ReMix: Chrono Trigger "JESUS CHRIST IT'S A DINOSAUR GET IN THE EPOCH"
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5,976,064 bytes, 4:06, 192kbps
We wanted to give that Civ4 mix a few days to marinate, but let's get back on track, shall we? This here CT mix from DrumUltima happens to be our very first percussion-only ReMix. Yes, you read that right. Percusssion, percussion, and more percussion, and nary a melodic riff in sight. Oh you can look, but look not to hope, for melody has forsaken these lands. When Doug first asked if a percussion-only ReMix would be accepted, we all kinda scratched our collective head. When I think arrangement, I'll confess that the first thing (among many) that I think of is melody/harmony. How could a source that essentially lacked both possibly pass our submission standards? After stewing it around for a bit in my ever-slowing noggin, I realized that drums = music. Composers can, have, and will continue to compose percussion-only pieces, and that which can be composed can usually be arranged... to some extent. The real key would be divining what & where "interpretation" could be construed from purely rhythmic modification/addition/subtraction. I didn't envy the judges their job, I told Doug that it'd probably make getting the mix passed more difficult due to higher scrutiny, but we all basically agreed that - like communism - it could *theoretically* work.
... But did it? Obviously, since you're reading this, but the panel did have fun dissecting the submission. Luckily Doug provided ample evidence of what he started from and where he went, which was greatly appreciated. He writes:
"So this is an all percussion remix. It was a project for my computer music class in which we could only work with audio. It was supposed to be a Music Con Crete project, but as you can see I didn't really do that ;) All drums and stuff are played live, albeit a few samples I took from the percussion studio. I'm curious to see how this will turn out! Much thanks to bustatunez for remastering this, Geoffrey Taucer for his undying love and support, Peabody for letting me abuse the Computer Music department, as well as the fine folk of #ocrwip for "helping" me come up for a name."
Larry took the time to break this one down, which I imagine a lot of folks will be curious about, so let's see about it:
"This needed 121 seconds worth of the source to pass. The source has 4 distinct sections, so the breakdown I had ended up like this:
- :00-:07 of source - :03-:19, 3:39.75-3:51
- :07-:23 of source - none
- :23-:39 of source - :35-:51, 1:07-1:21, 2:44-3:07
- :39-:47 of source - :51-1:06, 1:27.75-1:41, 3:07-3:22.5
That tallies up to 124 seconds, so even if I'm missing something outright, this is more than fine to me. If anyone needs me to go into more detail as to how the rhythms Doug used mirrored the original, let me know, but it's there. I remember listening to an early WIP of this, but I can't say I had confidence in a concept like this passing. Not from a performance standpoint by Doug, but because, with this source, it is extremely easy to go off the rails.
Lots of great expansive spices, full of grace notes while not losing site of the original rhythms. A couple of the cymbal swells felt a bit out of place with the timing, but it wasn't a big deal. For something like this with no real melodic focus, you definitely had to retain a lot of the structure of the original but expand and personalize the arrangement, which you did in spades. Doug, you're a legend for pulling this off."
Here are some select other quotes:
- Vinnie: "Doug, you magnificent bastard. It definitely takes balls to remix this source, and I pretty much think you pulled it off as best as one could."
- AnSo: "Doug. You are now an international VGM-arrangement hero and will continue to be just that until the end of time. And JESUS CHRIST, you deserve it. :)"
If you don't want to play and would prefer to bang on the drum all day, this is YOUR ReMix. Those looking for a melodic CT fix may be disappointed, but Doug certainly rose to the considerable challenge of arranging an all-percussion mix that would actually pass the panel, I dig it quite a bit, and hopefully you will too. They sure don't call him DrumUltima for nothin'.
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