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*NO* Phantasy Star 2 "Orchestral Arrangement"


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Contact Information

► Arranger name - Serjo De Lua
► Email address - 
► Website - https://www.youtube.com/c/ClassicGameOrchestra/
► Ocremix userid - 37324

Submission Information

► Name of arranged game - Phantasy Star II (1989)
► Name of arrangement - Orchestral Arrangement
► Name of individual arranged song - Battle Theme (Rise or Fall)
► Composer - Tokuhiko Uwabo (上保 徳彦)
► Platform - Genesis / Mega drive
► Release date:
    JP: March 21, 1989
    NA: March, 1989
    EU: November 30, 1990

►Comment - 

It's a game from my childhood. So great and so underrated!
I hope you like it.
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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2021/05/10 - Phantasy Star 2 "Orchestral Arrangement"
  • 1 month later...

I love this source track, and this is a pretty solid arrangement!  I definitely enjoyed it.

However, the instrumentation is pretty far from realistic.  Mechanical timing and articulation is really bringing this down.  The legato string ensembles also use a sample with a really slow attack, which makes them sound behind the beat throughout the whole arrangement.

Arrangement-wise, there is some copy-pasta involved: 1:01-1:57 is repeated nearly verbatim immediately after.  That's almost a minute out of a 4-minute arrangement, which is a lot.  Maybe not too much by itself, but combine that with the fact that the overall arrangement, from beginning to end, consists of renditions of the same source melody, in order, and overall the feeling is of a lot of repetition.

It's a solid start, and the orchestration itself is excellent.  Since the orchestration was the main reason you did this, I'd say you succeeded on that front.  The sample use just needs that extra polish to reach our bar, IMO, and mixing the melody up would help a lot as well.


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  • MindWanderer changed the title to 2021/05/10 - (1N) Phantasy Star 2 "Orchestral Arrangement"
  • 2 weeks later...

yeah, the samples are pretty rough right off the beginning. the slow attacks on the early strings mean you essentially can't hear them half the time, and since they're not velocity-switched, everything sounds like a loud timbre even when it's obviously volumized way down. the whole opening section is intentionally quiet despite being orchestrated in a fairly full manner, same with the end. remember that your orchestral timbre is influenced by what you're including, and a low number on the gain dial doesn't mean an orchestra sounds quiet - it just means that it has a lower db value. orchestration matters a lot in those instances.

the transitional element where you put a V chord with both the 3rd and 4th next to each other is offputting. i would suggest either doing a traditional sus 4-3 or else just sitting on the 4 or the 3, not having both.

the big payoff here is the melody playing at 1:18, and i love the eighths leading into it. there's some messy arrangement going on here - the melody is well represented (sounds like you're layering marcato and legato strings to cover the attacks? that sounds weird), but everything else is block chords. the more you can use background instruments as detail rather than a wide brush, the better. the fast articulated strings doing the rhythmic driver aren't able to hack what you're trying to do, either - they just don't have a fast enough attack.

the copypasta that MW mentions is obvious, and it's most of the main body of the work. that'd be a no just like that - there needs to be more to differentiate between the two minute-long sections.

unfortunately the sample quality issues described are enough to NO this outright. i think the arrangement needs some work as well ultimately.




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  • prophetik music changed the title to 2021/05/10 - (2N) Phantasy Star 2 "Orchestral Arrangement"

Nice orchestral treatment here. The mixing wasn't ideal and the sequenced instrumentation, particularly the bowed strings, were in the uncanny valley but serviceable. Sour note in the strings at :57 and brass at 2:51 that should be tweaked.

As things built up at 1:00, the soundscape became cramped and muddy, all the way until 2:55.

1:58 sounded like a cut-and-paste retread with a touch more oomph & volume to the textures; this would have been a great point to vary up the presentation. You actually could have even shifted 3:12's section to earlier on and then figured out further variation for the rest of the track towards the finish. I liked the slowdown at 3:10 along with the glassy chimes as an accent; nice touch for the transition, Serjo.

prophetik and MindWanderer really drilled down with the details on what didn't work with the sequencing, mixing, the repetition, and dynamic contrast, so I'll co-sign with all of that. Strong start, but lots of unrealized potential here. Would love to hear another pass at this to hear how much you can improve it, Serjo. Consult the Workshop area for more feedback and production advice if you haven't already.

NO (resubmit)

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  • Liontamer changed the title to *NO* Phantasy Star 2 "Orchestral Arrangement"
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