Mayhem in Monster Land
Below the Root
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1. This is definitely a mixing issue that i've thought about too, since a lot of these mixes are rough WIPs the mixes are not very polished. I've got the base ideas, but it's definitely not finished! So these mirror some of the things I have thought myself. Once all songs are blocked out I plan on going back through every single song to make major adjustments, new recordings, any creative changes.
Doing it this way helps me a lot because it helps me keep track of the bigger picture and have time to process what my initial ideas were when trying to write the arrangement. If I try to do heavy mixing while writing the song out i'll get too lost in the details rather than focusing too early.
2. For the main lead, do you mean the super wide reverbed guitars? Or the short attack FM synth lead that kicks in after the intro?
I may be able to work in one more straight played version when I go back to this. This is exactly the kind of ideas from outside my own head that I need. Because with music the way you intrinsically feel about a song or it's structure is different when you are the audience instead of the creator. So I have these ideas based on my own expectations as a listener, but you can't always get the whole perspective when you know every nook of a piece and have heard it hundreds of times. FWIW, the beat change is a change to 9/4 time signature. Very uncommon but I really like how it sounds. PSII's music in places does use some different signatures so I tried to include things like that into the arrangements.
3. Blade runner is exactly what I felt like it gave off. I want to expand that a little more maybe once I return to finish this one.
4.Bracky News is a song where I tried to expand it while keeping the core elements of the original jingle. Which is way too short. This 1+ minute section is what I originally was going to just use as a sort of loopable base. But since I last worked on it I have come up with some ideas to add to it when I go back. Like trying to work in a reference to the shop theme from PS1 on the second pass.
5.Yeah the synth lead here is a place holder and I don't like it at all either actually. I had been using a different one, but due to some technical problems I couldn't use them when I was last working on the song. The bug was fixed later so I can return to that once I get back to it. And yes the ending is actually just a placeholder loop as well because I was planning after the 2 minute mark to loop back run the whole 3 variations again before an ending. Don't know if that will be too repetitive however. Got a link to the Chip and Dale song that synth reminds you of? I'm very curious now!
6.Advanced has been the most difficult to do as I had a lot of ideas and trouble fitting some of them together.
My vocoder was not behaving so the finished song should actually have some neat robotic leads. That first chorus section sounds kind of weak because of it. You may have also noticed the Bass switching off after the first chorus as well, I switched to using a Synth so I could write out the bass lines and this will be replaced with live electic bass in the final song. The last section before the WIP cuts off i'm not so sure about yet because I was trying to work in some more wankery but not sure what yet. Either way it will use the chorus section repeated to an ending of some kind. I really wanted to make the arrangement of this sort of "Advanced"since that's what the song is called, so there's never an exact repeated section as every section has variation along with several time signature and key changes. I wanted it to be very Prog Rock so to speak.In addition to this after about 2 minutes or so it's actually a hybrid remix of Advanced and sections of Forest 1 and Forest 2 from PSO
There are some muddy issues with the mix for sure.
7. Silent Zone is in the worst shape mix wise as I did the least work for it a ton of changes in store for that one. Kind of want it to have a late 70's /early 80's jazz fusion feel though overall. The main section A melody at 2:50 i've never liked no matter how many times i've listened to it.
At this point in the song it's actually switched to a 9/4 time signature (This requires the rhythm of the melody to change a bit), so I think that needs to be reworked and some stuff changed/added. However at 3:29 I really love this section (Continuing on in 9/4)and is my favorite part of the song actually >_>. The bass line in the 3:29 section B is ironically the most faithful to the original bass line of the song and not only that but the synth being used here is actually the exact same 2612 FM patch on 2 channels and then bussed with some effects.
(The bass line from 2:29 onward is the same actually.)
What may be throwing off how you feel about the first half of the song may be the conflicting high frequency information pulling your ear's attention away. For example the hard panned left FM Bell patch and the other section 2 lead synth/clean guitar melody lead panned hard left.
This was initially intentional to mimic some mixing and sound choices of early stereo music. But some of it does sound a bit odd.
8.Yeah I actually have been thinking about changing that bass choice as it doesn't sound quite right for a lot of reasons.(Stereo width is coming from an over zealous Juno 6 chorus with the width to max lol) I'll definitely do a lot of work on that.
9. I feel apprehensive about Home in particular as I feel it's the simplest structure wise of most of the arrangements. I was definitely more inspired by the soundscapes of PSO for a lot of the instrument choices. (In addition to the chord progression change in the 2nd section of the song that I made in the slower part of the song)
Thanks a ton for sharing your impressions. It's very helpful!
Wiz 'n Liz actually got double-listed, thanks for catching that!
As for "obscure" I'm giving the benefit of the doubt to all but the most extreme cases. But series like Thunder Force, Phantasy Star, and Streets of Rage are so famously identified with the Genesis that only the likes of Sonic are more visible -- if you've heard of the Genesis, you've probably heard of those games, as they're total "Genesis starter pack" material -- while Castlevania and Mega Man are too high-profile as a series.
At least Golden Axe III was Sega Channel-only in the US, while Shadow Dancer is relatively overlooked compared to the other two. Similarly, Aladdin and Castle of Illusion are too famous, whereas Quackshot is a tier below in visibility (at least in the US, maybe not Japan). Of course this is all for fun anyway...
BTW Ninja Burai Densetsu is one game that got mentioned without a recommendation that looks really interesting to me. Can't tell if it's actually any good, though, without a translation patch.