ReMix: Final Fantasy IV "Step into the Light"

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Final Fantasy IV: Echoes of Betrayal, Light of RedemptionFinal Fantasy IV

Justin's take on 'Into the Darkness' was actually one of the first tracks from Final Fantasy IV: Echoes of Betrayal, Light of Redemption that was finished and submitted, back in 2007. The panel approved it, but it was then held pending the release of the album, which took quite a bit longer. When Echoes did debut, 'Fighting for Tomorrow' was the first mix posted, and Justin's had 'Full of Hope' posted since then, but it's time to come back to this excellent FF4 orchestral arrangement and give it some overdue love. Nutritious writes:

"I've always enjoyed the Final Fantasy IV soundtrack; as a matter of fact, it's basically what got me into music in the first place. I'd never heard songs like this in a game before (or anywhere, really), and they've stuck with me for years. This song specifically was one of my favorites from the game. It plays during the first "dungeon" level and really sets a mysterious tone for the area. I had that same idea in mind as I was rearranging this. You may notice the extra reverb applied in the first 30 seconds or so - I was trying to get a wide open sound like it was played in the mist cave that the OST pertains to. Hopefully, I achieved the epic, sweeping feel I was going for with this song.

As with all of my orchestral and strings stuff up until this point, this was made using freely available samples and soundfonts. I hope that it shows how much can be done on a tight remixing budget."

... makes me feel all dirty and guilty with my EWQL and Vienna stuff. Samples don't make the arrangement, though, the arrangement makes the samples, and Justin knows arranging well enough to make a Casio VL-1 sound like the Warsaw Philharmonic. Hyperbole, but still... there's a grand, epic scale to this piece, with its big alternating timpani and its swaying, 3/4 time signature. For me, this was paired up perfectly in José's trailer with a panning shot of a huge tower; for ALL of the tracks that were included in that trailer, I can't listen to them without conjuring the footage/artwork used in my head, which speaks to Mr. Bronx Rican's astute and impeccable work. He had some great music to work with, though, and this track definitely added a needed dose of "epic, spiraling orchestral" - Vinnie writes:

"This song showcases some excellent writing. Wonderful interplay of instruments, good variety between sections, a few pleasantly unexpected moments, and lots of quotes from the original. It treads the line of being too liberal after the first 1:40, but those quotes hold that connection and I never lost the sense that this is a remix of Into the Darkness. All in all, very impressive. You did one of my favorite songs from that soundtrack justice."

Project director OA finishes out the writeup with his own comments:

"One of the very first songs completed for the project, this piece helped begin to shape the feel of several tracks on the album. The expansion on the theme, and the subtle changes to it as it progressed were really interesting, as it evolved from a majestic and dark piece, to something with a lighter overtones. This piece was really well-named, and the conviction to stick through the theme through modulation was really cool. It starts out lush and wide open, and stays grandiose for the duration, but it really breathes well. A live orchestra performing this would floor me, I'm certain. This track was actually the first introduction I had to Justin, who has since become a very good friend. I love how music can bring people together. :-)"

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Necrox
on 2015-12-05 18:47:02

Ah, Into the Darkness. This is IMO just how an orchetral arrangement of it should sound. Wonder mixed with mystery in a way that expands on the source greatly.

Crulex
on 2012-04-05 15:34:46

Grand orchestral instruments, check. Wonderful playing, check. Terrific arrangement, check. Instant love and download, check check check check check! Also, all kidding aside, nice to hear a lighter melodic version of the dungeon themes.

Nobbynob Littlun
on 2009-10-23 16:59:32

One can well imagine Cecil emerging into the sunlight, transformed from Dark Knight to Paladin.

OA
on 2009-10-05 14:48:14

Great job dude, keep making mixes. :-)

metalsnakejuice
on 2009-10-05 07:37:51

I have to say Nutritious you are getting really good. This is really good, the way you interpreted the original source was fantastic Nutritious.

Keep the good work coming.

Bahamut
on 2009-10-04 01:33:34

I loved this mix from the project - in addition to the contrast with the original song with the song title and the instrumentation in bringing out the impression of going into the light, it just was done really well overall. The vision is unmistakenly clear with the obvious contrast in the titling, which probably makes it more accessible to people.

Overall just a great job orchestrating here by Nutritious!

Nutritious
on 2009-10-03 16:47:59

Thanks so much for the positive feedback guys, I really appreciate it. To clarify a bit, this song was completed quite a while ago (submitted Dec '07) when I used a setup with only free samples. Since then I have purchased some premium libraries.

I was honestly a bit nervous about keeping this song on the album in its current form since it is almost two years old and I feel like I've progressed quite a bit since then. So I'm glad you guys are enjoying it, despite its age.

This came from free stuff? No way.. proof, or it never happened, lol.

Hah, well, if you're an FL user, you can grab the soundfonts and project I used as a template for creating this song and several others. Get it in this thread.

Level 99
on 2009-10-03 16:25:17

This song blows my mind, as do most things Mr. Nutritious-yet-delicious does these days. Step into the Light is an extremely moving piece with great production and progressively-fliped take on the source tune. Keep it up!

SoulinEther
on 2009-10-03 15:21:23

It's weird to me. Like many other pieces on the Echoes album, I wasn't a big fan of it at first. But once I listened to it through a few times, I started to like it, and I really think it's cool how you managed to take the mysterious and wondrous source and made it something uplifting. It's like Cecil's transformation from dark knight to paladin.

This came from free stuff? No way.. proof, or it never happened, lol.

Tacitus Krekt
on 2009-10-03 13:39:30

Superb.

Always enjoyed the FFIV soundtrack, and I love the orchestral work you did here. Thanks for another favorite from the site!

TheKrow
on 2009-10-03 02:04:56

This is just one more reason to love of Justin's work. I don't think I've heard the orchestrations of anyone else sound as great as his, let alone with samples. Keep it up, man.

Emunator
on 2009-10-03 00:40:58

Pretty mellow and low key, but as far as orchestral goes this isn't bad :-) I love how this contrasts your other contribution to the album, they work so well together!

I'm always amazed at what you do with free samples, that's really pretty inspirational for aspiring mixers like me that have no money whatsoever :-)

Lucentas
on 2009-10-02 23:39:28

This is such a lovely piece, and a great take on the source tune. Excellent job.

DragonAvenger
on 2009-10-02 23:12:24

The source is easily one of my favorites from FFIV, and Nutritious does such an amazing job with this. It's so awesome to hear how much he's improved as well. Fantastic job, gives me shivers.

Gario
on 2009-10-02 22:38:12

Nice orchestration, dude - I love the nearly complete switch to major throughout. It almost sounds like a Secret of Mana track, the way you laid it out :).

Beautiful.