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OCR01552 - *YES* Chrono Cross 'Dreaming Still'


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Remixer name: pixietricks

Real name: Jill Goldin

Website: www.jilliangoldin.com

Game remixed: Chrono Cross

Song remixed: Radical Dreamers ~Unstealable Jewel~

System: Playstation

Original composer: Yasunori Mitsuda

Original vocalist: Noriko Mitose

Comments:

Okay, so several of you know this already, but this mix has actually been sitting around on my computer for quite some time. I showed it to a few people over the summer to get some feedback, and then the next time I tried to open the project file, it was damaged. All attempts at recovery were unsuccessful, sadly. There are still things I wish I could change (i.e. varying up the percussion, tighter snare, reverb on the attack strings, more distinct panning in the choir section...), but I still feel like the piece is in a good place.

So yeah! It's a song about longing/unrequited love... Really original, I know. Thankfully the lyrics no longer apply in my life, but I'm sure they will reach an audience of sorts. I drew my inspiration almost completely from Dido on this one: specifically her song "Here With Me" from the album No Angel, which was featured as the opening credits track on Roswell, an awesome sci-fi TV series. Hope you like!

Lyrics:

Sometimes I lie awake at night and wait

The shadows changing on the hollow wall

And moonlight streaming through my windowpane

Leaves me cold, under the shroud of nightfall

You're there beside me in my deepest dreams

A ghost of all the weight I feel within

And floating endlessly, my heart believes

That we are one, ready to touch, to begin

Imagine how your lips would taste on mine

And how your breath would feel against my eyes

My heart is racing for the millionth time

Don't let go of this thought, otherwise

There's a haze, a feeling that I get with you

And this hand won't let go

Lead me, show me just how love's supposed to feel

So that I won't be dreaming...

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NO OVERRIDE

afk.

edit: At the request of some fellow judges who will remain nameless, I reluctantly retract my NO OVERRIDE. My grievances, however, have been fully documented in an 18 page report, now sitting on djp's desk.

That being said, here's my vote:

Well Jill, in the end my liveperformancebias ended up pushing this to a YES vote. This is borderline.

Pros:

* Whenever I see lyrics on a submission, I instinctively cringe, but these really aren't half bad. There's some great imagery in there that grabs a hold of me. If on a lyric quality scale:

1=excerpt from a random jr. high journal

2=avril lavigne/smashmouth/lionel richie

3=semisonic/alanis morrisette/no doubt

4=death cab/ben folds

5=jackson brown/paul simon

I'd put this at a solid 3.5

* Do I really need to praise your voice? You've got very impressive range, control, and intonation. I rarely hear a voice this pure.

* The pacing of the arrangement works well.

* The combination of the choir, synths, and strings creates a great atmosphere

Cons:

* Drum sequencing drags this one down. When the second verse comes in, the bass drum pattern sounds very stilted and awkward. There's no pocket/groove/whatever you wanna call it. When it changes to the filtered hi-hats and what not, I can breathe easy again, but until then that whole section makes me unsettled. I could see some judges having a problem with how they're eq'd/processed, but its really not an issue for me.

* The backing synths get real repetitive.

* I wouldn't have minded hearing another chord progression at some point. Maybe a bridge? Anyway, something to think about in the future.

Sans vocals this wouldn't be close, but that isn't the case. All your background parts are absolutely gorgeous, probably my favorite element of the entire mix. Good luck with the rest of the vote.

YES

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Ah, Radical Dreamers... the original lends itself to lots of cool arrangement stuff, given that it's just guitar + voice. Jill sent me a WIP of this awhile back and I was digging it then, so now that I have the source in my head, time to check it out.

Like Jon said, the quality of the vocals here goes without saying. The recording, mixing, and performance are all spot-on. No problems there. Other production elements are pretty strong - there's a distinct improvement in mixing/mastering on this one vs. Prayer, in terms of maximizing volume and balancing all the different parts. I only half agree with Jon on the drum sequencing, for most of the song it's cool... very reminiscent of Thievery Corporation or Zero 7 and other downtempo groups. It's only towards the second half that I think it's kinda off and lacking a groove, but hey, this isn't supposed to be dance music, and it's not a deal-breaker either way. Yeah, the backing synths weren't hugely varied or complex in programming, some might see that as a minus; but at the same time, varying them up a lot might have detracted from the vocals which are the centerpiece of the mix.

