2022 Free Round Special! (MnP130)
New Wings (Zero Wing)
Crashing Shadow (Tales of Symphonia: Fatalize + Sheena)
Crashing Shadow (Tales of Symphonia: Fatalize + Sheena) - All right symphonic rock. Lets see where this goes. Hmmm, I can hear the bass, but there really isn't much there. The orchestra hits are a bit old school, but I'm digging 'em. The drums overall are quite buried and lack any real presence in the mix as well. I wouldn't normally mind this, but the issue here is that they are just simply too low in level. Even when you let the rip & roar a bit. While I do like the layering and such there is a very distinct lack the deliberate use of space in the mix. Elements seem to be randomly placed forward or backward without any real regard for their function in the context of the greater whole. Like at the end you've got strings buried pretty far back with a fairly forward flute that is surprisingly dry in comparison. Now, I get that you wanted the flute to take the lead at that point, but just because you may not necessarily hear reverb does not mean you will not feel reverb. Otherwise fun track, I had maybe hoped for a little bit more of a larger crescendo though.
Calling the Existential Giants - Really I have no overall complaints about this one honestly. Except maybe having the strings only on the right. It doesn't really detract or the like, but there is also nothing to really counteract it in the other ear. You kept the brass reasonably wide and the choir up the middle more or less. Again that is fine and all. But maybe in different sections swap which side the strings are coming from?
New Wings (Zero WIng) - Glaring mixing errors? Should I go full on mixing nerd on you? Don't take it the following too harshly as most of what I'm going to say is going to be a mix of subjective and minor issues rather than major things.
> The opening is reasonably good, with the only real thing being that closed hat (sounds like one at least or a ride). I would have definitely picked a different sample, but you could always take a transient designer and pull the sustain all the way down.
> Now comes a fairly big issue. The main synth stab is inherently fine, but the problem is the level balance of the following instruments and the bass itself. See the bass itself is 3-4dB too low. Now, I suspect the reason for this imbalance is that you were trying to get a bit more clarity for that sound. Listen to the synths following and you'll hear that they have significantly more Hi Freq content than that main stab. This means that the actual is mainly one of spectral balance. If you were to take a high shelf (10KHz would probably be good) and maybe a peaking filter (2-3KHz maybe) then I think you would be able to drastically lower the levels of that instrument.
> The bass is the next thing. I'm mainly hearing low frequency and not really anything in that mid range. It doesn't sound like there is a lot competing in that mid range. So, compress the snot out of it and break out that EQ.
> :37 these synths are more or less good. The backing arp though could probably use some light EQ to bring out its clarity a bit though.
> :49 that synth needs like an extra dB of level me thinks and it'd be good.
> Probably as good of a time as any to talk about the drums. The snare is just too weak and lacking any real transient. It is just noise. Maybe take a note from the 80s and make it a gunshot type with gated reverb and such. The kick has a fantastic transient, but it lacks a commanding power. Get in there and EQ it! Say 6-8KHz to bring out its snap and maybe 100-300Hz to give it some punch in the low end.
> Watch the high frequency energy of that FX sound at 1:31 though. You could try lessening its impact with some reverb.
> I think if you sorted that stuff out the rest of the mix would really follow on from there and sort itself out because I am not hearing too much else really problematic or even stylistic issues here.
> A couple of more general thoughts. Get in there with that EQ and do not be afraid of getting a bit heavy with compression :)
Quite a fun track too!
Spin - Love that piano! Plus the bass & drums. Mmmmm, so juicy. Though at like 1:06 I found that a bit jarring. One thing I find quite interesting is how far back you pushed the piano compared to some of the other instrumentation. Not in a bad way, just really interesting. I also really like how you used the stereo field. Very appropriate. The choir elements are also a wonderful touch.
Dune 2 - Before We Meet - Some interesting synth sounds here. The SID-ish sound gets me though. I do love me some thin pulse waves from time to time. The super lo-fi or really chip-tuney vibe of the percussion is excellent for this I think. What I rather like about this is the instrumentation is a sort of blend of new & old.
