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Liontamer

*NO* Star Fox 'Barrel Roll'

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Remixer: PrototypeRaptor

AKA: Jonathan Paulsen

Email: tyer222@hotmail.com

Userid: 18525

Song remixed: Corneria Theme

Game: Star Fox

System: SNES

Remix name: Barrel Roll

Alright, so I love the original Star Fox game. I have many happy memories of playing it as a child on the oh so new SNES - and one of the themes in particular stuck in my head for over a decade.

Finally, I just couldn't stand it any longer and decided to give in, to remix this theme, this abomination of music that had so imprinted itself on my brain. So here I am with a fresh mix of the Corneria theme.

Yes, I know that there is a good mix of it already, but I wanted more than that mix could give - I wanted an in-your-face, arwing blasting, andross destroying, slippy whining, polygon-blurring, barrel-rolling, star wolf ass-kicking mix - so here it is!

It is done in a electonica style complete with four on the floor beats and cheesy star fox dialog. (sorry, I couldn't bring myself to use the SNES samples, no matter how much I loved the game... so I used the 64 version's)

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did creating it... even if it doesn't get posted, I am sure that somewhere, somehow, a judge will enjoy hearing the past as much as I do...

original: http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/nintendo/snes/corneria.mid

remix "Barrel Roll": (sorry, don't know if I filled out all of the ID3 fields right... at least I tried...XD)

-thanks, PR

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Pretty generic and predictable stylistically, but the execution is pretty clean. I have no gripes with the production that are worth mentioning.

This may be cookie cutter trance, but it's notably different enough from the original in terms of arrangement to win that portion of my vote. Though the soundscape is really cookie-cutter, and not particularly innovative - detuned, gated synths and the standard 4 on the floor beat Jonathon mentioned (and yeah, the super cheesy samples) I really can't think of an outstanding reason not to pass this.

Definitely not the most groundbreaking or amazing piece I've ever heard, but it does have decent energy and is otherwise a pretty decent track.

Hope the rest of the vote works out for you, Jonathon.

YES

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Lotta reverb. Maybe a bit too much?

I do like the use of the StarFox 64 samples. That game had some solid voice acting, and the "Let's Rock and Roll!!' did get me a little pumped. Nice.

This is pretty good trance. All your standard highs and lows; soundscape and texture isn't anything new, like Jimmy said, but sometimes you just gotta go with what works. Arrangement is nice too.

Solid. Starfox fans and trance fans will like it. And maybe some other folks too. I know I did.

YES

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http://snesmusic.org/v2/download.php?spcNow=sf - "Corneria" (sf-09.spc)

I'm definitely not feeling the volume level; needs to be toned down. Otherwise, the soundscape was pretty clean.

Yeah, like both of my colleagues are saying, this was cutting plenty of cookies. Plenty. On every level. So either you'll love it or hate it. What it lacks in innovation from a genre perspective, it makes up for on the arrangement side. But, IMO, only to a point.

I felt like beyond adapting this to trance, there wasn't enough done to majorly personalize the arrangement approach over the course of the track. That's not to say it does nothing, just not enough to me. Also, from 4:40-on, we just got a retread of 1:45. Sounded like a cut-and-paste job. Finally got some new elements were added in at 5:09, though I thought the new sounds sounded pretty slapped on and pretty tacky as well.

If the arrangement were more creative within the framework of the genre, I could ease up on how vanilla it all sounds. I'd love to see this one pushed futher into an exceptional mix. And it's certainly not to disrespect DS or BGC, but I just feel like a merely ok take on the theme coupled with generic sounds and production all feels decidedly average. I subscribe to the Vigilante doctrine. If patently unremarkable, then that's not a pass. I can't quite give it to you yet.

NO (rework/resubmit)

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I feel like whenever I use the term "workmanlike" from now on, this remix is what's gonna pop into my head.

Not to hate on your choice of style, but ocremixers have worn the carpet bare in the 4-on-the-floor electronica genre. When it comes down to it, however, I'm left with the core questions:

Is this a personalized interpretation of video game music?

Yes.

Is the production effective?

Yes.

Despite sounding generic, there's really no reason this shouldn't pass. So there.

