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*NO* Sonic & Knuckles "High Voltage"


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Contact Information:

ReMixer Name: Seth Skoda
Website: I don't have one, but I host my original content and VGM remixes here - https://skoda.newgrounds.com - add /audio to the URL to see all of my available audio submissions
User ID: 36199
Submission Information:
Game Arranged: Sonic & Knuckles (SEGA Genesis)
Name of Arrangement: High Voltage
Name of Individual Song Arranged: Flying Battery Zone Act 2
Additional Information for this game is already available on ocremix.org
Link to Original (Source Material):
My comments:
Well, this spawned from a similar remix made years ago (a trap remix of the Death Egg Zone music from Sonic & Knuckles) as a joke with a friend. He said that it would be funny if someone were to rap on the original theme, so I made it into a hip-hop instrumental piece just hit shits and giggles. I posted it on Newgrounds (yes, that site is still around) Audio Portal because I thought, "hey, this kinda sounds good!" This was back in 2016 (and here it is: https://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/712132 ). Recently, Tom Fulp, the owner of the site, stumbled across it and wrote a review (which you can see if you click the link). He liked it (hooray!). I later not only discovered it in his favorites, but it turns out that he put it on the front page of the site for a while! Like, I've never experienced that before. It was a good feeling and made me want to make more quality material to upload. And since he liked it so much with not a whole lot of effort on my part, I figured that I could really blow him out of the water with an even better piece. A few nights ago, I finally got around to working on another Sonic remix. Hence this Flying Battery remix was born.
You might want to know what I've used, considering that this is my first submission to OC ReMix.
First off, my DAW is Mixcraft, version 7.7 (32-bit) Build 316. I initially chose this software at version 4 due to the price point being within my budget (only $65!), plus the ease of use (being a GarageBand ripoff).
The VSTs I name in this first list are virtual instruments (starred names are VSTs packaged with Mixcraft):
-YM2612 (a lot of it)
-Neochip v1.0
-Nightlife by Acoustica
-Omni Sampler*
-Alpha Sampler*
-808/909 drum kit*
Effects VSTs:
-Classic Phaser*
-Acoustica EQ*
-Classic Reverb*
-Classic Master Limiter*
-Classic Delay*
-Classic Chorus*
-Classic EQ
-mda Stereo Simulator
-Broadcast Multiband Compressor
Except for the above mentioned 808/909 drum kit, which is what I used for the toms, all of the percussion is from the Trapstep Sample packs you can easily find for free download with a Google search.
I made this kinda from scratch. I had a midi sequence opened in one window, the project file of a previous remix of the Flying Battery Zone music in a second window (specifically, this: https://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/714068 ), and the project resulting in this arrangement in the third Mixcraft window. I used parts from the other two windows (even though I can't copy and paste between windows) and added in some new stuff as well. I tried to stick close to the source material with the melody and backing, but I also made a huge effort to throw in all kinds of extra stuff to not only make it my own, but add a little complexity and a lot of atmosphere to the piece as a whole. I hope that even if this doesn't make it to the site, you still find it pleasing to the ears.
Edited by Emunator
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There are some interesting ideas here, and it's a nice groove, but it's exceptionally static.  The percussion and arp are nearly unchanged for the entire duration, and each section loops about twice as many times as they need to.  This is nearly six minutes' worth of about 2 minutes' worth of ideas.  And then it fades out, too.

There are also several clashing notes, so watch your harmonies.

You have the right general idea, with the transformation of the melody and the changes in lead textures.  I've heard worse debut efforts, so keep working at it!  But this isn't there yet.


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  • MindWanderer changed the title to 2019/08/28 - (1N) Sonic & Knuckles "High Voltage"
  • 2 months later...

The source dominance checks out, alongside the genre adaptation - an appropriate choice of backing instrumentation and changed chord treatment for the source's A section.   While I appreciate what you did there, the static delivery fell flat, with multiple blocks of 16 bars having only eight bars mirrored with very little done on the last bar to transition out.  2:57 is considered extremely problematic, with the only difference between that block and at 3:26 being the different melody done.  A change-up in the accompaniment at 3:55 can also add a more distinctive sound, rather than a carbon copy of 1:58-2:57.  See if you can find some ways to make those areas sound more engaging.

And as MW also pointed out, look out for the writing on your synth harmonies and arpeggios.  Their current writing tends to cause dissonance, particularly on every 3rd, 7th, 11th, and 15th bars of each block.  See if you can go back there, think of what chord you wanted in the first place, whether it be F major or an E major or something different - then adapt the writing to fit around it.

The mixdown also has a couple of rough spots.  The instrumentation themselves are reasonably balanced for the most part, but I would've liked to have heard the volume brought down on the hi-hats.  They've got the high frequencies covered, and they didn't need to be that intense in the mix.  Additionally, the sub frequencies have so much power a subwoofer would mask the entire mix - so consider putting a high-pass EQ on your master chain to reign them in.

Nevertheless, it's not bad for your first submission - and to hear you've made the transition after approval from Newgrounds staff is inspiring.  But if we're to see it get posted on OCR, it'll have to be with another version that has more variance in the backing, the problematic dissonance cleaned up, and another pass on the mixdown.  Keep your head up, and I hope you'll return to the inbox soon.

NO (resubmit)

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  • Rexy changed the title to 2019/08/28 - (2N) Sonic & Knuckles "High Voltage"

I have to agree with the others that this arrangement has been stretched about twice as long as it needs to be, considering the lack of variation. Once the 1 minute mark hits, there is no variation in energy levels - the track rides the same 808/hi-hat/snare loop for the next 4 and a half minutes, which is particularly egregious when the same 1/16th note hi-hat pattern plays almost the entire time. There's a few points where you add some light fills, but there's so much more that you could do to add excitement to the drums here. Arrangement-wise, this mix is begging for a breakdown to give it some room to breathe. On the flipside, when you hit the chorus, your melodies are more energetic but the production remains exactly the same for that section. It's like the drum track is in its own lane and doesn't rise and fall in tandem with the actual arrangement. 

I would also strongly recommend looking at your harmonies and remove some of that unintentional dissonance that other judges have pointed out. 

I enjoy the mix of chill synth instrumentation in a modern trap arrangement. It evokes a classic OCR electronica feeling, but modernized. You're off to a great start here, but more attention needs to be paid to fleshing out your arrangement and making sure that it stays fresh the whole time.

Good luck! :)


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  • Emunator changed the title to *NO* Sonic & Knuckles "High Voltage"
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