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Gario

*NO* Joe & Mac 'Caveman Calypso'

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ReMixer Name: Rapture
Real Name: Fabian Del Priore
Email Address: 
Website: www.delpriore.de

Name of game(s) arranged: Joe & Mac - Caveman Ninja
Name of arrangement: Joe & Mac - Caveman Calypso
Name of individual song(s) arranged: Stage 1
Name of original composer: Z. Yamanaka
System: 
SNES, Arcade
Link to the original soundtrack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87T5V7fyPnY&list=PL-vD6rIjXrcKpbDGFbZFAYn1k_Pcj37xI&index=6

 

Edited by Liontamer
closed decision

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First with the obvious here, instrument quality didn't impress me, and the mix feels a bit umbalanced regarding the drums. Cymbal crashes seemed really loud... well cymbals in general.  in some sections it seems like background elements take over main leads such as like around 2:20.

On the production side things didn't look too hot, and on the arrangement side, things didn't look that great at first with a straight reproduction of the original to start off the track, however things evolve and change pretty soon and most of the track has tons of personalization of the original melodies and even brand new sections.  The arrangement is pretty interesting and fun to listen to overall, while not straying that far from the original's feel.

So this is pretty borderline to me, but I tend to favor solid arrangements over perfect production so I think I'll give it a pass.  It's fun and well arranged albeit not perfect.

YES (borderline)

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I also favor arrangements over production, but the production here is really rough.  Several sections are crowded and loud.  2:11-2:25 and 3:31-end are the most striking, and were actually uncomfortable to listen to.  The panpipes are also inconsistent, and tend to have loud bursts.  The arrangement is fun, though the variations are sometimes subtle, and the fadeout ending isn't doing it any favors.  Instrument quality isn't great but is adequate.

I think this mostly need another pass on volume levels.  It's a good concept and the execution is entertaining, but it's hard to listen to in its current form.

NO (resubmit)

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Right from the get-go, holding fast to the original's tempo and structure is going to be a tough sell. The melody coming in at :25's not much of a stylistic difference from the original, nor is the bassline or the mallet percussion. The steel drums are an additive component, but just accent things. The beats were changed a little at :47, but this still doesn't feel like a substantive enough expansion/arrangement to meaningfully stand apart from the original.

Seemed like 1:16's section was going to transition to some sort of radical change-up and there it was at 1:26, albeit briefly until the melody returned on sequenced steel drums at 1:41. The backing here's different, but by 2:25 it winds back into more of the cover territory. The steel drums and bowed string samples sound very fake and exposed throughout and just don't do enough to downplay the lack of realism with the sounds.

 

Quote

4. Arrangement

 
2. Your arrangement must be substantial and original.
  • Submissions must be different enough from the source material to clearly illustrate the contributions, modifications, and enhancements you have made. Acceptable arrangement often involves more than one of the following techniques:
  • Modifying the genre, chord progression, instrumentation, rhythms, dynamics, tempo, or overall composition of the source material
  • Adding original solos, transitions, harmonies, counter-melodies, lyrics, or vocals to the source material

There's nothing inherently wrong with the track concept, Fabian, but to me, it doesn't employ enough of the aforementioned arrangement/interpretation techniques for me to pass this for OC ReMix. It just feels like most of the additive instrumentation here doesn't really change the fundamental instrumentation or mood of the source tune, so it doesn't stand apart enough from the original song with this level of interpretation. If you feel you need to stay in the same rhythms and tempo of the original song, it may just be a matter of changing up more of the instrumentation. Effort's taken not to be just a cover, but it's essentially a MIDI (including all of the supporting writing being copied verbatim) and then some light dressing/additions around it that don't have much synergy due to the imbalance production/mixing that was pointed out.

NO

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This is a very similar approach to the original in instrumentation, writing, style, tempo, etc.  I literally was able to sync both tracks simultaneously and they adhere completely with each other as the track progresses in all the core elements for the first 1:30 or so.  This, unfortunately is going to disqualify this one off the bat with our arrangement standards.  We're really looking for more interpretation, rather than covers or sound upgrades of the original songs.

On the production side, the balance and levels need some tweaking as some elements are significantly higher than other (cymbals, bass synth at 1:30, etc) and there's noticeable distortion on the cymbal hits due to pushing the volume too hard.  Overall, it's loud and crowded when things going and it just gets worse as the song progresses and more instrumentation is added.

I don't want to take away from your effort here, it's a fun concept and would sound really cool if the production issues were fixed, but it doesn't align with the philosophy of OCR.

