ReMix: Mass Effect 'Nova Siberia'

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Mass Effect

Ladies and gentlemen, after a good chunk of time that was indeed worth the wait, I'm proud to announce that we've published our community interview with the Mass Effect 2 composers, from Wall of Sound!

It's worth noting that while some of the artists involved in the ME2 soundtrack have done individual interviews, this is the first time they've been interviewed as a team - which is how they worked, after all, under the leadership of the mighty Jack Wall. Of course, we already shared the news that the judges' own Jimmy Hinson, aka Big Giant Circles, worked on said team, but we also tried something a bit different: for this interview, we solicited questions from the community, which we then selected, edited (just a tad!) for consistency, and presented to the men responsible for the soundtrack to one of the biggest sequels of the decade. So do read the interview - it's filled to the brim w/ compositional insight, background details about the team's collaborative process, ALIEN SEX, and the story of how one of OCR's own got involved in a truly epic project.

On top of THAT, we've got not one but TWO mixes from the first AND second game in the series, neither of which have been mixed before. With a multi-composer interview and a one-two ReMix combo punch, I think it's safe to say that today Mass Effect has taken over OverClocked ReMix. Up first is BGC himself, mixing the first game:

"A lot of people have asked me how I got to work on Mass Effect 2. It's sort of a long story and it's told in the interview that corresponds with the posting of this remix, also hosted on OC ReMix, so definitely give it a read if you want to know the full deal. But to summarize, Jack mentioned he'd enjoy some remixes from his work on Mass Effect 1 and I sent him this remix a few days afterwards. He loved it so much, he called me to ask if he could submit it to BioWare to see what they thought, thus beginning a pretty cool relationship with Jack that ultimately led to me becoming a part of his Wall of Sound team."

"OC ReMix Lands Some Random Punk Scoring Gig for A-list Major Video Game Soundtrack"?? That's a headline I can fall in love with. Of course, Jimmy is far from random, and has a well-earned reputation as probably the nicest guy in the community. His ego-to-talent ratio is downright incredible, too, since he's got mad skills and is constantly upping his game - and his sample library. Jimmy's far too full of music and kindness and ridiculously bad jokes to ever be full of himself, and I'm thrilled this opportunity came his way.

Of course, that's all truly great... but what about the mix? Jimmy introduces OCR to the world of Mass Effect with style, executing an atmospheric & cinematic arrangement that blends myriad synths with a rock beat, embellished by cross-panned electro stutter hats, while also working in some orchestral components. This mix sounds BIG - fills up my headphones and paints a picture of an interstellar ecosystem, bustling with activity. With a name like "Big Giant Circles," you can't make no small tiny rectangular music, you gotta bring it, and Mr. Hinson does.

This mix isn't huge in the "catchy melody" department - there's definitely melodic & harmonic "goings-on," but the real star is the aural habitat engineered through layers upon layers of ingredients. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, perhaps, but even the sum itself is pretty impressive when there's this many addends. Making all of that work is what takes the skills, otherwise you've got a meaningless stew. Chef Jimmy blends with care, and instead we've got a great Mass Effect mix from one of the Mass Effect 2 composers. Awesome stuff!

PS. - As a side note, Jimmy's been contributing to the Wall of Sound Twitter - be sure to follow it for even more WoS info!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Crulex
on 2012-08-23 11:37:09
Sounds very metalistic, almost like you could hear something like this going through a cold, dark factory. But that's just my imagination running, probably. The fact that you could bring this much emotion and evolution out of source like this one is a pretty big accomplishment to my ears. Perfect length for what was going on, too. To pile on one more thing I liked, that ending was pretty cool as well.
Koriantor
on 2011-12-12 18:07:22
This sounds like Mass Effect. This awesomosity has quite the soundscape. The synths move, grow, build, drop, and create quite a chilling (pun intended. It's noveria...) experience.
Hy Bound
on 2010-06-05 13:43:24
This is an incredible interpretation of the original. Mass Effect has probably my favorite soundtrack of all time and this integrates and expands every perfect aspect of it. Absolutely wonderful work, Jimmy.
Martin Penwald
on 2010-06-04 15:52:11
Bahamut;683300 wrote: mindtrip

