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Liontamer

OCR01725 - *YES* Donkey Kong Country 2 'Lanterns' *RESUB*

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dang, that was quick.

Umm, you say you changed the string sample, and I overwrote your old version (doh) so now I can't go back and compare. I will say, it's really really really quiet.

Otherwise, seems pretty balanced and a little louder, so thanks for addressing that. Would have liked the strings to be louder. Otherwise, very dark and haunting take on Stickerbush done rather well. Cheers.

YES (still wish the strings were louder)

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I really like the piano part. The dark EQ is really effective. The oboe however, is too far back. Strings and horns sound okay to me. I'm loving the arrangement. On the whole, I'm not thrilled by the samples, but the beautifully creative writing makes up for it.

yES

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http://snesmusic.org/v2/download.php?spcNow=dkq - "Stickerbush Symphony" (dkq-17.spc)

The improvements definitely round out the piece much more strongly. The arrangement was already interpretive enough, though I still could have gone for some more observable variation from the first verse to the second. The oboe sample abruptly cut out at 3:13, so that would need to be fixed before it went up. Otherwise, this is good enough.

YES

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Very creative interpretation. Most people choose to do some sort of downtempo electronic remix of this theme, but I'm glad you went a different route to spice things up. I agree with Vig that the oboe could be a bit 'bigger' but it's not a big deal. Also, I didn't hear any cut-out at 3:13 (just a fade). I love the overall atmosphere and mood of this one; it's the kind of thing I could imagine set to video.

Great job!

YES

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The arrangement is fairly creative in terms of source reinterpretation, but seriously lacking in energy. And I feel like the less than stellar production also drags this down. The samples, particularly the lead oboe, are extremely choppy and mechanical. Tempo stays strictly the same throughout the entire piece, and the constant piano 123's are articulated the same way each time. There is no shape to the meter, because every beat feels equally stressed. Know what I mean?

Just because you're going for a gloomy sort of sound doesn't mean it can't be humanized, nor does it mean the piece can't go somewhere... more. The only section that really caught my interest was starting around 2:22, and even that felt muddied from the choppy sequencing.

Sorry, I think I'm gonna have to say...

NO RESUB

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I agree with Jill on a lot of points. This piece doesn't really evoke anything. It lacks that human touch; very inorganic. Granted, it's difficult to bring that out at such a slow tempo when you're sequencing, but I think more thought needs to be put into writing more expressive lines. You can be dark, slow, and brooding and still have a sense of movement; sustained, slow lines usually work better when they deal with more complex harmonies and have a broader dynamic range.

Oboe sounds really thin as well; might want to beef that up with some reverb or a different sample.

NO resub

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I didn't hear the first sub, but I really like your dark take on Stickerbrush. Nice and brooding, with killer transitions at 1:06 and 2:14. When 2:42 hits, c'est magnifique. Very good spin on the source.

I've got a bit of a repetition issue with this. 0:28-0:47 is repeated immediately at 0:48-1:06, and again with a little fuller instrumentation at 1:36-1:52 and 1:56-2:14. Since this is a slow song with only a few instruments, the repetition causes the piece to drag a bit. I don't really have a big problem with the third and fourth appearances, because the added textures (especially that new piano line) are decent enough to keep things moving, but then we get an exact hit of 1:06-1:36. If you could add more to 2:14-2:42 like you did to the repetitions preceding it, I think you'd have a great build into that final section. Other than that, the arrangement is grand.

A few J's mentioned mechanical sequencing; I agree that this could definitely use some humanization, but I thought your arrangement was good enough that I didn't really mind.

My other big thing is the sound. You might be going for a deep, restrained approach to this one, but this sounds too muffled overall. You said that you brought out the oboe, but I could use it even further out, because right now it doesn't stand out quite well enough against the piano and everything else. More instrument clarity in 1:06-1:36/2:14-2:42 (and generally overall) would be great too, because right now everything sounds too muddy. The biggest muddiness offender is your piano, especially from 1:55-2:14. Less reverb, maybe?

This one's extremely close. Add a touch more variety to the arrangement (even just to 2:14-2:42), tune up the sound, and you're over the bar for sure.

NO (resubmit)

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I love the darkness of this arrangement. It has the feel of a funeral procession - a big shift from the original, which was a lot more light and spacey. Very original interpretation. For the most part, the production is also excellent, everything balanced well, but that lead woodwind sort of bugs me. It has a honky, wavering quality to the attack and when it first came in, it was jarring. The playing on it sounds a lot more mechanical than the other instruments too. There's a part around 2:45 where it starts playing the same exact note twice right on the beat and it becomes obvious I'm listening to something sequenced. Some slight changes in rhythm and velocity would humanize it.

Ultimately it's a minor gripe, and I'm happy to say YES to this one. The muffled-ness that other J's mentioned didn't bother me, and the repetition was noticeable but didn't spoil my enjoyment - there's enough going on in this moving track.

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sample quality is the biggest issue for me with this track. its passable, but definitely nothing to write home about.

the arrangement itself is a very well conceived interpretation of the source. i love the part writing, and the gentle dynamic shape of the piece.

jill's concerns re: energy don't seem valid to me. if this were a punk song or happy hardcore or something, i could see that complaint sticking, but (as palp mentioned) this has the feel of a funeral march.

creative arrangement + borderline execution usually equals a YES from me, so

YES

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Ok, I love the source for this one, a favourite of mine for a while now.

I like the idea that you have to make it into a more gloomy, ambient-style remix. You have some terrific composition ideas, especially with the piano around 2:00. But the way the mix is produced makes it sound drab and unprofessional. The piano is muddy and maintains a roughly equal velocity on all notes played, same with the woodwind playing. In other words, it sounds like it could've been composed as a MIDI and then just had soundfont instruments put in place of each instrument.

The piano and woodwind will need more humanising for this to pass in my book. I'm a little put off by the fact that this mix has received 6 YES votes when it's clear to me that it needs a lot of work before it's up to par with production standards. We've rejected mixes before for sounding fake that sound less fake than this one.

This is a definite candidate for resubmission though, just humanise the mix more and you're good to go. The rearrangement factor is fine, I don't see any need to further fiddle with that side unless you want to build on it some more.

NO (Resubmit)

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The piano sample suits the arrangement and feel of the piece, and the emotive nature of the mix is there. However, the Oboe sounds very fake indeed, some reverb would at least make it sound like it belongs with the piano. The piano sequencing also lacks dynamics in terms of volume and I think it would be even more emotive if the piano playing was less stiff. I think this is very close, but has some glaring issues on the production side to be worked on before I can let it pass.

NO(Good candidate for resubmission)

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hmm

i agree, the piano is special. the oboe is kinda far back but i like it there. the tone of the piece is sorrowful and introspective... it does not carry up-energy but carries plenty of down-energy. there's a phenomenal amount of writing here that is terrific. i really like that somber, lumbering piano. the oboe is not the most realistic oboe in the world but it is far from the worst i've heard.

it's clear to me where the dilemna in passing this is; the issue is in the muddy, soaked production. it sounds like it is douzed in swamp puss. the conflict exists because on one hand, that's so fitting and in a way, kinda perfect... on the other hand, it sounds really iffy and amateurish.

my decision will ultimately be based on the fact that the ending works very very well. the reason it sounds that way to me is because the muddy, drabbiness of that section is, in fact, perfect as it totally sums up the piece. but even more importantly, and the reason i'm giving it a yes, is that it validates the rest of the piece sounding that way.

reminds me a lot, in essence and feel, of Disturbed's Nostalgia (Dreams Forgotten)

YES

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