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Gario

*NO* Mega Man 4 'Cossack Skies'

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ReMixer name: bsolmaz13
Name of game: Mega Man 4
Name of arrangement: Cossack Skies
Name of song arranged: Dr. Cossack Stage 2
 
Edited by Liontamer
closed decision

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Oh, I really like this. It starts pretty slow... and it really never lets up from this chill atmosphere. It's not at all what I expect from such a high energy source, but I really do appreciate it when someone takes a source in such a different direction. I will admit this isn't for everyone - the soundscape, while generally quite active with all of the different textures in the background, it never quite sounds "full". I would count that as the choice of the artist in this case, though, and not as a mistake on his part; it sounds like the supporting part of a hip-hop track, which I'm down for.

This track does have one fault, though, and it isn't a small one either - from ~4:00 to 5:00 the track is a copy-pasta of ~2:00 to 3:00. That's about 20% of repetition, which does sound like fluff upon repeated listenings. It's placed in such a way (following some decent bridging material and followed by a proper end) that it doesn't quite kill the arrangement for me, and would likely be accepted by listeners regardless, but it's definitely an issue.

Overall, repetition aside I think it offers an excellent new light to a classic MM4 track. I acknowledge the minute of copy-pasta, but I don't think it's quite enough for me to say no to an otherwise great track.

YES

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I felt mostly the same way as Gario: it's an unexpectedly chill arrangement, very simple and lo-fi, but still had me tapping my feet to its groove.  It's a simple soundscape but it hits the full spectrum; I think it's adequate in that respect.

That said, I'm hearing a lot more repetition than Gario did, specifically, that 3:32-5:28 is almost a copy-paste of 1:11-3:31--there's one extra loop in the first instance that isn't repeated in the second, but otherwise it's exact.  That brings the amount of repetition up to 33%, and that's too much.

Bring something new into the second half, maybe some different sounds to spice up the sound palette a little, and I'd be happy to have this on the front page.  But this version I have to give a

NO (resubmit)

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I just rejected a long, slowly-paced track for being too conservative, too repetitive, and not developing enough. Here, you have something more interpretive just by virtue of the slowed down tempo, but also some ear candy spices in the background. The instrumentation being different enough from the original helps, as did chorusing the melody to give it more depth. You get a surprisingly different character to this theme just from the relatively simple arrangement ideas here.

2:43 was a moment where something needed to happen to break up the previous energy level of the piece and that was there with the addition of a countermelodic synth as well as a bassline; good ideas there to thicken up the texture and also make the energy feel different, even within a narrower dynamic curve.

3:31's section moved into a pure cut-and-paste of :47's section (including a photocopy of the melody redux at 3:54 of :1:34, then 4:18 copies 2:21, and 4:41 copies 2:44); just a huge letdown and a lot of unrealized potential. You could argue that the arrangement approach was interpretive enough to bear the repetition, but I disagreed.

Just bring some new arrangement ideas to the table for 3:31-on and this would be golden. That doesn't mean doing anything wild and crazy, but you have the opportunity to change the instrumentation, add original writing ideas, play with the rhythms, cameo/integrate other themes in the background, basically any number of ideas to further develop this piece. Good start here, bsolmaz; now see what more you can do with it.

NO (resubmit)

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I was digging this one at the start, but then it started to drag pretty badly.  Even tho I can't say I find an issue with the actual mix regarding cleanliness/mistakes,  I think the mix and soundscape were a bit bare to really make this come into its own.  The textures were nice but also felt pretty vanilla.  I liked the drum sequencing here, it fits the mix pretty well and I wouldn't change anything about it.

The adaptation works here, definitely bringing this arrangement under a new light.  But, and here's the biggest issue for me with this one, it's just too repetitive.  I think I heard the same chorus 4 or more times and the underlying harmonies and bass don't seem to stray much from their patterns.  We get a small break at around 3:31 but the presence of the motifs that have been portrayed constantly throughout the rest of the track here kinda takes away from the intent of giving the listener a rest in order to bring back the arrangement in force before wrapping things up.

For this one I would like to see a slight bump in the soundscape work to really bring the ambiance as a complete package, but most of all, new arrangement ideas for the second half.

NO (resubmit)

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Cosigning this.

Ooh, I love the way this starts off.  The backing synth reminds me of the Tron soundtrack.  I wasn't as big on the beat when it came in, since it sticks out a bit on top of the other elements for a while until the sub comes in.  Overall, I still like the vibe.

