MindWanderer

Castlevania: Cacophony of Incarnation 2016

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Castlevania: Cacophony of Incarnation (CCoI)

A Remix Competition Presented by the OverClocked ReMix Forums

CCoI_main.png

Introduction

The Cult of Dracula strikes again! With their arcane power, they've reached backwards and forwards through time, even into alternate realities, to piece the Castle of Chaos and its surroundings back together, and with it, their fallen master. But the castle has come back jumbled together! Lakes float above towers, forests grow deep underground, and libraries burn perpetually in caverns of fire.

Of course, with the pieces of the castle have come the heroes of ages! These heroes must fight through the Transylvanian chaos, sending each area in turn back to the abyss, until only one remains, trapping Dracula's essence and allowing him to be defeated once more.

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Current News

Voting for the Final Battle has concluded!  While Simon Belmont, represented by OA, has succeeded in his quest, Dracula, represented by Jorito, has had the last laugh.  He'll return soon, more powerful than ever!  Congratulations to both Jorito and OA!

Brackets

Alucard Bracket

  • Concluded!

Soma Bracket

  • Concluded!

Simon Bracket

Dracula Bracket

The Fallen

Format

Castlevania: Cacophony of Incarnation (CCoI) is mostly a traditional elimination tournament. Each participant will choose the music from one location, stage, or area from any Castlevania game. They will then be paired off against each other, with the winner continuing to the next round. Remixers will have two weeks to write a "vs. remix;" that is to say, a remix featuring the themes of their own area and their opponent's area, and there will be a one-week voting period following each round.

Two elements make this compo different from traditional brackets. First, instead of requiring a specific number of participants, any number will be accepted. One or more special rounds will be added to even out the number of participants. These special rounds will require remixes to use both their stage music and a special theme for the round. There also may be three main brackets instead of the usual two if that makes things work out more evenly.

Second, there will be an optional loser's bracket. This will be point-based, and based on the number of participants who opt in for each round: the more entries, the more points will be up for grabs in each round. Those who lose in the main bracket will enter the loser's bracket slightly above the median score of all existing participants, to put them on even footing (with a reward for lasting longer in the main bracket). The winner of the loser's bracket will compete with the winner of the winner's bracket at the end: The winner of the winner's bracket can claim ultimate victory whether they win or lose, but they need to share that victory with the winner of the loser's bracket if they lose to them.

All participating competitors and voters will adhere to the Competitions Code of Conduct.

So do I just pick a theme? Is it first-come-first-served?

I'll be doing a draft for source selection. If you're planning on participating, please post a list of at least three sources you're interested in claiming, in your order of preference. If you're choosing themes you expect to be popular, you should post 4 or 5 choices so you have backup. Since Castlevania doesn't always use consistent names for locations, and the names of the themes themselves aren't always easy to find, please include a YouTube link to each source.

Also, if you have any schedule restrictions (planned vacations, exams, etc), please mention them in your signup post. I'll do my best to accommodate.

Eligible sources are those which are the music for a stage, area, or location from any game with "Castlevania" in the title. Boss music, character themes, etc. are not eligible. If a source is used for two or three locations in the same game, that's fine, just specify one. If it's used in different games, try to list the game it originally came from (e.g. Castlevania for Vampire Killer). Different participants will not be allowed to choose different versions of the same melody. Castlevania II: Simon's Quest is a special case: Silence of Daylight, Bloody Tears, Monster Dance, Dwelling of Doom, and Within These Castle Walls are the eligible sources.

Once everyone posts their lists, I'll assign choices based on a weighted point system designed to give the highest possible choices to the greatest number of people. (Some mathematical oddities in the sequential conflict resolution system actually make lower-ranked choices more likely in some cases, so I won't be using that.)

Submissions

All entries must be sent to me (MindWanderer) via PM on the forums. Please include the name of your bracket and the round number in the subject line of your PM.

