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 SOUNDTEST
Fall of the Mana Family February 18, 2005

Rexy ?Judge? RedBeastMage Total Score
Remix
19
20
19
58/105
Creativity
30
0
22
52/150
Production
8
8
8
24/45
Total
57
28
49
134

Rexy

Remix

Looking on at the scope for the ReMix concept first of all, the structure to the source seems to hold some familiarities to grab the attention of fans of the game, but given what I've heard it seemed to be almost too similar to the source given the progressions upon it. Most of the execution was okay - I didn't sense much in the way of misplaced notes, which was good, but I feel that there were some aspects of the woodwind that could have done with some fine tuning in terms of progression. Otherwise, the experience is just fine. It's not exactly an arrangement that is strong enough to stand alone given instrumentation that seem to lack expression to fit the realism behind the orchestrated setting, but its concept is very firm and well provided to add as a solid contribution. There was some variance from the source I saw given the switches of the melody to the background and a key change, but most of the elements were carried over from an arranged MIDI I came across at VGMusic.com, thus I feel concerned over this being a MIDI rip in nature. Even if that wasn't the case, the structure didn't quite seem to save it - there's enough to involve a good amount of involvement towards the listener through some of its more devious statuses, but at 90 seconds long this song is over too soon.

Creativity

Comparing to the source there has been some good thought upon providing some additional instrumentation to run alongside the structures of the source, to help broaden upon the textures granted through the mix, but that's probably about it. There didn't seem to be many sections in the song to think about the deviance in general, but most of these have tied together in an okay fashion. I can say that the move from F minor to A minor at 0:58 seemed to be a bit too sudden for me, thus it could have been given a closer analysis before submission. It's not exactly a piece that can be called to keep a fresh pace around it as such, but from what I've seen it did seem to benefit well with the tempo expression right at the end. Repetition is present - that can make or break a good amount of the audience, but it did seem to benefit well due to there being enough diversity in the background to help break away from the repetitious structures of the source. Looking on at the mix it feels to be a dark and moody structure - somehow it'll work well for the more emotive listeners out there, but generally there didn't seem to be much involved to be able to put onto your play list constantly.

Production

Most of the samples sound okay, and I can admit that he's chosen some decent brass samples that somehow can be seen as a bit of a plague for some first time arrangers. It can be felt that some of the samples chosen could have been warmer, but they didn't seem to be too disturbing. The EQs chosen seemed to be a bit minimal at best, which has in turn provided a minimal sound towards the sequence, although I can admit there has been some good thought to sustain to emulate on the orchestrated performance. The recorded element provisions aren't applicable, but I did end up noticing a light amount of white noise in the background, thus degrading on the quality slightly. The sound levels show no signs of clipping, which is good, but I feel the balance was a bit on the shaky side due to there being way too much emphasis on the accompaniment. Panning is definitely noted through some steady piano and percussion placements, hoping to work well to provide a good amount of space for the listener, but other than that I feel the instruments could have been given some wider spread to make it sound less than an SPC file on reverb. This setup isn't bad for a first submission, but I know that in time this arranger can provide some cleaner results in the future.

?Judge?

Remix

The theme is immediately recognizable, but fails to sound radically different from it. (see Creativity)

Creativity

Those familiar with the Seiken Densetsu Sound Collections would be as disappointed as I am to discover the similarities between this and a pre-existing remix. I can't, in good conscience, award any points for creativity, as this is merely a re-interpretation of an orchestrated version of the original theme.

Production

Unrealistic samples used, complete lack of velocity nuance in most instruments, most notable the keyboard and timpani; no noticable flaws in production.

Redbeastmage

Remix

While this piece does capture the original song, it captures a bit to much. Comparing this to the original piece, it sounds, as far as arrangement goes, far to similar.

Creativity

I like your choice of instrumentation in this piece. You keep to high winds and piano to carry the melody and major harmonies throughout. You use the lower voices as sort of a pedal to underline those main instruments, creating a nice balanced arrangement. Unfortunately, that seems to be extent of creative input in this piece. It is rather short original piece and I would have like to see some new material to help expand the piece, as well as to help breath new life into the piece.

Production

The samples have nice sounds to them, for the most part. The bells that ring out in the latter half of the song are very high frequency, and you may have wanted to turn them down, as they cut through the mix harshly. Also, your use of panning seems a little flawed, since the melody always seems to appear in the right side of the stereo field. Lastly, that final brass hit on the last note seems to come from nowhere and disrupt the overall balance.



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