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Gario

*NO* Sonic the Hedgehog "Trapped in Marble"

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ReMixers: Konkey Dong, BallinFatty

Real names: Matt Forbis, Kerry Jamerson
Email: 
           
Original Soundtrack:
 
Name of game: Sonic the Hedgehog
Name of arrangement: Trapped in Marble
 
This song was originally started as just my friend and I playing around with the Marble Zone melody on FL Studio. We liked what we had going, so we decided to expand upon our work. This is the result we got after about 3 weeks of on and off work. This song is intended to be a trap-style remix. Thank you for your consideration, we look forward to hearing from you.
 
Edited by Liontamer
closed decision

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Opened up with some very flat, basic-sounding synths, but we'll see where it goes. Lead at :19 was super flimsy and all of the parts had very basic effects on them; some decent personality to the sounds, but the lines were very thin and the timing was stilted.

Picked up more at :59 during the chorus, filling out the soundscape more thanks to the beat, before dropping out the padding/countermelodic stuff (very abruptly at 1:17). It didn't make any sense for instruments to drop out without some sort of fade in this context.

Back to the verse with a cut-and-paste repeat at 1:18, only with some more beatwork behind it and an original countermelodic line added at 1:37; the claps and stuttering tick-tick-tick lines were just too sparse, with only light delay effects giving this any body/density at all.

Filled out more again with another chorus at 1:56. Another original line was added in at 2:16 along with some cliched trap "AY!" shouts (which later come back at 3:32).

Sudden key change at 2:53, with the soundscape getting very murky and indistinct around 3:03. The sustaining string synth lines didn't sound natural at all, so be careful with how you program them to sound.

There a good deal of effort given to weaving in original composition alongside the source tune arrangement, so that was a huge positive by Matt and Kerry. But the instrumentation and textures weren't sophisticated; even the densest sections didn't have much richness to them, and when you went into more complex textures at 3:03, the parts mushed together. Based on how this is written, it needs more impactful-sounding everything; that's the crux of this. Once this doesn't sound thin, flat, stilted, and repetitive, the character and creativity of the writing and arrangement will show through more.

NO

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You got a decent grasp on the arrangement for sure.  Every instance of the Marble Zone BGM had this played-around melody that maintained the pitch but had note rhythms changed up.  The downward arpeggio in the source also got changed to a triplet feel to adapt to the groove's shuffle focus.  Plus, there's a delicate writing balance to let the two source-free segments (0:03-0:19, 2:34-3:03) calm the pace down.  There is some repetition with the played-around melody being the same in all instances, though.  But the layering of other instruments breaks up the monotony slightly  - whether as modest as an arpeggio (0:39), a drumbeat (1:18) or a low e-piano (1:58).

However, the biggest flaw the track has is in the production.  The soundscape feels thin as if there's only one instrument doing each assigned role with no other parts backing it up.  Going by your description, if you're working with FL Studio presets, it's ideal to use a lot of them all at once.  The lead at 0:19 is a particular example of this - the flanger effect sounds interesting, but the tone doesn't have any impact.  If you layer it up with 1 or 2 more leads, it can add some thickness to the sound.  Should you go down that path and find a solution that works, consider looking into your other instruments and figuring out whether they need similar treatment.

You'll also need to be careful with multiple instruments, though.  As more gets added into the soundscape, you'll need to add more care to instrument balance and their EQ.  Even in the track's current form, the strings and arpeggio at 2:54 tonally bleed into each other.  Then at the busy section at 3:32, it's hard to listen out for either of them without thinking.  If you want my take, I felt the strings would've needed a cut in the mids to let the arpeggio push through, but that's only assuming you'd want more synth presence than the other way round.  Nevertheless, as you get more layers, you need to think about which instruments get EQ cuts/boosts to accommodate the production.

This track has some cute ideas that stick around for longer than needed, but the soundscape itself is thinner than water, and that is a huge dealbreaker.  New instruments and use of delay are two ways I can think of to thicken that soundscape up and make it sound way more ready for primetime.  The minor repetition is a close second but should get checked out to reduce further fatigue.  Not a bad move you two, so I'm keen to see this back in the inbox in a revised form.

NO

Edited by Rexy

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I have to disagree with some of the production critiques here.  The soundscape is thin but that's absolutely fine for Trap.  Some Trap tracks are very minimal, and not having layered synths and a big soundscape that fills the entire frequency spectrum is absolutely fine for the genre.  I do think the synths instruments lack punch, which is an entirely different thing.  You can make a trap track with just your 808 drums, a sine bass and a lead, but everything needs to be punchy to have some impact, and I think the synths here are too weak to carry the arrangement.  Also, the "hey" samples were kinda out of place in this arrangement, I would try something else.

I also think the arrangement is fine, sufficiently interpretative and the adaptation is interesting.  But I don't think it's ready for the front page without working more on the mix to make your synths stand out, as they're kinda weak and vanilla sounding.  The amount of instruments and synth lines used is fine, just make them richer and punchier.

NO

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