Please send me your submissions in MP3 format. I'll trust the submitters' ears to choose the best encodings for their music. Please do not use MediaFire, RapidShare, or any other ad-ridden public sharing site as a host for your entry. Tindeck is also bad because it changes your filenames. There are many better options you can and should be using to host your music. I recommend Dropbox or SoundCloud. Make sure your files are downloadable.

File names must be in the following format:

  • 1-on-1 round: Remixer - Title (Remixer's Stage and Opponent's Stage).mp3
  • 3-way round: Remixer - Title (Remixer's Stage; First Opponent's Stage; and Second Opponent's Stage).mp3
  • Dracula Bracket round: Remixer - Title (Remixer's Stage and Round Theme).mp3

Examples:

  • DarkeSword - Blood in the Water (Sunken City of Poltergeists, 1476 and Wilderness, 1698).mp3
  • MindWanderer - Wallachia Just Keeps On Burning (Warakiya Village, 1476; Burning Town, 1792; and Master's Keep, 1944).mp3
  • djpretzel - Praying for Time (Clock Tower, 1691 and Prayer, 1476).mp3
 

Please pay attention to the spaces and punctuation. Your artist name and mix title can be whatever capitalization you want but the stage names must be full and capitalized properly (as listed in the brackets).

Properly formatted file names make it much easier for me to tag everything properly, which ensures good, consistent metadata on all the files that will be distributed to voters.

You must adhere to this file name standard. If you don't, I will seriously consider disqualifying you, and I don't think anyone wants to be disqualified just because they couldn't name their file properly.

Voting Rules and Guidelines

Voting is conducted publicly in the Public Voting forum. Every week, a thread will be created for the most recently completed round of remixing. Specific rules will vary from round to round, so be sure to check the main post of each thread for instructions.

Things to keep in mind when voting:

  • The most important thing to consider when voting is how well the remix incorporates and arranges both themes. Production and enjoyability should also be considered, but this is primarily an arrangement competition.  If you can't hear both themes in the remix, don't vote for it.
  • Everyone is allowed (and encouraged) to vote, including both competitors and non-competitors.
  • Due to the forum's poll mechanic, you are required to choose a remix to vote for in each pairing in the main brackets.  If you participated in the round, feel free to vote for yourself.
  • In the Dracula bracket, you will need to choose a first, second, and third-place choice.  Do not vote for yourself.  Voters will earn points equal to a first-place vote just for voting.
  • Do not post reviews in the voting thread. Compile your reviews for each round into a single post in this thread.
  • Post only once in each voting thread.
  • Everyone must adhere to the Competitions Code of Conduct. Violations may result in your votes or entries being disqualified.

Schedule

  • Signups close: January 7
  • Remixing begins:
    • Alucard Bracket Round 1: January 13
    • Soma Bracket Round 1: January 20
    • Simon Bracket Round 1: January 27
    • Alucard Bracket Round 2: February 3
    • Soma Bracket Round 2: February 10
    • Simon Bracket Round 3: February 17
    • Dracula (losers') Bracket Round 1: February 17
    • Hero Finals: March 9
    • Dracula Bracket Round 2: March 9
    • Final Battle: March 30 (3-week mixing period)
    • Epilogue: March 30 (3-week mixing period)

Conclusion

Castlevania was originally released on September 26, 1986, making this coming year its 30th anniversary. I'd like to release a compliation OCR-I on that date if at all possible. So if you make something you like, or that you could like with some extra time to polish it, hang onto it, and I'll ask for submissions following the end of the compo.

Art

Art supplied by Chernabogue! Get your signature banners here.

Aren't you stealing DarkeSword's format just so we can make more Castlevania music for you to listen to?

Yep, pretty much.

Edited by MindWanderer
Concluded!

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Finally a compo with music I'm already familiar with! Gotta think of some good sources. shouldn't be hard!

Esperado likes this

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This is cool but I've come to dislike the elimination format as I have the amazing luck of people dropping out in all the compos I've been.  Still, I've been itching to remix some castlevania for a while, so maybe.

