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Gario

*NO* Battletoads 'Toads Can Surf Too'

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I sent you a Battletoads surf city remix on January 2017, and yeah you were right, it just wasn't there yet then. Though for now, I've remade the track and wanted to try again:

Artist - OJJ
real name - Olli Vainionpää
email - 
website - http://ojjmusic.com/

Game - Battletoads (NES)
track - Surf city (level 5)
Original - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sw3bp0Of_ys
Composer - David Wise

I Agree for all the terms and rights to give this remix for free for everyone! 
 
Hope you like it this time and it's gonna get released and I can finally, after 10 years of lurking OCremix - be a part of the greatest community in the web!
 
Olli
 

 

Edited by Liontamer
closed decision

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I had to jump into this one right away because I love this theme.  

First, the good.  You have a great handle on how to buildup energy to your drops.  Beats aren't copy/paste and actually have a good amount of detail to them.  Seems like you also know how to use some stereo-spreading techniques to widen your mix. You also have a pretty good grasp on EDM structure. The adaptation here is alright, chopping the original melody and rearranging it differently for the drop.

Now for the not-so-great.  Although your buildups are ok, the drops needs quite a bit of work.  The synth bass, which should be powerful and interesting is more like a drone, sustaining a note with no modulation or any interesting filtering and the texture isn't pleasant or intricate.  The second drop is a bit worse even, with the harmonies getting a bit dissonant and feeling pretty exposed and static.  Also even though you have the structure down, the second buildup and subsequent drop feel too similar.  I also think that you can take your buildups from being ok to being stellar by adding some more detail to them, maybe an underlying riser effect in sections like 2:10 which feel too empty with just the one synth alone.

I don't feel you're too far from making it there, as you have some solid basics for the most part.  But there are other areas that need work, making your drops hit hard is a priority, as these genres are mostly defined by it.  Introducing some variation between the second halves of your mix also would go a long way.  I recommend listening to a lot of EDM artist that work in genres similar to what you are trying to accomplish and analyze their use of synths and what they do to fill space in a track to make it sound huge, and also how they add complexity to the synths in the drop to make an impact, that helped me a lot.

You're not that far as I said, but for now I'll have to decline this one.

NO

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There's a lot of this that is fun--as Sir_NutS said, the structure is solid, your risers get the job done, and you make good use of empty space--but I agree that there are a number of things holding it back.  NutS has given you a great rundown on the EDM aspects of it in particular, so take careful note of all that.  The soundscape in general is overly simplistic; good EDM not only has more dynamic synths, but there are more layers that hit more of the sound spectrum.  Your bass is too quiet most of the time and entirely absent half the time.

Also, those exposed arps in the intro, starting at 0:16 in particular, are painfully shrill.  The ending is a bit anticlimactic, too; the lack of any sort of filter or modulation there really stands out.

It's actually a really good start.  The bones are there, they just need some more flesh on them.  Keep at it!

NO (resubmit)

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Sweet source tune choice, looking forward to checking out this one.

WHOA. Holy shit, I've gotta agree regarding the synth at :10 being way, way too loud. Pretty generic synths and textures at :23, but I did appreciate the delay effects on there. Synths at :45 were pretty abrasive, and... stayed for a while, until they mercifully left at 1:04. Hahahaha, then some ear-breaking  warbling synth introduced at 1:06; wow, this is just grating. Beyond that, the grating part just accentuates how texturally empty the rest of the instrumentation was. Glad to see (hear) it go away at 1:28. :-)

I like the attention to detail with the beats in the background, BUT they're still relatively empty and the overall groove was repetitive. I did like the chorus melody being used as a countermelody at 1:49; nice touch. That said, that added part wasn't enough to prevent the arrangement from dragging and feeling repetitive. For the chorus at 2:10, the grating synth was brought back, but sounded serviceable without the warbling effect on it; still not sure why it was made so overly loud. And again with the warble at 2:32 all the way until 3:11. /shrug

The beats are creative, but the core pattern is just super basic and drags down the track. Arrangement-wise, Olli, you certainly have your own style here in terms of the instrumentation. Abrasive choices aside, you have a decent base, but half of this isn't very listenable, and I'm not just having old-man ears about it. By 1;28, you're doing different textures surrounding the source melody, but the presentation still feels like a retread; consider changing the leads at some point, for example, to create a more varied sound overall. Still needs more development, and the production choices causing the grating section need to be reined in.

NO

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Co-signing this one.

Liking the approach with the distant reverbed synth leading things off.  Good way to catch the listener's attention.  Unfortunately, the very next synth (and things like hat hits) are super loud.  I had to turn the volume down quite a bit to listen after the :10 mark.  At 1:12, when it transitions, the sustained whole note synth really crowds out everything else and it gets really cluttered.

