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OCR04375 - Final Fantasy 7 "Hear Her Cries"


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*UPDATE 12th Sep 2022* - HarlemHeat360 sent a new mixdown with no clipping and some slight changes to the drum patterns:


Hello and thank you for your help. I did some changing up here and added some compression and limiters there and Audacity shows zero clipping now. The only thing I changed outright was the drum pattern. Other than that, I like the part in the beginning so I can't bring myself to change it. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns with the new file. It shouldn't be hard to revert any changes or make further changes with the session on my end....I think!


Contact Information
Username: HarlemHeat360
Website: https://www.youtube.com/user/HarlemHeat360

Submission Information
Arrangement Game: Final Fantasy VII
Name of Arrangement: Hear Her Cries
Song Being Arranged: Listen to the Cries of the Planet
Comments: Originally, this song began as more of a transcription/remaster idea, but as i played more and more with the electronic aspects of the song, I really got into it. By the end I was giddy to make new interesting sounds while still trying to make an enjoyable sounding track. I think that was the most difficult aspect--trying to find beauty in the soundscape without creating a cacophony of sound. 

Overall, the concept is a cry for help that goes unnoticed. The track sort of shouts at you once more, pleading to be heard. That second half, in my eyes, is the planet showing you all those scars and taking off the cover from the first half. It's much more raw and emotional--not as docile. I hope that image came through during this arrangement.
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  • Emunator changed the title to 2021/02/07 - Final Fantasy 7 "Hear Her Cries"
  • 4 months later...

This starts out with some very quality cinematic textures that would sound right at home in a modern film or game score. The first two minutes don't deviate far from the original source, melodically, but there's plenty of ear-candy and textural enhancements to keep things engaging during this initial buildup. At 1:55, we suddenly jump to the meat of the arrangement and things definitely start to click. The iconic "Cries of the Planet" arpeggio is ever present throughout the arrangement, but the way that you build up content around that riff  through sound design, vocals, and additional original melodies prevents this from ever feeling like a cover. 

I did notice that some of the cinematic transition effects (such as 2:39 or 3:01, for example - are these from Hybrid Tools by 8Dio by any chance?) were mixed quite loudly. I tend to fall into this trap when using transition sound effects in my own work, since the original samples tend to be mixed so loudly, and it's easy to mix your transition effects WAY louder than the rest of the track. You can definitely still have the dramatic impact you're trying to achieve without being as blown out as they sound here.

That's my only major gripe on the mixing and arrangement - aside from that, I really enjoyed this! I'm really keen to hear where you go next with this style as you hone your skills and get more ambitious with your arrangements. Nice work!


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  • Emunator changed the title to 2021/02/07 - (1Y) Final Fantasy 7 "Hear Her Cries"

What a lovely idea!  I can easily see this as the score for an in-game cinematic, or even an extended trailer.  Lovely sounds and a well-thought-out sequence of presentation.  Overall a really beautiful piece.

However, those "cinematic" transition sounds bother me more than they do Emunator.  They're not just loud compared to the sounds around them, they're uncomfortably loud when listening at a comfortable level for me.  Also, there's one at the very beginning of the piece, and since it sounds cut-off and stuttering, it sounds more like a rendering artifact than an effect.  I wouldn't have known it was intentional if there weren't intentional sounds very similar to it later on.

Not all of those effects bother me to the point where I can't sign off on them, but the loudest ones do, and the one at 0:00 does.  It should be a quick fix, though.


Update 9/12: I'm still not in love with those sections.  The stuttering intro is just a weird aesthetic choice, and the effect at 2:39 sounds like it was crushed before having the volume lowered.  They're not dealbreakers anymore, though.


Edited by MindWanderer
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  • MindWanderer changed the title to 2021/02/07 - (1Y/1C) Final Fantasy 7 "Hear Her Cries"
  • 2 weeks later...

there's some really fun electronic work in the beginning of this. i liked the more muted version of the classic arpeggio, and the variety of textures and mix of electronic and acoustic instrumentation. the echoed piano at 1:16 is great, and really helps capture the feel of the original piece effectively.

the volume level jumps dramatically at 1:51, and those transitional sounds are indeed really loud. this entire section is probably too loud, honestly. the soundscape is super interesting and it's doing lots of interesting things, but the transitional sounds are indeed just too loud compared to everything else. that said, the vox samples are really great, and i loved the prelude cameo around 3:13. the arrangement does a good job closing itself out as well, i thought.

for a track with essentially no melody, this is immediately recognizable and very transformative. the overly loud transitions were less a critical issue for me than MW but i wouldn't mind hearing them reduced. either way, this is a great track and really an excellent job capturing an eclectic vision of a great original. nice work.