Perfect word for this. Nice, heavy atmosphere; sounds like something you'd hear in a movie while the camera is wandering through some debauched club where everything moves in slo-mo.
Personally, I was actually surprised to hear how much BGC got out of the rather ambient source. Nice work.
Level 99
on 2010-06-01 09:02:42
...and another song that sounds unbelievably Deus-Ex-y. Must have something to do with the source tune.
First thing I noticed, besides how calming it started, was the unique use of drum delay-panning. I have to say I love it. On top of that, you've meshed the synthetic noises with what sounds like sampled live strings (at some points it sounds like you traded them in for a really crisp high-boosted string synth). Fantastic soundscape throughout, with top notch production. The whole song is just smooth and awesome. It just feels a tad too short. It's easily loopable as a song, so I will definitely be putting it on repeat, but I really hoped for another section or two.
Great stuff. Need more.
Now.
Bahamut
on 2010-05-31 03:45:15
It's interesting hearing a remix from a more modern game like Mass Effect, especially of a more background type of track like was used for Noveria.
This track is fitting though, as it's a different yet similarly framed as an atmospheric track to be listened to in the background. It adds some more interpretive mechanical instrumentation, strings, and synth action that stretches & warps the music into the mindtrip it is.
Nice work! :nicework:
Rozovian
on 2010-05-28 06:29:06
Has that BGC feel that I like. Has that cinematic feel that I like. Long review short: I like.
So if a remix like this gets you on the composer team, maybe we should all remix recent american/european games from now on? ;)
big giant circles
on 2010-05-26 11:52:51
Thanks for the kind words guys :)
On the subject of melodic content, had I included "more melody" it would have all been 100% original, as there really wasn't one in the original Noveria track :)
Pander
on 2010-05-26 08:45:03
TenchuX;679816 wrote: Absolutely loved it. I'm a massive fan of the original ME soundtrack (2nd one too). Very full, and it retains that winter feel.

I agree with everything here. It's funny, "winter feel" sounds like such an abstract concept, but it seems so universally identifiable. This song has it (as does the original Noveria). Sonic 3 Ice Cap zone has it. Secret of Mana A Wish (ice forest theme) has it.
Dunno what the point is, just very tight remix that keeps the spirit well. When it sounds good enough, it doesn't need a soxrox melody.
OA
on 2010-05-25 11:16:03
Definitely light on melody, but there is still a lot of exciting stuff going on. The percussion was excellent, specifically those crazy hi hats, and i liked the synths. It did feel like a buildup to an actual melodic piece, which didn't happen ( ;_; ), but I can really appreciate the care that went into this.
Zombie
on 2010-05-23 08:53:07
Mass Effect had an awesome soundtrack. Definitely glad to see some remixes up here. Very atmospheric, and it definitely sounds like there is just a lot of stuff going on in the track - which is awesome. I agree with the length though... It's too short! I just wanted it to keep going, perhaps including another buildup and drop, but it is still great as it. 4/5.
bloodeyezack
on 2010-05-22 04:01:14
I'm loving this. its just I would have liked it to be a little bit longer but that just my opinion. I own the OST and have to say this and I think "A very Dangerous place" are my all time favorites for ME1. you did a great job with this. :smile:
Mirby
on 2010-05-21 00:44:58
Great job! Loved this track right away! ^_^
Palpable
on 2010-05-20 19:35:29
Very cool remix, pretty light on melody (never heard the original) but heavy on texture and atmosphere. The transition at 1:51 sounds like a laser-guided bomb. :nicework:
Grawr
on 2010-05-20 18:43:57
Check OCR, see Mass Effect remixes. See that one is of my favorite song. Glee overwhelming.
The original song was one I actually didn't pay attention to in the first game, and went into a reverie listening to it in the sequel- on the radio in the captain's cabin. It's just so haunting. This does it absolute justice.