ReMix: Secret of Mana "Tidal Sequence"

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Secret of Mana

OCR01250 is here, which coincides with our planned release of a new torrent for intervals of 250, so please help seed the new torrent and, especially if you're planning on downloading a lot of mixes in this range, use the torrent rather than downloading direct, as it saves us a lot of bandwidth. This isn't as major a milestone as releasing a new site design or hitting a 500 mark, etc., but it's still a good time to sit back and look at everything that's happened since OCR01000, where the new torrent picks up from - amongst other things, we've angered the populous with a fake April Fool's mix falsely attributed (thankfully) to Nobuo Uematsu, debuted the new site design (in the midst of a flood of mixes), received an excellent FF6 Terra mix from none other than Jeremy Soule, been mentioned in print and on television a couple more times, and more recently seen the debut of Kong in Concert and released OCR hoodies (and promptly sold out - more should be available... some time). And of course, as always, we've seen hundreds of excellent ReMixes from a variety of very talented folk, continued lively discussion on the forums, bandwidth consumption out the wazoo (technical term), and a steady flow of submissions. All around good stuff.

It's a demanding site to run, and finding the time to do my own mixes is always a challenge, but I managed to slip working on this Secret of Mana title theme mix in over the last couple months, on and off, in between everything else. There's more than a couple mixes of this theme in existence, but I still felt that no one had yet covered it in the specific way I had envisioned it being arranged every time I heard it - not techno, not really orchestral, but some sort of hybrid/mutt blending of electronica, new age, orchestral, and what have you, into a piece that focuses first and foremost on the strength of Kikuta's melody. I spent a lot of my time playing around with the underlying progression, figuring out how to make it sound more like a verse here, more like a chorus there, etc. There's a mixture of Stylus loops and two drum kits, one acoustic and one electronic, on the rhythm side of things, and Sampletank was used for the tempo-delayed mandolin, wah guitar, and lo-fi filtered mono synth. The mix title isn't just a play on words, as I decided that this would be one of the rare instances where I'd use nature effects, which I'm usually pretty reluctant to incorporate. Strings and brass are EWQL silver, as is the piano. At one point I envisioned the entire arrangement being dominated by piano, almost as a stage for an elaborate piano solo, but most of the manipulation I wanted to do with the melody was monophonic and required a greater variety of leads. There's portions of this that are inspired by the score to The Piano, and I think of the overall style bearing some similarity to some of what GrayLightning's done, which is hopefully taken favorably. I almost didn't include the last portion, which incorporates the latter, less familiar bits of the original in, as I wasn't sure they would jive with the more direct, active melody, but the shift to that section at 3'33" ended up being one of the parts I was happiest with. Instead of the usually gratuitous solo, there's a little duet at 2'52" between the afforementioned lo-fi Sampletank synth and a flute patch from the same. Things fade out on a recurrence of the namesake tidal ambience. Not without faults, but I ended up happy with the mix overall because I've been wanting to hear this particular melody given emphasis, particularly in terms of variations, ever since I played SoM for the first time, fired up the SNES, and witnessed the title screen. Hope you enjoy; also, we should resume posting more frequently, with some really kickin' stuff, now that the new torrent's up (thanks as always to Aubrey) and everything's taken care of. Here's to the next torrent release at OCR01500, whenever that may be.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
djpretzel
on 2015-05-19 22:16:22

Thanks, appreciated. Of my older stuff, I feel like this one certainly holds up better than others :)

Hayeser
on 2015-05-19 19:01:54

Oooooooooh! I'm only 10+ years late to the party...

I'm catching up on years' worth of Remixes, and somehow missed this version of one of my favorite songs (and my first OCR submission) from the head honcho. This is my favorite version on OCR for the diversity alone. The juxtaposition of instruments did it for me

Necrox
on 2014-06-09 04:16:27

Nice mix, I dig the hybrid orchestral approach here. DJP seems to have a handful of good mixes.

