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Gario

OCR03654 - *YES* Donkey Kong Country "Fathoms"

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NoTuX
Damon Campbell

https://soundcloud.com/notux-1


Submission Information

Donkey Kong Country
Aquatic Ambiance, original:  https://youtu.be/LDvKwSVuUGA 
Composer:  David Wise

This is my humble remix of one of my all time favorite songs.  I'm staying true to the original mood and keeping it calm and relaxing with a slight R&B feel.  At first, I didn't really want to sub this one because there are so many amazing remixes of this song out there, but my wife talked me into it.  I guess one more wouldn't hurt, right? 

Direct link:  

Thanks everyone!

 

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Nice and smooth.  I'm glad you submitted this; it has more fun with the melody than any other Aquatic Ambiance remix I've heard before.  The piano is pretty mechanical, but it's not a dealbreaker for me despite how prominent it is, and I don't have any other concerns.  I can see other judges maybe having an objection to it, but I have no problems giving this a

YES

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This is a smooth, hip-hop arrangement you've got going down, here. There is a certain playfulness to the arrangement, with little licks and such to keep the listener on his/her toes. The use of pads, those drums and the backing piano make this track sound pretty static, though there are sections in here that break up those patterns which helps give this some more life. Some more moments where the instruments behave differently (or aren't used at all) would help make the piece less static, so there's some food for thought.

That piano, as MindWanderer mentions, also is something of a concern, as it's so dry in comparison to the rest of the track. The 'performance' also feels stilted with those arpeggios, like the performer hit every note in a deliberate manner (or if the notes were sequenced at a fairly high velocity for each hit). It's pretty distracting throughout the entire track, since it's such a prominent part of the track. Tweaking those velocities, utilizing some 'pedal' (emulated by using the sustain envelope in a DAW) and possibly adding a bit of reverb to the piano so it matched the more 'wet' instruments would alleviate the issues the piano holds.

I think I could've let this go if either the arrangement wasn't so static or the piano wasn't as stilted and dry, but in combination I feel I've got to send this back. On a side note, the production and mixing sounds pretty good in this, so nice work on that. I feel with just a little more TLC to these aspects this would be a good fit for OCR, so keep it up!

NO

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Pretty unique approach to this theme; every time you think you've heard it all with "Aquatic Ambiance," you get something like this. The way the source tune was referenced throughout was very creative, IMO, with lots of subtle plays to the melody and main motifs, but other instruments getting in references to it as well while doing their own thing.

The piano's got a blocky quality to it that would be nicer if that wasn't the case, but it was serviceable and the piano sound had enough of a tail to it where it had some body. Gario's not wrong to criticize it, but his votes hinges on the sound being more problematic than I thought it was.

The sax programming at 2:36-3:27 also could have been problematic -- the effect on it made a unique sound that was disarming at first -- but, instead, it offers something distinct to the sound. Nice job layering it with the synth at 3:08 as well.

Dynamically, there could have been more distinct drops in the energy, but what's here still works within a narrower dynamic curve. Smooth beats and a novel way to personalize the theme. Nice work, Damon!

YES

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Yep, some songs can be arranged a million times and people will still find something new for it. The mix is nice and chill, and I appreciated the small details that gave a fresh take here. I'm with Larry in regards to the piano sound/velocites; I think they are somewhat problematic, but they manage to stay fairly unobtrusive and I didn't find it to be a dealbreaker in the long run. Definitely something to consider for the future, though. Curious to see where the vote goes here, good luck!

YES

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On 5/19/2017 at 0:27 PM, DragonAvenger said:

Yep, some songs can be arranged a million times and people will still find something new for it. The mix is nice and chill, and I appreciated the small details that gave a fresh take here. I'm with Larry in regards to the piano sound/velocites; I think they are somewhat problematic, but they manage to stay fairly unobtrusive and I didn't find it to be a dealbreaker in the long run. Definitely something to consider for the future, though. Curious to see where the vote goes here, good luck!

Pretty much my thoughts on this one.  The piano velocities can be an issue at times, and I think more could've been done to add subtlety to the performance, but the transformation and changes on the melody lines carried by it is what mostly makes this remix unique.  I was fine with the arrangement's dynamics, I think the energy levels drop/rise enough throughout the track, which is very chill in nature and doesn't really need huge peaks and cliffs in mood.  On the production side things are clear, while the mix has a bit of a cold and dry feel to it sometimes, it's not something that brings the whole thing down for me.  The sax section was... not very good.  The tremolo was a bit excessive IMO, but the sax has a very short stay here.

Overall I think this is close but over the bar for me.

YES (borderline)

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