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OCR04191 - *YES* Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time "And the Woods Shall Dance"


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REMIXER INFO
ReMixer: theStyg
Real Name: Adam Halpin
Email: 
UserID: 31824
 
TRACK INFO
Game: The Legend of Zelda - Ocarina of Time
Arrangement title: "And the Woods Shall Dance"
Original song: Lost Woods (Saria's Song)
 
Description:
I've had an arrangement in this style in mind for a while and just had to get it out. One part manifestation of my interest in ethnic instrumentation, one part Karl Jenkins impersonation. It uses a lot of instruments from around the world, primarily African and Andean.
 

 

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  • Rexy changed the title to 2020/06/19 - Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time "And the Woods Shall Dance"

Wow, what an interesting take on this source!  I love this concept. I love the change from the 4/4 original to such an upbeat 6/8. The mixing is the weak point here, with elements not sounding very clear, and the drums could be louder.  As it stands now the mixing is very flat and lifeless.  The sample quality isn't the best, with the brass being particularly dry and fake-sounding, and the strings aren't too strong either.  I'm not to sure about the vocal sample.  The overall master is very quiet, but even so I hear there are points where the compression is almost too strong.  I feel like most of these issues (including sample quality) could be fixed with cleaner mixing, most importantly clearing the lows out of everything that's not bass, low brass or bass drums.   The ending is on the weak side.  But the creativity of this arrangement wins the day for me.  It feels like it really fits in Kokiri Forest!  This is going to get some NOs due to the lifeless mixing and fake samples, and I may change my mind, but for now I have to go with it.

YES

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  • Chimpazilla changed the title to 2020/06/19 - (1Y) Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time "And the Woods Shall Dance"

I'm consistently amazed by the number of ways that different artists approach this source. If I'm being totally honest, I've never liked the Lost Woods theme because (in my opinion, anyway) it doesn't capture the sense of wonder and mystery that I would expect from an endless forest maze. This is one of the reasons I so deeply appreciate remixing as an art form - it gives you a chance to re-contextualize a particular theme in a way that, to some listeners, might fit the mood of the original game even better than the original composition. 

I think that's exactly what you've done here - it borrows some of the rhythmic bombast of later Zelda tracks like Deku Palace, but fleshes out the soundscape with a wide array of unique instruments and rhythms that shake up the Lost Woods theme and give it new life! I constantly find myself picking up on new rhythms and riffs that I didn't catch on the first or second listen - there's a lot to love here!

Kris hit the nail on the head with the mixing, which does indeed feel needlessly flat for such a dynamic arrangement, but I also ultimately agree with her final assessment that the ambitious arrangement is greater than any perceived weaknesses. While I do think you would be well-served by looking at which instruments you want to highlight at any given time, and automating your volume and EQ accordingly to highlight those focal points, I feel like it would be a mistake to pass on this as it is. 

Good luck with the rest of the vote!
 

YES

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  • Emunator changed the title to 2020/06/19 - (2Y) Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time "And the Woods Shall Dance"

Things start up pretty quickly, with varied instrumentation that keeps things fresh. The chorus portion at 0:52 sounded like it got a little crunched dynamically, with some rattle/distortion (particularly audible in the brass). The choir portion at 1:10 afterwards doesn’t appear to have this issue. The brass section at 1:36 was a nice addition. Some of the first section is reintroduced here. The chorus portion happens again at 2:15 and seems ok, with more elements coming in at 2:28 which seem to exhibit the same dynamic crunch issue we had on the first chorus. This is something I’m interested in seeing others opinions on. Track is otherwise fine, arrangement has a great level of variety. Just want those chorus portions checked out. I’ll conditional for now but happy to revisit.

