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DragonAvenger

OCR02930 - *YES* Mega Man X6 & X3 'Shield of Legend'

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Shield of Legend

Contact Info:

Remixer name - Phonetic Hero, Omni-Psyence

Real name - Pete Lepley, Cory Richards

Site: http://phonetichero.bandcamp.com/

User ID - 44763, 22194

Submission Info:

Name of game - Mega Man X6, Mega Man X3

Name of arrangement - Shield of Legend

Source names (and links) - Shield Sheldon, Volt Catfish

Been a while, I've been meaning to sub this for a while and I just released this track on a solo remix album through my bandcamp (and also my first original album!). First of all, I'll try to keep things as short as I can, though I've got quite a bit to say about this remix. Secondly, very proud of this one. Thirdly, to summarize a few things, Omni's an awesome guy, love his music, and I'm excited to work with him again sometime. Got started on the arrangement at work on the first day of the round, wrote that neato music box progression and a bit more (orchestrations, chips, etc.), and then stagnated till about Thursday... was FINALLY able to finish it up and send it to Cory on Friday, leaving him all of 2 days to work. I had what I thought was a pretty decent arrangement (I did the music box thingy, all the chippy stuff and melodic synth work, and pretty basic horns and strings as far as sequencing is concerned), and was only expecting the massive, badass cinematic percussion that Cory has a way with, though I told him he could add in whatever he wanted to (and was secretly hoping he'd do... well, exactly what he did). The guy went above and fucking beyond; added a LOAD of additional orchestration that the arrangement was begging for, including amazing horn work, lots more strings, all the effects. The best part is the complexity it all adds; my progressions weren't very simple to begin with (at least I'd like to think :P ), but all the extra tonality, personalization, and expression it all adds blew me away (was literally giggling at work when I got the first MP3). Had to convince him after getting the first MP3 from him to write a groove for my weird-ass synth solo at 3:07, but I'm glad I said something, because the gritty, proggy groove he added really tied it together and made my strange syncopations into something with some firm complexity instead of just an odd meandering lead synth. Overall, I'm really, really pleased with the way this turned out, and I hope y'all guys are too. And keep your eyes peeled for Omni-Psyence's album "The Great Divide" when it drops (and it probably will already be out by the time this gets posted)!

Source breakdown:

-0:00 to 0:51 - Sheldon intro progression. Additional pieces of melody and arpeggiations from the source come in at 0:37

-At 0:51, there's a chippy arp that kicks things off with the Catfish intro progression. I guess in the source this isn't really a progression, but 3 notes of the same chord arpeggiated over one chord FOR A LONG FUCKING TIME. So I turned it into a progression, with a bar for each note instead of just 2 beats. Then filled out the chords how I saw fit, added suspensions etc.

-At 0:54 - 1:24, the chords are all Catfish (it's all in my horns, the poopy Kontakt Factory ones). The progression is dolled up a bit and a little longer, but it's still there (although the phrasing in the source is AABA, whereas in this it's just ABAB). The arpeggios and piano harmony just play to the progression; there's no source there, just original frill to fill things out

-At 1:24 to 2:23 is all Sheldon, should be pretty apparent in the melodies (and though the bassline is slightly interpreted from the source, it's still pretty similar)

-At 2:23, the same thing happens with the Catfish chords. The chords are in the horns, with the piano harmony over top, although this time it's harder to pick out (gets easier at 2:46, with my poohorns again) and uses the same progression all the way to about 3:23. (3:07 - WHOOOO PROG AHOY!! herd u liek asymmetrical syncopations)

-At 3:23, the Sheldon progression comes back. And then at about 3:36 to the end is that Catfish arp part interpreted a bit, with the Sheldon progression now spread every 2 beats rather than on 1 and 4, with a more minor interpretation to finish things out.

--------------

-Sheldon

- catfish Edited by djpretzel

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I'm kinda on the fence on this one. I love the overall approach here, and there's a great mood you've established, but there are a few things that I feel are holding it back. The usage of the sources overall seems fine in the overall, but I feel like how the sources were arranged puts them on the backburner. Part of that stems from a lot of the track focusing on chord structure and progression, but the melodies felt second place overall. Similarly, I would argue that Volt Catfish only has two very small cameos, and the rest of the useage is unrecognizable to me. Overall it might be a bit far on the liberal side in terms of arrangement.

The track feels like it is continuously building towards something, but I felt like it never quite got there. I'd love you to put in some kind of definite climax, or a breakdown, or something that made the arrangement feel like it had a little more direction.

The production overall was pretty good, and my suggestion there would eb to see if you can clear up the lower end a little, as it felt a touch muddy. You've got a lot of parts going on at once, though, and I'd say this is more of a nitpick than a dealbreaker.

I might be the minority in this, but it feels like it's coming up just a little bit short for me. I'd like to hear a little more source involvement and focus, and just a little more direction overall for the track. The chord structures you built are complex and great to listen to, but the piece feels a bit too unfocused. I'd love to hear this again.

NO (resubmit, please)

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I definitely agree that there is a bit too much teasing going on here; I thought it'd open up wide at :38, :54, 1:53

and it never really did. The dynamics never got to the really solid arrival climax. There's something close at 3:06ish, but it still isn't a defining moment.

