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*NO* Final Fantasy 3 "Cosmic Ocean" *PROJECT*


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  • Your ReMixer name : Artem Bank
  • Your real name : Artem Bank
  • Your website : abankmusic.com
  • Your userid : 19758
  • Name of game(s) arranged : Final Fantasy III
  • Name of arrangement : Cosmic Ocean
  • Name of individual song(s) arranged : The Boundless Ocean
For the FFIII project that's being done currently! I wanted to drift into the chill lo-fi inspiration because of that flute-synth lead from the original game, and make the lead more flutey (woo for the mini DiZi vst), double down on the lushness of the strings toward the end, and really push the ending really big. Hopefully I did it justice!
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Right off the bat, I love the ambiance you've created, and there's enough evolution going on to warrant the extended intro, even with the lack of source connection during that time. The initial kick drum sounds very dry compared to the rest of the lush soundscape around it. When the full drums kick in, it blends more naturally because the live bass fills out the low-end better, but I would consider revisiting how the kick is used during the intro and later sections when the sample is more exposed.

When we get to the meat of things, this is pretty solid. I like the mix of acoustic tonal instruments and the digital ambiance and crunchy drums. I do think this track relies a little too heavily on the DiZi plugin - for such a long runtime, it's hard to justify using the same lead instrument for the entire duration. Even though it's a really nice sound on its own, and there's a lot of changes going on in your backing instrumentation to keep the track fresh, I can't help but think how much stronger this would be with a second lead instrument serving as a counterpoint. 

I hate to say this, but the glitching from 3:41 through 5:14 felt superfluous and overly long. This may be some degree of personal preference at play, but it came across as a way to pad the length of the track. I think you could have easily gotten the same ideas across in about half the time. I would suggest either curtailing the length of that section, or leaning fully in the other direction and getting a bit wilder with your drum rhythms and glitching and leaning fully into the concept. Right now, that section is stuck in a limbo state where the lead is wilding out but the rest of the groove stays relatively static.

Past that, the rest of the arrangement is pretty solid and things really clicked when the additional percussion came in around the 6 minute mark. Very dramatic way to close the arrangement. @prophetik music @Rexy I'm curious to hear your thoughts on the chord structure at 6:25 - I understand that you were trying to transition into a different tonality for the last stretch, but there sounds like there's a lot of unpleasant dissonance going on here. Maybe you guys can elaborate on this.

Overall, your approach is ambitious and there's a lot of effort put in to justify the length. There's no wholesale copy/paste repetition, thankfully, but there's some staleness that feels baked in because of certain sections that go on longer than necessary, and due to the lack of variation in tone throughout the arrangement. I think the bones of the arrangement are very strong, but it could benefit from some reworking and editing to make the overall product tighter. 

NO (resubmit!)

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  • Emunator changed the title to 2020/09/11 - (1N) Final Fantasy 3 "Cosmic Ocean"

i like the initial ambiance for sure. there's some fun ideas going on in there to keep it not just a sustained pad, although ultimately it's real long, probably too long before we get a real instrument. when the melody comes in at 1:30 with the drums, i really like the simple texture around it. i do think the melody is far too loud (i actually turned down my headphones at this part), especially consider how spare the background is. it needs to come down dramatically for it to be balanced there. there's some really obvious machine-gun hats at 2:02 and afterwards, too - it's very obviously fake drums there. the subsequent plectral delayed stuff in the background is great, though, and sounded really interesting. the shift to the b section at 2:46 was interestingly handled, and the bass did a nice job driving it forward. there's some wrong notes at 2:58 (bass is right, the pad in the background is a half-step off and conflicts).

around 3:15ish i felt like this track was getting stale, so i'm glad for the shift at 3:23 to break it down. however, now that the bass is more exposed, it became really obvious that the bass is intensely sharp, like at least an eighth of a tone. it sounded a bit funky before but i associated it with pad IQM. it's distractingly bad, enough for me to NO it just based on that.

