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OCR03549 - *YES* Sonic CD (JP) "The Madness"

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Contact Information
- Weston Ahern
- USER ID 22858
Submission Information
- Sonic CD
- 'The Madness'
Metallic Madness Zone (Present) JP
Metallic Madness Zone (Past) US
Metallic Madness Zone (Bad Future) JP
I actually had the idea for this combo-arrangement several years ago but never found the right way to express it.  Flash-Forward to 2015 - a month into leading the SoTSS15 Tropical Paradise album project.  I had recently pulled out the older Rave, Eurobeat, and Hard Dance tunes that were so much a foundation of my musical influences in HighSchool.  Suddenly it all just clicked - I could almost imagine Sonic & his friends at this late night rave on a tropical island (That, let's be honest - we would ALL like to be at!).
So yeah, who's up for some Stepmania?
LT EDIT (3/16/17): Weston reminded me about this mix after pinging us on Tweeter. It's my fault for letting this get lost in the shuffle due to my question. I asked him about the lyrics, and here are his comments below.
The "Lyrical Paragraph" Rap is from An old 'Masterbits Rapsody' Sample CD - Used in tribute here to Hideki Naganuma (who employs heavy use of samples) who used it in the game Ollie King - and for his highly praised work on the SONIC RUSH soundtrack.

The following are from a Sample Pack titled: "Breakbeat Paradise" - I no longer have it since making the song - I believe some of the samples are original recordings for the pack, and others are older classic samples used in many rave & dance songs over the years, likely originally sampled from much older records.  They have sort of been passed on over the years like the Amen Break - but with far less attention paid to their history and original source.

"The Cry of Youth"
"We Just Gotta Hold you on Baby"
"It's the Darkness that Fascinates Me"
"All Night"
"Lets Party, Put the Boogie in your Body"
"Peace, Watcha Got to say, Watcha got to say"
"So Dance, While I put you in a Trance"

"Cool, kick the nation with the groove, Till we rock the place when the biz gets moved" - Sampled from Topmodelz: 'I Wanna Dance' (possibly originally from the below source tho? - The history of these rap lines are hard to look into, their just sort of "standards" at this point)

"Come on, freak it out the sensation - Body freak generate the foundation"
"yeah a magical mystery sing check it out yeah the hit house sing" - Another classic rap line, I'm pretty sure the original source is Morhotronic: 'Say Yeah'

The Female Chorus: Kathy Brown feat. Praxis - 'Turn Me Out' - A classic house & rave sample

"You release me baby, got to have you near - make me burn burn burn, gotta have you here"
Turn the Music Up, Don't wanna waste no time, Work me with temptation - I wanna lose my mind"

"Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom" - KING KONG & D.JUNGLE GIRLS - 'BOOM BOOM DOLLA'

That's about the best I can remember / and find online - Maybe with more time I could source a few more of these, but so many of them have become 'standards' over the years - and not all have their history well preserved like the Amen Break, or other famous shout samples. ^_^;;

But - yeah, the whole point of the remix was to be in the style of an older 90's HyperTechno (see it's little brother Eurobeat for more) track, filled to the brim with old rave sounds and samples to fit with that SonicCD era of rave music. ^_^;;

Thanks for the response tho! Hope some of that info helps.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Wow, this is fun!  It's pretty relentless but wow what energy!  I like the combination of timbres in this mix.  Good use of sfx.  I'm going to come back to this and look at the sources more closely, some of the audio sounds like it might be ripped right from the sources, or am I imagining this?

YES (assuming game rips are ok)

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  • Chimpazilla changed the title to 2015/05/31 - (1?) Sonic CD 'The Madness'
  • 1 month later...

There's a ton of creative and super fun usage of the sources here! The melding is pretty seamless, and It made for a nice listen to hear the different sources come in at various times, but felt like a cohesive whole of a track. After listening through a few times and comparing to sources here and there I'm pretty sure this is good to go on the source usage time, but I don't envy Larry timestamping this :P. Also not sure what people will think in regards to the sampling, though I didn't feel like it was overwhelming. 

Really love that the energy is going all the time here. I do think a break somewhere would have been a nice reprieve, but I can imagine that Sonic would never slow down the tempo! The mix overall is a bit on the loud side, though I felt like the balance overall was pretty clear and I never felt like it was muddy or anything. 

Great fun!


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  • 4 weeks later...

