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*NO* Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 3 "Dr. Robotnik's Revenge"


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Dear OC Remix,
Please see details below regarding my submission: Dr Robotnik’s Revenge, links to composition are at the bottom.

Contact Information

Submission Information

  • Name of game(s) arranged:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 1 (Sega Genesis)
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sega Genesis)
  • Name of arrangement: Dr Robotnik’s Revenge
  • Name of individual song(s) arranged:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 1 – Boss Theme
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 3 – Boss Theme
  • Additional information about game including composer, system, etc:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 1 – Sega Genesis – original composer - Masato Nakamura
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 3 – Sega Genesis – original composer - Brad Buxer
  • Link to the original soundtrack:
     
  • Your own comments about the mix, for example the inspiration behind it, how it was made, etc.
    • I love the ominous feeling of the Sonic 1 boss theme – it’s so menacing and badass – which really lends itself to slow, lumbering, downtuned heavy metal. It really is Robotnik’s theme in my opinion.
      By contrast, the Sonic 3 theme is great in a different way – it’s high energy, fast, and has a really heroic feel to it – this theme belongs to Sonic and it spells Sonic’s triumph more so than Robotnik’s fury.
      I thought it would be cool to contrast them in the same composition and I think it works well. I titled the track “Dr Robotnik’s Revenge’ when I decided to repeat the Sonic 1 boss theme in the third and final part.

      Composed using Abelton Live 9 with Superior Drummer 2.0 (Metal Foundry) and various other free VSTs. The project took about a week to compose, mix, and master. I play guitars and synthesize all other instruments.
      I hope you enjoy.

       

Thank you for considering my submission.

Kind regards,

Andy Bryer (Pyrus)

Edited by Rexy
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  • 1 month later...

Pretty intense genre adaptation. The mixing's was rougher/muddier than it should have been and lacked highs, but I can make out the part-writing reasonably enough. The orchestration sounded pretty fake, but was limited in use, plus couching it more in the background mitigated the lack of realism of the samples.

Each theme had a creative treatment where you'd get one straightforward melodically conservative (yet expansive) rendition of the theme followed by some original writing over the foundation of the theme, so the interpretation was there.

Total non-transition at 1:09 into the Sonic 3 boss theme, which was disappointing and definitely dinged this, but you had a better transition at 3:24 back into the Sonic 1 boss theme, which at least sounded more logical and flowed better.

The strong performances carry this over the line even though that first theme transition at 1:09 will always be a sore spot and could easily be tweaked to flow better. Would love a revision if possible. Nonetheless, count it, Andy.

YES

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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2019/10/19 - (1Y) Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 3 "Dr. Robotnik's Revenge"
  • 3 weeks later...

I side with Larry regarding the arrangement.  It's straightforward and moves from one source to the other (and back again) with non-existent transitions (though the second one was better in terms of dynamics), but the solo writing and texture changeups as time went on more than made up for it.  Sonic 1 boss had different variations and solo writing on both sides, so an excellent way to break away from autopilot while keeping with similar ideas.  The Sonic 3 boss section also had some enlightening harmony choices at 1:48, starting with separation by thirds and then by sixths - the latter being especially unusual for music writing.  2:46 also had the smart idea of putting the first two bars of its A section over the chord structure for B, so it's great to hear Andy knew the source well enough to scramble it around!

Now, hold on a moment regarding the production values, though.  Firstly, I'd have to disagree with Larry regarding the mixdown.  It's mainly even across the board save for a touch less low-mids than I usually expect - but the amount of bass is unusually high for metal.  That's not a dealbreaker as I'm at least able to hear everything, but it will send subwoofers into a frenzy.  For the most part, the balance is robust, emphasizing the right instruments in the right places.  However, the Sonic 1 boss bookends both have some uneasy distorted crackles throughout, and I suspect they weren't supposed to be in the mix from the beginning.  These crackles account for less than half of the run-time, and with a small amount of headroom, it's hard to tell their point of origin - and all I know is that it's not from clipping.

I want to like this track - honestly, I do.  It's a great genre adaptation with some tight performance chops all around.  But the distortion in the bookends felt too distracting for me to give it full approval just yet.  This issue is something that I hope Andy can take a small amount of time out to remedy - and only then would I feel confident enough to see it get posted.

[EDIT: 2020/12/11: Having read the other judges' feedback, I took a further listen and analysis, and realized I went too easy on the mastering.  The heaviness of the bass actually held back the impact of the drum kit, the scooped out high frequencies cut out any presence on your lead guitar and drums' overhead, and the amount of over-compression has led to a stuffy mix.  That said, this track definitely needs another mixdown pass if it's to get posted.  The arrangement is great, so that should stay as it is - but I really hope that Andy will see everything we dropped on this track and find a way to give it the sheen it truly deserves.]

