Rexy

*NO* Final Fantasy 7 "The 7th Fanfare"

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Remix: THE 7TH FANFARE

Original Instrumental: N/A
 
Remixer Name(s):Rukunetsu
User ID: 24403 (R) 
 
Game: Final Fantasy 7
Name of Arrangement: The 7th Fanfare
Name of Original Song: Fanfare
Original Composer(s): Nobuo Uematsu
 
Been a while eh? The victory theme from FF7 has got to be one of my favorite versions of the FF Fanfare, and so I decided to give it the 'ol remix treatment.  Hope it's enjoyable m'friends.
 
Edited by Emunator

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a jazz piano look at this is a fun idea. i feel the whole FF7 soundtrack is real funky, especially early on, so it's a nice concept.

just up front, this is a really, really loud mastering job on this mix. the drums are very much in the forefront, and with such a wet piano and very indistinct bass, everything gets cluttered quickly. i feel like if everything was turned down 3db and the compressor's ratio set to something less tight that it'd suddenly make a lot more sense and the overall volume wouldn't change much due to the compressor having some room to do what it's supposed to be doing.

the arrangement here is primarily based around a runthrough of the original theme's arpeggio, and then followed by some pretty simple but enjoyable guitar soloing. i liked the interplay between the backing piano and OST arpeggio, and except for a few notes that were close to questionable the guitar soloing helps keep it interesting. the drum parts are well-designed and feel interesting without featuring a ton of polyrhythms or significant fills. there's some looping in there but it isn't egregious. i thought the guitar got exposed as not real when it started mirroring the arpeggio at the end, around 3:55ish, but other than that was well-realized. the ending is disappointing as there's no real transition other than suddenly everything stops.

there's a significant amount of the track devoted to the original content the guitar's playing, but this song has a unique enough chord progression (and it was stuck to and reinforced by the piano) that i don't have a problem saying that it's clear what the original is. my biggest concern is more that the arrangement is static for roughly the last three minutes outside of a single 5-second break. there's not much in the way of dynamic contrast or truly transformative adaptation to keep it from getting a bit repetitive.

this is a difficult vote. the track's arrangement is enjoyable if fairly minimal and relying on original content, and it does get a bit stale by the end. the mastering is listenable but loud and gets tiring. i like the instrumentation choices, however there's definitely room for improving the overall sound with some balancing.

ultimately with another mastering pass i think this one would be OK. i don't know rukunetsu enough to know if this could be handled via a conditional or if he'd be willing to do so, so i'm going to vote a soft NO right now. i'm very willing to change that if there are conditionals coming from the other judges.

 

 

NO

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Ruku! This has all the vibes I expected from his previous work. Love love LOVE the drumwork and the slightly wonky piano on this, and the periodic phaser sweeps are crisp.

I strongly feel like this arrangement could be cut down to be a little more concise and still have the same effect. At nearly 4 minutes without much change in instrumentation, it sounds like this was almost meant to be more of a beat than an actual song arrangement. Not saying this NEEDS vocals or anything to pass, but without some a more salient hook to grab onto, I don't know if the length is justified. 

The bigger concern is the mastering. I don't think a high level of compression is necessarily a bad thing - I A/B compared this with some Nujabes and Uyama Hiroto tracks and those are also mastered with pretty heavy compression. You're honestly not far off the mark. I think part of the issue here is that the lower piano chords start to bleed and lose definition when they're hit hard by the compressor, and since the chord writing is so thick and there's so many additional instruments, everything starts to become indistinct and muddy - much moreso than you would experience using the same mastering chain on a track with more breathing room in the instruments themselves. I think relaxing your master compression and opting for a slightly faster attack, as well as looking at compression levels on individual instruments like the piano, will make a world of difference, even if it's done subtly.

This was a close call for me, and I want to stress that I *really* want to see this sent back to us. I love this genre and would love to see more representation on OCR! 

NO (please resubmit!)

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The piano is lovely.  I love the drum work too, but I'm finding it repetitive and relentless, I wish for a breakdown somewhere, longer than five seconds (2:27-2:32).  I agree with Emu that the length of the track isn't supported with quite enough variation, but honestly I think that would be remedied by dropping the busy drums down to minimal or nothing for nice long-enough breakdown segment to let it breathe and then rebuild the energy.  The mastering has to be brought down for sure, there is audible distortion when the snare/kick/hat hit at the same time.  Please fix and send it back, it's really nice!

NO (please resubmit)

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