ReMix: Tales of Symphonia "Pixelated Tales"

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Tales of Symphonia

This track from newcomer Showroom Dummy, aka Ralf Schneider, is peppy, happy, synth-packed sugary fun, very similar to an Erasure song, sans vocals. I'm a huge Vince Clarke fan, so this is a big compliment in my book; Mr. Dummy writes:

"Well I decided I should remix this song, but I should make it a challenge too, so I limited myself to create all the sounds in this song using only raw squarewaves. Of course, I applied all sorts of effects and stuff to them, and in the end, it turned out to be very fun and I really enjoy the results. Even some of the drums are made out of a raw squarewave. (also, no drumloops)

I did this in some kind of electro/8-bit style, with a heavy influence from my favorite electronic music band EVER: Kraftwerk. The nods are very apparent in there, but I also borrowed elements from some of my favorite old school electro producers, like Model 500.

Anyways enough with the explanations, just enjoy this little voyage into old school sounds... I made this mix for PRC, it was very well received inside and outside of it, hope you like it."

I certainly do; it's uplifting, pleasant, and generally buoyant. Ralf got a LOT of mileage out of squarewaves, I'll say that much... just imagine what he could with some triangles and saws thrown in. What I especially dig is the little touches that avoid things ever feeling like they're on autopilot - the intro and outro are both excellent, but also check the little chromatic-carnival transition riff at 1'49"; my type of stuff! The more I listen to this mix, the more I appreciate what the artist has done, packing a lot of detail and programming into a sugary, synth-pop package. Vinnie writes:

"Apart from the 3:25 section, honestly, I didn't hear that much Kraftwerk influence! It's very full, something you don't hear in Kraftwerk. It sounds more like the bands that were inspired by them. Not that any of that matters, I liked this a lot. You got great mileage out of the squarewave, tweaking it with distortion, envelopes, and effects. It's easy to hear the original in this, but there's a lot of you in it too. Very good work, though the ending would have been better as a fadeout at 3:57."

I agree on the inspiration thing - I'm not hearing that much Kraftwerk - but I disagree on the ending: I think that when you're doing synth-pop, which has this tendency to merrily plod along without a care in the world, it's important to include these little unorthodox, unexpected elements, and I love the ending because it breaks form and does exactly that. To repeat myself, it again feels VERY Vince Clarke to me - it's exactly the same type of pleasantly-major-key-but-with-intelligent-variation type of electronica he produces, so I'd recommend anyone who digs this mix (as I do) check out Erasure as well. Great stuff from Showroom Dummy, who I really hope to hear more from in the future!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
TillyFun
on 2013-05-04 19:44:40

Fun mix for a fun track. I never get tired of either. ^_^

The music gives me a feeling of exploration and cheerful optimism, with a few moments of cautious reflection such as at 3:30. All in all, a pleasure to listen, carrying a vibe very much like the game. c:

Crulex
on 2012-04-13 12:18:13

Cool happy tune that brings up a smile once the main melody kicks in. Some of the samples came off a bit loud, but that's no huge deal to me. I hear a bit of Sonic-like qualities in this mix, and that's great. Chip tunes and happy, bubbly music, it's like PB and J. Digging the ending as well.

yosefu
on 2010-01-05 07:52:52

I'm loving this alot, so i hope you send us more mixes.

42
on 2009-12-29 16:44:15

I'll admit that I don't really care for this one. The synths, especially that continuing bass throughout, feel extremely loud and grating on my ears. They also overshadow the melody greatly.

The mood atmosphere themselves aren't too bad though, very peppy and energetic. Definitely a good times mix.

Ultimately though, I recommend just go listen to this and decide for yourself.

Sir_Downunder
on 2009-12-03 21:30:52

I didn't catch the source tune a first, been a while since I've played Symphonia.

This is very light, fun, and quirky. Not something I would listen to on the regular, but it's still definitely worth a grab.

halc
on 2009-12-02 12:15:43

This does has a Sonic vibe - the melody at 1:19 is quite similar to Green Grove from Sonic 3D Blast. Vibrant, happy mix with a subtle chiptune aesthetic. Cool song man, I enjoyed it! :nicework:

Otakatt
on 2009-12-02 06:26:52

What I liked about this was the overall 'happy' sound of it. The world can definitely use more music that puts a smile on people's faces. However, I felt this was also rather repetitive, particularly the beginning. It could just be the nature of the genre or what Showroom was going for, I'm not too sure, but in that case I can't really fault them or the song. I just know that it didn't really do it for me. The ending kind of confused me as well.

I'd still recommend people giving it a listen before writing it off. Looking at what other people say about this song, one can easily see that it's mostly well received.

metalsnakejuice
on 2009-11-20 07:19:17

I love this a lot. I keep on thinking Halc made this when i listen to this other then that i think this is fantastic to listen.

DragonAvenger
on 2009-11-11 15:35:11

Oh so bubbly, I'm liking this. You can hear the amount of detail that was put into this, and the result is all the better for it. I love that the song even sounds like a bunch of pixels, and it's not easy to achieve an almost visual out of a piece of music.

Ending doesn't suit my tastes, but Showroom Dummy has his reasons for it, so I won't fault his creative choice. Nice work.

Pachi Risu
on 2009-11-10 21:03:51

Good job Showroom. Can't put my finger on it, but I get a Sonic The Hedgehog Vibe in this ReMix. That's right, Sonic 3D Blast is what I'm feeling in here, but a heck of a lot better. Kudos.

OA
on 2009-11-10 14:46:13

Crazy cool intro, and then some really nicely texture chippiness, i like how the rhythms switch up occasionally from being straight ahead to a bit syncopated. Nice and cheery stuff as well.

Lots of smiles from this one; thanks, Showroom Dummy! :-) :-) :-)

Sir_NutS
on 2009-11-08 03:38:23

Thank all for the comments.

About the influences for this one, I started to make a basic, kraftwerk-like electro song at the beginning of my mixing, hence the basic bassline and spacey and pitch-change effects. As I worked on this, I want to turn it into something more happy and fuller sounding, like old school dance electro and for that I used model 500, I-F and others as a reference.

In the end it ended up sounding more full than a kraftwerk song but less dancey than old school danceclub electro like, so I decided to add an ending that was true to my kraftwerk inspiration.

Sorry if all that sounds confusing!

Many people didn't like the ending, but I'm happy they liked the rest of song :). Thank you very much all.

And no my last name isnt Schneider, but my name is Ralf ^_^. Sorry for the bad english!

Emunator
on 2009-11-08 02:49:45

I really have been looking forward to seeing this posted. I don't know why it didn't make it onto SoS as a main track, I think it was just as good, if not better, than a lot of the ones on there.

You've got a very bubbly, sugary-sweet atmosphere going on that makes me smile, and I can't help but hum along to that bassline whenever I listen. So good! :-D

Bahamut
on 2009-11-07 22:58:39

Strange, I don't really recognize the source off the bat - perhaps I forgot it since it has been a while.

This really has a happy sound to it - for some reason though, I feel like this song could've taken things further and just was too short. I would've liked to see some more development like the tail part of this mix, as it was promising more to the song and then it just ends.

A-RoN
on 2009-11-07 13:04:39

This is great! For some odd reason, these sounds remind me of Synth1. I do like the lead there and how the rhode chords play off each other. The synth textures are pretty cool, and also like the little Primo style break between 2:45 and 2:55. Although this form of electronica is not my type, the way this is composed and the use of synthwork is amazing. I wouldn't recommend having the treble all the way up when listening to it as the synth-lines would mash up alot, but all in all, quite decent.

8/10