ReMix: Star Fox 64 "V to the X Power" 5:29

By DZComposer

Arranging the music of one song...

"Sector X"

Primary Game: Star Fox 64 (Nintendo, 1997, N64), music by Hajime Wakai, Koji Kondo

Posted 2006-06-25, evaluated by the judges panel


DZComposer, aka Adan Leal, had his first mix posted back in September of last year, and it didn't fail to impress, especially on the arrangement front, with very energetic, latin-infused coverage of the ill-fated Starfox 2. He now provides the site with another Starfox first, this time taking on McCloud and co.'s Nintendo 64 outing. Starfox 64 was a great example of why the N64's audio hardware really didn't seem like an improvement over the SNES - not to be overly harsh, as it had some good tunes, but at the time Nintendo were hyping the console's "better than CD-quality audio" and for my money SNES soundtracks on the average both sounded better and had more elaborate instrumentation. But I digress - Adan's mix, whose algebraic title triggers my latent mathophobia, employs subtler motifs this go round, with an emphasis on understated orchestral instrumentation focusing on chromatic percussion. The ReMixer writes:

"The V stands for Vibraphone! This piece is a Vibraphone feature (bowed vibes included!). The X stands for Sector X. I've always loved the vibraphone. The metallic, vibratic sound that can be so mysterious, happy, or swingish! This piece doesn't go into swing though. The reason for the psuedo-minimalism is to convey the mysterious feeling from the Sector X level. You arrive at Sector X to destroy an enemy base to find that someone beat you there and destroyed it first! So, you search the area looking for signs of what happened."

And you thought V was for Vendetta... once again, DZC's arrangement is extremely creative, capitalizing on dynamics and the almost inherently spooky/spacey nature of the vibraphone well. At some points the dynamic contrast may be a little too extreme for my taste, as the majority of the mix is rather soft, punctuated intermittently by brash brass flourishes and percussion; I might have either bumped the vibes up a notch or EQ'd their treble higher so they cut through a bit more. This is actually the type of track a BBE Sonic Maximizer could work wonders on - I've started using one again on my more recent mixes; it has a unique ability to add treble presence without butchering the rest of a mix. Larry writes:

"The arrangement here was pretty sharp, doing a lot of creative, interpretive things with the "Sector X" variations, making use of a lot of good instrument combinations, and developing well over its 5+ minutes. On that level, this piece gets the job done. It sizzles, but it doesn't suck."

Adan's definitely spending time on these arrangemets, thinking them through and plotting them out so they both flow and elaborate intelligently on their source material. It's additionally impressive to go from his initial latin mix to this more minimalist classical composition without waning on either of those criteria. Good stuff.

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
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Skinner3D
on 2010-10-15 19:15:32

This brings back memories of sitting in front of the N64 for hours, trying to beat this game. :D

Good compostion. :)

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TheCorty
on 2010-10-01 14:08:12

Though the sounds are clearly not "real" samples, I feel lots of warmth in its sound; so it's all good. Everything about this track accomplishes what it set out to do; it sparks the imagination. All the instruments bring out the mood well, especially the vibraphone. While listening to it, I totally understand the remixer's affinity to the vibraphone; the different moods it can bring out are exemplified with creative flair (to quote my art teacher).

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OA
on 2009-03-18 11:33:13

I think for having the main melody, the vibraphone should have a little more definition. The rest of the orchestra overpowers it a little too much. The quieter sections with the bassoon really work well i think, but i'd like it to take on a sharper tone during the more intense sections.

The dynamics of it worked out really well, and the arrangement was very creative. I agree with a few other comments that this isn't really my style, but I definitely can appreciate the craft that went into creating this, and i'd love to see it performed live.

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Jedi QuestMaster
on 2007-04-26 02:09:21
Well, it's decent (4.5 out of 10) .

What? It's at least a 6.5.

It's a good listen; yeah, not something I'd like to listen to over over, but something that (when it comes up) I look forward to. :)

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meccaneer
on 2006-12-15 21:16:02

Meh. I dunno. Technically strong, compositionally kinda weak. Waaaaay too quiet. I mean, dynamic contrast is good, yes. But, ya can't have this much. And it definitely needs more barrel roll.

