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*NO* Donkey Kong Country 2 "When the Joy Meets the Life"

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Hatsune Miku singing "When The Joy Meets The LIfe"
-Name of game(s) arranged: Donkey Kong Country 2
-Name of arrangement: When The Joy Meets The Life
-Name of individual song(s) arranged: Stickerbrush Symphony (Brambles)
-Additional information about game including composer, system, etc:
System: SNES
Composer: David Wise
-Link to the original soundtrack:
Comments: I was searching for a female vocal since 2013 to work on projects. The search was proven unsuccessful. Fortunately I was introduced to Vocaloid, Hatsune Miku and its mechanics to make my own vocals myself, and that's the result!


Edited by prophetik music
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Huh, a Bramble remix that doesn't use the texture that it's rather famous for? Color me interested. Arrangement-wise the harmonies are pretty clearly connected to the source, and the vocals calls back to the source enough to make it clear what this is an arrangement of. To be honest, it's different, and I kind of like it.

That being said, there are places where this track would benefit from another look. The drums are dry and don't blend well with the airy nature of the pads. Some reverb on them so that they sound like they're in the same room as the rest of the instruments would help quite a bit. The guitars and electric vocals suffer from the same issue - too dry, so they don't sound like they're in the same space as the rest of the instruments.

The lead guitar solo (which sounds pretty cool, btw), would be helped quite a lot if either the low pass applied to it was lightened up, or if the EQ was balanced on it so that it sounded brighter if no such low pass was applied. Right now it sounds like it's coming from a recording from a different track, with how little it meshes with the rest of the song.

The biggest overall issue with the track is that it sounds like nothing is blending, so if you could smooth over it with some room effects and brighten the sound of that solo guitar this would have a much better shot, unconventional as the arrangement is.


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  • Gario changed the title to 2020/12/05 - (1N) Donkey Kong Country 2 "When the Joy Meets the Life"
  • 1 month later...

I have to agree that the mixing comes across as unfinished on my first impression. As you start to add heavier guitars, the choice of patch for the bass and drums makes a lot more sense, but for the first minute and a half, the tone of the bass and drums just doesn't match with the rest of the instrumentation. Because you're using the same drum pattern throughout the whole track, it also feels very repetitive and by the time you actually bring in the rhythm/lead guitars, the pattern starts to feel extremely stale. I would consider revisiting your drumming and adding in variation/fills throughout the track, rather than just at major transition points, and developing some new base patterns that are better suited for each point in the song (more relaxed/ethereal for the first half, and more intense later on when the guitars kick in.) 

My overall impression is that this is a pretty strong concept once the guitars are introduced, but up until that point, the soundscape feels underdeveloped. Gario has some great feedback on the mixing side, but I would also like to see more sounds and textures added to keep the first part of the arrangement more engaging and cohesive and give the listener more to latch onto.

Love the bold concept, but the execution needs another pass or two to get it up to par. Keep at it!


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  • Emunator changed the title to 2020/12/05 - (2N) Donkey Kong Country 2 "When the Joy Meets the Life"
  • 3 weeks later...

the lack of verb on, like, anything really kills this right off the bat. nothing sounds like it's in the same area, and there's no volumization on any of the instruments to balance them as the ensemble changes. the guitar solo is pretty slick, but even when it's playing the band doesn't really sound 'real', mostly because the band mixing is so dry, and because the overall dynamic range of the track stays exactly the same for the entire length of the song. the drums need serious attention, as well - there's very clearly one rhythm beat with one fill beat used, and i can't even hear the hats if there are any.

i can't say that i like the vocaloid application on this track. vocaloid can be remarkably convincing when used carefully, and i don't think that enough care was taken with the phonics on this instance. there's some effecting going on there as well that just sounds sloppy.

the other judges seem more bullish on this than i am. i think this needs some serious work before it's ready for primetime. i think workshopping this would be a great idea.




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  • prophetik music changed the title to *NO* Donkey Kong Country 2 "When the Joy Meets the Life"
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