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OCR03760 - *YES* Mega Man 9 "Waltz of the Wind God"

10 posts in this topic

ReMixer name: Pl511

 
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UserID: 48825
 
Name of game: Megaman 9
Name of arrangement: Waltz of the Wind God
Name of song arranged: Tornado Man Stage
 
Comments:
This is definitely one of the harder things I've tried to achieve with an arrangement - creating a standard 3/4 waltz from a 4/4 source. While the first few phrases came quite easily, a couple of the main motifs don't lend themselves to 3/4 incredibly well without quite a lot of adjustment to make it sound more natural. As a result I feel like the extra effort that I put in to make the track flow a bit more helped a lot in giving a more flowing and fragile side to the original, quite chaotic and fast-paced theme. Just for notice, the entire track was recorded in a single session.
 
-Pl511
 
 
 

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Very creative adaptation, Tornado Man sounds simultaneously familiar and totally foreign here, somehow. As I've come to expect, the piano performance is intimate and skillful without being too flashy.

 

The lack of dynamics to such a short, slow arrangement poses a bit of a conundrum - what's here is solid and definitely passable in my book, but there's not a TON of substance to this arrangement either. The ideas are presented clearly, but there's not much of a curve to the track and it ends very quickly.

 

I'm a little bit stumped, I think I'll need to mull this over because this decision will almost definitely boil down to a matter of whether or not other judges find the arrangement to be substantial enough, and I feel like it is a very subjective call either way.

 

EDIT 6/4: Yeah, after revisiting this I can safely say that this is just not substantial enough as an arrangement to really meet OCR standards. I hate to kick something like this back because it is quite nice, but we need to hear just a bit more content to make it work!

 

NO

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I always expect lovely piano playing from PI511 and it does not disappoint.  This is really nicely played, and I love time signature adaptations.  Wes put it perfectly when he said Tornado Man sounds familiar yet totally foreign at the same time!  The piano tone is nice, the reverb is tasteful.

 

But gosh this track is sparse.  It is very quiet first of all, I only see it hit at about -6db at the loudest notes, and that is SUPER quiet.  The softer parts hover around -24db.  This isn't a dealbreaker in and of itself though.  While the playing is really very nice, I actually don't find this substantial enough to be an OC ReMix since it is not only sparse and quiet but very short.  This is a conundrum indeed, but my gut is telling me this isn't quite enough to do the job.  I wonder what some gentle string backing might sound like.

 

NO (resubmit) 

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<3

 

i think it's pretty obvious what this piece's fate is and it is most unfortunate, indeed.

 

i personally am not at all bothered by the sparseness of it; i think that's exactly why it works, giving the original source a vacuousness that redefines the theme altogether... that this "wind god" in all his cyclonic chaos has a vulnerability underneath, a soft underbelly that can be exploited with FEELS and PIANO. or something to that effect, at any rate. it does well in provoking the compelling notion of villains as sympathetic characters. the arrangement is by far the strongest feature here... although the performance is also ace. very gentle, confident hands you've got there.

sadly, it's incredibly short, soft and ends too abruptly to be particularly successful navigating the panel. it's a yes in my book but we know my book is written in an alien language so that probably doesn't mean much

 

NO (borderline/resubmit)
p.s. i'll gladly flip my vote to a Y if it gets other Yes votes... and definitely if he resubmits it to the liking of the rest of the J's on the revote. Either way, I am ready to pass this.

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I've been on the panel for nearly 14 years at this point, so I've seen a lot and done a lot to guide this process. I can't vote on everything, so it has happened where I run into a case like this where a track gets rejected and I'm strongly against it. This is one of those times.

A word of caution to any current or future Js reading this; provided you really think a submission is good, yet you're thinking the Standards are somehow against it, then the best way to make your case is to refer to and quote the Submissions Standards. That wasn't done here, and it seemed like the initial feelings questioning the dynamics and level of substance led the day, while missing the bigger picture of this arrangement's strengths.

Quote

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Before I get to a vote, let me say that I'll be updating the Judges Panel Wiki/FAQ page to note that we welcome artists telling us if they think we're substantially off-base and appealing a decision, because that's always been our policy even if we haven't spelled that out. If someone gripes in a different way than coming to us, we also will treat that as an appeal, because whenever we're challenged about a decision, we're always willing to revisit it. It doesn't matter whether the artist is calm or upset, and it isn't influenced by whether an artist will submit music in the future. That said, we do take the integrity and consistency of the process seriously. Situations like these can't 100% be avoided, but provided I see another posted ReMixer 3N'ed like this, I'll be more likely to check the track before moving out the decision thread. In this case, the original decision was in 2015, but that doesn't mean it can't or shouldn't be reassessed, either due to stubbornness or how much time has elapsed since the decision.

