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This is an ABFH remix contest judge's review.

The ambience you've created with this is so ambient, and quirky, and playful. I feel like I'm chasing after a field of diamonds in the sky with the synths you've used, and that image is so vivid in my mind from listening to this. You've been imaginative with the stems, I see -- splitting them, speeding them up, seemingly making a pretty tight hip-hop beat out of it -- seriously, I could see rap vocals to it even if it has a Future Bass sound to it, but it stands pretty alright on its own.

There's something that is both relaxing and delightfully engaging about this. I find it a masterful thing to do, when someone nails two feelings at once with a song, two feelings that follow through from start to end and don't leave the listener in conflict. The song itself feels like a love letter, smooth like butter and easy on the ears from start to end.

I don't think I have complaints with the mixing; it was just as playful as the actual song and I probably wouldn't have done things differently.

All the best in the competition!

This is an ABFH remix contest judge's review.

Already, this sounds different and I really love those chords in the intro, and the grittiness that this thing brings. When the drums kick in, it sounds like a much heavier version of Take On Me, and then the heavy metal kicks in at 1:08 and it sounds like Led Zeppelin. Very, VERY nice. I love that guitar.

Drums could stand to be a tad more powerful; they feel quite weak in the mix. The groove is so nice and simple and good, though. It sounds as though you're using defaults...

2:09, I love that ambience there. I love the simplicity of 2:46 or thereabouts, and the feeling of this.

3:40, I love what you did with those vocals. It sounds like someone really about to lick that mic, to put it in PG-13 terms. How you brought them in, and out. I could actually visualise this being played on stage at that point.

4:38 could have done with a quick, but much-needed drum fill because that feel just changed from Led Zeppelin to heavy! Take On Me again.

5:20, blast beats were a nice touch, but the weakness of the drums in the mix did underwhelm it.

There is so much I love about this remix. How different it feels. How I can imagine it being performed live, and the kind of energy that this brings, an energy that I have found rather hard to come by.

All the best in the competition!

djt820 responds:

First of all, I'm just glad you dug it haha. Secondly, you're definitely right about the drums; makes me wish I had more time on this to really refine the beats/mix.

Yeah, around 3:40 is my favorite section. This is the part that started the whole second draft. Glad you got the sensual feeling of it all.

Well, there wouldn't be energy in the piece if your vocals didn't match up to it and that's what made this song so fun and challenging to make. I hope I did it justice. Thanks for putting it all together! I hope it's not the last time we combine forces.

This is an ABFH remix contest judge's review.

That intro sounded like Vangelis, ooooh! And that guitar, gosh, it's leaps and bounds over the original. The key change on the vox makes it sound more youthful, childlike.

Those little touches on the piano, and those Vangelis synths, have really sent shivers down my spine. I hear subtle touches of bass every so often. I am with NekoMika when she says that some bits remind her of FF; that piano certainly does give a Final Fantasy vibe. Only complaint is that the voice does get drowned out.

That solo violin melody, and those strings, all provide a nice sense of buildup. There's also those choir pads, too. They give it a more angelic vibe.

3:35 caused my jaw to drop. I rarely do that. Well done. And the way you reintroduced the instruments was equally good.

4:10, I'm not sure about the bassline there. Drums also sound a bit synthetic there, but nice rhythm nonetheless. Certainly felt rousing, though I'd probably want them to be humanised a bit more, or for a better drum sample to be used.

That ending was on point.

I appreciate that you went for a very angelic feel and that you played around with something new for what you normally do -- and I think you did quite well, notwithstanding the couple downsides I mentioned.

All the best for the competition!

SplatterDash responds:

Hey Troisnyx! Thank you so much for judging and hosting the contest. It especially means a lot that you were able to make a really amazing song for us to work off of, and a game that puts it in a fitting context (I mean come on, cats can put anything in context lol).

