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*NO* Secret of Mana 'Mana Burn'

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  • Secret of Mana
  • Mana Burn
  • Fear of the Heavens
  • Hiroki Kikuta
  • I sat on this one for about a week, not knowing exactly how I'd like to arrange it (this is my first ReMix). Then on a whim, I reharmonized the chord structure for the opening and it took on a pretty distinct flavor. From there I finished almost all of the tracking/mixing in a day and the ideas poured out so fast that I could barely keep up. It became very much about the bass line (and utilizing its absence effectively), as well as peppering in as many of the notable motifs as possible in a [hopefully] unique way, while keeping it a groove-based track. It's a game of patience...I didn't want to rush introducing the melody. We all know it, so why not take time to let things brew and percolate? The groove(s) that take over around 1:40 I built using some of my own samples twisted up in Sugar Bytes' Egoist, and threw an auto filter on it for that "swallow the snare" effect.  I struggled with whether to make the beginning more atmospheric/ambient and immediately engaging, but ultimately decided to let that synth pad stand on its own and really indulge in the sound of the chords for the first 8 measures. Hope you guys enjoy it, and I look forward to submitting many more! Thanks for listening.
  • Here is the SoundCloud link (), as well as an attached mp3 with the requested specs.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFN0GLAMJ3k

Edited by Liontamer
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Ooh, liking the approach here.  The chord change-up brings a fresh take on this oft-mixed track.  Beats are pretty sweet and liking the mellow feel.  Given the liberties taken on chords and content, I'm gonna have to stopwatch this one for arrangement content.

Writing-wise, 1:40 felt a bit underwhelming as a break-down type section.  It seemed too quiet and a bit disconnected to the rest of the track.  On that topic, I think this could use some balancing tweaks in general.  As mentioned, the 1:40 breakdown beat/loop sounds quiet, but is interspersed with relatively loud crystal synth stabs.  The sub that comes in later sounds quite a bit louder than the rest of the elements in play and bumps the overall levels up a ton compared to when it's not playing elsewhere.  It seems to get louder as the track progresses as well.

(/me puts on the Oji hat) 4:19 track is 259 seconds, so I would need 129.5 seconds of source to meet the 50% mark.

:52 - 1:17 OST Melody

1:18 - 1:29 Modified, but recognizable counter-melody from OST second melody iteration

1:48-1:50, 2:16-2:21 I'm counting some of these crystal stabs for the times they match the B section stabs in the OST.  I feel like I'm being a bit generous here as is, so I didn't count the parts where it just alludes to the original.

2:28 - 2:30, 2:34-2:36, 2:40-2:42 Small uses of OST melody line

2:57 - 3:07 OST bridge

3:21 - 3:44 OST melody

3:46 - 4:07 OST melody, with modified chords

That totals to 113 or 43.6%.  (Other J's feel free to chime in if I missed anything)

So yeah, this is a great track so far, but not quite hitting all cylinders on production and is a bit too far on the liberal side for OCR arrangement standards.  Really enjoying the approach and I hope you bring this one back.

NO resubmit, please

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  • 2 weeks later...

im generally on board with the breakdown that Emu has; there is some cool changes going on, but it's a bit heavily skewed toward original material. I think adding more source


Balancewise, the bass is lot boomy later on and needs to be adjusted. The mids sound like they need a bit more melody in them as well, the bell synth gets it done decently enough, but you could double that with an epiano to fill out some other frequencies.


It shows promise and the production is close, but the main issue for me is the need for more dominant source throughout. Solid foundation is there though!


No, please resubmit

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  • OceansAndrew changed the title to 2015/05/27 - (2N) Secret of Mana 'Mana Burn'

I'm enjoying the atmosphere you have created here. A good choice of instruments, and a great take on the original. I could recognise the source immediately, while your original riffing and melodies bring complementary elements to the mix that fit in well.

There is a lot of original material scattered throughout the mix, including a number of instrument/set changes. It almost feels like a DJ mix of sorts, where different sounds and rhythms are introduced and changed over time. This for me added a lot of variety to the track but seems to have come at a cost, as the overall mix sits on a fine edge of original elements verses appropriate source usage.

I concur with Wes that the musical elements starting at 1:40ish are a little low in volume, with the vocal sample being the most prominent. The parts here could've been brought up louder to fit into the mix more. The bass at 2:30 onward was also quite loud compared to the rest of the mix. Other than that, I did not have any major mixing concerns.

Overall I'm with the others here on their votes and think a little more work can be done to align this more strongly to the source, along with a few mixing alterations. You're awfully close though.

NO (borderline)

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