ReMix: Sins of a Solar Empire 'Spreading the Culture'
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There are 5 days left in April, we've received 150 donations to date, and at the moment we're $850 short of the goal Jimmy set. That's still pretty damn good, and who knows, with your help we might make up the difference in the next five days. Either way, it's been truly inspiring to see so many of you chip in towards the site's continued operation, and it really has helped motivate myself and hopefully other staff members to work even harder.
Not that we're short on motivation - every week I see something new on OCR, some new genre being attempted, an artist trying a different approach from his/her past mixes, a new composer or game or system being represented by a posted arrangement, or status updates for myriad album projects, all inching towards completion. Progress & Innovation... VGM we can believe in. Lee's a big fan of Sins of a Solar Empire, which I've heard nothing but good things about and want to check out myself, and he's graced us with our first mix from the game's soundtrack by Paul Schuegraf, a relative newcomer to the field of VGM composition. Paul's score to this sleeper hit got a ton of positive feedback from fans, so I can see/hear why The Orichalcon wanted to mix it. He writes:
"For this one I took the main string melody from The Return to shape the majority of the song. The rhodes mainly focus on this, with the rest of the instruments built around it. Changed the key to C Minor. I also incorporated some parts of the Emerging Empire into the melody. It's a short piece, but I was happy where it ended and didn't want to extend it any further for fear of diluting the effects."
Although there is no hard and fast rule that dictates as such, Larry always likes to check to ensure at least 50% of any given mix is comprised of arranged material in some way. He does his thing:
"Loved the production and execution the whole way, so I'm just left making sure the source usage passes the sniff test. This needed more than 91.5 seconds of source usage for >50% and my YES.
"The Return": :11-:25, :38-:43, :50-1:09, 1:50-1:52, 2:12-2:29; also used very quietly throughout :25-:50
"The Emerging Empire": 1:24-1:27, 1:34-1:42, 1:44-1:47, 2:32-2:40, 2:42-2:49; also used very quietly from 2:03-2:05"
"Awesome synth-funk adaptation, Lee. Every layer to this sounds like a hook - my focus constantly shifts between all the different catchy bits. Reminded me a little of djp's "Fortuna Favors the Funk" but darker and moodier. That string motif runs through most of the song quietly, and a lot of times overtly. Plus, melody connections - I didn't have a hard time hearing the source in this. YES, indeed."
And, last but not least, BGC adds:
"...it's really great when an artist can use a melodic instrument to actually assist the drums in not only maintaining, but furthering the effectiveness of the groove, and the dirty, sweeping synth as well as the short percussive one both do that throughout... Great production, everything is clean, and there's never any clutter. Nice choice of instrumentation too. I bet Dave will like this one."
And, indeed, I do. This is probably my favorite TO ReMix to date, blending his already-awesome skill at layering beats & textures with an arrangement that's catchy, hook-laden, and features a prominent melodic lead. It certainly helps that the source material is fresh & awesome in its own right, but Lee's put together a stellar (pun always intended) interpretation of his own. Great stuff.
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