NO

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Overall, I do like where this track is taken; it follows a conservative interpretation for the first half of the track, followed by some really cool arranging and embellishments that spice things up. It really sets up the listeners expectations and delivers something very different as it proceeds into new territory. I really enjoyed it, and disagree that this breaks any sort of OCR requirement.

My biggest issue with the track is that the instruments sound dry and mechanical. It's like it's a PSX version of the game rather than an SNES version, as far as sound quality. Better than the source, but not by that much, and OCR does have a production standard to uphold on this. Work some (not too much - just some!) reverb into your instrumentation in order to give it a more realistic sounding space for your instruments, and it would take this arrangement to the next level.

I feel the arrangement is strong enough, though I do think the quality of the instruments & space are generally dragging this down. I do hope to hear this again from you, though, with some updated sounds and/or a touch of reverb to get the space sounding more realistic!

NO

Edited by Gario

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This track sounds good to me, production/mixing is solid enough, but it sounds just like an upgraded midi file.  The instruments sound sequenced but I'm not having as much trouble with fakeness as the other judges are (since my ears hear "upgraded midi file" so they aren't expecting realism). Unfortunately, even with embellishments added, the track is much too similar to the original song, even the style is identical.  Sadly that makes it not a fit for OCR guidelines.  Fun listen though!

NO

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There is potential here. I thought things were mixed quite loud, requiring me to reduce my usual volume levels. I immediately notice some elements of the percussion are significantly louder than the rest of the mix, occasionally floating above everything else - making them sound out of place. Leads at times are significantly louder than everything else, and at other times they blend in with the background too much. This is confusing as there is a decent amount of spectral space between parts allowing for each instrument to be heard without the need to over emphasise volume. Arrangement wise, I think more could have been done here. There are some scattered original ideas, but we rarely get significant new interpretations of the source material. This along with the mixing issues and conflicting quality of some of the samples chosen make this difficult to pass. I recommend revisiting this to at least improve the mixing and strengthen the arrangement with more original interpretation.

NO

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This track pleasantly surprised me - it does begin safe with a run-through of the source material, but following on there's some great playing around with the melodies within a changed-up chord progression.  The calypso style approach works so well with the choice of instruments - and all in all, it makes the arrangement feel lively.

On the production side, the instruments all feel crisp and identifiable, and I appreciate those tasteful key switches used on the panpipes.  The only two things that stick out for me are that the bongos are a little bit too loud, and I also acknowledge that the instruments chosen aren't the most realistic sounding ones that I've heard.  You’ve pushed so hard to make them work in the bigger picture, so a further tip I can suggest for future remixes is to add subtle / tasteful reverb to your organic leads and hand percussion.  They’ll feel as if they’re playing in a bigger studio space rather than being stuck in a box.

All in all, it’s a pleasant sounding take on the source that only just scrapes by on both arrangement and production fronts.  Whether this makes it to the front page or not, I’m in favor of seeing you on front page in some shape or form, Fabien.


YES (borderline)

Edited by Rexy

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there is a ton going on here! overall, i love the energy and how sold-out you are on the style.

i love the commitment to island-y sounds. the flutes, the steel drums, hand percussion...it's a great overall vibe. i also like how you're sticking with the crisp articulation and tight performance of the original...until you don't, and it's a full-scale commit to the new style, using instruments we've heard specifically in one style being applied wholesale to a completely different feel. that's great! it creates cohesion between two sections that otherwise have little in common outside the melody.

from an arrangement perspective, this one's trickier. it's clearly nearly the exact same as the original from 0:05 to 1:27, shifts dramatically, and then goes right back at 2:27 to the opening style, and continues to stay there until it goes back to the B section to close at 3:32. beyond that, some of the aural experimentation goes a little too weird - the stereo claps at 3:12ish are a hard pass by me, same with the strings in the background of 0:20. i think the toughest part for me is that it feels like many of the instruments are playing exactly what's in the original - right down to the velocity! - with some minimal ornamentation layered on top for more than half of the track. this is a big deal for me because the parts where it isn't that are so good! the vibe at 1:27 is so strong - i want to hear more of that! i want to hear a whole track of that kind of energy.

since it feels like more than half the track is straight cover, i'd have to say no. but it's a sad no, because there's so much promise here. ultimately, the lack of arrangement on more than half the track sinks it. if you add some humanization and make the A section (which is a cover right now) more Rapture and less Seiichi Hamada, i think you'll have a much better track, and a yes vote from me.

NO (resub!)

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