Rexy

*NO* Tales of Symphonia "Blizzard Love Triangle"

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Remixer and real name: Michael Hudak
Name of game: Tales of Symphonia
Song from game: "A Snow Light" (Flanoir Theme) with some very brief riffage from "It Can Waver and Fight".
Name of my arrangement: "Blizzard Love Triangle"

Original songs:
 
 
More 80s! Madonna, Kate Bush, Flock of Seagulls, and especially New Order were main inspirations for this track, and in fact the whole thing at first came out of trying to replicate Peter Hook's (New Order/Joy Division) chorus-y bass tone. The name "Blizzard Love Triangle" is a play on the New Order's "Bizarre Love Triangle", too. The name still stuck after several versions.
 
I quite like how this arrangement turned out. I love the big rock kick drum and how it juxtaposes with the glitter of many of the rest of the instruments. The Tales of Symphonia OST has a LOT of distant-sounding bells and thin, airy synths, and really just a ton of reverb in general, which reflects the game's thematic elements of angels, holiness, and, uhmm, church-themed stuff. There's a side plot about a pope. There are lots of abbeys. Everything is a little bit...like a prayer... :3
 
There's a little metal break from "It Can Waver and Fight", which won't be recognizable to anyone but to ToS music fans, I think. Many of them are apparently also metalheads (going off of how many metal remixes there are from this game), so maybe this is a little bit of (additional) fanservice? 
 
Thank you, as usual, for your very useful evaluations!
Edited by Rexy

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I started off liking this, it's an original approach that I wasn't expecting.  However, the vanilla synths, repetitive beat, and busy sections with conflicting notes bring it down.  It's also mastered pretty quietly.

The overall structure and approach are neat, but it needs some more variation, some more attention to the sound design, and a pass for clashing notes, especially involving notes with long tails, like those chimes.

NO

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as expected there's some fun sound design here! the bells, kick, bass, and 'glitter' all were immediate reminders of the 80s, so that's fun. i was real surprised though that there's essentially nothing in the lower mids for most of the track. you've got the bass, and then the next thing up is a shimmery pad that's only there sometimes. it leaves the soundscape feeling real hollow and shallow. when you got to 1:52 there finally was something in that space. i liked the evolving concept but it felt really washed out since everything was just ringing and ringing and conflicting against itself. then 2:45 happened and i laughed out loud because it was so randomly placed compared to other stuff around it. i 100% agree that something to mix it up was needed there but it needs to be more than ten seconds of rawk =D

i think overall i agree with MW's criticisms - it sounds the same the whole 4+ minutes, with a similar beat (there's some hats and a ride used but overall it's boom boom tiss for most of the time) throughout and some fun synths that are fun initially and tiresome after a few minutes. i'd love to hear more variety in this, especially given how much you like to play with creative synth choices.

 

 

NO

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I'm surprised you mentioned New Order because this minimalist setup is making me think more in the lines of Joy Division myself.   It's also very odd to hear just drums, bass, melodies, and a load of different countermelodies peaking in as they see fit.  As propetik pointed out, there's a gap in the low-mids to fit something in like a set of keys or a lower pad, so feel free to experiment with adding other parts.  I also believe the bass is lacking a bottom, so consider adding a quieter sub-bass layer transposed down an octave as well.

I'm also surprised neither of my fellow judges touched upon the arrangement - because it feels liberal.  I appreciate your intention to mold the melodies into the genre adaptation, but some sections sound less like the source than others.  Here's what I sensed:

0:30-0:34 / 0:52-0:56 / 1:47-1:51 / 3:29-3:33 / 3:40-3:44 / 3:51-3:55 / 4:02-4:06 - one reference of the A melody within the entire main hook
0:57-1:08 - playing around with the B melody
1:20-1:31 - a different way of playing around with the B melody
1:53-2:37 - clear use of the C melody
2:44-2:50 - brief use of "It Can Waiver and Fight"

That's exactly 100 seconds of source in a 4-minute song, so by that alone, 40% evident source use is not enough.  The autopilot nature is already an issue, especially with the VGM-free hooks (0:13, 0:35, 1:31, 2:50) sounding near-identical to each other.  Consider going back into the hooks and seeing what you can do not only to add more of the source melodies but also to give the hooks something to stick out from the others.  One could have a unique countermelody; another could have added grace notes into a more refined melody variation; a third could have the drums brought into half-time all of a sudden.  These are just silly ideas from my head - the world is your oyster with these, so feel free to experiment with those parts.

It's a bold attempt with distinct inspirations, but the empty sound design, autopilot nature and lack of source all hurt it right now, so I can't pass it as it is.  It'll be nice to hear another version that adds more parts into the sub-bass and low-mids, varies the hooks, and above all adds more evident BGM use.  I hope you get the chance to revise it in the future.

NO (resubmit)

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