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djpretzel

*NO* Ninja Gaiden 'Blood & Steel'

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People used to ReMix Ninja Gaiden a lot, and now they don't. That makes me sad. This is pretty good; melodically a little repetitive, but does use intro/outro for contrast. - djp

 

“Blood & Steel”

Download Link:
 

 

Contact Information

  • Your ReMixer name - Fiddlerblue
  • Your real name - Adric Braithwaite
  • Your email address - 
 

Submission Information

  • Name of game(s) arranged - Ninja Gaiden
  • Name of arrangement - Blood & Steel
  • Name of individual song(s) arranged - A Decision - Father’s Letter
  • Link to the original soundtrack (if it is not one of the sound archives already available on the site) - http://ocremix.org/song/864
  • Your own comments about the mix, for example the inspiration behind it, how it was made, etc. - “Made using Native Instruments' Kontakt, EWQL Symphonic Choirs, and bits from Garritan Personal Orchestra. Mixed and produced in Logic Pro. I wanted to go for a pretty epic, hollywood-ized orchestral sound so I kept the arrangement focused on the strings with the choir and brass providing layers and emphasis when needed. Woodwinds were kept to a minimum with the exception of the Japanese Shakuhachi Flute which I included for obvious reasons."

 

Edited by Liontamer
closed decision

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Definitely need more Ninja Gaiden on the site.  Sample quality is good, as noted by the libraries used in the building of the track.  The drum programming wasn't great, as the hits felt a bit dry and exposed, and the marching beat felt a bit mechanical.

The arrangement is my biggest gripe here, it's very repetitive using the main motif from the original.  There are variations around it, and the lead jumps from one instrument to the other to try and keep things fresh but I can't help but to feel like this could've used a section in between to expand with original material referencing the source but not directly citing the main melody, as it goes on for far too long on the same phrase.

However, as I said there are elements going around the main melody which change and add more to the remix, but this could've been much more.  I think it's close enough for a pass, but I wouldn't disagree with other judges who find the repetition and lack of variation enough to deny the pass.

YES (borderline)

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Pretty much agreed here. I enjoyed that the leads were shifting around and there was a good deal going on to keep the listener interested, but the repetitive nature of the arrangement definitely brings this down a notch. A break from the melody would have helped here, maybe a bridge between sections or even a reference to a different theme. 

I did enjoy the instrumentation and I will disagree about the military drum, which felt regimented and fit the theme of being mechanical by nature. Overall I'd say this will be a close one.

YES (borderline)

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Nice intro with a good build-up. Solid choice of sounds.

Mixing is ok but a bit hot in some of the busy areas for a mix of this nature, to the point where all the parts blend unpleasantly - especially the sections at 1:11, 1:57, and even more so 2:08 when the brass and strings play together.

I found the drum panning a bit odd, and during the louder sections they became drowned out significantly. I thought the higher toms in this also sounded out of place compared to the rest of the mix.

The arrangement here does have some changes throughout, but they're not overly significant. Although the mix is quite short, when I was listening to it felt like it was verging on being too long. Usually for me this is alarm bells that there isn't enough variation throughout the arrangement.

While the arrangement could definitely be stronger, for me I feel the mixing of the louder/busier sections as well as the faint drums ultimately break this for me. I would love for this to have another mixing pass to correct these problems.

NO

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I have to agree, certainly not enough Ninja Gaiden on here, and I'm glad to see someone else taking a stab at it. Very nice start with the pan flute, too - very ninja-esque. The whole feel of the arrangement gives a solid sense of determination, too, which reflects the source very well.

That being said, the arrangement isn't as strong as it could be. There's variation in the theme, as far as instrumentation and pacing is concerned, and you do some very cool things with it in the middle, but the meat of it remains close. Granted, that part of the source is pretty repetitive, but that doesn't mean you can't change the chords a little bit, from variation to variation, in order to break it up yourself. There's also a whole first part of that intro sequence from Ninja Gaiden that you can draw some more material from, if you'd like. There's a lot that could've been done here to make it sound a bit less repetitive. As it stands, I'm pretty borderline on that arrangement.

Other than the piano (which sounds fantastic where you use it, by the way), the samples do not sound realistically sequenced. Specifically, the strings and brass all have an issue with the attack of the sample. Each note has a 'swell' into it, which is problematic in lines where the phrase should sound connected (that is, when the brass/strings carry the melody). No person would play their lines like that - you need to fix the attack envelope on your strings and brass so that they don't swell like that for every strike, especially when they carry the melody.

The snare, while properly sounding militaristic, also sounds like you copy/pasted them throughout the whole song. Even marches use snare fills to break things up a bit. Changing up the volume velocities from repeat to repeat would also make it sound more realistic, too.

The relatively repetitive use of the chords throughout the arrangement would've put this as borderline for me, if that were the only thing that affected this, but the instrument sequencing knocks it a little below the bar. Fix the attack swells on the instruments carrying the melody, give the snare a little more of a human touch, and I recommend rethinking the use of the harmonies throughout the arrangement.

NO/RESUB

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sample quality is ok, but not produced with quite enough tlc. especially the percussion. i’m agreeing with what’s been said. this is a straight forward symphonic embellishment. it’s well done overall, but the lack of uniqueness left me feeling underwhelmed. stiff sequencing doesnt help. there are cool moments here but its just below the bar for me.

 

NO (borderline)

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The 1:32 section was a weak point for me, because the soundscape got muddy but in reality there wasn't much of anything going on. The texture was different, and then energy gradually escalated, but the rhythm and tempo were the same as the previous sections, and there wasn't anything new going on melodically. At 1:44, the drum work came back in to fill things out a bit better. At 2:05, it sounded like there was light distortion and/or clipping from the brass. Good changeup on the instrumentation at 2:28 with the dropoff going to the piano and Eastern winds.

Despite being 3 minutes, it really felt melodically underdeveloped, which is my main dealbreaker. It's close though. I felt the melody being so repetitive and relatively the same energy pushed me down to NO more than any production choices. That said, while I didn't take big issue with much of what Gario did on the production, his comments on the attacks of your instruments and the copy-pasta nature of the drums are detail work items that separate the vets from the up-and-comers; pay particular attention to his feedback.

I'm definitely seeing how the crux of the arrangement is about keeping the source melody intact and then changing the instrument textures and intensity to achieve dynamic contrast, and this IS going in the right direction. However, myself and others agree there should be some additional variation in the arrangement to push it over the top; that doesn't mean some sort of drastic changes for the sake of having changes, but any sort of new melodic, drum, rhythm, tempo, and/or textural variations could be enough to get this over the top. I'm not borderline on my vote, but I'd say this piece was about 85% of the way there; it just needs that extra bit of effort.

Very good start, Adric, and if this doesn't make it as is, definitely be willing to tweak this some more and resubmit it; would love to have this on the site in some form.

NO (resubmit)

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I think if the mud can be cleaned up and in the mixing and some of the arrangement repetition could be eliminated (by expanding on or enhancing/altering), this would have a pretty good shot. It is close, but i think more development would make it a pretty easy include.

 

no, please resubmit

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