F I R E - Eh, the HPF fade in. Don't hear that one too often. The clap/snare is just too buried though. Kick and bass are doing that classic Offbeat thing though. Hmmm, some rather meaty dance saws with a little high melody over them. Not a bad showing. Maybe a bit on the underdeveloped side. Definitely a solid start though. Plenty of room to continue experimenting and see where the sound takes you ;)
I'll Always Be By Your Side, Little Brother - All right this started off very promising. Then the chaotic drum loop happened. Like you could have at least taken some of its high frequency content out... Now, the off kilter lo-fi piano is excellent. I also really like the porta on the main string. That kind of thing you don't hear nearly often enough. Going on further, while I like the stupid fast arp, maybe try panning it left & right... The softer moments of this track are frankly gorgeous. Just the sections with drums kind of take away from it :(
APZX - good thing I read your description. Indeed, you accomplished what you set out to do and made a banger Ace Attorney Medley Episode. Some of the synth pads were a tad basic sounding, but it wasn't enough to slot you down in my books.
HarlemHeat360 - Pretty sweet original tune there, especially love the E-guitar work. The Vocalist Pad/FX were mixed too loudly, so a -2dB on them might benefit it a bit. Pretty gud mate. Now go sell it on Unity Store or something hahaha.
NickC - I was thinking of slotting you in at third or 2nd. But the crunched fast tempo DnB stuff was mixed too loudly and weirdly for my taste. That said, the slower parts were done SUPERBLY. Nice dynamic shifts going on here. The soundscape gets dark, atmospheric at parts and I'm all about that shit. Nice pitch-bend work too!
Souperion - Pretty banger EDM Zero Wings remix thar. Love those toms and well...everything fits just right. If this were a normal MnP round, you'd prob be slotted first in my books hehe.
Wassup Thunder - OK so, negative point first: those orchestral elements are stiff and painfully so when exposed out in the open. Positive side: the E-Guitar and all of the other elements put together hides those humanization issues nicely. East/West samples are kinda overrated considering how much work you gotta put into them to make em sound realistic...I feel your pain man rofl. This all said, if this was a normal MnP round, you'd possibly beat out Souperion, since you went for such an ambitious and kick ass soundscape overall.
brink-of-time: Pretty banger retro VGMix remix you got there. It's pretty basic compared to what you had to compete with sadly though. I can see this sort of remix winning in a regular MnP round though.
APZX: Ah, Ace Attorney. Very stylistic and smooth work here, as always.
Wassup T.: Been a long time since I've heard these sources, takes me back. Like how you worked the shamisen, koto, and shakuhachi into the rock kit stuff. It makes some good contrast. Grand with a touch of mystique. Loved the outtro.
HoboKa: Oath to Order never fails to send shivers down the spine. Nice effects with the atmosphere and sfx. I especially liked the last segment with the deep men's choirs.
Harlemheat: I wouldn't mind this playing when I'm stuck inside my head. Sweet, gentle at times, and full of life. Those sprinkles of vocals are delightful.
Bundeslang: Tension, uncertainty. I really like this, might have to look into the source myself sometime.
brink-of-time: kinda makes me think of a Mega Man level. Everything you promised it to be, very nice.
NickC: Woah, did not see that drum madness coming. Very evocative and expressive. And perctastic. There's more to say about this than I can fit in this comment box.
The music is bright and lively, and I love the traveling story! The various sfx clips make excellent transition markers. I'm a big fan of a full story being told in a composition, so I loved this quite a bit. Get pretty much the complete Ace Attorney ride in this one!
The soundscape really nails an existential tension. The strings carry a slightly familiar, organic quality contrasted by the synthetic elements that call out from a foriegn realm. And that gentle ending seems to almost be a lullaby to sooth one's angst. Lovely composition!
I like the energy in this! It gets a great frantic feel. The strings add a great element to the synthetic composition. Some gerat build ups in the piece, and them orch hits are just RIGHT. All their base are belong to you. Great work!
Oh, this sets a wonderful mood. The kinda jazz parlor room vibe is a goergeous atmosphere. The vocals and guitar leads are friggin.... Chef Kiss material. So delightfully steeped in emotion and reflection. I love this to pieces.
Ooh, almost chiptuney in the begininning. Really nice alien world vibe from this, the different sounds and leads nail the Sci-Fi vibe. The composition almost reminds me of NES era game osts. Great work!
