ReMix: Sonic the Hedgehog 'Shifting Islands'

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Sonic the Hedgehog: The Sound of SpeedSonic the Hedgehog

'Marble Zone' might be my favorite piece of Sonic VGM; not only was the original perfect for the game, but it's lent itself to some excellent mixes over the years, and the smooth, electro-acoustic version on Sound of Speed is no exception. halc writes:

"I signed on good irl friend Bryan/Insixfour pretty early on in the game to take on Marble Zone. Incidentally, he was our only non-posted (or to-be-posted) remixer on the project. Bryan gets credit for 99% of the arrangement here - I jumped in at some point to add a little bit of chiptune flair and some production enhancements, and then enlisted the help of ProtoDome for some live sax. The end result turned out to be a pretty cohesive amalgamation of style and skill. Enjoy!"

Bryan adds:

"One word to say.. FINALLY! We started this mix well over a year ago when the project was just taking off, so it's about time! Great song from a great game, and I can't wait to work on our next collab!"

Really great blend of textures, with processed acoustic instrumentation over shimmering, shuffling electronic accompaniment. Kick drum hits hard & is turned up a notch, lest you get TOO comfortable, so the arrangement also walks the line between jam & groove quite nimbly, with thanks also due to the supple sax stylings. Judges didn't have to think much; OA writes:

"Cool arrangement, nice builds, and good sax playing- this really has some nice details that really shine. Great performance, all kinds of cool features, and etc. etc. It's good, features the source in a really classy way, and I want to vote yes on it, so I will."

Fishy was even more concise:

"Classy is indeed the word. Nothing to add really. Sax, chips and rock'n'roll."

Well said!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Black_Doom
on 2013-06-19 05:03:15
This ReMix is amazing! It seems so soft and relaxing... Great blend of saxophone and chiptune music!
Mirby
on 2011-12-24 16:11:19

Now my favorite Marble Zone remix happens to be Metamorphic Rock, but this take on it… well, it’s in its own league, and I mean that in the best way possible. Source comes in at 0:18 or so. Violin comes in at about 0:49. Classic halc chiptuna mastery comes in at about 1:25. More violin at 1:53. Breakdown at 2:27 or so, pure chiptunage follows until 2:46 when it all comes back. Simplicity from 3:22 or so until the end.

Wonderful song though; chiptunes usually are to me.
Bahamut
on 2011-12-15 10:32:55
Protodome in a mix that's over 2:30 long? Stop the presses :razz: !
This is a pretty classy take on the Marble Zone classic. I feel the mixing is off on the mix with the beat way too far in the front compared to the rest of the mix, and the mix needing to be louder. The mix doesn't do much fancy, but it isn't meant to as far as I can tell. It is more of a mood setter than anything else, so I can forgive that here :) . It does its job pretty well, I just wish the mixing were better :( .
halc
on 2011-12-14 01:54:16
thank ye muchly for the comments, everyone. <3
Rexy;827559 wrote: I remember this fondly from The Sound of Speed :) Having also remembered the halc / Insixfour collaboration thing fondly for what they did with Majora's Mask not too long ago (!!), I felt more than happy to see them team up again for the Sonic 1 album, even if they brought in a limey third man in the process.
"Marble Zone" may be seen as quite overdone, but there's definitely been some solid writing done in the chord progression and synth expression to give the backing an added lease of variety and adaptation within the album itself. The melodic motif has shown presence throughout, and to hear the B section going half-speed a couple of times here kind of reminds me of a similar approach I took on when I once arranged the same source, so I guess it could be seen as somewhat nostalgic. The build-down-and-up-again with the chiptune elements were also neat and managed to build in well to that colorful ending with Blake's freeforms being given the spotlight. I say you handled the source remarkably well - nothing straightforward, and nothing obscured either.
Blake's saxophone contribution here, I believe I almost thought was a synth brass sample in the trailer (well shut my mouth!!), but upon realising the saxophone part to be a live part in the end manages to add to that meandering atmosphere going on. Perhaps it might've been down to some sound processing on your end that made it sound that way (in which in that case more could've been done to the EQ to bring out its tone?), or maybe that's what Blake's sax is supposed to sound like at its highest ranges? Either way, the end contribution towards the already well-manipulated soundscape came out pretty, and can be seen as a more subtle yet potent component for the Sonic 1 album.
tl,dr: Nice work you three! And let's see more Insixfour magic coming in within the near future, yes? :)

