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*NO* Va-11 Hall-A "Through the Storm, We Will Find a Way (Storm Chasers Mix)"


Rexy
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Hey remember when I made VGM remixes? I stopped for a long time but then I covered  “Through the Storm, We Will Find a Way” by Garoad late last year and figured I’d submit it. Then I forgot, so I’m submitting it now.
 

Edited by Liontamer
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Nice thumping kick. Detuned lead plays the main melody for us the first time around, with a more traditional synth taking over soon after. Arrangement is fairly minimal, with a number of changes/layers that are circled back to over time. The voice samples helped to break things up, and appreciate that they weren’t overused. The track certainly takes me back to the earlier OCR days in its construction, with the sound selection and approach to arrangement. There are sections that have a copy/paste feel to them as we pass the mid-point, but there are some unique elements between sections that offer some variety. The ending is a bit abrupt. It would have been nice to see some further original material mixed through. Production is mostly ok — some drums and backing elements are a bit dry which makes the leads feel a little disconnected from the rest of the piece, but it’s not a major gripe. Overall I think this is ok — definitely could’ve gone further but I think it ticks just enough boxes to get through.

YES

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  • Jivemaster changed the title to 2020/07/20 - (1Y) Va-11 Hall-A "Through the Storm, We Will Find a Way"
  • 3 months later...

jive's right that this has an early OCR feel to it, especially with the drums. this is not my favorite style by any means, but it's still an interesting take on the original. after an abbreviated opening, the drums come in and set up the feel for the rest of the track. there's some subtle things in here that are fun ways to keep it moving, like the little bass link at 0:54, and the continued variance of the drum parts.

melody comes in fully at 1:13, with some nice humanization on the articulations to keep it moving. i agree with jive that around this part i started to notice how dry the drums are, which kind of made it harder to hear everything as a cohesive whole. the faster drum parts (like 1:37 onward) really just take over the soundscape...i know it's stylistically correct but that doesn't make it less hard to hear what's going on behind it.

there's some fresh pasta at 2:15 just without the drums, but it's still nice to hear and the vox clips help it feel new. the stutter synth after that section is another example of an attempt to keep it new and moving. the third time we hear the melody it does sound pretty cribbed from the earlier section, and it moves through that to the end fairly quickly. the end is abrupt at best, and the vox sample is...not what i'd have picked there.

OC's always had a minimalist approach to composition (the technique, not commenting on the soundscape's fullness), and i felt this was in keeping with his personal style and wasn't too little of adaptation. overall it's somewhat repetitive and the soundscape has some identity issues going on, but overall this is a fine track and is definitely above the bar.

 


YES

Edited by prophetik music
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  • prophetik music changed the title to 2020/07/20 - (2Y) Va-11 Hall-A "Through the Storm, We Will Find a Way"
  • 4 weeks later...

To be honest hardstyle doesn't click with me - couldn't tell you why. Regardless, I can hear when it's done well, and I've got to say this is done pretty well here with those thick drums and pulsing textures & pads. I hear the source in this throughout, and the production values are pretty solid, which isn't easy to do with drums that go as hard as these do. The repetition of 1:12 - 2:01 & 3:29 - 4:16 is a bit hard to miss, though; while throughout the rest of the track most of the repetitions and the like have subtle but interesting variations to them which keeps things fresh, there's a minute at the end where the only difference from prior material is a vocal clip that ends the section the second go around. Considering this is about a fifth of the piece, I think this could've used something to make it at least a little more distinguished from the rest of the track, especially since this is what closes out the arrangement.

I think it's close, but I'm afraid that much directly repeated music (not just mostly similar, but exact repetitions) is going to land me on the other end of my colleagues this time around.

NO

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  • Gario changed the title to 2020/07/20 - (2Y/1N) Va-11 Hall-A "Through the Storm, We Will Find a Way"
  • Emunator pinned this topic

I think I'm with Gario here. The repetition is pretty obvious, and considering how long it is it really stands out as such. Would love to hear some changes there, even if they are more subtle, or some sound changes. The vocal clips also sound very up-front in the track, and feel like they are tacked on instead of incorporated. Minor thing, but would be nice if they fit a bit better in.

Definitely no qualms with source usage, and there's a good amount of energy throughout. Hope you bring this back to us!

NO (resubmit)

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  • DragonAvenger changed the title to 2020/07/20 - (2Y/2N) Va-11 Hall-A "Through the Storm, We Will Find a Way"

I find myself agreeing 100% with Deia on this - it's very anticlimactic to end the arrangement on a 1-for-1 repetition of a section that was already run through earlier in the track. Even a little arpeggio/countermelody or a change in synth patch to offer some variation is all this needs. It's so close, but the way it's currently presented feels like a letdown. And I also agree that the vocal clips could be better integrated into the mix with some reverb/leveling.

