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Gario

OCR03502 - *YES* Super Smash Bros. Brawl "Bramble Blaster"

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AJ DiSpirito
 
 
 
Donkey Kong Country 2
Bramble Blaster
Stickerbrush Symphony (based on the brawl version Bramble Blast)

LT EDIT (2/20): Got the new version with the following comments from AJ:

Here is my resubmission of the DKC2 remix. Thank you for all the great feedback! I didn't mix/master this track very well back in 2015.
 

 

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Slower, more powerful than the source (of which was specified to be the Smash Bros. Brawl rendition - there are some differences between DKC2 and the Brawl version), it hits all sorts of sweet spots for me. It has nice pacing, the change to swing time from the source is rather brilliant, and it holds some really grand moments throughout; the track does more than enough to leave its mark, even at the short runtime of 2:34. I love the overall tone of the guitar work, with the jazzy, rock lead against the acoustic backing (which eventually gives way to some power metal), it works great.

The performance it pretty solid, and the production is almost perfect. At 1:48 - 2:18 there is some noticeable mud to the mix, which makes some of the backing instruments get lost in the mix somewhat. The leads punch through, though, which is the most important thing for something like this. The ending is pretty lame, too - it just kind of stops - but I can let that slide due to the overall high quality of everything else.

I'm diggin' it.

EDIT: Looking at it again, Chimp and Nutz are correct on the production issues that are present - it hits the limiter pretty regularly throughout (especially when the drums hit), and at 1:48 - 2:18 it's brick walling pretty hard, as well. I don't believe it's enough to sway my vote, as it's not easy to notice casually (except, again, at 1:48 - 2:18), but it would be remiss for me to leave that out of my decision.

EDIT #2: Improvement is up now. It doesn't change my vote, but it DOES make it stronger now. Pretty much a DP quality post, now. ;)

YES

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I'm mostly in agreement with Gario.  The muddiness in 1:48-2:18 didn't bother me all that much except for a few seconds at the end, but that section is a little overcompressed as well.  I was OK with the ending, too, although I felt it would have been stronger if it were allowed to trail off naturally instead of being cut off.

Otherwise, strong arrangement, solid production, good creativity, just overall great stuff.

YES

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Just noting for anyone that wants to fully appreciate this, you have to be familiar with both Michiko Naruke's version of this source on the Brawl soundtrack, and "Epiphany" by Intervals, which AJ noted on his YouTube as the main stylistic influence.

Pretty swanky opening. The acoustic guitar stuff handling the source countermelody at :29 was getting buried under the melodic lead, but it wasn't a huge deal. Badass electric guitar lead at :45.

Yeah, so the imbalance between the parts and overall muddiness were negatives, but it wasn't anything that hugely detracted from the listen. Good balance of mellow smoothness with rocked out energy, and way to pack in a substantial interpretation with a 2:37-long piece.

Awesome work, AJ! Please keep the hits coming!

YES

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Performances and arrangement are really good, very enjoyable track.  Opening guitar has too much delay.  The soundscape quickly gets too busy for my taste, the worst offender is the section starting at 1:51.  Perhaps part of why it sounds so busy though it that the master is overcompressed. I hear some distortion in the densest parts, over and above any desired distortion, and the crashes are completely destroyed.  Cubase is reporting that the track is mastered to -6.9db RMS and that seems quite loud for a mellow rock track.  I like the track quite a bit, it is 90% there for me, but I'm gonna be that girl who sends it back for a more gentle mastering job first.

edit 2/20/17:  MUUUUUUCH better.  With the master no longer clipping and the delays under control, I can hear some beautiful melodic detail that was buried in the distortion before.  I don't have that overcrowded feeling anymore.  I agree with Gario that the track is DP quality now.  Nice work!  :nicework:

YES 

 

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This mix is too compressed, sections that are meant to be calm quickly become incredibly busy.  0:34 is already very busy and muddied up by the compression bringing up so many lows to the front and making reverb/delay effects too prominent.  The busiest section around 1:56 is where the mix breaks down, cymbals are crushed and the doubling of the guitars becomes quite messy.  Don't get me wrong, this is a lovely arrangement, but this really needs a more relaxed mix.  This may be as simple as turning down the input gain on his compressor a couple dbs, or looking into the mix, but I think it's reasonable to ask for a resub because the the mastering is hurting the listening experience enough, imo.  Looking into the wave itself, the climax looks like a sausage, as expected.  And that's not very good, unless you're doing certain EDM genres.

EDIT: New version feels relaxed, no distortion on the second half, waveform doesn't look like a sausage.  Up to the frontpage with you!

YES

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Enjoying the slower pace of your rendition. Agree with Kris and NutS regarding over compression issues with the track. Some parts are affected more than others, with the lead guitar poking through ok, but the clean guitars in the background and the drums are too squashed. The percussion begins to waver under the short ceiling, and there is a unpleasant crunch to the drums during busier sections. Background reverbs and swells add to a sea of sound that while pleasant in some aspects, are too crushed to enjoy. This is the ultimate problem with this track. Pulling back on the limiter and opening any master bus comp you have on will make this much cleaner. There are also some higher frequencies in your clean guitars that could so with some minor taming as so notes verge on piercing, though that may be due to the compression. Play it by ear.

NO

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I had to listen again just to make sure I wasn't overlooking what the other Js were, but, nope, sounded fine enough again. Another pass at the mixing would be great, but to hold this version back? Can't co-sign.

WE FIGHT TO THE DEATH!

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Larry, this is one of those tracks where, as you often say, the artist may come back to this months down the road and listen and regret how hard he pushed the limiter.  Perhaps my vote can be considered more of a conditional.  Should we reach out to the artist?

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39 minutes ago, Chimpazilla said:

Larry, this is one of those tracks where, as you often say, the artist may come back to this months down the road and listen and regret how hard he pushed the limiter.  Perhaps my vote can be considered more of a conditional.  Should we reach out to the artist?

Wouldn't disagree with that at all. I'll drop him a line. :-)

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