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*NO* Sonic & Knuckles "High Voltage" *RESUB*


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Original Decision

ReMixer name: Seth Skoda
Email address: 
Website(s): https://www.sethskoda.com
userid: 36199

Name of game(s) arranged: Sonic & Knuckles
Name of arrangement: High Voltage
Name of individual song(s) arranged: Flying Battery Zone Act 2
Additional information about game including composer, system, etc. (if it has not yet been added to the site): this information is available on ocremix.org
Link to the original soundtrack (if it is not one of the sound archives already available on the site): the site's archive contains the source: 

This is a resub, but let me reiterate that this spun off of a different (but similarly-styled) remix of the Death Egg Zone music from Sonic & Knuckles. In a random forum conversation about how irrelevant genre is when it comes to song structure, someone pointed out how metal/rockish the Sonic & Knuckles soundtrack is, especially Death Egg Zone. While I agreed with his analysis, I wanted to make a point, so I covered said source as a trap-style hip-hop instrumental and uploaded it to Newgrounds. This ended up getting frontpaged a few years later after I returned from a hiatus, so I figured that with that Death Egg remix being among my top remix work, I would do the same with the Flying Battery Zone music, which is just as action-packed and well-developed. And as someone who has been inspired in part by OC ReMix to make music in the first place, I started putting in the extra effort to really make this one my own, intending to submit it to OC ReMix.
Several years later, here I am, with a refined resub for OC ReMix (yeah, it took a while. I was busy, don't judge). I really hope you enjoy this, even if it's not accepted as a poasted remix (I spell it "poast" because I like toast).
At the top is a drive link with a WAV file of the submission. Please contact me if it does not work properly.


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i didn't vote on the original. looks like it's complaints about a static and over-long song structure, and some note issues. this is much shorter! so that's a positive based on initial glance.

the initial delayed chords and electro strings pair well with the hats and claps (i wrote haps and clats at first). the kick hits at 0:28 alongside some fun synth work that features a lot of delays and sustained chords. this is a neat texture in this entire section.

the melody first starts 0:53 and is instantly recognizable. there's some fun chords in the original, and it works pretty good getting them into this style which surprised me. there's some crunchiness around every vii chord (sounds like a G# fully diminished to me) that i think is coming from putting the 7th of the G#o chord (F natural) in a lower instrument next to an E elsewhere in the chord. since it sounds perfectly fine when it resolves, i think it's an easy fix, but it sounds weird every time it happens, and that's every time we get to that chord. you could either replace the G#o chord with an E7 in first inversion (G# B D E) - essentially removing the F natural from the background entirely and changing it to an E - and just let the F in the melody function as a passing tone. that'd fix any following instances of it without being too complicated.

the melody continues at 1:23 in an arpeggio-style lead which isn't particularly trap but sounds fun. it's pretty loud though and so it is crushing out the fun synth brass stuff that's around it. there's another weird note at 1:46 especially (and it's a little weird at 1:39) - almost certainly another F natural next to an E. you need to either commit to the vii or else an Am with extensions each time this comes up.

1:49 is a lighter backing texture, and gives us a bit of a break. there's some build with the claps here into a drop and hit at 2:19. 2:22 has more bad notes, as well as 2:29, 2:36, and 2:43. this is the opposite as before - instead of having an F in the moving part and an E in the background, this time you've got a fully diminshed G# in the background (G#, B, D, F) with an E in the melody. even worse, you move to an A in the melody - next to the G# in the background! so you've got half-step dissonance twice. it just doesn't sound good =(

there's a dropoff into an outro in the ep that's pretty quiet, and then it's done. i think there might be one repeat through the pattern you're using here at 2:48-3:00 - you could probably cut that chord progression from an earlier section at least once, and put this in and be done at 2:48 or so.

from a technical standpoint, there's not quite as much bass as i'd expect, and i think the lead synth is a bit too loud since it covers up a lot of fun movement in the background. this is especially clear when the lead's doing a lot of sustains and arpeggiated jumps. other than that, though, i didn't have a real issue with it and thought it sounded pretty good.

if there wasn't the consistent issue with notes crunching, i'd probably pass this. it sounds good and is a fun take on the theme! clean up the chord issues and you'll be in a good place.




Edited by prophetik music
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  • prophetik music changed the title to 2022/08/25 - (1N) Sonic & Knuckles "High Voltage"
  • 3 weeks later...

I listened to this without checking to see who'd voted before me.  I immediately hoped it was proph, because I knew he'd do a bang-up job explaining why all those clashing notes were a problem.  And even though I don't have his technical background, they immediately leaped out to me.  To my less-technical ear, before 2:18, it's mostly the 808 kicks that sound obviously off-key to me.  At 2:18, not only is there a strange, abrupt transition, but the notes are clashing a lot, almost constantly, and it's not just a few.

Hopefully proph's advice was helpful to you in picking those out and fixing them.  If not, please take this over to the workshop for additional help.

I also don't agree that this was the only issue, though it was by far the most notable.  I found those 808s to be quite loud and penetrating, and the saw pad and saw lead were fighting for space.  I did like the structure, though — unlike your first submission, I don't have any concerns on that level.  It's a fun concept.


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  • MindWanderer changed the title to 2022/08/25 - (2N) Sonic & Knuckles "High Voltage"

I'm going to trust Prophetik for his explanation about the notes that don't work.  I hear it but I lack the knowledge to describe it like he did.  The arrangement has a tremendous amount of unpleasant disharmony.  One reason for the dissonance is the fact that you chose to use an 808 trap-style bass.  In actual trap, the 808 bass often is off-key in comparison to the other instrumentation and vocals, and the 808 bass bends all over the place, and it is expected in a trap song and usually works well.  In this case you have such a melodic arrangement with so many melodies and countermelodies, that this 808 bass just makes it sound more messy harmonically.  Also, and this is my personal opinion and certainly not a dealbreaker for this track, but I don't feel that a trap bass and drums work well with the much more bright, melodic synths you have going in this arrangement.  But the biggest issue is all that dissonance.


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  • Liontamer changed the title to *NO* Sonic & Knuckles "High Voltage" *RESUB*
  • prophetik music locked and unpinned this topic
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