Alex Moukala

Final Fantasy VII - "On That Day, 5 Years Ago" Orchestral Remix

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Hey there!
Nice to meet you all, my name's Alex, long time lurker actually. I've stumbled upon OCReMix when I discovered the Voices of the Lifestream album. It was then, inspired by such amazing work by so many talented people, that I decided I too wanted to start producing and composing music, even though I didn't have any background in music, it seemed like a good moment to start.
Almost three years in, I've grown confident enough to submit something here with serious intentions.


The track is an orchestral arrangement I made of a Final Fantasy VII track, "On That Day, 5 Years Ago", which is one of my most favorite tracks ever from Nobuo Uematsu.
I'm not sure if it's good enough though, as it's written in a genre that is quite outside of my comfort zone, I'm more an electronic/action sound design, but since I'd definitely love to become better with orchestras I tried to make it this way.

Any feedback from both the mods and the fellow composers of the forum would be more than greatly appreciated! :)

Thank you so much,
Alex

Links to the remix & to the original track:
Remix -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2tJmHuW7Z8
Original Track -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEZNywlt_gM

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I think your string tremolos at 0:28 are too loud - it's harder to play tremolo on a string instrument, and the bow won't pull the string as much.

Past 0:38, all the string chords have the exact same, slow attack, meaning there's a huge gap of silence in-between notes. It sound very artificial; a real orchestra would probably blend it's chords together a bit. To fix this, you could try overlapping the notes in your DAW, using samples with a shorter attack, changing your envelops if possible, or a combination. Try not to rely on the note envelops for all of your expression, because every note will very obviously sound the same, (as it does now.) Instead, try to use DXF (dynamic cross-fade) samples, if you have any. If not, you could try having several different note envelopes for your strings to play.

(Of course, you could have less of an obvious attack, and use note velocities for your dynamics, but this is a song with long, drawn out chords. DXF samples will sound much more real.)

I think you should make some of the dynamics more apparent. At 0:59, for example, the song could get much softer.

In a song like this, (that builds up chords, relies on pretty sustained notes, etc,) I think the texture can play a big role in how good it sounds. Perhaps you should consider adding woodwinds and brass?

At 1:19 when the song builds up, you could emphasize it with a cymbal swell. And maybe have a soft gong at 1:24.

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I like the dynamics -- meaning I like the crescendo of volume on some of the notes, such as the aforementioned tremolo strings.. however, I think the string writing is far too blocky and the way the volume is modulated makes it sound like you're affecting a pad rather than individual violins... should write it one violin at a time for maximum control, and modulate them naturally rather than mechanically. Dunno if you're using a mouse to do it or a mod wheel on a keyboard, but I'd recommend the latter -- also don't quantize the notes too much. Give them a little leeway to sit as they may if played rather than bunching them all with the same start and end time. Reverb on those strings would also help out a lot. It's a great start to what could be an epic remix when it's finished and longer!

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