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djpretzel

*NO* Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin 'Hail to the Present'

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I liked it and thought it was fun.

-djp

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1) Remixer Name- Yoshiblade

 

2) D L

 

Forum ID) 52832

 

1) Game Being Arranged- Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin

2) Name Of Arrangement- Hail to the Present

3) Name Of Arranged Song- Hail From the Past  

4) Original Composer- Michiru Yamane 

 

5) Oxford University, Suite 1987

Oxford, England
Dec 5th, 1936



"Esteemed colleges, I present to you the most peculiar occurrence I can recall in all my years. Approximately 10:31 P.M. I attempted to reach Cairo Relay Station. I felt it best to contact, Dr. Carter and report on our current situation, when as quickly as I have ever seen, an errant sandstorm blew in from the East. Our radio produced nothing but static on frequencies I know to be valid, until I heard the most haunting sounds that, I should think, have ever existed. My immediate reaction was to engage my personal wire recorder and capture these bizarre sounds. The wave like squelching seems to be a warped radio signal, yet I clearly hear a violin and drums that beat with a rhythm I found to be irresistible and drives with a spirt I have not yet encountered in my travels. There seem to be an interaction between a one Jonathan and Claire and a yet unknown female ( who’s voice is like that of a siren to my ears) The strange effects, which I can only deduce are of an electronic origin (which are of no discernible origin, at least no current origin) clip and stutter, twisting the waveform of these fantastical sounds, as if one were fumbling with a tuning knob, which is very apropos, due to the nature of my interaction with this erie encounter, the likes of which may very well change not only how we Egyptologist understand this mysterious place, but our very understand of the past, present and future”

Prof. Harker PhD. Esq. MD. Rev. LMNOP

 

Original https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fg1PDaOnU2Q

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This is a super-creative arrangement with an awesome dynamic curve that does a great job expanding on the source. I loved Portrait of Ruin and remember this song fondly from long hours of grinding to 100% complete the game :) This remix gets a lot right - your sound choices are cohesive and unique,  and you utilize a lot of ambitious processing/LFO envelopes on your leads to give them personality without sounding randomly shoehorned in. The beats are well-crafted and produced, and the fills/transitions work great. There’s a few areas for improvement, but in my book, your creativity triumphs here.

Now onto the critiques. The string lead at :32 was very weirdly sequenced and didn’t give me a lot of confidence at first, but luckily they seem to have a quicker attack when they’re re-introduced later in the song. Not the strongest point in the soundscape but I didn’t find it distracting anywhere other than in the intro. At 2:24, that lead is mixed too quietly and again suffers from strange attack/sequencing issues. I could have done without the vocal effects personally, just because they sound so lossy when they’re ripped from the game and they were mixed in very loudly. To me, they stuck out like a sore thumb, but your mileage may vary.

Overall, you got a lot more right than you missed the mark on, this is really growing on me with repeat listens and I think it’s good enough to publish in its current form.

(vote changed below)

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Enjoyed the opening sfx and buildup, a solid start. The first thing that stuck out to me on the production front was the snare/clap around 0:40 lacking a bit in low end, but it doesn't get used for long so didn't have much of a negative impact. However the snare which takes over for the rest of the track from 0:50 onwards was even lighter, very thin, and mostly splash, to the point where it's almost hidden amongst the background elements. I was actually waiting for the moment when the actual snare was going to hit but realised this was it. The kick drum being relatively loud in comparison exposed this further, which overall made the rhythm of your track not feel right.

I also agree with Emu that your leads tend to be a bit quiet and could do with being louder.

This aside, your use of stereo space is well done, and I enjoyed the overall placement and mixing of your other elements for the most part.

Arrangement wise you progress well and change things up pretty regularly by dropping parts in and out and switching to something new as needed, and the use of one off dialogue excerpts worked well. One thing - you have a number of dissonant tones throughout the mix, which while adding to the mood of the track, some are more out there than others. In particular the part at 2:20 had notes I felt were a bit too clashy which I feel broke that mood, almost feeling like a mistake than intentional. Otherwise I enjoyed your work with the source here.

I like the ideas here, however the snare does concern me enough that I feel it needs another pass. I know that might sound silly but to me, it harms the overall quality of the track. If we could get a fix for that, I'd be happy. But you may not need to, we'll see what the other judges say.

NO

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Opening textures after the build at :39 were a bit puny, but I'm willing to see where it goes. Lead at :55 was certainly weird, but interesting. If anything I thought the volume of the synth lead and the string work was too soft, but by 1:13 the levels on the lead rose, so that levels issue didn't last too long.

At 1:28, the backing writing felt really plain and simplistic. Spoke too soon; at 1:48, the strings were very quiet behind the synth stuff even though they should have taken the lead. At 2:07, the beats again felt very static; there's got to be a way to retain the overall tempo but change the rhythms a bit to not make the beat writing so plain that it saps energy from the track.

This is a decent arrangement, but needs more polish, so I'm with Jive on this one. The voice clips were a little cheesy, but I didn't mind, though Emu's right on their lossy & loud sound. I'd just say that some of the levels need to be adjusted so that when either the synth or the strings are the melodic lead, those clearly take the forefront when they're handling that lead role. Also, I'm not inherently against tracks with deliberate pacing or understated energy, but the beat writing that I pointed out was very barebones and sounded placeholder-ish; the snare needs more sophistication to effectively contribute to the track. And considering I didn't read Jive's vote at all before I wrote mine, it's a legit criticism that you've got some tweaking to do on them beats.

You're not far off the mark, but I'd say this is only 75% of the way there. Keep at it on this one, Yoshi, it's a good start!

NO (resubmit)

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No need holding this one up any longer - I noted several issues with my vote and was a little bit borderline, and I definitely agree that the track would be better off with another pass of mixing tweaks. I'm cool with flopping my vote on the condition that we DEFINITELY get a resubmission here, because you're really damn close with this one! Good luck :)

NO (resubmit!!)

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