Chernabogue likes this

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Oh, this is nice, I think I'll participate.
But what about the Boku Dracura-kun spinoff and its sequel Kid Dracula. Would they be eligible too?

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This is cool but I've come to dislike the elimination format as I have the amazing luck of people dropping out in all the compos I've been.  Still, I've been itching to remix some castlevania for a while, so maybe.

I personally prefer the gauntlet format myself, but that's one reason for the loser's bracket, and getting a free pass because your opponent dropped out isn't the worst thing.

Oh, this is nice, I think I'll participate.

But what about the Boku Dracura-kun spinoff and its sequel Kid Dracula. Would they be eligible too?

I actually thought of that, and this is one specific reason I stated "'Castlevania' in the title" as the rule. Not because I have anything against Kid Dracula per se, but the aesthetic is so different I felt it would be a departure from the point.

Edit: Oh, as an aside, I'll also take suggestions for music to use for special rounds and the losers' bracket. I have several choices of my own, but the Castlevania series is huge and I've only played maybe half of them myself.

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[...] but the aesthetic is so different I felt it would be a departure from the point.

That's true.

I still have enough possible choices for my theme in my head so it's not that bad I can't take a Kid Dracula one

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when do we post picks? I already know Im gonna go hard for tracks from the GBA titles.  OH BOI. 

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when do we post picks? I already know Im gonna go hard for tracks from the GBA titles.  OH BOI.

Go right ahead! Any time between now and Jan. 6.

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[Edit: Scratch that]

1) Castlevania Symphony of the Night: Crystal Teardrops

 

2) Castlevania III: Aquarius

 

3) Castlevania Symphony of the Night: The Tragic Prince

 

4) Castlevania Symphony of the Night: Dracula's Castle

 

5) Castlevania Symphony of the Night: Lost Painting

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Well, since I could be the first, I would be really tempted to take Symphony of the Night's Clock Tower / The Tragic Prince, but I won't. It needs more remixes and if something comes out of here for this theme, I would be happy. And I still could end up having to face the one who takes it.

It's not first-come first-served, you should probably at least rank it if you want it. Also please include YouTube links--I'm pretty sure all these are unambiguous, but not all source selections will be and I want to set the correct precedent.

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I should have read the terms a bit more thorough. I updated my list

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Does anyone know what key the majority of castlevania themes are in? they seem to like sticking to 4/4  and 3/4 for time signatures. I just wanna make sure im not picking a source thats crazy different in terms of key. 

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Does anyone know what key the majority of castlevania themes are in? they seem to like sticking to 4/4  and 3/4 for time signatures. I just wanna make sure im not picking a source thats crazy different in terms of key. 

It shouldn't matter what key your source tune is dude. You just...transpose to a key you're comfortable with. :|

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That's easy for someone who knows how to do that. Transposing has been a thorn in my side since the first mega man compo I took part in. People try to explain it but I still don't get it, at least not enough that I can easily transpose a whole song and still have time to mix in one week.

Garpocalypse likes this

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21 hours ago, Esperado said:

That's easy for someone who knows how to do that. Transposing has been a thorn in my side since the first mega man compo I took part in. People try to explain it but I still don't get it, at least not enough that I can easily transpose a whole song and still have time to mix in one week.

I can get your frusteration with this aspect of music as it takes being comfortable with more music theory than someone might expect.  For people who grew up playing scales it's no big deal but to a lot of people who use DAW's transposing can be difficult to wrap your mind around.  To understand transposing you really need to understand the space between pitches called intervals.  Even though the key changes, the relationship between the notes do not.  

The good news is transposing in a DAW is no where near as tedious as it used to be.  Once you are able to hear and find what's called the Tonic (the note that the key is named for)in a given piece of music transposing becomes a simple matter of highlighting every note in midi you want transposed, finding the tonic and dragging it to the new tonic. 

