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FF7 - Still More Sexy Fighting Updated: 28-12-06


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So I'm over my oriental/taiko drum phase :P

Spent last night working on a sexy version of "still more fighting."

The scene I had in mind while arranging this was a fight scene... with... hot babes haha. Mixed rock, electronica, and all sorts of beats inbetween.

This is for the FF7 remix competition on OCRemix, so don't forget to vote at the end of the month, I want an ocr T-shirt! XD

Feel free to comment :)

http://www.reubenkee.com/music/remixes/Still%20More%20Sexy%20Fighting.mp3

Edit:

UPDATE:

First attempt at humanizing the bass and lead guitars complete.

Drum loop starting at 0:39 has more variation.

Brasses at 1:38 have timings fixed.

Misc small tweaks here and there.

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One of the few songs on the FF7 OST that doesn't suck, and you've managed to destroy everything that made the original decent. :(

Not feeling this song one bit. The guitar(?) sounds like complete shit. The drumbeat is annoying and doesn't keep a good beat to the song. The arrangement is missing all of the rhythmic, Iron Maiden-esque galloping elements that made the original song very fun to listen to.

WOULD NOT BUY AGAIN Z--------------!

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As is, this will not make it past the judges' panel.

I don't think his intension is for it to go to the cue list to be judged, but rather for the FF7 remix project :).

It's a very interesting concept. I hear drums and percussion that sound like something out of a John Powell or a Steve Jablonski composition.

Like it's been said, I'm not a huge fan of the electric guitar. The bass is also a little awkward for me. I loved your WIP of Mortal Kombat and I would love to see and hear you take this mix in more of that direction, even though it may be taking you back to your "oriental/taiko drum phase." I think that phase is, by far, my favorite of yours, having listened to most, if not all, of your music on your site.

Either way, good start :).

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Hmm... sorry to say but I think I like "Once Upon a Lifestream" much better. =D

The guitar patch (?) that you use sounds annoying to my ear, but then again.. it probably could be just my personal preference.

Then again, I'm biased, which in other words, if any of your pieces have Piano in them, I'll automatically fall in love with them. =D

Nonetheless, I must admit, the piece is nicely made, even if I'm not a personal fan of it. It's impressive how you're branching off into many different directions, especially considering how versatile you already are. (And by versatility, I mean, from "Play that Melody", to "Ryu on four Pianos", all the way to "I Am Ultimecia".) I'd be interested if you're able to take this genre further too, actually.

Have fun with it. ; )

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Updated to same url:

Bass guitars, lead guitars swapped out. Expression added to lead guitars. Tweaking to brasses, eq fixes to drums, some parts of the arrangement got modified.

OmegaDonut: I gotta admit that "still more sexy" sounds nicer and will be easier to remember, though I'm a little apprehensive to change the name as I kinda like the "fighting" element in there :P

RedFusion: Thanks man, I hope your taste will change along with mine to appreciate this new genre ;)

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Wow. Wow! Just, wow.

It's amazing how much a changing of a sample can do to one's liking of a piece. I guess because here it rectified / removed my gripe about the lead guitar having a really whiny sound, which was really evident at 0:24 onwards. The old guitar sounded like some weirdo electronica synthesizer, but meh, I don't think there's any need for me to critique further on that piece.

It's pretty cool to notice such a marked improvement in just a day. ^.^

Hah, the part at 0:14 reminds me of something I'd hear in a Bond soundtrack, with all that brass support. Very cool. =D

One minor thing I picked up, is that the brass at 1:38 sounded really artificial/odd in the way they're cut off (in how the note ends) - I think because the notes are held for a millisecond too short, maybe.

Although it's not entirely noticeable (but then again I'm not a brass player), and seeing as the same instruments are repeated throughout the piece, it might not be worth fretting about.

I'm very pleased to say that I'm liking it a LOT now. =)

Although on the other hand, I guess I'll still miss your obsession with all the taiko percussion. =P

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Hi Reuben. First, I'm a major fan--your "I Am Ultimecia" gives me chills every time.

That said, I'm in agreement with some of the comments above. Most prominent thing that sticks out is the guitar sequencing. It sounds very sequenced. Needs more humanizing all around, slides, held notes, some tasteful off-beat notes, improv riffs, etc. etc. The usual. You're trying to imitate a live player so the guitars need a lot more character and less looped-sequence feel to it. This applies somewhat to the bass as well, at least during the sections when it's more exposed.

The other thing that jarred me is the drum looping, for example the loop that plays around 2:20 (may be earlier as well, that was just the part that stuck out)--again, sounds very loopy. I'd suggest either keeping the pattern but playing it occasionally with a different kit, or just doing some more drum sequencing by hand (I did appreciate the hand-sequenced accents during this section, but the underlying loop got tedious). I think also during this or the other similar break would be a nice time for a brief guitar solo to distract from the fact that this section gets repeated almost (?) identically.

By the way, one of your drum loops (first heard at about 0:23) has some clipping. My speakers aren't the greatest and I didn't analyze the waveform but there's pretty noticeable distortion and flatting in the high frequencies during that loop. Dunno if you caught this or not.

Anyway! All that aside, I love this conceptually. Your backing instrumentation is excellent, and this whole track is ripe with flavor and ideas. The funk breaks are kickass. Honestly, the complaints above are not major--structurally this is quite sound, it just needs some tweaking. Humanizing the guitars and varying up the drums shouldn't be too difficult for someone of your obvious aptitude.

