ReMix: Super Metroid 'Ashes to Ashes'

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Harmony of a HunterSuper Metroid

Mo' wubstep VGM, this time from zircon, off of HoH:

"Dubstep! I don't know how this genre managed to completely blow up in the last year or two, but while I was reluctant at first to give it a chance, I eventually came around. I've done several original songs now with dubstep elements, but this ReMix is the first track I've produced which could probably be 100% classified in that genre. It's got the slow, huge halftime drums, aggressive synths, distortion and, of course, copious wub-wub-wub. To achieve the huge variety of synth sounds (particular basses) I ended up using over 50 synth plugin instances, including 27 of Zebra 2 and 15 of Massive!

As for its relation to the game and source, I should be honest first that I was never really fond of the original Lower Norfair theme. There have been some great arrangements of it, but I think it sounds a bit puny and repetitive. Nonetheless, when Darren (leader of the Shinesparks Metroid anniversary project) said it was open, I thought it would be a nice challenge and rolled with it. I'm proud of the energy of this mix: I wanted to avoid being really repetitive, while also using the source in neat (but different) ways throughout. I hope you like it too!

0:15 - 1:13 - Source A (0:11 riff with various rhythmic changeups)
1:14 - 1:28 - Source A bass (sparse as it is, 0:00)
1:29 - 1:42 - Source A (1:09 descending riff) layered with Source B (0:00 intro riff)
1:43 - 2:13 - Source A (0:11 riff again)
2:20 - 2:35 - Source B (0:00 intro riff)
2:38 - 3:08 - Source A (0:11 riff). This one is not as prominent but it's just playing a triplet version in the background - Ab Ab Gb Ab Ab Gb Ab Ab A B C B. The original riff is Ab Gb Ab Gb Ab A B A etc. The bass dubsteppy stuff is in front but the synth chords are 100% source."

