ReMix: Final Fantasy VI "Prancing Dad"

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Final Fantasy VI

ALRIGHT! EPIC MIXPOST IS EPIC - we've got a LOT to cover with this one, so bullet points are called for:

  1. First off, congrats to Prince of Darkness (Tony) for winning the EARTHBOUND PAPAS Arrange/Remix Contest!! This means he'll be a guest performer on their next album, making it even MORE badass!
  2. This ReMix features explicit lyrics. They're not really a focal point, but the warning is nonetheless provided, because knowing... is half the battle.
  3. FYI, we've slowed down with mixposts a bit lately since I'm on a much-needed vacation in Miami. Don't be alarmed, there's still much to come, and we'll get back on schedule next week...
  4. In the meantime, we've got an epic Final Fantasy VI 'Dancing Mad' mix from Tony that's almost twelve minutes long and clocks in at about 22MB.
  5. This mix more or less forced us to revise our submission standards; effective immediately, there are only two encoding options, 192kbps or VBR1, and no explicit file size limit. We are STRONGLY recommending mixes between two and seven minutes in length, for a bunch of REALLY good reasons, but obviously this mix (and others in the past) have proven to be "exceptional exceptions" to this suggestion.

SURGEON PRETZEL'S WARNING: First off, I want to emphasize again, submitting a 7+ minute long mix is probably going to HURT the chances of it being approved. This isn't intended as a "challenge" to see if artists are "capable" of accomplishing this "feat," but rather a firm suggestion to trim things down, focus your arrangements, and send us your best, most thought-out stuff. Far more often than not, that's going to be something shorter, and judges WILL hold endless spirals of meandering wankery, schizophrenic displays of medleyitis, or four-minute long ambient trance intros AGAINST arrangements, to be sure.

Tony's epic take on Uematsu's epic source tune definitely has some noodling/wankery going on, but it mostly remains cogent throughout its lengthy runtime. It was scheduled for direct posting a good while back, but Tony had to drop the bitrate down to around 88kbps (yuck) to get it to fit within our previous standards and their 8MB file size limit. When I saw that it was approved, and what the encoding rate was, I knew we had a problem... posting it like that was essentially saying "This song deserves to be on OCR... so here's a pretty crappy encoding of it that happens to fit within our standards!" Obviously, that wasn't going to work - we either had to reject it based on length (which corresponded with sound quality, based on the 8MB limit), or we needed to post it in a way that didn't chop off its balls. So we chose the latter.

Now of course, some folk won't be happy until we allow 24-bit, 96khz, Dolby 7.1 WAV files, but with this change we've set what we believe is a practical but more accommodating & flexible standard. It allows for some longer mixes, when the arrangement truly calls for it, without resulting in encodes that are audibly lossy even without scrutiny. Previously, our MAXIMUM encoding limit was 192kbps, and we didn't have a minimum, which created that type of situation. Now our MINIMUM bitrate is 192kbps, and there's VBR1 as a higher-quality option as well. By presenting just two encoding options, things are also hopefully a little simpler. You can't please all of the people, all of the time, but you can please MORE of them, more of the time, and that's what we're trying to do.

But enough of that, let's see what Tony says:

"Alright, I’m going to be taking a kind of shot in the dark here. I really think this song could do well on OCR, there are only a few problems:

- I’m a wanker
- The song is 11:42
- I had to jam it into a sardine can to fit the requirements (and I’m like 4KB over the limit FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF-)

Currently I have it on VBR around 88kbps, which quite honestly, doesn’t sound THAT bad, and with a metal song like this, not a whole lot is lost, but there is an audible difference ...So as I was working my Dancing Mad arrangement, I had a thought. I’ve wanted to do a good One Winged Angel arrangement for 4+ years, but between the Advent Children version being amazing and Black Winged Metamorphosis being likewise awesome, I figured I’d never be able to come up with an original idea. Therefore, I snuck it into this arrangement. The styles of the songs are pretty similar and complement each other very well, so it worked out.

By the way, this is the “PuD’s DuDs” mix, which isn’t too much different from the original DoD track, other than some minor tweaks, like a new lead synth during the solo sections and louder lead instruments overall. PuD’s DuDs includes my first 12 DoD tracks (From Zero Light to this song, including Feb. 2010’s SnappleMann is an Asshole). PuD’s DuDs has updated versions of ALL of those songs, including the 3 DoD tracks (Sonic Gargles, THPOB, Hell March) currently on OCR. Pimp it if you could! More info on PuD’s DuDs here:"

So you can IGNORE that bit about the encoding, obviously - it's preserved here as an historical artifact to commemorate the mix that helped us (again) reevaluate & revise our standards. Very cool that two epic sources - DM & OWA - come together in this cataclysmic opus. This is an intense, long piece of metal that requires some commitment, but rewards with energy and shreddage that not only melts the face, but the underlying skeletal structure too, just like that Nazi dude at the end of Lost Ark. It's late, I've got a vacation to get back to, and I've already written a ton, but I'd like to not only congratulate Tony on his awesome EARTHBOUND PAPAS win, but also thank him for giving us an epic mix that helped us change OCR for the better!


Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2014-12-11 10:13:45

Just heard this again on Rainwave and I gotta say that last minute or so is bloody TIGHT. 3

Ronald Poe
on 2014-05-15 13:53:30

This is ... AMAZING! I love how you incorporated Dream Theater style soloing and "One Winged Angel" (particularly the chanting) into "Dancing Mad". "Dancing Mad" by itself is awesome enough but you took it to a new level. This is definitely one of the best remixes I've heard on the site. Well done (to say the least).

on 2013-08-30 17:53:43

My hair is standing on end from listening to this 17 times in a row. Actually, it was standing on end about a third of the way through the first time, but the remaining 16 2/3 times just hammered it in. I feel like I've got six characters in my party, and one of them is Bahamut.

It's like someone projected the glow Mahler's 8th symphony through Dancing Mad, and this is what came out.

on 2013-02-27 16:27:02

Totally just got the head nod to The Divine Wings of Tragedy. Well played, sir. Well played.

Dancing Mad and One Winged Angel should never be mixed, EVER!

"Sephy Sephy Sephyroooth" should never, ever, be spilled in anything Kefka related!

Also, these are the dumbest reasons I've ever heard for not liking a remix, especially one as awesome as this one.

on 2012-12-02 12:36:51

Good god, a combination of two of the most evil themes from FF villains in a dark metalistic show of rock talent, while taking jabs at Snappleman with lyrics that you can barely hear, making it safe for when you need it to be? What doesn't this ReMix have!? What I love about this ReMix besides the obvious is how it transitions between different sounding sections, like how the area around 4:40 sounds much different in arrangement than towards the end around 7:00, keeping it fresh all the way to the eleventh minute and ending. This screams epic final boss, filling all with dread. Nice work PoD.

on 2012-05-28 12:38:38

What is all this hokey pokey about the length of the song? The original dancing mad song is lengthy as well.

Dancing Mad and One Winged Angel should never be mixed, EVER!

In the beginning starting just after 00:40, I honestly feel like I'm listening to 2 songs overlapping. I know remixes do this, but they don't sound in harmony.

5:40 starts to sound okay, 6:16 sounds awesome, 7:36: yes, 9:14 sounds hilarious like good ol' Kefka.

The original Dancing Mad, especially played by the Black Mages, as well as the orchestral remix by Derek Oren Jeremy Robson were beautiful, and leave high standards for remixing this video game master piece.

"Sephy Sephy Sephyroooth" should never, ever, be spilled in anything Kefka related!

The original Dancing Mad melody sounds cool, especially around 6:13 just before the Sephyroth nonsense, but there's too much overlap in music for me to enjoy this.

Nobbynob Littlun
on 2012-05-26 23:13:16

A rousing ballad that wraps us in the unctuous coilings of heavy metal, it is a journey across the immeasurable reaches of space and time, glorying in the vastness of subatomic particles, the scant span between stars, an eternity found in a moment, aeons passed in a mere twelve minutes. You will laugh, you will cry, and maybe... just maybe... you'll learn a little about yourself.

on 2012-05-13 18:26:23

Nobody mentioned the small nod to Symphony X's Divine Wings of Tragedy just before the Dream Theater's Metropolis bass riff.

Also, whoever played the Black Light Machine solo really nailed it.

I love the sound of the guitars in this mix. So badass.

on 2012-04-04 14:53:54

... ow, wow, and ow... this awesome mix leaves you feeling beaten and violated, but in a way that makes you want more.

The energy and raw power of this mix just floors me, I actually had to wait a little to do this write up, so that my thoughts were coherent.

I can hear the One Winged Angel and I can hear the lyrics (note: they are the choir) and they were used to excellent effect to prevent them from being noticeable.

Now if you don't mind, I have to find my balls.

on 2012-03-12 11:48:21
Uh. Wow. Not much I can say other than this is truly epic (and I hate to use that word), and I really enjoyed listening to it (on my 2nd playthrough now). I love long prog rock stuff, so this is right up my alley.

Btw add another one for "I didn't notice any language."

EDIT: I think it's time I actually listen through the original Dancing Mad. :P

I know what you mean - this truly epic. Not epic like the internet meme, but epic like Homer's Iliad.

on 2012-03-11 00:45:23

Love the DT bit at 3:28. :)

on 2012-03-04 03:24:00
Yeah, little disappointed that I didn't see anything about that in the writeup. Also heard some Dance of Eternity in there.

It's obviously pretty epic in general though.

Also I'm pretty sure he used my recorded performance of that solo in this song, so really it could be a collaboration. :)

on 2012-02-27 16:34:16

This is the best remixes of 2012 (so far) I thought that only sixtoSounds could make epic music like this!

Seriously... Epic Medley, Epic Play. This guy is very very talented! Good use of Petrucci influence.

*Tips: Make an album and ill buy it 5 times!*

Thanks for making such good music!

Ivan Hakštok
on 2012-02-27 12:59:49
I'm curious; where are the lyrics in the song?

Choirs. Barely noticeable xD

on 2012-02-27 11:25:53

Another vote for "good thing the lyrics aren't noticeable". I don't have to worry about playing this around my one-year-old. I'm curious; where are the lyrics in the song?

Love the little nods to other songs; I'm disappointed I missed the Black Light Machine one though. I love Frost*! I knew it sounded familiar, butI couldn't place it.