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Gario

*NO* Kirby's Air Ride 'Swerve Star Overpowered'

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Contact Information:
* ReMixer Name: Cubeshark
* Real Name: Kyle Yount
* Email Address: 
* Website: https://cubeshark.net and https://soundcloud.com/cubeshark
* User ID: 35330

Submission Information:
* Name of Game: Kirby Air Ride
* Name of Arrangement: Swerve Star Overpowered
* Name of Songs Arranged: "Machine Passage" and "Menu"
* Original Soundtracks:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0-TRGMg9R8 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKRAXZyn5Ds
* Comments:
Kirby Air Ride was one of my favorite Gamecube games and I'm surprised there weren't more remixes on this site. Composers for Kirby games especially Jun Ishikawa's fast and arpeggiated style have always been an influence in my own compositions. The song I chose isn't the most iconic in Kirby Air Ride, but I really enjoyed the bass-line and wanted to challenge myself to make sense of parts in the song that felt a bit out of place in the original composition. Unsure of how to end the song I decided to throw in the menu theme last minute and I think it turned out really well since both songs share similar instruments and tempo. Thanks for listening.

 

Edited by Rexy

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It's a weird, frenetic source, and adapting it into anything else that actually flows is certainly a challenge.  This effort is a little hit-or-miss; 1:23-1:46 in particular seemed out-of-place.  It works well more often than not, though.

The kicks are a little loud and throbbing, especially in the quiet sections.  They really punch you in the eardrums in 0:35-0:58.  They sound like they're causing some ducking there, which is excessive and unnecessary in such a quiet section.  The hats also cut through the mix too strongly.

After many, many listens, I think I'm basically on board, except that those kicks and hats get more grating the more I listen to them.  Tone those down and I think this is good to go.

YES/CONDITIONAL (on quieter kicks and hats)

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I like this track in a vacuum, but it did have issues. The vox timing from :47-:59 was slightly behind, and the robotic sequencing exposed the sample. Wow, the lead and countermelody from 1:22-1:46 were way too loud. Switched over to the menu theme at 1:58 with a solid transition. The synth lead from 2:09-2:33 was extremely generic and needing more sophisticated processing; the way it switches notes was so mechanical and the sound was grating and always at the same intensity regardless of the note.

Arrangement-wise, I actually thought this fell short, even though it goes well in the right direction. The two source tunes do combine well, but beyond that it didn't feel like there was much interpretation or enough personalization beyond the adaptation to this genre. The breakbeat textures are different from the original, but "Machine Passage" was also breakbeat-driven, so the overall energy felt close. And with the "Menu" theme in particular, it felt like a very conservative 60-second treatment without much interpretation or variation from the original; each theme went for one iteration and played it very close; in the older days of OCR, I could see that passing, but not so much now. That said, this does have a different character due to a clearer soundscape compared to the original, so we'll see how it fares.

Good stuff so far, but I think more needs to be done with melodic interpretation or some other more overt arrangement ideas to distinguish it from these sources. There are some production/mixing tweaks that would be nice to have, but are secondary.

NO (resubmit)

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That source is crazy - not up to the melodic standards that I usually associate with Kirby, but it's evident in your arrangement.   It's incredible to see how you noted out this complex composition and maintained that familiarity - even going as far as keeping the same breakbeat feel as the original.

With this similar genre, I'm surprised that you decided to use a more realistic choir at 0:47 rather than a synth-like one to match the rest of the sound palette.  To me, it's desirable to hear it with other more synthetic layers over the top to mask its stiffness.  Otherwise, the rest of the instrumentation sounds cohesively balanced, and I can get behind that.

But my big problem lies more with the arrangement itself.  As of right now, it consists of a single run-through of each source with no other modifications or personalization.  There are ways to lift this, though, including:

  • Reference different sections of the source within parts of the arrangement
  • Expand by roughly a minute and add more playing around with the components
  • Or even leave the framework as it is and add some original parts underneath.

It's a solid direction so far, and you're a beast to cover something so structurally complex.  But the arrangement needs more interpretation, and I'd like to hear a version that adds more to what's there so far.  Please address this and try again.

NO (resubmit)

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this mix feels really unfinished overall. i really liked the continued attention to timbral variation and filtering on the bass synth, and there's some consistent energy displayed in the drums. however, i really struggled with the arrangement. there are too many places where it's just a bass, lead, simple pad or sfx, and drums playing. spots like 0:13-0:35, 0:59-1:22, and 1:48-2:10 are just so spare from a soundscape perspective. i get that some of that is building energy, but that's more than half of the first song's 'arrangement', and it's essentially a bassline and melody with breakbeats under it. there simply isn't enough work done to feature and bring out the original track there. it feels like a framework for a fun mix, but it never feels like it ever actually arrives.

from a mastering perspective, there's no punch in the kick, and the bass is present but it's not particularly clear. beyond that, there's some significant leveling issues (like the aforementioned countermelody being way too loud)...it feels like the mastering pass was done on the gain sliders only and not from an EQ perspective. another look would really help bring out the fun energy in the bass, help the kick speak clearer, and allow you to balance the synths you have so far.

 

NO

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Crisp drums. The source is certainly chaotic, and your mix builds on that in some good ... and not so good ways. The glassy atmospheric backing synths during the first portion (in particularly 0:36) clashed a bit with the rest of the instrumentation. I know this exists in the original, but I feel it's too strongly present here. There is quite a lot going on in that intro section. I enjoy the creativity here in updating some of the existing sections. The 1:26 section was a bit dissonant. In contrast, the 2:13 portion was quite good. The arrangement didn't stray too far from the original overall, I felt more originality could've been mixed in here. From a production standpoint, I found the highs were abrasive, and could've been smoothed out. Levels of some background parts were unbalanced compared to the rest of the mix. Drums and bass were audible throughout, which helped. I think this could really do with some tweaks in the busier sections to bring things more melodically into line, either via a rethink of the detuning of some of the synths, the patches used, or some of the notes themselves. A revisit of the mixing would help here as well. There is promise here, but I don't think it's quite ready yet.

NO

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