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Author Topic: [SNES] Final Fantasy VI - "Balance Is Restored" by Static & Whoppybones  (Read 1503 times)

Zeta

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Submission Information:

Series: Final Fantasy
Game: Final Fantasy VI
Console: Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Title: Balance Is Restored
Instrumentation Solo Piano
Arrangers: Static & Whoppybones
« Last Edit: September 21, 2021, 06:01:47 PM by Static »
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Static

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This is the longest submission in NSM history...
« Last Edit: May 16, 2021, 11:28:12 PM by Static »
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Latios212

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Static: "Hey, fellow updaters! Wanna help me on this twenty-six-page sheet I just submitted?"

Updaters:

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Check out my Youtube channel for remixes and original music! LeviR.star's Remixes

Also check out my piano arrangements here on my PA thread! LeviR.star's Arrangements

Libera

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This is so long that there is no way that I can go through it all in one go, or even two/three goes.  These are just going to be comments up to the 'Maestoso' in bar 47.

-In bar 15, it feels weird to me to have this written in as explicit time when it's basically just a very fast ascending roll kind of thing.  Have you considered writing it as one big set of a small semiquavers beamed together and cross-staved?  I think it might get the idea across more clearly.
-Also in 15, it might be nicer to start the slur a little more to the left so that you don't have to bend it up quite so sharply at the start.  I think it will follow the contour of the line better that way.
-Also (x2) in 15, I think it would look neater to start the hairpin a little to the right so that it doesn't collide with the slur.  I don't think it will make any musical difference really.
-The second layer C#s in bars 21, 23 etc. hang around for longer than written.  I'd personally just write them in for the whole bar for simplicity but I think they actually come off around beat 4.
-Incident Fs in beat 38 beat 3.  I'd suggest brackets on the left hand one.
-I feel like bars 33-43 look a lot nicer/readable in sharps rather than flats.  You even go to sharps for bar 44 so it fits in nicely with that, but it also massively cuts down on the number of double accidentals, which make multi-layered sections like 37-38 really quite easy to misread currently.  Be careful with some of the ties if you do this.
-Have you considered combining layers 1 and 3 (or 1 and 2) for simplicity in bars 41-42?  Those two bars are very busy visually and it might be clearer simplified.

Static

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-In bar 15, it feels weird to me to have this written in as explicit time when it's basically just a very fast ascending roll kind of thing.  Have you considered writing it as one big set of a small semiquavers beamed together and cross-staved?  I think it might get the idea across more clearly.
-Also in 15, it might be nicer to start the slur a little more to the left so that you don't have to bend it up quite so sharply at the start.  I think it will follow the contour of the line better that way.
-Also (x2) in 15, I think it would look neater to start the hairpin a little to the right so that it doesn't collide with the slur.  I don't think it will make any musical difference really.
m15 looks completely different now, when I was testing it out I think it's easier to play it as I have it written now.

-The second layer C#s in bars 21, 23 etc. hang around for longer than written.  I'd personally just write them in for the whole bar for simplicity but I think they actually come off around beat 4.
-Incident Fs in beat 38 beat 3.  I'd suggest brackets on the left hand one.
Fixed

-I feel like bars 33-43 look a lot nicer/readable in sharps rather than flats.  You even go to sharps for bar 44 so it fits in nicely with that, but it also massively cuts down on the number of double accidentals, which make multi-layered sections like 37-38 really quite easy to misread currently.  Be careful with some of the ties if you do this.
Not to sure about m33-34 or 39-42 (quite a few double sharps would appear there), but I changed 35-38 and 43.

-Have you considered combining layers 1 and 3 (or 1 and 2) for simplicity in bars 41-42?  Those two bars are very busy visually and it might be clearer simplified.
I combined layers 2 and 3 instead since they align rhythmically. Combined with the pedal (as I intended previously anyway), it sounds the same as before.

Thanks for looking it over!

Libera

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Changes look great to me, particularly bar 15.



Round 2/? let's go.  This covers everything up to the Dolce in bar 174.

