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Phoenix Wright AA: Justice for All - Investigation ~ Middle remix

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Hmm, I can dig this; it reminds me of a slightly more hip version of LA Noire, with the smooth jazz and some added effects, for color. The tone and atmosphere of this track is pretty great.

As far as how it'd fare on the panel, though, there are a few things that would hold it back at the outset. First and foremost, that kick is mixed loud to the point that it clips - the actual waveform is slicing at the top and bottom every time that kick hits. Tone down the kick levels so they better match the rest of your instruments.

There are a couple of "performance" concerns and realism issues that catch my ear, as well. The piano utilizes some sustain pedal, which is great, but it doesn't release in time. This causes what I refer to as 'pedal mud', which just crowds your track. If you ever want some ideas as to how to work the pedal's magic Chopin actually wrote out his pedalling; you could spend a little time checking out how he designed his pedal and release timing and figure it out from there. The simpler bit of advice, though, is to just to release the pedal when the notes start clashing (like when there are some passing tones or the chord changes). The dynamics in the piano are a little stiff, too, but overall they're handled alright.

The strings all sweep into the picture, which gives them the distinct impression that they're sequenced. I do not know what you're using, but often this is because of how the sampler has the attack set on the instrument. If the attack is something like 500ms or something, change the envelope after the first sweep in a phrase so that the notes don't all sweep in the exact same way, since real string players wouldn't sweep into every single note. If the sample itself sweeps and it's not the attack envelope it'd be wise to consider using another instrument for those lines; instruments like that are more suited to being used like pads and not used for countermelodies.

Overall, the track does feel like it meanders a bit, but I think the elevator-like style has it's advantages, too. It does have it's highs and lows, even if the instrumentation is a bit static, so that helps. I think you'd be okay as far as the arrangement goes.

I wouldn't see this track passing if it were submit as it is - the clipping and sample realism issues would definitely hold it back. Mix the levels on that kick better and see if any of the realism advice helps and you would have a much better shot on the panel.

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Hey, I’m a huge fan of the Ace Attorney soundtracks & this has always been one of the highlights for me, so wanted to give you some feedback. I'm no master of arrangement/composition so feel free to listen to/ignore whatever you like!


Generally I think the balance of instruments is good, with enough rhythmic variation to sound interesting.

I admire your commitment to a specific style and sticking with it throughout. A good piece for setting and maintaining a very narrow mood.

Working points:

The piano feels thin to me; possibly this is the lack of variety in velocity? It sort of hammers out in the left channel, and because it’s not really using chords, there’s something about it that jars with the subtle approach to the rest of the track. This riff blends better when played on the bass later on.

Your saxophone sounds seem the strongest to me, why not put them more at the forefront? You’ve got a good ear for improvised lines, heard in the latter half on the electric pianos - a stronger melodic line on the sax might work nicely.

I agree with Gario on the strings; the attack keeps them firmly in the background & a little formless. Considering you’ve got some staccato sequences there, I’d layer over some marcato sounds/double with flute or something if you can’t make the attack dance to your tune (as sometimes happens!)

Also think it’s a little long, especially as the later sections aren’t aiming to change up the rhythm/tone. Are you picturing this as a background loop for a noir-style detective game or something? If it’s meant to be a standalone track, my feeling is a change or variance in ‘emotion’ is needed - rather like the difference between the two sections in the original.

And that leads on to my final thing, but I think you’ll agree to disagree on this one as it's totally subjective!

Ultimately I feel like this doesn’t capture the soul of the original. It had an urgency and emotional element to the arrangement, pace, harmonies etc. that you’ve stripped out. All that’s left feeling present is the original bass riff, but there are rhythmic modifications that change its impact. You’ve also got the melodic lines in there, but arranged to be on the periphery, so don’t feel as present or necessary.

From this perspective it doesn’t really feel like a remix (to me); more like an original composition that uses some of the melodies/lines from the AA track.

But yeah like I said - you’ll probably agree to disagree with me on this! Music’s always subjective in the end.

Interesting project man, good luck with it!

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The piano opening things up sounded very mechanical right from the start. Beats at :24 were super-thin and sounded too clean compared to the effects on the piano. IMO, there was no synergy with the piano, keyboard, faux sax, and beats.

I did like the piano picking up at 1:33; again, the piano sounded rigidly timed, but the writing there was creative, and you did a nice job gradually increasing its intensity.

The beats came back in at 1:56. It was only at 1:56 that I ever noticed this track had a bassline; it barely, just barely registered, but it was so subtle that it doesn't contribute anything; give that some more presense.

Basically lots of quasi-comping on top of the sparse backing writing until 2:41 picked back up with the melody invoked.

Well, I didn't think the combination of instruments clicked for the first 90 seconds, and without some lyrics though, this ultimately didn't sound substantial enough as a standalone piece. The timing shouldn't sound mechanical on anything, and the instrumental could use more meat on it. Needs work to polish up the execution and thicken things up. I'd also argue you could get rid of the first 90 seconds and just develop with more ideas after things fill out more.

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