Damn, that's a lot of plugin instances! It was certainly worth it, though, as the track is besieged on all sides by a veritable snake pit of entangled, vicious synths. Lonely, reverberant monophonic piano line never had a chance! The real evil playground starts at 1'14" with a breakdown of everything AND the kitchen sink, but I also like how Andy paid attention to the quieter, melodic bits with nice low-end pizzicato & harp, and ends the whole enchilada that way as well. Guitar textures pop-up here and there & are similarly well done, adding a thicker midrange wall of angry to the animalistic bass growls and ephemeral, floating melodies. Gut-busting bass, dressed up to the nines, works rather darn well w/ 'Norfair - Ancient Ruins Area' - zircon showed up big for Metroid's 25th anniversary, and he brought his arsenal of synth basses with him, so in the modified words of Tony Montana: say hello to his huge friends.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Crulex
on 2012-11-16 10:31:49
Interesting to hear a dubstep ReMix where the dubstep isn't overpowering the entire song. It seems to be an addition to the aggressive electronica and piano sections rather than taking over the entire ReMix. That being said, terrific work on this one, Zircon. The last minute really dropped the hammer on this dark track and like I said before, switching between piano and electronica was cool.
timaeus222
on 2012-04-07 12:57:39
I haven't posted my own review of this yet? I could have sworn I have. Oh well. Here goes:
---------------------------------------------------------
This remix leads us in with a nice wah-wah bass and some slow drums with the perfect touch of reverb. There's no sudden volume jump, which is nice. Then the melody comes in, which gives an eerie feel. Then of course the wub-wub comes in, and I expected some variation soon; heh, I didn't know what hit me. I loved that there's always a sense of progression in this. There's nothing we can skip. :O
Then at 1:00 a bass from... Massive? I think I may have used this one before! It could be the Dynamite Breaks preset with some modifications to make it short and to remove the automated panning. That's a kewl preset. Oh, and I think I sense some dBlueGlitch and GrossBeat in here. :D I'm also seeing some ArtsAcoustic Reverb! :}
2:39 - This is such an insane section. I could listen to this for weeks and still not discern all the esoteric complexities that interweave within this monstrous masterpiece. xD
2:50... That bass that feels like it's closing in on you... What is that? That is awesome, and it really stands out at the right moment.
And of course, it ends with no tail. :P This is a remix to remember for ages to come.
- Timaeus
Bahamut
on 2011-12-02 00:31:32
Just like Andy, I completely missed the meteoric rise of dubstep until I got out of my 5 month trek through boot camp.
I've been rarely disappointed by Andy's music, and this mix is no exception. It doesn't use the wubs as a crux for the whole song, and does some more intricate things here. My only real letdown here is how the song ends - it's lame!
RodrigoKun
on 2011-12-01 19:53:35
Hello Zircon. I made a video, for a final wrok of my post-grad in Visual Arts, and i used one of your mixes( Ashes to Ashes) like soundtrack. Fit like a glove! This is the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IA-r_sTk8SE
Hope you enjoy, your mix is f..AWESOME!
See ya!
PS: i'm a big fan of metroid and rockman...
Kadosho
on 2011-11-17 15:51:36
Zircon always comes up with neat ideas to tweak with certain key tracks. Metroid's OST was always hidden with different thematic elements. But tweaking it into dubstep was not easy. I'm sure it took a bit of time to put this one together.
Phonetic Hero
on 2011-11-06 15:04:47
GROSSBEAT PRESET!! Heard it from the first time I listened... it might even be one of the reasons I like this track so much. Or maybe it's that I have huge respect for zircon. Either way, this is awesome. This and "The Clubbing of Isaac" by BGC inspired me to try out some dubstep elements myself, even though historically I've been VERY against the genre. Kudos to the both of you for expanding my musical repertoire, and for being so damn awesome
pH
CC Ricers
on 2011-11-03 19:55:08
Several months ago I was watching Zircon's video demo/tutorial on making dubstep synth patches with Zebra, and I really wanted to hear them piled on with effects, in a completed track. Well, guess I got what I wanted :-D This is a well put-together mix, and it's very dark yet chill at the same time. My only gripe is that I wanted it to go on for 1 or 2 more minutes. But this uses the popular dubstep trend of throwing in a lot of different textures and they flow together nicely.
docnano
on 2011-11-02 11:49:46
This mix packs as much variety and energy as Samus's own arsenal. I love the unexpected change-up at 2:39 in particular. Regardless of whether it's "pure" dubstep, I could have kept listening for several minutes longer.
Yami
on 2011-11-01 12:59:23
When I first downloaded Harmony of a Hunter at first I didn't like it, but after I repeatedly listened to it, I started to get fond of it
Less Ashamed Of Self
on 2011-11-01 12:42:57
I like it. I like it a lot. ...but I feel that what I like about dubstep this track doesn't really exemplify. All of the wub wubs and badass dirty synths are spot on, but I feel what makes kickass dubstep is progressive melodic parts followed by a simple, heavily-textured, captivating, and very loud, breakdown. This is spread so thick though that I feel like dubstep isn't the best genre title for it anymore.
Which isn't knocking the track at all, it's quite dark and very delicious... just... why can't we call it: 'dark electronica with dubstep-like warbling bass' or 'dark wub wub electro' instead of just 'dubstep'? This really doesn't sound like any other 'dubstep' out there... probably to the delight of many. :roll:
psychowolf
on 2011-11-01 11:57:16
This kinda dubstep i can enjoy its got variety,
Its taken techno and done more rhythm and really works well.
Great stuff zircon
BlackPanther
on 2011-10-31 19:54:05
This was straight delicious dude. It has that cinematic sound to it. This is some mad dirty stuff here and it's done tastefully which seems like some kind of contradiction. Samus and grime goes well together. Awesome stuff Andrew =D.
Emunator
on 2011-10-31 19:09:12
This is how you dubstep :-D One of the most tasteful excursions into the genre that I've ever heard, period, and probably the best dubstep song on OCR. Like all of zircon's music, what makes it so enjoyable is not simply the genre adaptation and the great production, but how it goes so far off-the-rails and doesn't fall in line with the kinds of tropes that you'd expect from whatever genre he's tackling.
Also, as is the case with all of his other mixes, this one gets better and better as it goes along, Andy doesn't use all of his tricks right off the bat, which I immensely appreciate. A lot of electronic music is structured in a way that you can fast forward through the first minute of the song and cut it short after the first chorus and you don't feel like you've missed anything of worth. That's not the case here.
Creative, detailed, and expertly-crafted. That's what I like to hear :-D
Magellanic
on 2011-10-31 17:01:51
Dubstep is certainly all the rage and I'm not gonna lie, I've been so put off the genre by thinking its just "wub wub" that I haven't given it a proper chance. Having taken DarkSim's advice, I really hate to say this.......but if this is Dubstep.....I need to get me some more!
big giant circles
on 2011-10-31 16:40:08
This is like dubstep with widespread appeal. Awesome work, possibly one of my favorite VGM remixes by Andy (which says a lot!)