-Bar 50, I think there's still the E on beat 4.5 of the RH.
-Bar 51, add the E on beat 4 that resolves up to the F on the next beat?
-I think you could adjust some of the staff separations on page 3 to make bar 53/54 a little less gruesome.  Perhaps the final system could also have a bit more space for bar 57, but it's much better than 53.
-Is there a reason for the mixing and matching of the two melodic lines in bars 86-100?  I think it'd be better to stick to one of them and not swap halfway, and probably the new one is better than repeating the previous one.  In essence, I think it'd be better with 86-89/94-97 changed to the new melodic line.  You might even be able to work the original line in as a second layer in 90-93, or even just some of it.
-I think it might be better to end with bar 101 on a lower octave Gb, rather than a repeated higher chord.  I think it fits better with the original and also with the current accompaniment pattern, as well as being just more interesting than a repetition.
-Did you consider matching the snare pattern more closely in 112+?  Might be fun.
-Courtesy on the Ab in 124+ to match the one in 123?  Or maybe that Bb was for the Bn two bars ago, but I don't really think that would have been needed...
-Parallel sixths in bar 146?  It wouldn't be the hardest thing so far.

Static

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-Bar 50, I think there's still the E on beat 4.5 of the RH.
The E and G are both held through beat 4. I originally combined them into the melody layer to make things simpler, but I've now moved them to their own layer.

-Bar 51, add the E on beat 4 that resolves up to the F on the next beat?
Added

-I think you could adjust some of the staff separations on page 3 to make bar 53/54 a little less gruesome.  Perhaps the final system could also have a bit more space for bar 57, but it's much better than 53.
Fixed

-Is there a reason for the mixing and matching of the two melodic lines in bars 86-100?  I think it'd be better to stick to one of them and not swap halfway, and probably the new one is better than repeating the previous one.  In essence, I think it'd be better with 86-89/94-97 changed to the new melodic line.  You might even be able to work the original line in as a second layer in 90-93, or even just some of it.
I want the main melody (the one that comes in first) to be the focus all the way though, since the additional countermelody is just a background part. However, the melody overlaps with the countermelody in m91-92 (the Ab and Gb on beat 1), so it was easy to combine the parts together there while still preserving the original melody. I wouldn't want to remove the main melody in m86-90, mostly to highlight the texture change between that and m70-74.

-I think it might be better to end with bar 101 on a lower octave Gb, rather than a repeated higher chord.  I think it fits better with the original and also with the current accompaniment pattern, as well as being just more interesting than a repetition.
Done

-Did you consider matching the snare pattern more closely in 112+?  Might be fun.
Ooh yeah good idea, and still pretty easy to play.

-Courtesy on the Ab in 124+ to match the one in 123?  Or maybe that Bb was for the Bn two bars ago, but I don't really think that would have been needed...
Yeah I forgot about those, added.

-Parallel sixths in bar 146?  It wouldn't be the hardest thing so far.
I think I'd rather just have single notes because of the jump from Gb-Eb to C-Ab. To make this sound smooth would require some pedaling (which I don't intend for this section) or really large hands.

Latios212

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Will be checking when I can, a step or two behind Libera...

This post is about m. 1-173, what Libera's checked so far.

- Dotted quarter in m. 19 RH?
- Wondering if you want to include more of the triplet bass rhythm in m. 29 as the RH is freed up to play the upper chords? (If you don't want to change it to keep it consistent with the previous measures, that's fine too)
- Lengthen those tremolo lines in m. 57 (using the beam length tool or whatever it was)
- The chords in m. 58 RH would be better flipped down
- No E in the last chord in m. 55 similar to m. 51?
- The tempo marking in m. 102 could be raised a bit more above the notes like in m. 62
- Up to you, but I'd cancel the naturals in the keysig change in m. 158
- I don't think I hear the melody restrike on beat 2.5 of measures 160, 163, and 166?
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Static

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- Wondering if you want to include more of the triplet bass rhythm in m. 29 as the RH is freed up to play the upper chords? (If you don't want to change it to keep it consistent with the previous measures, that's fine too)
I think I'd rather keep it since I'd have to invert the chords and/or remove the lower notes to make it fit.

- Up to you, but I'd cancel the naturals in the keysig change in m. 158
I prefer to keep the naturals if a key change is going from flats to flats (or sharps to sharps), but remove them if it's switching from one to the other (like Dbmaj to Emaj or something).
Also, even if I wanted to, for some reason when you disable the naturals through Document Options, all keysig cancellations are removed. Not sure if there's a way to just modify one.


- I don't think I hear the melody restrike on beat 2.5 of measures 160, 163, and 166?
It's really hard to tell with the full texture, but when the melody is isolated it's easier to hear. You can take a listen here.

The other stuff has been fixed

Libera

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Round 3/? start!  This covers everything up to 'Calmly' in 314.