YES

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Wow, if there is one word I had to use to describe this mix, it would be "wet". TONS of reverb all around. I gotta say a lot of the riffs here are ultra basic, like at :44. Sheer arps. The voice samples before that could have been a bit more sparse, I thought they went on for too long. More importantly, every synth and drum sound is textbook trance. Sounds like vengeance/VIP drums with Vanguard and possibly Nexus presets. The basic trancegate rhythm on the lead and 16th note arpeggiation in the bass is simply not interesting when you have it going constantly throughout the song. Even the slight variations on it are not enough.

The soundscape feels homogenous across the board. The rhythm never really lets up for a smooth breakdown of any sort, which would have been a welcome break. 3:28 or thereabouts would have been a good spot to cut everything and do some menacing sweeps + arpeggios with some softer sounds and NO rhythm at all. Again, there is too much reliance on the trancegate rhythm(s) that NEVER let up which really drives me crazy.

Arrangement isn't bad, at least in terms of variation, but the majority of original material seems to be basic trance filler which we have frowned on in the past (eg. Siamey). What I mean by this is there are lots of tonic-note passages with octaves and fifths, not really creating original chords, melodies, harmonies, or interesting rhythms, but ultra-simplifying the source down to the key and just playing a couple notes from it. As Larry pointed out, there is some noticeable repetition as well.

Lastly the mixing could be improved. While there's no clipping or distortion, you have delay and reverb on basically everything. The compressor/limiter is used to sort of 'glue' everything together and there is a lot of pumping towards the end with the dark piano sound. I think you need to cut the reverb/delay back, and use EQ to carve out spaces more. Then bring down the pre-compression input so it's not pumping like this. Maybe sidechain the kick/bass.

Not feeling this one yet.

NO, RESUBMIT

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Not a lot to say that hasn't already been said. This sounds quite 'factory' overall, in that there are no sounds that really jump out and make this memorable - it's just standard trace synths. The voice samples are used very well here, with the 'lets rock and roll' used just after the intro.

The energy levels are good, however with that energy level not being dynamic enough in terms of volume, the fuller parts don't seem so exciting. I can definitely hear that compressor clamping in at 5.38-43, forcibly keeping the volume constant.

There are parts like 4.08-4.15 where it sounded like it was going to break into something somewhat more original, however it didn't. The arrangement relied too much on gating - particularly the main melody, which leads to the feeling that this needs more personality. Not bad by any means, but needs some more work. A lot of contructive criticism from other judges have been made here on how to improve this.

NO (Good candidate for resubmission)

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i'm gonna go as far as to say that it's soaked. drenched to its neck in unidentifiable liquid... it does drive very hard, though and i like its energy a lot. but ultimately it's trance, it's typical for trance and it will be entertaining to fans of trance.

the bottom line here i think is that while it does only run at one speed, is douzed in reverb, and is loaded with trance filler (sweeps and arepeggios and standard synths)... it also sounds like it was made by someone with a sure hand, it does not have any glaring errors and will be perfect for people looking for this music.

the truth is, the beauty of videogame remixing is that it is of all genres and while we have a ton of this exact thing littered throughout our library, it doesn't mean we can't release a freshly baked incarnation of it. it will still have it's fans in throngs throughout our expanisve listening audience.

YES

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I've been putting this one off for a while because of the fundamental question larry cited: if it's unobjectionable but unexceptional, should it pass?

In this case it's hard to call, because the production is really tight. Perhaps nothing I haven't heard before, but I really can't complain.

Ultimately it comes down to arrangement, and again it's a tough call for me. The dynamics are good enough, which is key. Ultimately though, I'm going to say there aren't enough musical ideas presented over the course of the song, and that the relationship between the remix and the original is too tenuous to make it a solid pass. Ultimately what it needs is a bit more compositional sophistication.

Very close to the line on this one, but I'll make the call.

NO

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Short vote because I'm late for work.

Listened through the remix. It does sound generic, but it's also obviously had a fair amount of work put into it. I'm happy with the way it sounds, even if it's not my cup of tea.

I'm going with zyko's vote for this one. It's borderline, and it's mostly the length that's causing me to think that. But I think the artist knows what he's doing and the public will enjoy this.

Is this a personalized interpretation of video game music?

Yes.

Is the production effective?

Yes.

Pretty much sums it up.

YES

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Sounds slick, production is good, bound to be a trance crowd-pleaser... But honestly, I don't think this mix does much to *rearrange* the source at all. Sometimes I had to actually pause and go back to the original to find the connection; that's not a good sign. (And I used to play Starfox, believe it or not!)

I think think some of you guys who voted YES should have another look at this, honestly. Whatever connection is there, it is...