The vox, as amazing as they were, were probably my most challenging aspect as I put them together with everything else in mastering. Layering them together was alright, but when the instruments came in, especially at the end, I've noticed the voices are drowned out as well. Fiddling with them, though, usually led to one (or both) of two things: 1) the track wouldn't be as big and powerful, and/or 2) the track would start clipping (a big problem at around 4:34). I had to go for what I could, unless I wanted to turn stuff down or compress the living daylights out of it.

I listened multiple times to 4:10 again, but I couldn't find anything wonky about the bassline. The thing that I think may have been the issue was the fact that on every instrument during the final big part, one or two octaves of each followed the main vox. It ended up being a small detail, and it kinda didn't work since it only comes out some of the time, but it's a small detail that I was willing to test around. Speaking of tests, the drum - I kinda wanted to record the drum on an actual snare, but the only snare I have access to is one that is a six-year-old drum set snare with a questionable mic. Still, I think I may try it out the next time I need a real-sounding snare - or a real-sounding drum kit, for that matter.

Really glad that you enjoyed this! I actually took the time to listen to a few Vangelis songs while writing this, the beginning actually kinda does sound like something they would make lol. Thanks again for hosting the competition, I really enjoy the original and I probably never would have found out about it or its game without this great competition :D

This is an ABFH remix contest judge's review.

Right off the bat, the mix feels so tonally on point, though I had to turn the volume on my cans down to be able to hear it without it hurting me. The bass, the synths, the occasional "huehuehue" laugh, they feel quite nice, very Phy.

There are bits of syncopation in 1:44~ or thereabouts, which feel quite playful. I think, from there until the end it feels so playful. Then, finally, it mellows down... and then ends unsettlingly. Creepy. Pretty effective, in my mind.

This thing feels almost like a creepypasta game's soundtrack, but not quite. That "huehuehue" laugh, that gunshot, that ending, all do suggest it and I like it, and the parts that were not creepy were lulling me into this false sense of security. You did a fine job, in my mind. My only complaint is that it's a massive wall of sound that I need to turn down.

All the best in the competition!

moreweed responds:

thanks alot ^^ hue hue hue

This is an ABFH remix contest judge's review.

To begin, I like how simple you keep the piano, though I feel as though those keys need some humanisation, big time. There are parts where the volume feels kinda samey (especially bass notes). Parts of it also tend to be loud, louder than the main melody -- which, normally, one hopes to hear in the forefront, as opposed to the background. You do some interesting things with the notes, though.

I like how you brought the backing vox in, but parts of it feel jarring (a very different, non-harmonious chord from the piano and marimba(?)).

There is a peaceful feeling that I can hear you creating, and it certainly does convey that a bit -- though I think imagining how that piano would be played with a pair of hands would be a good next step to nailing it, in my mind.

All the very best for the competition!

-------

One final word of encouragement:

You say not only that this takes you out of your comfort zone, but also that you (feel you will) never surpass the people you look up to -- in this case, Kupo and Phy. 'Surpassing,' in my mind, is a matter of perspective. From what I heard you do with the piano notes, if you aren't a pianist already, I think you have the makings of a good pianist.

I cannot stress this enough. Keep at it, even if it is demoralising. Phy and I are both pianists, and we'll have had to go through demoralising moments to get to where we are with our art, and we still have those moments every now and then. There will be moments where you feel you're down and out, and remember, you are not alone.

Because in a few years, you'll get not only the feel and touch of the keys, you'll also apply that to the music you make with a DAW. And it might feel like a long time before you get there, but it could also happen before you know it -- you'll make music that could equal, rival or even surpass what we do. Of this, I have no doubt. Keep that musical flame burning bright, and burning strong.

This is an ABFH Remix Contest judge's review.

Oooooh, this right off the bat really made my hair stand on end. The whole thing felt so ethereal, from the very beginning. Those synths are on point, and the way you mixed those vocals... Sublime. I loved your keyboard work on this, and the synths on this, and how you built it up.

