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*NO* Sonic the Hedgehog 'Blue Paradise'

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  • Name of game(s) arranged: Sonic 1
  • Name of arrangement: Blue Paradise
  • Name of individual song(s) arranged: Special Stage
  • Link to the original soundtrack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWvuTyFysFg 
  • I wanted to create a mild fusion of Jazz and Hip-Hop with this nostalgic track.I was inspired by a lot of hits from the 90's!
Edited by Liontamer
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  • 2 weeks later...

This is a pretty great arrangement style for the track, I appreciate how prominent the chords are compared to the beats, which are pushed back a bit; it gives the track a warmer and more enveloping feel to me, and the track feels really personalized. The green hill cameo was a nice touch as well, and sounded really good with the new chords. The melody was a bit relaxed and takes it's time, and overall it's a great personalization. 


The balance is a touch mid heavy; a price to pay for the prominent piano chords, but otherwise feels decent. I think bringing it down a little bit with give more headroom, and would benefit the track, but I don't see it as a prominent issue holding this back from posting. 


Nice and chill, I am groovin. 



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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry, I'm not as on-board with this right now. There's an excellent foundation here, I had high hopes for this when I first heard the piano tone, which is excellent. the arrangement is sweet and chill and you've got some great sound choices here, but some of the execution is falling short for me on the detail work.

Sorry to say but I just don't like the beats here. They feel very rigid in terms of quantization and velocities. The drum writing is there, but the lack of attention to any sort of velocity tweaking stops this from really falling into a groove that works with the track. The snare sound gets very annoying over the course of the song, again because of the lack of attention to velocity and also because the sample itself is very short and has no real decay/release/reverb. It sticks out like a sore thumb to me.

I would honestly recommend going back to the drawing board on how you sequence your drums and really shoot for a more humanized, nuanced groove. I think it would help this track a ton.

To an extent, the same feedback can apply to your lead synth solos - the sequencing is very blocky and un-expressive.

OA touched on the mid-heavy mixing on this, and I do agree that you could cut into your piano just a LITTLE bit to craft a cleaner soundscape. Not too much, I mostly like how your piano sounds right now. The bass mixing is also pretty on-point - I'm not a huge fan of how exposed the sample gets at times when it reaches into the higher octaves, such as at 2:54, just because it's not the most realistic bass patch, but I'll live. It works most of the time.

So, for me, the drums are a dealbreaker, but I'd really like to see some additional velocity tweaks on the other elements in the track, particularly the solos. Some slight production cleanup definitely wouldn't hurt, either... just be careful not to overdo it!

NO (resubmit!)

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I can hear a bit of both sides of the coin here, but feel like I'm personally leaning towards DA's points here (OA bro I sill love you).

Piano sounds nice and lush, but over time it overpowers some elements that it should be supporting.  Because of this, the mix gets crowded in the busier sections, making it sound muddy.  This is especially apparent in places like 3:12.

I don't think the drums are a deal breaker necessarily, but I agree there's some room for improvement.  The snare sticks out a bit as the track progresses as something that feels very static and not nuanced.  Hard to put it into words, really, but I hope you know what I mean.

Good stuff here, but I think it needs to be tightened up a bit.


NO resubmit, please

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Sounds very lossy to start, but we'll see if that changes. 30 seconds in, I don't think the lo-fi sound is going away. Yeah, you need to clean this up.

Pretty low energy lead at :34, which sounds like a gradual build to a more straightforward version of the melody that never comes. The supporting beats, which were relatively basic, were already getting tired by :52. I'm 2:00 in, and I haven't heard the actual theme once, just bass work and VERY liberal and sparse lead work. If the goal's to make something Sonic-esque, that's no problem, but I've heard "Special Stage" a billion times, and this is like a soundalike take that isn't meant to directly use the melody of the original song.

Bad notes from 2:55-2:57, repeated from 3:04-3:07. There's Green Hill Zone cameo-ing at 3:13-3:29, which is always a nice melody, but doesn't combine well with those odd notes I just mentioned.

Wow, I dunno what OA heard, but I lean toward him being high on whey protein and strongly disagree with a YES on this. :-D Emu nailed why this is a NO-go at the moment on sequencing and production levels.

Calbert, I hope you know I like your material, but this isn't the track that'll put you on OCR yet. In short:

1. Don't be too liberal with the theme. Where's the Special Stage melody in all this?
2. Vary up the core beat pattern more. It's too plodding and repetitive, and leaves the track flat in terms of the dynamics. 
3. Restore high-end clarity.

Also, more of a PS, but you should get someone to perform your FF7 arrangement from 2010 live, and get that piece posted, if you're still interested.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think the piano being so loud is actually a poor mixing decision.  It's got a ton of body, and it eats up space, which really ought to be taken more by the drums and leads.  The drum programming is pretty weak, and the loud piano serves to draw attention away from that failing.

Arrangement-wise, I think the melodic interpretation is unnecessarily liberal.  It doesn't serve too much of a stylistic purpose, and the piano part writing is a bit chaotic at times.  There are interesting chords, but they aren't applied with much nuance.



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