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*NO* Yakuza "Funky Night Dragons"


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  • Yusou
  • Deandre Pope
  •  
  • 28345

Submission Information

 

  • Yakuza
  • Funky Dragon Nights
  • Original Song Title: Funk Goes On
  • Composer: Hidenori Shoji, System:Ps2, Publisher:SEGA
  • Song Link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1uNUhIgC2g
  • This came to be simply out of the fact I was excited for the Yakuza remake (Yakuza Kiwami), but was unsatisfied with the remix on there, so I decided to make my own version of the song.

 

Edited by Liontamer
closed decision
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  • 1 month later...

This opens a little loud but has a really nice groove.  However, it's all the same groove--it's very static over its 3-minute length.  (Although the VBR encoding is weird--Clementine thinks it's 5:27 long.)  The melody changes, and there are breakdowns, but, after the modulation in the intro, the textures remain the same throughout.  I found it hard to maintain interest.

As a background track, I think this is perfectly enjoyable.  But as a standalone piece of music, it needs some more variety.

NO

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  • 2 months later...

The sounds were on the generic side, but this opened up with a different energy level than the original, so I already like it standing apart from the source tune. I felt the mixing was too loud, same like MindWanderer, but it was OK. At 1:20, you hit a loop point where you cut and paste :20's section, and MindWander's correct that the overall dynamics are just too samey, which is too bad because the concept was solid, it's just underdeveloped. I liked that you brought in an original section from 2:01-2:35, but the synth comping from 2:21-2:35 was totally off the rails and wasn't melodious at all, so consider re-writing that lead.

IMO, the piece is maybe 70% of the way there because your interpretation is creative and the track's reasonably mixed albeit too loud. Figure out how to vary up the repetitive sections (1:20-2:01, 2:35-2:49) while still keeping them interpretive, and see what you can do to have some dynamic contrast somehow, i.e. some sort of changes/variations in the instrumentation, textures, rhythms. Really strong start, Deandre. If you're still interested in revisiting this one, see what more you can do with it, but even if not, keep submitting more VGM arrangements here; they have good character and you're well on the right track to getting something approved with the skills you're already showing now. Very promising work here.

NO (resubmit)

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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2019/03/14 - (2N) Yakuza "Funky Night Dragons"
  • 1 month later...

Hey, never heard this soundtrack before, but I like that song a lot, very sega.  I like your version a lot too, it just has the issue of being a bit static.  But I like the sounds you used, I don't think they're vanilla at all.  The mix is fairly balanced, and the groove is as funky as the original.  I think there's enough shakeups/breaks/modulation goodness for me to give this a pass on interpretation.  Whenever I thought the track was getting stale you brought something new up for me to enjoy. The ending was a bit of a letdown though.

So I'm going to go against the tide here and give you a pass.  It's close, but I think you've done enough to both differentiate your mix from the original track and also to make it interesting.

YES (Borderline)

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  • Sir_NutS changed the title to 2019/03/14 - (1Y/2N) Yakuza "Funky Night Dragons"
  • Rexy pinned this topic

for a fairly non-melodic piece of vgm, you did a nice job making a track that sounds immediately recognizable as the original. i love that blurpy synth that you use throughout as part of that initial octave motif - the lfo on it is great fun. the little drops at 0:47  and 0:54 were well-timed and well-executed. i agree with LT that the copy-paste section from 1:20 onward needed more variety to keep it moving forward. i loved that funky breakdown at 2:01, though, and didn't mind the solo or the change to the initial motif to keep it fresh. the ending was weak, but not to the point i'd avoid passing the track.

if you do come back to this, i'd recommend spending more time making that section at 1:20 more unique, and also to play with the drums more to combat that same-y feeling the other judges have mentioned. that said, i think this is great fun, and worth the front page.

 

 

YES

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Not really much here to add, more whether I find issue with the samey-ness. Took a few listens but I think I'm on board with Sir Nuts the most here; there's just enough in regard to changeups that I think this squeaks by. Really love the energy though and I look forward to hearing more from you.

YES (borderline)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I like the energy on board as well.  You took Hidenori Shoji's trademark rock-funk and towed it into funk-funk thanks to that sound palette.  The synths are well-modulated with some sweet LFO action, the e-piano in the background added a pretty later of warmth, and everything feels so clear and distinct despite this loud mixdown.  On a production level, it got me sold.

I had to think carefully about the arrangement, though.  It's a safe structure with two loops of the source, a spot for comping and a refrain of the melody's B section to finish.  It isn't bad at all, as it shows the source material is dominant.  Regarding repetition between the two variations: yes, I agree that 0:20-1:00 and 1:21-2:01 are entirely identical, and by the same extent, 2:35-2:48 is equal to 0:47-1:00.  But at the same time, the subtractive arranging throughout via the backing elements does enough to demonstrate changes to the source's composition.  The synth solo itself didn't feel random to me - it stayed in key, and the way it playfully bounced around is appropriate for the genre.

If this does get sent back, or you want to improve on your craft for future submissions, I second the prior critique about changing up that entire 1:21 section.  I also like how you changed up the sweep fills at 0:18 and 1:19, so this is also something I'd like to hear more of as you segue in and out of similar sections.

By looking at the sum of the parts, the production is clearly over the bear while I feel the arrangement barely scraped it.  Its strength lies more in the genre adaptation and subtractive writing, and both have done enough to stand out from the source material.  Do take our critique to heart when working on future submissions - I'm all for seeing you get to that next level.