I'm going to echo some of the concerns above on repetition really hurting this one, but I actually felt like 1:30 already could've used more contrast from the previous section, sound texture wise.  Though, the following sections had some nice development in the writing, the textures and energy level felt pretty static for much of the track.

I agree with Larry that this could just have a reworked 3:31 and on and be good to go.  I'd also consider bit more contrast in the sounds used between some of the main sections.

In all, I really like this song and the approach.  A lot.  Looking forward to hearing it come back.

NO resubmit, please

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I agree with my fellow NO judges here.  The concept is dynamite, and the production is tight.  The track is way too repetitive though, in writing and in sounds.  The beat and energy level stay the same throughout the track.  The lead synth and the arp synth are both fairly vanilla, and they don't do anything interesting or ever change.  There are too many sections where the lead isn't playing and nothing else interesting is coming in.  Gotta give the listener some ear candy about every 8 bars to maintain interest. You could add some filter motion to things as well as change up the instrumentation during some sections.  You could vary the beat somewhere or add some kind of unique bridge section.  Just needs some variation.

NO

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Variation. I ask for this quite often, and your mix is one that needs a revisit of its arrangement on this basis. Across the duration, there is not much in the way of changes from the main established groove. 2:45 gives a bit more of a departure from the parts preceding it, but things soon return to the previous groove, with only minor layer dropping and some minor note shifting occurring. Furthermore, the first and second half of the mix share similar content - I would be rethinking the duration and/or approach taken here. Production quality is ok, although the lead is quite basic and would benefit from some tweaking over time, which could in part help your arrangement issue. I think what you've laid out here is a good start, but from the content presented, I don't think this warrants the current duration.

NO

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Your intro sounded promising with how it interpreted the source's intro in the constraint of melody A's chord structure.  However, the arrangement becomes more like a cover past 0:47 - two run-throughs of the theme with a melody B bridge and an outro.  Personally, covering the main melodies once is enough, and it's best to discard everything past 3:27 in favor of original writing or variations.

I also like this mellow groove idea you got going on, and the mix is decently balanced.  But your choice of synth timbres are very vanilla, and not a lot of the timbres change aside from doing fades during the intro and ending.  Much like the volume there, synth parameters can have envelopes as well, so consider setting some up and shape a more engaging soundscape that way.  And to reduce the fatigue for the sustained lead particularly, consider having one or two extra leads that take over for a few bars.

Lastly, while your drum groove is decent, I believe there is a lack of fills.  Adding in 2 or 3 of them at the most crucial section transitions can give it a lift.

It's a good idea at its core, but the copy-paste section and sound palette have let this down.  If you can remedy these issues, it’ll be a much more substantial track.


NO (resubmit)

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this track feels like something i'd have heard here on ocr back in the early 1k range - and i mean that in a good way. it's got a fun mix of classic OST track, buzzy chilled lead, simple background, and old-school percussion.

i appreciate the really relaxed vibe that this track takes. i've always thought of dr. cossack's theme as one of the most hectic-sounding themes, and the combination of tempo, evocative track name, and focus on the soaring B section of the OST is really enjoyable, simulating a cruise through the upper atmosphere. the harmonies on the fifth also add to that open feeling. the spacing in the percussion was also a nice touch - a tight sound, (probably too) simple, and carries the track's rhythm without taking over.

there's some obvious execution stuff that could be corrected here. the track is too long by maybe half. essentially every major section can be cut significantly without losing nuance or pacing. the section from 3:40ish was a nice change of pace, but i'd expect that to be the outro at that point, not leading into another two minutes of music. if you keep saying the same thing, no one's going to want to listen to it again - they'll have already heard their fill the first time through. it's best to err on the side of saying not quite enough vs. too much - that'll bring listeners back time and time again to hear that one part they love.

beyond that, the track needs variety in terms of both background arrangement and instrument choices. i enjoyed the percussion initially, however it becomes real apparent real quick that there's little to no variance there. a few fills between sections, dropping the percussion occasionally, and allowing it to speak for itself will do a ton for the overall package. in the same fashion, mixing up the timbres you're using will also really flesh out the sound. the arp especially has several places it naturally could change to being another instrument, and that'd add some aural interest.

i really enjoy the vibe you've created. this one is way closer than i may have made it seem! i definitely think this is a song that people will want to hear if you're willing to take the time to expand on some of these points further. right now, though, the combination of uninteresting percussion and significant repetition throughout pull this bird out of the air.

NO (resub!)
 

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