Chimpazilla

OCR03360 - *YES* Sonic Adventure 2 'Chao Cave Rave'

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updated version (3/29/16)
original version

 

Contact Information
  • Air3s (SonicThHedgog)
  • Adeseye Agbaje
  •  
  • Air3s.com
  • Your userid - 35014
  Submission Information
  • Sonic Adventure 2
  • Chao Cave (Air3s Remix)
  • Chao Cave (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1Y7aBcuOPI)
  •  If I cant use the name "Chao Cave(Air3s Remix)", then I would like for the remix to be called "Chao Cave Rave". Preferably, I would prefer "Chao Cave"
 
Submission!
 

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That's one beefy kick!  I like it... until it drops out totally at 0:30.  The soundscape goes from really meaty and full to very empty.  I think that 0:30-1:29 could really be the intro to this song and not a breakdown occurring so early in the track.  The transitions are awkward since there is near silence each time (and a rendering click at 1:43 and again at 3:20).  There is a LOT of copy pasta going on in this track, although there are one or two elements added each time (extra hat groove or something), the additions aren't enough for me to overcome the copy pasta.  The track cuts off abruptly.

The best part of the track is from 2:15-2:37.  WOW I love this section, but it is so short,only 12 bars, 22 seconds.  The transition that precedes this section though is VERY odd since it is total silence.  The areas of total silence, especially right before drops, are not a good arrangement choice imo.

There is so much potential here, the sounds are beefy and good, but this arrangement needs to be completely reworked before it is ready for prime time.

edit 4/19/16:  Where did the beefy kick go?  Aw man.  I liked it a lot.  I'm still in love with the 22 seconds in the middle, but the rest of this arrangement is still too repetitive and sparse for me.  The rubbery bass you added starting at 3:07 is definitely a step in the right direction, but I wish something this cool and funky would have started much earlier.  I still hear way too many transitions that consist of a buildup followed by silence (or silence with one drum hit or some very minimal sound) which isn't strengthening your drops.  The silence at 2:14 is the most egregious instance of having a weak transition as it precedes the biggest of the drops. The outro is so stiff and sparse.  The part from 0:31-0:45 (and really all the way to 1:30) is so sparse as to be uncomfortable for me, I think some kind of interesting padding or atmo in such sparse sections would go a long way to making it flow better overall.  I'm very sorry but I still think this arrangement is too weak.  Good luck with the rest of the vote!

NO (resubmit)

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There is so much potential here, you clearly have some excellent production chops but the structure here isn't totally working. I personally am not a fan of how the "club mix" structure was applied here, it's jarring to have the song start off so loud and then break down into 30 seconds of ambient noise. I agree with Kris that this would work better if you sliced off the first 30 seconds of the track and saved that for an extended club mix. Just my two cents!

 

The source is very minimalist, though I recognized it instantly because I've spent probably 300+ hours in SA2 in the Chao Garden, so it was actually a great surprise to see this remixed! You keep the main riff throughout your remix, and the tubular bell/chime hits also allude to the source, so no problems there.

 

Your production is ace here, I love that big booming kick, and your synth design is well done. The ambiance is really cool, too. I'm not sure how you got those tones but it sounds very futuristic and interesting.

 

The section at 2:15 was downright exceptional. It's almost jarring to me how much better that sounds - not that the rest of your track isn't good, but that section is far and away the best part of your remix, and unfortunately it kind of makes everything else sound worse by comparison. Some additional ear-candy during the rest of the track would help bridge that quality gap.

 

You rely on the same dropout transition before every verse, too, which becomes noticeable on repeat listens. I would highly recommend changing those up at least a couple of times throughout the track.

 

This is something I could see myself listening to and enjoying on a personal level but this would sound so much better with a less-random structure and more variation in your transitions. I don't think this is quite ready for primetime on OCR yet, good luck with the rest of the vote!

