ReMix: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 'Dark World Prelude & March'
5,543,936 bytes, 5:15, 139kbps
Streaming preview on YouTube
We seem to be experiencing something of a trend; good things supposedly come in threes, and this is the third mix in a row from a ReMixer returning after more than three years of inactivity, on the OCR scene at least. This evening's prodigal son is Jaroban (Jared Banta), whose Radical Dreamers mix graced our pages back in '03. Honestly, if this triune triumvirate of trinitarian triforce does one thing, it's to remind me how long we've been doing this, and how consistently: the simple fact that OCR's been around long enough for people to return after three years is pretty damn cool. We're like the mafia: just when you think you're out... we pull you back in. Or something. Jared's piece is ambitious and well-arranged. Due to the relative ambition, which I'd qualify as heavy utilization of mixed orchestral brass across a wide dynamic range, some multiple Achilles' heels are exposed in the timbral palette. However, it's just damn hard to utilize sforzando low brass without such side effects, and other talented mixers have similarly risked their employment. Ultimately, it becomes a philosophical question: does one arrange to the quality of the samples, or does one arrange to a hypothetical personal session with the Warsaw Philharmonic, where every last nuance would be feasible? I see the merit of both ideologies, and as with most things, the optimal approach probably lies in a contextual application of either, depending on the circumstances.
In this case, the circumstances are a prelude and march (helpfully titled as such) from the indefatigable Zelda 3 score, which clocks in at over six minutes. BGC took issue with the samples, while Jill insisted that nothing was "cringe-worthy". As a former euphonium player and front line witness to a really rather respectable High School low brass section, perhaps my standards are a bit higher, and I can sympathize with Jimmy's comments more. Still, I've yet to hear the orchestral ReMix whose mixed low brass blew my skirt off. Not that I wear a skirt. At night, in the dark. Listening to video game mixes. Alone. Point being, I can chalk up iffy low brass to the gods more readily than other instruments.
Interestingly, a good number of the judges were not only fine with the samples, but suggested the panel had too much of a "sample whore" emphasis, i.e. that sound quality was playing too large a factor. I think it's dangerous to make generalizations like that; it really is a yin and yang thing, and one can go too far in the other direction and exhibit bias towards mixes that are all arrangement and have lackluster production just as easily. With exceptions, a computer can't provide the arrangement for a mix, while good samples can make anyone sound at least a little better, but both sides of the equation require skill to fully realize, and that shouldn't be cheapened in either direction. Or at least, that's my take. At any rate, this isn't a textbook example of that dichotomy playing itself out, really, since only the brass stuff was eyebrow-raising for me, and overall production was competent if not lush. I preferred the prelude portion of the mix not only because it played to the strengths of the tools available, but also because the arrangement I felt was a little more elaborate and emotive. It's great to see Jared return after so long, and this is a mix that well utilizes refined arranging skills and runs a gamut of dynamics and tones.
With the way this mix is arranged, it is crucial that the samples are there to support it. And sadly, they arent. To go at the source material with full bombasity was unwarranted, in my opinion. If the mixer didn't have the sample library at his disposal, it would have benefited the piece to scale down the creative vision and work with what he had.
To be honest, I actually really enjoy the sparseness and the dissonance from the prelude. It has a lot of really nice, understated moments and it's not marred by the synthetic orchestra so much as the main portion.
My main problem with this mix is that the ambition and the execution do not match up, to the point where things sound wrong. The arrangement is clearly there, but it has nothing but the dullest of sounds to prove itself.
I don't get much of a kick out of listening to this one.
- Marmiduke on August 28, 2010
- Crulex on February 27, 2010
Some cool ideas but a little weak overall.
- OA on December 18, 2009
- CasualVader on October 12, 2009
*I used the site download version rather than the torrent version.
- Kaleb.G on May 13, 2009
- Ryu2Wolf on January 6, 2009
- DJ Shadows on July 18, 2008
- DTwirler on October 10, 2007
all 4 links don't work. and the link on page 3 doesnt work either
- jordex on August 14, 2007
This changes once the song really "starts" at 2:38. It's still very movie score-ish (as many posters before me have pointed out), but it's more interesting than before.
All in all, I say "nice work".
- Martin Penwald on December 25, 2006
- Escariot on December 19, 2006
- Raid on December 13, 2006
As for the samples...the songs sound good with the SNES samples, so any step up still sounds good. Nice work picking the greatest video game soundtrack to remix.
- Adam_Slight on December 12, 2006
And I'd prefer to hear a re-encode of the master audio than that 128Kbps-ish MP3 run through an encoder again at 112Kbps.
- Moguta on December 11, 2006
Zipp wrote:richter wrote: WinAmp > iTunes. (also xmms) Ha!
Okay, but it still doesn't change the fact that all the other songs play in itunes and this one doesn't. Also I'm not likely to switch to.... wait a minute. Did you say WinAmp is better than Itunes? What's the color of the sky in your world, sweetheart?
Ummm....I use itunes for the sole reason for keeping my ipod happy...so I thank Black Mage for the fix. Seriously man...there is no comparison between winamp and itunes. If you like itunes better you got tomatoes in your head.
- atmuh on December 10, 2006