Gario

*NO* Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 'Lost Woods Mix'

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Hey! 

 
  • Your ReMixer name: Guido1291
  • Your website: Guidomusic.org
  • Name of game(s) arranged: Legend of Zelda
  • Name of arrangement: Lost Woods Remix
  • Name of individual song(s) arranged: Lost Woods theme
  • Made in Reaper. Made from scratch.

 

 

Edited by Rexy

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I'm down with this arrangement.  It's catchy and goes to a lot of different places.  Some of the synths are a little basic, but nothing is irritating and things switch up so often that it doesn't make much of an impact.  Was it intended to reference Ground Man's theme from Mega Man & Bass?  The main riff from that emerged in places, especially the ending.

Volume is a bit of an issue, though.  Overall this is mixed very quietly, with about 2dB of headroom.  The main supersaw in particular is very quiet; it's a bit hard to make out when it's trying to carry the lead.

That's my only concern, though, and it should be an easy fix.

YES/CONDITIONAL (on volume increase, definitely on the master, ideally on the saw as well)

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I thought the instrumentation was interesting, but the textures were too flimsy given the overall energy level, e.g. the claps from :39-:50, 1:03-1:41, 2:59-3:10 & 3:43-4:30, the synth line from 1:16-1:42 (which was WAY too quietly placed, yet also grating, even as a doubling part). Yes, the levels were quiet, but you can turn it up to hear how everything sounded at what would be normal volume. IMO, the claps were a weak link and needed a fuller/denser sound yet not be as upfront. Meanwhile the bassline writing was good, but too subtly placed; you could barely hear it and had to be actively listening for it in order to make it out.

I liked the original break section at 1:42 followed by the melody returning via the portamento line at 2:07. I liked the gradual morphing of the lead from 1:42-2:07, or it would have sounded too repetitive compared to the beginning. Minor thing, but the SFX usage playing around the stereo field from 2:20-2:46 was a laudable concept, but the overall placement seemed odd and uncomplimentary as it ended up occupying the same frequency space as the music and crowding it out at times. The SFX usage from 2:49-3:08 was a lot more subtle while still adding to the textures, then from 3:11-3:38 it was louder than before (could have been pulled back a touch) but just thickened the sound up without crowding out other parts.

Back to the original writing as the base of the track from 3:38 until the finish; the stuttering line felt like a big retread, but then another original line arrived on top from 4:09 until the end at 4:30 to freshen up the finish.

Arrangement-wise, the overall energy level and dynamics were good, and this was a strong combination of arranging the "Lost Woods" theme while trading off with wholly original writing. Production-wise though, I felt the claps were a pretty extended, and thus integral, part of the piece and needed to be tweaked/improved before I can totally get behind it, and also wanted to hear the bassline register. Along with bumping up the volume, some hopefully quick production tweaks could get this over the line. Very good start here, so we'll see how the rest of the vote fares.

NO (resubmit)

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This arrangement is a lot of fun!  I wasn't feeling the left-panned lead at first, but when the rest of the instruments started fleshing out at 0:12, it became way less of a problem.  The half-time pace at 0:52 used dynamics well, and the slow interpretation 2:08 was a pleasant touch.  Even the breakdown at 1:42 had some effective use of filters on the pads, plus the bass writing as a whole adds a happy and bouncy feel.

However, the production values feel thin - and that goes beyond the 128kbps submission.  Larry said something about the claps being thin-sounding, but I believe the snare needs work as well.  You got the right idea at 3:44 with the snare and clap working in unison - layering different percussion sounds can make a difference to how strong the kit feels.  With your snares, layering one or two complementary sounds underneath it can also add more snap.  They can be other snare sounds and/or any other claps - but make sure you still emphasize the snare sound you want rather than its support.

The low-bitrate submission also exposed the tone of the hi-hats, made difficult to digest at 1:16 with the run of robotic 16th notes.  They have a piercing presence to them, which is usually okay for this type of tone; but there's too much of it, so it's best to turn them down.  It also goes hand in hand with Larry's comment about the quiet bass as well.  Said instruments usually the second thing you mix down when balancing your parts (the first being all of your percussion).  It'll be a good idea to revisit the mixdown and get their volume levels re-adjusted.

Also, it'll be a good idea to go over your melody lines and see if you can do EQ separation away from the pads.  The shadiest offender for me is at 0:52, where the pads themselves completely buried the plucked synth.  Whether it'll be better for you to revise the instruments' EQ, transpose the lead up an octave, add an extra lead layer or a combination of the three is all up to you.

I know I went all out on this submission, but be proud of your arrangement - it's a cheerful and thorough interpretation of a very well known Zelda BGM.  But it'll need a balance / EQ revision and potentially a bunch of additional layers to get the production values to stand tall as well.  It'll be great if you can revise it and send it back to us.

NO (resubmit)

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this is peppy and entertaining. i liked the whistle lead choice bringing in the melody, and i didn't mind the synths used to represent the opening section through :51. i also appreciated the dynamics used to bring in that leadup. the claps didn't bother me much initially, but once we moved into 1:17, the first real full statement of the melody with everything cooking, the low-poly feel of the whole thing took over and i really noticed how not-great the claps and hats sounded, how grating the saw was, and how basic and lacking in character the bass was. essentially, i really liked the arrangement and the energy you brought, but i disliked the instrument choices you used for that section.

i really enjoyed the breakdown at 1:42. the sweeping filters and and the downtempo version of the melody lead was real fun, and the nuance in articulation in that lead was appreciated. i also didn't mind the length of this low-energy middle section - even though it's easily a third of the arrangement, it's well-paced and fun.

the last major section, starting at 3:12, really bothered me. the drums are hard to listen to - the cymbals are just constant and irritating, and whatever the hats are doing is not congruent with what the rest of the background is doing. i honestly laughed out loud at the 3:25 machine-gun part. it's so confusing, because 3:44 shows that you know what you want to do, and you just aren't achieving it with these synths. if that saw is less detuned and doesn't grate against the background so badly, and you improve the quality of the hat and claps (and tone them down a touch), this is the best part of the track. it's so fun and energetic.

from an overarching perspective, one of the things that stands out to me is your consistent use of dynamics to emphasize the breakdowns and breaks/fills, and i like that. as a whole though it isn't loud enough, and if anything i'd prefer that the dynamic range is less, rather than more. it's almost choppy in how far the levels change between sections, and i think that condensing the dynamic range will help to reduce that feel.

in short - you've got some great arrangement here, and some great choices in instruments (the whistle lead, the comping pads, the sfx, the plectral instrument in the middle breakdown) that are harshly contrasted by really lofi/poor choices (the claps, hats, the simplistic bass, that lead saw). another pass on the mastering to close up the dynamic range and reduce the headroom, combined with some attention to your instrumentation, and this is a front pager for sure.

 

NO

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I REALLY like this arrangement, there are some great ideas in here, great energy dynamics overall, the little triplet section at 2:59 is awesome.  The production isn't getting the job done though.  All the sounds are very vanilla,  all drum elements and synths too, and the bass is apologetically quiet.  Give this another pass at the production, improving the synths and sounds and balance, and this one will be a yes from me.

NO (resubmit)

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