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*NO* Star Fox "AFD"

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(James Bartlam, Andrew Bell, Chris Binding, Steve Brunton, Graeme Cooper)

Game: Starwing
Arrangement title: AFD
Song Arranged: Corneria Theme
AFD (All Fucking Day) is dedicated to the staff of one of our favourite pubs, who all have a few AFD shifts under their belts! 
Cyber-Byte (James Bartlam) - Beatbox
Andrew Bell - Bass, Production
Chris Binding - Guitar
Steve Brunton - Arrangement
Graeme Cooper (x Critical Strike x) - LSDJ
Edited by Liontamer
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  • 2 weeks later...

There's some really cool stuff going on with the chiptune synths here that form the bones of a great arrangement. This remix features some really fun rhythms and modifications to the Corneria theme that are fun to listen to. The mix of live instruments and chiptune synths provides excellent sonic contrast. All of this leads to an arrangement that I really enjoy listening to. The production, however, has room for improvement. 

One of the strangest aspects of this is the balance between instruments. I understand that you're not working with conventional drums, but the way they're mixed sounds like you put a lowpass filter on your percussion bus for the entire track. This gives a perpetual feeling that you're always about to start filter sweeping up to the full energy level, but the percussion never kicks into gear. The balance of the track suffers as a result. There's also an abundance of high-end buzz in the 10kHz-20kHz range that could probably be EQ'd down by a few decibels to minimize some harshness. Also, is there some sort of notch filter at 500Hz on the master track? There's a really noticeable dip at that frequency throughout the entirety of the track and I can't figure out how that happened. 

The guitar performance is solid, but the mixing is also underwhelming. I'm not a guitar expert by any means, but it sounds like it's mixed very mono and could benefit from some double tracking or stereo widening so that it fills the space it occupies a bit better. Is it being panned slightly to one side too? For a core rhythm element, its placement in the stereo field just doesn't sit right with me. Tonally, the guitar sounds garage-y but in a stylistic way, so it works for me on a fundamental level. I hope another judge can elaborate on this and identify why the guitar isn't clicking (or perhaps just tell me I'm crazy?)  

Also, I'm hearing clipping all over this track on my spectrometer - I would take a second look at your final mastering levels to make sure you're not peaking above 0.0dB. 

The arrangement checks out for me, but I would like to see another pass at mixing before this is ready for primetime. Good luck!

NO (resubmit)

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  • Emunator changed the title to 2020/04/09 - (1N) Star Fox "AFD"

Definitely hearing clipping too, a shame as it’s quite piercing. Mixing is a little weird, things are off balance with the heavier bass instruments clouding the left channel, and piercing highs in the right. The beat boxing beat is an interesting idea, but is too sharp in the highs and doesn’t have enough frequency spread/depth to hold up as the primary percussion source. There are some good original ideas throughout the arrangement, with different breaks and riffing, and interesting blends of synths mixed in. This certainly feels in concept territory for me, and definitely needs to be taken away to be refined and polished including a rework of the mixing.


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Mixing seemed odd right from the get-go. Lots of hiss in the high-end that undermined the quality of the beatboxing sounds. This needs some serious EQ love.

The chipsounds are also really thin (which isn't inherently a problem), but there's nothing filling out the soundscape here, so this feels barren despite the energy level; the way this sounds, it comes off like there's going to be a transition to a more fleshed out sound, yet it never gets there.

Aside from the guitar in the background, the textures seem too empty, though it's a cool concept. If you can figure out how to pad or otherwise fill out the background with something else, you'd be golden; there are NES themes that don't feel texturally empty like this.

Eliminate the hiss/clipping and flesh out the textures, and this would be solid. No need to change any of what's written. Really awesome concept; would love to see a revision of this posted here, so please consider a resubmission. Even if you've moved on from this, definitely keep submitting here; I appreciate the creativity of what y'all have put together.

NO (resubmit)

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