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OCR04467 - *YES* Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War "Lovers' Quarrel"


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Your ReMixer name: 227
Your userid (number, not name) on our forums, found by viewing your 
forum profile: 17063
Your real name: Je Christian
Name of game(s) arranged: Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War (Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu in Japanese)
Name of arrangement: "Lovers' Quarrel"
Name of individual song(s) arranged: "Lover 3"
Link to the original soundtrack (if it is not one of the sound archives already available on the site): 

Additional information about game including composer, system, etc. (if it has not yet been added to the site): It's an old tactical RPG for the Super Famicom, back before the Fire Emblem games received official translations. Wikipedia says that the composer is Yuka Tsujiyoko.

Your own comments about the mix, for example the inspiration behind it, how it was made, etc.:

The original track is kind of relaxing and romantic, so I wanted to murder all of that with a hatchet and inject a boatload of drama. First stop was changing the time signature from 4/4 to 6/8 and establishing a general vibe. Everything up to :36 is original material (so 1:14 to 1:31 also doesn't have any of the original song in it, either), so that's where the original's melody starts to come in. I changed the chords behind the melody when everything builds up at :56 and 2:08 for the sake of extra drama. Finally, I added pitch bends, which are the most ~dramatic~ way to play with pitch.

Hopefully all of this makes you want to scream at someone in the rain and throw a shoe at their face.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Interesting dark synthwave take on a simple romantic source.  Definitely not something I saw coming!

There's some rich bass layering going on here.  It sounds great on my setup, but I do wonder how it would sound on a setup with a strong bass response.  It's pretty light in the highs, though clearly you were going for a darker tone here.

Some of the choices are a little weird: some strange timing here, some weak leads there, a touch of dissonance.  There's some structural repetition, but each loops makes at least some notable change, e.g. shifting the lead up an ocatave, or swapping or removing the bass synth.  I will say that even though the one change is a big one, it's still just one change, and the loops could stand to differentiate themselves more.  Also, there's no ending to speak of.

There are a lot of little things that bug me about this, but none of it is substantial enough to merit a NO.  Overall, it's creative and it has a great tone.  There are tweaks I'd like to see happen, but I'm also okay giving this a


Update 4/13: I just want to make it clear that I saw Larry's vote. I don't believe in counting fractions of a second, and rounding those off makes the count only 5 seconds short of 50%. And his count also skipped a 4-second break in the middle. Heck, there's even 3 seconds of silence at the end that could be trimmed out and doesn't need to count against it. Calling this not dominant source usage is nit-picking IMHO.

Edited by MindWanderer
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  • MindWanderer changed the title to 2021/11/17 - (1Y) Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War "Lovers' Quarrel"
  • 1 month later...

funny writeup. love the hatchet line.

this has a real dark vibe to it. i agree it's very light in the highs, to the point it feels kind of weird on headphones. there is also WAY too much sub-40hz content, anything with reasonable bass response is going to be absolutely wiped by it. not many tracks need 20hz at -19db, or 12hz at -24db. filtering out the mess below 35hz and a hard cutoff at 20hz would be a huge improvement in the feel of the track so it's not so thick-feeling.

the melody is recognizable right away, and the big parts of the track have a really big, beefy, epic feel to it that's interestingly conflicted against synthwave's usual feel. i particularly liked the intentional stripping down of the texture for some of the melodic content - it is great contrast and a really neat way to focus on what's important there.

the pitchy part at 1:14 is just not doing it for me personally, but i think the pitch drop into 1:32 was nice and a clever idea for a transition. the slides in the leads (like 2:04) sounded straight out of Oblivion, love that.

the ending is very sudden and doesn't feel like an ending.

this is an interesting one. there's some intentional lo-fi techniques used that work in the bounds of the piece but individually are pretty weird - lots of intentionally atonal or overtone-heavy cluster pitches used, 6/8 instead of a 4-based time signature, tons of filtering to remove highs on purpose...and then the crazy bass response. i think that this is right on the border for me. i rarely use conditional but i think that fits here, as there really needs to be a filter on the low end before it'd be functional. that's a quick change though, the export will take longer than the configuration.




edit 6/15: i've been informed this track can't be loaded in its original form. i still want the filter on the low end - i feel we could do that in post and it wouldn't be bad? - but not enough to hold this back still.


Edited by prophetik music
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  • prophetik music changed the title to 2021/11/17 - (1Y/1C) Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War "Lovers' Quarrel"
  • 2 weeks later...

