Granstream Saga - Cut Your Way (MnP127)
Stream’s Edge – I would have liked to hear that opening guitar at least with a slapback delay to give it some more stereo presence. Not sure if I like the bass, it just sounds so out of place. I do love the flute & strings though. The drums not so much, they have decent enough presence, but at the same time feel like they’ve been imported as a low bit rate MP3, and it sounds like there is some delay on them? Almost as if you wanted to do a room, but couldn’t be bothered to look up a mic’s frequency response curve and use a room reverb and some saturation to create a fake enough room mic setup.
Cut Your Way (Remastered) – Destiny – All right, trying to go full on rock here. I mean for a sound upgrade it definitely has a different feel to it. I think that the bass is lacking in overall clarity as are the drums in general. I can barely make out the kick because it lacks any real presence in the beater region. Though I do have to give you props on that mid section break. Seriously, that is a nice touch.
BONUS ENTRY Strictly Come Slashing – This honestly is just screaming for more attention paid to the mix and production side of things. The groove is just so d*** catchy, and in general I really like this take on the source.
Cut Your Bossa – Starts off all right, drums have enough definition generally. The brass is okay, missing a bit of that high frequency polish and there is actually a smidgen of distortion on the left side plus it sounds like you do the same trick I do with reverb. I do like the guitar bit into the delay. Not a fan of that rhodes though. Also, during several of your stab moments there is a fair bit of audible distortion. Back off the limiter a bit next time. Also, your instrument placing is quite all over the place. Heck on your fade out the distortion is so much easier to hear too. Fade out before the limiter, not after.
Raise Thy Blade and Act - Starting off with a solid SFX, I dig it. Just no fooling either, drum fill right to the point. Kick is all beater and nothing else really to be heard. Mmmmm, I do like that piano though. Guitars are lacking in any real presence. Just an observation here, but I do find it kind of interesting how many sources opted to use brass ensembles for the main line. Not a knock or anything. Ooooo, I do really like that string interlude leading into that synth lead line, but I would have liked to hear some vibrato on the lead line. Cymbals are on the washy side of things, but have an okay attack. Not sure how I feel about the bass either, I mean it is there, but there is just so much energy in the low mids caused by the guitars coming in I think it really swamps out the upper end of the bass. But seriously that sword draw SFX is killer.
Cut Your Solo – Marimba with some hearty pre-delay on the reverb? Triangle? Juicy bass line, totally 80s reverbed type kick. Cheesy Synth Brass (man after my own heart here). Snare is definitely 80s vein, just missing the bass part of the snare. Plus that synth arp. Mmmmm. Some light pads and a pretty-ish lead. Mmmmm, some distortion though on that lead up to the mid section. Now, this middle section is rather interesting because I am not sure if I like or hate the synth sound here. Though that snare hit in conjunction with the main lead is actually pretty cool. Maybe gets a little old after like 5 or 10 hits, but man you just rolled with it haha. See, I think one of the reasons I don’t really seem to like the main synth lines here is because they lack vibrato and anything to really make them that interesting. See at least in the lighter sections you’ve got the raw sound design here to work in your favor as the sound itself is just more interesting on its own naturally. Ooh, nice change up too at the end.
Raise Thy Blade and Act
Cut Your Way (Remastered) - Destiny
APZX: It does sound nice as a trance, gives me nostalgia for some old songs. Very lively and fun, quite enjoyable.
Kat: "just upgraded the sounds" seems like an understatement. This is some good rocking stuff, the audience sfx gives it a nice live-played sound. What's that other source you added? Sounds like Kingdom Hearts. It mixes well, good work.
Studionimbus: This one made me smile, very good translation of the source. Methinks the brass needs a bit more balancing to not overpower everything else, but it was all very groovy.
Wassup T: Definitely upped the tension for this one, I like it. Nice contrast with the part B. This piece really gives me a throwback to those old RPG days. Really neat innovations in here, the outro was awesome.
TheVideoGamer: Gave me head-bobbin' with that intro. Feels quite similar to the original, but decidedly TVG. Really came alive after the part C, that synthy solo was surprisingly satisfying.
Coloradoweeks: I reckon it's salsa enough to have chips with. I know as much about dancing as I do astrophysics, but your piece was delightful.
Raise Thy Blade and Act
Cut Your Way (Remastered) - Destiny
Raise Thy Blade and Act - Fantastic all around! To me this sounds the most like something you would hear in a remastered/ported version of the game: the blade at the beginning was a great "battle trigger," I loved the sound choices for each instrument, and the variations to the original parts sounded very organic and as if they belonged. Superb!
Cut Your Way (remastered) - Destiny - The "live" feel really hooked me! The audience shouts and cheers were a good touch, and the way you linked in KH so seamlessly caught me off guard and made me laugh and, more so, sounded great!
Battle's Embrace- The mix sounds fantastic! I could really dance to this one. The only thing I wish you had included was the diminished chords from the original in some fashion! I listened a few times to make sure that I didn't somehow miss them, but if I did I'm not sure how. Really enjoyable piece!
