ReMix: Descent "Lost in the Mines" 4:07

By CFX

Artist Links
Arranging the music of 3 songs...

"Briefing", "Callisto Tower Colony", "Main Theme"

Primary Game: Descent (Interplay, 1995, DOS), music by Brian Luzietti, Jim Torres, Ken Allen, Larry Peacock, Leslie Spitzer, Tim Wiles

Posted 2011-12-15, evaluated by the judges panel


Our first ReMix of the original Descent!! I remember playing this game on PC wayyyy back in the day; getting used to moving in all directions really took some time, and it's still not an FPS mechanic that's too common. I wish we'd get an updated Descent 4 or Freespace that really pushed modern hardware, I think it could be awesome, but in the meantime newcomer CFX (H. Arnold Jones) gives us oldsters a trip down memory lane:

"This is easily my biggest undertaking to date, in terms of project size, complexity, and length... Since 1994 I wanted to be part of the soundtracks of my favorite games (something which has not changed to this day). What HAS changed is my ability to do so, and create something that fans of the original tracks could appreciate -- and I could be sure I've created a solid tribute instead of a pile of garbage. It took many years for me to be confident enough in my abilities to satisfy all of the above, and I think the time has arrived.

The tune herein lightly references the Briefing and Descent Title Themes (in the intro and outtro respectively) but is otherwise a heavy rearrangement of Callisto Tower Colony (Level 12). Level 21 has an extremely similar feel to Level 12, but it is certainly its own track, and I consistently referenced Level 12 while building this arrangement. I do not diverge much rhythmically in the supporting parts (aside from the actual rhythm section) and did not change melodic elements a great deal, but the arrangement and instrumentation should speak for itself."

I was psyched when Dj Redlight sent in an excellent Descent II ReMix way back in 2005, and now six years later it's finally got some company. A great mix of electronica & some rock textures, CFX's arrangement has a deliberately-paced tempo and plenty of sci-fi synths that pair nicely with a piano lead. TO's familiar with the game and its music so let's see what he thinks:

"This is beautifully produced. Everything is crisp and clear. The piano has the right amount of compression and reverb. The beats are clear and have a nice downtempo sound to them. The guitar that comes in is crystal clear. I keep saying clear, but it just summarises the mix so well. The sound reminds me of Massive Attack. The Callisto Mines track is the most evident, with some of the briefing, I couldn't hear the menu theme in there, so it must be very subtle."

Funny, because this arrangement also reminds me of Lee's own ReMixing style, in addition to Massive Attack, both of which I consider big compliments. I really feel like this style/approach suits the source material and the world of Descent; it seems like a natural pairing, in no way forced, and I like that the artist had a clear understanding of the game's music and what he wanted to accomplish - that conviction comes through in the music. Great OCR debut for both CFX and the original Descent!

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 14 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
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Martin Penwald
on 2012-03-27 15:50:10

Is it just me or is the volume on this a bit low?

Descent has always been a goldmine for remixes, and this is just further proof of that. The synth, the drums, the paino, the guitar; all of it meshes really well and creates a very enjoyable soundscape. The part around 3:00 is simply amazing.

Good stuff, man.

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Bahamut
on 2011-12-20 21:26:45

This is a pretty nifty mix, I'm liking the overall sound quite a lot. It has a sort of industrial or old sound to it in the background, while the synth guitars add some flavor direction to it. Its rolling feel is quite fitting and engrossing here. A solid mix all around!

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The Damned
on 2011-12-17 13:32:10

I have heard ofit, but I haven't looked into it. Most of the attempts to bring the old games up to modern times have been shitty DOS emulation or half-assed mods of other games.

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omnipotentBagel
on 2011-12-17 13:03:52

After years of visiting this site (seriously, about half of my music collection is from OCR), I finally registered just to express my appreciation for this song. Descent was one of the first PC games I ever played and I've always really loved the soundtrack, so it always baffled me how few people were covering or remixing it. Thanks, CFX, for not only covering one of my favorite games, but for making such a good piece. If the zombie Interplay ever make another Descent game, I hope this is what it sounds like.

Also, to all the OCR Descent fans, have you guys checked out D2X-XL? It's an extensive port of Descent 2 to OpenGL, to make it compatible with modern computers. The also added updated textures/models, and a bunch of gameplay and processing features. If you've still got copies of the original games, I suggest checking it out.

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Melbu Frahma
on 2011-12-17 10:55:19
Oh fuck yeah. Descent was one of my favorite games and to see even one remix is just perfect. I'd even call this an early Descent-mas gift.

Seconded. Descent: Destination Saturn is easily still my favorite flight sim game that I've ever played - and I've played many. Yeah, the physics in it may not be perfect, but it's still an amazing game with great music and definitely needs more love on OCR.