the glitch break was actually pretty fun, for at least a while. i recognized a few of the effects as being dblue's Glitch plugin, maybe? it was surprising (at least a few of the hits were really notably loud which was not great, like the hard pingpong at 4:58) if only because you hadn't really done anything with electronic effects before this in the track, but it was still interesting. i do think it was a bit longer than needed, but i liked the exploratory aspect. the subsequent shift to piano was pretty if simple. this would have been a perfect time for you to really get into playing with the chord structure and exploring the original more, but instead it's essentially the same progression and melodic content we've heard all along without much personalization. the very low left hand hits were distracting since they were two octaves below what anyone could have played, but that's more personal preference, i think.

bringing it all back together at 6:00 was indeed fun to hear. i was also tired of the dizi at this point, but i liked how much more cinematic this was. there's what could be a really cool moment at 6:25 but isn't (i'll explain in depth below), and a few weird notes in the background parts, but overall this section is interesting and more intense which is great. the ending is fairly sudden (again, i'll say more below), but i liked what happened, i just think it needs to be set up and prepped more.

@Emunator, the awkward chord you're referencing sounds actually right but really poorly handled. the piece overall is in e minor, and is primarily moving in a stepwise fashion (em, D, C, D). starting at 6:21, you've got C, then a D7/F#, then an am, then a B of some kind. so, that's a normal progression here (C and D from the stepwise progression, then am and B as a cadential unit, a normal iv-V cadence). but the melody is based around the E-B jump that starts it, and that means that when you've moving in an unstable manner (C-F# is a tri-tone!) to D7/F#, you've got a melody based around B and E (neither of which is in that chord), the bass is in subbass territory so there's no clear pitches there AND it's out of tune by a lot, you've got a counter melody moving around non-chord tones (B-C-D-C in the dizi in the background, settling on the 7 which is the most unstable of D7/F#'s tones), and then the F# doesn't resolve stepwise like it wants to, it goes to an am. so the pitchy bass, combined with what could be a fun alternate form of the chord if it wasn't so unsupported (F# needs to be reinforced elsewhere, no non chord tones included), combined with the movement from  that unstable cadential form of D7 to an am which isn't naturally a cadence point - all that combines to make it sound just wrong. and i'd argue that it is, it's significantly difficult to hear where the arranger's going with that. i'd argue that's another auto-NO moment.

overall, this is a very interesting track. there's a lot of technical miscues - the out-of-tune bass, wrong notes in the background, the awkward chord at 6:25, the lack of fills or transitional elements throughout, the very simplistic and rote drums - but there's a really cool track crystalizing here, i think. with some significant attention to details, this could be a really special work. right now i think it needs some more workshopping, but it's definitely got a place here if some of those missteps are cleaned up.




Edited by prophetik music
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  • prophetik music changed the title to 2020/09/11 - (2N) Final Fantasy 3 "Cosmic Ocean"
  • Liontamer pinned this topic
  • 3 months later...

This is definitely an interesting arrangement, with some strong instrument choices and nice, meaty opening. The biggest thing that holds it back, in my opinion, is the relative lack of structure and pacing; it doesn't quite sound like it knows where it wants to go or what it wants to be. The first minute is a cinematic, wide ambient sound, ghosting the theme (really cool, btw), then at 1:32 it has a dry, almost personal or chamber feel to it with that initial wide synth behind it. Then it moves to a nice groove at 3:24, followed by stark glitching at 3:41 on the lead (which goes on for over a minute), then to a solo piano, then... yeah.

I like these ideas on their own, but the arrangement needs to tie these together using more than the source. Right now things are just not coming together as a coherent piece where things stand. The other judges have covered the other issues fairly well (tuning in the bass, sour notes from too much motion in the texture, melody mixing, etc.), but the most important thing is that structurally it needs to have more focus and cohesiveness. Each part could be made into an arrangement on it's own, but you need to focus on what you want to take from this and make it into a track that adds up into more than just a sum of it's parts.


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  • Liontamer changed the title to *NO* Final Fantasy 3 "Cosmic Ocean" *PROJECT*
  • Rexy changed the title to *NO* Final Fantasy 3 "Cosmic Ocean"
  • Rexy locked and unpinned this topic
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