Everyone cut themselves a wonderful new way through this round (You may gag at my terrible pun). Beautiful work all around.
Great trance beat, immediately got me headbobbing! The sparkling arpeggios throughout are so fun.
I feel you accomplished your goal, this is quite lovely and energetic. The atmosphere is full of airy, wavy magic.
I really liked the synth choir pads too.
Using the B part as an intro was a great idea!
I enjoyed the organic instrumentation, gave the piece an almost earthy, homely vibe.
Violin, guitar, and woodwind made some beautiful melodies.
You made some nice variations on the chords, a nice little breath of fresh air on the piece.
I'm a sucker for this kinda instrumentation. The chugging guitar chords sound great, and the slightly wailing guitar on melody is an excellent touch.
The audience sounds is a beautiful effect, I loved it! like listening at a live concert.
Your variations are fantastic, especially leading from the piano solo (whiiiiich I loved to death). Very well done!
Hot dang, it makes a killer bossa nova. That is a fantastic style!
The intro was great, and your variation on the bass line is just... Perfection.
That brass and guitar melody gave me such feel goods.
The percussion is absolutely slaying it, I loved listening to it.
Some of the high-range instruments are a bit strong in the mix, like the keyboard and brass. Not hard to fix though. A little less power from those will really bring out the bass and drums!
Excellent intro, great wind up.
That synthy brass is incredibly satisfying. Can't tell what it reminds me of, maybe some sega sounds...
You got a nice approximation of the original instruments, that marimba-sounding thing came through real nice. And those metal-drum sounding pads nailed the B part of the song great.
The solo adds a great break to the song, dances very well with the chords and perc of the original. Those slamming quarter notes around the middle had me tapping with the rhythm!
And killer outro, really drove the intensity to a fever pitch before letting it all fade away.
What a mean salsa this song makes! The bass section really sounds spot on for it, it's a great variation.
I kinda wanted to start slapping a tambourine to this. Not a qualitative comment, just found myself wanting to tambourine to it.
THAT BRASS SOLO. YES. at least I think it's brass. anyway, that truely slayed it.
Excellent ending, sounds just like the song concluded for an applause! Beautiful work.
Cool soundscape going on, though the synths seemed a bit dissonant at times. Some of the timing felt off as well, but I don't really have an ear for trance or EDM stuff. I loved the really spacey breaks you threw in there.
Clean and simple. It feels like the sort of battle theme you might hear in Chrono Cross.
Strictly Come Slashing
I absolutely love how you incorporated not just the intro to Tank!, but made the bass line fit perfectly with the rest of it, and that solo was perfect.
Cut Your Bossa
Timing felt kinda strange on this one too, but again it's not my usual soundscape. The new bass was pretty cool though, that alone changed the flow of the song entirely.
Raise Thy Blade and Act
You captured that sound perfectly IMO, it feels like it would fit in perfectly with any older PS2/Gamecube JRPGs. The guitar was great, and that finale sealed it into first place for me.
Cut Your Solo
Compared to Raise Thy Blade and Act, I got some major PS1 vibes from this. It didn't really change much of the song but that's ok.
Ok this one is going to be a bit short, because i don't really have the capacity to go into detail, both for time reasons, and surprisingly this round did give me much thoughts on this one. After thinking long and hard, i believe Wassup Thunder should get the win. From the top yes?
APZX - Sick electronic vibes, the drums are so nice and compressed. Loving the airy trance feel, this is a perfect way to remix the source. If it were me, i would change some of the lead sounds, so they're not as warbly, but the whole thing was nice. Well done!
Souperion - These are some seriously dope beats! Loving the fusion style, it's soo light and elegant, especially with the eastern influences. The bassline needs to change personally, it sounds soo tinny, in comparison to the rest, but i dig your sound. Well done!
Kat - Great Faux live performance, definately feels ready for the stadium. Unfortunately it's not realistic enough for me to be live, the synth/strings are too forward, and the guitars are super quiet, which in a live setting is not accurate, the drums are usually at the back, and the guitar is centre stage. Great work though, well done!
Coloradoweeks - Ooh is this samba? Nice stylistic choice, loving the brass and piano! This is very creative i love it, also digging the beats, so funky. Some parts of the mix can be a bit sharp for me, specifically with the Electric pianos, however the whole thing was a ton of fun, well done!
Studionimbus - Really nice bossa take, loving the changes in style, although it does mess with the rhythm a bit. The delay personally, was a bit too excessive, and it can get a bit loud in parts, maybe a bit too bass heavy. The idea was too good to ignore though, lovely drum work! Well done!
Wassup Thunder - The brass and strings are amazing in this, they compliment it so well! Really loving the guitar work, it's such a great change to this, keeps it MnP while still retaining that originality. I also seem to hear the same bassline as i do with Souperion's, however this is less noticable when it blends in with the rest. The guitar melodies were really the reason i made you first. That and the lovely chord changes, well done!