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djpretzel

*NO* Super Metroid 'Enter the Metroid'

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Almost DR'd this one, but I couldn't quite put my finger on the specifics of why, which probably means it needs more in depth feedback.

 

-djp

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Remixer Name: The Art In Me

Real Name: Matthew Anderson
Email: 
OC Remix User ID: 50762
 
Game: Super Metroid
Arrangement Name: Enter the Metroid
Original Name: Title / Prologue
Edited by Liontamer
closed decision

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I've heard a couple of your submissions while I've been judging recently, Matthew. I admire the level of creativity and effort you've put into your tracks. You've got a distinct sense of atmosphere in all of your songs, and there's always a level of your own personal touch. The gritty lo-fi approach can work, but to put it bluntly your tracks all sound low-quality in a not-so-intentional way. The mixing is very compressed and muddy and indistinct, like you're overcompressing certain elements or haven't properly adjusted the levels of the instruments in your track, so you're left with a master that has very little dynamics or breathing room.

For example, the guitar in this mix is almost completely indistinct even though it seems like it should be operating as a lead instrument. The beats/bass are drowning it out almost entirely. I think this might also be a factor of using low-quality samples to begin with - the choir and the timpani drums sound very low-fi to me and stick out sorely.

Additionally, your tracks tend to rely very heavily on loops. While this arrangement you do employ some buildup/development over time, but the heavy reliance on the same core loops (in this case, particularly the bassline) causes the track to drag when you don't introduce much variation. I actually really like how you adapted the Main Title arpeggio into your bassline, but it doesn't change up at all throughout the song.

I think this arrangement actually has some potential, and you've clearly got a good sense of style, but I don't believe your execution is quite there yet. Keep practicing and hit up the Workshop forums for more feedback and your mixing skill will catch up to your vision :)

NO

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Wes covered the issues really well in his vote.  Everything sounds overcompressed even while the soundscape is quite empty.  I'm seeing -8db RMS even in the sparse intro, so I know the whole track is too loud.  The track does rely on the same loops over and over and the writing is simplistic and repetitive.   The guitar lead is indistinct, buried, and totally lacks impact.  Mixing-wise, I recommend you remove any mastering plugins, and take every fader down to zero and start bringing them up one at a time, paying attention to how much volume each element needs.  You'll need to learn how to use eq to carve out room for each instrument so the frequencies don't clash.  Our workshop might be the best place to get some advice.  The ideas here are solid, you just have to work on your execution.  

 

NO 

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There are some nice ideas here which are overshadowed by your production and arrangement decisions.

  • As your mix stands, there is not enough breathing room for any of your parts, and they're all fighting for attention. I had to turn my volume down to judge your mix, just so I could make out the different parts. Push down your overall mix volume.
  • I highly recommend sitting down and redoing your mixing (levels and EQ) from scratch so that each part is audible and sits where it needs to in the mix. If you're having trouble with this, go by the "always cut, never boost" mentality - if you feel a part should be louder than everything else, drop your volume on the other parts *instead* of reaching for the volume control of the part you want louder, otherwise before you know it you'll be boosting the volume of the next part you want louder, and then next part and so on and be back to where you started.
  • There is a distinct lack of clarity in your mix which I believe is also caused by your reverb. I would seriously consider dialling this back to more subtle levels. If you want an overly ambient sound, consider washing that reverb over a single element and leave the other bits with a lesser reverb.
  • The continuous use of the same sound effects over and over reduces their effectiveness and makes things sound repetitive (like the choir). Use these kinds of elements more sparingly across your track and consider tweaking the sound of these a bit each time they play.
  • Your mix felt like it had the same energy the whole way through, and then abruptly ended without a noticeable outro. Consider breaking things down and building them up again as your mix progress. A great way to tackle an outro if you're having problems is to peel back a few instrument layers over time and change the mood of your sequencing to make things feel like their winding down.

Definitely some work to be done to get this over the mark, in particular I would concentrate on the mixing first and foremost, once you're comfortable with your sound work on your arrangement. I certainly recommend hitting the workshop if you haven't already.

NO

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