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  • prophetik music changed the title to 2021/02/07 - (2Y/1C) Final Fantasy 7 "Hear Her Cries"
  • 5 months later...

Really dig the sound design of the opening. Stays melodically conservative, but it's nice and foreboding, and as others said, the arrangement approach gets more additive on top of the source tune in the second half. Bowed string articulations were briefly exposed some around 1:04, so just watch for stuff like that, but the sample quality's more than solid and what's here is used well for a supermajority of the track.

1:55-3:00 has some pretty tame percussion and bass work come in, and the textures don't click here. IMO, the snare shouldn't be as soft of a tone and the bass should be sharper and more discernable. I enjoyed this for the most part, and it does come together nicely. Making some production adjustments to this area would make this solid all around. Looks like it'll pass as is, but something for the future if so.

NO (resubmit)

EDIT (9/16): The revisions don't address my issues with the drum textures not clicking and the bass writing getting buried, so my vote stays the same, but everything else remains strong. I know a lot of folks will enjoy this!

Edited by Liontamer
added comment on revision
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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2021/02/07 - (2Y/1C/1N) Final Fantasy 7 "Hear Her Cries"
  • Liontamer pinned this topic

This one is really close for me.  I really like it.  The mix could use some production improvements, the drums sound muddled and high-passed to me.  The track could use some strategic EQ work to make sure everything is playing in its optimal range, most importantly cutting lows/mud out of anything not playing lows.  The main arp is played by the same filtered piano throughout the entire track; the second half would have benefited from that arp being played by something a little different.  The transitions effects are indeed way too loud.  But, the arrangement is lovely, the sound choices work well and the vocals fit super nicely, the track has a very emotional vibe to it.


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  • Chimpazilla changed the title to 2021/02/07 - (3Y/1C/1N) Final Fantasy 7 "Hear Her Cries"
  • 4 weeks later...

This is a lovely arrangement with real feeling and flow to it. I like how the main arp is present throughout the mix, but with the shifts in backing and accompaniment, the character seems to change.

Given that there are 2 distinct sections to the piece, I'd like a more dramatic bridge between the two. The transition at 1:51-1:55 was lacking in impact, and the drumkit in the second section seems like it's the wrong choice. It sounds a bit too splashy for the drama and intensity that's being striven for. Something a little tighter, with more punch and low-mid presence might suit the piece better. The vocals are great, though, and really well handled. Definitely adds that cinematic touch and emotion that this piece brings.

The previous critiques are mostly nitpicks, but there's one major thing that holds this back for me, and that's the clipping. From the submission guidelines:

1. Submissions should be cleanly and clearly produced.

  • Recordings should be reasonably free of distortion, hum, clicks, pops, or other unintentional audio artifacts.

Now, I can live with one or two instances of clipping, but I counted well over 10 seconds' worth of distortion caused by clipping at 2:38-2:42, 3:01-3:04, 3:40, 3:42-3:45. It was really noticeable on first listen, and looking at it in Audacity it's not pretty either:


Looks like the other judges have mentioned it already, but it's those transition effects that are the culprits. Fix the clipping on those and we're all gravy.

NO (resubmit)

Edit 12/09/22: I'm good with the new mixdown. Fixes the clipping, and my other suggestions were only nitpicks. Percussion could be cleaner, although I think the extra attention to the backing effects has brought the drums out a bit better. Vocals still sound superb, both lead and the whispery backing ones.


Edited by DarkSim
New file from Remixer
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  • MindWanderer changed the title to 2021/02/07 - (5Y/1N) Final Fantasy 7 "Hear Her Cries" *NEW MIXDOWN FROM ARTIST*
  • Liontamer changed the title to OCR04375 - Final Fantasy 7 "Hear Her Cries"
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