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John Revoredo
on 2006-08-07 15:34:47

Well, it's decent (4.5 out of 10) .The song starts to get good on 2:30. It's kinda background music and has no definite melody.

in 5:21, i though the "cool part" was going to begin(a Sticky and nice chorus), but the song eventually ended.

(Sorry to be that honest)

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Martin Penwald
on 2006-07-17 09:58:42

I don't think it was intended, but this would make excellent BGM for some spooky castle in a RPG.

Nice work. Keep it up.

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cobaltstarfire
on 2006-07-14 13:53:56

In my opinion this is probably one of his best complete peices to date, it has fun little background bits, he handled the brass much better than he has in the past, and it is arranged excelently. For a "minimalistic" peice there is a surpriseing amount going on between all the instruments, everything fits together really nicely. Even now I'm noticeing new bits in it whenever I listen.

I think this is his first peice I have heard that I've liked the entirety of besides the black hole one.(I hope he submits that one some day just to see how the judges react to its disonant nature :D).

I'm sure there's plenty to be improved upon, but my ear isn't critical enough to really find anything wrong with the production or arrangement going on here. Hell I've played in a band and orchestra for a few years and he's improved enough that it's hard to tell some of the instruments are fake now unlike his older stuff, so he's doing a much better job at working with the samples he has when he puts his mind to it.

Mr. Yoshiyami, you'd make a bad judge, you seem unable to judge things objectively or give good feedback for what you didn't like about it.

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DrumUltimA
on 2006-07-14 12:42:58

VIBRAPHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWNED

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anne amère
on 2006-07-05 02:52:10

WELL THAT'S JUST YOUR OPINION :x:x:x

yami for judge yami for judge yami for judge

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Liontamer
on 2006-07-04 22:58:06
I was expecting much more after hearing his Star Wolf remix, but this is utter trash.

MOD EDIT: Keep it constructive.

EDIT: Um, there's no point in constructive criticism since it's apparent that DZComposer can do much better than this. :roll:

Just write one with a more defined melody next time.

Melody sounds pretty defined to me.

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anne amère
on 2006-07-02 23:01:09

I was expecting much more after hearing his Star Wolf remix, but this is utter trash.

MOD EDIT: Keep it constructive.

EDIT: Um, there's no point in constructive criticism since it's apparent that DZComposer can do much better than this. :roll:

Just write one with a more defined melody next time.

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Mustin
on 2006-06-28 12:11:36

Wow, I'm impressed. This isn't something I'd listen to every day, but I really think you did a nice job with the instrumentation and the arrangement is really creative. Especially because I feel the source material is already lacking.

Keep it up - looking foward to more.

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yanagin
on 2006-06-26 14:15:52

I like it. I like it alot. Nicely aranged. I've heard alot of orchestrated pieces and alot of times people seems to go to far. You kept this subdued for alot of it wich I like. The level changes did nto bother me at all. I'm also gald that you used good quality samples for your instruments. One thing I hate is to hear a "Cheesy" flute or trumpet, especially on these types of pieces. keep up the good work.

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DZComposer
on 2006-06-26 14:05:53

Lylat Wars was the name of the game in the European market due to a trademarking issue. It was known as Star Fox 64 in the US and Japanese markets (not sure about Australia).

I am thankful for the responses to this mix, partcularly the ones that pointed out the problems. Looks like I neeed to work on my post production a bit. ;)

The dynamic contrast, however, was a very important part of this piece, and I would never change it. Unlike many of the more modern genres where louder is better, Orchestral music is dependent on dynamic changes to help bring forth the mood of the piece. Listen to some classical CDs and you see what I mean.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
Star Fox 64 (Nintendo, 1997, N64)
Music by Hajime Wakai, Koji Kondo
Songs:
"Sector X"

Tags (2)


Genre:
Classical
Mood:
Instrumentation:
Orchestral
Additional:

File Information


Name:
Star_Fox_64_V_to_the_X_Power_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
6,249,046 bytes
MD5:
4a4be0e62f327152bfbb22f800c1a207
Bitrate:
149Kbps
Duration:
5:29

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