Shoulda had a warning of flammable materials on this mix! Now I need to get some aloe for my burnt ears. Fire jokes aside, this is a real fun composition, and I definitely enjoyed the melody, would be perfect for dancing! Gerat composition!
Oh man, this thing gets intense! those thrashing percussion and raving synths come raging in as delightful juxtaposition to the lovely melody and piano. Very artful and evocative. Nice work!
Even if I can't vote for ya, I'd like you know I listened to your project and was impressed! You did get some very metroidy sci-fi vibes, congrats on accomplishing a goal that didn't come first try! I loved hearing the motiffs and repeating elements in the soundtrack. I freaking love mottiffs. I enjoyed all the tracks, and applaud your complete OST style projects!
Ok after listening i think HarlemHeat360 should get the win.
APZX - Ace Attorney les goo. Quite a famous set of compositions here. Really nice intro, feels like you've created a more funky/80's inspired track. Lovely transitions and changes. Really felt that move into the drums there. Lovely 90's piano, sounds soo clean for a 90's piano. Really digging the melody and drums, this part sounds very much like a mix of synthwave and house music. Loving the variations. The final remix/track was also lovely, felt like a high energy closer. Really strong melodies. Now the biggest critiques i have unfortunately, is one i don't like the vocal samples, they felt like they were just added in last minute. The transitions were cool, but could be a tad bit smoother, so i don't feel sharp cuts into different "remixes". Also in each remix/part i felt like you were reusing sounds a lot, but i assume you are trying to tie each one as a supposed finished song. The mix is surprisingly clean, and the vibes were tight, very groovy stuff. Honestly the idea is great, even with my critiques, so all is not lost. Enough for you to get second place. Well done!
Wassup Thunder - Never heard of these compositions, so i'm going in blind. Lovely symphony and rock combo, a classic style of yours. Super lovely string work here, and super nice melody on the the guitar and violins. Really gets me pumped for the action. I really enjoyed the hint of eastern influences here, really felt like you are taking a piece of Japanese/Chinese influences and working it well into this track. Sadly the mix is a little on the loud side, which is not something i usually hear from you. Your mixes are usually solid. Also it's extremely busy, i got tired by the end (And i say this, as a fan of hard styles of music like Industrial and Hard Techno). The flute got a bit much for me, personally. However i cannot deny the effort here, and the idea was awesome. It just needs a bit of polish. Well done!
HoboKa - Nice remix thar. Great string work, very deep ominous melodies. Loving that Echelot, very suitable for the atmosphere. Now sadly i don't know this one, because i don't play loads of games, compared to some. The melodies were really good though, loving the chords. I don't know this composition well enough, but what i'm hearing was very nice. It's a bit too short, and sadly muddy, i would work a bit on the strings, in the same way you would structure an orchestra, so violins at front, basses at the back, because they make the biggest sound. However though i was a super nice remix, and i enjoyed it a lot. So it wasn't all lost. It was enough for you to be 3rd place. Well done!
Souperion - ALL OF YOUR REMIXES BELONG TO US XD. No but seriously i know the soundtrack well, and it's pretty awesome. Lovely remixes, feels like a nice eurobeat/synthpop approach here. Loving the melody and the drums, great strings. Loving the strong synth work here, goes super nicely with the tight beats. Some of the orchestral hits were a bit overpowering. Honestly i'm afraid what i've said about Wassup's critique is sadly the same here. It can get very overpowering (Even for someone who makes a lot of headache inducing music). It's also very busy like Wassup's. I mean the melodies and drum work was awesome, but it needs a bit of toning down, and maybe even a breakdown. I still loved your idea, it was awesome though, definately a lot of fun. Well done!
HarlemHeat360 - Always nice to hear original music. This round gives you total freedom to do that (As i did, with mine). The guitar and piano combo, is lovely. The chords and bass are just....tasty. I love the rain sound effects, totally feels like your selling me a Lo-Fi Hip Hop experience. Now i want to call this Lo-Fi Hip Hop, but sadly the drums and and strings, make it more like some Ballad or Soul track. This is not a critique, but more so, it feels like a unique conflict of styles. The chords and strings are beautiful, the highlight for sure. I also love the vocals here, great effects. Now i'm starting to feel that i might need to check my headphones, because as with a few other tracks here, i feel there are parts that are a little bit loud. It also happens to be the parts, that stick out the most. Around a minute in, you included some kind of sound effect, or riser that really dominated the mix, and sort of made it very jarring. Honestly i think it's just polish here, because the idea here is incredible here, and the build-up/climax was also incredible. Even with all of my critiques, yours was my favourite because of the piano, string and vocal combo. It was just awesome, especially in the way it flows. So much so, i picked you to win 1st place. Ton of fun, well done!
