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djpretzel

OCR01485 - *YES* Secret of Mana 'Dueling Consoles'

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IMPORTANT PLEASE READ BEFORE INSTANT REJECTING!!

Okay.. I think it's necessary that I give an explanation of this song. The idea is this... an NES and a Sega Genesis meet in appallachia and start a musical duel. At first they compete, but then they decide to work together. At 2:00... the synngergy is so great that the two FUSE to become something new.... basically the same NES and FM sounds but now featuring effects processing [this was especially helpful with the noise/PCM] So that's the story. The title and intro melody is a reference to "Dueling Banjos" from deliverance.. since it's the same scenario except, instead of the product of inbreeding and a city slicker jamming, it's two different soundchips. I've learned a lot about writing NES chiptunes since "Figaro Chiptune" but it's stuff that most people probably wont care about.

SOOOO it's all made from chiptune sounds but it's not purely chiptune, since it does things that neither chip would have been capable of.... hopefully that'll make enough of a difference for this to be passable. The song being remixed is Danger! from secret of mana.. great song with lots of themes rolled into one short two minute piece [Kikuta rocks.. not as familiar with him as I should be, B1itz Lunar has inspired me to check him out more]. Roetaka pointed out that the theme entering at 3:33 sounds like a quote from FF7 battle theme. Totally unintentional but true none-the-less, guess that's what happens when you listen to too much Uematsu.

I promise to write more straight up remixes in the future... ones in NO WAY involving chiptunes. I just really wanted to try this idea of two chips battling then mutating into an uber-chip so to speak. OKAY OKYA OKAY OKAY OKAY! Hope you enjoy it.

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http://snesmusic.org/v2/download.php?spcNow=sd2 - "Danger" (sd2-19.spc)

Ha! Before I listened to this source tune in full, I would have sworn it was just the first few seconds repeating over and over again. Never knew there was actually any substance behind it, or that it was 2:21-long.

Honestly, when faced with the option of playing this or "Espergirl 2A03" on VGF83 (since I had so many of Sam's track lined up that particular week), I picked Espergirl, because it was a lot more pleasing IMO, both as an arrangement and as a listening experience.

Don't wanna sound like I don't like the concept here, as I'm a fan of chiptunes and believe they're fair game when executed well. I also played one of Sam's "NESFM" originals on that aforementioned show, so he's capable of pulling it off well.

Things were alright to start off with, with the NES and FM sounds constantly trading off for the first :48. Textures during :59-1:20 weren't working well at all, IMO. 1:20-1:55 was good on the writing but felt empty part of the time without strong percussion to drive it along.

1:59-2:42 had a lot of shrill/piercing bits to it that made it difficult to listen to, even though I felt the lead writing and sound choices were solid. Volume is way up there, and the soundfield simply felt too crowded with a shitload of different things going on in the background fighting for space.

Next section at 2:42 was also really really good, IMO, but too loud, and 3:03 returned to the shrill sounds; not sure what makes them sound so piercing, but it's just hurting the ears when it should be making sweet sweet chiptune love to them.

3:25 works with another late section of the source, and the sound choices were really good, but the soundfield still sounded too loud and cluttered. Nonetheless, I was really liking the arrangement. 4:28 until the end was all well-written as well. The production was still bothering me; much like Figaro Chiptune, the volume really needs to be brought down.

Obviously, the arrangement is hot and the energy is good. Frankly with the sounds being used here, some of the Js will crap on it outright, as they're just not pleasing to them and all sound low quality. "Fair enough", I suppose given that I think it's hit-or-miss. I don't 100% agree, but I could legitimately understand someone else saying that most of this doesn't sound very musical.

Myself, I thought that this was falling somewhat short on sound quality, but not on account of the sound choices. There were some brief spots where I thought the sound combinations weren't clicking, sure. But I think lowering the overall levels and also going for a substantially less crowded sound where everything under the melody isn't fighting for the same space during the loudest sections is a must. At times, the supporting elements don't sound distinct enough from each other and it just sounds like wank that doesn't piece together.

