ReMix: Chrono Trigger 'The Depetrification of the Submerged Forest'
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14,318,656 bytes, 9:53, 192kbps
We conclude this NOOBFLOOD with a percolating, watery, 9'53" long experimental ambient expedition from Zisotto (Zack Sottolano), who writes:
"I wasn't planning on having this turn into a 10-minute piece, but the most important focus for this one was to create a soundscape that was very lush, and I quickly realized, in order to fully explore my idea for this song, it'd take some time to develop the sound. I never really did a piece in this style before. It gets frantic early on and then mellows out about halfway through with some laid-back drums, and finally finishes off kind of edgy.
The other issue I wanted to learn about and explore more was instrument development, and I tinkered for many hours to tweak the sounds, using effects such as delay, reverb, distortion, EQ, flangers, arpeggiators, envelope shapers, filters, compressors, panning, pitch adjusting, reverse processing, and quite a few more. I also developed sounds in HALion 5 from scratch and honed them to my liking using a zillion different knobs and automating controls such as volume and send effects...
I utilized virtual instrument plug-ins including pianos, an ocarina, orchestral harps, flamenco guitars, and mostly a ton of "world" and ethnic instruments to give it a more earthy feel. Some of those include a balalaika, pan flutes, a campana, a balafon, a kalimba, a Celtic harp, Himalayan chimes, a ney, and a few more. These were rounded off by more traditional instruments such as strings, but with surreal effects added so that they complimented the ethnic instruments, and also the inclusion of various pads for texture and character.
I had a lot of fun making this one. It's probably a much different spin on the source material than what most are used to, but that was my intent, as I felt the song greatly lended itself to a subdued vibe that I wanted to experiment with, rather than just throw some beats and effects together. I'm pleased with the result and hope this song takes you away on a blissful reminiscence of the glory days of the SNES, traveling through time with Crono and co.!
Special shout-out to Joel Rivera, who basically had to force me to play this game!"
Definitely NOT a "less-is-more" approach to music production, to be sure, but in this case throwing in everything AND the kitchen sink has resulted in a pretty interesting soundscape, peppered with little micro-glitches and delays and bubbling with effervescent textures. Emunator's vote pretty covers everything:
"Absolutely gorgeous ambiance sets the mood nicely here. I love how deep your bass tones are and how enveloping your atmosphere is without becoming too crowded. I never felt like you were treading water to fill out time, either - despite the lack of a clearly-defined structure, you continued to introduce new instruments, effects, and ideas that kept things rolling along nicely. Aside from the overall soundscape, a big highlight for me was the glitching on your acoustic instruments - that had a very Jon Hopkins-esque feel to it that really grabbed my attention.
The strange pitch-bent synth that popped up briefly during the last minute did not seem to fit, but not a big deal. In general I thought the lead choices were well-chosen but there are times where it felt like you just slapped the patch onto the melody without much concern for articulation or velocity, so a lot of the melodies came across sounding stiff and unrealistic. Not a huge deal in the face of everything that you did right here, but the sequencing was underwhelming to me. Small potatoes but that might be an area to address with your future submissions.
I love what I'm hearing here, ambient mixes are very susceptible to becoming boring or overlong but you adeptly avoided both of those and brought something totally fresh to the table. Good stuff!"
There are some moments that don't sit quite right, and I think Wes correctly identifies those as being related to lead sequencing & patch choice, but the overall ambience compensates... which is good, since it's an ambient mix ;) Probably not everyone's cup of tea, but Zack provides a marine escape that feels like visiting a really strange aquarium while listening to Chrono Trigger, in the best of ways. Unorthodox, substantial, and very distinct debut from Zisotto!
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