Not bad. I really enjoyed your arrangement, and the lyrics were quite nice. The weak points of this track for me were all tied to the vocals. The quality of the recording is distracting, and some of the notes are a little wonky. However, you win cool points for recording vocals at all for a song that didn't originally have lyrics. Overall this was pretty nice, but better vocal recording/performance would have made it really soar.
NGAP 10TH ANNIVERSARY CONTEST REVIEW
What I've always liked about your work is that even if you may not have access to the best software and hardware out there, your exceptional compositional skills often overshadow that.
This is perhaps one of the most creative covers from the whole competition. It sounds like more than just a cover, but almost as if the original was a flower and you turned it into a damned garden. Despite that, you still keep it sounding wonderfully delicate and reminiscent of a lullaby. Your new instrumentation and new piano accompaniment works so well, and even if some aspects of it are very typical for this genre (piano, strings and vocals? Like I haven't heard that before), you still give it some uniqueness with the mallets (which had a very well-timed transition at 1:34). And the singing! Finally, you got a microphone! And the exact same model I have too. That, and your singing is very solid. So are your lyrics (love how you used the title of the original in them).
Now, this song isn't perfect. It's excellent for what it is but there are a few small flaws. The recording is pretty good but since the Samson GoMic is made for portability and stuff like voice chats rather than to record singing, your voice still doesn't sound as full-bodied as it should sound. Like I said above, your singing is awesome, but it's a bit iffy in the higher register at some points. I would've loved to hear some vocal harmonies too, to maybe make up for the fact that the microphone isn't picking up all the frequencies of your voice properly, and more importantly because vocal harmonies are awesome.
To be frank, all I'm mentioning are tiny little shortcomings here and there. You've succeeded in taking the original, interpreting it creatively and fittingly, and ending up with a beautiful and well-structured track that deserves high marks from me!
-Very well-played piano.
-I really really like those mallet instruments you used.
-Aw, you wrote lyrics to the lullaby? How nice. ^_^
-Transitions and ending are good - and you know how crazy I am about that.
-Your mixing has improved drastically. I can hear everything in the mix here clearly.
-Your voice seems set really far back in the mix. Not sure if that's intentional or not, but it's there.
-Would be nice if you used better instruments. They are currently holding you back the most.
Overall: Score of 10/10. I really am impressed by how much you've improved over time. Also, this cover is VERY well-done, it takes the piece and truly makes it your own. I would not have know that it was a remix if I weren't judging based on remixes (well, and if I didn't read).
My instrumentation guesses:
-Cymbal roll (duh).
-Not just strings, but I'm guessing cello at the beginning and possibly a double bass for a deep bass sound throughout.
-Either xylophone (a real one, not the kiddie xylo) or marimba, I'm leaning a bit more toward xylophone because of the higher pitch. Marimbas generally have more bass.
-Vocals (also duh).
-Some violas or violins towards the middle.
-Glockenspiel soundfont, because there's no way that's a real glock - it doesn't sound like it except on the highest notes.
Also, brownie points for them all (so I'd say +7!). It was a proper viola at the beginning (which I EQed as a violin because it'd have otherwise been two heavy), and violas and cellos in the middle. Marimbas generally have more bass, and I had a marimba patch in the Touhou SF which I EQed as a xylophone. And yeah, there's NO WAY that could be a real glock :P
That having been said, it's going to take me a while before I can switch to proper instruments. I'm not sure how well DirectWave even works; it works horribly for strings. And I can't afford EWQL or Omnisphere at the mo'. Even the piano was an SF, but at least it's the most decent piano I've come across -- ya can't go wrong with Steinway & Sons!
I don't think the voice mix was intentional D: I think I have the same problem here as I had with Propter Te: I hear some parts in the headphones more clearly than others, and the vocals stand out the most for me, but it wouldn't be the case elsewhere. Maybe it's just me...
Thanks for the review, and I'm glad that you enjoyed it so!
This is a really beautiful version of the original, the piano in particular. Adding your own vocals is a great way to make it your own, and apart from a few off notes and the thin recording it sounds fine. You've changed the time signature and done major changes to the melody as well, but the chords and the general melodic quality is still there, so the original is still recognizable.
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