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*NO* Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time "The Light of Dusk"


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I'm not sure how I feel about this one.  The harp in the intro is low-mid heavy in an odd way.  The choir is uncanny but used well/briefly enough.  When the flute comes in, it has vibrato on it full-time which sounds unnatural to me.  The overall writing feels like an upgraded midi to me for a huge amount of time.  I hear some variation starting at 1:29, but it's back to upgraded midi at 1:52.  The piano sounds stiff.  The piano writing is identical to the source including the little rushed notes.  At 2:42 there is some writing variation again, until the end, but overall this is VERY conservative.  The instrumentation and mixing are passable, the humanization squeaks by other than my nags.  My main concern is whether the arrangement is too conservative overall.  I'm going to wait to see what others think.

edit:  After reading Wes's words, I feel more confident with my position on this, which is that the sample issues along with the arrangement being too conservative put this just under the bar for me.

NO

Edited by Chimpazilla
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  • Chimpazilla changed the title to 2020/03/19 - (1?) Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time "The Light of Dusk"

I think Kris is right on the money with her gut feeling here, but to me this was more clearly problematic. I love the minimalist approach here, but that also leaves the instruments fully exposed and unfortunately showcases the points where the sample transitions are less believable. The decay/release on the choir felt too fast in the intro. I also agree with her impression of the flute, it needs a bit more of a natural cadence to the vibrato and expression. At moments like 1:03, you attempt to sequence repeated notes that I don't think your sample library is equipped to handle, those sounded unnatural. I picked up on similar issues with the strings, too. I also thought the bassoon (?) sample had an unusually buzzy tone that I can't quite put my finger on.

I think the strength here, as I've seen in several of your other arrangements, is in the additional embellishments you make to the writing. The little harp flourishes and percussion really stuck with me in a good way. However, I don't find that the instruments that are really doing the heavy lifting (strings, flute) are just not sounding great in this exposed of a context. It is very conservative, and I am also on the fence about whether there's enough personalization introduced in the harmonies/countermelodies to consider this a substantive upgrade, but regardless, the exposed samples are just not cutting it for me :( 

NO

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  • Chimpazilla changed the title to 2020/03/19 - (2N) Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time "The Light of Dusk"

Things start of soft and smooth, and remain fairly minimal throughout the duration, mostly filling out within the first minute or so. There are some changes here and there, although the arrangement remains fairly similar throughout. The changes around 2:30 were welcome. The execution I thought was enough for me here, but I’m one of the most lenient when it comes to orchestral soundscapes. The main issue for me was the lack of overall change in arrangement over time, and was it enough for the duration. I think further personalisation could have been had here, but it wasn’t enough for me to strike out completely. Let’s see what the others think.

YES (borderline)

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this has at least 2db of headroom but in reality closer to 4 or 5db outside of a single spike.

i'm agreeing with the other votes by kris and wes. there's some real sample issues in how parts are used, particularly the melodic lines. at 0:47 the flute and oboe grate very hard against each other due to how vibrato's being added to the flute samples. at 1:34 the bassoon is very unrealistic in the soundscape, highlighted by the front-and-center piano that comes in right after it.

from an arrangement perspective...there's not much =) a lot of this is a sound upgrade or a pad added behind the very conservatively arranged melody line. once we get to maybe 2:30ish there starts to be some lusher soundscapes and more creativity applied, but it's too little too late for me. from about 2:50 onward through maybe 3:20ish it's some really beautiful orchestration that absolutely belongs on this site, but there needs to be more from the remaining 3.5 minutes to flesh it out for that to make it.

a very conservative arrangement, some weird sampling issues, and a very quiet master combine to sink this one. more creativity and i'd be happy to change my vote.

 

 

NO

 

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The sustained strings strained for credibility but were serviceable. Maybe I'm just an oldhead, but the arrangement was fine despite being conservative. I'd definitely prefer something more distinct with the instrumentation, but this was a perfectly valid structurally conservative take that relied more on additional part-writing and ornamentation to put more meat on the bones. I don't mind the cases for voting NO, because there's a range of acceptability, but you don't need to reinvent the wheel, just reasonably put your own stamp on it. More could have been done in that respect, yes, but I still feel enough was done.

YES (borderline)

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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2020/03/19 - (2Y/3N) Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time "The Light of Dusk"

I'm in the same camp as Joel and Larry regarding the arrangement.  The track initially goes through two different textural variations - the first one has an added countermelody at 0:53 and a brisker pace on the piano's glissandos, while the second is much closer to the source.  Both also had some manipulations on the lead notation, particularly onto its B section.  Then at 2:49, you let loose with a different chord sequence and found a way to integrate the melody over the top.  Even the slower glissandos on the piano, particularly during the ending, add more content to those on the source's harp.  While stylistically similar, there's enough done with the part-writing to make it stand as a distinct entity, and I'm okay with what you set out to do.

Oddly enough, while the arrangement checks out, the production left me with a mixed bag of feelings.  The balance and mixdown are robust aside from the usual low mastering criticism, which is another case where you have a loud peak (3:19) where the average peak size rests 2dB lower.  Have you thought of putting some light compression into your master chain, or just normalizing your audio?  If you do go for the former route, it's not to be too heavy - just enough to bring one or two rough peaks in line with most of the others.  The volume relating to the track's expression isn't a dealbreaker here but is worth something to look into for current projects.

However, what left me feeling torn was your articulations.  The samples themselves sound lovely, and it's a good idea to apply vibrato to the flutes when appropriate.  Still, the shaping feels off in a handful of places - particularly the woodwind leads, string backing, and choir textures, each of these hardly having any decay (and attack for the choir).  The piano glissandos feel robotic and stagnant, which could get remedied with MIDI keyboard input if you have a controller handy.  And that buzz on the bassoon also sounds rough - no idea what the intent is with that, but if you intend to add an instrument like that in future works, consider making an EQ cut in the mid-high frequency where the buzz prominently pokes out.  It's an uneasy harmonic that really shouldn't be there.

This track got so close to me, and I can see either case for mixpost or rejection.  Ultimately, I don't think enough work has gone into the humanization to see it get posted just yet, so it'll be nice to hear that aspect get revised.  Don't touch the arrangement - it's serviceable as it is.  Whatever happens, Rebecca, best of luck with the rest of the vote and your next batch of subs.

NO (resubmit)

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  • Rexy changed the title to 2020/03/19 - (2Y/4N) Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time "The Light of Dusk"
  • 1 month later...

I'm definitely on the fence regarding the first half of the arrangement, but I think the second half seals it on that side of thing. Samples, however, aren't really doing it as others have mentioned. The others have already covered where things needs to be addressed, so I hope to hear you bring this back to us!

NO (resubmit)

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  • Rexy changed the title to *NO* Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time "The Light of Dusk"
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