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Rexy

*NO* Final Fantasy 6 "Kefka's Last Dance"

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Dear OCremix team, 

 
I was just emailling to submit one of my covers of the 'Dancing Mad' Theme from FFVI. 
 
Remixer name: AdLibPiano
Real name: Adeel Jafree
(no website, all content posted to my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuG6LTDriDZ2LbGJeR1wHiw?view_as=subscriber ) 
Userid: 35420 
 
Game Arranged: FFVI 
Name of Arrangement: Kefka's Last Dance
Name of Song(s) arranged: Dancing Mad (also victory theme from Final Fantasy franchise is referenced at the end) 
 
First submission so I do not think I have been added to the site
 
Link to original soundtrack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbXVNKtmWnc
 
Inspiration: Wanted to challenge myself by doing a cover of this piece as I found it quite complex both rhythmically and harmonically. As opposed to creating a remix/cover similar to the original, I adapted the main theme quite a lot to fit into a simple 4/4 time signature which I hope works well. All parts are midi files but all played in live on the piano/keyboard. 
 
I hope that's alright, look forward to hearing your thoughts/judgement, 
 
Many Thanks, 
 
Adeel Jafree (AdLibPiano)
 
Edited by Rexy

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Well, this was a surprise.  Dancing Mad, heard a dozen interpretations, yawn.  Piano-only, eh (Edit: I originally called this a "piano solo" but was called out on this actually being an arrangement for 4 pianos--which is very impressive).  But this is actually pretty cool!

There are a lot of original riffs and rejuxtapositions to bring new life into the arrangement, and the rich minor harmonies starting at 0:19 are lovely.  And I loved the twist on Fanfare at the end.  Arrangement-wise I think this is on point.

Production could use some tweaks, though.  It's quite quiet and could use some compression to raise the overall volume.  The EQ is weird--you're obviously using the full range of the piano but the bass and high frequencies just aren't coming out.  The result is an oddly thin soundscape.

There's also 8 seconds of silence at the end that can be trimmed off.

I definitely want this posted to the site, but not in its current form.  Just needs a few production tweaks.  Mostly simple changes, but large and important ones.

NO (please resubmit!)

Edited by MindWanderer

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Altering this particular section of "Dancing Mad" to common time opened up a lot of room to not only tweak the source's progression but add more to the notation within the newly created space.  The syncopated feel on this arrangement has a lot of bounce, the performances are tight and on point, and the use of the opening bassline as a recurring rhythm pattern is a fun way to layer a motif on top of the main one.  It's great stuff all around.

However, working with four piano parts playing all at once at its busiest also meant the production values should've been treated less like a single piano and more like an ensemble.  As of now, they are prone to not only note overlap but also getting buried behind other parts.  Assuming you still have your MIDI data, you could change the timbre of three of the pianos, put the lower-scale notation on a darker one and higher-scale on brighter, and give them their unique positions in the stereo field.  I'd also appreciate a small touch of room reverb, but it's best to decide the intensity when you figure out the separation first.

As it is, the arrangement is fantastic.  I, too, would like to see it on the site, but in a revised production that defines it as a four-piano arrangement rather than multiple ones hogging the same space.  Keep going with your work no matter what you decide to do, Adeel - I see potential!

NO (resubmit)

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Piano is quite dry. Straight up, the progression here is quite rigid, heavily quantised. The occasional panning to the opposite channel for some higher notes was a little out of place, and broke some of the immersion. The break at 1:35 changed things up a bit which was good for the arrangement, though the transition to it could be improved instead of simply fading out the previous section. There are a few repeated sections here, particularly when the main theme is played, which stand out more because the track is piano on its own. The rigid nature of this mix definitely harms the piece. I recommend humanising the performance, then looking at adding some subtle variances throughout so that repeated sections avoid the copy paste vibe.
    
NO

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