Sir_NutS

*NO* Kingdom Hearts 2 "Dark Tension"

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Contact Information
ReMixer name : Backer Ruth
Real Name : Backer Ruth
Website : www.Bak-R.be
Userid : 34757

Submission Information
Name of game arranged : Kingdom Hearts II
Name of arrangement : Dark Tension
Name of individual song arranged : Tension Rising

Link to the original soundtrack :

Comments : This is an epic trailer version of the battle theme Tension Rising from Kingdom Hearts II. I hope you will enjoy it.

 

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I appreciate the cinematic palette here.  The structure is merely one run-through of the theme and an ending, but the instrumentation and effects changed up the entire mood while maintaining the source's most melodic components.  It's a more subtractive take, which I highly acknowledge for a track of this length.

There are a few things that held me back, though.  Firstly, the mixdown feels fine for the most part - great use of spacious reverb, the instruments are panned appropriately, and the components are mostly cleanly mixed.  But I have to give a push to the staccato trumpets (starting at 0:32) and the string section (beginning at 0:46).  In their respective segments, they're carrying a significant amount of source representation, yet they're too faint to identify them at first glance.  The bell sequence at 0:32, albeit not holding source, also is way too far into the background.  Try bringing their volume levels up - yet for the staccato brass, you ought to cross-check with the EQ on the tuba, so their frequencies don't bleed into one another.

Additionally, the execution sounds painfully robotic.  Don't get me wrong - your samples are beautiful and make the concept feel so much more vibrant.  But when the velocities are constant across all instruments, the realism gets taken away.  I'd like it if you can take some time to go over your notes' velocities, then decide which one you want to emphasize and which can be better off more subtle.  No real-life performer would play all notes in a sequence the same way, so do take that into account.

It's a respectable concept, but I don't think it's quite there yet.  I can respect the brevity of the arrangement, but when mechanical writing and some quiet instruments become concerns, it's ended up as a hard sell.  It'll be nice to hear a version that addresses the production flaws, so I hope you get a chance to return to this.

NO (resubmit)

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oh, wow, this is really a powerful take on this track. there's so much energy and drive coming from this. i really like your choices of orchestration to keep that energy driving forward. it's too bad it's so short - when you trim out silences, it's about 1:37 long, which isn't unprecedented but it's also highly uncommon. here's the relevant part of the standards:

Quote

Submissions should be long enough to convey arrangement; generally, this requires at least two minutes of material.

with that in mind, i don't think this is long enough to convey the arrangement. here's why: the arrangement is - incredibly, considering the length of the entire track - repetitive. there's 30 seconds of the initial kick lead to the horn riffs, ~15 seconds of essentially an orchestral crescendo, and then we're back to the kick lead into either horn rips or choir punches. there's also about 20 seconds of the chord progression at the end as an outro that's not really tied into the original track at all from what i can hear in terms of orchestration - it uses an organ but it's a different stop from the sound of it, and it isn't effected the same way.

i'm not saying that it's not represented interestingly enough, though! the overall package is exciting and entertaining. i agree with rexy that it's fairly robotic, and there's some volumization that could be done to it to balance it more, but it's a fun listen and i like it. my problem is that it's just so short and yet it goes absolutely nowhere.

ultimately - this is too short to really showcase an arrangement. i agree that if it was 3 minutes of this it'd get annoying a minute into it, but realistically you just aren't showing enough material to determine if it's actually an arrangement or not here. it needs more content.

 

 

NO

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Sort of a cinematic/trailer take on the original.  Seems like you have some good samples in there but they're not used to their full extent.  It's pretty robotic all the way, specially in the last section before the organ/piano part.  Regarding the source, it's there and easily identifiable for me, but I feel like much more could've been done with it.  This arrangement is too short to showcase any arrangement ideas, and a lot of the parts from the original were left behind and they could've been used to expand onto this.

Overall this feels like a trailer for the real arrangement.  The sequencing of the parts need more subtlety and the arrangement needs expansion to be considered for the site.  

NO

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