Pimp my PSG - Detailed Jury Report

By Jorito

Mr. Ambassadors (1761)

Jorito's picture

09-06-2016, 22:08

General comments

All tracks were appreciated! We were delighted to be invited to do something MSX related after so many years. It was wonderful o reunite and to catch up after all this time, especially since some of us had not seen some of the others for decades. We also had a blast conducting our jury duties. We’re very grateful to the organizers and the contestants for providing us with this occasion.

Among the many criteria on which we based our judgment was a non-quantifiable factor, best described as the ‘like’ or ‘moved-by’ factor. Rather than a technical factor, it was determined by the way in which a particular entry touched us, or struck a chord if you will. One tricky factor with this particular criterion was that it might be affected by the feelings we had about the original tune (for example, one of us spent many, many nights playing Higemaru, so he was obviously overcome by nostalgia by Das Piratenboot). We tried to account for this and to correct the score where possible and necessary.
The complete assessment reports are freely available (but not always in English).

Below a summary of the written comments on each track. Divided in positive and ‘negative’ remarks. Needless to say there was heavy debate on the ranking and individual comments do often not reflect the overall opinion of Impact.

PSG-1: Das Piratenboot by Meits

Strengths

  • A full, warm, energetic and nostalgic sound.
  • “The best part about this entry is that it's great fun”
  • “Bonus points for elaborate use of multiple sound chips on multiple computers”
  • “A nice upbeat track that got stuck in my head”
  • good name of the track!
  • “This classic MSX sounds pleases me, reminds me of an arcade halls”
  • nice ending of the track
  • The SCC is used!

Weaknesses

  • The beats could have been better
  • track lacks dynamics, it is one constant wall of sound
  • not all parts of the medley contribute to the track. E.g. the endboss music.

PSG-2: StarDust by FranSX

General comment: Sounds a bit Knightram/ANMA in places

Strengths

  • Nice bass-loop (both sound and scheme) halfway the track, a nostalgic sound
  • chosen track is completely unknown
  • good job in turning the original track, which basically sucks, into something interesting
  • Nice rhythm in middle part
  • stereo!

Weaknesses

  • The lead sound
  • end-mix, volumes not well balanced
  • first minute of the track is too minimal

PSG-3 Thexder by poke-1,170

Strengths

  • “Technically impressive given that it's only MSX Music & MSX Audio”
  • “many interesting sounds and noises, and a bit less-standard sounding drum sounds, plus
    the occasional arpeggio”
  • “ gutsy sounds”
  • “ what a fantastic set of FM sounds!”
  • Nice interpretation of the original
  • it’s not moonsound
  • melody of the original track is intriguing, good and not so obvious choice of track

Weaknesses

  • the high-pitch noise (impression of the laser in Thexder?) is annoying
  • sounds a bit too experimental, bit over the top
  • too many sound effects. Especially the laser

PSG#4: Ulises by FranSX

Strengths

  • “I Like the Sirtaki-dimension; probably my favourite of the FranSX entries”
  • The seashore sound FX, the strange cricketty sound add to a quirky atmosphere
  • the mandoline!
  • nice choice of sounds

Weaknesses

  • a bit too basic
  • why remixing this original?
  • The melody

PSG #5 - Titanic by FranSX

Strengths

  • The repeating chords are, after a while, appreciable
  • despite the simplicity of the melody a nice arrangement of the track
  • easy listenable
  • middle part is nicely arranged; the sound becomes more firm there
  • Nice use of the drumkit, good beat
  • original is boring, once again good job of FransX to make something nice out of it
  • as for all FransX tracks, original choice of original track. Not always the catchiest tunes. Many
    of us were puzzled by these choices. But I can image the tunes can stick in your head, or haunt you, when playing these obscure monochrome games on a MSX-1 a long time ago.

Weaknesses

  • I do not like the lead-sound
  • There is no coherence between the instruments, therefore no unity in the track
  • a bit too slow
  • a pity of the string-sounds, which sound a bit like a cheap Casio keyboard.
  • OriginalFMPACstringswouldhavedonebetterforthispart
  • not much dynamics

PSG #6 - Wicked Lounge by Jorito

Strengths

  • “Nicely different from the original”
  • “Very original as an entry, good execution”
  • Nice ending
  • very relaxing interpretation of the original
  • stereo!
  • Some of the instruments remind me of SD-snatcher music
  • different layers, nice latin style
  • Nice drum sounds
  • remixing the same track 6 times shows persistence

Weaknesses

  • “I think it ruins the original song”.
  • “That hobo is too loud”
  • I do not like the brass sounds that much
  • too stripped down
  • I do not like the ending
  • too laid back for a game track
  • The original of this track is very good, we are being influenced more heavily by the skills of the original composer than in most of the other tracks

PSG #7- Star Force by [WYZ]

Strengths

  • brilliant choice to use 2 PSG chips
  • nicely nostalgic mood reminds me of metal gear / comic bakery music
  • the track was nicely put together
  • good description of used equipment
  • while it is still PSG, it is a lot better than the original, actually quite good

Weaknesses

  • a bit weird passage at 0:30
  • a bit short
  • slightly better than the annoying original

PSG #8 - Aekrus by Yzi

Strengths

  • “good sounds and rhythm, nice pitch. This track swings”
  • “ the most funky contender”
  • technically interesting (application of milkytracker and conversion to end up with the pitch
    bends normally impossible in Moonblaster)
  • “very good sounds and bassline”
  • reminds me of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlMRaKuRJfE
  • funky timed bassline
  • stereo, and a upbeat track that keeps sticking in my head

Weaknesses

  • Decent remake, which however doesn't add all that much
  • the lack of a SCC or FM sound to give it even more edge
  • sound of the lead synth, does not fit in with the rest of the song (one of the many
    examples we would have liked to hear a SCC)
  • standard blues scheme
  • beats could have been more sophisticated
  • ending is bit weak

PSG #9 - Kwik Fit Child by Hans

Strengths

  • “I like the bombastic intermezzo with the freaky organ around 2:05 as well as the subsequent return to the main theme”
  • The original velocity/attack of the PSG lead is nicely mimicked
  • The mix has width and sounds full
  • stereo!
  • good use of instruments, good remix of the original track
  • “right mood was created by using perfect instruments for it”
  • “Drums are ok, other sounds also. The string-sounds are good. Exiting track, right dosage of
    variation, well done”
  • Reminds me of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ft7yyPA_j4

Weaknesses

  • The sounds sound a bit prefab, as if it uses default presets
  • sounds more like a racing game than a whip
  • what’s with these gunshot samples in this track?
  • sounds like it is not finished, the rockin’ middle part promises more than it
    eventually delivers
  • The original of this track is very good, we are being influenced more heavily by the
    skills of the original composer than in most of the other tracks
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