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Chimpazilla

OCR03376 - *YES* Super Smash Bros. Melee 'Hank Jankerson's Wild Ride'

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Revised Version 2/14

ReMixer Name: LongBoxofChocolate

Real Names: Trevor "Manny" Burch, Daniel "DP" Perry, Aaron "Hank" Schmitt

Website: https://www.youtube.com/user/LongBoxofChocolate/videos

 

Game: Super Smash Bros. Melee

Title: Hank Jankerson's Wild Ride

Source: Mute City


Hey guys.

This is our saxophonist's debut arrangement, so here are some words from him:
 

"Ever since my high school years, I have wanted to cover [Mute City].  Since most video game music is designed to loop infinitely, I summed the melody, harmony, and rhythm down to a lead sheet, then started on the energy and form mapping. The problem with arranging stuff like this is how SHORT that loop can be!  I realized this around the same time that I realized it starts in an abysmal key for our guitarist (C minor). BUT, since the tune lends itself to frequent tonicizations, I cloned the tertiary chord change in the C section down another major 3rd to get us into E minor - way better key for guitars - and we use the new groove to chill out. After the cool-down, the bari sax and a new synth lead trade 8's, and a face-melting guitar solo takes us through the B section all the way into the C section which rounds out with additional saxophone harmony, and we end with a couple of 2-bar sets that give our drummer, DP, a chance to show his fill chops.

 
"I cannot state enough how much Manny, our keyboardist, and DP added to this arrangement.  They brought it to life with their talents in both play style and audio/video production.  The instrumental parts are certainly NOT easy, and it took an amount of creativity from all parties involved. As the arranger, I could not be more pleased with how the final take turned out - including the final video, which Manny absolutely crushed.
 
"We hope you enjoy our unique take on Mute City from Super Smash Bros. Melee
- Hank "The Spank Tank" Jankerson"

Full disclosure: yes, we know F-Zero predates Super Smash Bros...but we felt that this arrangement so strongly embodies Melee's incarnation over the others that we'd try and get it submitted there instead.  The music video can be found via the youtube link above if you're interested.

Cheers!

 

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Very cool ideas, interesting mix of sounds.  The sax is mixed way too loud and too wide (sometimes, and center panned other times), and by comparison the drums are too quiet and center panned.  There's a synth solo panned all the way to the right at 1:02, I really dislike harsh panning.   At 2:38, awesome guitar solo, but all the way panned left.  Harumph.  I really feel like this mix could use a rebalance and a mixing cleanup.  Even so, the arrangement and performances are dynamite!  Other Js, do you think the mixing and strange panning are dealbreakers?

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Not bad, not bad... The production is a little rough around the edges, I think you could have done with a little less-dramatic panning, and balanced your lead volumes a bit better (compare the lead guitar at :34 to the saxophones that surround it, for example) and the drums felt like they had too much of the highs scooped out and end up sounding timid. The hardpanning is a personal nuisance but you always have something else in the other ear to balance it out, so it's not painful to listen to or anything. It's clear that this is more of a "trial run" mix when you guys were just getting your footing, because I've already heard a lot of improvement with your most recent mixes.

All complaints aside, though, I actually love what you've brought to the table here. The wide variety of lead instruments and keyboard patches that adorn the arrangement give it a lot of texture and hold my attention. The solos are great across the board, but the guitar solo at 2:40 was definitely a highlight. The saxophones seem dominant in the track but at the same time, it didn't feel like a "sax w/ accompaniment" mix either - each band member got a chance to shine. There's nothing groundbreaking going on here, per se, but it's a very solid cover that I think people will enjoy in spite of its flaws.

YES

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NOTE: We'll need to get an encoding in 44kHz stereo instead of 48.

The mixing was definitely not ideal (the bassline in particular sounding boomy and muddy), and there was a distinct lack of high-end clarity throughout. That said, the arrangement & performances were both very strong, spirited stuff, and the overall production was solid enough where the issues aren't dealbreaker ones.

I agreed with Chimpazilla on the panning being too wide. However, it was good that, most of the time, the wide panning wasn't disorienting on headphones because there was a lot of call-and-response work that occupied both sides, rather than only one side being imbalanced for long periods of time.

Overall, nothing but fun with pretty good execution! Nice work, LBC bros! :-)

YES

EDIT (3/3): This remaster sounds distant; the arrangement's too strong, but I'm actually a weaker YES on this version. Still YES though. :-)

Edited by Liontamer
comments on remastered version

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Trevor told me yesterday that the band's mixing engineer is actually working on a new mixdown of this to fix some of the issues I mentioned, so stay tuned for an update!

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I like this better without the extreme panning of elements (one here, one there kinda thing).  But honestly, now the whole mix sounds mono to me, everything is dead center for the most part.  This mix would really shine with *some* elements panned wide to BOTH sides, then some elements like kick, snare, and bass and some leads sitting more in the center.  Having a wide overall soundscape would really make a big difference, it gives each element a place to do it's thing, and mixing will be easier too.  As it stands, I can barely hear the bass, because so much else is right on top of it in the middle.

I'm going to say YES anyway, because this arrangement and the performances are just that good.  But for next time, see if you can work on your soundstage design.

YES 

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I wasn't convinced at the start, as this remix starts as your regular mute city fan rendition, but first looks (or sounds in this case) can be deceiving.  This remix evolves in ways I didn't expect at all.  This arrangement! oh boy!.  Really original and inventive stuff.  The careless, panned sax arpeggios, the synth solo! those synth solos starting at 2:08 are just FUN.   Performances are on point, no sloppiness, just a bunch of artists getting together and doing fun, well performed music.

I don't plan to go on detail here because not much needs to be said other than

YES

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