Ok this is very awesome, and VERY 666.  Some synths don't sound as clear or interesting as I would like i.e. the 0:51 arpeggio, and some elements aren't eq'd very well, as the vocals at 1:43 which are very piercing .  The low synth at 3:41 and the arpeggio is clashing with everything else in that section.  Although it may sound like I feel there's a lot of bad stuff in the mix, it's not really the case as the production is good for the most part, but there are indeed some issues.  

Like Deia, I also checked the sources and I'm pretty sure source usage is ok here.

The arrangement and adaptation to the genre is where this remix shines, as this could be playing in a 90's rave club without much problem.  Weston kept the energy levels high throughout but without falling in the traps of repetition or tiring the listener.  There's tons of natural variations and surprises throughout the track, as it keeps evolving, introducing new, high-energy stuff along the way

Fun and high-energy, but not without flaws.  I really wish the issues in my first paragraph weren't present, but I'm willing to pass this as is, on the grounds that it's totally awesome.

BTW, there's some sampling from the game, I don't think it's a problem but if Larry could check it out that'd be great.  Some stuff like the synth-orch hits SOUND like they're sampled but I don't really think they are.


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  • Sir_NutS changed the title to 2015/05/31 - (2Y/1?) Sonic CD 'The Madness'
  • 4 weeks later...

Lots of hard energy. I will say straight up that I wasn't a huge fan of the game SFX used here - it was fun to start with but as the mix progressed some sounds appeared quite often throughout the mix and felt overused. Conversely, I thought the samples used as one off's were a lot more effective. There were isolated notes in some of the leads that sounded a little off/dissonant in contrast to their respective background elements playing at the same time, but these occurrences were pretty minimal.

You have made good use of stereo space, and alternative panning of sounds during breaks were noticed and appreciated. Although the mix was quite chaotic at times, everything mostly retained it's audibility.

Some nice breaks and interludes were featured in your arrangement, which are always essential for a track like this which is regularly pounding. I did notice the track relied upon sampled vox and SFX to differentiate similar sounding sections from not sounding so similar, but I found this to be mostly creative. Some sections did sound familiar sample wise to their source tracks, and I couldn't confirm if they had been lifted from the original or just made to sound authentic to the original. Because I couldn't identify any extended lifted sections from the original, I personally can't see a problem.

Overall am ok with this one. There are some problems for me but nothing is at a sticking point here for revision.


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  • Liontamer pinned this topic
  • 2 weeks later...

Damn, now THIS is an intense track, and it just never stops. I checked the sources, and it does seem they're all there (arpeggio from PAST throughout, orchestra hits from BAD FUTURE, other background elements referring to PRESENT). It would take too long for a detailed breakdown, and I don't think this arrangement needs that - the source is very strong in this one, and the arrangement is very clever.

The production is quite crisp, for most of the track. There are a few moments where everything comes in at once where the arrangement gets cluttered, making it a little difficult to parse every element out (such as at 3:41 - 5:52, for example). There aren't enough moments like that to take this below the bar, though. As far as the dissonance, any that I heard was handled properly throughout the track. Either it was inherent in the source and not clashing with other elements (such as at 2:22), or was used as a passing tone (like the backing lowered 2nd at 3:41). I thought they were fine.

Cluttered mixing at some moments aside, this one was pretty damn amazing.


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  • Chimpazilla changed the title to 2015/05/31 - (4Y) Sonic CD 'The Madness'
  • Chimpazilla unpinned this topic
  • Liontamer changed the title to 2015/05/31 - (4Y/1? - SAMPLING ISSUES?) Sonic CD 'The Madness'
  • Liontamer pinned this topic
  • 2 months later...

Here's my discussion with djpretzel last week (5/17/2017) on the possible Standards issue of the heavy vocal sampling in this mix (edited for clarity, with removal of some non sequitur talk)