This should be a super-easy resubmission if this doesn't pass - love everything else you've got going on here!

NO (resubmit!)

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  • Emunator changed the title to 2020/07/20 - (2Y/3N) Va-11 Hall-A "Through the Storm, We Will Find a Way"
  • 2 months later...
  • Right out of the gate, really like the FX application on the intro synth; some combination of flanging/phasing/delay/widening/etc, and it sounds great...
  • Like some of our judges, I'm not a huge fan of the hardstyle sound/genre, but I dig this more than a lot of what I've heard, AND I think it makes sense for the source...
  • No huge missteps on production or major glaring issues, but what I'm missing is a sense of focus/direction & development - it kinda feels like patterns with similar instrumentation, placed next to one another, as opposed to something that flows along, as a continuity/stream. For example, the relatively basic bassline doesn't modulate or throw in any curveballs, but it also doesn't even transition from section to section with any sort of a bridge/lead-in - it just starts a new pattern, right on the beat. The bass part in general needs *something* - a few surprises, and/or alternate FX application at select points, or even a different patch. As-is, the bass feels underdeveloped - not exactly the kiss of death, but more noticeable & more of a problem in a sparser setting + with this genre. Everything else is solid, it just needs to be glued together with transitions/variations that give the listener points of reference & foreshadowing, as opposed to discrete patterns executed in sequence.

NO (would love to a see a resubmit, Scott's style has always been unique and plenty to like here)

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  • djpretzel changed the title to 2020/07/20 - (2Y/4N) Va-11 Hall-A "Through the Storm, We Will Find a Way"

Nice clean production with some fun sounds.  It is, however, very conservative, with a similar style and energy to the source material.  The percussion is different, of course, but overall the impressions it leaves are basically the same as those of the original.

I don't overtly have a problem with the level of repetition.  Nothing is exactly repeated until 3:29, leaving 49 seconds of verbatim repeated content out of a 4:24 track, which is pretty high but not above the 25% where I necessarily have concerns.  The choice of where to put it is unfortunate, though: the climax of a song should definitely introduce something new to build energy, and not only is it a 1:1 repeat, but it just ends thereafter.  There are voice clips, but they're sparse and I agree that they detract from rather than add to the overall remix.  And if you expand to content that's repeated with small additions or subtractions, you're looking at everything from 2:01 on, half the mix.

djp's right about the bass: There's a nice meaty kick filling up that space, but it's the only thing that is.

I'm borderline on this.  No one issue is a dealbreaker, but the conservatism, repetition, weak ending, and underdeveloped bass are all of concern.  I think that, added up, it's enough to ask for a resubmission.

NO (borderline, resubmit)

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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2020/07/20 - (2Y/5N) Va-11 Hall-A "Through the Storm, We Will Find a Way (Storm Chasers Mix)"

The source tune's pure Phantasy Star Online; love Garoad's stuff!

Texturally, this was thin, and it's conservatively structured; but the sound design's markedly different. I was waiting for the arrangement to further interpret the source beyond the new soundset and it didn't get there even by 2 minutes in.

At 2:02, you have the intro repeat again, now supplemented by the beats. 2:41 had some different stuff over the top of the previous patterns, but it felt very much like a retread with minor changes. 3:06 briefly had a dropoff that finally changed the dynamics up, but was then followed by the repeating chorus at 3:17 with just the new countermelodic stuff stapled on top. 3:29 with a total cut-and-paste of the chorus that made the track feel overlong. The ending was also pretty flat/anticlimatic; a stronger resolution would tie this up nicely. The SFX isn't anything more than a minor ding, but it just sounds dry and stapled on top of this; some effects on it could make those brief cameos at least feel more integrated into the soundscape.

OverCoat didn't fully realize the potential of this piece. As far as the Standards here go, keeping the structure, tempo, and rhythms the same as the source means you have to make up for that on the interpretation level through more extensive original part-writing or evolving sound design. This was a very by-the-numbers genre change. Once you got past 2:02, the other new writing in this track felt very minor as core parts of this repeated; some instrumentation changes for the verses or choruses could have helped there. Dynamically, this was too flat; not saying the original needs to be copied in this way, but note the more dynamic changes in the energy of the source tune.

Needs more variation and development, but it's definitely something OverCoat's more than capable of if interested in revisiting this. Would love to have Garoad's soundtrack work represented on OCR, SOC, please don't drop this!

NO (resubmit)

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  • Liontamer changed the title to *NO* Va-11 Hall-A "Through the Storm, We Will Find a Way (Storm Chasers Mix)"
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