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Gario

*NO* Golden Sun: The Lost Age 'Under a Full Moon'

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Dear OCRemix Panel,

 
Please find attached an MP3 file of my arrangement/cover of the theme for ‘Garoh' from Golden Sun: The Lost Age for your kind review. (I have also included a link to an online version in case the attached one doesn’t work.) The piece includes about a minute of original composition; the rest comes solely from ‘Garoh’.
 
I title my arrangement “Under a Full Moon”. It is an orchestral arrangement with a trio of real flutes.
 
The information required is given below. Many thanks for your attention!
 
Very best regards,
George 
 
Personal information:
 

ReMixer name: satoka-eldon 

Real name: George Goodwin
Email address:
UserID: 34976
Link to original track: http://ocremix.org/song/4299/garoh
Link to my arrangement:
 
Some comments:
 
I transcribed and arranged this track more than 10 years ago using a very primitive version of Sibelius, along with a bunch of other music from the first two Golden Sun games. It was much, much later that I realized other musicians were uploading upgraded and arranged versions of pieces to the Internet, and only now that I’ve gotten round to following suit. (Better late than never!)
 
The melody to the original theme to the town of Garoh (home of the werewolves of Weyard), is played by a flute. It has a wonderfully melancholy feel to it. 
 
I took the original theme and arranged it for an orchestra, and played three flute parts over it, really trying to capture that melancholy feel. The original track doesn’t include any percussion, so I used rubato throughout the piece to try to make it feel more personal. 
 
I also added a minute’s worth of original material (from 0:32 to 1:37) given the brevity of the original piece. The first half of the addition includes a brief modulation into E minor, and includes several chromatic runs in the melody. The second part follows part of the chord progression of the original, foreshadowing the final climax of the piece.
 
The final section from 2:10 was modified from the original alternating F-G chords to include a rising bass-line, to try to enhance the climax.
 
I got a lot of feedback on my arrangements over the last few months from a lot of different people, and have learnt a lot about producing music using a DAW. Thanks goes in particular to the musicians at the Golden Sun Reddit and at the OCRemix forums~
 
Edited by Rexy

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A very pretty, if somewhat conservative take.  The original content fits in perfectly and is a great extension of the source.  Great emoting.

The lead flute being panned left is definitely distracting.  Later on there are some right-panned instruments to help balance it out, but there's not enough and there's a whole lot of time where the lead is completely exposed.

However, that's my only issue and it isn't a dealbreaker.  If this does get sent back, definitely move that flute to center, or maybe panned very, very slightly.  This is still, in my book, a solid

YES

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Never heard the original before, but I like it quite a bit.

I really don't like the hard panning of the flute.  It may not bother listeners that much but it bothers me a lot.  Just makes the mix feel imbalanced when there's nothing on the other side of the spectrum to counter it.  It's a good thing that it's not always alone like that throughout the mix, but still.

Besides that, I liked the arrangement, it's subtle and close to the source but enjoyable and brings its own ideas to the table.  If only that flute was brought a bit closer to the center, it would be even better.  I also thought the overall volume could've used a bit of a boost but it's a minor thing.

Maybe I'm getting hung up on things that don't matter much when it comes to the overall evaluation of the track, but the panning is making it a more difficult decision for me than it really should.  In the end I'll say, let's go with it.  I can't find that many glaring faults, and asking for perfection is not fair.

EDIT(8/21): After listening to this one once more, I do think the panning issue is more egregious than what I initially thought.  Seeing the panel mostly agree on that front, I think I'll change my vote and ask for a resubmit.  If the panning is balanced I think I wouldn't have any big issues with this one and It'll probably pass.

NO (resubmit)

Edited by Sir_NutS

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this is a really spare arrangement, and i appreciate the care that was taken to allow it to be just that and nothing more. the orchestral parts as a whole feel like more than just stamping the chords from the original into a preset of instrument parts, and i like the gravity they give the melodic voices. additionally, the flute's performance as a whole is really well done, and the recording and mastering of the live instruments is excellent. i feel like i'm right in a concert hall...

