*NO* Skies of Arcadia "Unknown Menace"

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Dear OCR Judges Panel,

Skies of Arcadia remix coming up. I was told to submit it by the people responsible for the Arcadia Legends album.
Contact Information:
ReMixer name: Glejs
Real name: Glenn Liljestrand
User ID: 34608
Submission Information:
Name of game arranged: Skies of Arcadia
Name of arrangement: Unknown Menace
Name of individual song arranged: Zelos
My own comments and info: Proud to be part of the "Arcadia Legends" OCR album. I came in to the project late, had only three songs to choose from. Zelos, the final boss tune, caught my ear. I was thinking, hmm drum'n bass hmm techno.. it took a wild turn to trance. The 90s kind of rave-y trance, with a little bit of breakbeats, orchestra hits and synth stabs. I sampled tons of FX, vocals and instruments straight from the actual game. In fact most of (or at least half of) the instruments you hear are from the game. I chose to remaster the song for this single release, because the master that was done for the OCR album didn't really sound the way I wanted it to. I talked to the mastering engineer about it, and he was completely ok with this.
Hope you enjoy this one, I had a lot of fun composing it!
All the best,
Glejs (pronounced "Glaze")
Edited by Rexy

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Oof, that lo-fi, pumping intro is a tough sell to start off with.  And the sidechaining thereafter is pretty severe.

Soundscape is pretty cluttered overall.  You have rich synths combined with orchestral instruments, and they're stepping all over each other.  2:43 shows a seriously vanilla synth as the lead, and it's squashing everything else into mud.

The length is also a tough sell.  At nearly 7 minutes long, there needs to be some transformation as the piece goes on, even for trance.  I think this can get away with being pretty long, but not quite this long.  The last minute or so in particular doesn't really add anything that wasn't there in the first third of the arrangement.

There are clever ideas here, and I like the idea of mixing gothic orchestral with trance.  It just needs to be a bit tighter progression, and to be cleaned up a bit.

NO (resubmit)

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i remember this one from the album. i believe simultaneously that i thought this was a fun listen and that it had some real problems in the mastering department, and MW hit them on the head. even i think it's cluttered, and i think it's way too long as well. 

that lead at 2:42 is so surprising because there's a lot of pretty interesting sounds that i've heard up to this point, and then you bring in something that sounds like the actual VST didn't load, and double down on it at 3:09. it just is so much louder than everything else, and it demolishes some really fun sound design behind it.

i think that this needs to be a few minutes shorter, and it needs to have some of the mid-level noise removed and the rest slotted in better so it doesn't sound so muddled. some simple updates and this will be a much more cohesive and coordinated track.




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Let me say first of all that you have guts to arrange this source!  With no definite backbeat and muddy melodies, figuring out a direction at all is easily no small feat.

The boys above me got the production nail on the head.  You have all these lead melodies pushing other instruments into the background, only letting them appear into prominence when they decide to take a breather.  The sound design also feels mixed - you have an intriguing combination of meaty synths and percussion, and yet you have thinner sounding leads like the one going through Melody B at 2:42.  That, to me, is also a shame because there are some fun envelopes behind it otherwise. If you ever get a chance to re-master it again, consider making some minor frequency cuts on the leads while making room on the other instruments to step through, as well as adding a quiet and warmer under-layer for said leads.

The arrangement, while fun, is also flawed.  Just like in the source, the Melody A section still felt tough to follow without knowing where all the note rests were. I can't fault you on that, as it's more of the BGM's charm.  The Melody B section's writing, despite the thin lead, had a solid direction with several variations.

But the main problem I have with the arrangement, however, is source content and a slight lack thereof.  Here's what I figured out:

0:06-0:12 - Rising string stab from source intro. 
0:17-0:21 - Swept in descending string parts from the track intro.
0:22-0:59 - Melody A.  Deduct 3 seconds for source break at 0:46.
1:20-1:23 - Return of the sweeping strings from the intro.
2:37-3:36 - Sweeping string return, before going straight into Melody B.
3:39-4:57 - Melody B, switching back to Melody A at 4:33.

That barely makes 45% source content, which offers a good enough reason to cut the last quarter short.  As MindWanderer stated, it didn't introduce anything new that wasn't already between 0:59-2:37, so consider figuring out how to close the track quicker.  If you insist on keeping it, you can try to find more ways to include the source or other Skies BGM, though this would be a much trickier direction.

Honestly, I enjoy this in a vacuum.  This remix is the kind of track I'd love to include in a future set on Last Call.  For OCR, it's unfortunately not there yet.  It'll be nice to hear another version with a much cleaner production, improved synth timbres, and thicker source dominance.  You're pushing hard, Glenn - I know you can make it back on the front page again soon.

NO (resubmit)

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