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Gario

*NO* Donkey Kong Country 2 "Life in the Island"

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My name/ReMixer name: Brett Christian Harrison

Forum ID: BrettCH
Game: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
Song: Welcome to Crocodile Isle
Arrangement Name: Life in the Island
 
I wanted to have a crack at one of my favorite games. It also inspired me to get into composing on my own... Can't wait to see what you guys think.
 
Edited by Liontamer
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The arrangement feels extremely blocky and robotic.  The soundscape feels pretty empty as well, and the connection to the original feels tenuous.  I think what most people remember from this track is the main melody line but this remix focuses more on the harmonies.  This is not grounds for rejection but it does result in a pretty repetitive affair.  I wasn't impressed with the sound palette, though the drums felt clean and crisp.  In the end, this needs work, a better, more engaging and natural sounding arrangement and a better use of the soundscape.

NO

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Ditto on the sound design, it was definitely vanilla and thin.  That's my biggest concern.  The source connection seemed roughly reasonable; it does use the melody somewhat, and the source does have a distinct harmony that the remix uses extensively.  I'm okay with the structure, just not the instrumentation.

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This arrangement feels liberal to me, and I felt even less of a source connection than my fellow judges.  I tried my best, but I could only hear the source itself - via the synth melody - at 0:21-0:55, 1:27-2:15 and 3:33-3:54.  That's 43% of identifiable BGM, and because it's not present in most of the track, it's the most major dealbreaker.

Secondly, a lot of the synth choices here feel bland.  A lot of the synths here have basic tones, and it can get remedied by layering other synth textures to create something more unique.  The only one that tries to do something interesting is the melody itself - fading in at 0:21 with a curve rather than a straight line, and of course it has a simple but effective LFO modulating its volume.  I'm not impressed with the tone having more noise rather than a body, but the effects on top are a decent starting place.

Another way to make the soundscape feel thicker is to consider adding in more parts doing more things.  For example, I noticed there are no pad parts - and they often fill a good chunk of the mid-to-high frequency section alone, which is what the track tonally lacks.  Other rhythm parts like an e-piano or a simple arpeggio can also fill in this space when used effectively.

To summarize, lack of a source connection and the underwhelming production are why I can't accept it.  It's good to see the source inspire you to make music yourself, so I hope you can keep improving your technique and sending more tracks to the inbox.

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