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Alright, so this is a cover I did of DavidOrr's popular "Four Brave Champions" for the NGAP Remix contest organised by Step.
I went for the "Contrary Intentions" direction, which creates quite a jarring contrast with the much more serious original.
Hope you all enjoy!
Doing this kind of jazz version of a heavy orchestral soundtrack is an interesting choice, and the main melody works pretty allright in this setting. The main problem is that the mix needs work - the cymbals and hats are very heavy and the chords from the piano+sax get buried beneath the drums and the main melody. Some of the instruments also sound too sterile and midi-like. So I imagine this arrangement could sound brilliant if sounds/mixing aspects were reworked.
I dig it. Solid arrangement. I especially loved 1:29 onward. In some spots it felt kind of messy, others it felt like it jelled perfectly. I'm not sure if it's the instruments themselves, or the mixing. But the music itself is fabulous. I would love to hear this performed by a live band!
NGAP 10TH ANNIVERSARY CONTEST REVIEW
Some other submissions in this contest did some pretty big changes in style from the original, like metal to orchestral and 8-bit to metal, but none are so far away stylistically from the original than this!
You get major points for turning the original into a consistent and coherent jazz track without diminishing the power of the original melody. Some parts sound truly brilliant in jazz form. Apart from that, you've got some excellent chords, and smooth tempo changes which I bet were not easy to pull off. What I like the most about this, apart from your great composition, is that it feels so well-structured and masterful. Other than 1:01 which felt a bit more forced, everything else feels smooth and has a clear direction. You even ended it the way you started it which works considerably well. Overall, fantastic interpretation, masterful composition and rock-solid structure...
...which is then ruined by bad mixing and sounds. I still get MIDI vibes in this, and it feels more like a song that's simply in arrangement form waiting to be played by a big band, rather than a song that holds its own as a digitally-created track. Some sounds are good but just don't fit, like the trumpet, and others like the saxophone (or whatever brass you were using to play chords in the background) sound grating. Not to mention the drums, which fit incredibly well, but sound quite flat and lacking in power. The mixing also needs work; levels-wise this sounds fairly unbalanced, and some sounds are very dry.
Overall, I'm going to deduct two points for the sounds and mixing. If those were nailed then I would have no problem with this because it's simply pure talent waiting to be played by a whole band and recorded professionally in a studio.
-Well, this is certainly a creative interpretation of it.
-Good usage of the main melody as a background.
-Tempo changes are really natural, and your transitions are all good.
-Your instrument quality is pretty darn low and it seriously hurts just about everything.
-The ending is an obvious cut-and-paste of the beginning.
Overall: Score of 8/10. Biggest problem is instrument quality. I don't really have much else I can say about this, the composition was excellent but the instrument quality killed it.
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