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*NO* Sonic the Hedgehog 2 'Mandolin-a-thon'

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My name is Rob Wickline. I am one of Mike Worth's students at UArts. Your workshop was amazing!


I did an arrangement of "Chemical Plant Zone" from Sonic 2. It is arranged for 8 mandolins. I had been meaning to start doing game remixes for a long time, and I was messing around with the melody one day in between practicing one of Bach's Violin Sonatas (on mandolin), and thought "why not just start recording a crazy mandolin very version of this tune and upload it to youtube. That's pretty much the inspiration. I had a blast! T'was a lot of fun.


My real name is Rob Wickline, and my remixer name is Avoid Incorporated. I'm not part of the forums, but that is my artist pseudonym I use to release titles. 


One interesting that to note about the product is the bass part. Since obviously a mandolin doesn't go very low I had to think of how I was going to handle the bass. So I recorded in the part and then pitched it down one octave and doubled it into another track and dropped it yet another octave. I think it sounds pretty sweet because you get a nice sounding punch from the pitched down sound of pick hitting the string. I definitely want to use it in the future for my electronic music.


Here is a link to the original tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LYB7iLZNWE


Here is a link to the youtube video I uploaded in case your curious about the video quality of it: 


If you allow me to be on the website and if you want, I could send you the video of the tune so you could upload that. I'm not really sure if you do that or not, but I figured it's worth mentioning.


I think that just about covers it, but let me know if you need anymore information.


Thank you,

Rob Wickline


Edited by Liontamer
closed decision
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What is this... I don't even... I mean I never... well all I can say is that Rob and his seven identical twins are GREAT on the mandolin, and not too bad at mixing too!  This gets an A++ for creativity even before production is considered.  Interesting how he made the bass.  The arrangement is conservative of course, but this amounts to a Smooth McGroove mix with mandolins which is super cool.   (Mandolin McGroove?)  I would have preferred a non-fadeout ending, but I'll survive.  Short but sweet, this definitely hits my mark for Sofa King creative.  Love it!


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  • 2 weeks later...

Haha, this is exciting! I love seeing what totally new concepts artists continue to come up with, without simply falling back on a gimmick and not backing it up with actual musical talent and vision. The heavily-percussive nature of the arrangement goes great with Chemical Plant Zone. The performances here are fantastic and the arrangement is top-notch and the remix is gone with the wind before you know it.




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  • 2 months later...

[15:02] <djpretzel> Sonic 2 mandolin is actually pretty conservative

[15:02] <djpretzel> like, borderline so

[15:03] <Liontamer> I heard it, didn't bother me

[15:03] <djpretzel> hmm

[15:05] <djpretzel> surprised you feel that way, actually

[15:05] <djpretzel> VERY few changes

[15:06] <Liontamer> yeah, I see why borderline; I thought the performance was personalized enough from the albeit gimmicky approach of 8 mandolins, plus it's a 2.5 verse loop (not literally copy-pasta, but same verse/chorus structure) - there was some simple but original part-writing in the back, and the chorus had some flourishes

[15:06] <djpretzel> minimal

[15:06] <Liontamer> yeah

[15:06] <djpretzel> tempo, structure... I dunno

[15:07] <djpretzel> like, if this were piano, it'd be slaughtered

[15:07] <Liontamer> maybe if it were 8 pianos, it'd be fine

[15:07] <djpretzel> just because something is being repeatedly strummed...

[15:07] <djpretzel> that makes for a neat sound, but compositionally, this feels near verbatim to me

[15:07] <djpretzel> like if you did sheet music for it

[15:07] <djpretzel> aside for it being for 8 mandolins

[15:08] <djpretzel> you'd have something like a MIDI conversion

[15:08] <Liontamer> then recall it, np

[15:08] <Liontamer> we panel it

[15:08] <djpretzel> def. panel it

[15:08] <Liontamer> aight

[15:08] <Liontamer> I'll copy convo and move it over

[15:09] <djpretzel> gracias

[15:09] <djpretzel> wouldn't be weighing in if it didn't bug me

Anyway, checking it one more time, there's good stuff like the flourishes from :54-1:00 & 1:42-1:49, and there's minimal yet original backing patterns on support here.

That said, Dave's actually right that even for an awesome mandolin cover, even the interpretive aspects like those flourishes I pointed out are just repeated wholesale. From verse to verse & chorus to chorus, there's no dynamic contrast. Some further variation in the second and third iterations of the theme (before the fade) would help.

The performance & mixing are fleek level, but djp's right in that beyond the instrument adaptation it's just too conservative, repetitive, and underdeveloped, and I appreciate his check. It's only 2:10-long, and 2 1/2 samey verses with a fade doesn't get it done, so you do in fact need to bring more interpretation to the table. More melodic interpretation and/or creative original part-writing that integrated well would have been that nudge to put it over the top. I wouldn't be upset at all if this passed, BUT, I'll agree on a closer look that it's not there on the arrangement/interpretation level. Still a badass cover though.

NO (resubmit)

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My vote is still YES, although I totally understand where the NO is coming from.


edit 12/4/15:  Ok.  I see everyone's point.  I did have a concern about the conservativeness of the arrangement when I gave it the DP.  I was won over by the coolness of the idea.  But you guys are right.  Switching vote.



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This is one of those tough votes where I love the song but have to vote against my own preferences. I do think the arrangement is too close to the source for OCR. I think more reinterpretation is required to pass the arrangement bar, though the performance and sound quality is great.


You consolation prize or my judgement is that you can put this on youtube and get a million views. :-)


Seriously though, I think that expanding the arrangement a bit more would make this an easy YES, but as-is, I need to follow the guidelines.


No, please resubmit

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Since I've already done the analysis & Larry's explained my reasoning, I'll chime in with my own




Would love to see this on the site, but strumming alone doesn't change the extremely conservative nature of the arrangement - change all the strummed parts to single notes and you've got something we would never pass on piano, for instance. Just needs more interpretation/creativity beyond the (very cool!) novelty of the instrumentation.

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Haha this is cooooooool. Really appreciate the direction. That said, I'm not hearing any personalisation of the theme, its basically a completely conservative interpretation for OCR. That said, I have to say, just cause I'm noing it, doesn't mean I don't enjoy it. I'll be listening to this quite a bit over the next few days \m/



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