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Liontamer

OCR01719 - *YES* Final Fantasy 12 'The Winds of Inishmore' *RESUB*

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Original Decision: http://www.ocremix.org/forums/showthread.php?t=11479

Avaris

Shaun Wallace

15843

Final Fantasy XII

Hitoshi Sakimoto

Square Enix

Game Over

Found a couple things drastically wrong with the mastering in the previous version. Fixed those and replaced one of the drum samples. Thanks for listening.

~Shaun

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Is it just me, or is there a harshness that pervades this whole mix? The harp in particular in the beginning feels like it's got some kind of light distortion on it, and that ends up setting the tone for the whole track. I don't know if that's intentional or the result of some wonky mastering, but it sounds very strange in a track that sounds to me like it should have a very smooth sound to it.

I don't know; the arrangement seems competent enough; quite a feat expanding on such short source material, but there are a lot of points in the arrangement where I feel like the percussion and bassline are disjointed, or rhythmically complex for complexity's sake. Perhaps that's a staple of the genre? It's a minor gripe about cohesiveness, but a gripe nonetheless.

I'm ambivalent on this one. Gonna wait on what other Js to chime in, but for now, call me a NO.

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http://www.noderunner.net/~llin/psf/packs/FFXII_psf2.rar - 207 "Game Over"

Is it just me, or is there a harshness that pervades this whole mix? The harp in particular in the beginning feels like it's got some kind of light distortion on it, and that ends up setting the tone for the whole track. I don't know if that's intentional or the result of some wonky mastering, but it sounds very strange in a track that sounds to me like it should have a very smooth sound to it.

No, that's dead on. Something got funked up with the production for the intro this time around; I'm not sure what happened either, but whatever you changed there only created some issues. Though the production was cleaner last time, the track as a whole has capable enough production.

The middle still felt a little meandering (so I see what DS was saying about some lack of cohesiveness), but nothing was significantly wrong to me on that level, and the dynamics were subtle but nicely handled. Thanks for not mucking with the arrangement when it didn't need it, as most submitters end up doing.

The percussion/cymbal usage got refined very, very nicely, and fit like a glove with the rest of the instrumentation. If you clean up the production, for the intro especially, I'm on board, as the arrangement was still all sorts of swanky to me. The ending faded out too quickly at 3:57, leaving you more than 7 seconds of silence; c'mon, details. Don't let the little things fall off your radar. I'm sure someone can work with you to spruce the first section up, as the rest was fine, IMO. Tweak that up, Shaun, and you're all good. It'll be exciting to get an FF12 piece up.

YES (conditional)

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I do hear a little weirdness on the harp at the beginning, but that might very well be the sample, I'm not sure. Either way, doesn't strike me as a big deal. The plucks just kind of sounded hard and edgy to me when they probably should have been softer (but w/ a volume boost overall.) Arrangement is really nice given the simplicty of the original. Some of the rhythms seemed off in a couple spots, hard to put my finger on it, but this also isn't a big deal. The beatwork was also a little on the weak side, but that wasn't really the focal point. When Jill listens to various new age radio stations and CDs, I hear this kinda stuff all the time.

Nice job. Fix the fadeout/ending though.

EDIT 1/28 - Ending still seems abrupt to me. Still conditional YES on this.

YES conditional

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hmm.

i didn't catch this the first time through the panel but i'm glad i was able to track it down this time.

i'm a big fan of new age musiks and that said, i'm hearing a little arkenstone mixed in with some dean evanson. the evanson evocation is in the seemingly aimless wandering nature of the track. it may be stylistically incompatible with some but i'm all for it. the track remains calming throughout.

the drumkit, despite the playing sounding marvelous, is weak and too thin and far back in the soundfield. i can sense the tone you were going for but at times, i catch my ears digging through the wide, expanisve vacancy in the mix lookin for meat and the drums are hangin around on the outside.

the syncopated, delayed synths are badass .... as is the rest of the instrumentation. excellent choices of instruments. there is a real edginess to the harp but i am a fan of it.

i must say that my most significant problem with the mix is the ending. for what it had been doing all throughout, the ending sputters out. it lacks too much energy to be effective. you gotta look into that... it is conditional until then

YES

cond.

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I really wasn't feeling this track the way the rest of you were, but first, the positives. I think from an interpretation standpoint, it was well thought out. The short source is only modified slightly, keeping the harp, but a lot of other instruments are added as it proceeds, as well as some playful effects. The set of instruments was well-chosen, and there was a lot of creativity shown, starting with such a short melody.

I wasn't a fan of how aimless it was. I lost the rhythm a few times and I think it could have used less rhythmic complexity. Also, contributing to that loss of rhythm was how some notes were emphasized seemingly randomly; I felt that disjointedness that DS mentioned.