Liontamer: do you have time to review something later for a standards question on heavily sampled vocals?
djpretzel: heavily sampled vocals... real quick, hit me
Liontamer: most of the stuff is from sample packs, but significant portion wasn't; he breaks it down more in his comments
djpretzel: where is the specific concern? originality or...?
djpretzel: originality, I'm good
Liontamer: because? not pushing back, just wanna understand the rationale on originality; is it not enough vocal sampling or what? the samples definitely don't contribute arrangement factor and aren't leaned on for that
djpretzel: originality... well, it's a genre/style that essentially hinges on repetitive overuse of pitched samples
djpretzel: and yeah, with the exception of the female chorus, which DOES have melody to it, most of this is textural
Liontamer: but it's a lot
djpretzel: right but it's using the samples themselves like instruments, not replacing what would have been original vocal writing with samples, if that makes sense
Liontamer: sure; I guess what throws me off, like let's pretend he pitched up a super famous song; would that then be pushing it?
djpretzel: well, these are all from different songs, and that again helps, because there was creativity in the selectivity, right?
Liontamer: like if he grabbed various lines from several MJ songs, pitched it up to accommodate this genre, would that then be like "Well, I dunno about this?"
djpretzel: if it was all from one or two songs, that'd be bad
perhaps I'm biased, but to me it would matter whether it's rapping or singing
Liontamer: no, I get the distinction
djpretzel: related to the nature of compositional arrangement being at play or no
Liontamer: right
djpretzel: so if it was MJ melodic hooks, I think those would end up being too MUCH of the melodic/harmonic component
but let's say it was just a really famous RAP from like... the kanye
Liontamer: ok, sure
djpretzel: I think the fame would probably make us scrutinize more, but shouldn't affect our decisions
Liontamer: yeah, what if it was super-famous raps?
djpretzel: most of these samples are from sample libraries or sample-based music, factoring OUT the fame
Liontamer: yeah, those are kosher IMO, the sample-based ones
djpretzel: it would hinge on diversity of selection (one song vs 10, for instance), length of samples, and role used within mix
if things dropped out, melodic development ceased, and the rap was given center stage for 15 seconds, we got problem
so I think there are numerous factors but we shouldn't shy away from notoriety, I don't think, even if it could cause us some headaches
Liontamer: OK, cool; we've got the layout of the factors you're watching for; so to sum up, you've got no issue with the sampled lyrics holding this back from approval?
djpretzel: should still be considered in evaluation on originality level, but definitely not an instant dealbreaker, and my personal take is that the usage is consistent with what I'd want/expect from someone shooting for this aesthetic
Liontamer: Alright, thanks


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Sorry for holding this up. Like I explained to Weston directly, typically, it would take maybe a few months to go through the judges panel, depending on when judges got to it vs. everything else, and then some time to wait before posting, but stuff with unique issues can get held up. It's part of the issues of doing this in downtime and not as a job, you tend to make time as needed, and anything that's not super easy to deal with can get put into a corner, which I'm guilty of here and in a lot of other cases. :-) Thanks a lot to EAR for his extreme patience and understanding.

Thanks also to djp for chatting with me about the potential for the extensive sampled lyrics being a Standards violation on incorporating non-VGM music. Basically, he's been OK with vocal sampling of this nature, because it's raps and spoken word stuff that isn't pulling in any sort of non-VGM melodies or composition to be arranged. That many of the lines were from sample packs rather than mainstream music releases was noted thanks to Weston's info, but djp ultimately wasn't concerned about the source of the lyrical sampling, if you check his comments above.

Just restating my POV on the potential direct audio sampling of the source tunes, I wasn't hearing that here at all and it wasn't a concern.

The other Js say the source tune was "all over this," but no one bothered to break it down, so I think they conflated a lot of the house/rave style of the writing with the parts arranging/referencing the various "Metallic Madness" segments.

The music part of the track was 4:27-long, so I needed to identify the source tunes being used for at least 133.5 seconds of the arrangement.

:20.5-:22.25 (Past - 1:01-1:03), :38.5-1:43.5 (mostly Past, some Present), 2:22.25-2:47 (Bad Future), 2:47-3:01.25 (Present), 3:27-3:54.25 (Bad Future), 4:19-4:25 (Past - 1:01-1:03) = 139 seconds or 52.05% overt source usage

There were a lot of things that had a soundalike feel to "Metallic Madness" but sounded more stylistically influenced by 2 Unlimited's "Twilight Zone" (e.g. that similar sampled shout at :23) or even the Mortal Kombat movie theme, The Immortals' "Techno Syndrome," due to the numerous orch stabs, like 1:56's little jingle. There were also plenty of extended sections with no direct connection to Sonic CD that I could ID, so I came up just barely over half as far as the source usage being dominant in the arrangement, which made it closer to me than the other judges believed, provided I'm not overlooking something major. I'm sure Weston can clarify after the fact.

Anyway, Gario and Sir_NutS had fair production points about crowding and piercing highs that I agreed with, but on the whole, this was produced reasonably well and felt very authentic as a long-lost 90s club hit, and I didn't hear any dealbreaking issues for the production. All of the SFX & sampled lyric usage added up to a lot, but sounded reasonable in the big picture, as far as not feeling invasive and integrating well into the track. Good to go!


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  • Liontamer changed the title to OCR03549 - *YES* Sonic CD (JP) "The Madness"
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