Then WHAM! 1:47 comes in. I'd probably have appreciated a little bit of a drop, but that desire fizzles out when I hear that really, really lovely chord progression.

3:00~ or thereabouts seems untouched, even though I know you added your own touches with the bass. Those bird samples feel so nice; they've made my spine tingle. It feels like a blend of 80s New Age music, and some of those choral bits that were uplifting in Katamari Damacy.

I'd noticed that you'd gone a long time without reintroducing the actual dance bits in the music, so yeah, you could've fooled me indeed. Light filtered percussion to slowly bring it back would have been well-placed here, in my mind, before 5:00 hits you like a truck right in the feels.

So many high highs, here, though I feel it could have been built up a bit more gradually (as far as percussion). The whole thing was ethereal and nice, but looking back, it felt quite abrupt in places. The whole mix certainly had a big part to play in how it felt, but so does the percussion in my mind -- however light, it could give a sense of progression, to either calm me or prepare me for something big. It needn't necessarily build up to the big moment in 5:00, either -- even keeping it calm before dropping would've worked. But what matters is that it'd have given me a sense of progression, something I kinda really miss about this whole piece.

All the very best for the competition!

This is an ABFH remix contest judge's review.

To begin, I'm not sure what to make of the drums kicking in like that without much else to back them up -- the guitar is pretty soft, and so is the voice, so the drums are overpowering. It seems as though the other things in that intro were left as-is.

Then, the synth kicks in, and the voice is retimed so that the swing in it disappears, and it feels quite juicy and nice. It really feels like a groove that I can get down to. When it tones back down at 1:42, it feels so in the pocket, with drums / bass / voice. I also enjoy your chord changes, and the little touches you've added.

2:47~ or thereabouts really sent a chill down my spine, in a very very good way. Mixing was on point, and that reverb was sooooo goood.

That ending is so soft and delicate. I enjoyed that piano. It was a nice way to bring to a close a mix with some really high highs.

Overall, there are so many excellent parts about this. Yet, a couple things to mention: first, I'm not sure if it's flowing as smoothly as it can. That intro is an indicator of that. Second, it does make me wonder if you're playing it safe. No harm in that, I guess -- it's just a thing that I'd wondered.

All the very best for the competition!

This is an ABFH remix contest judge review.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It felt bright, and cheerful, and happy all the way throughout. The chiptune was so well placed, even with the strings and other things that you borrowed from the original. The main chiptune melody was singable, too, and that was the hook that drew me in.

My only complaint would be that some of the other melodies just dart around almost aimlessly; it feels as though they're trying hard to fit into the song.

I have no complaints with the mixing; everything has its proper place in here.

All the very best for the competition!

It starts pretty big and festive, then it gets ominous a bit. I love how quirky the melody is. It is off tone, but somehow works very well. Kinda reminds me of ethnic music, as well. That bass going with everything else is class, I love what you did with the progressions in large part as a result of it. (One of the risers towards the end makes it sound more hectic for some reason, but I know this to be a thing that sometimes happen with big room.)

Risers and things seem to be placed well. I can hear and feel why you're so proud of this -- well done.

FelixZophar responds:

Thank you XD

I'd say the sounds do remind me of some really successful N64 games, but the melodies and the floating 3/4 timing actually remind me more of Ar tonelico than they do Zelda. (Some of Tyria's battle themes in Ar tonelico 3 feel very similar.)

Regardless -- it certainly brought about nostalgia, the kind that made me really smile from ear to ear. I like this a lot! Thank you for sharing this with me.

Hikari responds:

Thank you for your review! When I start a song with just chords I tend to make it a waltz for what ever reason.

Pronounced "trwa-nix." I dream up meepy dreams full of meep.
Currently doing things nonprofit.

Annette Singh @Troisnyx

29, Female

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Lancashire, UK

Joined on 6/26/11

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