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Pokemon RBY Gym Leader Battle


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Well, it's one of the better synth orchestral attempts. It doesn't sound overly fake and there's enough variation in the instruments that it doesn't suffer from sounding like a midi file.

But it's also not really breaking away from the original composition much. It's well done, but it's not exactly breaking any new ground. What is this version doing that the other orchestral versions have done? What separates it?

I'm not shitting on your effort here, I'm just thinking you need to do something different that makes it stands out.

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I think keeping the bassline so close to the original is a mistake. The bassline was probably like that in the original games because of the Gameboy limitations, it sounds unnatural and awkward for actual double basses to be playing that way. If you want to keep it in, you should either use a synth bass, or make it more subtle and add a deeper bass layered under it, like in Firered/Leafgreen. But in any case, I think your orchestra should take advantage of it's bigger range.

It's really apparent that you're using legato sounds for your staccato notes. The staccato notes in the intro don't seem to have much energy to them, and at 0:24, them seem longer than they should be.

At 0:14, everything under the melody sounds very messy/muddy. I think you're following the original arrangement too closely when it doesn't really work here. Aside from changing the bass like I mentioned above, you could possible experiment with putting various parts in different octaves, or using less thick/reverby instruments in that section to see if the sound is improved.

The trumpet at 0:14 sounds like it's slightly lagging behind everything else. This is probably because you put it's notes exactly on the beat, but the beginning of your trumpet sound isn't the note, it's the trumpet beginning to play the note. You can try compensating for this by having instruments with slower attacks play slightly early.

I like the general mood you have at 0:30 though.

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Arrangement-wise, it sounds literally note-for-note, to me. Not necessarily a bad thing if you meant to do a straight cover, but I just wanted to note that just because you want to transcribe it for orchestra doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be naturally playable as it is. ;)

For some reason I hear a bit of a hole in the soundscape in the middle-left every now and then. Maybe the reverb is not simulating a wide enough room, and maybe your panning's just a bit too wide. Not a big deal, but I thought I should let you know. Also, each note on the leads (brass or strings) has a really similar attack envelope (each one swells up from a similar starting volume), which tells me that you don't really have that many round robins if any, and that the legato notes don't really connect together naturally - did you overlap your legato notes? That should help them connect a little more. Shifting slow notes to the left would also help them line up with the beat.

Other than that, I don't think I hear much if any expression automation (CC1, CC11, and maybe something else if available) on sustained notes, so it comes across to me as "MIDI orchestration". Also, I pretty much agreed with @Slimy here on his crits.

A Pokemon fan (like me) would probably like this as it is, but in terms of "does this sound convincing", it needs some work. Hope that helps! :)

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