*NO* Chrono Trigger "The Rising Palace"

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Contact Information
Artist: EchoGhost
Real Name: Jake McDannold
UserID: 35675-echoghost616

Submission Information
Chrono Trigger
The Rising Palace
Undersea Palace
Yasunori Mitsuda
Made with FL Studio.


Edited by MindWanderer

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This submission feels peculiar - you aimed for a four-on-the-floor dance direction, but the decision to use 10 bars of 4/4 before leading into another section gives it a pinch of prog.  Before understanding this figure, I found it difficult to follow the groove - mostly in part to the deep arpeggio and piano providing the bass.  It's a slow and straightforward progression, but the occasional presence on upbeats threw my anticipation off-course.  I would suggest sticking to 8 bars of 4/4 per section, as it's an EDM standard, and it would make the track much simpler to follow.

Talking of the piano, it provided the bass riff for the source throughout, so you got the source dominance part set.  You also sprinkled the key arpeggio in various places, as well as the actual melody at 2:16 - an interesting choice that favors original writing for the core motif (0:53, 1:53, 2:46).  But when combined with the previously mentioned quirky section length and the 6/8 source slapped onto 4/4 with its backbone stripped away, it makes the arrangement feel less overt.  I get the idea that it's the first time you've made something like this, so it's best advised to bring the source melody away from a bridge and take center stage - both as a hook and as something to play around.

Similarly, the production couldn't hold up well either.  I appreciate the use of sequenced gates on some of your synths, though applying it to the source melody at 2:16 is an odd choice.  Regardless, the soundscape feels empty.  You've got bass instruments, percussion, and some mid-high melody lines, but you have nothing occupying the mid-section of the EQ spread.  Consider adding a new rhythm section like gated synth chords or a more subtle pad to fill in that frequency space. 

On top of that, the four-on-the-floor drums can also get a refresher.  For sections that don't have the core hook, try playing around with them by changing the kick sequence, swapping the hi-hat to a ride cymbal, throwing in other percussion parts like a tambourine or shakers, or any different idea not mentioned here.

I also would feel some judges versed in FL Studio would give some advice to bring the best out of what I presume are default instruments - nothing wrong with that as we've had mix posts with default FL sounds before. Still, it's a more difficult task to polish them up than it is to find nicer organic VSTs for free.

Regardless, I had a lot of critiques here.  A structure without direction, rough application of VGM, and an empty soundscape are my primary reasons as to why I can't accept it.  It would be difficult to bring it into a more acceptable state, but not impossible - which is why I suggest a more accessible option to practice EDM writing with more straightforward 4/4 source material.  You've grasped the idea of what makes a VGM arrangement, so I hope you'll learn more with continued experience.


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i struggled for a few listens to really get the hang of the five-bar 4/4 phrase you're using. for judge reference, here's what it is.


note just how janky this is. this is for two main reasons:

  • you're still using the leading motion in the baseline (G-A-Bb, Bb-C), but you're using them in uncomfortable places. the nature of leading motion is to move TO somewhere, and having it at the beginning or middle of a bar is very disconcerting from an ear perspective.
  • you start by reinforcing the beat, to a point, but then you essentially don't have a downbeat for the last half. the first 12 beats are on-beat, and everything after that is on the upbeat.

either of these by themselves would be fine, but this sounds super weird in context - it essentially feels like you drop a half-beat in the middle of it somewhere. i don't even care about the 5-bar phrases, like rexy mentioned. the offbeats sound straight-up wrong, and it prevents me from sitting into the groove. it's exacerbated at 0:54 when you bring in the higher synth - which is still in 3/4! - layered on top of your five-bar 4/4 phrase. this is real strange too because 5-bar phrases of 4/4 will only rarely sync up with a repeated 3-beat phrase. and this is exacerbated even further because you don't make enough distinction between each 5-bar instance. so it's impossible to hear where you 'are' in each phrase.

essentially it sounds really confused the entire time, like it's limping or something. and it's real difficult to listen to as a result. this doesn't take into account that the arrangement is simple if not too little. there's not enough personalization to the melody to really call it more than dumping in the theme on top of the backgrounds as it was in the original.

beyond that, i found the soundscape repetitive at best, as there's essentially four or five synths used for the entire track with what sounded like two fills - one with snares and one with a ride hit. when the kick comes in for real and isn't being low-passed, the kick sounds ok but the drums as a whole don't sound quite as punchy as i'd expect. i think some of that comes from how much presence the bass instrument has - i really think dialing that back a touch and notching the kick in better into the low end would make a big difference.

i really wasn't feeling this one. the arrangement was lackluster, the 5-bar background really turned me off (if that wasn't obvious), and the soundscape got really tired pretty quickly. my suggestion is to tear this back to the bolts and find a fresh and clear way to reinforce your odd phrase length, since that's the real unique thing about this arrangement. once you've got that, you can build up a background that fits that (rather than just repeats the same thing over and over). until this, this doesn't reach the bar.




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It's EDM that's hard to dance to.  Not necessarily a dealbreaker but it's very, very odd.  However, I'm willing to give it credit for uniqueness.

More importantly, it really is quite repetitive--when I checked on it to see how long it had been going for and how much was left, I was shocked to see I wasn't even at the 2:00 mark; it felt much longer than that.  Combine that with the vanilla synths and this feels a bit amateurish and dated.  If it were in a traditional four-on-the-floor style I think this would have been appropriate for OCR in the mid-oughts--in fact, we have many remixes much like it on the site--but not so much today.

Liven the arrangement up and this will be fine by me, although you should expect a divided reaction to the timing.  I'd personally prefer it if you followed prophetic's suggestion to embrace it and make it work rather than to reduce it to 4/4, but you should think about doing one or the other.

NO (resubmit)

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