(edited below)

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Ooh, this is a pretty tough call for me. I really like the approach, and when this remix is grooving, man, is it grooving. It's a perfect source song for this kind of arrangement, and you explored the permutations pretty well. There are really just a few small things that add up to a NO for me. The kick seemed a little bass heavy to me, beyond personal taste. I would tone it down a little to get a more rounded sound. It started to eat into the other lower range instruments. I also think the song would be better as a song (rather than club mix) if you started with a filter on the kick to take out the sub bass freqs. It would have a stronger impact when you go full bore later.

 

You used one type of transition too much, the other judges have mentioned it already. Try to very it up a little more. Finally, there's no ending at all, not even the standard club mix ending. Needs one.

 

Please make some changes and send it back, I think this is great!

 

NO (resubmit)

EDIT (5/27): Changed to YES

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Opens up pretty sweet. The opening line at :14 sounds pretty similar in tone to the source tune, but interested in seeing where else this goes. About a minute in, and I'm loving the soundscape. 1:29 shifts to a more straight-up chiptune lead. The kick is FULL OF POWAR, and is arguably too loud, but I'm cool with it.

2:14 moves over into a seemingly original section that was mixed too loud, though the source melody and beat patterns are quickly brought back at 2:22. The original lead dropped at 2:36, so I'm not sure what the purpose of it was in the gran scheme of things, though it did sound fine conceptually. 2:14-2:36 was cluttered, but the overall production quality was solid, so this one area wasn't a dealbreaker.

3:06 changed up the textures a bit so that it wasn't a total retread in terms of the energy level. Not sure what the big deal about the sudden ending was. Obviously, it's a take it or leave it thing on a personal level, and I get how it comes off as a mistake, but the track ends right at the end of a measure (as opposed to a rendering screw-up or incomplete fade), and the cutoff during the build could 100% be treated like a style thing. It's silly to dock points from this for that reason. Also, the drops at 2:12 and 3:06 do not go to total silence, so that criticism makes no sense. I did agree with Emu that using the same drop three times though at 2:12, 3:06, and 3:50 was more than enough times, so I would have liked to have heard something different there.

Very nice catch by Chimpa of the rendering click/pops at 1:43 and 3:20.

Arrangement-wise, I didn't agree with Chimpa's criticism that the arrangement isn't ready for prime-time. IMO, this is creatively firing on all cylinders, and while there's repetition, the melodic treatment is sufficiently creative and personalized where some repetition is OK, plus it's not pure cut-and-paste stuff where there's no meaningful differences from section to section. 

This is a melodically conservative mix, but Adeseye did a nice job putting his own spin on it, retaining many of the original's patterns, but crafting a more driving beat with richer, more evolving textures than the source. I can see why there'd be some concern on the tone being too similar, but IMO this struck a fine balance of sounding melodically close to the original while changing the instrumentation, adding original backing writing, and shifting the textures regularly to present more than enough interpretation.

YES

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Wow, that's one difficult source to tackle! There's very little content to explore. I think that reflects in your track, which has some great ideas but still sounds too repetitive to me. I'd suggest exploring some more (for example, by altering the melody at some point, by varying the transitions, by adding a modulation to the track's structure, etc.) As I said, though, there's some really cool stuff going on in there. I like the rhythmic detail work, and the buildups and drops. I was surprised, in a VERY good way, at 2:15. Those chords are extremely satisfying and refreshing, and release a lot of the tension you had initially built up in the arrangement. I'd love to hear more of that. 2:37 onwards, though, quickly makes me lose interest in the arrangement. I strongly suggest sprinkling more of that awesome 2:15-2:37 color later on in the track, or even finding some other new ideas to keep things interesting.
 
The production sounds great to me. The kick takes a LOT of space at certain parts of the track and might be a bit too strong for my personal taste. I don't think it's compromising the overall production's quality, though.
 
What truly breaks the deal for me, though, is the ending... which isn't there. The track just stops out of nowhere, which is very off-putting. You definitely need to fix that by adding a proper ending to the track.
 
Also, for the title, might I suggest simply "Chao Rave"? :)
 
Bottom line: good take on a difficult source, but more exploration would be great, and the absent ending is a deal-breaker for me.
 
