Sign in to follow this  
Liontamer

OCR01867 - *YES* Final Fantasy 4 'The Dark'

Recommended Posts

ReMixer name: trickwaters

Real name: Patrick Waters

Email address: waters.patrick@gmaNOSPAMil.com [remove NOSPAM]

UserID: 10346

Game: Final Fantasy IV

Source work: Into the Darkness

Comments: /The Dark/ gestated in 2005 as one of several now lost and indefinitely abandoned projects following a massive data loss; the rebooted project began in late 2007 to be finished February 2008. The short tone poem draws on the music of Mahler, particularly his first and seventh symphonies, and of Debussy.

A bassoon begins the piece, intoning the opening motive of the melody; it is joined by the other bass instruments of the orchestra as the line unfolds. In the second section, a solo violoncello carries the primary melodic material, colorfully accompanied by pizzicato and staccato strings and woodwinds. The final section explores the canonic possibilities of the source tune as various parts of the orchestra laminate the texture leading to the climax with chromatically altered harmonies, resolving to the sudden and subdued coda-like conclusion; the final, hushed utteration of the motive comes from the lowest register of the solo cello.

Scored for two flutes, alto flute, three oboes, two clarinets, bass clarinet, two bassoons, contrabassoon, three horns, three trombones, tuba, timpani, bass drum, tam-tam, celesta, two harps, organ, and strings with solo violoncello.

-------------------------------------------------------------

http://snesmusic.org/v2/download.php?spcNow=ff4 - "Into the Darkness" (ff4-12.spc)

Opened up very, very quiet. Very, very, very, quiet. Picked up nicely at :55 to show there was a purposeful dynamic curve. Brass at 1:33 was quiet albeit exposed, but I loved the take on the melody at 1:41. Really quiet again, but we'll see where it goes. Good layering of other instruments as the theme repeated.

Nice escalation at 2:59, though the bowed strings got horribly exposed from 3:09-3:21, which was a little sloppier than what I expected. Nitpicky or not, Patrick is pretty deliberate about his sounds. Brass may be harder to pull off (fakey again from 3:44-3:57), but I'd think the strings there wouldn't have been left like that.

Still pretty minor issues, IMO. Love the arrangement. A lot quieter than most subs we get, but I've been told it's typical enough for the genre (shows how much I listen to). The dynamic curve was solid though, and I appreciated how intricate some of the sections sounded. Good stuff, Patrick.

YES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, another interesting, orchestrated take on Into the Darkness (there's another one in the queue I just voted on). This one has some really cool harmonic elements that add a lot of character to the original. Great balance of new and old. It's very quiet for most of it, but the dynamic range is used fairly well, and the quiet moments work. You get that sense that the instruments are bubbling under, waiting to burst out.

Couple of the parts seem a little fake (in addition to what Larry pointed out, I think the soloed string at 2:57 sounds unnatural), but overall, this is pretty high-quality stuff. I like this a lot, Patrick.

YES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Larry pointed out, this one is very quiet to begin with. Knowing this is an orchestral piece it's not a big deal since using a large dynamic range is, most of the time, part of the writing. This shows at 0:55 as Larry said.

Great writing at 1:29-1:40. The harmonic changes at reminds me of the overworld theme from Final Fantasy VII and works really well. Natural use of 5/4 from 1:40-2:11, doesn't sound forced as some odd time signatures easily can. Even the 7/4 that follows fits like a glove. Great support-writing throughout and good instrument choices.

Some of the stringsounds have an awkward attack, shows especially at 3:09-3:14. I would've prefered a legato here, the small pauses dirupt the movement you have throughout the rest of the piece and really shows that these are programmed strings. I also agree with larry with the fake-sounding brass at 3:55-3:57, although it's really hard to make brass sound real so it's a minor complaint.

Overall this is a terrific arrangement with great writing, good use of the dynamic curve although a bit on the quieter side and the sounds does hold a high quality for the most part. Nice work.

YES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is definitely way too quiet, even for an orchestral piece. Using a plugin like TLS Maximizer you should be able to get at least a few more decibels out of the overall volume while keeping the actually compression very transparent - in other words, you won't hear any artifacts or "pumping". If you don't want to do this, upload the WAV and I can take care of it for you.

I can hear the Mahler and Debussy influences here, though it's not quite as tonally ambiguous as Debussy sounds like to me - of course that's hard to do, given that you have to keep at least somewhat connected with Uematsu's highly melodic and straightforward source. :) The arrangement is lovely overall, with some great writing and well thought-out orchestration in general. My main complaint is the execution of the samples. Even though you're using QLSO, a lot of the attacks and releases don't quite sound realistic - there's a lack of legato, and it sounds like you're using velocity switching rather than modwheel/CC11 crossfading most of the time. While velocities are useful for percussive sounds or short attacks, I think you should use modwheel/CC11 more, especially for anything like the cello at 1:40. I also thought the production was a little on the muddy side, but that may have been a result of the orchestration, which tended to be heavier in the lower range anyway. I would have liked to hear more mid to upper range instrumentation to balance all of the dense lower stuff, but that's not a big deal.

Ultimately the execution problems aren't enough for me to NO this, but I think your mixes will benefit a lot if you invest some time into more controller automation and fine-tuning of the sample playback. Your arrangements deserve it!

YES (conditional)

(volume fix)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this