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DragonAvenger

OCR03595 - *YES* Metroid "Kraid's Forgotten Lair"

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ReMixer name: Schmoo
Userid: 33502

Name of game(s) arranged: Metroid

Name of arrangement: Kraid's Forgotten Lair
Name of individual song(s) arrange: Kraid's Chamber
Link to the remix: 
What can I say, this is the first remix I've done all by myself. It's a bit slower and more atmospheric approach to the classic tune from Metroid. There are no samples used, apart from the drums. It's worth noting that the vinyl noise at the beginning and the guitar noises at about 1:10-1:1:15 are completely intentional.

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So I'm not really feeling the super low bass at the beginning, partly because it's so low that I'm trying to figure out if it's out of tune or not. Once things really kick in, though, this is a pretty sweet listen. It does sound pretty reminiscent to some other arrangements of the theme out there, but there are some differences that set this apart, like the sections between the themes, and the solo. Lead guitar is played pretty well, and the drums have some decent variation to keep things interesting. I'm down with this.

YES

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Hmm... I'm really feeling the opposite on this one. The beginning was pretty neat - almost had a '28 Days Later' effect with that guitar tone and lighter steelstring for the arpeggio. The later portions of the song sounds like the weaker side of the arrangement on this one. That's not to say it's terrible (the arrangement has some pretty cool things going for it overall), but I did feel it wasn't quite as well executed as the introduction.

Getting more into specifics, the tone of this is set up really well. The dark bass against the arpeggios and thin steel theme creates a great deal of tension, preparing the listener to the heavy rendition of the track. The plucking of the bass strings sounds a little inconsistent - some strikes are more... er, striking than others, but it's nothing that's breaking the song overall, here. I didn't have an issue hearing the tuning of the bass, myself - it seemed to be playing the right notes in tune.

As the guts of the track comes in at 1:15, the issues that more generally afflict the track become apparent. The steel string arp that was supposed to be tying the sections together just gets drown in the mix, to the point that it shouldn't even be there. Interestingly, there is a section later where that part returns strong enough to overcome that rhythm, so if you want an idea of how to balance it look to 3:51 (I know, one has overdrive/distortion and the other doesn't, but just use that as a reference to the mixing balance). When things pick up at 1:23 the mixing gets a little better, but throughout the track themes are drown by that rhythm guitar. The music at 2:07, for example sounds dense and muddy, making it hard to hear the main line.

The performances are alright. I feel the playing is just a little too loose, though, such as at 2:23 & 2:31. It's not bad, but the guitar runs sound like there's a hint of hesitation behind them. It's not much, but it does make the playing sound a little looser than it should. This isn't the end of the world, but it's still noticeable. There are also some artifacts in some places (such as the fingers sliding up the strings & other guitar setup noises at 1:10 - 1:15) that should've been cleaned up post production, so I'd highly recommend cleaning those sounds up.

The arrangement is pretty good, overall, so my biggest gripe is that the mixing often throws the rhythm guitar too close to the front, and when things get especially busy the soundscape gets crowded and messy. On the bright side, though, these are all issues that can be fixed post-production, so I don't think there's a need to re-record any parts (unless you want to tighten up the parts I mentioned earlier), but I do think the mix needs to be cleaner before I can pass this one. I do hope to hear a fixed version up here soon, though!

NO

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Cool mix. Love the intro. I hear murky mids in the busy sections. Your distorted tones are a bit dry and up-front, but overall, the production quality is good. The arrangement is straight in the middle, with expansive intro and outro sections keeping things fresh. Cool harmonic development in the extended solo section nicely rolling back into the familiar Kraid riff.

YES
 

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Good original intro. Hard to see how this would be a NO based off of this, but I can expect anything. The static SFX is a little too clean-sounding and upfront, to where it sounds more stapled on top of the soundscape than an actual part of it, but we'll see how it ultimately works. Interesting approach fading in the source tune's chorus at :32, which most folks don't start with when arranging this theme.

Good energy from the guitars at 1:15 heading into the end of the build. At 1:23, the percussion was very tepid-sounding (e.g. those cymbals are super quiet) and its writing was very basic/vanilla. More important than that, once the theme picks up at 1:23, it's a by-the-numbers rock cover. That was brief though, as at 1:49, the theme dropped out and we moved into some original writing until the bridge at 2:05, which had more personalization of the source in the performance than the verse.

3:03-3:51 went back to orginal writing that seemed like it was there for the sake of including some non-source moments, but was an awkward fit that didn't really flow from the Kraid writing; however, the transition back to the source tune at 3:51 was solid.

While Gario had some detailed production critiques, I didn't think the current mixing was problematic enough for the bar; the part-writing was distinct enough to be appreciated. While I had some issues with the arrangement being straightforward in places, it's still expansive, and while I had some issues with the overall flow, the arranged sections pieced together well enough with the additive original writing. Some qualms, but Schmoo's getting it done here. I'm not making the perfect the enemy of the good.

YES

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Captivating intro.  The vinyl effect is a bit overdone, though it does add more grittiness to the mix.  When the track hits, the mix sounds pretty clear.  Interesting choice of distortion tone for the rhythm guitars... feels dry and has sort of a digital quality to it... but it works, it didn't put me off.  The lead guitar performance was pretty good and shines in the original sections around 3:20.  I really dig the chord and progression change at 3:50, this felt really refreshing and new.  Perfect ending.

I think this track is solid.  I didn't find the mix to be problematic other than the vinyl effect at the start, and the guitar tone was a bit unusual but not an issue.  I think this mix does really, really cool stuff with the theme towards the end, which was good because after the intro it was starting to feel pretty vanilla.  But overall, solid mix which I'll be happy to pass.

YES

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