For example If a midi is in Cm and you want it in Fm instead.  Highlight everything, grab the C and drag it all until the C you clicked on is an F.  Now everything is in Fm.  You have some listening work to do in order to figure it all out but once you have it you have another musical weapon in your arsenal.  if you want I can skype you through it sometime too.

Just practice mousing in a major scale.  Like C Major. (OR if you have a keyboard PLAY IT) Then make the entire scale a different Major scale by highlighting and dragging.  That's transposing.  

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dycUSpcRJXA   

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I don't know what DAW you use, but Reaper has a Key Finder tool.  Highlight a bunch of MIDI notes and use the tool, and it will give you a list of compatible keys.  You may have to manually exclude accidentals.  Then transposing is easy.

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Well I mean, leaving all the technical solutions aside, being able to figure out the key of something is a pretty baseline skill you ought to have as a composer/arranger. Like when you listen to a song, can you tell if it's in a major or minor key? Can you figure out the tonic by listening to it? It also helps if you start thinking of melodies and chords not in terms of actual notes, but of scale degrees.

So let's say you have this chord progression: C major, A minor, F major, G major. Think of it instead as I, vi, IV, V (1, 6, 4, 5) in the key of C Major.

Let's say you have a melody, like the main title theme from Star Wars. That's in Bb Major:

Bb, F, Eb D C Bb, F, Eb D C, Bb, F, Eb D Eb C

Instead, think of it in terms of where the notes are in the Bb Major scale. Bb is the tonic/root, or 1; F is the dominant, or 5; the other Bb when the melody goes up is the octave so let's say for the sake of this example it's 1+.

1, 5, 4 3 2 1+, 5, 4 3 2 1+, 5, 4 3 4 2

Now that you're thinking of it in terms of scale degrees instead of actual notes, it becomes easier to think about the song in different keys.

You're getting into your own head if you think about certain keys as "harder" or "crazier" than others as a composer/arranger. Keys are all relative, and they're only really "harder" if you're an instrumentalist who has some difficulties playing in certain keys because of the physicality required.

Next time you listen to a song, like for Castlevania or whatever, sit down and figure out the key just by listening. Find figure out if it's major or minor (if it's CV it's probably minor). Then find the tonic/root. There you are. That's the key.

evktalo and timaeus222 like this

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On 12/13/2015 at 6:25 PM, Garpocalypse said:

I can get your frusteration with this aspect of music as it takes being comfortable with more music theory than someone might expect.  For people who grew up playing scales it's no big deal but to a lot of people who use DAW's transposing can be difficult to wrap your mind around.  To understand transposing you really need to understand the space between pitches called intervals.  Even though the key changes, the relationship between the notes do not.  

The good news is transposing in a DAW is no where near as tedious as it used to be.  Once you are able to hear and find what's called the Tonic (the note that the key is named for)in a given piece of music transposing becomes a simple matter of highlighting every note in midi you want transposed, finding the tonic and dragging it to the new tonic. 

For example If a midi is in Cm and you want it in Fm instead.  Highlight everything, grab the C and drag it all until the C you clicked on is an F.  Now everything is in Fm.  You have some listening work to do in order to figure it all out but once you have it you have another musical weapon in your arsenal.  if you want I can skype you through it sometime too.

Just practice mousing in a major scale.  Like C Major. (OR if you have a keyboard PLAY IT) Then make the entire scale a different Major scale by highlighting and dragging.  That's transposing.  

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dycUSpcRJXA   

Pretty good general advice on how to do it on your DAW, but you forgot to mention that you can't just find the tonic and move the old tonic to the new one if you're switching between minor and major scales or viceversa.  I do agree, the best way to find your scale is just to play the keyboard (or your instrument of choice)  alongside the song.  Singing works too if you can hit the notes.

You can try to figure out the key just by listening, as Darkesword suggests, but for some people (like me) that's much harder.  I've been doing music for years and I still can't discern with 100% certainty one scale from another just by listening.  Once I start playing things become clearer though.

