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Gario

*NO* Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 'Lullaby of the Desert'

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Hello OCR judges,
 
Below is my information.
 
Rodok.
William Rhoden
 
userid = 32400
 
Submission information.
 
Game arranged = Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Name = Lullaby of the Desert
Song arranged = Gerudo Valley
 
Inspiration: I got into Gerudo Valley not by playing the game, but by hearing djpretzel arrange the track (OCR #368). It was one of the first OCRs I heard over ten years ago, and I was hooked. This is my third attempt arranging it for OCR, and I wanted to go a different direction than most. It is a simple track with live guitar and violin (both played by me), NI's Giant piano, and a simple Sytrus synth. I tried to think of what Ganon's mother might have sung him, if he had one.
 
As always, thank you for your continued support of video game music.
 
Will
 

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Lovely, emotive playing, and some inspired variations on the source.  If Ganondorf's mother played this for him, though, I'd suspect that she was foretelling his tragic future, as this is extremely mournful.  Now I really want to see a reverse Zelda game told from the point of view of Ganondorf's life story.

It does get a little repetitive with the main refrain, especially 1:24-1:50, but I don't feel like it quite goes over the edge.  The style is quite static, and I do think the guitar especially could have been varied more--I hear some very small variations in it but mostly it seems to be an autopilot the whole time except 1:48-2:11 when it takes a break.

The violin playing isn't perfect, but I think that actually works well here.  It's suitably humble but good enough.

I'm not a big fan of that ending--it almost fades out, but then does actually end before fading all the way out.  I don't have the ear to be able to tell if that's you naturally playing quieter and quieter or if the fade-out was done in your DAW, but if the former, it was overdone, and I don't think the latter is a good idea at all.  If it had just gotten maybe half as quiet before closing out, I think that would have been more conclusive without changing the atmospheric intent.

All in all, I don't think there are any major issues holding this back.  I wouldn't mind seeing a little bit more to hold the audience's interest for the duration, but then it is supposed to be a lullabye, which is supposed to put you to sleep.  Otherwise I consider this a rousing success (pun intended).

YES

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Mmm, short and sweet, I think this one tells a really cool story with it's style. The violin performance really pushes a meloncholy feel that the source isn't normally known for, but it totally works here. Right when the arrangement starts to get stale, the piano and variation on the theme in the violin part really helps keep things interesting up until the end, so nice work changing things up at just the right time.

A few nitpicks - the panning on this feels unnecessary. It's not hard panned or anything, but the violin does feel like it's panned to the right too much, even compared to the panning of the bass. It doesn't sink the track, but it's a little distracting. At 1:15 the low note of the violin sounds like the bow missed a bit - not a big deal, but it does sound a little careless to keep something like that in the performance rather than re-recording that short section.

The levels of this track are extremely low, and there's no reason for this to be the case. Just using Audacity I can push 8-9dBs without any limiting or compression, and without introducing any new artifacts. Raising the levels that much would allow this to better match the levels other OCR tracks have on site, so please raise your levels on this.

Yeah, otherwise I think it would be a good fit, so I think a conditional YES is good here. Put this in Audacity, push the amplifier option on it and send it back and this is good to go in my opinion.

YES/CONDITIONAL

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I like the concept, I like the interpretation of the melody quite a bit.  But I'm not quite feeling this one, it is so sparse and that simple backing gets old quickly.  The violin playing is competent but I dislike the right-ish panning and the sound is very dry.  The piano when it enters is very simple and mechanical and feels like too little too late.  Feels more like an extended concept wip to me.

NO

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I'm OK with a more understated dynamic curve as long as something's going on. The melody at :36 did repeat a few times at 1:24 & 2:13, which felt repetitive, but enough was changing from section to section where I could live with how this went back to the melody.

I don't mind the performance imperfections of the piece, and the ending isn't a big deal, even if someone had a complaint with it; they give the piece character.

Chimpa's right though that the simple backing dragged on, and something more varied should have been going on with the writing there; I agreed with her on the piano sounding mechanical, but didn't think it was a huge deal. I'm close on this one, but some further variation of the backing writing would put it over the top in terms of the arrangement feeling fully developed. Good stuff either way, and a novel approach to this theme, William, so good luck with the rest of the vote.

NO (resubmit)

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Yeah, this one is pretty close overall. Really nice adaption here, and I think the performance adds a lot of charm to the piece. The backing definitely gets repetitive, though, and could use to be more varied overall. Along with that, the track is quiet, even with the understanding of this being a lullaby. I think in the end this is just under the bar for those reasons, and I think some quick fixes can get this one on track for the front page!

NO (resubmit)

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I think this feels too sparse of an arrangement.  Minimalist arrangements are ok, but I don't feel like being minimalist added much to this arrangement, I feel like it takes away from what could be a more involving track.  The panning on the violin was very distracting for me as well, specially since there's nothing on the other side of the stereo spectrum to balance it out.  The arrangement felt very repetitive as well, which could've been mitigated by a more intricate harmony stage, which brings me back to the minimalist nature an why it's not quite working.  Overall volume is also needlessly low.

NO

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Good performances, the violin in particular had a nice sweet sound it. I've got no problems with creative panning - I know that you've panned in this fashion to fill out the soundscape seeing as you've gone for the minimal approach. That said, I feel the violin being the main instrument, should be centred. This would carry the additional benefit of leaving space on the right channel for some additional accompaniment. I don't mind the minimal nature of the track, it grew on me throughout the duration, but at 2:50 I think things went on a bit too long for the content you have here. I think this is not far off - if your accompanying parts were strengthened and expanded in terms of changing up over time, it would give the mix more of an evolving feel without having to change the main progression you have going on here. Please give this another look.

NO

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