Seth Skoda

1. work-in-progress Sonic 3 - Gangsta With A Mustache (Main Boss) [Dark Trap/Ambient]

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I wanted to go a slightly different route with this rearrangement. More atmosphere, a dark, ambient piece that still has the trap feel.

A few mixing/volume level issues here, but I consider it almost complete. Honestly, my biggest concern is that it doesn't resemble the source material enough to be accepted.

Anyway, it's part of a planned album for S3&K.

https://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/890207

Feel free to suggest an alternate title.

Edited by Seth Skoda
Wrong audio link

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Hey @Seth Skoda! I was gonna give you a listen on this and post some thoughts but the link you have there goes to a track called "Nightcore RS" rather than "Gangsta With A Mustache". Could it maybe be the wrong song ID in the URL? 

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On 10/31/2019 at 6:04 PM, Eladar said:

Hey @Seth Skoda! I was gonna give you a listen on this and post some thoughts but the link you have there goes to a track called "Nightcore RS" rather than "Gangsta With A Mustache". Could it maybe be the wrong song ID in the URL? 

Thank you so much! I must have got mixed up with linking songs that break the rules in the audio forum over on Newgrounds. Fixing the link right now.

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Okay finally having a listen. I love the ambient textures you've got going on for the first minute or so, and throughout the rest of the track. I'm into the slow fade-in, and the panned metallic sounds starting at 0:26 or so are awesome too. Later this dark attitude is taken over by some persistent swirling synths (particularly noticeable during gaps like at 1:35 and 2:00) and this is a nice evolution of the mood. I think these textural elements are my favorite aspects of the piece.

I like the choice of a church organ, instrument-wise, for a Robotnik boss theme arrangement (makes me think of the Sonic 3D Blast Saturn boss music actually lol), but I'm not too crazy about it just repeating the same two-note interval from 0:30 until the plucked lead comes in at 1:05. I'd consider exploring a slightly more varied progression there. It doesn't need to deviate super-far from the two notes it currently repeats, maybe you could just climb up and down slowly between higher and lower notes in the same scale while still centering on the two primary ones. It'd make this section more engaging.

While the atmosphere is great and things are well-mixed to my ear, I do agree that this remix is pretty far from the source track musically-speaking and probably doesn't have enough of it for OCR's purposes (the submission standards say the source material must be "identifiable and dominant", which I find is often interpreted to mean "50% or more of your remix should use recognizable material from your source track"). Also, on your Flying Battery piece a while back, I mentioned that things sometimes got "a bit too homogeneous/repetitious," and that I wanted "to hear some contrasting energy to break me out" of the established groove for a bit. I feel that way with this track too, but rather than a breakdown I think what I want is a section that's MORE intense somewhere.

So, a way to possibly address both these things at once. From 1:05 - 1:34 we get our first clear melody sequence on that plucked synth lead. It's a bit tough to pick out the melody of the source track here, but it's there. I think this is a fine way to introduce us to what this remix is based on, but considering that 1:05 to 1:34 is the closest you ever really get to the source track, I think what I'd like to hear somewhere is a higher-energy section that references the original more closely.

As far as all your other lead sections in the piece, there's 2:18 to 2:38 which happens on that harsher more square-ish sustained lead, and then there's a sort of reprise of 1:05 - 1:34 at 2:40 - 3:00. After that, the rest of the track is pretty much pure atmosphere. I really like the sound of the lead at 2:18 to 2:38, but I don't find its progression all that engaging. So I wonder if you could transform this section into a harder-hitting, closer-to-the-source cover (maybe of the B theme, 0:19 to 0:31 in the original). Keep the same synth lead sound, and maybe you could bring the church organ back for supporting harmonies since it doesn't really show up anywhere except the first minute. That's just an example though - go with whatever implementation you might prefer. The idea is to make your track feel like it's building up to something more intense and more familiar from the original that you can then "cool down" from as the piece gets closer to the end, if that makes sense.

I remember you saying on your Flying Battery thread that you were "used to structuring [your] original trap and hip-hop tracks to fit verses and a chorus on them". I do think this piece also sounds like it's "waiting" for lyrics or rapping to be layered on top, which would be cool if you decided to pursue it, but as-is I think it creates some perceptible emptiness. 3:00 to the end at 3:52 for instance doesn't really have much going on or introduce us to anything we haven't already heard elsewhere in the piece. If you don't intend to add lyrics or a rap performance, I think the best thing to do would be to fill out most of this empty space with one or more clearer covers of melodies from the original, as I described above.

As for the title: I think it's fine, it got a chuckle out of me and on a Sonic 3 remix album I'd immediately know which source track it was referring to. Nice work and good luck!

Edited by Eladar

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On 11/11/2019 at 12:37 PM, Eladar said:

Very useful critique, deleted in quote to make scrolling easier. 

Oh my God... That was such useful advice. Wow. I can't thank you enough for taking the time to type all of that! I mean it. That was the most detailed and helpful feedback I have ever received on a piece. I will definitely keep this all in mind when I revisit the project file.

Thank you so much!

[insert award for best poast of the year]

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