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OCR03194 - *YES* Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze 'Windmill Advisory'


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Mostly looking for feedback/crits on how well the samples were used, and any advice, if necessary. Fun stuff! -LT


Remixer Name: Pumpkin King
Real name: Joe Dumpe
Website:
youtube.com/pumpkinking872
facebook.com/pumpkinking872
soundcloud.com/pumpkin-king
User ID: 48065

Name of Game: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Name of Arrangement: Windmill Advisory
Name of song arranged: Windmill Hills
Original Composer: David Wise

Link to source track:



My arrangement is included in the attachment.

I was very happy to hear that David Wise was coming back to compose for Tropical Freeze. He is one my favorite video game composers out there. So, I decided to try out an orchestral arrangement for one of his tracks. Windmill Hills immediately stood out to me, because it closely resembled some of his earlier works for DKC, such as Stickerbrush Symphony in particular.

In the beginning, I wanted to keep fairly true to the source material, while adding my own orchestral touch. I started to really have fun with the arrangement as I went on throughout the second half. The repetitious melodies I arranged do spawn from ideas in the source, it just might be hard to tell at first.

As far as the production, I tend to stray away from realism (when it comes to orchestrations). Some of the samples I use can be very synthetic sounding, so I embrace that fact.
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Nearly the entire piece refers to the source, so no source usage tracking was needed. Yay for me! :-)

 

Opens pretty similar in structure to the original, though personalized with the instrumentation. 1:37.5-3:31 has some very liberal treatment of the source over top of an ever-present beat pattern taken directly from the original bassline of 1:37-1:52. Luckily, that bassline pattern Joe mirrored wasn't heavily changed, so I didn't need to stopwatch the leading stuff on top of it. :-D I thought the ending section at 3:31 lacked focus, so I would have liked a stronger resolution, but it was fine, and this was pretty smart stuff all around, arrangement-wise.

 

I do like that Joe's all about working with what he's got. Though I'd love to hear some more realistic samples & articulations for all of the string work, this is a lot of fun nonetheless, and the percussion alone makes it for me. Great use of the tools, and such an energetic take on Windmill Hills that moves it from laid-back to energetic. Nice job personalizing this take on the theme, Joe!

 

YES

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  • 3 weeks later...

I don't have any problems with the samples.  They aren't fooling me, but they aren't ugly, and they are certainly expressive enough to get the job done.

 

I feel obligated to complain that the arrangement is pretty conservative.  Most of the interpretation is in the instrumentation, and the song feels longer than it is.  But I'm really just being a pain in the ass.  This is a competently executed remix.  

 

YES

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Yep no problem with source use!  It's a very cute, upbeat track.  Track ends up sounding a bit stiff and choppy due to mainly staccato samples being used, with really no legato to glue things together.  The only remotely legato element I hear is the flute starting at 1:38.  I think adding just one legato element like some blocked violin chords would improve and fill out the soundscape quite a bit.  But, the staccato feel goes perfectly with the feel of the source tune, it sounds very DK.  Drumming gets repetitive.  Vig is right, song does feel longer than it is.  Overall the track is nicely done and well mixed, very cute and enjoyable.  The ending isn't blowing me away though, it just sort of... ends.  Still,

 

YES

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OK, I'm digging this.  The arrangement & composition work here is deceptively complex - trying to get the percussion (used more in the foreground than traditional orchestral percussion) to balance well with the rest of the more traditional orchestral instruments is no easy task.  The way it's been done here just sounds effortless.

 

Samples may not be 100% super realistic LASS or anything, but they were very competently utilized and nothing stuck out as being significantly problematic.  I thought the woodwind leads starting at 1:38 and later were particularly well written/executed.  Coming from someone who tendes to us reverb as a bit of a glue/mask for unrealistic samples, I really like hearing an approach from the opposite side of the coin.

 

I will concede that the ending was a bit disappointing, but not enough to make a major issue out of.  

 

Good stuff :nicework:

 

YES

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