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Rexy

*NO* Phantasy Star Online "Back Home"

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Contact Information:

ReMixer Name: Dave Clumsy
Real Name: David Klumbies
Email Address: 
UserID: 35960


Submission Information:

Name of Game: Phantasy Star Online
Name of Arrangement: Back Home
Name of Song: Jungle - A Lush Load

Comment: 
I produced this remake on commission, with mind to attempt submission to ocremix.org. It was requested to be produce in the genre of Chillstep, but beyond that I was given free reign. I chose to keep the arrangement close to the original, while renewing the instruments, refining the harmony and increasing the tempo to fit the genre norm. What I changed about the original was either for those purposes, or to add depth to the track's progression.
 The main point of focus was the bass, for which I used a number of production techniques and in total 9 layers of automation to give it variation, but still soft enough so as to not overshadow the rest of the instruments. 
 

 

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I can feel the intense power of your bass and how you chose to make it the most prominent instrument.  The automation gave it just enough wobbles to freely move while not breaking the mood, and the amount of detail on the sub-frequencies justifies its power in the mix.

However, the mixing here not only placed other necessary instruments like your percussion and legato synth too far back - but also lacks punch and sharpness as a whole.  For your bass kick, consider somewhere in your bass to make EQ cuts and let it push through, or even applying a subtle side-chain.  For the other instruments, see which, if any, would benefit more from a mid-high or high EQ tweak.

As for the arrangement, I can hear the source well even through your clear modifications to better fit this genre of music.  But both variations are identical, with no real change other than how the start of the loop shapes itself (0:00, 1:59).  I understand why you did this - you wanted to match the client's specifications, and I can relate as someone who's done freelance work in the past.  But the OCR standards have a higher bar for interpretation than just changing the genre of a piece of BGM.  

Here are some examples of change if you ever feel like going back to it.  Consider altering the accompaniment textures completely, writing new original lines over the top, putting some of the melodic ideas on top of a different set of accompaniment, or even incorporating fragments of other Phantasy Star Online music cues - and these are just examples.

Nevertheless, as a Sega nerd, I respect what you've done, and I hope your client was pleased with the result.  For OCR, the lack of development on the arrangement and unbalanced mixing are the reasons why I can't see this getting posted in its current form.  I hope you'll submit again in the future, whether you end up revising this or making new material from what you've learned.

NO

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At first I was in disagreement with Rexy--the percussion sounded a bit distant but serviceable--but then that droning bass synth got louder, and yeah, it's a problem.  It covers a lot of the spectrum and squashes pretty much everything else.  It's a lovely, warm, rich sound, but it's too much of a good thing.

And the fact that the arrangement consists of two nearly-identical loops is also a dealbreaker.  This might just be acceptable if you just cut it after the first loop, as it would still be more than 2 minutes long.  But adding a bridge or breakdown (ideally without that bass pad) and then a second half that mixes it up would be even better.

NO (resubmit)

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Agreed with the others that the arrangement, while enjoyable, is too conservative. I love the source tune, but the arrangement here didn't do enough to distinguish itself from the original, IMO. The claps sounded super flimsy and stapled underneath the rest of the music with no synergy. It's a solid conservative cover, but there needs to be more personalization to the arrangement, whether it's interpreting the melody, changing the textures more, or other writing and production techniques to differentiate the presentation even further. I liked the strings at 4:16 as an idea, although that was so brief at the end. On the production side, the mixing was serviceable, but could have been cleaner/sharper; nothing a more interpretive arrangement couldn't have overcome though. Can't go wrong with this source tune, and again, this was an enjoyable listen, Dave, we just need more elements of interpretation/arrangement for the Submission Standards here. I hope we hear from you again, even if it isn't a resubmission of this piece, because you're already putting together solid-sounding work.

NO (resubmit)

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