NO (resubmit)

Edited by Rexy
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  • Rexy changed the title to 2019/10/19 - (1Y/1C) Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 3 "Dr. Robotnik's Revenge"
  • Rexy pinned this topic

i agree with rexy there's a ton of bass going on here. the cymbals are pretty slammed too. there's very little if any EQing going on here and it's showing in how everything's just mashed down with the compressor and sounds really dead. i like the lead sound, actually, and i don't mind the tone of the rhythm guitars, but there needs to be a serious pass on the mastering side for this to be passable. listening on other playback devices confirms my suspicions - this is essentially unlistenable on a car's sound system, for example, due to how boomy it sounds as a result. i know rexy said it looks flat across the board, but that's certainly not what it sounds like. it sounds very mid/low heavy and lacks any sparkle or brightness.

from an arrangement perspective, this was a fun listen. i actually really like the contrast between the two tracks and agree that they dovetail together pretty well. i didn't mind the backing synth bits you did either, since they're there for some extra body and not much else. i don't consider the arrangement to be particularly transformative but it's enough in my book. i will note that i would call the harmonies at 1:49 to be wrong. you're using a whole tone scale from the sound of it, and does not fit the chord underneath nor the harmonies implied in the original.

i don't think the mastering on this is passable in its current state. i like the performance and i like your lead sound a lot! i think it just needs more love with the EQ to get it out the door.

 

 

NO

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  • 4 weeks later...

Brad's got the right of it. I like the performances, but there's definitely something going on here in the mix. Needs an EQ pass. Really bizarre harmonies at 1:49, and I've gotta say that the transition from Sonic 1 to Sonic 3 is REALLY abrupt; I could have used more lead-in tempo-wise.

Needs another pass. NO (resub)

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  • DarkeSword changed the title to 2019/10/19 - (1Y/1C/2N) Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 3 "Dr. Robotnik's Revenge"
  • 3 weeks later...

Good performance here overall. I enjoyed the contrast of guitar tones and the leads. I think the reverb from the leads does overpower the clarity of your mix (if you're able to, consider a high-pass on the reverb output to remove some of the low end, works a treat). The transition in themes at 1:10 was quite abrupt, but wasn't quite as jarring to me as my fellow judges. The solo at 2:30 was nicely added with a good mix of fast and slow notes. Wails occur where you'd want them. Pan bouncing back to 3:36 was an interesting way of bringing things back to the first theme.

Arrangement moves along well, swapping things up quite nicely as we go along. Production wise, some further clarity would benefit this, as sometimes layers get a bit too thick and cloud the performance. I wouldn't say it detracts from the overall presentation, but more clarity would strengthen things. Despite these gripes, there's nothing really here that's enough for me to hold this back for. Jive approves.

YES

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I agree with my fellow Js that this mix sounds mid-low heavy, but it's not striking me as boomy, and my sub isn't freaking out.  I like a lot of bass and it sounds great on my mixing system, but I can see how it might sound boomy in a car.  That said, the mix sounds to me as if it has been high-passed, lacking sparkle.  I also agree that the master sounds heavily compressed, which is fatiguing but I don't hear any compression artifacts.  The arrangement is a source sandwich, which is pushing the boundary of being a medley, and the transitions are not smooth, but they work well enough and the track still sounds cohesive.  The guitar performances are very good!  I like it, count me in on this one.

YES

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  • Chimpazilla changed the title to 2019/10/19 - (3Y/1C/2N) Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 3 "Dr. Robotnik's Revenge"
  • 2 months later...

Agreed with Brad here - the mixdown is not doing your strong arrangement any favors. Everything feels squashed and lacking in clarity - the high end is totally scooped out and there's also weirdly a huge dip around 500Hz in the master track. I think this needs to go back to the mixing stage to achieve a more even frequency balance (and see if you can knock out those crackles that Rexy mentioned - good ear!) and then look at your mastering chain to see if you can give this a bit more room to breathe.

The performances, arrangement, and sequencing are excellent, I have no major issues with any of that, but the mixing here just feels flat and lifeless. If this doesn't make it, I do sincerely hope to hear this back again!

NO (please resubmit!)

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  • Emunator changed the title to 2019/10/19 - (3Y/1C/3N) Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 3 "Dr. Robotnik's Revenge"
  • 4 weeks later...

Tough one here. Nothing to add that hasn't been mentioned, but I think in the end the abrupt transitions, the weird harmonies at 1:49ish and the production issues are adding up to just not quite making it for me. It's close, though, and I'd super love to hear this one back at us!

NO (resubmit, please)

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  • DragonAvenger changed the title to 2019/10/19 - (3Y/1C/4N) Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 3 "Dr. Robotnik's Revenge"
  • 1 month later...

From the start, the mixing just doesn't sound right.  As mentioned, it sounds very compressed and muddy, but not due to trying to push the loudness envelope.  I think some of the low end (on bass/rhythm guitars probably) is being pushed way too high and triggering the compressor really hard.  Reigning this in with a mixing pass may improve the clarity a lot.

As mentioned above, I'd like to hear better merging of the two themes instead of just essentially pasting them together in the track.

On the other hand, I really like the performances and arrangement.  Themes are very clearly represented throughout.  Harmony notes at 1:48 & 1:56 sound a half-step too low or something.  There's also some questionable notes around 2:11.

Tons of potential here, but I don't think it's ready yet.

NO resubmit, please

Edited by Nutritious
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  • Rexy changed the title to *NO* Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 3 "Dr. Robotnik's Revenge"
  • Rexy unpinned and locked this topic
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