Bundeslang - Another track i'm familiar with. I played a lot of Genesis games in my youth, so the soundtracks of this system, i listened to the most. Lovely synth take (Then again, i think the original was a synth track as well). The synth choices were lovely, and the arrangement was super good. Love how it all flows together, very nice breakdown at the end. I feel this is calling out for some drums, the hi-hat riffs don't do much for me, other than emphasise a lacking rhythm. I also sadly feel like this needs polish, because some parts stuck out in a slightly loud way, and some were buried in the mix. I won't go into too much though, because you say this is a quick mix, hence why it needs the polish. Lovely stuff though, great arrangement, ton of fun, well done!
brink-of-time - I assume this is an original. Nothing wrong with that, it says so in the rules. Great build-up into the drop. Loving the synth riffs here, very tight grooves. Head-bopping fun. Really liking the mix, super clean for this genre, really nice breakdowns. Although the genre is known for more simple melodies/motif's i do feel this is a bit on the...basic side. A main melody could really amplify things, and enhance a bit of the vibey feel of the original, and maybe add some pad chords to boost up a bit of the atmosphere. I feel were a little too reliant on the saw synths. This is also sadly another track, with some slightly loud parts. At the end, i felt a tad bit of clipping. However i'm questioning whether it's my headphones or not. I've had these for quite some time, and it's only this round i seem to be commenting a lot on loudness. Maybe it might just be an unfortunate coincidence. My critiques are a reflection of what i'm hearing, so hopefully the headphones shouldn't play a role in this. Ending of this was awesome, love how you broke it down to a bassline before the fade, super nice approach. Seriously though, this is super catchy stuff, i had a lot of fun with this, well done!
NickC - Last one, let's go. Never heard of this OST, so this is a blind listen for me. Super nice basslines and deeps pads. The breakcore shit scare, the crap out of the me, it's so sudden haha. Headbanging hard to this. Loving the melodies a lot, very dark and moody, but has a hint of that relaxing vibe to it. The kick and breaks, felt more like what i would do XD. Lovely piano, really takes it into a part cinematic/part atmospheric composition. The whole idea is good. The breakcore parts make it more of a goofy composition, than a seriously listen. This isn't because i don't like it, but rather the way it's presented, makes it hard for me to give it a serious listen. The last part is super good though, because you make proper use of the melodies mixed with the breakcore. In the beginning it was masking so much of the melodies. Maybe it's taste, or maybe it's the way i took your approach, but if you either toned down a bit of the breakcore stuff, or rather enhanced the melodies in these parts, i would be more hyped into these parts. Also i would not have it suddenly drop in. Especially since scaring the crap out of me, kind of impacts my vote on your track haha. No but seriously i had a lot of fun with this, it's very well produced Well done!
Note: There seems to be a lot of loud/slightly loud mixes this round. I don't know if this is my headphones, but i've just listened to mine (Or at least my supposed "bonus") and i don't hear anything loud or unwanted sticking out. Mine does not have a perfect mix or anything, far from it, but it wasn't loud or stuck out. I don't want this as a justification that your track/remix is bad. Far from it, i just got confused for a second, and thought my headphones had suddenly gone down. Thankfully were good. Awesome work you guys!
AZPX - Very quiet and calm song, it has a nice relaxing vibe. There's much variation, at some points I think I'm listening to different songs.
Brink of Time - Catchy style, amazing samples and build-up.
HarlemHeat - Samples go very well together, nice balancing, like the vocal.
HoboKa - Promising mix, much darkness in it.
NickC - The stuff on the background is noisy, a bit too much in the beginning. After it, it's more relaxing with the violin and the combination works good. It's just a bit too long.
Souperion - Liked the mix of samples, forming a nice combination.
Wassup Thunder - This song rocks. The flute is a nice addition.
