Zork 1 - Track 8 (PRC425)
Vodou Queen: I like it. Those tubular bells were a great touch with the medieval instrumentation. I'd suggest watching the volume of the harpsichord (which is an odd suggestion, given that the real things have no volume control) to help it blend with the rest of the great soundscape. I think your harp samples are a bit harsh, bit of EQ will fix that. But still, love the mood your piece makes. Melancholy, morose, a bit disturbing at times, and grand in an almost defeated way. Very nice. As for the instruments, I use Eastwest stuff, which tends to be costly, but I found a free Hurdy Gurdy you (and any readers) can try out: http://samcycle.blogspot.com/2016/06/samsara-hurdy-gurdy-free-vsti.html
Wassup T: I think I'd play a text-based which involves cool, cool cars. The pulsing energy suits the repetitive nature of the source nicely. The strings add a bit of elegance to compliment the rockin and synths.
Video Gamer: I haven't listened to some good trance for a while, you nailed it. Very, very nice listen.
ZORK. Great works all around, a real pleasure to listen.
Souperion: The drive of your orchestral march-like take comes through real strong even on the gentle parts. It captures a deep, sweeping vibe with restrained grandeur. I enjoy the subtle variations, especially the new chord progressions. You did great work by bringing in the chords at the end in earlier. The sound quality is nice, you got the brass, strings, and woodwinds working nicely together.
TVQ: Nice bard-core like approach! You captured that rustic, wilderness vibe of your inspirations with a great outcome! A nice refreshing style you're exploring. I love the rhythmic variations you created on the guitars and tuned percussions. The castlevania parts woven in added a cool effect of sudden changes from the original, like splashing new colors into a painting. Real brave to explore new styles, and to good effect!
TVG, love your bonus. I've missed listening to trance, and you nailed the genre with this. Bonus points for the Lord of the Rings lines in it. Great work, really enjoyed it!
Deep Stone Dominion
The Sinking Old Underground Empire
Zork Super Highway 08
Souperion - Liked the orchestric sampling with the drums. Nice ending.
Wassup Thunder - Catching genre. Enjoyed the source variation and stuff in the background.
TheVodouQueen - The begin is quiet and I like how you make the song more lively. Some samples (like around 2:40 and after that) are dominating a bit too much (the harp), but there's much stuff inside the song and lots of different parts.
TheVideoGamer - Another Trance song, I like these. Enjoyed the drumwork and usage of the source.
Deep Stone Dominion
Zork Super Highway 08
Zorky Trance (BONUS DO NOT VOTE)
1) 'Deep Stone Dominion' - Souperion
* I did not expect a military march genre change for this song...and you did it, and it was very lovely. :D I especially liked how around 2:15 you sped up the snares to double-time, advancing the soldiers onwards to battle. I know it's not what your description details, but for me it weirdly felt less like just a travelling ditty and more like a song afore a massive engagement between two rival kingdoms.
* Gave Zork I that feel like it belonged to an RTS-style game, like Rome: Total War...maybe if the game shifted from its text-adventure / RPG-roots. Oddly very fitting, and well-composed despite you going pretty simplistic with the changes.
* I loved the eerie atmosphere you gave the song--and that sense of impending danger and death. Kind of funny how you and Gamer, although going completely different genres, both covered a theme of war (Battle of Helm's Deep from him). xD Unsure if Track 08 is a battle theme of sorts cause I never played (or even heard of till now) Zork I. Would be interested to know what the track was for in its original intent.
* I think your flutes and strings could've gotten a bit louder volume-wise when you approached double-time on taps. The softening and slight slow-down to the beat @ 3:00 was good, I just think between 2:15 and 3:00, the ante could've been upped with something getting a bit bombastic, be it the horns, flutes, strings or all three.
* The gong-sound @ 0:54 was a bit too soft, and synthy, and I could barely hear the bass drumroll.
* I did like the ending, where your taps becomes an echo and the strings start to fade-out, but it's swamped a bit by that SFX eerie-sound you use at the beginning. I think it may have worked better for either the SFX to be softened or not used at all.
2) 'Zork Super Highway 08' - Wassup Thunder
* Haha, I like this. Text-based games need a go-kart mode! Perfect for boost-sliding one's way to victory!
* How did you accident your way to making it 4/4? xD (Sorry, I had to ask!)
* The drumbeat was sick. I loved the employ of fills and change-ups to the kicks you used. ^_^
* Synth change-up to violin @ 0:40 was too soon and for some reason didn't work for me, or meld well with the very, very synthy Eurobeat going on in the background and midground. I understand what you were going for, I think, and it's an interesting idea. I think maybe a keytar or plucked vapourbass-sound, or something along those lines, (defo a heavily synthesized string or keys like you get in Mega Man or SEGA Rally games) would've been better. I guess personally I would've just went and did a Gamer, and gone completely balls-to-the-wall synth overdrive. Either full 80's, or done pop rock intertwined instead of orchestral.
* The kind of synth-orchestra vibe going made the song peer off to become more orchestral and less Eurobeat. It overwhelmed the inspiration a tad too much.
* Would've been heavy cool and interesting if you worked the song to be more like Initial D's Deja Vu (insofar as its chord progression, and what I meant by synth string and keytar), or Running in the 90s. Funny enough I think the beat you went for in accidentally turning Track 08 into a 4/4 is really near along the lines of Deja Vu. Might've been able to sync-up some of Deja Vu's lyrics for this, or at least a bit of vox sampling. IDK. I think there was just a lot more potential to go absolutely mad with this and lean way more into the genre-choice, but it got sidetracked with trying to keep that fantasy-feel instead. And that's why, sadly, it didn't make top spot for me... :( Sorry...
+ 'Zorky Trance' - TheVideoGamer
* You mentioned the soundscape for Track 08 was perfect for Trance or some form of Electronica in your own blurb for the round, and you took your own bait. xD I figured you would, and you executed it exquisitely. ;)
* The thumping bass, change-ups, synth variety and bass drops were spot-on. A great, dancing joy ride the whole way through.
* I can kind of hear how you had to change the arrangement from 3/4 to 4/4...with some of the whole notes lengthened, etc. Interesting ways of changing the key signature of the source material. Would have to teach me--my ear and skill is a bit hit-n'-miss when it comes to changing MIDI key sigs (managed it, for example, with Terranigma's 'Port Theme' via splicing the melody and harmony at every third, and it worked out, but couldn't manage the same for this.) xD
* Goes on the repeat a bit too long (possibly to my tastes, anyway.) I know Trance / Psytrance tends to go on and on for a solid somewhere between 5 and a half to 8 minutes (by most song standards), and sometimes longer, but for this song in particular I think it would've benefited to build-up and get to its ending about a minute or two less than the near-10 minute mark (I got that "ending" feeling at about 8:25).
* The beginning vox samples were at a fine enough volume, but sadly the song's bassline and beatline swamped it at later stages, and I could barely hear it. Also, would've been nice to get other lines either from LotR about Helm's Deep (or possibly other rocky places, like any of the Dwarven Kingdoms), or just other similar fantasy vox samples in general about cavernous holds, (i.e. the vox sample repeated a tad too much--beginning and ending being the same was good though.)
* I think some volume or panning automation play would've came in handy here. The beat was steady, and the bass was appropriate in its ups and downs, its drops and climaxes, but the consistency--although fantastic--I think could've had a bit of spice thrown up into it by the midway point. Keep the engagement on high by having sounds split between speakers, or the thumping bass get that bit deeper or louder, stuff like that. :)