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*NO* Lost Vikings 2 "Dark Pixels"


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Your ReMixer name: Pixel Pirates
Your real name: Tobaunta Torkelsson & Fredrik Vinterstjärna
Your email address: 
Your website: pixelpirates.nu
Your userid: 37469 

Name of game(s) arranged: The Lost Vikings 2
Name of arrangement: Dark Pixels
Name of individual song(s) arranged: Dark Ages

Edited by Liontamer
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This submission captures all of the things I've enjoyed from Pixel Pirates previous submissions, and avoids most of the pitfalls I've seen with some of their rejected tracks. There's an excellent variety of sounds and textures, mixing the classic supersaws with patches that evoke memories of old 80's/90's keyboard workstations. The production is clean and punchy. There's some wholesale repetition but enough variation in structure and bridges that it doesn't scan as lazy, or a way to cover up the fact that you ran out of ideas. 

All in all, I'd consider this one of your more successful outings to date! We'll see if the rest of the panel agrees. 


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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2022/10/17 - Lost Vikings 2 "Dark Pixels"
  • 1 month later...

Nice juicy bass soundscape to open things up.  Transitions into pretty classic EDM fare. The soundscape does drop off sharply at about 10,500 Hz, which I checked because I could tell there's a distinct lack of highs.  The lead supersaws have some high presence, but the snares and cymbals are aggressively low-passed, and there's no reason for that.

I do think there's a certain amount of running-out-of-ideas, and is basically done at 2:25.  You can easily tell in 2:10-2:24 that there's an extra layer compared to 0:40-0:54, and I do hear some extra parts in 2:25-3:10 that weren't in 0:55-1:40, but the mids are really crowded here, and it's hard to make them out.  Altogether it's a minute out of a 3:17 mix, about 30%, that's very close to copy-pasta.

I don't think this is a bad remix, per se.  It's certainly entertaining. But between the lack of highs and the extent of repetition (which is itself made more problematic because of the mixing), I think there's cause enough to send this back for revision.


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  • MindWanderer changed the title to 2022/10/17 - (1Y/1N) Lost Vikings 2 "Dark Pixels"
  • MindWanderer pinned this topic
  • Liontamer unpinned this topic

what a fun original. i've never even heard of this game.

intro is certainly 90s-reminiscent. the lead especially is a great sound. there's a big build that starts at 0:40. i think the saws here are too loud - they're balanced for the main band sound at 0:56, not for playing by themselves. the whole band sound though sounds great - bass is meaty, drums feel balanced, the pads aren't overwhelming or missing entirely.

there's a cut to triple meter at 1:25. this is a fun sound - i've always like triple meter EDM since i feel it rolls along better - and bringing back the initial lead is a good idea. there's a drum cut at 1:55, and the (very loud) saws are here too. i started to get fatigued a bit with how loud they were than everything else around this point.

there's a recap of 0:55 here with some solo parts noodling around it. it's very loud through here, and then we get the triple meter cut again. there's some new parts in the leads here to keep it different. the ending is minimal but sufficient.

this is a fun take! i'm not as ebullient about it as emu is, but i definitely think there's enough to keep it interesting to keep it over the bar. i wish it wasn't so overly loud and you'd taken more time with the volume automation to prevent the saws from running over everything when the drums aren't playing, but overall it's a fun take.




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  • prophetik music changed the title to 2022/10/17 - (2Y/1N) Lost Vikings 2 "Dark Pixels"
  • 2 months later...

Good fun as usual from the Pixel Pirates, and this time the arrangement backs up the energy levels, and saves the best chorus for last. The triplet section is a really cool addition, and there's a couple of breaks in there to let us catch our breath. No complaints on that front!

The production is where I'd disagree with Emu - particularly in the big chorus sections. I can hear a distracting crackle from a percussion element, mostly in the left ear. I can't identify what it is, as the mix is so busy at those points, but it was enough to make me take my headphones off because I thought it was something IRL and doesn't sound like it should be in the mix at all. It's possibly a compression artifact, or a cymbal that doesn't have correct reverb applied - it sounds very dry. I also think proph is right about the saw at 0:41 - it lacks presence as it feels like it's mixed for the full sound, however it also lacks highs when the full sound does come in! It'd be much better to have more mid presence in the build and then more highs in the chorus.

The overall balance feels lopsided too - heavy bass/sub presence below 100Hz, and very little above 11kHz leaves it feeling unnecessarily bloated, and I struggled to find a comfortable listening volume.