1) loose

2) spread thin over a 6+ minute track

Sorry! You'd have to make the original melody and chord progressions more prominent to get my vote. Maybe try them more or less verbatim the first time around, and then treat the piece like a trance theme & variations? Just an idea...

NO PLEASE RESUBMIT

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After initially taking issue with pixie's reasoning, comparing the intros of both tracks more closely only makes one see how the take in the arrangement is too far off from the original. Compare :00-:05 of "Corneria" with :14-:20 of the mix and you see how it's been altered where it sounds Star Fox-esque, but is not really from the "Corneria" intro melody anymore.

With that said, once you don't count that progression, I'm only hearing :55-2:13, 4:09-4:23, 4:40-5:37 as being directly arranged from the original, or about 2:29's-worth of a 6:16-long arrangement (39.63%) being arranged from the Star Fox source, with the rest being original material that does thematically connect well with the arranged portions.

So basically, do as I say, not as I do. Because I also gave the arrangement connections more credit than I should have, even though there were enough other issues where I voted NO regardless.

Looking at what's happened with both this mix and the Red Alert 2 submission, Jon, be careful though not to swing to the other extreme (pure covers with little-no-interpretive merit) in the hope not to encounter these types of situations again.

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I'm still in favor of this one, but after revisiting it, I'm surprised that I let it slide as loud as it is.

I don't mind loud music, but I'm not going to allow that much clipping. This needs to come down before going up.

My YES is now conditional.

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And I'd just like to reiterate that I won't mind at all if this passes; I'd just prefer to put a little more pressure on remixers to push themselves creatively.

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(10:22:50pm) (@ds) larry, i'm fine with my star fox vote

(10:23:47pm) (@Larry) ok cool

(10:23:50pm) (@Larry) thanks for checking

(10:23:51pm) (@ds) i think thematically connecting to the source via chord progression is fine, considering the genre

(10:24:08pm) (@ds) and it works in the context of the mix

(10:24:19pm) (@Larry) you mind posting that? cut/paste?

(10:24:27pm) (@ds) np

(10:24:28pm) (@Larry) just so no one bothers you about it later

(10:24:32pm) (@ds) yeah

(10:24:33pm) (@Larry) thanks

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I thought this one showed a little more effort than cookie cutter trance. Here and there, there were bells and whistles that I enjoyed - the flanged synths in the intro, the change in the bassline at 1:15, the series of nicely textured instruments that start around 3:00. I also thought the key change for the majority of the song was an inspired touch. It really sold the dramatic shift to the chorus, which returns to the song's original key.

Production was strong in terms of instrument quality, effects, and getting everything to sit together. Definitely too loud though. The compression could also stand to be turned down. It robbed a lot of the satisfaction that you usually get when a trance song kicks back into high gear after a build-up. In places, it felt like the compression was being used to keep levels in check when EQ would have helped more.

Neither of the production issues are big enough for me to say no to this, but the liberality of the arrangement is. There are a lot of sections where the connection to the source is too loose. I agree with Larry about the intro sounding close but not close enough - when you change a couple notes of such a short, basic phrase, it's hard to hear the connection. In other places, it's just the key tieing it together. It's a tough call, but I want to see a little more of an overall tie-in.

NO (resubmit)

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Production is solid. Could use a little bit more dynamic variation, as well as more originality in the sounds, etc. All been said.

I thought the intro section riff that Liontamer and Palpable mentioned was an okay use of the source. Slowed down from the original and modified a little bit, but I felt it was still recognizable enough. Giving 0:14-0:42, 2:43-2:57, 3:40-3:54, 4:23-4:40, and 5:45-6:06 source connections too puts this easily over the 50% bar, so I don't have a problem with the raw amount of source usage.

Looking at the big picture, though, I don't think the overall arrangement quite stacks up. You've made some personalization, but then just ride those changes through almost the entire mix. There's a huge three minute block in the middle of the mix without anything new and exciting from the source side, finally ending at 5:09. Original stuff is fine and links in well, but my overall feel of the piece is that there isn't enough done with the source between the original stuff. pixie's saying the connection being "spread thin over a 6+ minute track" was a fine way of putting it.

With more variety in both production (sounds + dynamics) and arrangement (source interpretation), this could be a very good remix. But as it stands, both areas are sitting at okay but unremarkable, and that's leading me to a very close

NO (resubmit)

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