Sign in to follow this  
Gario

OCR03641 - *YES* Chrono Trigger "Zeal Breeze"

Recommended Posts

RebeccaETripp
Rebecca Tripp

http://www.crystalechosound.com/
ID: 48262
Game(s): Chrono Trigger
Song Title: Zeal Breeze
Songs Remixed: Time Circuits
Comments: mix of orchestral, new age and world type sounds
 
Here’s a link to the track:  I can attach a file later if need be.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beautiful soundscape.  One of your best in that respect.

There are a bunch of small things that seem off, though.  The sitar run at 0:09 seems off-key, as do the chimes at 0:37-0:45.  The swells on the violins are pretty mechanical and a little slow; starting from 1:26 is a noteworthy example.  2:11-3:13 is a little muddy--lots going on here that's conflicting with each other, especially the koto, which becomes very buzzy.  The koto is also pretty mechanical in that section.

While I would love to see those things improved, I don't think they're quite dealbreakers, even collectively, and there's a lot here that I like.

YES (borderline)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Solid orchestration, as usual, and you have a lot of cool, subtle changes throughout that keep a relatively overmixed source interesting. It's quiet, but that's more due to a wide dynamic range than anything else - I'm alright with that.

While the production is pretty good, there are some issues with the execution that you should be aware of. Overall, the mix suffers from the instruments being particularly wet throughout. I understand that this is the 'Land of Dreams' and all, and a pretty wet arrangement is fitting, but the level of excess in this really leaves the soundscape sounding pretty messy throughout. 0:55 is a particularly egregious example; even taking the super-wet sitar out of the equation, every instrument has a release of at least a half second, which really clutters the soundscape.

The vocals and bowed strings have pretty mechanical releases, as well. I've heard other songs of yours that handle these instruments better, so I know you're capable: the strings have an attack that swells too much and a release that is non-existent, both being issues that make them sound fake. The vocals only really have the swelling attack, but that still makes them sound pretty artificial.

It's a tough call, but I'm leaning on the other side of the vote just a bit. I wouldn't be surprised if this passed, but there's just too many small things that add up to a NO for me. Just cleaning up the excessively wet soundscape would swing my vote, and improving the articulations on the strings and vocal parts would be a boon to the track as well.

NO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think both of the guys here have some pretty great suggestions, and I agree with Greg that it's overall a lot of small things that are adding up in the end for me. I'd love the wetness to be relaxed here, and definitely think the strings and chorus need to be massaged a bit more to get more of a live feel out of them, as they sound very mechanical right now. The arrangement is subtle but expressive, as per your norm. hope to hear this again :)

NO (resubmit)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was ready to pass this from the first minute, but as the track went on a nagging issue became more apparent: 

On 4/14/2017 at 7:46 PM, Gario said:

The vocals and bowed strings have pretty mechanical releases, as well. I've heard other songs of yours that handle these instruments better, so I know you're capable: the strings have an attack that swells too much and a release that is non-existent, both being issues that make them sound fake. The vocals only really have the swelling attack, but that still makes them sound pretty artificial.

This started to become a problem where the strings come right to the front and are try to carry the melody, but the chorus is probably like this every time it's on.  It's a lovely arrangement, and I don't even have an issue with the wetness of the mix, it's a nice touch and most importantly it doesn't really muddles the mix too much as to make me want it toned down.  If it is toned down I wouldn't mind it either, I feel its more of a stylistic choice that has not much effect on the production quality.  But the string envelopes are a much bigger issue to me.  The samples themselves don't sound like they're of low quality so they're definitely workable, just need to be humanized further.

This is a very tough one.  Can't come with a verdict after a few listens, although I'm leaning towards a very borderline yes.  I will revisit later.

Revisit 7/27:

I'm still not happy with exactly the same things I pointed out before.  The choirs at around 1:40 are very rough, and the strings suffer from the same envelope issues.  It really irks me, but thankfully it's not something that's pervasive through the track.  I like the choirs more when they're used as low hums.  I don't think Ms. Tripp achieved the full potential this track could've reached, but I think as a whole it just barely edges over the bar due to the lovely arrangement and ambiance.  I hope that in future subs instruments are given a more detailed treatment to make them intricate and more realistic.  This is as borderline as it gets for me.

YES (borderline)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm close to where MindWanderer is, i.e. a borderline pass, but definitely wanting this to be more cohesive. The string and vox releases definitely hurt this one by exposing the samples, and the timing of the woodwind at 2:11 in particular was too blocky as well, but the overall arrangement was strong. I could live with this as is, but if this was rejected for now, no issues here. To me, the arrangement was substantially developed to where that slightly/barely carries it, but this one's dancing on the line and could use some improvements so that that wasn't the case. Also, nice sneak of the Schala theme cameo at 3:06; we see you.

YES (very borderline)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have got some solid progression here throughout the arrangement, most instruments feel realistic enough, and there is a nice conversation between them as the track progresses. Reverb is a bit strong nearing Enya like levels at times, although I don't feel this hurt the track apart from making some portions sound a little clouded.

Agree regarding the lack of cohesion in the choir. This realisation hit me around the portion starting 1:42, where the rapid note changes weren't gradual and as a result didn't sound natural (though it didn't sound too bad on its exiting notes). This jumping between notes with a robotic character is most noticeable in the sections where the choir is exposed without other accompaniment. This surprised me as the other parts you have going here sounded solid and fit together well.

On the flip side, I couldn't help but feel it paid homage to how SNES choir sounds were presented at the time, drawing the listener back to the realisation this is a remix of a SNES tune. Fairly sure this wasn't intentional, but I found it less jarring because of how it tied my brain back to the retro source in that regard. I'd also highlight that the portions where it brought attention to itself were fairly spaced out and didn't occur too often.

I personally enjoyed your arrangement, you have some nice changes throughout, moving from a full orchestra at times to sparse twinkle dotted interludes, you provided a different feel for each section. I think the strengths here made things like the choir more challenging to ignore. I share the others concerns, but I feel this scrapes through. Perhaps the others would be happier if you revisited the choir?

YES (borderline)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a lot of variation in what instrument is playing lead, which I think is wonderful.  I have the same nitpicks as the other Js about too much reverb/release on the lead sitar, and unnatural envelopes on the strings and choir, but each of these elements plays a bit and then gets out, so it isn't bothering me that much.  If this doesn't pass, and even if it does, please pay special attention to your articulations, attacks/releases, reverbs, and learn to automate CC11 well so that your strings and choirs can sound the most realistic possible.  The track overall can stand to be several db louder.  But this arrangement with all it's twinkly wonder is too good to pass up.

YES (borderline)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this