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33 minutes ago, Sir_NutS said:

Pretty good general advice on how to do it on your DAW, but you forgot to mention that you can't just find the tonic and move the old tonic to the new one if you're switching between minor and major scales or viceversa.  I do agree, the best way to find your scale is just to play the keyboard (or your instrument of choice)  alongside the song.  Singing works too if you can hit the notes.

You can try to figure out the key just by listening, as Darkesword suggests, but for some people (like me) that's much harder.  I've been doing music for years and I still can't discern with 100% certainty one scale from another just by listening.  Once I start playing things become clearer though.

I was only addressing what would be the simplest transposition issue.  Books have been written on covering all aspects of transposing and I didn't want to get too far into it out of fear of de-railing Mindwanderer's thread and the subsequent Darkesword'ing that was sure to follow. :)

I feel that as you discuss the various aspects transposing it would be logical to start with getting the tonic right.  Then Major/Minor, then use of the appropriate modes.  But really, from there it's not far from also discussing figured bass exercises, key modulations through secondary dominants or secondary subdominants, extended 9th 11th and 13th chords and so on until hundreds of years of the development of western music theory has been covered. Seeing as how the person asking how to transpose is having some issues with understanding how to bring a source to a chosen home key I didn't think it was necessary to cover more than that.  

Are you saying you can't determine the key of a scale just by listening? That would require having perfect pitch to get it 100% right.  Otherwise it's just a matter of taking a known pitch and working out the various intervals (knowing what a major 2nd, minor 3rd, Perfect 4 and 5th and so on) sound like then arriving at the resulting pitch that way.  The various modes, foreign scales, pentatonics, blues scales and what have you all have fairly distinct sounds for the most part. 

 

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Garpocalypse said:

I was only addressing what would be the simplest transposition issue.  Books have been written on covering all aspects of transposing and I didn't want to get too far into it out of fear of de-railing Mindwanderer's thread and the subsequent Darkesword'ing that was sure to follow. :)

I feel that as you discuss the various aspects transposing it would be logical to start with getting the tonic right.  Then Major/Minor, then use of the appropriate modes.  But really, from there it's not far from also discussing figured bass exercises, key modulations through secondary dominants or secondary subdominants, extended 9th 11th and 13th chords and so on until hundreds of years of the development of western music theory has been covered. Seeing as how the person asking how to transpose is having some issues with understanding how to bring a source to a chosen home key I didn't think it was necessary to cover more than that.  

Are you saying you can't determine the key of a scale just by listening? That would require having perfect pitch to get it 100% right.  Otherwise it's just a matter of taking a known pitch and working out the various intervals (knowing what a major 2nd, minor 3rd, Perfect 4 and 5th and so on) sound like then arriving at the resulting pitch that way.  The various modes, foreign scales, pentatonics, blues scales and what have you all have fairly distinct sounds for the most part. 

I didn't mean to go any deeper than that.  Since in these compos you'll be mostly transposing from one key to another, the case where you have to transpose from minor to major or viceversa comes up quite often.  Just didn't want him to move his notes to a different scale and then realize it doesn't sounds right.

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I'm super sorry for derailing the thread this far already, I just wanted some clarification as ive struggled in the past. Ill just make my picks and then take things as they come with transposition. Theres a good bit of time to brush up on transposition and read over the information you guys have provided. If i have questions in the mean time I'll PM people about them. Thanks! 

 

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Yeah people, post your picks and enter this -- let's have some Castlevania fun! :D

Yami likes this

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Apologies to MindWanderer; I didn't mean to derail either. Though figuring out the key to a song is a very important skill to have, ESPECIALLY for compos like this one. I also want to clarify that I didn't mean that you should be able to figure out the exact key just by listening. I don't have perfect pitch, so I also sit down with a keyboard and determine what the "actual" notes are in a song. But you should be able to listen to a piece of music and at least say "that's major, that's minor, that's some other mode." Determining the quality of the key is probably the easiest part.

Garpocalypse and timaeus222 like this

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