-I don't really hear these restrikes in the bass of bars 192+ on beat 4?  They don't seem to be imitating anything else either there, so I think it'd be better to just stick with how it is in the original.
-I'm not super sure on the left hand chords in 214/216.  For one, it feels extremely heavy on piano for what is still reasonably light in the original.  Secondly, I'm not sure I can even hear all of those notes.  I can hear a string line descending F -> Eb -> Db in both of these bars (you only have it in bar 216) but I can't make out much else.  Maybe you could keep the bass in the left hand and move some of the other movement in the right hand and just lighten it up generally?
-The LH in 237-242/247-250 doesn't quite fit the harp in the original, and I don't really see a good reason for it to fit it.  i.e. the semiquavers should start on beat 1.25 (not 1.5) and should go F -> Bb -> Db -> (F->Db->Bb->F)x3 etc.  You could miss out the first/(maybe last?) of those notes to make it easier if you really wanted to, but I don't think it's necessary since the tempo is quite slow here.
-Hearing the offbeat chords in 267+ is honestly very difficult for me, but there are a few places where it sounds odd to me.  Particularly the chords in 272, (are we sure the first is not an Ab chord?  Are we sure there is/isn't an Ab/Dn in the second?) and 279-281 (honestly not really sure about any of these but are we sure the first is not an Ab? the third is not Gb? etc.)  These sections sound kind of odd to me but it may just be that on piano these chords are much louder than in the original.  One thing you might consider is just making these chords a little lighter by turning them all into dyads (probably dropping the double of the bass note in most cases).
-Assuming the harmony dyads in 282-283 are meant to represent the alternating string notes, I'm hearing something different in 283.  It sounds to me like they go up a tone to D<->E and then down a tone back to C<->D on beat 3, rather F<->G throughout.
-I'd misalign the semibreves in 282 so that the stem of the third layer isn't intersecting them.
-I think we should sacrifice the ties in 286 being uniform to aid in readability of the two cross-staffed notes on beat 4, i.e. pull the bottom two ties down clear of the staff and the E notehead, and pull the top tie up off of the G notehead.  I think it's easier to read if the ties intersect the stems rather than the noteheads, which can make the exact height of the notehead unclear at a glance.
-I think I would spell the En in 288/292 as an Fb for consistency with 290/294.
-It is, again, kind of hard to tell but I think that in 296+ the last lowest LH note of each odd bar should be a tonic like it is for the even bars, with it only going to the leading note on beat 2.5.



We're over half way in both duration and bars!

Static

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-I'm not super sure on the left hand chords in 214/216.  For one, it feels extremely heavy on piano for what is still reasonably light in the original.  Secondly, I'm not sure I can even hear all of those notes.  I can hear a string line descending F -> Eb -> Db in both of these bars (you only have it in bar 216) but I can't make out much else.  Maybe you could keep the bass in the left hand and move some of the other movement in the right hand and just lighten it up generally?
I wanted to make it a bit heavier since, compared to the previous measures, it is a bit more full in the original. However, I moved many voices down an octave. Those voices have been moved back up, that missing F-Eb-Db-Eb voice was added back in, and I double-checked the moving lines to make sure I wasn't doubling anything (or missing anything). There's actually like 4 moving accompaniment lines but they're hard to hear through the texture.

-The LH in 237-242/247-250 doesn't quite fit the harp in the original, and I don't really see a good reason for it to fit it.  i.e. the semiquavers should start on beat 1.25 (not 1.5) and should go F -> Bb -> Db -> (F->Db->Bb->F)x3 etc.  You could miss out the first/(maybe last?) of those notes to make it easier if you really wanted to, but I don't think it's necessary since the tempo is quite slow here.
I had the arpeggios start on beat 1.5 and be inverted so that it would be a bit easier to play (more time and less distance for the LH to travel), but at this tempo I suppose you're right that it's not really a big deal.

-Hearing the offbeat chords in 267+ is honestly very difficult for me, but there are a few places where it sounds odd to me.  Particularly the chords in 272, (are we sure the first is not an Ab chord?  Are we sure there is/isn't an Ab/Dn in the second?) and 279-281 (honestly not really sure about any of these but are we sure the first is not an Ab? the third is not Gb? etc.)  These sections sound kind of odd to me but it may just be that on piano these chords are much louder than in the original.  One thing you might consider is just making these chords a little lighter by turning them all into dyads (probably dropping the double of the bass note in most cases).
I split the channels to get the notes for that section, you can take a listen here (m267-281). I think I want to keep all 3 voices for the chords since some of them are 7th chords. I could remove the 5ths, but there's a few spots where the voice movement is kind of interesting and want to keep (like the Dn to Db in m279-280). I don't want the section to be too light since it's pretty energetic in the original.