...listening to flutes in the stage right wings. the panning of the melody is so significant so as to be distracting - it's over 4db difference on multiple occasions. additionally, when your other (well-written and well-realized) flute parts come in at 1:36, they're often overlapping, and it's hard to track the melody. turning those parts down a few dB each will really help the melody sound without actually losing the harmonic support. lastly, you get to this great finishing section and play the last note...and your beautiful, singing vibrato is gone, and as a result it's got some weird blending with the background parts that cause a stereo effect. was there pitch adjustment done there after the fact? either way, it's the last note of a work specifically for you as the solo flautist - own it, and sing it out! if you hung over the orchestral cutoff broadway-style i'd like it even more.

the things that are problems with this track - the balance between the ears, some of the volumization of the lead parts, and that ending note - are very simple, and it'd be easy to say that the track is good enough and pass it. i think that'd be a mistake. the arrangement is so sparse, and the performance is so solid throughout, that these few issues really stick out significantly to me. it's obvious that they did to the other judges who've voted so far since both mentioned the panning of the melody as a significant issue. this is a clear candidate for a resub after some minimal changes to the mastering and a quick punch-in and re-record on that last note.

 

NO (resub!)

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This arrangement feels beautiful.  The flutes all have been recorded clean, the backing instruments also feel realistic, and there's some solid dynamic shaping going on here.  Additionally, there's also a delicate balance between additive extensions with the original material and subtractive changes with the flute harmonies - a solid direction.

Thinking about the flutes though, I thought the volume jump upon return at 0:47 wasn't all that obvious and was expected to ride on top of that distant piano.  Also, all I sensed with the ending was a gentle major key cadence that added a last-second lift in mood.  But sadly, I agree with my fellow judges and believe that the panning of the lead flute feels distracting.  Being too far to the left of the stereo field, it sticks out too much, and I'm surprised it didn't affect the clarity of the rest of your soundscape.

You otherwise have a well-treated arrangement and clear presentation, no doubt about it.  It'll be a shame to send it back based on one small panning issue, as it's possible to amend it in the space of 30 seconds.  Honestly, I feel this is ready for the front page for the most part.   See if you can do something about the lead flute's position - preferably a more central or gentle pan.  A move like that will be much more satisfying to listen to in my opinion.

YES (conditional on panning)

Edited by Rexy

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Hahahaha! As soon as I started the track, I basically only heard music in one ear. Nope, nope; panning's just too wide for headphones. The volume was too low, IMO, and needs to be raised some. There was a noticeable click/pop at 2:02 that would be nice to have fixed as well.

Lovely performances, and the source tune usage checked out as over half of the piece (:00-:31, 1:37-2:41), which made that an easy call. It's melodically straightforward but adapted well for the light ensemble instrumentation. The original section from 32-1:37 fit in very comfortably with the source tune before and after, and easily could have been assumed as also having been arranging something from Golden Sun. The transposing of the source from F to G at 2:09 for the final section was a nice touch as well.

Don't make the panning so wide, and fix that one click/pop, and raise the volume. Good work otherwise, George. Just tweak this and send it on back if this doesn't make it as is.

NO (resubmit)

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Yup, the others have this knocked out. The piece is gorgeous, and I can't wait for this to hit the front page, but that panning has to be addressed! (And that pop at 2:02)

NO (resubmit, please)

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On 8/21/2019 at 9:10 AM, Liontamer said:

Don't make the panning so wide, and fix that one click/pop, and raise the volume. Good work otherwise, George. Just tweak this and send it on back if this doesn't make it as is.

This, precisely. Otherwise, this is a lovely piece!  Please fix the panning and the click/pop and bring the volume up just a bit, and send it on back.

NO (resubmit please)

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