This one's almost there - I think the fixes should be pretty minor, but I'd definitely like to hear them addressed before passing this one. Hope you can make the necessary adjustments, lads!

NO (resub)

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  • DarkSim changed the title to 2022/10/17 - (2Y/2N) Lost Vikings 2 "Dark Pixels"
  • DarkSim pinned and unpinned this topic

Opening sounded lossy, and when I looked at WinAmp's spectral analyzer, there was nothing on the high end, but that at least changed at :41.

The core beat at :56 had some of that tepid "sounds like hitting a plastic bucket" feel, but it's serviceable. I was definitely getting lead fatigue by 1:42, which I'm sure someone else can better explain why that was. Interesting that prophetik also invoked the word "fatigue" in another context as I hadn't read his vote before using the word myself; given the intensity of the saw lead, I think my usage of it is a fair point. :-) That said, cool usage of the piano at 1:56 and interplay of the saw lead with other original writing bursts starting at 1:58 to finally vary up those sounds.

Sharper mixing and some more variations/changes to the beats from 2:25-on would have lifted this up for me. Stuff like 2:56-3:10's section also felt too repetitive with 1:27's section before it; there was new writing added in for the latter, but there's other ways the textures could have been tweaked to not seem so cut-and-pasted, as the new writing didn't do enough in that respect.

Even the YESs have "I wish" items for improvement, and I can definitely hear why this split the panel. The arrangement's a fairly solid concept, but the execution has just enough smaller issues adding up with the mixing, sound design and feelings of cut-and-paste repetition where it's not unreasonable to say this isn't quite ready. I'm in the NO (resubmit) camp, but desperately want this arrangement be posted in some form.

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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2022/10/17 - (2Y/3N - Chimpazilla / DarkeSword / Gario / Rexy / XPRTNovice) Lost Vikings 2 "Dark Pixels"
  • Liontamer pinned this topic

Cool source, and I like this arrangement quite a bit.  I'm not clear on why Larry hears the intro as lossy; the elements playing in the intro are lows and mids and the soundscape has a old-skool feel.  Once the main saw lead enters, however, it really feels sonically shocking.  That lead is very aggressive, and it seems to be the same lead sound used frequently, at least in the last few submissions from you that I have voted on.  I see that the entire track has been low-passed starting at 10K and there is zero content above 15KHz.  If I had to guess why this severe low-pass was applied, I would say that the lead sound was so abrasive that an EQ fix seemed useful.  I think in a case like that, the lead should be replaced with something that fits the soundscape better, or at a minimum EQ that lead sound and/or apply other corrective measures to the sound, or apply effects that make it more pleasant to listen to.  The high end of all the percussion is completely buried under a wall of fuzz coming from that lead and also the countermelodic instrument.  I can hear why my fellows are using the word "fatigue."  That severe EQ cut on the master is destroying all the lovely presence that the instruments could have, so that explains why the mix lacks highs while also being super abrasive.  I'd like to hear this mix again with that lead tamed or replaced, the master EQ cut removed and the percussion elements cutting through a little better.

NO (resubmit)

Edited by Chimpazilla
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  • Chimpazilla changed the title to 2022/10/17 - (2Y/4N - DarkeSword / Gario / Rexy / XPRTNovice) Lost Vikings 2 "Dark Pixels"

Lost Vikings 2 is quite underrated, and honestly a fantastic source to draw from, and you certainly take it in a really cool direction. Love the style, the beats are heavy and tasty, and that change to triple time in the middle was a perfect way to break the mix up and give us much needed variety.

I'm certainly hearing what the others are in the production, though: it's dense in certain EQ ranges and lacking in others. I'm less bothered by the low pass (though admit it'd be better to not pass it so much), and more affected by all the texture and lead sounding so sonically similar. It's creating an issue where the mid range of the EQ is crowded, leaving little room for the listener to distinguish what's what. The arrangement is mixed in a way that you can parse the lead, fortunately, but now it sounds much too loud and drowns everything else out.

There are a few ways to approach this - changing the texture instrument so it isn't so mid heavy will give the lead some more room to breath and allow you to mix it down. You could also decrease the levels of the reverb so that it doesn't clutter the mids, as well. I'm sure there are other approaches, but something needs to be done to clean the EQ of this mix up before I can pass it.

I'd really like to pass this, too, since it's a great arrangement of a highly underrated source.


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  • Liontamer changed the title to *NO* Lost Vikings 2 "Dark Pixels"
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