I love the direction you've gone with this. The pulsating bass is a trademark opening for a dark synthwave track, but the 6/8 spin you've put on it adds a freshness and a level of intrigue once the percussion arrives at 0:18. The rhythmic patterns formed between the kick and bass sound great, and I appreciate the attention to detail with the velocity automation on both samples. It helps the backing flow very smoothly.

There's another nice pairing in here too, not just the kick and bass. The melody is countered by the intense-sounding chord progression underneath, which hints at the source, but is something entirely transformed with those new chords.

The sound design is on-point here throughout, but my favourite patch is the downright apocalyptic FX pad during the choruses at 1:00 and 2:08 that's straight out of the Upside Down. Tying the whole thing together is a very cohesive timbre between all the patches and instruments, that's a difficult thing to achieve. Nice job there!

I do have some points for improvement though. Some of the spacey-bell-synth thing is verging on clipping, particularly noticeable at 1:42, but elsewhere as well. There's some distortion being introduced by the track-level compressor, so I'd suggest dialling that back so that your master chain has some headroom to work with. Also on the mastering, the low-end is way too hot. It sounds fine on my headphones, but anything with a decent sub bass will probably sound like a huge mess. That said, I'm OK with letting it slide because I popped it into my DAW and rolled off the low-end, and it didn't sound significantly better.

Finally, where's the ending? The drama and intensity of the piece just drifted away and dissolved. That was a big anticlimax, and something to improve in future.


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  • DarkSim changed the title to 2021/11/17 - (2Y/1C) Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War "Lovers' Quarrel"

The track was 3:07-long, so I needed to identify the source tune referenced for at least 93.5 seconds of the track for the source material to be dominant in the arrangement:

:36-1:13, 1:48.75-2:04, 2:08.75-2:46 = 89.5 seconds or 47.86% overt source usage

Based on Je's own notes on what he said was original writing vs. arrangement, I don't believe I'm missing anything here.

I agreed with some of the production critiques, but it was nothing that would hold this back from being approved on that level. I didn't mind the ending; it was still a proper resolution.

If someone else can identify more source usage that I somehow overlooked, I'd change my vote, but to me, this is a solid track, just a little source-light based on what I can make out, so that's an arrangement dealbreaker in all cases. If I'm correct, it shouldn't be difficult to slide in some more references to the source tune to bump this up to using the source tune for more than 50% of the track.

NO (resubmit)

EDIT (6/8): Re: MW's comments ("his count also skipped a 4-second break in the middle. Heck, there's even 3 seconds of silence at the end that could be trimmed out and doesn't need to count against it."), there was no silence in the middle to take into account, as I didn't count the pulsing line from 1:26-1:30 as somehow not being music, and I always take track silence at the beginning & end into account, though I can be forgetful, so I appreciate the nudge to be sure.

I did listen again before reaching out to Je again and should have credited another 2 seconds for a trailing note that actually ends at 2:46, so I did account for that in the timestamping now

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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2021/11/17 - (2Y/1C/1N) Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War "Lovers' Quarrel"
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  • 1 month later...

I know I have listened to this before now, it's completely familiar even though I never voted on it until today, and I remember that I did try to vote on this but I was immediately hit by how little source I heard.  Now I have listened through three times with Larry's timestamps and he is correct, there isn't any more than what he heard which is 46ish percent.  I think this could be remedied super easily by adding some source motif into some of the more empty passages, most especially 1:27-1:49 where there is nothing but the two chords over and over.  Take some instrument we haven't heard yet and hint at the source motif there.  Make that section build a little bit too.  That will also go a long way toward reducing the repetitive nature of the sounds and arrangement.  It won't take much more source to get this arrangement over the 50%-source mark.  

I don't hear anything dealbreaking with the production; the overall sound is on the lo-fi side but it feels intentional.  If you shave off the lowest of lows (sub 25-30Hz) you will be able to get a louder and cleaner master, you could even bump the lows a little bit on the master (after shaving off sub 25-30Hz) and have a tighter sounding low end with minimal or no mud.  I love the triplets, I don't hear this as 6/8 just 4/4 with triplets but it's very cool either way.  I like this arrangement, just needs more source.  The ending sounds lazy, but it works well enough.

NO (please add more source and resubmit)

Edited by Chimpazilla
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  • Chimpazilla changed the title to 2021/11/17 - (2Y/1C/2N) Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War "Lovers' Quarrel"

Damn this is like...lo-fi synthwave and I am here for it. Very cool choices made on the genre and direction of this piece. 

