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OCR04140 - *YES* God of War (PS4) "War Never Changes" *RESUB*

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Original Decision

ReMixer Name: Aesaire
Real Name: Li-Wen Oh
User ID: 34323

Game Arranged: God of War (2018)
Name of Arrangement: War Never Changes
Name of Individual Song Arranged: God of War
Original Composer: Bear McCreary
Link to Original Soundtrack:
Thanks for the feedback, was helpful. Removed the layers of white noise that were obscuring the mix. Quite a few of the harsher dubstep growls were removed in the process as they were the main contributors. Redesigned some of the synths to with vocal filters as replacements. Ended up veering more towards the synthesizer orchestra in the end. Arrangement is mostly the same, there are some minor changes to fill up some extra space in the mix.
The original goal was to create a modern God of War theme in the style of electronic music. All instruments and sounds, except the drum samples and some of the sound effects, were digitally synthesized an modeled to resemble the characteristics of physical instruments in an orchestra. Envelopes were shaped to mimic the build up of tension and release when played by real musicians.
The first version included layers of dubstep growls to replace the choir from the original. This version was rejected as the layers of white noise were quite overwhelming.
The current version removes a few of the harsher dubstep growls as they were the main contributors to the white noise. Redesigned some of the synths with vocal filters as replacements to mimic the choir, though they're a lot more subtle. Arrangement is mostly the same, there are some minor changes to fill up some extra space in the mix.
Hope you guys like it.
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I don't remember exactly what white noise layers were in the last submission, but this one opens up with a really grating bitcrushed static sweep.  It sounds terrible, frankly.  Reviewing the comments from the previous submission, I still agree with all of it.  The white noise is too loud, and your leads are frequently covered up by other layers, especially in the section LionTamer mentioned.

I'm definitely picking up what you're putting down--a sort of Daft Punk take, which is very cool--but the production issues from before still stand.

NO (resubmit)

Edited by MindWanderer
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  • MindWanderer changed the title to 2019/08/31 - (1N) God of War (PS4) "War Never Changes"
  • 2 weeks later...

what an interesting take on it. it actually sounds pretty good right off the bat too. it's definitely immediately recognizable and the synthesis done shows a ton of patience and care taken to simulate traditional dynamics. the section breaks between the throbbing bass and the smoother orchestral parts are great as well and really mix it up. the ending - simulating open strings on a cello - is a real cool stylistic adaptation and does a good job as punctuation at the end.

i can hear some of the white noise that MW is not digging, but i actually don't mind it at all - it gives it a body that i think it wouldn't have if there wasn't anything in that range. i also didn't think the leads were too covered up - they're pretty noticeable every time they're going. there's one or two points where you could say they're quieter than they could be but as a whole i thought it sounded real nice.

if there's a complaint here at all, it's that the arrangement is really conservative, but i think there's enough to make it by. i fully expected you to blow the doors off with some huge chorus at the end but it just stayed as this intense, brooding, driving feel, which is real fun considering how kratos is in this game compared to past games in the series.

i feel like this is a pretty evocative synthesized version of the original. i like it.




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  • Chimpazilla changed the title to 2019/08/31 - (2Y/1N) God of War (PS4) "War Never Changes"

I rejected it last time based on its mixdown.  Since the arrangement has stayed as it is, it makes sense for me to quote what I said about that.


This idea sounds neat - a digitized orchestra makes me think this is what Wendy Carlos would do if born 50 years too late!  It follows the structure of the source up until 2:38, where it decides to do one last build based around the central three-note motif.  Surrounding all this, the choice of synth textures and percussive sounds are so distinct and compliment the track's vision.

The mixdown is also a vast improvement.  The airy white noise has gone, any distortion left lingering is a subtle use of effects, and the palette is much more defined - I can tell what each synth is doing now.  If there's one irk I have, it's that I would've liked a volume boost for your leads in the final third - but considering the very nature of the track, I don't consider it as a dealbreaker.

Nevertheless, I think it's good to go for the front page - so glad you decided to go over your feedback and workshop it some more.  I'm excited to see what you'll bring in future subs!


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  • Rexy changed the title to 2019/08/31 - (3Y/1N) God of War (PS4) "War Never Changes"
  • 1 month later...

In the opening, the melody was getting lost in the overall sound until :33, but we'll see what happens later on. I'm about 1:50 in, and I'm never hearing that turn where the melody cuts through more; I don't think it's just a personal taste thing, I believe the lead/melody should be more upfront to help anchor and direct the track, and that's really my only issue with it, along the lines of what MindWanderer's mentioned.

Right now, the arrangement remains strong and creative, but the mixing of the parts leaves this arrangement feeling relatively directionless and ends up undermining the intended dynamics of the piece. No hate, but I thought I'd be swooping in for a quick close-out of this one, but I'm not there yet. Still very promising and we'll see how the rest of the vote goes.

Definitely don't be discouraged if this doesn't make it yet, Li-Wen; the writing doesn't need to change, but the mixing could use another pass.

NO (resubmit)

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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2019/08/31 - (3Y/2N) God of War (PS4) "War Never Changes"
  • 3 weeks later...

I'm coming into this without having heard the original submission, but I really like what I'm hearing! Texturally, there is so much going, it was hard to take it in on just one listen. After a few runs through, however, I really feel like I understood what you were going for. The fusion of organic instrumentation, aggressive synths, and even some instruments that toe the line between the two make for a one-of-a-kind sound palette that fits perfectly with this less-structured, brooding arrangement. I could see being thrown off by the apparent lack of defined structure with discrete buildups and drop-offs, and I understand how other judges thought the mixing may have contributed to this effect, but it felt nuanced and ultimately made this feel far more cinematic. It felt nebulous to a certain extent, but that came across as a feature, not a bug.

I'm fully on board with this! Excellent work.


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  • Emunator changed the title to 2019/08/31 - (4Y/2N) God of War (PS4) "War Never Changes"
  • 2 months later...

You have built an interesting soundscape here, mixing natural and synth tones together. Mixing wise there are some issues with clarity, particularly when you have several layers of various bit-crushing/distortion overlaid with each other. There is a flabby wobble to the distorted snare that reveals there's a bit too much crushing going on there. These kinds of issues are common for distorted material, it can be tough to balance at times. I feel counter EQ'ing key frequencies would've added some much needed separation to parts. The progression of the arrangement is quite straight forward, and doesn't deviate a whole lot from the original material. I think it could've been taken further. There are some good ideas here and I appreciate what you're going for in this style. Balancing the issues stated with this being a resub, I think this can scrape by as passable. I would urge you to push for more clarity in future though.

YES (borderline)

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  • Liontamer changed the title to OCR04140 - *YES* God of War (PS4) "War Never Changes"
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