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*NO* Final Fantasy 9 "New Mage in Town"

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- Dewey Newt (User ID# 34234)
- Final Fantasy IX
- "New Mage in Town"
- Vivi's Theme
- Pixel Mixers: https://pixel-mixers.com/
This cover was a track on the Pixel Mixers' Final Fantasy IX tribute album "Beyond the Mist". With this track, I wanted to try my hand at a little storytelling about Vivi's first trip into Alexandria. The story goes a little something like:
"Vivi enters Alexandria and meets some locals. The locals notice his unique appearance and gather around him. With all this new attention, Vivi gears up to show off and... He trips. The locals laugh and walk off, but a small few stay to help Vivi up. Vivi then performs his trick, a beautiful light show of magic. Vivi then walks off to attend the play he has a ticket for."
It's not the best storyteliing (or even correct based on the game's story), but it was enough to help me piece together a song structure, haha! The original theme had many glimmers of various styles within it, but the original would move on without developing those styles further. As such, I tried to extend these sections with the storytelling, and now have an orchestral, Middle Eastern-y, hip-hop, chiptune fusion track on my hands. It's not the easiest track to label with a genre!
Edited by prophetik music
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  • 2 weeks later...

Very creative fusion of sounds, I've always been a fan of this 9-bit fusion style and I appreciate the creative liberties you've taken here! Your chiptune synths are all expressive and fun, and I didn't have any major issues with the quality of the acoustic instrumentation either. Not the most realistic samples in all cases, but they get the job done to me!  

This is close to a pass for me, but I have a few issues that I think need to be addressed before this is ready to post. First off, I thought the drums were a very weak point in an overall-solid package, primarily from a mixing standpoint. The samples you used seem anemic and just don't have very much energy to them, which could be remedied by way of compression, distortion, and some selective EQ boosts to allow certain formants to cut through better, or perhaps even swapping your samples out for better quality ones. The writing itself, while not totally on autopilot, does feel phoned in to an extent, so I would not be upset to hear a resubmitted version of this with some more prominent fills or more energetic, groovy riffs. 

The other issue I have is with the overall mixing/mastering of the track. There's a lot of headroom left on the track, and an apparent lack of master compression to glue the track together. I would normalize the volume of your track and add some compression to your master chain - perhaps this might even help breathe some life into the drums, too. 

Love what you've done here, just a few areas that could use a bit more TLC :)Hope to hear this one back again!

NO (resubmit!)

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  • Rexy changed the title to 2020/01/20 - (1N) Final Fantasy 9 "New Mage in Town"
  • 2 weeks later...

Opened up extremely cover-y but crossfaded into some chippy stuff. Really basic textures though at :10, so I'd hoped that things would flesh out further. Picked up some more at :32, but there was a lot of empty space, IMO.

Always recognize those string samples at :42 and 1:04; Tim Follin used them a lot in the Lemmings PSP soundtrack, although he made them sound more realistic and couched in his soundscape, which didn't expose the sample as much as it was exposed here.

The switch back into the chip section at 1:30 was good, but the backing writing was so scant and it made the track feel too minimal. Really nice switch into the woodwind taking the lead at 1:51, but VERY exposed strings dropped in at 1:58 & 2:09 that didn't sound realistic at all; I disagreed with Emunator's POV that they got the job done.

The backing writing was definitely too minimal and had a weak sound that didn't drive the track forward, and the string samples strained for credibility. The arrangement was ambitious and creative nonetheless, so now you need to ensure the production side is handled well and that the backing parts sufficiently fill in the space and lend enough movement to the piece. Cool stuff so far, Dewey!

NO (resubmit)

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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2020/01/20 - (2N) Final Fantasy 9 "New Mage in Town"

at least 4.7db headroom, possibly more outside of a spike or two. really needs some boost.

i've been on a chippy kick lately, so this was a fun stylistic idea to consider. i also really enjoy devolved music (ie. realistic soundtracks in chiptune) so that's a fun idea. i liked the transition in the beginning to crossfade in your synths. i thought the initial presentation of the melody was fine, although i agree that the drums sound real bad here and throughout. there's just no beef to them at all, and i'd expect a lot more bite to the bass and drums throughout. there's some fun writing there and it's almost impossible to hear.

i agree with LT that throughout the track does feel pretty light/empty. there's a lot of ideas you could flesh out or expand upon in the background and supporting parts which would give it more oomph throughout, and i think that's needed before we call this one good enough. i do think the opening and ending are great as-is though. along those lines, the supporting acoustic instruments aren't great and could use some love as well to make them sound more realistic to contrast to the synths better.

from a mastering perspective, there isn't really any. this needs a leveling pass to keep some instruments from sticking out (like the sitar at 0:43) or being buried (like the drums everywhere), the drums need a clear EQ pass so you can notch in the snare and kick a little btter, and then it needs compression.

i think this one's actually pretty fun overall. i like the perky synths and the ideas you flesh out throughout. i also liked the arrangement and think it's good enough at least in terms of melodic content. fill in the backing parts a bit more during the middle of the track, and fix the production, and this is a great addition to the site.




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