Rexy

*NO* Sonic CD (JP) "Stardust à la mode"

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ReMixer Name: funkyzukin

Game Arranged: Sonic CD [JP]
Name Of Arrangement: Stardust à la mode
Song Arranged: Stardust Speedway 
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For this, I was inspired by the sounds of more modern Sonic games (Such as Unleashed,) as well as the sounds of french house. I guess there's not too much to say about it other than I made it on a whim and I had lots of fun making it. I hope you enjoy it!
 

 

Edited by Rexy

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Since I took the track out of the inbox, I'll start. :P

Honestly, I like the idea of turning a track like this into a French House inspired arrangement.  The use of jazz-like chords and instrument palette served as an enticing backbone for the source, and that's despite how little of it got used.  It also paced well, used that familiar B section for the hook, and is source dominant overall.

But regarding said source use, this is what I detected:

  • 0:00-0:26 - B section hook 1.  Deduct 10 seconds of blank space.
  • 0:30-1:00 - Straight-up sampling of the opening 5 seconds.
  • 1:00-1:26 - B section hook 2, plus a reference to the 'hey' vocal in the source.  Deduct 6 seconds of blank space.
  • 2:00-2:30 - Straight-up sampling like before.
  • 2:30-2:56 - B section hook 3, now filled with source, but 10 seconds of it sampled the intro again.
  • 2:56-3:15 - Straight up sampling once more, only this time, it's at its most intrusive.

I appreciate the idea of wanting to reference the vocal SFX here, but when they're more dominant than any non-sampled arranging, that becomes a problem.  It's possible to keep the samples as they are, but increase the amount of non-sampled arrangement in its place.  The A and C sections went unused, so consider adding or playing around with them in any blank spaces.  I also feel a high-pass EQ on the sample would be useful as well, if only to filter out the drums and bass.

As for the production, it feels heavy on the high-mids.  It works for the acoustic guitar as you'd want to hear the string noises, but the closed hi-hat is too overpowering.  Lowering its volume is one thing, but it also sounds lossy in its exposed state, so consider making a mid-high EQ cut on it as well.  On the flip side, you have instruments like your clavinet at 2:00 sounding too quiet, even with the kick drum and bass taking a breather.  I can see that getting fixed with simply bumping up its volume, though do try either cutting some lower-mids on the acoustic guitar or even boosting the clavinet's lowest frequencies.  They sound like risky ideas, but it's worth thinking about taking advantage of this groove break.

To sum it up, it boiled down to not enough non-sampled VGM, as well as needing another pass on the mixdown.  I didn't mind the loops on your backing instruments as they served a purpose appropriate to the genre, and all in all, it was a fun idea to explore.  I hope you get a chance to revise it, so keep at it.

NO (resubmit)

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i agree with rexy that the source fits this style really well. the original was already kind of doing that funk-house style, with a really present kit and a bop band behind it, and this definitely takes it farther down the euro road with the chord extensions you're hinting at in the guitar, combined with the acoustic bass and disco vibe. i also agree that there's just way too much sampled content in here. it's so busy, and that's saying something coming from me! the sampled sections clearly aren't in the same level of swing so there's conflicting off-beats, and the sampled content drags the overall fidelity of the track. i did like what the bass was playing, and felt that helped move it along. i'd recommend some space in there to let the instrument 'breathe' a bit. your groove got pretty dry pretty quick when it essentially played the same pattern for three minutes, so starting somewhere less full of notes and expanding throughout the track will help quite a bit, i think. lastly, while i really liked what the acoustic guitar was playing, it was so choppy due to whatever slicer you used to adjust the tempo that it sounds really disjointed. i really wanted it to speak cleaner and it just wouldn't.

speaking of mastering, i found the kit as a whole to sound like it was in an entirely different soundscape than the rest of the track. it was very present and wide (the shaker in the right ear was really irritating maybe halfway through), and the continued shifting of the rest of the track's level of fidelity as compared to the static drums was really distracting. you can definitely do some work to volumize the rest of the instruments to level them out.

there's definitely some fun moments in here. i'd love to hear more of the EP solo at 2:00, and i enjoyed the panned EP solos before that. i also overall enjoyed the presentation of the melody, and while more variation there would have been good, it was fun. i just can't however get past the constant sampling and lackluster mastering. part of french house is that the mastering really sparkles, which helps the common phaser effects and sampled old disco track bits shine through in spite of their age. i don't get that feeling here and it really makes for a track that isn't where it needs to be to pass.

 

 

NO

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wow I really like the groove here, classic house-y vibe, reminds me of summer parties in the 90s.

Sadly, the groove stays too static for way too long.  By the time I reached the second half of the song it was already getting very old.  The hi-hats feel too high-frequency heavy and a bit too loud as well, they dominate the mix too much.  The sections get really busy as well, between the sampled effects, the beat, and several layers of instruments, it gets really chaotic at points (i.e. last section with the soloing ep and panning clavinet plus everything else).
The arrangement is ok, just a bit basic.  I think it could be expanded more, maybe using some of the sections that were left unused from the original.

Overall this feels too loopy, the sampled FX are overused and the mix needs polishing and cleanup, production wise.  This would sound like something you would hear in a modern sonic game if it was cleaner (reminds me of the sonic advance soundtracks) .

NO

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