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OCR03433 - *YES* Doom "Army Worthy of Phobos"


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Contact Information

>       ReMixer name: HeavenWraith
>       Real name: Antanas Palaitis
>       E-mail:
>       Website: http://www.heavenwraithmusic.net
>       Forum user ID: 50325

Submission Information

>       Game: DooM
>       ReMix Name: Army Worthy of Phobos
>       Original Name: Sign of Evil (E1M8)
>       Original Author: Bobby Prince
>       Link to the file: 
So about three months ago I bought additional 8GB of RAM (now combined to a total of 16GB) and to celebrate that I decided to load a whole orchestra and write a remix. EWQL's reverb levels were quite intimidating at first, but with some stereo/EQ magic it ended up being serviceable.
It's probably very evident, that the track is mostly inspired by Howard Shore, specifically his work on "Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring" soundtrack. It was quite challenging to pull off, as it is easier for me to make elaborate melodies/harmonies rather than menacing beats and creeping dissonant orchestra sections. However while difficult, it was an interesting experience and very good practice.
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Right away I'm noticing the volume levels are a but much. I had to turn my headphones way up for the opening, and then down for the stronger parts. I think a little more balance there would be good. Overall the entire track has a sort of distant sound. That's probably the reverb levels you were talking about. I think they still need some adjusting, hopefully a more production oriented judge can give you some advice there.

The instruments overall sound decent, though I think the brass in particular does not sound good on the faster runs. The trombone and trumpet attacks are not living up and sound messy.

The arrangement itself might be running a little low I source at times. There's a few sections that go on for a bit where I'm not really hearing some sort of connection. Without timestamping I'd say this is a bit close, but over the bar for me in regards to source usage.

Overall I think you've taken on a big job and you've got done refinement to go. Working with orchestral parts this big is tough. I'd like you to stress the volume and the distant feeling, along with the attacks, especially in the brass.

NO (resubmit)

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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2015/10/31 - (1N) Doom 'Army Worthy of Phobos'
  • 3 weeks later...

Well, usually Deia and I seem to be in the same wavelenght regarding our evaluations but I'm going to disagree here, I thought this mix was great!

I think samples are more than fine, performances are believable for the most part, and there is detail and intricacies put into the sequencing.  The mix levels seem a bit biased towards the low end, and some rumbling can be noticed in the sub frequencies due to the heavy and constant percussion going on.  I also think the reverb could be toned down a notch.  I know some of these sample libraries have their own reverb though, so that may prove difficult, but overall I thought the production was over the bar.  

Now the arrangement was what I loved here.  Those soft sections are a mix of eerie and mysterious with a touch of trepidation and impending doom that I loved.  The way you handled the melody at around 1:04 worked so well, I absolutely loved this.  It made me feel something, I'm not sure what it was but it felt awesome.  The busy sections were powerful, although the constant percussion wore on me after a while, but they were separated by soft sections like 3:03, full of delicious dissonance and the handling of the original motifs at 3:57 was genious.  Delicate use of choir in there just made it all the sweeter.

This song is not without flaws but I think it's well above the bar.  Simply stunning, loved this arrangement.


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  • Sir_NutS changed the title to 2015/10/31 - (1Y/1N) Doom 'Army Worthy of Phobos'
  • Liontamer pinned this topic

Well, usually Mike and I seem to be on the same wavelength regarding our evaluations but I'm going to disagree here, I thought this mix had issues. 8)

I agree with Deia about the drastic volume changes. Yes volume changes provide suspense and impact in an orchestral mix, and there was a good contrast of moods here, but the volume changes were too much. Further on this point, the volume changes in some parts sounded more like the volume was simply being pulled down as opposed to the orchestra playing lighter. This made these particular changes sound artificial to me.

Sounds are decent enough, although I felt the brass was the weakest and most "sample" sounding. Relatively strong sequencing here.

As far as the arrangement goes, some sections felt like they were verging on going too long, however they did transition nicely.

Ultimately, I'd be fine with this if the volume was more consistent - you can have soft sections without huge jumps up and down in volume. Fixing this would please me. As it stands, it's a


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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree that the balance is off on this. dynamics are good, but they sound quite artificial here. also, the sequencing in the wind voices that play the melody around 1:53 is stiff and fake sounding. other than that, the production is good. u achieve a hard edged darkness. the arrangement is effective, plenty of reharmonization and original exploration, I can see why u got a yes. The wacked out dynamics are my primary criticism. could be fixed with velocity edits or mixdown tweaks.


NO (borderline)

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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2015/10/31 - (1Y/3N/1?) Doom 'Army Worthy of Phobos'
  • 1 month later...

