage to classic Commodore loader tracks.

I like how Chris took a very unmemorable track and hooked it up with a much more energetic feel. Check out the source and see how subdued the bassline there was; here, Chris did a great job using the original's bassline on support but making it much more attention-grabbing and integral to the track.

The melody from 1:27-2:10 felt too quiet compared to the first part, but it at least created some contrast and put the focus on other sounds & ideas even if, IMO, the section wasn't particularly interesting. Luckily, everything afterwards until the end carried that previous energy level and stylishness.

For some, this may drag, as the last 1 1/2 minutes (at least to me) weren't chock full of dynamic contrast or vastly different ideas. Once it got into its groove, it basically stayed there. Nonetheless, the tone of the arrangement compared to the original was a big plus; it's more melodic, more aggressive, more spirited. Once again, good job creating a much more upbeat, melodic mutation out of a very unassuming, purely BGM-level source tune.

YES

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Just like Shna's chiptune submission, this is a cool arrangement with some great sonic ideas, but the production is seriously lacking by it's very nature. If this were approached in a less limiting fashion I would give it a YES, but in it's current state, going by precedent, I can't do that right now.

NO

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Despite the title, a lot of this is typical Mazedude sounds and samples. Where'd you get the idea that this was severely limited on production grounds? The mere use of some dated SID sounds, despite this not being a chiptune and not being made with any soundchip limitations in mind?

The Shnabubula/Figaro Chiptune "precedent" doesn't apply here. Chris's use of the sounds is decidedly better. If we reject this on those grounds, we're really getting into very bad, slippery slope territory here, where people can't even meaningfully incorporate chiptune-based or dated sounds into their material.

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It's one thing to incorporate a few dated SID sounds. However, this is almost ENTIRELY SID/chiptune sounds. 1:27 is the first time I hear an actual sample (the bd/drum pattern), and it's a pretty "bleh" one at that. From that point on, there are a few cameos of slightly more advanced synth and drum sounds but just about everything is very, very basic in tone.

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Ok, lets further discuss this one aspect that's dividing us again.

I agree with Zircon. Lord, are we going to go through the chiptune debate all over again?

I agree this mix has more to offer than the FF6 chiptune issue, there are some more advanced synths going on here, particularly by the end. But, to say that precedent doesn't apply here with such a blanket statement is more than a little misguided. This isn't simply about incorporating chiptune-based or dated sounds, this aspect makes up pretty much the entire mix. Your distinction does not apply for that reason.

What's the point of having a panel and precedent if there's something this close in nature and we keep reinventing new rules and not following previous landmark decisions? I'd like Dave to weigh in here and to shed some guiding light on this tricky issue. I am not saying the precedent should apply, but I am challenging the view that it should not apply per Larry's vote. I believe it may/should apply.

My main issues here are with the arrangement though as much as the production personally.

The problem is the source tune is almost nonexistent in content - It has an odd melody, basic to nonexistent supporting material and drums. It's tough source material to work with by its nature. For me the arrangement almost follows that same pattern and has similar flaws particularly with harmony, although this is obviously a more built up version.

This is probably one of the first mazedude mixes that I don't think is really aurally viable, but others are free to disagree with me on that one. I do like some of the the ideas and arrangement ideas brought into the table, but again for me this strikes me as one of Mazedude's less sophisticated expansions. The synths sound almost SNES quality, the lead actually reminds me of FF6's soundtrack.

It simply isn't about synth quality either, I agree. Because you can listen to any konami kukeiha club, sega 80s/early 90s or Falcom music that can harness the power of throwback synths. In this case I just don't see that to that level to override the existing issues.

Additionally, I personally don't like the drums/percussion in this one. The sound quality, the pattern all sound too repetitive in my opinion. There are bright spots in the midst of it, but the focal points are lacking in my opinion.

The texture of the piece just doesn't appeal to me personally. The annoying beeping fx doesn't help much as far as I'm concerned either.

I think this could benefit from further arrangement, supporting materials, evolution and more interesting focal elements of the mix, whether they be the synth design, drum work/programming or both. I enjoy almost all your stuff, and your last mix which was passed, I had no beef with, but as for this, it's a NO from me I'm afraid.

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my position is the same as on the figaro thing. the decent arrangement doesnt excuse the reliance on crappy sounds.

on top of that, the composition is rather plodding.

NO

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I thought about this for a while, and I've decided that this piece does not fall under the Figaro Precedent. If my understanding of the Figaro Precedent is correct, we shouldn't be accepting mixes that intentionally limit themselves to outdated sound hardware and use that limitation as an excuse.

Where is that in this mix? There is no hardware that this particular piece is limited to. Mazedude didn't intentionally set out to write a hardware-perfect C64 tune, or whatever it is. The fact that he is, quite-creatively, using chiptune sounds, should not be the reason that this piece should be rejected. There's filtering, there's panning, signal-processing, etc.

The texture is grungy and old-school, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's full, and the balance is right. The sounds work together. There's synergy (my word of the day).

There's a lot of arrangement going on to make a forgettable orignal piece a bit more substansive.

I agree with Gray that we should not simply disregard precendents when we set them, but I also agree with Larry that we should not hastily apply them.

YES

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i've written out 3 or 4 decisions, and ultimately erased them all.

i guess what it comes down to is that for "throwback" mixes such as this one, the arrangement needs to be stellar for me to feel comfortable passing it.

there are some interesting melodic ideas brought to the table, and there's a lot of complexity, but the overall presentation is not enough to win me over. plus that damn bassline slowly saps my will to live after about 2 minutes

i hate doing this because i have a lot of respect for chris, but my gut tells me no.

OMG VOTECHANGE

edit:

as i was taking a shower this morning, it occured to me that maybe i've set the bar too high.

all of my original complaints stand, and i'm not terribly fond of this mix. i think it deserves to be on this site though.

YES

(am i even allowed to do this?)

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This is closer to being like Mazedude's Oldskool Demon piece than the Figaro one. This is typical mazedude, taking older sound effects and making a good modern use of them. This isn't limited in the same way that Shna's chiptune was as Darke pointed out.

The intro to the mix is the perfect example of what Mazedude is all about in the end. Take a listen to Oldskool Demon and then this one, it's the same general idea of taking oldschool sounds, and utilising them in a modern way. I think it's very cool.

That being said, this mix suffers in other areas for me. I agree with Larry that the 1:27-2:10 section was quieter than the rest of the mix. The problem there and beyond is that the low-quality percussion doesn't really fit in with the rest of the piece. It's too quiet in that section, and then evolves into something that's too loud for the rest. This is the one area I feel where the piece would have benefitted from moving beyond the low-quality samples, since I know Mazedude is more than capable of producing good sounding drums.

I also felt the last minute or so didn't really introduce anything interesting or uniquely new to the mix. The baseline stays the same right the way to the end and, dare I say, becomes irritating. The synthwork didn't keep up it's interesting uniqueness as it did in the first minute and a half unfortunately.

I think the idea behind the mix is all right. It doesn't fall into the whole "Limited/Chiptune" category for me, as I can see Mazedude's speciality in utilising these sounds outside their limits. However, I feel the mix could better utilise the sounds, particularly the percussion/drums. I also felt that the sound being used for the bassline in this could stand to be changed up at some places to get rid of the monotony of it.

Other than that, I think this passes our standards, just barely. I could easily seeing this being improved upon by Mazedude, given the chance. However, I'll let Dave make the hard decision here on whether or not to post this one, or even allow a resubmit.

YES

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