*NO* Mega Man 5 "Falling Up"

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  • Name of game arranged: Mega Man 5
  • Name of arrangement: Falling Up
  • Name of individual song arranged: Gravity Man
  • originally composed by Mari Yamaguchi ("Mari") 
    from the Nintendo Capcom release Mega Man 5 (1992)
  • Link to the original soundtrack:
  • Your own comments about the mix:
    I've always loved the Gravity Man stage song; a standout track from the entire NES series.  I was simultaneously looking forward to this song and dreading it, both because of the extremely complex and awesome-sounding melodies.  I'm very happy with the result.
    Neil deGrasse Tyson unwittingly makes a cameo attempting to define what gravity "is"...
Thank you for your consideration - Kevin Zeiger
Edited by prophetik music

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The MM5 OST is on the top 3 for me when it comes to classic mega man games, unpopular opinion maybe but yeah.

I think this arrangement is a pretty simple take, and it needs more work to make it on the site.  The beat is lacking punch, and the instruments as a whole feel buried in the mix somehow.  The mix is lacking a bit of brightness too.  There are some really fun bits here, I love the 3:36 section, very inventive change to the original that helps break things up and is kinda hype, but sadly the instrumentation is not helping it have the punch it really should have.  Overall the sounds feel a bit too vanilla.

The arrangement is not too expansive, and the added pad lines towards the end sound dissonant against the original arrangement in the foreground.  I think you have good ideas here but you need to up your production and arrangement game.  This was fun, but it's not quite there for OCR.  I see potential though.


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The source is present in spades.  I can respect the idea to fragment it down into the bare bones to the point that the first repetition didn't even have the A section's melody, then building the blocks back in for a much more fleshed out 2nd variation with new countermelody writing.  I'm in favor of keeping the Tyson voice clip, too - its inclusion broke up the C section in anticipation of its melody line not long after.

Even then, there could've been an excellent opportunity to transform the bass or melody lines during said second repetition.  Removal or addition of notes, changing the timings, or even some playful incorporation of other Mega Man tunes are instant ideas that popped up in my head.  Consider experimenting with either these or any other theory-based ideas you can think of, and see what comes out of it.  

Relating to Sir Nuts's concern about dissonance - technically that last countermelody is in key. Still, the arpeggio at 5:14 can do with a complete chord change to match that of the track at the time (track's G# major to arpeggio's C# major) and make it sound less like a note salad.

Now, production. A lot of the mellower synths and pads showed signs of brilliance among the sound design, but other than that, it's not a very clear mix.  The balance is low-to-low-mid heavy, with too many lower frequencies across your instrumentation overlapping each other.  Consider adding more prominence to the higher parts of the EQ spectrum for your leads, while making a low EQ cut to save redundancy and add clarity to your bass and rhythm parts.

In addition, the percussion can not only benefit with EQ tweaks across the different parts of the kit, but also can get layered with different textures to add more of a defining sound.  Sir Nuts brought up this beat lacking punch, so one such example to improve on it is to overlay your snare with one that has more snap to it, complimenting your choice of a long clap.

To summarize, while I did offer a fair chunk of critique, I still appreciate your idea in a vacuum.  But if this is to get posted on OCR, I hope it'll be another version that further explores the source material and has a much cleaner production.  Keep at it, Kevin.

NO (resubmit)

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fun source. i agree that it's present throughout, and also agree that there's a lot more which could have been done with it for most of this track. it's essentially a lot of recap of the original with some more creative sections near the end (which are much needed by that point).

i'll echo nuts and say that most of the sound design is either a bit vanilla or just plain sounds not great in the mix. some examples are:

  • that saw pad at 1:31, which is so loud it crushes everything else while simultaneously not sounding like anything
  • the distorted clap at 2:02, which sounds really dull and then persists for the next several minutes
  • the distorted strings at 2:27, which are a cool idea but just are too grating to be real leads without being distracting (the hard panning for a melodic line is a 100% no-no as well)
  • the left-ear nails-on-chalkboard at 3:23 is...nails on a chalkboard. just so unpleasant.

there's more but that's a good representative sampling of at least the first few major sections. 

tyson's inclusion is a fun break for sure. i liked the funky feel of this section too (although still just couldn't stand those highly-distorted melodic synths), and it was a nice way to build for the melodic recap at 4:05. 

as a whole, the track feels really low/mid heavy, and near the end continues to just get louder and less balanced until 5:13 or so. some extra attention to mastering throughout would balanced the volume so that so much of the track isn't much quieter than the ending. some additional attention to the synth choices would also do wonders.




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