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*NO* Final Fantasy 2 "Kashuan, the Legend of the Ancient Mushroom"

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Hello, this is my very first time submitting something to OCR, so please forgive me if I do any mistake.
I do plan to keep the Cubase project and files in case I'd have to change the mix or mastering.
Remixer Name: Hashel
Real Name: Julien Rosir
Game: Final Fantasy II
Name of the Arrangement: Kashuan, the Legend of the Ancient Mushroom
Name of the Song: Kashuan Keep (aka. Ancient Castle)
Edited by prophetik music
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  • 2 months later...

A chill opening. The synths here do sound a little basic. The FM lead sounds very Genesis-esque, which by itself is not a bad thing, although it's a little thin. The slides add some good flavour. The bass here is used as a backing synth at times which doesn't work, as the exchange between the 2 instruments is lost due to differences in volume. The arrangement takes a while to get going, but improves over time. The change at 1:30 is a lot better than the earlier sections, with a pop feel to it. At 1:58, a guitar enters, which sounds great and fits well, and is quite tight with the rest of the mix. We re-tread some previous territory before heading out. The second half of the arrangement has a lot going for it which starts to bring me around. I do however think production needs work. Things are a little cloudy, and mushed together, drums are without much impact, the stereo field is quite narrow feeling. I think if the mixing mastering could be revisited to bring the parts out more we might be in a better place for this one. Let's see what the others say.


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  • Jivemaster changed the title to 2020/01/20 - (1N) Final Fantasy 2 "Kashuan, the Legend of the Ancient Mushroom"
  • 1 month later...

You made a fun dance-pop arrangement, with some appropriate blippy synths and the usual quality guitar recording I've expected from you through your Pixel Mixers contributions.  The synths also had some careful attention to subtle tone shaping and volume, which helped them feel less vanilla overall.  However, I'm co-signing with Joel regarding the narrow panning and the muddy mixing.  For the panning, the bells at the beginning had some fun stereo effects, but hardly anything else felt like it was getting pushed to another side.  Consider putting your written parts over at least two layers and panning them on opposite sides of the stereo field for more of a textured effect.  EQ-wise, there's not much action going on in the mid-highs to highs and too much the other way.  It's worth revising the panning on some of your higher-pitched instruments to favor those frequencies, as well as your snare and hi-hats to give them some more impact.  It doesn't hurt to make the mix louder overall, too - there's 4dB of headroom, which is something a quick normalization can fix.

The arrangement, while sturdy, also has a big problem worth addressing.  On the plus side first, you did well with breaking the source down and finding ways to develop sets of motifs individually, with the first two bars of the melody getting used as your leading hook and the countermelody in that same area working well for transitions.  The rest of the source got used for the bridge sections in the second half, both of them surrounding your fun guitar solo.

The big problem that I had with all of this is that the source didn't sound dominant.  Here's what I detected:

0:01-0:08 - First two bars, used on the bells in the intro.
0:35-0:39 / 1:06-1:10 / 3:00-3:04 - First two bars used as your hook throughout.
0:44-0:49 / 1:22-1:27 - Countermelody usage for transitions.
1:29-1:51 / 2:30-2:51 /3:07-3:13 - The rest of the BGM got used for the bridges around your guitar solo.

At 42% source coverage, I feel the track either hasn't applied the source enough or went too liberal depending on the section.  This source is an interesting one where the amount of countermelodies present doesn't mold well for chords to be part of the quota.  Within the gaps where BGM is absent, consider finding ways to fit some in - whether it be a melodic passage you already used or something left abandoned - for example, like the original's bass.  Heck, even other FF2 BGM can work if you feel you're still too short.

I felt like I dumped so much critique all at once, Julien, but that's because I know you've got the potential to be a posted OCR artist.  You said you still have your project file, so that gives you room to revise the mixdown/panning and find ways to make the source material more apparent.  I'd say keep at it, but I know you'll do just that anyway - I believe in you.

NO (resubmit)

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  • Rexy changed the title to 2020/01/20 - (2N) Final Fantasy 2 "Kashuan, the Legend of the Ancient Mushroom"

i am gonna rubber-stamp this one. i agree with rexy that there's not enough content here. the track itself is fun but there needs to be more representation of the original in order to meet our criteria. rexy gave a great breakdown on ideas for that, so i won't go into that here.

from a production standpoint, the drums feel pretty thin. the kick doesn't have a lot of presence and doesn't cary anything, the cymbals don't have quite enough highs and aren't crisp enough to highlight the work you're doing with them, and the snare is really snappy and doesn't carry separate from the hats. beyond that, i felt your bass was pretty light as well - it's hard to hear throughout. i'm guessing you had some issues notching it in there next to the kick since they're in similar ranges. more snap on the kick will help make it clearer without requiring it to dominate that frequency range. aside from that, i thought the guitar sounded really great and it was just a touch dull for my tastes. i'd love to hear more highs on that as well to brighten it up.

from a synthesis perspective, i like a lot of what you were doing, the arpeggiated line during the guitar solo for example was fun. i think overall i have similar complaints to the drums - they're pretty muddy since they're all in the same freq range. i'd try to notch them out a bit more, and that'll help a lot. as a side note, every time that echoed chippy synth comes in (it's the higher-pitched one at 0:13), i notice that it's not in the same key as everything else. it's ending on a non-chord tone which is distracting and sounds weird, which is disappointing because it's a fun sound. i'd take a look at the arpeggiator there and ensure it's hitting a chord tone so it doesn't sound weird.

overall i liked the track but it needs some mastering love for sure. great first try though. 




Edited by prophetik music
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  • prophetik music changed the title to *NO* Final Fantasy 2 "Kashuan, the Legend of the Ancient Mushroom"
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