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*NO* Jazz Jackrabbit 2 "Power Jam"


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Greetings OC team,

below the information about my submission.

Contact Information:

  • ReMixer Name: powerpilz

Submission Information:

  • Name of games: Jazz Jack Rabbit 2
  • Name of arangement: Power Jam
  • Name of individual songs: Medieval Jam
  • Link to the original song: https://ocremix.org/song/25195

The inspiration behind this track was my personal affection to electronic music, medieval sounds and the combination of them both. I guess it's a great combination which can really be something great. Also I really like to have some humorous style considering the wolf howl at the beginning and some other elements. The arrangement should be a mix of modern techno and trance having some dark touch. It shall drag the listener into it's setting.

I'd be glad to answer further questions if there are any or if I should have forgotten something :)

Best regards,

powerpilz
 

Edited by Rexy
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The beats have good intensity, but the genre adaptation of the source tune itself feels very by-the-numbers.

I dug the instrumentation for the post-chorus bridge at 2:09.

I liked the chiptune stuff introduced at 1:43 to add some original writing underneath the source melodies, but that also felt like a one-trick pony as the concept was brought back later as a cut-and-paste as the only real supplement underneath the melody at 3:26. Some new writing ideas there would have been better.

Beats dropped out at 2:09 only to return at 2:23 and again at 3:14 with exactly the same writing and production as before, which became boring over the long haul.

The leads from 3:01-3:14 were behind the beat, so watch that. The track also didn't fade to 0 at the end, so watch for small details like that.

Dynamically, this was feeling flatter than intended. Once you get to 1:17, the beats essentially just coast on auto-play with the same patterns and energy, so even when things pick up more towards the finish (3:27, 3:40, 3:54, 4:06) with what's supposed to be escalating intensity, the overall dynamics feel very static as a result.

See what you can do to be more interpretive and/or additive and/or more varied with this presentation. Whether it's the melody, the chiptune writing, or the beats, you have areas where more development is possible. Decent base here, but lots of unrealized potential.

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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2020/04/29 - (1N) Jazz Jackrabbit 2 "Power Jam"

Things start off with a nice bass patch — it’s quite a standard bass line, but I appreciate its place in the genre representation here. The synth lead at 1:44 is too soft, which being a lead, should be more upfront. The break at the mid-point was a bit confusing as it didn’t really go anywhere. The chorus portion repeats again at 3:30 and is essentially a repeat of the earlier chorus section. The synth buzz afterwards changes things a little, but doesn’t feel quite like enough. Production is ok. There are some good ideas here across the first half of the arrangement, but creativity seems to dry up by the mid-way point, making things feel generic. I think you have a workable mix here — I recommend giving things a revisit, paying particular attention to the second half to pull it away more from the first, and doing something with that break at the mid-point. 

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It's not a bad thing to make an arrangement that echoes shades of the old-school trance of the earliest OCR mixposts, but to approach a similarly-styled source like that runs a risk of not having a unique character.  You've given it a good go, though.  You swapped out the original's bass buildup with a pattern you made yourself, cut out the melody's A section entirely for something more simple, and spent more time on the source quota using the choir build in the intro and the B and C sections to appropriate effect.  The choir rise at the source's tail-end also got used well at 2:35 and 4:45, but the patch you chose hardly has a body, making the notation challenging to hear. While a warmer pad there would be nice, the track still hits its source quota without it, so it's not a huge loss.

However, this track suffers from a lot of repetition.  Firstly, I co-sign on what Joel and Larry have said about the B section's repeat at 3:26.  It's possible to keep the B section's melody and chord structure there while also changing a lot more of the backing parts' textures or writing.  The added lead at 3:53 did help to keep things interesting, but it exposed another can of worms in the production, which is listed further down.

Secondly - and it pains me a lot to say it - the drumbeat is as dull as dishwater.  Your core groove is the same basic four-on-the-floor beat with the same hi-hat pattern all the way through, with only some change-ups in added cymbal writing in busier sections.  Some good fills won't go amiss and are usually implemented every 8 or 16 bars with varying intensities depending on what you see fit.  See if you can check out some commercial progressive trance and pay attention to how the drums are programmed.  You may get inspired by what you hear.

And now, the production.  Firstly, remember what I said about the lead at 3:53?  That instrument is way too loud compared to the rest of the present parts, and when paired with your limiter, it made the progression at that segment very unclear.  Consider bringing the volume down, but don't be afraid to try any EQ cuts across other instruments to make it sit better.  Otherwise, the balance feels serviceable overall.  The two glaring small details with the delayed bells from 3:01 and the imperfect fadeout already got touched upon, so hopefully, you know what to do there.  And I'm also one for hearing thicker textures on your drums, but that rolls back into what I said earlier about the part-writing being mundane, including listening to similar tracks for some ideas.

It's a good starting base there, but the writing's presentation needs more done to it, particularly in the drum groove and second half.  The minor production issues, particularly the loud synth late on and delayed bells, should also get addressed.  Whatever you decide to do, keep going with your craft.

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  • Rexy changed the title to *NO* Jazz Jackrabbit 2 "Power Jam"
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