On to the track: EXCELLENT job of blending Callisto and the main theme together; I felt they dovetailed together just perfect. It took me a few more listens before I could spot the briefing music, though, although that's probably because I was too busy reading at the briefings to pay much attention to the music in that section when I was playing, lol. :-P The piano at 1:02 was an excellently timed surprise that worked perfectly for me. A good combination of sounds overall - I felt like I was back in that blasted Callisto mine with only 500 Vulcan rounds and a concussion missile to my name. Great stuff, CFX - I hope to hear more from you soon (even if it's not Descent stuff).

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The Damned
on 2011-12-16 12:05:33

Oh fuck yeah. Descent was one of my favorite games and to see even one remix is just perfect. I'd even call this an early Descent-mas gift.

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DarkSim
on 2011-12-16 11:56:39

Never heard of the game before, but I love it when people remix unremixed stuff (as you might be able to tell), and especially when it's a newcomer.

This is a great debut, and displays a very impressive level of polish. I really like downbeat style, and the synth choices are perfect to set the mood. I think the beat works well with the piece, and the cymbal break is a really nice way to mix it up on the percussion side, leading into the more groovy solo section, which is my favourite part of the remix. Great stuff, and hopefully you have more in the pipeline!

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Crulex
on 2011-12-16 11:15:27

Yeah, I'm totally liking the beat and that amazing guitar work. The into was soft and entertaining and the ending was built up really well. From front to back, I was pretty fond of this ReMix. The piano was done very well and had a good chilling reverb to it. The breakdown was handled impressively and I agree with the judges on this being very clear. Pretty good for a debut, looking forward to seeing more.

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cfx
on 2011-12-16 06:56:07

Thanks all for your encouragement! I don't know how to put into words just how much this has made my month and inspired me to do more for everyone. Even the gentle criticism helped! ;)

Enjoy the music!

-cfx

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SuperiorX
on 2011-12-16 00:26:08

Great stuff here! Nice guitar there at the end. Honestly I don't understand how we don't have more Descent remixes. The Descent games (especially Descent 3) have some great music!

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Rexy
on 2011-12-15 19:35:46

Well done cfx! I recall digging this on advance listen during the summer, and you were a cool guy to see in the #ocremix IRC too (where are you these days?!), so I'm glad to see it made its rounds here.

With a fresh set of ears - and sadly still not as much familiarity with the Descent score no matter how many times I tried listening to the sources - it to me still sounds just as crisp and suffice as it was when I first heard it. The main source melody managed to face good appearances while still facing a more shifted chord structure in comparison, and there's definitely been some solid melodic writing to make it feel cohesive and well executed. I'm with the panel with the not-quite-too-attentive drums; mainly due to lack of fills and additional layers undereneath the kick/snare/cymbals, but for the atmosphere they work... "descent-ly". (sorry, I HAD to make the pun!)

The samples are a bit of a pick and mix for me, though mostly on the positive side; I thought the synths were very well manipulated, and the occasional synth panpipe sounds - though a little basic - managed to add some good amount of life to the compositions. But the synth guitar to me sounds a little thin sounding in comparison to some of the other instruments; thankfully the modulation work on it and the use of power chords at 3:10 sounded neat so it's probably not as weak as it made out, but should be something to look out for should any expansions need looking into.

Otherwise, it's a solid package and a well-put-together first submission. Hopefully we'll get to see more of you over time, and to keep seeing you refine your technique... and maybe look into other obscure games in the process? One can dream :wink:

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TGH
on 2011-12-15 19:27:50

Never heard the original before, but this is some awesome shit. Awesome synth work here, everything stays really interesting through due to the varied rhythms of all the synths, especially that acid-y synth. Fricken sweet guitar. Towards the later half, love how all the instruments mesh together.

Sweetness. Cool ending too :P

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Top Gun
on 2011-12-15 19:01:42

Yeessssss...Descent is one of my all-time favorite game series, and those old MIDI tracks were a big part of that. This did a great job of building off the source material; I didn't remember exactly which track was from level 12 when reading the description, but as soon as the main chorus kicked in, I recognized it immediately. Definitely a nice groove.

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djpretzel
on 2011-12-15 18:39:56

What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (3 Songs)


Primary Game:
Descent (Interplay, 1995, DOS)
Music by Brian Luzietti, Jim Torres, Ken Allen, Larry Peacock, Leslie Spitzer, Tim Wiles
Songs:
"Briefing"
"Callisto Tower Colony"
"Main Theme"

Tags (5)


Genre:
Mood:
Instrumentation:
Electric Guitar, Electronic, Piano, Synth
Additional:
Time > Tempo: Slow

File Information


Name:
Descent_Lost_in_the_Mines_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
7,553,090 bytes
MD5:
8ca444b6a42cd4af4d8e400f618fe3c9
Bitrate:
241Kbps
Duration:
4:07

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