 
EDIT 04/19/16: Hmmm I have mixed feelings about this edited version. I think the new kick is fine, and the new bass pattern at 3:07 onwards is a great addition. Although, I feel like the reworked sound design for some of the sprinkled atmospheric sounds and background flourishes has really brought down the atmosphere in the emptier sections. 0:33-0:44 in particular sounds *very* out of place in the new version, in my opinion. The same problem is easily notable in the new ending as well. It's an improvement in that there IS an ending now, but it sounds very inconsistent with the rest of the track. The other edits would have brought enough to the table for the arrangement quality for me to vote a borderline yes, but the newly introduced clash in atmosphere in the emptier section is just too big for me to overlook.
 
I don't like to refuse this for such a small portion of the track, but this is very close and I think you have what it takes to bring it up that notch. The sound design you had in the previous version in the 0:33-0:44 section was much more fitting, and blended in much better, in my opinion.
 
 
NO (borderline, please resubmit)

 

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 I hear several issues that, sadly, hold this track back from posting.  First, regarding the production side of things, I don't have too many issues with the quality of the sounds used, and the mix levels are fair, however the sidechain comp in your track is excessive and is creating tons of artifacts throughout the track.  Some very noticeable examples are at 1:42 and 3:20. The section around 2:17 with the synth bass brought some needed energy to the track but the climax is very short lived and we're left with only sub bass for most of the track while the mid-range is basically a void.

Regarding the arrangement, it's too basic and I don't hear much interpretation.  It's also very repetitive and dull, the buildups don't work very well because the main sections are weak and don't represent a real progression from the buildup, as the same melody is used without variation (again, very repetitive) with the exception of the aforementioned 2:17 section.  I wish you would've built up the arrangement and the energy track from there but it just falls back to the same arpeggiated synth we hear for almost the entirety of the track.  Also, the track ends abruptly with a literal cut off.
EDIT: 4/5/2016
OK so finally got around listening to the new version.  A lot of new details were added in the first 2 minutes of the song, and they help the track a little but I still think the arrangement is too repetitive.  Even the new effects and flourishes are repeated over and over in the same order.  Also the emptier sections feel very bare.  00:30-1:00 feels like it drags too long on very empty space.  Really long buildup to 1:30, which doesn't feel much like a climax.  I think if it had built up to 1:45 instead, it would've made more sense.

I still like 2:14 a lot, and I wish the 2 initial minutes of the track would've got shortened and we had more of this section instead (and variations of it).

The added bass at 3:10 is very welcomed, it makes the last 2 minutes of the track definitely the best.  Overall though, I still feel this track is still too repetitive and the energy management is confusing, with transitions and buildups to weak sections and a 2 minute intro that doesn't really add much.  Some refocusing and variation is needed.

NO (but closer now, resubmit)

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This is quite an interesting track. Considering how bare the source is, this is a pretty impressive arrangement. It manages to keep it just interesting enough to hold people's interest. While it is a bit repetitive from time to time (having entire sections copy/pasted, even), I think it works to the track's favor, as your builds that create anticipation all resolve in different, interesting ways (like at 1:29 compared to 2:15, for example). The drums get a little repetitive throughout, so a little more variety in there would help alleviate the repetitiveness of the track a bit. The straight cut-off ending really hurt this track, though - even letting the instruments drop out over a few seconds or just letting the reverb fade would be better than straight cutting the track short. It just sounds like a mistake, as it is.

Production: The mix sounds a little bit hot throughout. A little bit of low passing on some of those particularly bright instruments (especally that arpeggio) would help a great deal in making it more palatable. A few section have a noticeable "pop", when you go from loud to quiet, as well (like at 1:42 and 3:20). It could be an artifact that comes from gating a millisecond too late. Whatever it is,  Other than that it was alright.

That ending really kills an otherwise neat arrangement - it just can't be ignored. The slightly hot levels, popping and particularly bright arpeggio bring this down just below the bar, as well. It's otherwise great, though, and I would love to see a resub with those issue fixed.

