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OCR03581 - *YES* Final Fantasy 9 "Into the Sandstorm" *RESUB* *PROJECT*


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Original Decision

Formal stuff:

Contact Information

Your ReMixer name: jnWake.
Your email address: This one...
Collab ReMixer name: Argle.

Submission Information

Name of game(s) arranged: Final Fantasy IX.
Name of arrangement: Into the Sandstorm.
Name of individual song(s) arranged: Cleyra Trunk.
Link to arrangement: 

So, here I am, giving this song a second go!

When I initially submitted, I honestly wasn't convinced on its chances. It wasn't the mixing my main worry though (even if I knew it wasn't stellar), but I wasn't sure about how the judges were going to react to the arrangement. Luckily for me, the song was rejected because of the mixing and the arrangement actually received some compliments!

Anyway, I then noticed that Argle was offering free mixing, and considering that he already was a collaber in this remix, it seemed like a great idea to have him mix the song, since he's much better at that than me!

Main changes from the original song are (obviously) a much better mix, better samples for the drum kit, better amps for the guitar tracks and a pad in the violin section. Argle also added a much better use of reverb than my original submission, giving the mix more of an eerie feeling.

Hope you like it!

Old write-up:


This is my second submission to the site! I originally made this track for the FFIX project but it didn't make it... Anyway, this mix is a progressive metal or something like that version of the Cleyra Trunk theme. The original is a mysterious slow paced song, while mine is a heavier and faster (but not fast) version of it. I tried to keep the eerie harmonies from the original but the mix may feel a bit liberal. Argle provides a violin section in the middle of the song.

Anyway, to make judging easier I'll make a breakdown here. First, for the original

Section 1 - 0:00 - 0:28 : This is the "main melody" of the song to me. I use the initial ascension (A - A - B - G) a lot in my mix. Also, the first part has A and F as low notes, which is also an element present in the mix.
Section 2 - 0:29 - 0:58 : My mix has a version of the diminished arpeggios here.
Section 3 - 1:49 - 1:56 : Weird descending chords!
Section 4 - 1:57 - 2:24 : Some sort of arpeggios here too.

And now, my mix:

0:00 - 0:58: "Eerie" intro. E. Piano plays the Section 1 notes.
0:59 - 1:25: Heavy section based on Section 4 (E. Piano again).
1:26 - 2:09: E. Piano based on Section 1 (here I use the A-F thing I mentioned there). I like the piano effect at 1:47.
2:10 - 2:34: The Argle part! The guitar part is based on Section 2. I like how the violin keeps playing when this section ends. Next section is a repeat.
2:56 - 3:17: Yet another part based on section 2 (the E. Piano plays the arpeggios).
3:18 - 3:40: Here the mix gets a bit liberal. The E. Piano is using the same motive from Section 1.
3:41 - 3:54: Finally, Section 3! Not the same chords, but same idea.
3:55 - 4:38: Synth solo. The chord progression follows the idea from Section 3. Outro is a repeat.

Hope you like it!


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The arrangement remains awesome. I could end up being a total outlier or merely outvoted, but while the dryness of the first version was gone, it was replaced with something that was mostly too muddy and wet. In some places, the mixing change helped, but all of the fullest sections generally sounded cramped with a lot of parts seemingly overlapping and mushing together (particularly :58-1:28, 1:48-2:10, 2:35-3:40, and 4:23-4:59).

The entire first minute seemed good, and I was glad to hear things more fully fleshed out than the previous version. Once we hit the first fuller section at :58 though, I thought the soundscape became VERY murky and cramped.

Meanwhile, the electric guitar from :58-1:28, 1:48-2:10 & 2:35-3:19 could have used a murkier sound to disguise its fakeness and give it more body/quasi-realism.

Adam's violin at 2:09 was mixed better, with a wetter sound that masked any minor performance issues and blended more with the overall soundscape. The guitar at 3:41 had some swanky delay on it that made it sound great. Nice improvement on the synth at 3:54; the delay these also helped it. The soundscape was a bit swamped at things filled in more at 4:08 and then way more so from 4:23-4:59.

