This one's been on hold for a good, long while... the circumstances are a bit extenuating, however, and it can't be chalked up solely to the "OCR delay factor". In this instance, a "special edition" of Chrono Symphonic was going to be released, and this track was going to be a new addition, along with remastered versions of the original tracks. For whatever reason, that never happened, but the confusion around whether it wuz or whether it warn't accounts for the bulk of the delay in this piece showing up here on OverClocked ReMix in a much-belated fashion. Newcomer PLBenjaminZ, in real life known as Preston Lee Benjamin Bautista Samoranos (cue Freudian name envy), sends us an orchestral arrangement of Lavos Theme, World Revolution, Chrono Trigger, and Last Battle, that clocks in at five minutes even. The ReMixer explains:
"This remix was made for Chrono Symphonic but my computer crashed around a week before the deadline and I didn't get to recover my data until after the deadline (sounds fun huh?). It sucks because I spent a lot of time on it and it never made it onto the album but oh well. I'm submitting it to OCR wondering how it stands by itself. It's supposed to go on the Chrono Symphonic Special Edition, but I don't know what happened to that... "
Criticisms focused largely on production, with some judges noting the rather average sound quality of the samples and the muddy effect the production took on at times, but most concurring that the creative, dynamic arrangement more than compensated. JJT writes:
"I'm in agreement with TO, the arrangement sometimes gets really muddy and too involved. Another major gripe of mine is that the percussion is mixed too quiet for my tastes. However, you made great use of some not-so-great samples, and provided plenty of interpretation of the source material. The dynamic shape of the piece is well thought out. By the time it's finished we as listeners are not at the same place we started; the journey has been coherent, intentional, and at times, very beautiful."
I'd say that's spot on; this isn't a mix that will blow you away sonically, but we've had pieces in the past that fit a similar mold of being a tad bit lopsided towards the arrangement end of the spectrum, so that's nothing new. Anyone looking for a thoughtful, carefully constructed orchestral CT mix should be very interested, and most of that demographic can probably forgive the somewhat centered approach to panning and other production qualms rather readily. It'd be great to see what Preston can do if he continues to pursue mixing, builds up a sample collection, and brushes up on EQ a bit, but for now, this is a great starter track, compositionally mature, and fun to listen to.
on 2015-12-02 10:09:17
Some really cool ideas here. Would love to hear this updated with some modern day samples. Feel the writing could have stood out alot more if the instruments were panned harder. As of now everything is standing on top of each other. Good decisions on writing to keep the energy up throughout. Great blending of all of the source tunes.
on 2008-10-02 13:07:36
I think i'd prefer a bit more clarity in the low strings, but the high end stuff sounded good.
Great leading intro, and then the big hit which has the orchestral percussion playing some cool hybrid rock beats. I really like the approach there. I think a bit of the bass drum could have been carved a bit to clean some thinks up, but otherwise I was feeling this.
Some transitions were a little weak compared to that awesome first one, but as a whole this was good stuff.
on 2008-04-11 10:44:06
1. Initial Thoughts
There's something to say for those who try the challenge of combining elements of different songs. Chrono Trigger has always been a personal favorite for me, and the sheer difficulty of intertwining these four songs should be enough to squash any "really muddy" or "too involved" thoughts. Some things just have to be worked on, and much can be done in the week before a deadline. As of right now, it looks like this is just a footnote on the Special Edition that will one day be. What a great footnote, though!
The trouble with arranging and remixing is that people tend to take favorite songs and shove them together. I doubt this is the case, but as it was a work in progress, there was still much work to do. Chrono Trigger hinges on the music to provide emotional stability and definition in a artificially rendered environment where we are forced to understand that "~~~~Chrono!!!!" means more than just Marle screaming.
** It should be noted that even though this is an arrangement of four pieces, I only review it as a single piece. After all, that's what it is meant to be: a single piece. **
Not too far from the opening being reminiscent of Kefka from Final Fantasy VI, The Final Battle opens exactly where it needs to: Our party has arrived at the one moment where Lavos can be destroyed. The lower brass entrance, joining in with the strings on the parallel chord movement, is the first of many "muddy" locations. The main reason people have probably been voicing that this piece is muddy is because of the overuse of unison chording. Everyone is moving in the same direction. A flute goes down, as does a Horn, etc. Cross movement would help lots, or some flair. Had the horns gone upwards while the strings, which have more power, gone downwards, it would make for much better cohesion while still giving it that "oomph" and "not so muddy" feeling.
The Horn statement of the Lavos Theme is very nicely pulled off, giving it just enough mystery behind it to let the listener know that our party in-game has just stepped in and are staring down a very big porcupine-looking boss. However, this all goes somewhat our the window at 1:08 when there's a pause in the music. This silence would have better been filled by a pedal tone through the strings or even a lone chime (ringing through multiple tones to signal the battle about to occur).
