Gario

*NO* Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess 'Deadly Sands'

Recommended Posts

Not the most cohesive piece I've heard from Rebecca; most of the sequenced parts had uncanny valley realism issues. Even the plucked string lead here, which I can see being inspired by the super-fake sounds of N64-era Zelda, just didn't sound rich enough. Brass and bowed strings also had the same issue, IMO. Arrangement-wise, this was fine. The bowed string attacks from 1:08-1:28 also stuck out. Perhaps other judges may feel differently, but this piece struck me as the samples not being used anywhere near their best. I'll come back to this one.

?

EDIT (11/18): I thought the transition from one theme to the next was smooth; while I agree that the combinations of themes is just A then B, the structure flowed perfectly fine from one theme to the next. This track passing isn't a hill I'm dying on, and I respect Rexy and prophetik's knowledge, but IMO, the arrangement still gets by and the production's adequate, even though it has flaws, several of which I also pointed out in my initial comments. The sustains leading into dissonance didn't stand out for me though, so I didn't ding it on that level.

I don't need this to be impeccable (not saying the NOs did), I just need this to be creatively interpretive and reasonably produced; to me, this ticked both boxes with the genre and instrumentation adaptations being good enough, and the sound/sample quality and mixing being good enough to get by. Some of the sequencing should have sounded less rigid, but the overall result was still expressive enough. Again, I don't mind being outvoted, but I think Rebecca came through enough that I'm all good accepting this, and not making the perfect the enemy of the good.

YES (borderline)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The arrangement has left me torn.  Yes, there is subtractive arranging in both source appearances, and the key for Hidden Village also got adjusted to the key of Gerudo Desert.  But when the structure is simply one source for one half and the second source for the other with no interaction between the two of them, it does make the substance feel underwhelming.  There have been medley posts on OCR in the past, but there's usually more cross-interpretation and original ideas in play.

Some more things stuck out regarding the production as well.  Firstly, I can hear Larry's concerns about instrument realism.  The harpsichord notes have the same if not similar constant velocity and the higher strings from 1:04 have a continuous slow attack that disrupts the flow of the notes before them.   As usual, this is something that some articulation tweaks can resolve.

But I do have some additional issues on top of it.  Looking at the Gerudo Desert half, the amount of low-mid instrumentation at 0:07 has them bleeding into one another.  It felt like a tonal fight for attention between the low strings, timpani, bass drum and the male choir.  None of these instruments got a chance to stick out, hence another production pass would benefit these timbres.

I also sensed a lot of sustain going onto your harpsichord lead.  I touched upon this when evaluating your previous Undertale mixpost, but never saw it as a dealbreaker.  However, this is more problematic as the harpsichord does get used as a lead instrument - including all of the Hidden Village half.  The sustain bleeds into other notes and adds unwanted dissonance into the mix.  To prevent that from happening, consider setting up MIDI data to turn the sustain off (value of 0) just before a chord change.  Then, turn it back on (value of 127) to hold the new note(s) in play.

Sorry Rebecca, but it's mostly little production flaws that held me back from passing this one.  If you're able to revisit it, consider further articulating your instruments, cleanup on the harpsichord's sustain, and another mixing pass to clear out the mud in the first half.  Some added interpretation - whether within the framework or expanding it - is desirable, but I can let it slide if the presentation gets resolved.  Keep going, dudette.

NO (resubmit)

Edited by Rexy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i'll take you one step farther, rexy - the arrangement isn't underwhelming, it's...kind of boring. it's essentially a playthrough of both tracks, and then it ends (with less than 2:30 of real content). i'd argue that the orchestration isn't even particularly grabbing, either - it's a lot of tutti on the melody with a single bassline/background part, and that's about it. there's a little sustained pad backgrounds in the 1:00 area and that's about it. even the more energetic Hidden Village section is really tedious-sounding thanks to that really poorly-used harpsichord (of all the clavicymbalum family of instruments, the harpsichord relies on the pedal the most for it's unique sound!), and it just has machine-gun quality that set my teeth on edge right away.

i might sound like i think it's terrible, and that's not the case. the sweeping strings on the melody are very evocative in the first half, and there's some interesting percussion which definitely would benefit from some reduction of boom/sustain on them (eq does wonders to orchestral toms!). but the arrangement is just very uninspired, and the use of samples doesn't help much.

 

 

NO

Edited by prophetik music

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Larry.  The arrangement is very simple, but it works and the transition is smooth.  It's a short but sweet evocative track.  I agree with the crits about realism, particularly the harpsichord as mentioned, and I also think the low end is boomy.  If this doesn't pass I'd ask that the low end boom be tamed.  But as it stands, I think it's good to go.

YES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oof, I'm torn on this one.  The arrangement is sweet, it's conservative but the adaptation and small changes in structure and sequencing did help distance it from the original.  It's debatable whether it's enough tho.  

The production has some issues.  I didn't think they were deal-breaking until I heard the harpsichord.  When it started playing a leading role, it immediately caught my attention, it's so stiff it really separates itself from the rest of the instruments which are well sequenced IMO.  I don't want to sound mean but I felt like I had switched to listening to a midi arrangement when the harpsichord came into play.  It doesn't help when the other elements in the track are subdued in this section, exposing the harpsichord even more. There's also a bit too much low end and reverb applied to that low end in this track.

Like I said, I'm torn.  I think the rest of the track is passable but the harpsichord section (and to a lesser degree, the frequency balance of the entire mix in regards to the low end)  really brings the whole thing down for me.   I'm not sure this is over the bar and I feel I would really question the decision if I saw this on the frontpage as a listener.

It's a very tough decision, but I think it's a NO (resubmit)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Enjoyed the Arabian vibe of some of the instrument choices. In the first few sections, I feel things are a little boomy in the low end which seems to be caused by a mix of reverb on the bigger percussive elements in combination with the other instruments, some revised mixing would help here (and/or you could possibly HPF out some of the reverb low end so to not impact the rest of the atmosphere). Initially the arrangement progressed well in that it doesn't stick with a section for too long, but while there are a number of nice transitions to different sets of instruments, the arrangement doesn't evolve a great deal - keeping mostly the same mood throughout. Combining this with the production issues others have mentioned, I think this should be tweaked a bit prior to posting.

NO (please resub)

Edited by Jivemaster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been thinking about this one since Gario created the thread, and yeah, there's no one dealbreaker but it's little things that add up--the lack of humanization, especially on the harpsichord, and the low degree of personalization being the biggest factors.  Everyone's comments above are on point.

NO (resubmit)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.