Bundeslang - ...
Crashing Shadow (Tales of Symphonia: Fatalize + Sheena)
APZX - fun medley! only little bit of critique I might have is that you could have done more with transitions between the different themes, though given the concept and nature of the game I'm guessing abrupt transitions are at times appropriate. I need to play these games I didn't even know they were on steam
Wassup Thunder - rockin! haha I love that orch hit, not familiar with the source material so I'm getting more of an action packed sidescroller vibe from this than RPG
Hoboka - good source pick, nice cinematic take on it. I'd like to hear an extended version of this though I'm not sure how one would go about that, the original sounds very much complete being short too
Souperion - FOR GREAT JUSTICE. More awesome orch hits
HarlemHeat - much chill I like
bundeslang - not familiar with the source but cool synth sounds in this
brink of time - oldschool! I love it
New Wings (Zero Wing)
Crashing Shadow (Tales of Symphonia: Fatalize + Sheena)
Calling the Existential Giants
Objection - APZX
Oh its already lit...curious to see where it goes.
Hmm.....hmmm? Where is this going I wonder haha. Certainly not where I expected it to go. And there we go again. Very curious choices. Like really curious...I'll say even to the song's detriment. Hmm. So going through the song its just always my head turning and me thinking "hmm...." I gotta say, I can't lie to you man, I'm kinda disappointed. Like, I perfectly, 10000% understand what you are going for and I do in fact believe you accomplished that. But I will always submit to my ear of enjoyment before my ear of analysis and you had something really really great in the beginning Then you ditched it, had something great again, and ditched it again. THe rest ended up being me wondering if I should get attached to anything since they would go away. The first few more than anything else were egregious though. I can only say that simply BECAUSE they were so tantalizing. I would love you to return to the drawing board and expand those and give the people (the people being me haha) what they want. It unfortunately for me made the journey very tough and hard to swallow. Sometimes I think we do too much and ditch a good thing. I would have loved if you stuck with it here.
Crashing Shadow - Wassup
Crashing it was! I think again as with APZX, you got done what you wanted to. I am not really too much of a fan of this type of music but I really think its done well overall. The only thing is you definitely mixed it too loudly and maybe even some harshness in there too somehow. I think the mixing process could have been done better but with some lowered voluem, it got the head nodding again. Good job.
Hoboka - Calling the Existential Giants
Well darn lol. I think this does hit the depression limiter a bit no? Journey is fine and I think it develops nicely though its somewhat brief. I think I enjoyed the build the most and the fact that it lets you down in a lovely fashion. Good job as well!
Souperion - New Wings
I don't know the source unfortunately but I dig this haha. Its super cool! I think you got a good balance with the lower end though I kinda wish there was more but I'm a sucker for punchy bass. I wonder if an 808 could have accomplished the job. Still its a whole vibe tbh.There are these big "hits" before the second section. I wonder what you used to get them to sound like that? Its a sound I've heard a lot in many things but im unsure whsat the synth type is. Anyway, mission accomplished captain! This is a whole vibe well done.
Dune 2 - Before We Meet
Another source I'm unfamiliar with but I kinda dig how...boopy it is? There is an effect before the end that was quite curiuos. Very bright and high but also a bit...how should I put it. Wacky? I'd love to see you play with that more. Short and sweet mix.
Fire- Brink of Time
Haha, the lead is definitely the star here as you said. I think the thing I like the most about it is the texture of the synth. I'm curious as to how its made. Actually all the synths lol. Thanks for sparking up my curiosity!
I'll Always Be By Your Side Brother- NickC
Okay, starting off I have to say, whatever was going on in the beginning was way too loud haha. I had to make sure my audio wasn't messed up or my dac and amp werent set too high for some reason. I think the effect you are going for is well understood but maybe just way too in your face for me personally. As ypi bring it back down we get some interesting things going on here with the piano. Sounds like spitfire's soft piano but could be a plethora of different ones. The synth here again is just really hard given the volume of everything. Nothing against some hard in your face music but I think its gotta be kept in check a bit here. Its funny, when it switches to a different color (or a different synth) it is much more tolerable. Less harsh. I really think that would have worked better through the song. Overall. Decent job but I need the volume to be in order imo.