*NO* Mega Man X2 'Chilled Energen'

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Hello again. Here is my second remix submission. I hope that you enjoy it.

Remixer Name: Motive Makes a Man
Real Name: 

Name of game arranged: Mega Man X2 - Crystal Snail
Name of arrangement: Chilled Energen


This song has a killer groove, and an awesome set of time signatures (13/8 - 6/8 - 6/8+2/8 - 4/4) and I have always been a huge fan of time craziness, so I knew it was a song I had to do an arrangement for. The original, in my opinion, is a bit fast, a bit tinny, and a bit mechanical. It loses some of its groove. So, my goal was to chill out the song, give it some of its groove back, and play off of the awesome 13/8 sections. As with my last submission, this song was orignally composed for a video.

Edited by Flexstyle
final vote

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I saw you get mad about the previous rejection on the Tweeter. The wait time is definitely too long, we all agree. But as for WHY we rejected that arrangement, don't get mad about getting rejected! It's nothing personal, and we're here to be honest, not "not get" your style. :lol: We're looking for the overall level of interpretation, and this arrangement demonstrated that a lot more interpretation than your Sonic 2 sub.


Cool, airy opening synths. Melody came in at :15. The beats added at :30 were thin but had personality, and the track fills out more later. So far, this is faring better than Ace's previous submission as far as the interpretation, because there's a lot more personality to his presentation of this theme compared to his Sonic 2 sub that more closely matched the mood & tone of the original source most of the way.


Because Ace set the loops and played the other lines in live, there were some minor moments where the timing felt loose, but it was nothing major. At 2:03-2:31, the soundscape got pretty cluttered and you had different parts competing for the same frequencies.


Nice subtle difference at 2:48 with the click, thinner perc, and more delayed sound to the melody. Ace is basically playing the same melody the same way again, but the surrounding part-writing and padding all changes and swirls around so that the track doesn't feel like it just retreading the melody, but trying to build and evolve the music around that melody, which is a cool approach, something that's both expansive and valid.


I'd say with the bassy synth added in at 3:00, things were getting muddy & cluttered again from 3:04 all the way to 4:23. Arrangement-wise, I like the writing and structure for that final section, and you have a nice build with the increasing density and energy, so let's not mistake that that's there. However, even though the track getting thick is intentional, it's not mixed well after the fact, and the track is just too indistinct as a result; you can reduce the overlapping frequencies to gain some clarity, all without losing any of the power and effect you're going for. Hopefully, some of the musician Js can give some targeted advice there.


Like the last submission, the track cuts off before the fadeout finishes, which doesn't affect the decision but IS sloppy; make sure you're checking that your track fully tails off so we hear all of the final seconds. Even in your YouTube video, it just cuts off abruptly. :-/


I'm speculating, but IMO it may take some other Js time to warm up to this, but definitely listen to this a ton of times and get used to the instrumentation and textures of it. It can possibly feel choppy (not because of the time signatures, but because of some looseness in the live parts vs. the rigidity of the beats). It also could be perceived as not interpreting the source tune enough because of the melodic repetition, but I wouldn't agree with that. I think there's a lot of more subtle dynamic changes going on that offset the melody being played pretty similarly through the 4 1/2 minutes.


The main issue I have is just clearing up the densest parts to preserve the energy that's intended, but prevent the track from sounding TOO indistinct & washed out. Cool arrangement, and you could definitely get this to a place where it can pass just from some mixing/EQ adjustments. It's 85% of the way there, IMO. Good stuff so far!


NO (refine/resubmit)

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I like this arrangement.  I also adore unique time signatures and mixtures of same.  I agree with Larry that the changes in processing of the most repetitious element (the e-piano) keeps it fresh enough.  That main e-piano line is what ties this track together so well, and the changes in writing and instrumentation around it keep the arrangement working.


I also unfortunately agree with Larry's mixing crits.  Everything here needs an eq cleanup, notching and boosting so that each instrument plays in it's optimal frequency range, as well as a volume rebalance because some instruments are much louder than they should be and too much up-front.  Also, in the busiest parts, I often hear that there's no clear lead, everything is trying to lead, and that causes the piece to lose focus.  


The side-panned percussion is really loud and dry too (and I'm really not a fan of hard panning), this percussion does not fit into the soundscape.  The kick and snare are really weak and tame by comparison. The volume discrepancies between drum elements and the severe panning make for a really odd drum kit.


Speaking of hard panning, the auto-panning synth that begins at 0:54 sounds like the side-panned percussion in that it is too hard-panned, too loud, too dry and too upfront, this synth does not fit into the mix well at all.  I think some auto-panning is ok here, but maybe just not that wide.


I'm afraid this mix needs a complete rebalance and eq cleanup.  But I do like the arrangement and the ideas presented.  I hope you'll fix this up!  (don't forget to make sure the render captures the end of the final reverb tail)


NO (resubmit)

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Call me crazy but I actually like the lo-fi quality of the drums here. It's got this very old school vibe.


The problems you guys are having with this piece don't really bother me all that much. I love the expansive feel you give the track and I really like the looseness of the live parts. I love how big this gets in the end. Really cool.



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I'd like to echo the crits my fellow judges have already stated. My main complaint is the drums feel very faint in the mix, so much so that I don't think I could pass this track on that fact alone. I felt in particular the snare was weak and consisted mainly of a little pop. Something bigger would suit the track a lot more. 


There are some nice synths and other sounds across this mix. You build a nice soundscape. You have a bit of clashing frequency wise between some of these sounds though. As has already been mentioned, you need to use some EQ to separate each element more, and perhaps make use of a HPF to cut the lows from some instruments that do not need those low frequencies, as the bottom end is a little clouded.


You tick the source box no problems.


I think the primary things to work on here are (as mentioned): the drums to make them more audible across the mix and some better mixing with some EQ to get things sitting right.


NO (please resub)

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those analog synth sounds, tho.



Arrangement is on point. I definitely know the original's there, but it's not a cover. Soundscape is gorgeous, I'm getting a very Vangelis sort of feel from it. 


Honestly, I'm gonna -NO- this one, based on one single thing--that hard-panned percussive bit acting as the off-hat in my left ear. If it were quieter and maybe if it were to alternate between left and right ears, I'd be fine. However, as-is, it makes the entire song feel off balance, and it goes on throughout most of the track, so I'm feeling off kilter nearly the entire time. Heck, even balance it out with another percussive bit on the other side and you've probably got my vote. As is, I really love the synth sounds, the mix makes sense to me aside from that, and of course the arrangement, as stated, is on point. Fantastic treatment of the funky time signature changes.


I really hope you bring this one back, Ace!


NO (but PLEASE PLEASE resub!)

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