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Gario

*NO* Donkey Kong Country 'Woodland Wildness'

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Contact Information
ReMixer name : Reuben6
Real Name : Reuben Spiers
E-mail:

Submission Information
Game: Donkey Kong Country
Name of Arrangement: Woodland Wildness
Name of Original Song: Forest Frenzy

 
(featuring Psamathes and GameroftheWinds)
 

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Very nice acoustic arrangement.  It doesn't go anywhere surprising, but there is a decent level of interpretation, and the performances are solid.

But what is up with the rock/choral section?  The soundscape is thin and muffled, the vocals are flat, and choruses don't work very well with just, what, 3 voices? without a whole lot of processing.

Normally I wouldn't send something back for such a short section, but it's notably sub-par and really sinks the experience as a whole, especially since the rest of the soundscape is fairly static, so that one different part really leaps out.  I like the idea of doing something different there to change things up, but the execution needs to be there.

NO (resubmit)

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I liked where this was going in the first half, but as time goes on the song loses steam.  First, arrangement: I liked your arrangement choices here, modifying the main melody in small but noticeable ways.  At 0:58 we get a preview of the call-and-response bit that will continue pretty much unchanged until 2:04.  At this point, the song does a 180 in tone, becoming a pretty dark arrangement.  I actually like the chord progressions here, which give a feeling of uneasiness and fright of evil things lurking in the forest.  We cap things up with a return to the main melody and the initial tone of the song.  Arrangement-wise, this is ok.  But the transitions between the two (very) contrasting sections could probably use some work, and that minute of repetition could use some variation, since this is literally a third of the duration of this track.

Production-wise, this is a mixed bag.  The soundscape feels pretty thin, with some drums feeling exposed (bongos/toms), and the parts not feeling like they've been tied up cohesively in the mix, but feeling rather separated from each other.  The biggest offender here though is the "dark" section.  Guitar chugs lack power, and get completely obscured by the bass and low end.  The chorus is super exposed and is really not meshing well with the rest of the mix.  There's a pluck doing a syncopated rhythm at this point that is playing with a very loose timing and sticks out of the mix like a sore thumb.  Overall this section feels very muddy and messy.

My recommendation here would be to first and foremost clean up that second section, and then do something about the minute of repetition between 1:00 and 2:00. Also, overall, tie the different parts better in the mix so they sound like they live in the same place.  I've heard your other posted songs and they sound pretty well put together so I know you have the chops to bring this up to par. 

NO (resubmit)

Edited by Sir_NutS

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I sense a very straightforward but effective arrangement here.  There's one straight run of the source, then using melody A as a base for some cool call-and-response between those woodwind parts from Gamer of the Winds.  Then at 2:04 there is that bizarre change-up with the distorted dark section, and it concludes with a wrap back around to the mood of the first minute or so.  It's nothing too groundbreaking, but I approve of the amount of development given to the source.

Going over the recorded instrumentation, the folkier recorded parts all sound clear and presentable.  If my ears serve me right and identified a piccolo in the call-and-response section at 1:16, I should give credit to the recording quality that emphasizes more on tone than breath noise.  It's a sign that Gamer of the Winds nailed the microphone setup for his contribution - good going!

However, the vocals at 2:04 sound way too sparse and could've done with some additional processing to make them sound thicker.  You made a good start by bringing in Psamathes to provide a higher harmony.  But these voices can all benefit by having multiple takes layered on top of each other, or just simply adding a choral delay.

Another crucial live instrument that needed more work was the electric guitar in the same section.  The tone sounds like it's not only missing a mid-to-high presence, but it's also competing for the same frequency space as those vocals mentioned above.  It's a good idea to see if you can separate the EQ between the vocals and guitar to give this area some much-needed clarity.

Also, what's with the white noise at 0:00-0:20 and 1:04-1:38?  Did a noise gate accidentally get bypassed, or did it get mixed in with one of the recorded parts?  If this decision is unintentional, it'll be good to subdue it via gate, a low-pass filter, or re-recording any affected instruments.

This arrangement idea isn't bad at all, but it's one of those that needs more TLC with the production values before heading onto the front page.  You've made it past the panel before Reuben, so I know that you can do it again.

NO (resubmit)

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