---

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Without being prompted, I actually received a PM on March 12th from Air3s that he has a forthcoming update to this track. He's dealing with some frequency issues, so he told me on the 18th to hold up on dealing with the revised version, BUT it had some updates to leads and textures that I think might put it over the top. Also, the cutoff ending was a rendering error that he corrected. Rather than reject, I'll keep this open as he says he plans to have that update by Sunday.

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

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzZ-TkKWy5oLZXBkc094V0tsVkE/view?usp=sharing

Quote

Hello Liontamer,

I totally forgot I submitted that remix last year; I just saw it in the "to be judge" fourm.

I am working on finishing/improving the mix-down so it can sound a lot more bigger!

So when (or before) you judge the record, can I send you the new version anytime?

Best Regards

-Air3s

Quote

That's OK, just keep me informed when you have that update. I'll also say, when the kick gets super beefy, like at 1:30, it sounds like it's so loud that it's almost causing a ducking effect with the other instrumentation until 1:42, where it's as if the volume of the other parts drops when the kick happens. It could just be how it comes across to me, so this is just a FYI to take a listen to that. 

Quote

All done, here is the final (final!) mix-down

I heard it to. Its the lack of proper Plug-in Delay Compensation in Ableton (and many other things they still did not fix yet). That's why I usually mix down (and sometimes record or compose all together) in Cubase. I just wanted to give Ableton a try, but with its crap meters and poor plugin performace, I will just stick to mixing in Cubase, much easier to on.

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

EDIT (4/19): Sorry to Air3s for slacking on providing this update to the panel. New dad/baybeh times let this get away from me.

That said, it was nice to get an update on this without any prompting, so I like that Adeseye had an open mind to go back to this one long after he subbed it.

The structure is mostly the same, but there's:

* compression reduced
* some minor instrumentation changes
* a little more dynamic contrast with the textural dropoffs
* a little more ear candy (e.g. 1:45, 3:07)
* pair of click/pops removed (1:43 & 3:20)
* proper ending included (4:22; cutoff was a rendering error last time)

There's some ducking at 1:29 during the fullest section of beats that Air3s was aware of and tried to mitigate, where it sounds like other parts drop in volume as the beats hit, but it didn't bother me enough.

Everything I liked about the arrangement and subtle morphing of the track is intact, so I retain my (currently sole) YES and hope others reconsider their vote.

Edited by Liontamer
added updated version link

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I'm digging this update. Maybe I've forgotten what the kick sounded like before, like but the kick/bass combo still sounds plenty beefy to me. Production seems very clean.

This time, there's a lot more focus on sound design so that the backing synths/tubular bells/fx are less ambient and more up-front which helps hold my interest a lot more than the previous version during the more sparse sections. The sound design is a definite improvement overall, and the transitions, although they all use a similar upsweep style, have some variation to them this time around so it feels a little fresher.

Digging the bassline at the end, I wish it was present throughout more of the track but it helps justify the final section of the song and retain my interest.

The overall progression of the track feels more effective with this update, even if it's not the strongest arrangement I've ever heard. It's still minimalist for most of the track, but that contrast has always served to accentuate moments like 2:15 more dramatically by comparison. Now that some of the other sections are more lively and detailed, I think the arrangement serves its purpose without inducing boredom during the rest of it.

Maybe I'm just off my game because I haven't been judging much lately, but I think this sounds great now. Is it perfect? Nah, but it was fairly close last time around, and these revisions do more to help the track than hurt it by making the breakdown sections more engaging. Quoth the Liontamer - 'Don't make perfect the enemy of the good" - I think that applies here. Good luck with the rest of the vote!

YES

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Going into this blind from the other versions. Right away I'm noticing the kick and snare are very up front, but that fades when other elements come in. There's a lot of use of the 'fairy' sounds, for a lack of a better term, and I feel like it's a bit too heavy on them at times. The track gets into a groove after that, and while a little repetitive, it is overall pretty fun.

2:17 has some strange chord choices that I don't think are working. The dissonance is a bit too pronounced there. After that we're back to the groove, which sounds very similar to 1:30. The added elements to help there, but I do wish it was still a bit more different from the earlier section.

