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Gario

*NO* Jade Cocoon "Eternal Village of Silk"

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Contact Information

Your ReMixer name – Manju Bun
Your real name – Huy Nguyen
Your email address – 
Your website – n/a
Your userid – 34776
 

Submission Information

Name of game(s) arranged – Jade Cocoon: Story of the Tamamayu
Name of arrangement -  Eternal Village of Silk
Name of individual song(s) arranged - Sirus Village,
also some parts of:  Khem'el Temple, Legend of Arcna, and Levant’s flute stylings

Your own comments about the mix, for example the inspiration behind it, how it was made, etc. –

I’ve been wanting to make an OCRemix song ever since I’ve first heard the music from this site way back around 2006. At the time I had zero knowledge of anything related to music playing/production. So after years of self learning and procrastination, I finally felt like I had enough (?) knowledge to remix something; and here we are. With no prior background to remixing or any DAW work, this was pretty much the first song I’ve ever worked with. There’s not much inspiration behind the song really. This song was memorable to me as I spent hours and hours playing this game back in the days. I just chose this song as it felt like an “easy” song for a beginner to try and remix.

 

Edited by Liontamer
closed decision

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Oh, man, Jade Cocoon.  I spent a ton of time on this when it came out.  This arrangement hits me right in the feels.  An excellent debut effort, great interpretation all around, very enjoyable.  Great use of the traditional approach of starting off conservative and adding more and more originality to it as it goes.

That said, it's not perfect.  The guitar and strings are very fake-sounding, and I imagine they'll bug some people.  Balance could use some improvement, especially with those bandwidth-devouring guitars over the wood blocks, and at 2:54-3:20 when the second, louder guitar comes in.  The melody in 1:15-1:38 and 2:06- 2:29 is a bit drowned by the strings.

I imagine some of my fellow judges will take more issue with the production than I do, and I'm probably a bit biased here because Jade Cocoon, but this arrangement is so strong I don't want to see it sent back.  That said, a cleaned-up version would be even better!  But I'll go on record with a

YES (borderline)

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To be honest, the strings bug me much less than the guitar does; they sound fake, but to be honest they sound SO fake that there's really no uncanny valley - they're just another electronic pad that carries the theme. At best, my complaint is that they're a vanilla instrument that's a little too similar to the pads, but that's getting into personal preference territory. They're not great, but they're passable - I give them a pass.

The electric guitar is a far more guilty culprit of being too low quality and uncanny valley. It would be better to use something that either is more realistic/live, or something that doesn't try to be a guitar in the first place (a saw/supersaw with guitar-like bends fattened with delay/reverb, for example). There are long stretches of the arrangement that doesn't have that guitar where it's ranges from decent to great, but where the arrangement has that guitar it's just so jarring how much that instrument doesn't belong in this.

Oddly enough, it's not so bad as a background instrument at 3:51, but otherwise it's just not the right instrument for the center stage.

The arrangement is cool and dynamic, but if I'm going to be honest the instrument quality of that guitar does sink it for me, and it's front-and-center for a significant portion of the track. I've been called out for being too harsh on singular elements before, so I could be persuaded otherwise if anyone feels this is too harsh, but for now I think it's a big enough issue to send this back to the artist for a fix.

NO

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Not much left to say here as I was about to write about the same things Gario has pointed out...

I'll babble on anyways:

The production is actually alright here, I like that everything sounds clean and has its own space in the frequency AND stereo field.  Instrument quality not that much, but I do think some of it is passable.  Two sticking points are first the strings carrying the main melody, which won't fool anybody and I strongly believe would be better off with some organic-sounding synth pads instead.  The strings wouldn't be that bad if they were the only questionable choice though, but the main guitar lead is something that I can't let through, sadly.

The arrangement is good, and I'm really surprised this is your first try at a full remix.  If so, you are well on your way to great things.  But as with most first tries, this one needs some polishing before I can sign up for it.  And really, my main gripes are with two specific instruments so your work here is not that hard.  Sadly, for now I'll have to go with a

NO (resubmit)

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The rigid timing of the electric guitar sample at :46 is already sounding like a dealbreaker; it also cuts out abruptly at 1:14 when moving over into the bowed strings, which was completely unnatural and had no decay.

Right after that, the sequencing/timing of bowed string sample at 1:14-1:39 was also very robotic sounding and exposed; you have to mitigate the realism issues of the sample tone by at least humanizing the attacks/timing.

More rigid timing with the wind lead at 1:39 and the bowed strings at 1:40, it's just a pervasive issue that's an emphatic dealbreaker. Also, the way the wind lead's mixed, it doesn’t even sound like it’s sharing the same room/space as the strings; instead, the winds sound stapled on top.

So in short, Huy, the guitar sample isn't cutting it, and you need to humanize the timing of practically all of the instrumentation, with the acoustic guitar strums being the notable exception/outlier.

Consult the Music Composition & Production forums for help on mitigating and masking realism issues with your current samples as well as exploring other instrument/sample options. Improving all of that will allow an otherwise decent arrangement concept to be better realized in terms of the production.

NO (resubmit)

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Sheesh, if this is your first foray into a full mix, color me very impressed.  My first (many) attempts sounded like garbage compared to this.

Nice full soundscape to start things off, perhaps slightly too much so.  Some of the bass a rhythm guitar freqs sound like they're stepping on each other a bit and when they get louder, are causing some muddiness/distortion.  Listen to the hit at 4:10 when everything is going together, it's the most prominent example.  I remember years ago when I was a wee-little remixer and Larry chiding me for trying to cram all of the elements of the mix together for the finale section of my songs.  I'll pass on the same advice that you may want to cut back a bit on how many parts are playing at once, as you can still get the dramatic dynamics without throwing ALL of the instruments together.

I also agree on the aforementioned issues with the lead guitar.  It's very robotic in the way it's sequenced, especially when it's just playing repeated quarter notes.  The woodwind lead is also a bit stilted, but not nearly as much so.  The strings really didn't bother me as is - I feel like they compliment the style.  I'm not sure I'd pan quite as hard to the sides as you did with some of the elements.

I want to reiterate that this is a really solid effort and not far off the bar IMO.  It's got some great emotion behind it and some solid writing.  With some cleaning up on the mixing side and humanization on the leads, I'd be 100% on board.

NO resubmit, please

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