Can't wait to hear this polished up.

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Despite the fact I'm supposed to be in competition with you for this FF7 dealy, I'm very tempted to offer you some live guitar parts for this, because it seems to be everyone's major annoyance, and it could be very cool with a live track, if you're interested that is.

You need to say pretty quickly though, deadline is in a few days.

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But it just has too much of a James Bond feel to it.

I don't think this is a bad thing. It's a very interesting style choice.

I'm not sure if I'm a huge fan of the organ in the background on the left side. I've always been a huge fan of the fussion of rock and orchestration, so maybe instead of the organ throw in the strings that you have. That's totally a preference suggestion, so please take it with a grain of salt if you don't agree :)!!

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RedFusion: Ahh, I'll look into the brasses there.

Leah: Its hard to humanize the guitars when... I don't usually listen to guitar music besides the black mages XD. Trying really hard though, hope you can give me your feedback for the next update.

Fishy: Having your help with a live guitar sounds really cool, but I want to take this opportunity to learn to try to sequence humanized guitars... if thats even possible at all. I am grateful for the offer, though. If I fail miserably, I think it would be great to hook up for an ocremix submission.

Thin Crust: I happen to like James Bond music. :P

tweek: I'll look into alternating sections with strings. Now that you mention it, the organ does kinda jump in and TAKEOVER the strings part haha.

tekcoh_top: I'm crazy about the slap bass right now, but I think once this phase wears out and I can see things in even perspective, the bass guitar may get changed around :)

Thanks for the feedback guys, almost have an update ready.

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Hey Reu,

Love your work here, great concept and interpretation. Reminds me a lot of that one track from the Kill Bill soundtrack (have no idea what it's called).

2 main issues for me:

1. Beat. Your rock beat, esp. the snare is really dead. Esp. a song like this it needs to really come to life. Maybe find a snare with some higher freq.'s? And also I don't know if you've compressed your beats but they're really getting drowned out by everything else. It would be nice if you could open the space up with the beat, but that's a matter of taste.

2. Guitar. Also sounds dead as other people have mentioned. Once the melody gets going and other instruments are supporting it, it's not as noticeable. It's hard to give over-the-shoulder tips on this one, but my two thoughts are maybe a touch more reverb, add some distortion (and maybe fluctuate how much this is applied, use on notes for extra emphasis), and pitch bending. You're using it to good effect, I think you could make it a bit more intense to really bring out the way you're articulating the melody.

Totally different type of remix obviously but a real expert use of pitch bending to add tons of depth to the lead:

http://djpretzel.web.aplus.net/songs/Secret_of_Mana_Dueling_Consoles_OC_ReMix.mp3

Anyway, these are all minor quibbles! The arrangement is fantastic, can't wait to hear this when it's done!

yh

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Fishy: Having your help with a live guitar sounds really cool, but I want to take this opportunity to learn to try to sequence humanized guitars... if thats even possible at all. I am grateful for the offer, though. If I fail miserably, I think it would be great to hook up for an ocremix submission.

I know the feeling, when your determined to do something by yourself. Guitar is one of the hardest things to make sound human though, so good luck. After the compo if you do want guitars for it though I'd be happy to collab. :)

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ziwtra: By higher freq you mean more treble right? My isp is giving me hell trying to get that url to work. Will keep trying though.

Leah: Oh yeah, the glitchy high pitched sound at 0:23 is intentional :P.

UPDATE:

First attempt at humanizing the bass and lead guitars complete.

Drum loop starting at 0:39 has more variation.

Brasses at 1:38 have timings fixed.

Misc small tweaks here and there.

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Yeah, more treble. Also your hihats are barely audible. Seriously, do you want us to rock out or not? : )

One other thing... the least compelling part for me in terms of arrangement is the riff that happens at 0:39 (and later again). The guitars are 1) mid range and dead, 2) just holding some notes in a fairly flat way. Organ is fine. The melody here could be building but instead it's just sitting there. I imagine a guitar an octave up kind of wailing on these notes, but that's just me...

yh

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I think the guitar was closer to a human guitar in your second post. The pitch bending that you use in the beginning to humanize it sounds a bit awkward to me. Guitarist will bend the strings to get a particular sound, but not quite that much. Whenever you record a guitarist, you always tell them to attack the bends hard and aggressive so you get a clear defined sound so not to sound like they're wimpin' out.

To give you a good example of the un-natural sound I'm refering to, there is a pitch bend at :21 that strkes a nasty tone with me. I would suggest that you attmept going back to a more whole tone note change instead of the attempted slide/slur.

The other sections sound better. I can here some subtle (i.e. nice) vibratto on some of the longer notes. That helps.

I'm quite impressed with the slap bass. Kudos there :)!!

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o.o

Whatever samples or soundfonts you're using...I want them.

But other than that, this is an interesting remix you've got. Infact, I think this is the first remix of this track I've ever heard. Of course...imo, you got more of the "Solid Snake" remix, than the "Sexy" remix you wanted. That might just be me, though. (But it sounds like something that should be in an MGS game...seriously)

And really, there's nothing wrong with that. You just made something you weren't exactly expecting to. Because...well, MGS kicks ass. :3

Anyways, there's not much else I can really offer. It's a fairly good remix. ^^

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