Overall, despite being really loud in general, the mix itself seems to have some gaps in the mid-lows/lows range, making it top-heavy.

I don't want to take away from your creativity and effort here, though.  There are good ideas coming through, but it's hard to appreciate them with the balances/loudness so out of whack and the grating synth textures.  Keep working at your craft!

NO

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I will co-co-sign on this one.  The structure is too repetitive with two nearly identical builds and drops.  The synths are very generic sounding.  Lead synths are way too loud.  I appreciate the stereo widening but it is almost too much, making the leads sound very separate from the drums and bass, and the soundscape is not cohesive as a result.  I love the bass, the timbre and the writing, but it sounds so small in the center, too narrow and too quiet.  Bass should be mono below 200 Hz, the rest of the bass timbre can have some natural stereo spread so it gels with the track.  I would also suggest giving your leads a tiny bit of sidechaining, no more than 3-6ish db of GR, to let the leads groove better with the beat, as it is now it sounds very stiff.  Great concept, just needs a little more variation for the two builds and drops, and some production fixes.

NO

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The arrangement has some good ideas in places but transitions between sections feel somewhat disconnected from each other. Likewise, there are some good drop principles at play here that could be expanded upon to make them more effective. Some sections do tend to overstay their welcome. This is exacerbated by the lack of modulation in your synth sounds over time - a technique important for a mix relying on such a minimal sound set. Mixing wise things are quite dry, which when combined with the minimal soundest, makes some areas feel quite sparse. I wasn't as against your sounds as some of the others - basic sounds can work, but they need to be paired carefully and tweaked over time to maintain interest. Some good ideas exist here that should be expanded upon.

NO

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You have a neat arrangement idea on paper.  You've got the interpretation of source melodies in this chill dubstep feel, and the framing is appropriate for the genre.  I’m not so much focused on the repetition as I am on it lacking a proper ending, though – and for that, you could get some inspiration from listening to similar commercial EDM releases.

What stuck out even more is that the mixdown is not only way too loud to the point that there's unintended distortion, but some of your instruments are mixed in louder than they needed to be.  Here are some bullet points to break these irks down:

- Your main lead can be quieter to make the intro and first verse section (0:24-0:45) less jarring.  Particularly at 0:10, I saw the loudness of the overall track jump up around 4 decibels, which took me by surprise in a bad way.
- Likewise, your higher-frequency saw bass during the drops at 1:06 and 2:32 also sticks out too much and can be better off significantly quieter to compliment the lower-frequency triangle bass.
- As for that problematic distortion, a lot of this particularly happens when the bass kick comes into play.  You could bring down the levels of all of your instruments slightly then have a hair’s lift with a multiband compressor, and / or add a sidechain to your leads.

Another thing to watch out for is the sequence of dissonant notes on your backing leads from 2:41 through to the end.  Even though they are in key, the sustained notes can be better off hitting a note that sound more harmonically pleasing with the bass.

To sum it up, it's a cool idea, but the production values have left it rough around the edges.  I hope you refine the track and try again for a third time.

NO (resubmit)

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i'll be up front about this one - i love the style and varying synth choices this remix has! i also don't think that it's at the level of an OCR track.

i really appreciate the initial build into the initial presentation of the melody. i also appreciate how aggressive a lot of the synth choices you made are (especially at :45 and the bass at 1:06, among others). there's some fun interplay with new ideas made as the track goes along. i really appreciate the idea of laying some sustained tones on top of the more active melody and bass lines presented at 2:32, even though it's a common technique to generate interest on a repeated section.

that said, there is a lot of issues here. from a mastering standpoint - there's not a lot of nuance in the balance between individual voices, the entire track is turbo-compressed to the ultramax, and there's several times that new parts get just slathered on top of already over-loud sections (notably at 2:32) instead of fitting them into the pre-existing soundscape. my ear consistently felt tired listening to this. there's no nuance to the soundscape of the mix - everything is simply too loud and unbalanced.

from an arrangement standpoint, i'd love to hear more creativity as well. i recognize that this style doesn't lend itself to a lot of harmonic subtlety, but there's a lot of opportunities here! A good example is the more open soundscape used around 1:27 - that was a nice break for my ears there. so go farther! play with new chording throughout that section. experiment with even more interesting synths for the lead. play with some arpeggiated backgrounds to further change the soundscape. these are all suggestions only, but experimentation and exploration will absolutely take this track farther than a recap of the melody would do.

overall, i felt the mastering and volumization of the instruments was too loud, and the arrangement is a cool idea but needs more love. i know this has gone through the grinder twice now - keep at it! there's something fun here =)

NO
 

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