ReMix: Drakengard 3 "Ignus"

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Drakengard 3

Our first ReMix of Drakengard 3 comes from OCR newcomer sschafi1 (Sean Schafianski), who has conjured up a folk/rock ballad complete with a Japanese Vocaloid-style (technically the shareware alternative, UTAU) take on the source vocals/lyrics - he writes:

"Being a huge fan of Keiichi Okabe and his work on NieR, I figured it was time to make a Drakengard 3 remix to commemorate this fantastic new game! :) This is a pop/rock arrangement of "Black Song (International)." The original name is much longer but "International" means the same thing, haha. Here, you get a very good helping of the source material, so it is definitely not too liberal this time around. I bought the official piano book and used the exact same progression as the original source; it is a little longer than the original because of the added guitar solo.

The arrangement starts mellow and slowly builds while gaining instrumentation, then bursts out into the rock section. After the guitar solo, it ritards and goes back to being mellow and slows down considerably at the end as per the original. Added vocals via UTAU. My first time using the program, haha. I hope you all enjoy! :)"

Vocaloid, along with poster child Hatsune Miku, has sort of carved out its own aesthetic in the music world - no one's going to mistake it for a human... and that's okay. There are often fleeting moments of uncanny valleyness where synthetic vocals can approach realism, but taken as a whole they just tend to have their own unique sound that some people love. It takes a bit of work to get things sounding as good as they do on this mix, at least from my observation, so props to Sean for working with UTAU pretty successfully - especially since it was his first rodeo. Accompaniment is warm & rich, guitar solo is a nice touch, and generally speaking while the vocal is prominent, it's got quite a bit of support. Liontamer writes:

"The source tune is all about taking that melody and going 6 minutes with lots of changes in what's surrounding it, and I felt this arrangement did a solid job with the same approach, with the textures constantly evolving. Electric guitar soloing at 4:18 was fun; the slowdown at 5:06 was sudden though and could have used a few extra bars to breathe... All in all, this sounded very much like a professional Japanese arrange album piece as far as the concept and presentation."

There are tons of Vocaloid pieces on YouTube, including game arrangements, but not all of them have an accompaniment this strong; kudos to sschafi1 on his OCR debut!


Discussion: Latest 5 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2016-01-15 07:29:48

Great-sounding remix! I'd really like to add it to my collection, for repeat listening, but Vocaloid hurts my ears... I don't suppose there's a version without?

Brandon Strader
on 2015-12-24 07:21:46

Sean Schafianski -- I have massive respect for you my friend. So much that I double, nearly triple-checked to make sure I spelled your name right. :) This is so many miles and leagues above my OCR solo debut remix. By most standards even more established remixers this would be seen as a strong remix. Sure, there's some oddness to the mixing... vocals a tad loud, would have preferred a little more body to the acoustics.. Starting at 1:07 it seemed like the kick and snare was loud, and the kick could have used more of a low-end boost to give it some warmth/thump, maybe around 80Hz.. bass presence in the mix seems a bit too sterile, a bit clean. But the performances are so amazingly well done and everything sounds so awesome, and distinctly Japanese-arrangement sounding. With Emi Evans singing on this, it would sound right out of NieR perhaps. Maybe for the upcoming NieR 2? :P

It's weird that around here critiques can be summed up to "I wasn't bothered by THIS..."

But with this song, I find myself not really being bothered by any particular element. I love the piano, both the sound and the sequencing (or performance, not gonna assume). Aforementioned nitpicks don't even bother me, they're just things that I personally would have dug hearing differently but doesn't affect my enjoyment of the song. The guitar solo is really nice and the tone is well-crafted. I think the drums could have used a little work in terms of leveling and EQ, but on the whole, the sound design is fantastic and the arrangement is very pleasing.

on 2015-12-24 00:19:21

I'm so happy that OCR posted a Vocaloid remix!! the ACG community (anime-comic-games) had always been overlapping at conventions, it's about time one of them broke into OCR.

In the info above, though, it does not state which UTAU voice was used. I'm curious to know.

on 2015-12-23 19:59:37

Definitely sounds like NieR. I haven't heard many Vocoloid pieces, but the tone in this one seems better, more articulate. I agree on the backing being strong; it certainly helps when I don't comprehend the lyrics.

Also found this fun to improv snare solos over for some reason.

on 2015-12-23 05:05:45

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