Production was where I thought this really needed work. The harshness of the harp didn't bother me, actually, but I thought there was definitely a balancing issue with it. It was much louder than the other instruments at times. Check out 2:28 for an example. In places, other instruments and effects jump out too much as well, and I didn't get an overall sense of cohesiveness, that the instruments sat together well. The drums at 1:57 have a strange quality that I find it hard to put my finger on, but they stick out. It's possible again that they are just too loud in comparison to the other instruments. zircon also mentioned some timing issues - I noticed them at 1:12, 1:36, and 3:11, and possibly more. Lastly, starting at 2:50 it sounds like there's some weird static in the background for ten seconds or so, almost like clipping.

I don't think these are the biggest production issues in the world, but like I mentioned, I thought the arrangement had some problems too. Taken together, I'm not comfortable passing this one. I think if my production concerns were addressed, particularly the balancing, I would be fine with it. Although I realize this is a resubmit, I'd like to see those things cleared up before giving this the OK.

NO (resubmit)

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The static at 2:50 Palp mentioned threw me off as well. Was this intentional? I can't imagine how that could have happened accidentally, but I guess anything is possible.

I don't mind that the harp was mixed a little loud, because it really is the lead instrument of the piece and deserves to be heard. You also may not be used to that kind of twangy quality, Palp, but it's not uncommon in New Age music. Listen to some Vollenweider and you'll see. ^-^ (Of course he is the harp master, so don't be too harsh on Avaris!)

I'm hearing the same skips as everyone else; 1:12, 1:36, and 3:36 in particular felt jarring. It's not that I mind rhythmic complexity by any means, but something feels off about the way it was executed in a few places here.

That being said, I do think this is a very inventive arrangement. Truly enjoyable from start to finish! I would really hate to send this through the whole official resubmission process, so if we could just get in touch with Avaris about the harp distortion in the beginning, the static at 2:50, and the abrupt fadeout, that'd be nice. I also wouldn't mind hearing his thoughts about the rhythmic skips, just to understand what was going on in his head. (But I wouldn't NO this because of those alone.)

YES Conditional

P.S. Nice to see that zyko and I have more in common than I originally thought, too, in terms of musical taste. :>

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Shaun hooked it up with a fixed version. Please re-listen to the track, linked in the original post.

I'm a solid YES on this one now, all the relevant issues holding this back have been fixed.

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Still sounds too abrupt. Skipping issues never really bothered me, but the ending is way too sudden.

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I didn't hear the previous versions of this, so I can't really comment on this with regards to revisions. What I hear is good though. All of the things I look for- arrangement, production, overall feel, links to the original etc are present here.

The quick rhythmic changes (examples at 1.09, 1.34 and 3.34) would be confusing, but I think that it is admissible given the musical context.

YES

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Love Shawn's interpretation of such a short theme here. Unfortunately, my gripes really only have to do with the mixing. Even for new age/however an "expert" might categorize this, the percussion/drums are WAAAAAY too quite. The timestretching on the drums at ~2:15 are a cool idea (although I'm not sure how I feel about the delay), but again, the drums are so quiet... then when the harp comes in afterwards, it seems really too loud in comparison.

Also, I just took a look at the waveform, and it seems like this barely breaks -10 decibels. That should be addressed at the very least.

I'm not sure how you J's who voted YES can be so cool about the level of the drums on this one. That seems like a pretty gaping issue to me. Perhaps you should open it up and check out the waveform itself and re-evaluate your own evaluations on the mixdown in particular.

Sorry, Shawn. Again, I don't ask you to change a thing (I'm even cool with the abrupt ending as it were) but you've gotta bring the drums out just a little and normalize to get closer to 0 DB's.

FIX DA VOLUME and PROMPTLY RESUB

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Allright I'll do it, don't get all huffy about it.

First thing I notice is that the reverb on the harp is too long which creates a lot of mud maybe around 350Hz.

The harshness I'm hearing is a result of the track's low average level, which is often pierced by a harp or flute note that is particularly shrill in the 3-5kHz range. I hate to recommend compression, but it may be the solution, or you could just pull back the harp part. As it is, those mid-high freqeuncies are just a bit piercing.

My new years resolution was to stop using the "YES (conditional)" vote, so

NO, Resub.

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[00:16] <Liontamer> oh hey; could post FF12 if you check out avaris's deal

[00:17] <Liontamer> really do need a resolution on that; he said the static in there was on purpose; I don't think any judges even hit it as a criticism, but I could be wrong

[00:17] <Liontamer> he can always take it out, but I don't think he necessarily should

[00:19] <@djpretzel> judges passed it?

[00:21] <Liontamer> no, 3Y/2conditional Y/5N, so it's tied

[00:23] <Liontamer> IMO, I think the static's fine, and just makes the track more unique, but that's just my opinion

[00:59] <Liontamer> still need help on what to upload?

[01:00] <@djpretzel> actually, can you clean up to be posted?

[01:00] <@djpretzel> and move the ff12?

[01:01] <Liontamer> I just cleaned it up

[01:02] <Liontamer> maybe 15 mins ago

[01:02] <Liontamer> you cool on FF12 then?

[01:02] <@djpretzel> yeah

[01:03] <Liontamer> excellent

You're a lucky man, Shaun. djp tiebreak goes to YES.

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