42
on 2010-12-29 00:40:26

I really like the pacing and soundscape here; it feels like the aural equivalent of someone taking a lot of time to really sculpt waves out of marble. It's that well defined to me. It also has some really cool eastern ethnic overtones that just seem to glue everything in this mix together. This is one of my favorite mixes on the site and is on my playlist that I listen to as I go to sleep.

halc
on 2010-05-11 12:07:26

never got around to this mix until recently (never played SoM either, so no nostalgia factor for me) but this is a very moving track, and one i will be listening to for a long time. amazing :nicework:

dirtywhitellama
on 2010-04-23 10:12:23

There's plenty of stuff I got from OCR that I enjoy listening to. This is one of the ones I think about and will listen to by itself when I wasn't listening to music otherwise at all. Love the mood and the variation from the original theme.

OA
on 2010-04-13 13:01:28

Pretty subdued stuff, I like the wah effect and the string beds underneath the different layers of texture. Overall pretty good background music. Nice and pleasant. :-)

42
on 2010-02-09 21:49:28

Wow, I can't believe I haven't heard this one yet. I'm pretty familiar with the source and this is a pretty cool take on it. What I really like about this is how it doesn't stay in one place; the intro has vaguely Asiatic groove/feel to it before alternating to a more piano centric section. There's also a comfortably weighty atmosphere throughout this mix. Truly awesome and a must download.

Lucentas
on 2010-02-06 13:05:13

You know, I don't think I've heard a djpretzel mix yet that I haven't liked. Even though the source has been done to death and I thought I never wanted to hear it again, he managed to put a fresh spin on it and make it enjoyable to listen to. It's like every track he touches turns to gold.

Okay, I think I've fulfilled my lavish praise quota for today.

Marmiduke
on 2009-05-21 03:29:31

Overly familiar source melodies are in no better hands than The Pretzel's Hands.

There is a very satisfying combination here of elements that shouldn't gel but do, like the blending of contemplative moments with full-sounding orchestral support, as well as the more obvious clashing dynamics of the electronic and orchestral genres.

Classic rise and fall delivery, excellent arrangement; it's all pretty standard pretzel praise, I'm afraid. As I've come to expect, production is top-notch. The piano and the violin especially are put to stunning use, serving as standout points in an already rewarding, expertly crafted piece.

Zeklan
on 2007-12-16 04:20:21

Easily my most listened to song ever, and that's saying something.

I cannot express my love for this mix in text.

Thanks again DJP.

Bummer
on 2006-04-17 05:27:09
Must download this!

Already done. :wink:

I concur with everyone, this is symphonical master-piece. The way it begins you think that a funky techno beat will follow this track to the end, but I don't think that it cannot be more wrong than that. The piano and strings enters almost at the same time, and essences like guitar and violin caught me off-guard.

To see how this arrangement changes from the beginning seconds to the middle and the end, while always having a beautiful tone to it, it fills me with ave. This deserves some more listens later today. Those who haven't listened to this really should, it's one of the many proofs why Djpretzel is the one running this site.

undinesfire
on 2005-07-30 17:34:49

Must download this!

synthetic_realities
on 2005-07-24 21:13:27

I most definately started listening to this with high expectations. I mean, it is DJP. And you know what? They were more than exceeded. I loved the general blend of instruments (though I play guitar, I think that if you use them right, string sections are absolutely amazing) and the ambience of the song was amazing.

If I could do one thing to this, I would add maybe the sound of ocean waves to the background in the beginning, and occasionally brought it back out within the mix. Then again, I also want to do a track over highway noise.

Miletus
on 2005-04-03 21:50:29

I've been becoming slowly suspicious lately that the stuff I hear at OCRemix is actually significantly better quality than anything else you can hear in the charts, or in fact just about anywhere these days. This track confirms my suspicion. All I can say is we have a very odd distribution of talent and success in today's world, musically speaking.