Well, prepare for quite an uphill battle, bro...

NO (refine/resubmit)

Side note, I feel like if you subbed "Espergirl 2A03", it would give the group a collective headache, but could possibly/Iunno/maybe someone won't chiptune-hate in that case/who knows pass the group. I'd try it personally. No reason to be afraid to sub it. If not, no big deal, but I like the controversial mixes.

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Well the dueling concept in the intro is great, and you executed it masterfully.

The rest of the mix is hit or miss though...it's just so, unmusical. I'm sure some people will disagree with me here, but at times I felt like I was listening to a melody with harmony comprised of synth fx (even though this isn't the case, it just sounded like that due to their timbre) - especially pre 1 min, and pre 2 min time frames - after that things got a lot better.

I found your melodic work fascinating personally, but everything else was a miss for me. It's too disorganized and all over the place compositionally and in execution. The harmony and supporting material here just gets in the way of the great melody expansion you have here. It's chaos.

Production is in some ways better than Figaro - sound quality is not, but your processing and technical sophistication here was a lot more refined and less "vanilla."

This isn't as complex and sophisticated compositionally as your Figaro mix, but it's a lot artsier and more technically inclined.

I really liked the 2-4 min section of the mix. This for me was strong material and could be something you could use as an anchor to work around for a possible resub.

Close one, but I'm leaning on NO as well. With some work this could probably pass even my book.

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Again, very impressive, very challenging stuff from Sam.

The opening section is definetly the most "out there," but I disagree with the assertion that it's chaotic. The chromatic interludes don't sound particularly pretty, but they're a deliberate choice, and Sam stays within the confines of the harmonic strucuture he lays out. Yes, there are a lot of notes, and it does modulate very quickly at times, but it makes sense. There's no chaos here.

Once 2:00 hits, awesomeness ensues.

At 3:25 when it shifts into...what is that, 13/4? That's just really great writing.

Some may view the sound quality as being a major issue, but I am not in that camp.

Yes

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This is just SUPERIOR in the technical + arrangement sense. Amazing sequencing and lots of great interpretation. Very nice job on the song structure. I like this one a lot even if it's not "easy listening" - the only thing I could have a beef with is some of the tonal choices but I think the other aspects easily make up for it. I just don't really see what Larry + Gray are talking about. Very good job overall.

YES

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YES

I think I may have enjoyed figaro more than this, however I think this track is a better OCRemix.

Unlike the sparse chiptune instrumentation of figaro, the soundfield here is much more complete. The instrumentation becomes more and more dense, and it all sounds fine to me. This clearly isnt a chiptune. The instruments arent irritating at all, and the composition is up to Shna's par, if not his greatest work. I think it would be a mistake to reject this.

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Compositionally, this is far superior to Figaro. Rather than going with basic sounds and just relying 100% on the melodies, this one takes some very creative ideas and executes them in a way that only Shna can. Most of the chiptune leads in this have creative sequencing with pitch slides and such right the way through.

As Vig says, this one moves beyond the limitations of a simple chiptune, similar to the Mazedude Earthbound mix that was passed recently. It takes the good parts of a chiptune and translates them to a better soundscape to give a proper audio experience. Everything flows together pretty smoothly. The arrangement is dysfunctional, but it always comes together in the end. There's no real "climax" to the piece, in actuality it sounds more like Shna is taking the listener on a very intense drug trip, so the piece is one whole orgasmic climax.

There's nothing wrong with chaos if it falls in to work under the guidelines, this one does. The sound quality is sub-par to start off with, but that's just part of the piece. Shna's gradually built on the quality throughout the piece until you eventually reach a very pleasing level.

Even the source material to this piece was very dysfunctional, I'd almost think that Shna was the one that made that piece too from the sounds of it. He's done a good job with it here. Let the drug trip begin.

YES

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