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Rexy

*NO* Diddy Kong Racing "Starlit Darkmoon"

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Submission Information
  • Name of game arranged: Diddy Kong Racing
  • Name of arrangement: Starlit Darkmoon
  • Name of individual song arranged: Darkmoon Caverns
  • Your own comments about the mix, for example the inspiration behind it, how it was made, etc.

    As with most of my remixes, i tried to stay close to the original idea and expand upon it. My interpretation of the original song is that it highlights the serenity and loneliness of being on the dark side of the moon and only having the starry night sky as a source of light, while also still delivering the "drive" of a racing game ost.
    The track is written entirely with VST-instruments and WAV-soundfiles (the latter only used for sfx).
    I approached this by mixing as bass heavy rhythm guitar and a juicy bass, in reference to the "darkmoon" in the title aswell as to the racing game aspect of the song, with a grand piano that is playing in a high octave to emulate the glitter and shine of the stars, in reference to the "starlit" in the title. A lot of reverb was added to the piano to both emulate the vastness of space, aswell as the natural reverb of caverns. The "Starlit"-aspect is further supported by the ambient sfx that appears from time to time, aswell as the bright synthesizer bits and string ensemble, to give it more of a "spacy" feel. Furthermore a tenor sax plays the second lead to balance out the high pitch of the piano.
    The most notable changes from the original are the addition of a new part, that acts as kind of a pre-chorus to the B-Part of the original track, aswell as the structure of the track, deviding it into 3 distinct variations, one representing each lap.
    The newly added part acts as a centerpiece and is supposed to really deliver on the core ideas of the remix. If you are familiar with the original game, I like to think of this part as the section of the track where you boost through the two loops at max. speed. I apporached this by having the piano play arpeggios in an ascending manner to give it the maximum velocity feel, aswell as adding ambient sfx and synthetic sounds to give the listener a feeling of open space in contrast to the more compact A-Part, as if you would leave the caverns and now find yourself below the night sky.
    The 3 lap structure is concieved to give the remix a climax. The first lap acts to introduce all instruments, the general feel and the newly added part. The second lap has a pianissimo part with the sax taking over the lead in order to break the flow up a bit and to contrast the fortissimo of the final lap. The final lap is where the remix recieves it's resolve, accentuated by the key- and tempochange. The piano is now only loosely playing the original melody and the B-Part is an extended piano solo.
    All in all I think that this remix, while having major variations, is still faithful to the orginal track.

    Im looking forward to your feedback!
    Kind regards, Gian-Luca
     

 

Edited by Rexy

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It's conservative melodically, but the 3-lap format works well to hold interest and differentiate itself from the original.  It's a creative approach that I think worked out.

However, there are some production issues that need to be addressed.  It's far too quiet overall; even though there's little headroom, there's also no compression to speak of.  The instrumentation is extremely mechanical, with every note playing at the same velocity and with rigid timing.  The sax in particular is really uncanny.

Also, there's no ending whatsoever, it just ends.  Please add one.

I like this a lot as a start.  It's clear and original, a lot better than many of the first submissions that we get.  None of the issues I mentioned should be tremendous hurdles, so please give this a bit more love and send it back to us.

NO (resubmit)

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Sequencing feels very robotic, which is bad if you're using these instruments.  The guitar in particular sounds very artificial in the way it's being played and also the sample itself, while the sax is not trying to hide it's artificial nature at all.  One good thing I can say about the sound design/palette here is that I did like the background pads and overall ambiance.  The mix seems clean enough for me.

There are other sequencing oddities, like how at 2:14 the drums seem to be in a whole different groove than the rest of the track.

Arrangement-wise I found the format a bit odd as well, it's creative but the final "lap" seems all over the place arrangement-wise.  It tries to give that feeling of urgency of a final lap but I don't think it's quite there in the energy levels needed for that.  The ending is just not good.

I don't think the overall quality is there with this one.

NO

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Good selection of instruments here, creating a chill atmosphere. You take us through a good number of sections, and transition between these quite well. There are some problems with some of the cohesion between instruments, like they're doing their own thing and eventually catch back up with each other... perhaps there's different amounts of swing at play at an attempt to increase realism, but it does detract from the presentation. Sound wise, I thought the piano was ok, however some of the brass was weak, and the guitar I thought was a bit noodly and broke the rhythm of the other parts. Things finish off pretty abruptly. I think there are some good ideas here, but the execution needs some work. Sequencing needs some fixed to avoid the perceivable out of time issues that are present — humanisation can be achieved while still allowing each instrument to follow the others more closely. I'd also agree with the others that this needs some more mastering done — certainly don't crush it down, but you could do with some compression and a boost to overall volume. Please revisit this for us.

NO

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