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*NO* Portal 2 & 1 "Portal 2020 - Where Is My Mind"


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Remixer name:
        Obscure Reference Band (O.R.B.)
Band members:
        Matt Murphy () - arrangement, drums, electric piano, background vocals
        Nicholas Terelle () - acoustic and electric guitars, mixing
        Liz Woolley () - vocals, electric piano
        Joseph Brenneman () - baritone saxophone, background vocals
        Bradley Mellen () (userid: 18643) - electric bass, cello, background vocals


Name of game(s) arranged:
        Portal 2
Name of arrangement:
        Portal 2020 - Where Is My Mind
Name of individual song(s) arranged:
        Want You Gone
        Still Alive




Edited by Liontamer
closed decision
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  • 6 months later...

couple of classic tracks here.

liz sounds fantastic in the intro here. i love the palm-muted guitar as well. there's some aggressively panned bells in the right ear that's a little strong around 1:30, but i think the occasional harmonies are just so well-done. the ritard going into 1:49 is really delicately handled too.

1:50's shift is great. liz's stylistic shift really fits the funk going on behind her. the band's a big loud around her when everyone's going, but overall the sound is pretty great. the whole section from 2:35 through about 2:55 has a bunch of gating on everything as well that sounds great to provide contrast. 

the transition to Still Alive was pretty sudden overall and not super prepared, but it's not bad, just unexpected and a bit of a tangent shift. i liked the build through this section, and at 5:00 it sounds pretty awesome with the vocals in the left ear, although the track is noticeably heavier in that ear until the end of the track. the extended chord at the end is dope and a great creative way to end the track.

overall this is a great performance, and it's a really fun arrangement. i felt the snare and the kick are a bit head-heavy (notably the snare doesn't have much pop and the kick's head is pretty high), which i'm guessing was intentional, but i felt it kinda clogged the middle a bit as a result. my other complaint is that the panning in this track overall is pretty significant. the bari sax is heavy in the left ear throughout, the bells when they're playing are heavy in the right ear, and the high voice is heavy in the left ear at the end. there's significant differences in the RMS between the two ears for most of the track. if i have a suggestion for future tracks, the panning on this track could easily be cut back by half and it'd still do what it's supposed to do.

ultimately the arrangement and performance pulls it up for me. like i said earlier, liz's vocals are delightful and well handled, and the band's overall sound and tight performance is great. my mastering complaints aren't enough to keep this off the front page. looking forward to more submissions from such a talented group of musicians.




edit 11/15: same as MW, i didn't recognize the references but they break the standards. a sad NO for this one from me.

Edited by prophetik music
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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2020/11/23 - (1Y) Portal 1 & 2 "Where Is My Mind"
  • 2 weeks later...

Opens up with a fantastic folk/grunge interpretation, with stellar performances all around.  I'm instantly drawn into the vocals and perfectly-calculated, minimal backing.

Not liking it quite so much at 1:51.  The arrangement is still great in isolation, but the fact that it's repeating the lyrics all over again is a bit wearying, considering the narrative/comedy nature of the lyrics.  And the mixing is definitely not quite right; the baritone sax in particular is very loud.  I do like the more "acoustic" interpretation of GLaDOS's glitchy voice effects.

The "Still Alive" portion is... strange.  Cramming it into "Want You Gone"'s chord progression results in some weird interactions.  Not quite dissonance, just... unsettling, I guess?  It took me several listens to get used to, and I'm still not totally.

I'd love to get a rebalanced version, mainly for that sax, but it's not worth sending this back over.  And I can't think of anything objectively wrong with the treatment of "Still Alive."  If I were being a perfectionist, I'd suggest it might be worthwhile to write original lyrics so that it doesn't repeat them, but that's a tough ask on several levels and I can't see requiring that.

Despite my criticisms, this is an amazing piece overall, absolutely worth sharing.

Edit 11/11: Unfortunately, Larry is 100% correct.  I wasn't familiar with the songs you and he referenced, but it's clearly neither accidental nor incidental.  It's cool, but I'm afraid we just can't allow it.


Edited by MindWanderer
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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2020/11/23 - (2Y) Portal 1 & 2 "Portal 2020 - Where Is My Mind"

 I didn't mind the production choices and thought the Portal aspect of the arrangement was solid. Presentation and performances were well above the bar here. Unfortunately, there's too much reference of non-VGM source material IMO for me to vote in favor of it.


3. Acceptable Source Material

3. Any incorporation or arrangement of source material not from games (mainstream, classical, etc.) should be extremely limited.

Radiohead - "No Surprises" - :01-:13.5, :57-1:25, 1:27-1:44.5 (58 seconds)
Pixies - "Where Is My Mind?" - 5:00-5:41 (41 seconds)
99 seconds total or 27.88% of the piece invoking non-VGM sources

In a vacuum, I love the piece, there's nothing wrong with the concept and execution in terms of our quality bar. Involving "No Surprises" is also a really cool touch given that the music videos for that track and both Portal songs all have lyrics that appear on screen, aka "I see what you did there."

But the involvement of the non-VGM sources is too extensive for me to not view it as a Standards Violation. If O.R.B. were open to an OCR Edit in some form to keep the Radiohead/Pixies references a lot, lot shorter, that would be cool and we would fast-track its evaluation, but there's no requirement or request to compromise the vision of the piece just to have it posted here. :'-(

NO (resubmit)

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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2020/11/23 - (1Y/2N) Portal 2 & 1 "Portal 2020 - Where Is My Mind"
  • prophetik music changed the title to *NO* Portal 2 & 1 "Portal 2020 - Where Is My Mind"
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