I think this one isn't there for me yet, but it is pretty close. The soundscape is minimalist, but I do feel like there's some good development going on. I'd like a little more variation later on and some adjustments to those chords at 2:17.

NO (resubmit, please)

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1 hour ago, DragonAvenger said:

2:17 has some strange chord choices that I don't think are working. The dissonance is a bit too pronounced there.

I'm not hearing this at all. Can someone else co-sign or elaborate on that? It sounds perfectly fine to me, plus this is the first complaint about dissonance (as a minor point OR a dealbreaker) for that section despite all the votes.

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Enjoyed the minimal opening and overall trolling of the listener to keep them guessing as to when the drop will finally hit 8).

Your track is actually quite minimal, and while I like this, I feel like it edges toward little noises a little too much instead of actual melodic content. I thought the chord portion at 2:20 was ok, but I felt it was a bit short in particular because it was the first time we were hit with a fuller soundscape. The change up at 3:00 is nice. When we get to the end we don't get too much of an outro which was somewhat disappointing. Production quality is solid, no gripes there.

Prob the tipping point for me is the main melody piece that runs across the majority of track - it played over and over and became repetitive to me rather quickly, even by the halfway mark. I'd say this is probably because it's played with the same blippy instrument in the same way most of the time. While there is a lot of background variation in this track with all the flutters, blips and things like that, I felt the foreground elements were a bit sparse which made the track feel lacking to me, like it was stuck in the same gear the whole way through. Ultimately I think the arrangement needs strengthening and more direction.

NO

 

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Wow, talk about an improvement from the last version. The addition of the bass texture for the repeated sections is very welcome, mitigating the repetitive issues that the track had significantly, and the production pops seem to have been fixed, as well. I have to say good fixes, all around.

I agree with DA on the little 'fairy noises' issue, though - the track seems just a little too inundated with them, when they're around. It just seems to add density for the sake of it, muddying up the track a little. One of the sounds, in particular (at 0:31, for example), sounds like it's mixed too loud on top of that, in comparison to the overall track - it just sticks out like a sore thumb every single time it's present. I don't think those are deal breakers for me, but it would be nice to tone down on those things a bit.

The chords at 2:17 are just fine - there's nothing technically 'wrong' with them. They're cluster chords and 7ths, and they're clusters and 7ths that add a great deal of flavor to those passages. A lot of people like using chords like that (myself included), so I don't think we can ding the track on that premise - it's an artistic choice, not a mistake.

As far as the arrangement goes, it was borderline varied enough for me even before the update, and I feel the interesting additions made to the arrangement pushed it above the bar. The fluttering synths aside, I think this one is good enough to post. Nice work!

YES

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Nice embellishments on what's a pretty simple/sparse source. Feels like a Sonic version of what we did with Super Cartography Bros.

No problems here. I'm bumpin'.

YES

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Gario really summed up my thoughts well.  Thing sound a bit sparse at times and some of the transitions could be stronger.  I could opt for less "fairy noises", but not a dealbreaker.  Overall production is pretty solid and the arrangement varies enough to keep me interested.

YES

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Its really repetitive and the ending is weaksauce, but there are some nice elements as well. The compression is really heavy bit isn't to the point where it sounds detrimental. I think it could be a lot stronger overall, but I think it clears the bar. 

 

Yes (borderline)

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I liked the additions here. Nothing major, but enough to keep my interest through this time. I can't remember if that glide bass was in the mix last time, but I like how it's used in the second half. I definitely disagree with 2:17 sounding dissonant; in fact I think the 7th chords work really well there and it's one of the best sections in both versions. Ending isn't spectacular but it beats no ending. Yes, this is enough to push me to a YES.

YES

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On 5/4/2016 at 1:40 PM, DarkeSword said:

Nice embellishments on what's a pretty simple/sparse source. Feels like a Sonic version of what we did with Super Cartography Bros.

No problems here. I'm bumpin'.

YES

Very similar in structure/relationship to source as some of the SCB mixes, yes.

I can see why the panel had issues with this, but I ultimately agree that it's a nice embellishment of a minimal source out into something that breathes & develops a bit more.

YES

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