Gario

OCR03672 - *YES* Delta "Wings of Glass"

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  • Delta
  • Wings Of Glass
  • Title
  • Another one that's been in the works for a while, but only for about a year. I've been looking through my work folders lately to find songs and/or remixes that are almost finished. I think mainly because I've reached some kind of cross roads now, after having finished mixing the band's debut album. I want to get things done and move on, I suppose. 
    Anyway, I never played Delta myself, since I never owned a c64, but growing up in/around the demo scene/tracker scene in the late 90's and early 00's I found a .xm version of this song by wire that I listened to a lot. Once I found the originals I was even further impressed by Hubbard's take on this famous Glass work. I've always wanted to remix it, and now it's finally done. 
    Cheers!
    - Jonas
     
PS: I actually made a monophonic cover of the arpeggio part of this track on my first Nokia phone back in the day and used it as a ring tone. :)

-- 

- Jonas Loman
 

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The lack of clarity here was a substantial negative; it sounded as if all the highs got filtered out, which caused a cluttered sound. At :13 and particularly :34, the beats felt very filmsy after the build-up, and it felt like there was energy missing in the presentation. I loved the frenetic energy of 1:12-1:38's section and all of the constant SFX/instrumentation changes. At 2:08 again, when the beats were thicker, the core beat/kick pattern just seemed very tame, quiet, and basic compared to the more frantic lead writing. I'd love for a musician J to better articulate why the energy felt lacking here despite some of the wilder stuff in the foreground. Nice little SNES-style sounds around the 2-minute mark.

Brightening/cleaning up the soundscape to have some high-end clarity might be enough to get this up to being a pass, but the main beat pattern should have been more sophisticated & varied and less empty, as well. Tweaking those two things would be enough for me to pass this, and this is already most of the way there. Good luck with the rest of the vote, but if this doesn't make it, please revisit this. Would love for you to have this Delta mix posted in some form!

NO (resubmit)

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Damn, so much stuff coming at you at once, when the track gets going. It's dense, but the mix clearly annunciates every element so that it's easy to hear. It's also interesting to hear more psytrance on here - I don't hear that genre enough on here.

It does take some time to get to the meat of the arrangement, though. Up until 1:13 the track is arguably pretty tame, and a little bit boring. That's not necessarily a big deal, though - the music is still pretty well produced, and there's enough meat to the drums to keep the listener on it up to that point.

I don't hear too much issue with the EQ balance on this. It's lacking in the highs a little, but not enough to hint at an imbalance. Not sure what the issue is on that end.

The bass drum is four-to-the-floor, which is par for the course for psytrance, and it has just the right amount of meat for it. In something like this the percussion should be providing variety, which it does quite well. I'd argue that the mixing of the other percussion is pretty quiet, though - it's easy to miss the animated percussion due to this.

At worst, I'd say there are some issues with the mixing of the percussion, but I can't fault the track for not having variety. I'm digging this overall. More C64 music, plz.

YES

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I'm of like mind with my fellow non-musician judge.  I definitely felt the lack of highs, and the semi-highs get muddy in places; 0:35-1:12 and 2:07-2:45 especially have some interesting stuff going on with the backing arps that I can only hear for a few moments when the other instruments are quiet.  (They sound really good at 2:49 on when the lead drops out.)  If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that EQ/frequency conflict is the reason for the apparent lack of energy: most of the mix (except for the breakdown) has a perfectly serviceable kick, but I hardly hear anything else in the way of percussion, it all gets lost in the mud.

The breakdown (1:39-2:08) is perhaps a little too broken down, in my opinion.  It feels empty, especially from 1:54 on.  I can hear a pad of some sort there, just barely, but again it's competing with other instruments, so it doesn't serve to fill out the soundscape the way it should.

I like this arrangement a lot, but I really do think it needs a good look at separating those instruments out so the listener can appreciate the complexity and feel the energy better.

NO (resubmit)

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I can see some of the issues mentioned by the other judges, but I think the creativity of this and the majority of it being pretty great make up for the faults. Love the interchanging sounds throughout, really adds a lot of variety and makes the mix really pretty fun! I'm trusting Gario that the 4 on the floor is pretty good for the genre, and I think in the long run it doesn't detract enough to make it a NO.

I think a lot of people will dig this.

YES

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I share Larry's concerns that the track feels a little muffled. This was most apparent at the start. At 0:40 when the lead comes in we've got more highs to fill out the sonic space, but there is no reason for the other parts to be low-passed so heavily until the leads come in. I think you've done a commendable job in balancing a lot of elements at once, as many struggle with this and things become a muddy mess. In particular the background elements are regulated nicely to the background and while busy, don't overly draw focus, letting the leads do their thing. The chip tune synths and blips add a nice flair to the mix, with some nice riffing throughout.

Others didn't mind it, but I felt the kick drum was a bit weak compared to the other parts. The snare rolls were also very light in volume. Arrangement wise I feel the track could have benefitted from some kind of breakdown halfway through the track to change the pace a bit. The track duration wasn't long so this isn't a major factor, but it adds to the problems. I will note that the track also ends quite abruptly.

Two minds about this one, I like the variety of sounds and little production elements dotted throughout, but I feel some of the production elements listed above make this fall a tad short. I short revisit to address these concerns would really strengthen this mix for the better.

NO 

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This is great. I think there's a lot of variety going on here and it certainly sounds great. I don't have any real production crits that wouldn't be nitpicky. I can see what Larry's saying about the highs but it's not a dealbreaker for me. I LIKE IT!

YES

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A bit weird for me to hear the psytrance-styled beat and bass carrying this song, as the other elements don't sound much like what you would find in a psytrance song.  It even sounds more like something from Eisenfunk and other EBM groups to me.  But in the end I think it works in a weird way.  A lot of the sounds are vanilla, but the arrangement and crazy cuts and melody lines make up for it in my opinion.  This is a case of a solid and fun arrangement vs non-ideal production values... and I think I'm leaning towards the arrangement and techniques adding more value than what the production is taking away.

YES (borderline)

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Hmm, tough call here.  My initial impression was  somewhat unimpactful beatwork and vanilla synths with pretty straightforward writing.  Over time, the writing & complexity of arrangement improves significantly.

I do agree there's some sections that lack clarity in the mixing and get cluttered.  In particular, 1:13 & 2:08.  More elements are getting added and some have reverb/delay effects that add to the noise level, like the high pitched two-note chippy sound that often plays.

Nitpicks: filtering at :33 felt out of rhythm with the track.

Personal opinion: I'd take the square-ish lead and dip the mid range a bit and boost the highs for more clarity and less of a dull tone on it.

Ending was a bit abrupt, but not a huge deal.  Overall, while this might not excite me a ton personally, it's a creative arrangement on the original and the production work felt strong enough to pass as is, although somewhat closely.

YES (borderline)

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