If I was going to get a little nitpicky, I'd love to hear a little bit more bottom end overall (but especially at 2:10). We had some bassy stuff leading up, and then it kind of drops out for me. Like, I want to be sitting in a big fat 80hz cloud for this piece, because it deserves it, and I think it would make the lo-fi ness stand out in a way that would be goosebumpy. I'd also say the high end instrument at the VERY beginning is just a touch too harsh and could come back in the mix. It sounds better when other instruments come in at 25 or so, but when it starts out it's abrasive on the ears. The kicks need a touch of EQ trimming maybe at like 150hz, that might give you some room there to make it sound fuller on the bottom. 

I think it's interesting in the way that I'm contrasting with some of the other judges on this one (like Darksim told you to turn the lows down and I'm telling you to make me a figurative cloud) and I think the weird sounds are actuallly beneficial to this piece. but one place I do agree is that I would have loved a bigger ending. This piece is SO unique and SO epic, that I think it deserved more than just a dropout. But that's your choice.

Source...I dunno. I'm fine with source usage on this one. It was clear to me that this was an arrangement of the tune, and we benefit from the variations and departures in a way that enriches the original. 


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  • XPRTNovice changed the title to 2021/11/17 - (3Y/1C/2N) Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War "Lovers' Quarrel"
  • 1 month later...

This is one that's gonna make you sit up and pay attention. Very dark, going for an almost 80s horror feel.

I hear some of the other Js complaints about soundscape and balance but I don't feel like this one's too far off.

Where I'm getting caught up is some of these longer original passages. I don't mind a little bit of original writing here and there but there some significant "Not Fire Emblem" chunks that could do with some source connection. 1:31 puts way too much emphasis on the fifth interval going up and down for a little too long.

I'm not a stopwatcher like Larry (counting fractions of a second definitely not my style) but I share the overall concern that this one steps away from the source a little too often.

NO, resub

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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2021/11/17 - (3Y/1C/3N - Emunator / Gario / Rexy) Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War "Lovers' Quarrel"

I reached out to Je via email, but it was missed, so I forum PMed him yesterday wth the same comments and was able to then get a hold of him; sharing our convo:


On 3/16/2023 at 12:15 PM, Liontamer said:

Hey Je, I'm sorry for the long wait on a decision for this one. I enjoyed it, but from what I can tell about where you reference the source tune, I wasn't hearing it in the majority of the arrangement.

The track was 3:07-long, so I needed to identify the source tune referenced for at least 93.5 seconds of the track for the source material to be dominant in the arrangement (i.e. the music is primarily arranging/referencing video game music, per our Submissions Standards):

:36-1:13, 1:48.75-2:04, 2:08.75-2:46 = 89.5 seconds or 47.86% overt source usage

My timestamps are what I recognize; am I overlooking other areas where you also referenced "Lover 3"? Really enjoy the track as well, so thank you for submitting it!

Also, were you on the Discord server yet?
https://discord.gg/VABjqGa -Larry


On 6/7/2023 at 08:10 AM, 227 said:

Oh, sorry for missing that and leaving you hanging. Yeah, I think that I went a bit overboard trying to hit the "substantial and original" mark. It's been a while since I sent that in, but I think those timestamps are right and everything else is original. Sorry if this is a stupid and obvious question (I definitely knew the answer or something approximating an answer at some point), but for my own future reference, what would you say is the ideal ratio of original content to source usage?

And no, I'm not on the Discord yet, but I recently started getting comfortable with how everything works on there after Metapop got axed by Native Instruments and the community went Discord-only. I'll have to stop by at some point.


On 6/7/2023 at 10:57 AM, Liontamer said:

Re: how our rules go, it's not a dumb question whatsoever. From part 4, section 3 of the Submission Standards re: arrangement:

3. The source material must be identifiable and dominant.

  • While interpretation and original additions are encouraged, arrangement must not modify the source material beyond recognition.
  • The amount of arranged source material must be substantial enough to be recognized.

I hinge my decision-making the most on "identifiable and dominant," which is why I end up lovingly timestamping and stopwatching stuff. Part of it is showing the artists that we're actually paying attention to their tracks and understanding what they did. Part of it is to sanity check that they aren't just doing their own thing with a small amount of VGM usage in there.

In my opinion, the VGM source material must always be the dominant/majority component of any arrangement. My personal guideline for this is identifying the source tunes in use somewhere within the arrangement for at least 50% of the track's duration.