-Assuming the harmony dyads in 282-283 are meant to represent the alternating string notes, I'm hearing something different in 283.  It sounds to me like they go up a tone to D<->E and then down a tone back to C<->D on beat 3, rather F<->G throughout.
There's two trills for each of those, the top one is C-D in m282, then D-E (beats 1-2) and D-Eb (beats 3-4) in 283. The bottom one is E-F# in m282 and F-G through out all of m283. My main reason for excluding the bottom notes in m282 is because of the hand movement from m281; it's just easier to play C-D-E instead of E-F#-C-D-E or E-F#-E. Then for m283, I went with the bottom trill only because the E and Eb would clash with the melody, and the D is already doubled in the melody.


-It is, again, kind of hard to tell but I think that in 296+ the last lowest LH note of each odd bar should be a tonic like it is for the even bars, with it only going to the leading note on beat 2.5.
Double checked and I still hear it as I have it. Here's that bassline isolated (starts at m295). The bass only goes to the tonic before it switches chords.

Everything else I didn't mention has also been fixed

We're over half way in both duration and bars!
Awesome! I guess you could say the ratio of checked to unchecked parts is... unbalanced

Thanks for checking! Only 216 more bars...

Libera

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All of the above looks good.  It's a lot easier to make out what's going on when the tracks are isolated.



This covers everything up to the 'Reflective' at bar 402.

-I think the intention might be a bit clearer if you wrote the top layer part in 338-339 in the right hand rather than as a separate layer, but it's a massive problem like it is currently.
-Just from following along with the second layer in 356+, I think it'd sound more natural with As instead of Cs in 364, and Gs instead of Bns in 365.  For one, this is just closer to the original based on what sticks out to me, but also I think the intervals are closer together (thirds and fourths as opposed to fifths and sixths) which fits better with what you have earlier.
-The last note in the LH of bar 375 sounds like it should be two quavers, potentially with the second one a third lower on an En (but it's kind of hard to hear).
-I'm not sure how I feel about the left hand pattern in 340+.  For one, it doesn't feel very accurate to me with the backbeat fifths, but it also causes you to completely miss the timpani build up in bars 353-354.  I guess it's OK everywhere else (although it makes a me a little uneasy) but for the part at 353-354 I'd strongly recommend trying to find a way to work what the timpani is actually doing in there.

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We're over half way in both duration and bars!
Until the second runthrough...  ;)
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Static

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-I think the intention might be a bit clearer if you wrote the top layer part in 338-339 in the right hand rather than as a separate layer, but it's a massive problem like it is currently.
There's plenty of piano pieces (including sheets on site) where both hands are momentarily using a single staff. I added a line to hopefully make it clearer, but I think having the RH in the bass clef is just a bit easier to read. Also note I removed the repeated Fs in this section. When FiKTaH was sightreading this, I could immediately tell it wasn't a good idea lol

-Just from following along with the second layer in 356+, I think it'd sound more natural with As instead of Cs in 364, and Gs instead of Bns in 365.  For one, this is just closer to the original based on what sticks out to me, but also I think the intervals are closer together (thirds and fourths as opposed to fifths and sixths) which fits better with what you have earlier.
I'd prefer to keep F and C for the Dm7 in 364, but I moved the Bs to Gs in 365 since the melody kinda gets in the way (this voice actually dips down to F on beat 2.5 and 4 as well). In addition, I went through some other parts of this and adjusted some notes in m360-363 to better reflect the chords. For reference, there are 3 notes in that accompaniment part all the way through - I only put in all 3 when the top layer is less active.

-The last note in the LH of bar 375 sounds like it should be two quavers, potentially with the second one a third lower on an En (but it's kind of hard to hear).
It's four 16ths in the timpani and just a whole note in the bass. I changed it to 8ths for simplicity.

-I'm not sure how I feel about the left hand pattern in 340+.  For one, it doesn't feel very accurate to me with the backbeat fifths, but it also causes you to completely miss the timpani build up in bars 353-354.  I guess it's OK everywhere else (although it makes a me a little uneasy) but for the part at 353-354 I'd strongly recommend trying to find a way to work what the timpani is actually doing in there.
I'm assuming you only mean 340-355, in which case I completely agree... I wasn't really sure what to put there when I originally fleshed out this section, but I've now put something more accurate. I wanted to maintain the drive from m336-339, but I think this has the same amount of energy to it anyway.

The files above have been changed accordingly.
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