CoolBeets

3. completed Guiles Theme - Epic Orchestral Remix

8 posts in this topic

As I started working on some of the music from Street Fighter 2 I got inspired to try something different, this is the result.

 

I was just going to do a version that was true to the original (below) but, I had a hunch that this particular theme would work as an orchestrated piece.

 

Second track, a re-make the original in FL studio, to give people an idea of what it would sound like if Capcom remade the game with modern technology.

 

Edited by CoolBeets
Added information about the second track.

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My initial thought is that this is way too close to the original.  Anytime somebody presents a version of this track I get excited to see what they would do with it.

This version, although it uses orchestral sounds, I would not call it an orchestral version, since it doesn't really take advantage of the orchestral idiom.  It seems like the original theme was just put note for note into orchestral samples.

What I would do:

Listen to epic orchestral music.  Original music.  Listen to compositions by Mahler, Bruckner, or modern film composers.  Get a feel for how they write for the orchestra.  Have an idea for techniques and colors that generate new moods.  For example, your track uses a lot of everybody playing all the time, which loses the effect very quickly.  Think about movie scores.  If something intense is happening, is the whole orchestra playing the whole 10 minute scene?  Or are there moments of low energy, low volume to contrast the big sections?  

Also think of it from the perspective of a player.  If I had to play this track, rehearse this track, it would gradually wear down myself and the other players because playing loud like that the whole time is quite tiring.  It also would get very bland really quickly, because even really good musicians can have a difficult time making something out of a part that has an FF dynamic the whole time.

Look at the form.  You have a verbatim repeat of the form from the original tune.  It has the same melodic and harmonic bits as the original in the same order.  For something to be epic and orchestral it should have a form and developments that build energy.  Imagine a slow beginning.  Low energy, even menacing.  From that it builds to something huge.  

Orchestral music builds off the classical orchestral idiom.  A lot of colors/gestures/etc that are used in modern orchestral writing usually came from the symphonies, tone poems, and operas of Mahler, Strauss, Bruckner, and Brahms.  As well as numerous other composers.  If you are going to produce something in that idiom, pay your dues to where the idiom developed from and it will come out much more convincing, and as a result much more effective.

I made a post about this particular theme and how it works in arrangement in this thread.  Feel free to read up on it there, as I go more into idiom and genre crossing.

 

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Hey, a Guile cover! Awesome.

John is correct that this is absolutely close to the source, but I disagree that this is a problem - y'all do what you want to do. I always like to make it clear that there's no such thing as "too close to the source" unless you're submitting to OCR. :)

As far as the rest of the track is concerned, I think you made some great choices with the lead instrument (it sounds synthetic, but it sounds pretty neat nonetheless), and the choir is definitely something that can work. However, the choral pads are very wet as they stand, which makes them sound like they're from a completely different piece. Outside of a church choral arrangement I can't imagine when you'd need your choirs to be that wet.

John makes a really good point on writing idiomatically, if you want to make an authentic 'epic orchestral' piece. Though that's always up to the arranger, it's wise to take note of how instruments have been used in other orchestral works in the past, and write your instruments utilizing these idioms. This is one of the more advanced ways to make a piece of music sound authentic and realistic and it's not easy, but oh man is it worth it if you get the hang of it. In this case, rather than listening to Mahler and Brahms (as amazing as they are) I would suggest studying Williams and Horner, since those are styles you'd be closer to emulating.

Or not; the track doesn't sound terrible, per se, but it doesn't quite sound like an epic orchestra, either. Always up to the artist what they're going for, but if you're making an epic orchestral arrangement/cover then you'd be in better shape to do so by doing your homework on how other artists and composers get that "epic" sound out of their instruments.

Thanks for sharing!

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@JohnStacy It is clear that you are well educated in the intricacies of musical theory. I'm flattered that you would give so much thought to what's essentially me rambling in the dark.

I don't have any musical education, in fact I just started self-learning little over a year ago, mostly focusing on Hip Hop and EDM, and I guess you probably know that most people dabbling in those genre's aren't really classically trained.

I don't disagree with any of your points, it's true that, I stuck pretty close to the original and just changed the instruments to orchestral ones as, I didn't want to mess up the song or make it unrecognizable, perhaps I should have called it something different, maybe "Guile's theme played with orchestral instruments and sounds" but that isn't a very good title.

I read the post in the thread that you linked to and found it very interesting, come to think about it, just changing up the sound and calling it a remix is probably what people do most of the time, it's really hard to bend a musical piece to another genre and still make it sound good and stay recognizable when played against the original. What the uneducated would call genre blending is in reality just switching the sound to something that resembles another genre because actual genre blending would mostly sound terrible.

That being said, what I learned from doing Hip Hop is that sometimes you can borrow sounds from another genre and it still works even if it's not "stylistically true", just listen to some of Kayne Wests eariler songs and you see what I mean. It's not really genre blending, it' still just Hip Hop, but the vast majority of people would still call it that because they don't know of a better way to describe it.

 

@Gario

What mostly limits me aside from the lack of a classical education is just tools that I have to work with, as I don't really do this kind of music I haven't invested hundreds of dollars in getting sampled choirs that can give nuance to every note, I agree that it sounds "too wet" but as I'm working with a sample there's not much that I can do to it that will make it sound any better.

As for the second track, if you listened to it's pretty clear but, I probably should have said that what I was going for was to just re-make the original with more "real" sounding synths, to give people an idea of what it would sound like if it were part of a new game like Street Fighter V or if they remade the old game today.

 

Thanks for your thorough and thoughtful feedback, I've been inspired by both of your posts, and I'm going to attempt to re-write this track as an actual film score, though I won't try to emulate any of the classical masters, Strauss, Brahms, Beethoven, I'll stick to to movie composers like Gairo suggested. I'll post it here when I'm done and I'd be very happy if you'd listen to it.

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Well, glad you're getting some music off the ground nonetheless, even with free samples. If it helps, often samplers have a knob on them called "Release" that you can adjust to decrease how long the sample remains after you let the note go. Tweaking that may help make the music less "wet" - give it a shot. You'd be surprised what you can do even with free tools, sometimes. :)

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19 minutes ago, Gario said:

Well, glad you're getting some music off the ground nonetheless, even with free samples. If it helps, often samplers have a knob on them called "Release" that you can adjust to decrease how long the sample remains after you let the note go. Tweaking that may help make the music less "wet" - give it a shot. You'd be surprised what you can do even with free tools, sometimes. :)

They are not free samples, they are part of the Nexus plugin, so I can take all effects off but then it sounds too flat. I almost never use free samples as they mostly suck.

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Oh, this sampler? Cool; might be able to do better with it than I thought.

Looking at that page, it looks like you can tweak every item/sample that comes out of it using the filter modifier. "REL" looks like the release modifer, toning it down (not all the way - that makes it flat and awful sounding) will let you adjust how long the choir is allowed to hold after you change chords.

:)

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9 minutes ago, Gario said:

Oh, this sampler? Cool; might be able to do better with it than I thought.

Looking at that page, it looks like you can tweak every item/sample that comes out of it using the filter modifier. "REL" looks like the release modifer, toning it down (not all the way - that makes it flat and awful sounding) will let you adjust how long the choir is allowed to hold after you change chords.

:)

That's the one.

You're right about the release, the reason that I haven't done it is because I was lazy and made all the choir one track in FL studio. To get it just right I'd have to chop it up into several tracks, each with sections with longer and shorter release, or I could use automation, I'll do that and more in the next version.

I also have a reverb send in addition to the reverb from within the plugin, which in retrospect was too much.

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