As the battle begins, we immediately begin to hear the problem. "Varying Orchestration" is the key here. There is little variation in the scoring, which honestly, isn't that bad. Eventually, a little bit of variation is where this piece needs to head. For example, what would serve this piece best is to gently bring in the battle music, lightly through woodwinds and strings, then have the melody be carried by brass and/or melodic percussion. Something to keep it from the appearance that the melody sections of a melody-variant-melody are the exact same, just with a instrument change for the melody. Other than that, it's a great piece on the start, as it certainly keeps the energy level up.
The only side note is that the Brass with the moving sixteenth (or eighth) notes are slightly difficult for brass to keep up with that high level of energy.
Other than the notes I've already made on why the piece is so muddy, I managed to get through the remainder of the piece not worried about anything else. The best thing would be to move the silence from the beginning to between the high-energy section to the low-energy section near the end. It ends just as it started: the same emotion of uncertainty. But, unlike the beginning, we know for a fact that it's not about defeating Lavos that scares the party, but what's going to happen next...
I give this remix an eight-and-a-half out of ten. I would have liked to give it a nine, or even a ten, but I don't know exactly where the current file is from, at least from the aspect of time. Is this the same file that was recovered after the deadline, or has some additional work gone into making it where it is today? I see it as being exactly where I say it is, 85% of the way there. "Muddy" is probably not the right wording to choose. A better choice? Probably "Partially Refined".
on 2008-01-19 22:03:46
Amazing love the beggining it fits very well with modern music as well overall very good
on 2008-01-18 23:42:40
Here is a low quality version of Compy Fox's version that was supposed to go on the Special Edition of Chrono Symphonic.
Not that anyone cares, of course.
on 2007-02-02 03:46:11
eh, its allright I'd still listen to the original composition, in fact at certain parts i couldn't even recognize the song. I'm not trying to be a hater here, its still a good song but meh
on 2006-12-12 16:37:55
It starts out rather quiet, and that didn't catch my attention at all. So when the mix suddenly got more energetic at 1:19, it took me by surprise, though it was a pleasant one. It gets even better from 2:04, and the melody starting at 3:08 is just beautiful.
This really is a battle theme. Lots of energy in here. Nice work.
on 2006-12-03 02:01:49
I loved the transitions from one part of the song to the next, each section builds off of the previous, giving the mix a real epic feeling. The build-up is beautiful and really brings out the emotional intent of the song. Great Remix.
on 2006-12-02 02:45:12
oh wow. when did this get released? haha.
It's a shame this version is the one that got released. I definitely agree that this track is really muddy...I wish compy's version was released instead as I think he did a good job mastering this mix. The only problem is I don't have access to that version anymore, since I happened to lose it a while back cleaning my hard drive out.
edit: found a low quality version of it, link at below post.
on 2006-12-02 01:24:44
I've always liked "The Last Battle" and "Determination"/Chrono's Theme. "World Revolution" and "Lavos's Theme" of course fit in with the idea of The Final Battle, so I really like this piece quite a bit. I particularly enjoyed from 3:08 to 4:33 with the drums--percussions, I think they're called. It reminded me a lot of the middle instrumental of Supertramp's "School." I thought it could have been a little louder though.
on 2006-11-17 15:18:47
a great remix....in perfect chrono symphonic style
on 2006-11-17 14:35:11
I actually thought this was better than most of the other songs on the album.
I was actually disappointed by Chrono Symphonic.
on 2006-11-17 13:29:26
I'll give a very condensed version of what I have to say.
It has some good parts and it has some parts that are not so good. It sounds more like a rock song than an orchestral one the way it's written in spite of its choice of instrumentation, and that really turns me off. And the ending could have been much better.
on 2006-11-17 13:11:59
Been waiting for this one for a LOOOONG time, and I was pretty upset when I found out it wasn't released initially on Chrono Symphonic.
Sounds great, though I too get the "muddy" feeling.
on 2006-11-17 10:09:41
Heh, talk about bad timing for a computer breakdown.
I liked it. It took its sweet time in the beginning, being all calm and precautious, and then......FOOM! The dynamic part entered the scene and the battle had finally started for real. The strings made the overall feeling complete, and the drums put some extra power behind the arrangement. My favorite part was when the CT theme kicked though. I can't seem to grow tired of that melody.
....though I soooorta understand why yall said "muddy".
Yeah, me too. At some places, there were strings that didn't fit in with the rest of the insruments, making it sound messy and, well, muddy.
But those are minor details compared with the rest, so the fact that this is a good remix still stands. Nice work, dude.
Sources Arranged (4 Songs)
- Primary Game:
Chrono Trigger (Square, 1995, SNES)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu, Noriko Matsueda, Yasunori Mitsuda
- "Chrono Trigger"
"The Final Battle"
- 6,096,010 bytes
- Size: 6,096,010 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 3450e501c0a087d924e4eb674615a753
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