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OCR03087 - *YES* Star Ocean: The Second Story 'This Love, Our Love'

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ReMixer Name: DusK

Real Name: Dustin Branscum

Website: http://www.itstartsatdusk.com

User ID: 24328

Game: Star Ocean: The Second Story

Arrangement Name: "This Love, Our Love"

Song Arranged: "The venerable forest"

Platform: Playstation

Composer: Motoi Sakuraba

Release Year: 1998 (JP), 1999 (NA), 2000 (EU)

Source:

Lyrics:

You take me away from loss

You give, and you give freely

We'll walk through this world unharmed

As long as you walk with me

Through smoke and ash, we're hand in hand

You bring me far above

And though we're two against the land

We wield this love, our love

You robes flowing in the wind

My armor scratched and torn

You make me whole again

An embrace soft as it is warm

Though darkness looms, we're back to back

You bring me far above

And though we're two, and worlds fade black

We wield this love, our love

We'll take on this world

With our fates entwined

Never lose your wand

I need you at my side

Through paths and trees, with sword and staff

We'll fight, endure, it all

Though outnumbered, not outmatched, we'll always have

This love, our love

We'll take on this world

With our fates entwined

Never lose your wand

I need you at my side

Though outnumbered, not outmatched, we'll always have

This love, our love

Comments: I did this remix to perform it live at my wedding reception. My wife walked down the aisle to "The venerable forest", so it seemed fitting that I create a vocal remix of the track. I spent a great deal of time on the instrumentation, particularly the string sections, and I feel it's by far my best attempt at creating a convincing orchestral piece using samples, something I'd love to do more often. The vocals were revised quite a bit after I got some feedback from Flexstyle, who noted that the original recording was fairly pitchy. The lyrics create a comparison to marriage through references to the roles we both commonly play in MMORPGs.

Enjoy. :)

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What a sweet song to sing at your wedding! I can't imagine there was a dry eye in the house. I love the lyrics, very appropriate for the marriage of two gamers.

I think the orchestral elements, piano and guitar are all produced very well. Good care was given to the humanization of the strings. The vocals are performed well. I do wish there had been some vocal harmony or widening somewhere, like during a chorus or two, to break up and widen the vocal soundscape. But really it is just a very lovely and touching song.

YES

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When the guitar came in at :17, it sounded SUUUUUUUUUUUPER lo-fi/distant and the production didn't make much sense compared to the clean (too clean) bowed strings where the sample's lack of realism was exposed. Dustin with the melt-up vocals for the ladies at :36, sounding great here (with the Auto-Tune touches of course). I loved the accents of the bowed string writing around the 1:00 mark; arguably too subtle for that part as well as the volume of the piano accents, but it clicks enough. Nice quick touch of melodic personalization around 3:07 with the guitar. The mixing/production nag on me a little, but certainly nowhere near enough to prevent us from passing this. Smart lyrics along with talented, heartfelt vocal delivery. I'd argue the ending was too quick and offered an opportunity for a longer, MORE TENDER instrumental close, but I'm just picking nits at that point. Nice job, man! :-)

YES

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Oh this is nice.

I have to say, I love the concept. Really pays tribute to the original while expanding it in some great ways.

Opens up with some really nice string work. Then, the "lossy" acoustic guitar enters. Its distracting against the hi-quality strings, but once they're more in the background you don't notice it as much.

I like the concept of the vocals, but they have one issue - I can hear where its been edited. The synthetic feel brought on by the sudden shifting during the vocal performance and how perfect the pitches are is at odds with the rest of the track. It is not synthetic or electronic in any way other than this one aspect. Autotune imo has no place in a track like this. I probably sound pretty strong worded here, but thats just me emphasising how big the issue is. What I would have done is fixed it manually so it doesn't sound synthetic - Its something I do with vocals and while it takes longer, the end result is MUCH more rewarding - even if it the tuning isn't 100% bang on (which it shouldn't be, we're only human after all)

That said... I am on the fence. The execution of everything else is pretty good, and I can see where the yes's are coming from, considering they didn't even MENTION the auto-tune...

Sorry, I can't sign off on it. The vocals need fixing up to fit better with the rest of the track imo - could just need the auto-tune turning off! I can't condition it based on that tho since I don't know how good the original recording is (sorry!)

I doubt I'll have too many agreeing with me tho - good luck with the rest of the vote!

NO (resub)

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It's entirely possible I don't hear & process Auto-Tune in the same way Will does. I can't say I had any problem with it, and it wasn't anything that stuck out as a huge negative for me.

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Very heartfelt, moving performance. Instantly, the concept, original and cohesive lyrics, and the expansion from the source earns some major points in my book, despite some of the flaws I'm going to elaborate upon. Your vocal style has grown on me with repeat listens, and I especially have to give props for how expressive and emotive you became from 3:37 onward. Everything really came together in those final sections :-)

I have a bit more to critique on the production side than some of the other judges. First of all, I agree that the guitar sounds over-compressed and/or lo-fi... generally just plain off in the mix. Regarding the strings, I felt that the samples and the articulations you're using work great when playing the long, sustained swells that comprise most of the backing track, but the faster legato passages from :26 - :34 or :10/3:04/other places throughout the track fall flat to me in terms of realism.

The piano sample was also distractingly low-quality in the higher octaves at 3:17 - 3:54.

On the topic of vocals, I didn't hear most of the autotune issues that Will chimed in on. The vocals don't sound totally professional, but for an amateur fan site like ours I thought Dustin's recording/processing work was more than enough to get the job done here :-) There were a couple of curious anomalies that bothered me, namely the abrupt vocal cuts at 1:17, 1:38, 3:41, and 4:36 that just felt like slightly sloppy editing. It would be nice to have those ironed out but it's not a dealbreaker by any means.

I found the arrangement to be pretty static up until the 3 minute mark. I would have preferred that section to be more condensed, or feature more variation. The breakdown around 3:01 was a welcome change, and the higher-intensity sections that followed felt like a natural expansion on the groundwork you laid down.

Overall, all of my nitpicks pale in comparison to what your arrangement gets right. As a whole, the blemishes are relatively minor and infrequent, and for the majority of the time your production is more than adequate for the concept you were trying to execute. I went back and forth on this track for a long time but I feel comfortable passing it in spite of its shortcomings. Best of luck with the rest of the vote :-)

YES

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There are a couple times where I can kinda hear what Will is getting at, but being a vocalist myself with some of the same issues, I don't really take issue with the use of autotune to clean things up. I think the song is a great and intimate piece that really reflects a lot of emotion; Dustin's feelings really come through here. The nits I would pick is that I would have liked a bit more in terms of harmony with the vocals, either a second singing part, or maybe some other instrument to flow with the vocals at times. Aside from that, I'm feeling this!

YES

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