The arrangement here is solid. Added harmonies and riffs are there to build on the rather sparse source, and there are several sections with original melody over the source chord progression (a method of variation I typically recommend). Again, I can see Jon's complaint about the chord progression staying pretty static for most of the time, but that's somewhat minor. I'd compare the approach to "Snow Motion" or "Xenosphere" which have relatively static or even NO chord progressions, but still pull it off by building up percussive/synth and other elements on top. Jill worked in progressively more percussive parts, riffs, and harmonies as the mix went on which kept things fresh. My main complaint: where's the rap solo? ;)

Overall, this is a very cool mix in a style that we don't usually see here. There are a couple minor production complaints, but even if she still had access to the project, they're not worth a NO. Personally, I would like to see more people mixing in downtempo, new age, or chillout styles (where are you Gray!) It can be tough to pull off but this mix proves that Jill's got the style down. Great job!

YES

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Ok, Singing is great. Not even going to go there, because it's wonderful.

My problem, the drums. They really don't fit the type of music you've chosen. You have a sparse background, gentle singing with atmospheric blendings in the background and this really abrupt dry and centered set playing right in the foreground with the kick in swingtime when everything else seems to be just straight 4/4. I'd personally prefer this song much more if the percussion was more mellow, even tribal.

The backing of the mix can be considered repetitive. It builds up to a more solid section towards the end which was good. I don't think I could've handled if it stayed all mellow all the time. But either way it's good enough to pass. It's a real, real shame that the file corrupted. Computers tend to really screw us over at the worst moments. Because this could easily be made much more fluent by changing the drums.

YES

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1=excerpt from a random jr. high journal

2=avril lavigne/smashmouth/lionel richie

3=semisonic/alanis morrisette/no doubt

4=death cab/ben folds

5=jackson brown/paul simon

Your scale is all fucked up. As far as I'm concerned:

5 = Tom Waits

1-4 = Everyone else

Now, all wankery aside, lets vote on the mix, shall we?

Voice sounds great. Apparently this goes without saying, so I won't belabor the point. In the first minute i notice that it's a bit too much louder than everything else...the pads and drums (in the first minute) are really cool, and i wish i could hear them better.

It's a damn shame you lost the project files. The drums are akward at times, and the arrangement could be a lot more than it currently is. It's kind of funny; I rarely hear songs like this, in that The vocals are clearly the foundation of the piece. Everything else is fairly decorative. For example, the bell synth and pads are very pretty, but dont do anything to push the arragement forward. This style i think is a virtue for the first couple of minutes, but then it becomes a vice. After awhile i'm waiting for more direction...more compositional ideas.

So yeah, the vocals are clearly the strong point, and they largely carry the track. However, the vocals are very good, and the track works an ambient/minimalist type deal. after much consideration

YES

BTW I like tracks where the voice sounds good but i can't understand the lyrics. this qualifies. YAY.

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Chrono Cross Original Soundtrack - (315) "Radical Dreamers -Without Taking the Jewel-"

Dissent!

I gotta say, I was definitely feeling the track before those drums came in at :50. I'm just disappointed that we'll never hear how this mix COULD have been with the appropriate beatwork. These drums in here right now sound like a bland default pattern and don't click with the other instrumentation in any way. In any way. They're placeholder-ish, and unfortunately they sound like it. The beats changing at 3:05 just sounded jarring and awkward, though the beat patterns there afterward were clearly stronger.

The vocal performance and original lyrics (very nicely written, BTW) offset the otherwise conservative arrangement approach. I don't mind that the others were willing to look past the drums issue, but to me it comes off as a complete quality disparity that kills the track. While the rest of the mix is awesome, the drums ruin it and only leave me wondering what could have been. Hate to be that stickler, but as far as the texture of the song goes, most of the track is compromised as a result of those drums.

Someone fix her file instead! Pray over it, lay hands upon it, I don't care how! :lol: (I know, it ain't happening anyway...)

NO

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Lyrics are hawt. Despite what all the unmodders may say, I bet Jill's going to have a LOT of guys putting stuff like this

And floating endlessly, my heart believes

That we are one, ready to touch, to begin

Imagine how your lips would taste on mine

And how your breath would feel against my eyes

on repeat, while staring at this picture:

jillya.png

:lol: cheers, jill, the song sounds great!

In regards to Larry's gripes, I really see after reading his comments how the drums can seem a bit "placeholder"ish, but I personally am not overly concerned with that. I've heard much better drumwork, no doubt, but I think the overall theme that goes through one's head while listening to the haunting and captivating vox is enough to drown out the desire for better drumwork.

the vocals are clearly the strong point, and they largely carry the track. However, the vocals are very good, and the track works an ambient/minimalist type deal.

Yep. Very chill. I won't carry this track with me to my grave in my "most phenominally well constructed and epic track" case, but I think it can sit pretty on the front page.

MMM'KAY

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