Posted 2018-01-03, evaluated by Gario
We continue the start of 2018 with - fittingly, I should hope - a "beautiful rise" from RoeTaKa (Alex Roe), who gives us our first arrangement, a symphonic march towards hope & dawn in 6/8 time, of the soundtrack from 2017's NieR: Automata:
"NieR has been known for its incredible music. At times, I wanted to do something with the music for the first game, but I just never found the right passion for it. I tried to get into the game at one point, but perhaps it wasn't the right time. When Automata was announced, I was determined to get into it, even if it was for the music. And, boy, do I love the music to this game.
As soon as I heard the dynamic version of this song with the vocals in the game, I just loved it. I don't usually stop playing a game just to remix a song, yet that is exactly what happened. Sometimes, when I really like a song I want to remix, I don't really like to change it much.
When I first heard the vocal version of the City Ruins in the game, I just thought... damn, this is amazing, I'd love to even just figure out the notes for this. Which I did! And then thought let's just make something similar, but with some little variations and new harmonies. I just want to do something with it that's just different enough to stand out but retains its qualities that drew me to it.
It's the same melody, same tempo, you can even place the vocals directly over it and it works. There isn't a version in the game that plays the melody in the instrumental though, so this makes it slightly more unique. This came together really quickly, about 6-7 hours. That was a nice workout, haha.
The crackling at the end was an intentional thing I added in. I know it's a bit weird... I was thinking of the robots from the game and the themes of corruption and hacking, like a transmission cutting out or something. It's very subtle, but it's something I did on purpose and felt like it made sense to me because of the game, like something isn't quite right.
I don't usually do remixes for a game until I've finished it, so I can get to know the whole game and its music, but I just couldn't help myself with this one. Maybe even more NieR: Automata to come. The game's soundtrack is stupidly good and I'd love to do at least one more remix from it. We'll see!
I finished the game with its true ending. I have something of a love/hate relationship with Automata and some of its decisions, but overall I enjoyed it a lot and would totally recommend it."
Great to see more contemporary VGM getting some attention; this is a stirring, hopeful piece which moves along more like a march than a waltz; dark piano sets a somber stage, but rolling percussion & ensemble strings pick things up a bit. Gario writes:
"It seems we're in a really strange time where the quality of game music is so good that arrangements (even good arrangements, like this one) can only offer a different take on the music, not necessarily a 'better' one. The source has some really beautiful singing that I miss in this arrangement, but at the same time there's a really solid, more grand feel to this arrangement that would fit well in a larger Summer blockbuster. That's not a dig at this arrangement, either - it's fine that there was no singing! - it's just an interesting observation that I like both arrangements about equally for very different reasons.
The quality of this one is at your normally high standard - great orchestration (especially using the piano - perfect touch, there!), excellent use of space and overall a great sounding arrangement of the source. I'll nitpick the lead strings at 1:08, as the attack on the sample is too much at that speed and it sounds unnatural, but otherwise everything is on point with this one. Great work!"
Some of the piano intonation in the middle bits struck me as odd, but never offputting. From a technical perspective, ever since redbook/optical became common, game soundtracks have had the capacity to match any subsequent arrangements in terms of sound quality, since the sky's the limit, but in practice I get what Greg's talking about. There's a difference between the more open-ended arrangement of melody/harmony-centric compositions where technical limitations of the system governed timbre, and tackling a contemporary score in all its textural depth... but it's also been proven time & time again that even lush, modern, & gorgeous modern soundtracks like NeiR & its sequel can be interpreted in new & engaging ways. Alex has done exactly that with this mix, as his departure from focusing on the Souls universe continues to take us on equally transporting & masterfully realized journeys!
on 2018-01-07 16:44:44
I think you did a really good job. It's a remix more beautiful than 2B herself and has a very emotional impact. It's also quite calming.
on 2018-01-06 01:28:41
A wonderful theme that has encouraged me to explore the game. I particularly love the sweeping feel of 2:15-2:54. I like how the emotions in this piece really vary from hope to despair as well! And I actually love the ending, I had no problems with it at all. Well done!!
on 2018-01-01 12:31:21
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Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
NieR: Automata (Square Enix, 2017, PS4)
Music by Kakeru Ishihama, Keigo Hoashi, Keiichi Okabe, Kuniyuki Takahashi
- "City Ruins - Shade"
- Cinematic, Symphonic
- Epic, Suspenseful
- Brass, Orchestral, Piano, Strings
- Time > 6/8 Time Signature
- 6,427,609 bytes
- Size: 6,427,609 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 713d2ed82d9a53cdf5db2fd858c8a298
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