The mix of percussive textures is sick as hell, and the mood overall is good if not a bit melody-light, and the samples are well used. As far as soundscapes go, this is well on it's way. I suggest bringing some sections down in intensity a touch, and one or two way up to get a more pronounced dynamic curve. Overall I am really feeling this, it just needs a bit more of an overall plan.

No, please resubmit

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Dem drums! (Damage?) Dem horns! (Pete, come on, get some better samples, stat! haha)

Great textures here. Lots of little chippy/arpy details. I hear plenty of Sheldon source. I hear the Catfish chord progressions too, thanks for the source breakdown. It may be actually a bit source light overall, but it feels quite cohesive to me.

Mixing is very good I think. Lower end could use just a teeny bit more definition.

My impression overall of this arrangement is that it *does* have good dynamics and movement. I disagree with my fellow judges here. I like how the track builds, ebbs and flows. I love the varied ways you handled the source, while keeping it prominent enough. Nice gentle breakdown at 2:40. Soloing at 3:05 sounded like a good climax, ok that climax could have been a little longer and more epic, but it's not breaking the deal for me. I dig it.

YES

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I strongly disagree with the NO votes. We can call it a matter of taste, but I felt this had a strong direction and more than enough build. It reminded me of certain film scores that climax with these really smooth sections without strong melodies, like the song you'd hear as you first take the tour through the superhero headquarters. Certainly the dynamic difference between the strongest sections and the quietest ones was pretty big. I really enjoyed the arrangement, and it fully captured my attention the few times I played through it. The seemingly random drums were great - a very unique element.

Even on the production end, there was little to fault this. The piano could have been less mechanical - it comes off more like a fake piano from a trance song than a real piano - though in the electronic/orchestral hybrid context it works ok. Yeah, this definitely gets my YES.

YES

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I needed at least 122 seconds of overt source usage within a 4:04-long arrangement for me to consider the source usage "dominant" per the standards.

Going off of the given breakdown and picking out what I thought was valid source usage, I had :36.5-52, :54.5-1:59, 2:00-2:06.25, 2:07-2:09.75, 2:11-2:21, 2:44-3:03, 3:03-3:20 = 135 seconds or 55.3%

I actually stopped counting once I hit that mark, so there are other minor things I'm not counting, like the opening and closing sections (which were on the liberal side with both themes).

I can hear how the intro progression (:00-:03 of Sheldon) is supposed to be used here, but the way the notes were changed seems to make it more liberal than I'm comfortable with. Not a big deal, as things ultimately checked out.

In any case, we've definitely had ReMixes where the source material has been used a lot as supporting material with original writing handling the lead (e.g. SGX's "Kick Your A"). When the source usage takes a supporting role using a more minor part for a significant portion of the track (MMX3's "Volt Catfish" in this case), I could see Js having a problem consider it "dominant" usage. There's a such thing as burying source usage when the mixing's too cluttered, which I don't approve of, but as long as the source usage is clearly audible and integral to the track, I'm OK with it.

Also, having made this mistake myself, I think it's wrong to ding an arrangement for not using the melodies or the most catchy parts that we'd expect; there's more than one way to use a source tune. In short, this checks out for me on source usage.

Onto the overall track:

Pretty fake brass to open things up. Nothing I haven't heard from Nutritious's arrangements before, and the level of realism's not great but serviceable. Still, the samples (arguably) felt more exposed than how he does it. Nothing that put this in any danger, just a recommendation that you work on couching that part into the soundscape better.

The lead synth from 1:38-1:48 was pretty generic, and I thought the overall mixing got a bit cramped, but overall, the sound design and dynamics of the piece were OK. I heard what seemed like a slight audio deformation at 2:07 as a part faded out; not sure what that was, but feel free to double check it. The piece could use more production polish to let the parts breathe, but it wasn't close to being a problem with our bar.

Yeah, I'm not getting how this didn't have flow and dynamic contrast throughout the piece. This flowed fine to me and creatively used the source material. Let's go.

YES

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I think I side with the YES-ers on this one in that I do hear the sources being there in sufficient quantity. It's close--borderline, even--but it's obviously a remix of Sheldon at least, with Catfish being mostly a suggestion inside the mix.

I'm not sold on the horns, strings, or the piano, but the fact that it's a very synthetic mix kinda allows them to get away with the un-realism. The piano, in particular, lends itself well to the more processed sound of an electronic cinematic piece.

I don't take any issue with the mixing--it's clean and I can hear everything plenty fine. I especially dig the electronic percussion stabs, as they're well-placed and hit good and hard.

This one was tough, and I had to think for a while, but I think I'll go with....

YES (borderline)

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Really digging the unique style of this track.

I really love the synth choices like the square bass and the chopped arps.

It sounded like things got a bit cluttered with loud sustained notes and reverb, but not to the point where it was a big detriment to the track.

Source arrangement checks out for me.

Good stuff.

YES

Pretty fake brass to open things up. Nothing I haven't heard from Nutritious's arrangements before

Aaaahahahah. <3 u Larry

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