YES (borderline)

Edited by Rexy
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  • Rexy changed the title to 2019/03/14 - (4Y/2N) Yakuza "Funky Night Dragons"

I really like this track!  It's super fun and energetic and the mixing works although I agree that the master is quite on the loud side.  This is really borderline for me, but copy-pasta is a dealbreaker for me.  Change up those identical sections just enough to distinguish them from each other, and send it back please!

NO (resubmit please, borderline)

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  • Chimpazilla changed the title to 2019/03/14 - (4Y/3N) Yakuza "Funky Night Dragons"

Oh, a Yakuza remix - I'm glad that we're finally getting some on here. I only got into the series recently (and by "get into it" I mean watch my fiance enjoy the heck out of it, lol). Some choice tunes on there, to boot, so let's see what we've got here.

Following from what others have said, the strength of this track is definitely the production values, with it's variety of effects, gating, clean samples, etc., that really comes to life when it all comes together. I personally have no issue with the loud mixing - if you're able to pump the levels that high without sacrificing quality then I say go for it. The arrangement isn't spectacular, but it does some legwork to keep things interesting throughout a good chunk of the arrangement (often utilizing subtractive arranging to keep things moving while feeling distinct enough to not get boring). There's some copy-pasta of 0:07-1:00 at 1:06 - 1:59, which now that I've timestamped it I can easily see Chimp's point on that. A third of the piece being a direct repeat of what happened prior can drag a piece down considerably.

It's a close call, and I was leaning closer to passing it before, but I don't think I can justify a third of the track being a repeat of prior material now that I see it. Either give us a reason to listen to the repeated material (with flourishes or by playing with expectations), or remove the padding & add something more substantial to the piece. It's a great track otherwise so I do hope you revisit this!

NO

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  • Gario changed the title to 2019/03/14 - (4Y/4N) Yakuza "Funky Night Dragons"
  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/4/2019 at 1:40 AM, Sir_NutS said:

Hey, never heard this soundtrack before, but I like that song a lot, very sega.  I like your version a lot too, it just has the issue of being a bit static.

I'm coming in the same as Sir_NutS here - no prior knowledge of the soundtrack. Great track choice. I like the selection of squelchy synths, gives off a funky vibe. Agree that the sound design is quite generic, but I still thought you made good use of your selected palette. Production is ok. Arrangement sounds good, is faithful to the original with its own vibe, but as the track progresses not a lot changes. There are occasional instrument layers and fills here and there but I felt further variation in the arrangement was needed, which if fleshed out, would make for a solid submission. Otherwise this is a fun original take.

NO (please resub)

Edited by Jivemaster
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  • 2 weeks later...

Sick OST, love it.

So, I'm falling in the camp of the levels being overly high for me.  Not just because it's loud compared to other tracks (and thus, I had to turn down my volume), but I definitely can tell there's a loss of audio quailty/fidelity from overcompression.  Drums sound more slappy, without much mid/mid-low body to them. You can hear pumping on parts like the string runs on transitions.  Listen to the synths at :55, how they get squashed because it's just pushing the levels too hard.  This happens throughout the track and it detracts from my listening experience.

I felt the sound design was quite good, so I don't really get the vanilla complains.  I will agree, though, that theres a bit too much copy/paste going on and think there's more room for development & creativity.  Love the energy you brought, though, and the connection to the original is clear.

Track just kind of... ends, barely even a fadeout, just like "we're done now" type of thing.  It honestly felt lazy compared to the amount of work that clearly went into this.

I think this is ALMOST there.  I honestly really like your track, I just think some tightening on both production and some additional development will easily push this one over the bar for me.

NO resubmit, please

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  • Nutritious changed the title to 2019/03/14 - (4Y/6N) Yakuza "Funky Night Dragons"
  • 1 month later...

I think this is great. I don't think the copy/paste is a problem. Sound design is cool. Very groovy. Awesome solo.

Ending's a little weird tho. Feels like you split the difference between just stopping and doing a fadeout. Next time just pick one.

YES

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  • DarkeSword changed the title to 2019/03/14 - (5Y/6N) Yakuza "Funky Night Dragons"
  • 6 months later...

I find myself agreeing most with Nutritious on this vote. I greatly enjoyed the sound design and groovy lead writing and squelchy synth bursts throughout the song, this is a very solid foundation. If the production was rock solid, I would be more willing to forgive the somewhat-static arrangement, and vice versa if the arrangement was more fleshed out, but as it stands, I think there's enough room for improvement to warrant a resubmission.

I have to second the comments about the drums sounding very imbalanced - right now, I'm struggling to tell whether there's even a kick drum in the mix or not. If there is one, it's getting eaten up in the mix and has almost no low end presence. If this was a stylistic choice, I can live with that, but it sounds like it was just not mixed correctly. Overall, the compression needs to be scaled back just a hair to give this some breathing room. Other judges have touched on this in greater detail so I'm not going to rehash the specifics, but I agree with their assessment completely on the overall mixdown.

I sincerely hope we hear this back on the panel if it doesn't end up passing - even as it is, this is an incredibly enjoyable take, but it needs another round of polish before it's ready for primetime. 

NO (resubmit!)

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  • Emunator changed the title to 2019/03/14 - (5Y/7N) Yakuza "Funky Night Dragons"
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