Sir_NutS

OCR04053 - *YES* Guild Wars 2 "Stormbringer"

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ReMixer Name: DusK
Real Name: Dustin Branscum
Website: http://www.dustinbmusic.com
User ID: 24328

Game: Guild Wars 2
Arrangement Name: "Stormbringer"
Song Arranged: "Wizard of Storms"
Platform: PC
Composer: Lena Chappelle

Link to source: https://soundcloud.com/arenanet/wizard-of-storms

Comments: So, Pixel Mixers put together a thing. A tribute to Guild Wars 2: Super Adventure Box. Of course I had to be on it.

So I took a look, and sure enough, nobody claimed the track I wanted to do, so I grabbed it. I wanted to really give it this epic orch-metal flair, largely to pay homage to Josh Foreman, the mastermind behind SAB.

I think it turned out pretty well. :)

 

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source was not in the slightest what i expected  :<

drums feel a bit dry (the whole thing feels a touch dry), and the bass is quiet. production critiques done.

arrangement comments: the primary form of arrangement done here is what's done to replicate the melody in the strings and keys. some of what worked in a chippy format doesn't work here (2:25 shows that pretty well, what worked with limited chord background doesn't work with a full band behind you every time), but as a whole this is a solid arrangement that is interesting and passes the melody around consistently while keeping the feel going. it isn't repetitive or long enough to get boring. the drum fills are uninspired but enough to keep things moving along.

this one's easy.

 

 

YES

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Dustin I think your music is getting better and better with each sub.  I like the power metal take here, the adaptation is great, the energy is decidedly powerful (no pun intended) and the new arrangement parts fit like a glove.  I think an area of improvement still could be production, as I think this submission lacks a bit of air and sounds a touch muffled but nothing to make me want to send this back.  I feel a highlight with this one was the break 2:00.  It was unexpected, very well executed and just sweet. 

It's not groundbreaking, but shows Dustin's arrangement skills' maturity.  Short and sweet, to the frontpage with this one!

YES

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The overall soundscape feels quite thin for epic orchestral rock.  I can barely hear the bass at all, and the kicks have a lot of high-end "thwack" to them but not a lot of "thump".

That's really the only problem I have here, but it's a substantial one.  A lack of bass cuts the heart out of a track like this.  It's a great arrangement, I love the approach and the execution in general, but it doesn't sound complete.  I'm going to think about this one a while longer--I love what's there and I hate to send it back, but it just doesn't sound the way it should.

Edit 3/23/20: I listened to this on some better headphones.  It's missing some of the more melodic bass frequencies, but there's plenty of sub there.  It'll sound bad on cheap sound systems--budget headphones, a phone's built-in speaker, most car stereos--but it's acceptable otherwise.  And the arrangement is killer.

YES

Edited by MindWanderer

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Wait, Guild Wars 2 had a brief retro seasonal update?  If that isn't GOTY quality, then I don't know what is. :D

Arrangement-wise, it's more straight-forward than what I usually expect from Dustin, but the framework is a stable one.  It's centered around two variations of the source, with only the A section between them sounding identical.  The breakdown at 1:15 also used the intro's build section effectively, along with the genius manipulation for the B section's melody at 1:25.  The calmer variation of said B section at 2:06 staged itself well for a building climax that brought the guitars back in and the drums pacing along at half-time.  His writing keeps improving with each sub, and I'm so glad he took up the offer to participate in this album project.

The production is very satisfactory - the mixdown is the cleanest I've ever heard Dustin pull off (!!), the recorded guitars are free of artifacts, and the mastering brought out the best of the instrumentation.  I do have a couple of critiques, though.  Firstly, the bass feels a touch on the quiet side, which is unusual for genre standards.  Secondly, the articulations on the orchestral section felt stiff and could've benefitted with key switches to make them shine whenever the guitars don't take center stage.  They aren't dealbreakers here, as the positives here combined with the treatment of the source material exceed expectations.

If it isn't apparent by now, I'm in favor of seeing this on the front page.  It's fun, the admiration he has for the game had brought out a burning passion with its creation, and it's a strong example of how far he's developed himself as an arranger.  Great stuff!

YES

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