I'm certainly not the production expert judge, but I know the gist of what I'm hearing even if I can't articulate it as well as I'd like to. :lol: In the effort to thicken up the sound, which WAS a good move, the pendulum swung too hard the other way, and now there's a lot of unnecessary mud. Once that's tweaked, we're off to the races.

If this doesn't make it, DON'T give up on this. I hate when production ends up being the only big issue, because I want to see arrangements like this get posted, but wouldn't want to vote against my instincts. :-) I'm very confident Adam can adjust things to improve it to where it should be.

NO (refine/resubmit)

EDIT (10/09): One other thing to note, the cymbals cut off abruptly at :52 (sounds bad) and 1:46 (not as big a deal).

Anyway, I asked Adam for a revision on this and the selective volume cuts he made really exposed the guitar sample at 1:03/1:47/etc., but I'll go with it. While the soundscape of the original resub is a little too murky, IMO, the way it's mixed ultimately did a good ENOUGH job of thickening up the weaker samples and giving this a full sound, and I can make out the various parts well enough. It's a bit too unintentionally lo-fi, but we'll live. I'm not going to make the perfect the enemy of the good with these issues or Adam's further mixing tweaks, and the arrangement is super excellent, so let's go. :-)

YES (borderline)

Edited by Liontamer
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  • 2 weeks later...

The guitar sounds fine to me throughout, I'm not sure what Larry is hearing specifically, but I would not have known it was a sample and not performed. Tone is fine too; as a guitar player, that sound is appealing to me.

Arrangement is good, production could be cleaned slightly but is above the bar, I think. The ending is a bit abrupt, but it's minor enough of an issue that it doesn't affect my vote at all. Expansion and expression are really nice here and the breakdown sounds great.


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The guitar sounds fine to me throughout, I'm not sure what Larry is hearing specifically, but I would not have known it was a sample and not performed. Tone is fine too; as a guitar player, that sound is appealing to me.

I shared the potential updated version that exposed the sample a lot more. The softer chugging was fine, but anytime the sample got louder, the timing sounded stiff (e.g. 1:03-1:06, 1:11-1:13, 1:18-1:20, 1:24-1:26). I can pick it out, but it was masked reasonably well. When I asked Argle to tweak it though, the drier mixing of that part exposed the sample a lot more, so I said don't worry about it, and we'll just the RESUB as is. :-)

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  • 1 month later...

Ok, I'm remembering this track from last time. Let's check the revision.

I complimented the arrangement last time and it remains strong here.

Balance is sounding improved here for sure. The violin lead sounds MUCH better integrated into the piece now.

Nice drumwork overall. In some sections (ex. 2:36 - 2:57) the cymbal use was really repetative, which got a little annoying after a while. I noticed you varied them much better in other sections, so this was probably just an oversight.

Had some crowded sections to watch out for like 3:36 & 4:38.

The transition is a bit abrupt, but I'm loving the breakdown at 3:41 with that oh so smooth guitar. Transition at 3:55 also felt somewhat sudden. Attention to transitions is one of those details worth keeping in mind for the future.

Huh? Odd cymbal cut off at :52. I heard it again at 1:46, which sounds like he's going for a hand-muted (whatever it's called) effect where the drummer grabs the cymbal after hitting it. It sounds fine at 1:46, but not good at :52. May want to see if he wants to fix :52 assuming this passes.

Some stuff to keep in mind for the future, but this is a really solid track. :nicework: Looking forward to hearing more from you guys in the future.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Yeah, the arrangement overall is pretty sweet. The 3:55 section in particular is really awesome and unique, love it! I agree that overall things are a bit too much on the muddy side now, but I (1) appreciate that you worked hard to fix it from being too dry, and (2) think it's still acceptable as is. The other area for you to work on in future mixes would be the transitions, but again I think they are acceptable as is. Overall the mixing between the parts is more balanced, nice improvement there.

I'm down.


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  • Liontamer changed the title to OCR03581 - *YES* Final Fantasy 9 "Into the Sandstorm" *RESUB*
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