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*NO* Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker "Sacred Grotto"

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  • 1 month later...

about 6db headroom.

really ethereal source. there's a fairly basic motif that shows up a lot (5 b7 1) with a third tacked on occasionally. i'm going to use that as my primary source material here because much of this is noodling around that, and there's not a true melody here. based on that, there's enough source here that the original is recognizable. a few of the OST's noodles show up here as well without being directly copied from the sound of it.

the fakeness of the choir jumped out at me right off the bat. i like what it's saying but it just doesn't sound great how it's being used. that said, i like the combination of pads, EP, and windchime-like sfx for the opening feel of the track. there's a clear change at 1:54, where the brighter EP comes in. it goes to more of a synth-string pad throughout while staying very textural. it continues to noodle for another minute or so and then hits a final pad fade that takes nearly 30 seconds. overall, it's a pretty piece of music, and i personally like this kind of timbral arrangement where it's more about the colors used than what's being said.

i thought about this one a long time and ultimately came back to this part of the submission standards.


Your arrangement must be substantial and original.

  • Submissions must be different enough from the source material to clearly illustrate the contributions, modifications, and enhancements you have made. Acceptable arrangement often involves more than one of the following techniques:
  • Modifying the genre, chord progression, instrumentation, rhythms, dynamics, tempo, or overall composition of the source material
  • Adding original solos, transitions, harmonies, counter-melodies, lyrics, or vocals to the source material

underlined emphasis mine.

ultimately, looking at this list, i realized that i couldn't pass this as it's just that repeated motivic noodling (which is beautifully rendered and nice to listen to) over a straight pad the entire track. the pad shifts slightly here and there, and it brings in new timbres occasionally, but there's essentially no compositional techniques used here. this is, at its most basic level, a cover with a bit more attention paid to the melodic line. there's no change in what carries the melody, no changes to chords (if anything they're simpler than they are in the original), the same tempo, the same key even. even the use of pads to fill the space between the minimal melodic content is the same.

as i said before, it's a lovely adaptation to listen to. it's well-volumized, the choir works after the initial jarring entrances, the use of synth-string pads is nice to listen to, and i liked the use of electronics alongside more traditional instrumentation. i do not feel however that it reflects the level of arrangement that we require for it to have a place here. it needs more to recommend it and make it unique from the original.




Edited by prophetik music
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I've been thinking about this one for a long time as well, for exactly the same concern proph had.  There are some extra bells and whistles here--literally bells in some cases--but adding chimes and a vox pad don't substantially change the nature of the arrangement.  It's very pretty, but is it transformative?  I'm hard-pressed to argue that it is.  The production is one of Rebecca's best but it's just too conservative.

NO (borderline)

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  • MindWanderer changed the title to 2019/04/30 - (2N) Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker "Sacred Grotto"
  • 2 months later...

Behind the wandering source, there is a steady melodic loop with rubato time throughout, so I can understand why prophetik decided to break down the source into a singular set of notes.  But by looking at the melodic pattern as a whole, it boils down to two variations of that melody, with timbral, timing and harmony changes.  However, the backing stream is a constant stream of pads and bells, which is okay for new age - but ultimately, the pairing of a stagnant backing track and minimal interpretation means there should be more to it.  You could add a development section in the middle, add some surprise textures whenever you see fit, experiment with countermelodies, change the backing tones for the second variation entirely - quite a few ideas to pull off while keeping to the constraints of the genre.

The mixdown has a couple of minor critiques, but nothing as drastic as the arrangement.  The balance is excellent, nothing is poking out unintentionally, and I didn't mind the amount of headroom as it's appropriate for the gentle nature of this arrangement.   You also did well with backing your choir in the first half with a Rhodes piano, as the articulations otherwise are stiff, with constant attacks and sustain, and hardly any release.  A real choir would have variety with how they start singing and are more careful with letting notes finish.  Otherwise, the choice of pads, bells and effects is lovely to take in for the genre's standards and work effectively despite the issues with the stagnant writing.

This submission is also one that I had looked back and forth on - one of your better productions, and one with some subtle variations on the melody line.  Ultimately, the stale accompaniment contributed to an underdeveloped arrangement overall, which is why I can't pass it as it is.  If you ever get the chance to add more substance to it, it'll be nice to hear the result.  Whatever happens, don't stop making tracks of this nature - it fits your skillset like a glove.


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  • Rexy changed the title to *NO* Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker "Sacred Grotto"
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