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

Onto the track itself...

The track was 2:14-long, so I needed to hear the source tune used for at least 67 seconds for the VGM to be dominant within the arrangement.
:20-:26, :29-:34, :36-1:07, 1:15-1:21, 1:23.5-1:28, 1:31-1:37, 1:39-1:54, 1:57.5-2:10 = 73.5 seconds or 54.8% overt source usage

I'm likely shortchanging it, but I'm just timing it out to establish that I heard the Tornado Man theme in play for most of the performance.

My rebuttal to the initial 3 NO votes:

This is not too short.
This is not too quiet or sparse.
This is not lacking dynamics.

I'm not sure how labeling this as quiet and sparse is justified; it's a solo piano piece with a pretty normal volume. Arrangement & interpretation-wise, you have a fast & upbeat 8-bit source tune adapted to solo piano, slowed down, switched to 3/4 time, given a genteel presentation with subtle tempo changes and, IMO, strong performance dynamics. The overall dynamic curve of this piece may be narrower, but there are clearly noticeably fuller (e.g. :21, 1:11) and softer sections (e.g. :00, 1:48) that show off this arrangement as an intimate piano performance. How is this piece not substantial enough when it comes to interpretation of the source tune? It's only 2:15-long, but there's 0 repetition as far as the presentation & performance dynamics, and we have plenty of sub-2:30-long arrangements, including 8 in the past 4 years. It could be longer, but it's not underdeveloped; saying it wasn't a substantive enough approach given what in fact was done is not cut-and-dry, so I'm pulling this back to the panel for more votes.

I'm not saying anyone has to vote with me; this isn't me trying to browbeat a change in this vote. However, after hearing this piece, I feel like the panel made a mistake with this original vote and that the Standards weren't properly applied, so, once again, I'm flipping a table. While the original votes will stand, I am calling for the current panelists to weigh in, and requesting a full majority vote of 6 YESs or NOs (i.e. 9 current judges, factoring in the votes here of 2 past judges).

YES

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The track certainly is short but I feel like if it was any longer it might overstay its welcome. This is pretty emotive and I'm definitely not hearing any of the "too quiet" or "too sparse" points here. It sounds good to me. We should post this. YES

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Oh, we've got one back from the ashes here. Let's see what we've got.

Piano arrangement, and the performance is solid. I tend to nitpick live piano performances, but I'll abstain from that this time - this is from 2015, so the artist's technique has likely grown since then. There's nothing serious to address in this; if anything, the slight timing variations make this piece sound more alive.

The track is short, but it doesn't sound incomplete (the unresolved note at the end sounds purposeful, and it leaves the listener just a little uneasy - nice touch, in my opinion). It handles dynamics quite well, to boot; it plays the harmonies quiet, and it uses increasing dynamics to accent it's phrases nicely, as well as to make the melody pop in front of the harmony. I admire that quite a bit, actually.

Yeah, I'm on Larry's side on this - it's short, but there ain't no rules against being short as long as it's a finished track. Let's get er' done.

YES

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I agree.  Complaints that this wasn't "substantive" enough of an arrangement were just off the mark.  The emotive playing, the transformation to 3/4, the subtle twists--more than enough to both hold the listener's interest and make this stand out as a ReMix.  It also certainly isn't lacking in dynamics; changes in loudness and pace are used to good effect to control the emotional state of the piece.  It might be "quiet" from a waveform perspective, but it isn't hard to hear at normal headphone volume.  And it's over 2 minutes, with no filler--short but by no means too short.  As a sad, evocative piano solo, I feel like this hits all the marks.

YES

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Quiet yet emotive intro. Performance is strong, with variable pacing throughout. Mixing is serviceable (although overall volume could do with a slight bump), and there is a good amount of air to the notes played. Nothing here feels repeated, even though each section is quite minimal. Due to the slow pacing and minimal nature of the mix, this does feel quite short - leaving the listener with a feeling of wanting more. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I would have liked to hear some further evolution of the source tune. Otherwise, what is here is done well.

YES

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Production sounds nice and clean.  Great, expressive performance.  Sometimes the use of emptiness and rests can convey part of the emotion of the arrangement as well.  I imagine this is what would play in the aftermath of Tornado Man's meeting with Mega Man ;).

Arrangement connection is clear.  It's short, but definitely gets the job done.  Lets goooo!

YES

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