yeah, my mixing job on this is pretty shitty by my own standards, looking back on it anyway. it's a good thing Bryan's arrangement was so hot. :P he actually wrote all the sax parts too (including the original bit at the end), which was originally a soundfont. Blake pretty much just played the parts verbatim, giving it his own expressiveness of course.
actually, now that I think about it, for some reason he had to send me the parts up like 2 half steps down or something, so the sax bits in this are actually pitched up and timestretched to fit in the key, which created a few off-key notes that I had to individually chop and shift to fit. pretty sure he offered to re-do it in the correct key some time later, but by then the project file had gone to shit, mostly due to some cracked plugins and samples that I stopped I stopped using completely.
as for Bryan, he's been pretty active musically, just not on OCR. no original releases or anything yet, but he's quietly becoming a force to be reckoned with. :D
Rexy
on 2011-12-13 03:51:46
I remember this fondly from The Sound of Speed :) Having also remembered the halc / Insixfour collaboration thing fondly for what they did with Majora's Mask not too long ago (!!), I felt more than happy to see them team up again for the Sonic 1 album, even if they brought in a limey third man in the process.
"Marble Zone" may be seen as quite overdone, but there's definitely been some solid writing done in the chord progression and synth expression to give the backing an added lease of variety and adaptation within the album itself. The melodic motif has shown presence throughout, and to hear the B section going half-speed a couple of times here kind of reminds me of a similar approach I took on when I once arranged the same source, so I guess it could be seen as somewhat nostalgic. The build-down-and-up-again with the chiptune elements were also neat and managed to build in well to that colorful ending with Blake's freeforms being given the spotlight. I say you handled the source remarkably well - nothing straightforward, and nothing obscured either.
Blake's saxophone contribution here, I believe I almost thought was a synth brass sample in the trailer (well shut my mouth!!), but upon realising the saxophone part to be a live part in the end manages to add to that meandering atmosphere going on. Perhaps it might've been down to some sound processing on your end that made it sound that way (in which in that case more could've been done to the EQ to bring out its tone?), or maybe that's what Blake's sax is supposed to sound like at its highest ranges? Either way, the end contribution towards the already well-manipulated soundscape came out pretty, and can be seen as a more subtle yet potent component for the Sonic 1 album.
tl,dr: Nice work you three! And let's see more Insixfour magic coming in within the near future, yes? :)
Crulex
on 2011-12-02 10:37:11
Terrific arrangement! The Sax/chiptune collab idea was interesting and the whole thing came together pretty smoothly. Very solid tune and a good ReMix from start to finish.
Angry Ancestor
on 2011-11-26 21:44:13
YouGuysRock;809611 wrote: Why was this reposted? Speed of sound came out a while ago. Size and bitrate are the only differences besides some small waveform change.
Is this one is supposed to be superior quality or just same but smaller?

Tracks from OCR Albums aren't automatically submitted to the judges. That's why you won't see all Sound of Speed tracks on the main OCR site individually.
YouGuysRock
on 2011-09-21 21:45:55
Why was this reposted? Speed of sound came out a while ago. Size and bitrate are the only differences besides some small waveform change.
Is this one is supposed to be superior quality or just same but smaller?
eshman
on 2011-08-07 16:49:47
I'm really enjoying all of the little chips n chirps throughout this piece. Just as soon as my ears zone in on one particular part is when I notice what seems like another layer beneath the one I was listening to. A really tight, solid mix with nice intricate parts throughout--I really enjoyed it all the way to the end...
NonSequitor
on 2011-08-06 23:27:57
Amazing piece.
I'm not a particular for Slow or Jazzy music, but this piece had me hooked till the end. :D
delbuster
on 2011-08-04 14:17:40
This is my absolute favorite off the album. I'm glad it's posted.
Modus
on 2011-08-03 23:37:42
Floored by this mix. FLOORED.
The arrangement, the chippiness, that SAX all come together to create this perfectly chill/sensual atmosphere. One of my all-time favorites from OCR, easily.
coder12
on 2011-07-27 16:51:34
This is definitely my favorite of all the songs of this album! Amazing work here :)
DjMystix
on 2011-07-26 10:44:16
Yay! As I said before, this track deserved the front page treatment more than any of the other tracks in the album (all of them are great but this is my personal favorite).
Very happy to see this here. best remix of "Marble Zone" I've heard. Awesome work!
djpretzel
on 2011-07-26 10:30:25
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.