Emunator

*NO* Final Fantasy 6 'Ascent into the Unknown'

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Name: nelward

Website: http://www.soundcloud.com/nelward

User ID: 32483

 

Game name: Final Fantasy VI

Name of arrangement: “Ascent into the Unknown”

Song arranged: “The Airship Blackjack”

 

For this one, I was going for a Tangerine Dream-esque feel. Also inspired by the “Theme from Final Fantasy IV” arrangement from the album “Final Fantasy IV: Celtic Moon". I just saw that someone else incorporated this melody into their own remix, bad timing on my part! I feel like this tune captures the feeling of flying for the first time very well, with its angular melody and modulations of key. I wanted to hear the arrangement give the tune a more introspective feel.

Thanks,

Nick

Source: 

 

Edited by Liontamer
closed decision

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Very airy textures and atmosphere, this has a lot of promise on the soundscape side of things. Some very cool original accents, backing arpeggios, and harmonies are really interesting expansions on the original source to give it a more ambient tone. In that regard, I think this is a very enjoyable attempt. 

There are a couple of issues I'm picking up on this track that hinder it overall. 1:03 brings in some very unrealistically sequenced choir patches that do not fit naturally with the rest of the mix. Take a look at the decay/release on those samples and see what you can do to smooth them out and make them play more naturally. 1:06 also contains some very awkward sine pluck melodies that don't melodically fit with the rhythm of the track. The strings fit a lot better, even though the sample isn't realistic at all, the lo-fi string patch you're using has a very natural, brass-like attack/decay that works great. The rest of the patches sound great to me!

On the arrangement side, there's something ultimately un-fulfilling about the dynamic curve here. I'm not implying that you NEED to bring in a beat to this song, but the transition at 2:01 really begs for some kind of increase in energy around that point, and you definitely hint at it with the transitions and minor auxiliary percussion. From that moment up until 2:58, even though you add on plenty of unique flourishes and ideas, the track feels like it stagnates because the dynamic curve stays relatively flat. Something to amp up the energy level (without compromising the chillout mood of the track) during that last section would really drive the track home IMO.

Also, on repeat listens, I'm finding that the sine lead, although it sounds excellent, is leaned on too heavily with this arrangement. I'm not going to call this a case of copypasta, where you use the same sections without any variation, but the same melodies are repeated wholesale many times, so even though the track is evolving around it, the leads need some more substantial change-ups to keep from becoming stale. 

 

Very cool track with a couple of flaws that keep it from reaching its full potential, IMO. I'd love to see this again with a bit more freshness to the leadwork and overall dynamic curve, and some polishing on the choir and that awkward melody at 1:06 if you can. Good luck!

NO (resubmit!)

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Some interesting textures to be found here, but the execution has some flaws.  The choir pads at 1:03 feel very jarring due to the envelope used.  You need to adjust your attack and release on it so it flows more naturally from measure to measure.  The tremolo on the sine lead is also very exposed on some lines where it could be eased in more naturally.  

The arrangement is too repetitive for the length of the track.  I appreciate the intention of having a soft, introspective feeling arrangement, but it needs some sort of change in dynamics throughout the song.  It feels very static to the point where the listener loses interest, not in small part due to the repetitive nature.  There has to be something to disrupt the status quo at least for a section, to keep interest into what happens next.  I also thought it was very conservative and could use more interpretation.

Overall, good idea, most of the sound palette fits the intention behind the mix, but some fixes need to be made in the sound design department to keep everything flowing naturally, and the arrangement needs to have something to halt the monotony.

NO (resubmit)

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The arrangement is definitely very interpretive, BUT once you get to 2:00, you've basically heard it all.

The vox articulations starting at 1:03 were very stilted and jumpy from note to note; real singers wouldn't just drop to 0 before starting the next note, so it's jarring and sloppy to hear moments like that in the piece. By 2:00, I agree with Emunator that the sine lead had wore out its welcome; there is the additional guitar work, but it's such a minor touch, and the track does feel dynamically flat. Nice chippy accents in the background at 2:45.

2:58's section probably would have been better served as a dropoff at 2:00; I'm not saying you need to specifically do that as a revision, but it's an example where the piece could go in a different direction sooner to prevent things from getting stale. There needs to be some sort of meaningful dynamic contrast by either getting more interpretive with the source melody later on, altering the instrumentation and textures, or rhythms; it's really up to you. Also, you don't need some sort of crazy change-up, just something that meaningfully alters and develops the piece in some way, whether it's tone, tempo, or energy level. Two solid examples of doing this would be Zeratul & Diggi Dis's EarthBound 'Dialima tu Kafé' and tycho's Marathon 'Neo-Pacificist', i.e. subtle changes in instruments and textures while retaining a constant lead or melody.

Cool start so far, but the track hovers in one gear for too long. Even understanding that something a track is just about subtle shifts, this was too subtle and thus felt too static and repetitive.

Reading back on Emunator's full vote now, I'm glad we along with NutS heard much of the same issues. Good start so far, Nick; I'd love to hear a revised version of this. You production/mixing is strong, so this sounds great. Now we just need to get the arrangement evolving some more; again, it doesn't need to be drastic changes for the sake of changes, just something that gets things not sounding too static and samey over time. Even if you don't revise this one, I'm confident you could get something posted to OCR in the future with creative ideas like this!

NO (resubmit)

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