ReMix: Final Fantasy XII "Crystal Gradient" 2:35

By timaeus222

Artist Links
compo electric-piano energetic happy piano pop resubmission rnb strings synth
Arranging the music of 2 songs from 2 games (view all)...

"Edward's Harp", "Penelo's Theme"

Primary Game: Final Fantasy XII (Square Enix, 2006, PS2), music by Hayato Matsuo, Hitoshi Sakimoto, Masaharu Iwata, Nobuo Uematsu

Posted 2015-03-17, evaluated by the judges panel


This short-but-sweet upbeat pop jam from timaeus has some rnb, hip-hop, dance, & cinematic flavorings to spice things up, combining Edward & Penelo for the Crystal Clash compo just as Chimpazilla's recently-posted ReMix did:

"Welllllll now, this was written quickly! I didn't really have more than two or three days total to work on this for the Final Fantasy: Crystal Clash, but I'm still happy with this result. It has that Diggi Dis/Wild Arms sound I was going for, plus some big cinematic drumwork in the middle, with this being one of my most organic mixes to date. Also, fun fact: the name was inspired by calculus and inorganic chemistry (Crystal Field Theory + Gradient Vector = "Crystal Gradient").

At first, I didn't exactly feel up to the challenge of mixing two seemingly incompatible sources. When I heard Edward's theme, I was quite literally raising eyebrows and wanting to flip tables. It's just a harp playing two super long arpeggios, and I found the implied chord progressions to be all over the place. I chose Penelo's theme with the hope that its chord progression could be re-adapted to fit most other sources. Fortunately, though barely, I was able to tweak some things and make this work with Edward's eccentric harp song. I think you'll find that the chords I used are very specific. It was down to the wire with this one, and I literally wrote and mixed the last three-fourths of this arrangement on the last possible day I could have had time to do anything (Saturday), but I'm glad this idea came to fruition."

It's always interesting to see how different artists handle compo challenges, and in this case I think Truong-Son did an admirable job blending the two compositions into a pleasant package; Emunator concurs:

"Your production sounds fantastic to me, I particularly appreciate how you handled the string stabs and percussion. You've got a really cohesive sound pallet matched with a triumphant, brisk arrangement that takes a very difficult source and reigns it in rather nicely. I think the pure-Penelo sections are the strongest part of this arrangement, there's some residual awkwardness from the Edward melody at times, but overall it's a very smooth, enjoyable fusion."

What he said; this is somewhat poppier & less aggressively electronic than previous submissions, offering a successful change of pace and cohesively incorporating some varied & unexpected instrumentation. For a 2'35" arrangement, it still manages to feel quite substantial and to develop enough that its structure is differentiated. Fun, smart stuff that uses its time wisely, is musically interesting while also being pretty catchy & accessible, and does a great job hooking Penelo up with Edward!

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 6 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
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Chernabogue
on 2015-12-14 03:19:38

A very nice pop arrangement, which is different from what Tim usually does. The percussion is cool, I liked the hi-hats with delay. The staccato strings were also a nice addition. I enjoyed it, it's that simple! :)

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Crulex
on 2015-04-03 14:09:21

The poppyness works for combining these two themes together and while a bit short, it seems to be the kind of pace and time it needed to be to allow this ReMix to cover both themes. Production was nicely done and it is certainly one of the better mixes from that compo.

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evktalo
on 2015-03-18 03:30:46

Love the sound. The Penelo source is working beautifully. Now, I wish you'd just dropped the Edward material, since (a) the writing is awkward both harmonically and structurally and (B) I could only really recognize two or three seconds on a casual listen anyway, despite being a huge fan of the FF4 soundtrack.

I'm under the impression you took a lot of the awkwardness out between the compo version and the resubbed version, and I recall this is a markedly better version. The main Edward section is still unharmonical and also pretty aimless, which I can't help but think reflects the struggle you had trying to combine the sources.

The piece is also quite short, not criminally so but definitely leaving room for expansion. You have interesting switches between major and minor modality in the treatment of Penelo's theme, that would be interesting to hear with a more deliberate pacing. And man, taking a listen to the original source really makes me appreciate the stylistic re-treatment you gave it!

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Melbu Frahma
on 2015-03-17 20:26:56

Easily in my top four from the competition, and I'm really, really glad to see it make it to the front page. I admit, it was not what I'd expected from the sources the first time I listened to it, but it's grown on me more and more each time I've listened to it. Great little upbeat track that ought to put a smile on your face.

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timaeus222
on 2015-03-17 17:53:37

Fun facts:

  • The pizzicato is fake. It's a synth, but I didn't feel like using the real pizzicato samples I did have. :lol:
  • I omitted this in the end, but the last 3/4 of the arrangement and its production was all done in about 12.5 hours straight on Saturday (before the revision).
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djpretzel
on 2015-03-17 16:07:03

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

Sources Arranged (2 Songs, 2 Games)


Primary Game:
Final Fantasy XII (Square Enix, 2006, PS2)
Music by Hayato Matsuo, Hitoshi Sakimoto, Masaharu Iwata, Nobuo Uematsu
Songs:
"Penelo's Theme"
Additional Game:
Final Fantasy IV (Square, 1991, SNES)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu
Songs:
"Edward's Harp"

Tags (10)


Genre:
Pop, R&B
Mood:
Energetic, Happy
Instrumentation:
Electric Piano, Piano, Strings, Synth
Additional:
Origin > Competition
Origin > Resubmission

File Information


Name:
Final_Fantasy_12_Crystal_Gradient_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
4,374,096 bytes
MD5:
fcb9f2d87d3a6e19f420b4b12d041fde
Bitrate:
220Kbps
Duration:
2:35

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