Okay, so here's my take on a source breakdown:

0:23-1:20 melody on the harp and strings
1:27-1:32 melody on the brass
1:46-2:30 melody on the brass again
2:30-2:38 melody on the strings
3:00-3:20 evocative chords, but don't add to the count IMO
3:48-4:11 melody
4:55-5:24 melody (a bit drawn out)

330 seconds of music, 166 seconds of source: 50.3%. Source usage (barely) checks out. Let me know if you think my breakdown is wrong, @Liontamer


With that out of the way, I really like your track. I agree with Mike, and I think the arrangement is excellent. I think the volume contrasts are appropriate, and don't seem like an issue to me. I think this is a very expressive package that tells an engaging story. The Howard Shore influences are definitely present, and I think it was a great idea that you executed quite well. I also think the low-end should have been toned down, and the reverb is arguably slightly too much, but they're not enough to bring this below the bar, in my humble opinion.


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Just want to point out at least one moment that refers to the source that DaMonz missed; 1:32 - 1:40 has the source being played by the upfront brass, which brings the usage up to 52.2%. Otherwise, nice breakdown from Emery - it's always appreciated. It's close, but I agree that there's enough source to pass 

I'm hearing a lot of dissent over the dynamic range from my fellow judges, but I must wholeheartedly disagree that this is a problem. This range of dynamics is quite normal for orchestral pieces of music that isn't written expressly as a soundtrack - without adjusting one's volume levels, go listen to some Mahler, Brahms, etc., and note just how quiet or how loud the music gets. Soundtrack orchestral music must have a more level dynamic range, but that's because a production must consider the other sounds that are used that will be over the soundtrack (voice, SFX, etc.), which a widely dynamic soundtrack would inconsistently disrupt at inopportune times. It would be a mistake to fault HeavenWraith for in this arrangement on dynamic range, as that is how orchestral music outside of soundtrack music normally works.

I agree that the brass is not up to the par that HeavenWraith sets for the rest of the instruments (especially noticeable at 2:12 - 2:31), but overall the humanization is at acceptable levels. That alone isn't enough to throw this track under the bar. The loaded bottom end in this track that Sir_nutS mentions I feel is inherent to the style that he was going for. Orc music from the Lord of the Rings movie series (which HeavenWraith mentions is the direct inspiration to this arrangement) had a loaded bass end due to the heavy used of their percussion, as well as using the bass instruments to carry their themes. It's a little distracting, but it seems to be more of a design choice than a mistake.

Hopefully some of the examples I gave can help give light to the dynamics concern to show that it's not a mistake at all, because otherwise this track is a pretty solid pass. The arrangement has just enough source to be postable on OCR, so the arrangement checks out. The brass has some humanization issues, but that shouldn't be nearly enough to bring it below the bar.

Great work on this, and I hope it passes!


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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2015/10/31 - (3Y/3N) Doom 'Army Worthy of Phobos'

Excellent use of dynamics here. The mixing has been criticized on this point by other judges, but I think the dramatic rise and fall in the volume level contributes to a sense of overwhelming fear and tension. I think Gario's justification is extremely thoughtful here and I agree 100%.

Otherwise, not much I can say except I'm surprised that this has boiled down to a split vote on production/humanization merits. It's not 100% perfect but the attention to detail HeavenWraith put into crafting a massive, ambitious orchestration is evident here - the strings are incredibly dynamic, and even at their worst when they take a lead melody role, the brass still sounds totally passable in my book. 

Good luck with the rest of the vote - this sounds great to me!


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Quick breakdown, since I didn't quite agree on some of the timestamping, but just had it over 50% overt source usage as well

5:30-long, needs 165 seconds of overt source usage for arranged VGM usage to be dominant in the arrangement.

:24.5-27.5, :36.5-1:22.5, 1:30.5-1:33.5, 1:50-2:42.75, 3:43.75-4:22.5, 4:57.5-5:23 = 168.75 seconds or 51.13% overt source usage

Arrangement-wise this was fine. Production-wise, it wasn't ideal, and I get the criticisms on volume disparities (which are legitimate) but wasn't personally put off by that. There were also some very soft click/pops and slight distortion spots, but nothing that stood out as strongly negative. That said, the orchestration was handled pretty well, and I agreed with the YESes that argued that he used his tools well and mitigated the realism issues. Pretty strong stuff to me.


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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2015/10/31 - (5Y/3N) Doom 'Army Worthy of Phobos'
  • 4 weeks later...

Oof that brass.  Really fakey when it plays fast passages.  That is where using multiple articulations to play a single line is a must.  Other than that, the production is good, and I appreciate what a big undertaking this is.  The constant clanking thing goes on a bit too long for my taste.  

I'm with the Js who dislike the extreme dynamics here, it feels too exaggerated, and the soft sections lose my interest as a result.  However, the track does seem to achieve the eerie emotion it is going for.


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  • Liontamer changed the title to (2015/10/31) *YES - TAG* Doom 'Army Worthy of Phobos'
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