Rexy

*NO* Mega Man X "Chilling in the Snow"

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Name: Hypetreme
Website: www.youtube.com/Hypetreme
UserID: 32731


Game name: Mega Man X
Arrangement name: Chilling In The Snow
Original song name: Chill Penguin Stage Theme

 

I wanted to make jazz cover of the song but it didn’t turn out like that exactly. It is little bit jazzy and has some 80s -90s pop rock vibes too. It is certainly something relaxing you can fall asleep to. I tried to make it very natural sounding and avoided using too much compression. The song has this chaotic jazz walking bass part and relaxing creamy ”chorus” part. I never did an arrangement like this before and I’m happy how it turned out. Guitar and synth are played by me, everything else is programmed.
 

 

Edited by Rexy

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Right off the bat, there seems to be a load of timing issues on this track. I will admit that I'm not the best at articulating issues with timing, so I hope some of my fellow judges can elaborate on this, but the rhythm on the ride cymbal feels like it's on a completely different swing timing from the rest of the instrumentation. The piano was unfortunately not a strong way to start off this track in general - the sequencing felt rigid, the sample was not particularly strong, and it felt out-of-time with the beat. It almost sounds as if you tried to add some humanization to the groove by manually shifting certain notes around, but went too far and ended up causing it to feel sloppy.

Things definitely came together better once the guitar and e-piano came in. Your guitar tone and playing is excellent for this style, the rhodes piano is a much more complementary sample to the rest of the instruments, and you reigned in your timing better. This sounds really pleasant. At 1:12, the problematic ride cymbals and piano come back again and it makes it very obvious to me that this next section is just directly copied and pasted from earlier in the song. I did a side-by-side comparison and everything from 1:12 through 2:20 sounds almost identical to earlier in the song.

I don't mean to be harsh here, but there's still a ways to go on this arrangement before it's ready for the OCR front page. Love the vibe you've laid down, and your guitar chops are great, but the rest of this is not clicking as well for me. It's not bad at all for a first attempt in this style though, so as you hone your skills, I do hope we hear more from you :)

NO

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interesting concept here. i agree that the kit sounds pretty blah, and the keys aren't on the same swing as the cymbals. once the ep comes in, it's a nice take, but it feels pretty rigid. at 0:57, it picks up, and your nice guitar tone starts to come out. unfortunately it's still pretty rigid - i'd love to have more creativity there for your playing, so that you're not just limiting what you're playing to how you can sequence the keys. 

around here i noticed that the bass is playing some really weird patterns for this style, as well. you're spending a lot of time on repeated notes (even if it's a root, that's a no-no), and also i am expecting to hear a lot more stepwise motion instead of jumps mostly to and from the root note of the chord. i'd encourage you to get more creative with the patterns and notes you're going for in the bassline as often that's one of the most interesting parts of the background. a great example of this that i always say to check out is the bassline in the Cantina Band track in star wars episode 4. it's very stepwise, and during the turnaround gets more creative with some jumps, but it hardly ever sits on a root tone and it's always progressing forward. it's a great spot to learn from.

after this, the piano comes in with some arpeggiated content for a bit at 1:12. this is real out of time, or at least more noticeable than last time - the keys have a bit of swing applied but it's nowhere what the ride has or the guitar is playing, so it sounds totally out of time. i agree that the following section is either copy/pasted or close enough that it doesn't matter. 

adding the saw lead at about 2:20 was a nice change-up, although i'd rather had seen more new content there. after that we're into an outro that's essentially the same as the intro with a bit of whistle bell on top, and a fun extended chord to end it.

as a whole - there's some interesting ideas in the arrangement, but they're reused too much, and you're significantly held back by instrument choice/usage. i think there's several things that you could work on to get a much better track overall. adding some more content so that it's not so much copy/paste will help. another, more careful look at what the keys are playing as compared to what the cymbal is rhythmically laying down will help a lot. and another pass on the backing parts as a whole - the bass, the drum patterns, everything - will overall make a much more interesting and solid track.

 

 

NO

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I like this jazz direction.  It offered plenty of room to experiment with denser chords, additional countermelodies, and some pleasant-sounding e-piano textures.  Arrangement-wise, the boys before me nailed their sentiments - aside from the ending at 2:21, the track looped itself.  With a good 70 seconds rehashing a previously established idea, this arrangement turned out to be underdeveloped, and with that second loop in need of some shake-ups.

Following on from the weird swing patterns, I noticed something else.  The hi-hats are on a hard swing, but the piano notes themselves are actually in *straight* rhythms.  So I feel it's not so much separate swing rhythms, but more like complete discord in the type of rhythm used.

As for the production side, the levels themselves and mixdown aren't too bad, but the palette feels like it lacks crunch.  The current palette leans heavy towards the bass and low-mids, leaving only the cymbals, guitar, and keyboard selection to go further up the spectrum occasionally.  One thing that can help is transposing your saw synth up an octave so that it takes up some of that frequency space, rather than being masked in the background.  Another thing is the prospect of adding pads, hand percussion, pitched percussion, or a combination of the three to fill that gap.

As it is, there are some solid foundations, and your guitar performances are on point.  But I also feel the track is not ready for OCR yet, with an underdeveloped and stilted arrangement as the main reason.  The gaps in the palette is a secondary irk but should get looked into at some point.  For the arrangement field, see if you can find a way to make the second loop different from the first, and figure out a more consistent rhythm pattern.  You've got potential, so I hope you keep at it.

NO (resubmit)

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