For this specific track, for example, consider sliding in the first two notes from the source melody (you use it from :35-:36) -- but more quietly or with a different sound -- as a background element underneath at 1:30 or 1:39 until 1:48 when the full melody returns at full volume. That would be enough to nudge the source usage over the 50% mark without making big changes. For the timing, the sound could trigger either at, say 1:39 at the same time as the lead sound, or at 1:40, almost like a call-and-response in between the two flourishes at 1:39 and 1:41). That's just one potential idea, with the intention being invoking the source just a bit longer.

For me and sometimes other judges, if it's 49.99%, that's automatically a NO, but some judges will entertain stuff below 50% and go with their gut. It always safest to be at 50.01% or above. But artists can and do range all over the place in terms of how much of their arrangement is actively referencing the source tune at any given time, so as long as the VGM "dominates" the arrangement, invoking the VGM from anything from 50-100% of the track's duration is welcome and allowed. You don't have to necessarily have to add wholly original sections; as long as the presentation is personalized enough, people often do refer to the source during 70-80% of an arrangement. It's up to the artist!

Hope to see you in the Discord for sure, Je, it's a great community there, and I always enjoy your work! :-) -Larry


On 6/8/2023 at 01:02 AM, 227 said:

Awesome, thanks for such a detailed reply. I definitely have a better idea of the goal now. I probably won't end up going back and changing this track because I've switched DAWs since then and that track's production was super messy (the whole thing was basically held together with scotch tape and push pins), but this will be incredibly useful for future submissions. There's this track from Trapt on the PS2 that I've been thinking about making a remix of.

Thanks again!

To summarize:

1) 227 agreed that my timestamping was accurate and matched how he described things in his submission comments; 
2) 227 is OK with whatever decision we reach and has a clearer understanding of the source usage expectations/guidelines; 
3) Unless he changes his mind, since he changed DAWs, revisiting this track is effectively a no-go; and
4) A failure to more quickly resolve the decision -- or at least communicate the issues -- may result in our inability to obtain a revision, which we'll need to address.

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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2021/11/17 - (4Y/1C/3N - Gario / Rexy) Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War "Lovers' Quarrel"

So long story short, this sounds great, with the main concern being the source usage. It was close with Larry's stopwatch, I marked the watch as such:

0:36 - 1:14, 1:49 - 2:44

93 seconds of source out of a 185 second track (the last three seconds are silent)

~50.3% source

It's close, but I think it peaks over the edge (I agree with MW's method of not counting silences mid-phrase as non-source, it's counter-intuitive to count source this way musically, imo). It's right at the threshold of what I consider enough, and while I can see others' feelings on this being too liberal I think it's just over the bar to still be recognizable enough. It sounds fantastic otherwise, so I hope it can be put onto the front page.


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  • Gario changed the title to 2021/11/17 - (5Y/1C/3N - Rexy) Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War "Lovers' Quarrel"

Okay, this has some stylistic twists in the soundscape, for sure. The pulsating synthwave base, textured bell pads, pitch shifting, and roomy leads - clearly, you put a lot of care towards the soundscape to make it truly feel like a relationship had gotten incredibly dicey, and I love that a lot. Though admittedly, the choice of instrumentation makes it lean towards a bright mixdown complete with more sub-lows than necessary. But the fact that most setups can still go through the sound design just fine makes it a valid case not to see it as a dealbreaker.

The arrangement is an interesting one. I love that you turned the BGM from 4/4 to 6/8, meaning being able to change up the rhythms to accompany this pace. The chord selection also means choosing something suitable to ride underneath that melody simultaneously, and it easily fits with your vision of mental chaos.

But here's the elephant in the room - a take on the source content. The first variation has the A section used straight from 0:36-0:56, then from there to 1:14, the B section is used twice. But then there's the second variation, which begins at 1:49. It only goes through the first half before hitting the first two bars again, before moving into a melody-less build at 2:02, and going into the B section at 2:09-2:44. My calculations have given me seven fewer seconds than Greg, putting me at 46%. If you utilized other parts of the source other than the melody, this might have worked, but now, the representation is way too sparse. For the future, being able to fit in little theme cameos, whether part of the source itself or other FE4 BGM (or a non-FE game?!), can add up to bringing the source requirement into that "clear and dominant" territory while still being able to maintain your vision.

It's a shame that you probably won't be able to return to this track because this is a fantastic twist on paper. With more source use, this would've been an easy fit for the front page, so I hope you may get a chance to re-visit. Please keep going with your craft, and good luck with that future Trapt submission.

NO (resubmit)

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  • Rexy changed the title to 2021/11/17 - (5Y/1C/4N) Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War "Lovers' Quarrel"
  • Liontamer changed the title to OCR04467 - *YES* Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War "Lovers' Quarrel"
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