YES (conditional on chorus dynamics fix)

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  • Chimpazilla changed the title to 2020/06/19 - (2Y/1C) Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time "And the Woods Shall Dance"

This track gave me a fantastic first impression!  You turned the source into a waltz, the sound design is unique, and the altered chord modulations allowed the melody to sit comfortably over the top.  All this stayed true on repeated listens, with various leads and articulations keeping the motif iterations refreshing despite sharing identical notation, plus that dramatic choir and brass interchange from 1:08 being a great segue between run-throughs.  I'm also with Kris regarding the tame finisher compared to all the drama the rest of the mix had, but I can't let that influence my feelings elsewhere.

Indeed, I still like your ethnic approach to the sound design with your choice of percussion and wind instrumentation.  The humanization on those parts feels organic, as does your variety of articulations across all instruments at any one time.  Yet, the strings' attacks feel stagnant and not realized as much as other parts, and some volume shaping on your legato notation on those same strings and woodwinds can also help give them more of an edge.  This mix does feel muddy when the full ensemble kicks in, but in quieter sections, everything feels so much clearer to take in.  And as touched upon, the mixdown hardly ever goes above -3dB, which is strange on a track written for dynamic emphasis.  While a general cleanup would be okay, I am also aware that the sheer ambition behind the arrangement outweighs all the cons put together.

Kris may think that there'd be a handful of NO votes based on the track's production, and she isn't wrong about the weaknesses on board.  But when the interpretation and part-writing are this good, along with a coherent effort on articulations, I feel the track can get posted as it is.  Whatever you learn from this process, Adam, see if you can apply it to future projects - because this is still one impressive debut!

YES

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  • Rexy changed the title to 2020/06/19 - (3Y/1C) Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time "And the Woods Shall Dance"
  • 2 months later...

I didn't like how the melodic line was pushed down at :13, but it took the foreground at :27, so it's no big deal. The mixing's definitely off, though I can't put my finger on it. Seems like the parts are bleeding together; it all sounds serviceable -- and, IMO, above our bar, to be clear -- but the different instrumentation (e.g. vox accents, backing percussion, brass) doesn't sound as distinct as it should. This could have used some more EQ work.

On the arrangement side though, this was a very nicely personalized approach with a unique flavor I've never heard with this theme before, so I dig it. The instrumentation choices worked together well, and this had good energy and dynamic contrast throughout. Fun stuff, and welcome aboard, Adam! Looking forward to healing more from you!

My vote isn't conditional, but let's still reach out to Adam with our feedback to see if he's interested in any production tweaks before posting.

YES

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  • Liontamer changed the title to (2020/06/19) *YES - CHECK IF ARTIST WILL TWEAK* Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time "And the Woods Shall Dance"
  • Liontamer pinned and locked this topic

I reached out to Adam on Discord with the Js' feedback and he said the following.


Today at 1:09 PM

Hey thanks so much for reaching out! Have to agree with a lot of the feedback - even I feel my mix was underwhelming and I REALLY should spend more time with the mixing on these types of tracks. This track pretty complex and dense compared to what I usually make and I bit off a bit more than I could chew. I'd love to go in and clean things up a bit! Been a good 6 months since I last touched the project and I have some ideas on how to amend at least the mixing problems. I'll try to get another mix over in a week's time! Once again, thanks for the message and the feedback!


We'll keep an eye out for a future update!

EDIT (2/6): 


Today at 2:58 AM

Hey hey! Thanks again for the opportunity and the great advice all around! I ended up sorta revamping my mixing/mastering workflow a bit to accommodate larger tracks like this one so hopefully it paid off! Here's an update WAV. It's a good deal cleaner than the previous mix, not nearly as mushy sounding. Let me know what you think!

The new version's excellent! Thanks again to Adam for being willing to tweak the mixing based on the feedback for an even stronger result that makes for a great debut! :-)

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  • Liontamer changed the title to (2020/06/19) *YES - AWAITING POSSIBLE UPDATE* Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time "And the Woods Shall Dance"
  • Liontamer changed the title to OCR04191 - *YES* Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time "And the Woods Shall Dance"
  • Liontamer unpinned this topic
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