Liontamer

*NO* Pokémon Trading Card Game 'Oaks and Bills'

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Contact Information
ReMixer name : Reuben6
Real Name : Reuben Spiers
E-mail:

Submission Information
Game: Pokémon Trading Card Game
Name of Arrangement: Oaks and Bills
Name of Original Song: Normal Battle
 
Edited by Rexy

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The accordion timing feels stilted and doesn't really lock together with the guitar and bassline timing. It's not awful, but the way the parts come together don't have synergy, moreso when the sequenced percussion arrived in the background from 1:49-2:34. After 2:34, the accordion performance still feels sluggish and the backing percussion felt very basic and repetitive. The bassline and electric guitar supporting writing both sounded good though.

The percussion and accordion timing sounding stiff ultimately hold this back from sounding cohesive, IMO; that may not bother other Js as much, but it prevents the parts of this track from truly coming together when this was an otherwise promising arrangement that went well in the right direction. I believe this needs to be tightened up before we should post it.

NO (resubmit)

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It's a sweet and straightforward arrangement - a direct run-through of the theme, and a variant with some comping at 2:35-3:43.  The first half has some subtle additions with a guitar countermelody and the bass doing octave runs from 1:49.  However, I'm not too thrilled over the section at 3:43-4:45 sounding identical to 1:26-2:28.  That is a substantially long chunk of music, so do consider the idea of changing that section up.  Altering the core groove, playing around with the melody and adding new parts are some potential changes you could do.

To my surprise, the mixdown doesn't sound as problematic as previous submissions.  I can identify everything, there aren't any significant frequency overlaps, and the instruments all have their established roles.  The one thing that did stick out is the amount of headroom.  The track does peak beyond -1dB, but most of the recording barely goes beyond -9.  If you don't have a master chain in your workflow, consider setting up a limiter and see how much more energy you can get out of it.  I also feel your snare and toms can be louder as well, especially when the "verse" grooves are so focused on the latter.

And of course, there's the performance.  Yes, the accordion has unnatural sounding articulation and doesn't align with the backing guitars - Larry was spot on with pointing that out.  But I also think the comping at 2:35-3:43 was unfocused as well.  Nothing wrong with a more laid-back improvisation, but the arrangement itself is in D major just like the source.  The lead instruments didn't need to break away from that key occasionally and improv in C instead.   I think the comping here needs a do-over to gel more with the backing.

It's a good base so far Reuben, but the large copy-paste section and synergy issues are my most significant points of concern here.  I'd like to see you vary up the second bridge-chorus section, work on the accordion's timing/articulation, and potentially redo the improv.  You picked a belter of a source though, so if anyone can add the Pokémon TGC onto the OCR map, it's you.  Keep at it!

NO (resubmit)

Edited by Rexy

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I agree with Rexy about the levels, for sure.  More importantly, the accordion pumps significantly, and it's really distracting.

The repeated section didn't bother me so much; my threshold for repetition is about 25% of the mix, so 1 minute out of 5 is fine by me.  The key change for the comping also seemed fine to me, and it didn't feel out of place to me at all. And sure, the timing was off, but it's close enough; loose but not sloppy.

It's a fun arrangement overall, and I don't think many of the issues described above should be enough to hold it back.  I do feel like the levels need to be addressed, and I don't think simply slapping a limiter on it will do the trick, as that will likely make the pumping more severe.  I think it's borderline whether you could fix it in 5 minutes, but it's possible and I'd rather give you the benefit of the doubt.

YES/CONDITIONAL (levels and pumping)

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oh man, i played so much of this game back in the day! easily more than the actual trading card game irl =)

this spends a lot of time being more of a cover than an arrangement, but it's got enough new stuff between the instrumentation and the key change to mix it enough that i think it's ok. not much else to say about the arrangement other than i think it's a fun take on the theme.

from a performance perspective, i don't hear the stilted timing of the accordion at all. i actually thought that the timing was loose in a good way - like a jazz soloist playing in the drummer's pocket - and thought it was a great example of nuance. i have no issues with the accordion's playing at all, and as a whole thought that the performance of the live instruments was fine.

the mastering is what's holding this back. it sounds very mid-heavy, and there's a lot of pumping. i think this needs to get stripped back to the bolts and done over, rather than a quick pass like what MW says. the bass is right in the kick's range, the drums feel very pitch-heavy and don't have much pop at all, and the guitars don't have any high-end to balance out how mid-heavy they are. spending time with each individual instrument and getting each to sparkle will help this track immensely, and move it from feeling like you just layered the parts on top of one another to feeling like you crafted each part to fit with one another.

re-EQ the instruments, get rid of the pumping compression, and you've got an easy pass from me. the mastering's holding this back a lot right now.

 

 

NO

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I’m going to start by definitely agreeing that the track overall could be a little louder in volume. Definitely had to crank it up, especially after comparing it to the source track. 

I felt that a lot of the playing felt stiff, and I still haven’t decided if it was intentional or not. I’d love to hear the accordion especially have a little more life and dynamics overall in this, along with the lead guitar. 

I also felt like the accordion was overpowering the guitar in a few instances. The biggest mention is during the guitar solo around 2:40. The accordion comes in with a small response, but overtakes the guitar entirely. I’d look a little at the balance and maybe the planning to see if those two could be separated more and have their own space.

The arrangement is both cute and sweet. It’s a really fun take on a relaxed original piece. The choice of instruments fits well, and the parts overall compliment each other well. I don’t think it’s where it needs to be yet, but it has some good promise.

NO (resubmit)

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