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Chrono Trigger theme medley WIP


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Hey all...

this is a long-time work-in-progress that I recently came back to. I want to finish it up in the next month or so, but I need fresh ears to give some comments.

It's pretty long, but includes:

The Hidden Truth, CT main theme, Robo, Frog, Tyrano Lair, Gato, 600AD, Magus, Lucca, To Far Away Times.

Enjoy, and thanks for your feedback!

www.personal.utulsa.edu/~adam-leeper/mp3/G_Strings/ChronoTemp4.mp3

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Looks to me like you would have way too many source tunes to make it easy to accept by the judges. Including two or three songs is fine, but more than that and it becomes really hard to let each one realize its full potential for interpertation. Some parts build up nicely, and then when you expect something good around the corner, it transitions to another piece and dies down a little.

Beside that point, I think this is well put together. The transitions are smooth and you keep a good pace most of the time. Let me try a play-by-play of the medley.

Good opening with The Hidden Truth. I think it's more creative too instead of choosing the CT theme first.

The main theme brings more power to the drums, but the snare gets too annoying eventually.

Robo doesn't stand out a lot but then again I'm not a huge fan of the Robo theme. Then as we continue on to...

Frog, which is sounding pretty good. If you want to leave some songs in, choose this one. It was getting really good, but you ended this part too quickly.

Tyrano Lair is another tune I normally couldn't stand, but your style took on the source very well, and actually made it catchy and a bit funky to listen.

You went acoustic with the 600 AD theme. Good time to change things around. If you were to extend this further, I could imagine it picking up and returning to some upbeat elec-guitar action.

I like the chatter-type of rapping that you have for Gato's song. Pretty unique.

Lucca and TFAT are already upbeat to begin with, so it's a nice way to end your medley with these. You let these go on for a bit longer than the rest; did you enjoy working with these sources more?

Well, that's all I could say in the 10 minutes it took to type this up. If you want to continue as-is, submit it to Tha Sauce and/or wait for VGMix. These are hard to pass in OCR. Like I said, unless you have created something that really transcends the standard, it's best to cut your medley down to two or three songs.

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Thanks for the comments. Yeah I agree it's a lot of source tunes, but I thought it was fun to throw a bunch in there. I do regret not being able to spend more time on Frog though...

And yes, TFAT went on longer because a) it's awesome and B) i tried to work in the melodies from earlier in the song over the TFAT theme in the last 45 seconds or so to make an actual medley finale of sorts. Needs work.

I'll see how it sounds to cut Robo out, and maybe shorten a few other things.

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You have a lot of good ideas for the individual themes. The problem is that this doesn't feel at all like a cohesive piece. It feels more like you made a bunch of different songs, cut out pieces of each, and pasted them together. To pull off a medley effectively, you need two things: good transitions from one piece to the next as opposed to finishing off one and going straight into the next, and some stylistic similarities from one piece to the next. The fact that you're using similar instruments or that it's the same person playing just isn't going to cut it.

The other thing medleys don't really afford is the opportunity to really develop any of the themes; it's *very* hard to avoid a medley becoming little more than a MIDI rip. Some of your tracks do have a bit more in them than the originals, but not nearly enough to make it as an OCRemix, I'd guess.

Two tiny musical things with what you have: On Wind Scene (the 600 AD song), the acoustic guitar melody sounds great except that you end the first phrase abruptly and use a few too many staccatos throughout the melody. It's a slow, mellow song and you're playing it in a slow, mellow style, so play it more legato. If you must use staccatos, remember that staccatos in slow music are different than in fast music. The other thing is the parallel octaves (notes an octave apart moving in the same direction) at the start of the victory theme, where the bass is doubling the guitar and there's no other notes. It sounds too sparse; if you want bass to have melody, harmonize a third up or down on guitar.

From a production standpoint, your guitar and bass sounds are well done and sound realistic (I figure the guitar was recorded, not sure about the bass); the drums *really* need to sound close to the same level. A bit more punch to the snare and kick, a bit more sizzle on the cymbals, even try and do a few more fills and a bit less standard rock beats. Did you do much/any processing on the drums? You could also widen the overall panning a bit; it sounds a tad pushed towards the middle to me. I know there is some panning; the drums, for example, are spread out, but it feels to me like there's a little bit more of the sonic space that isn't used as much, without explicitly panning anything hard left or hard right. Just my thoughts, take them for what they're worth.

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Okay, here's how your fix medly-itis as far as I know:

*Don't cover each theme exactly, or even close to the original. Keep things like melodic and rhythmic themes, but be very flexible. You don't have much space to interpret, so use what you have carefully.

*TRANSITIONS!!! If I can tell you've changed themes, then we have a problem. You need to move between themes seamlessly enough that the listener isn't completely conscious of the moment of change.

As for what you have right now, I like the way you did Frog's theme. I also thought the voices in Gato's theme were really funny :D I like the thunder and stuff in Magus. Robo's theme didn't strike me as anything special. The stuff before the victory theme (which i actually didn't recognize) sounds a little thin. Victory theme is nice. End of time or whatever it's called is nice too, i like how you mixed the victory theme into it. Overall, I think you may find that you want to cut back on the number of themes to better facilitate the arrangement's interpretation. I don't believe your piece should ultimately be "theme to theme to theme to theme" etc, I think it should have a broader meaning/shape in which you use different themes (which was your first goal) to facilitate your message. I don't know what that message is tho, it's up to you :D

I like your guitar playing, I don't like your drums or strings. Production, as far as I can tell, is a bit shaky. Good luck!

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I think its good to have a lot of source themes if you can manage to pull them all together well enough.

Seems like they are copy/pasted together, the tempo changes to quickly or the instruments fade out before changing.

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My breakdown as I'm playing the song:

Strong opening with "The Hidden Truth". I like the transition into the Chrono Trgger them. The horn or whatever that is sounds a bit on the annoying side to me. I dont particularly like the Robo theme transition... I think if you were to cut some of the source tunes out then Robo's theme should be one to go that wont hurt the mix. Frogs them was an interesting transition. Frog sounds really good

... I do wish it lasted a bit more. You seem to be rocking Tyrano Lair pretty good which is something I dont ever hear... It lasted way to short and now we are into Gato's theme... I would recomend letting his theme play a 'lil more before throwing the vocals on it... it was a bit unfavorable... Maybe Gatos theme can be cut as well. The sounds for 600AD (Wind Scene) ware very nice and a great transition into Magus theme. The lightning gets a 'lil much in a few places. Lucca's theme seemed a 'lil out of place coming out of Magus' stormy thing you did. I would try working that out a 'lil but... maybe build up into it. Lucca didnt seem to last all that long as now we are into Too Far Away Times which is a large portion of the end. It does sounds pretty good... There seems to be a bit too much going on with you trying to being in the medley of every song... its almost overweilming.

I would say out of all the songs to cut I'd say Robo and Gato... MAYBE Lucca.

I would try to focus more on The Hidden Truth, CT Theme, Frog and Tyrano... which is still a bit much... If you can do that more props to ya.

Maybe fade Tyrano and slow it down to a point where you can transition it smoothly into To Far Away Times as an ending but I would expand on it too much... just a way of ending the song

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