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OCRA-0013 - Tales: Summoning of Spirits


KyleJCrb
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Dude, they didn't mention me either, but considering the size of the project, just appreciate the fact that the word has been spread and (if all goes well) you could end up with more groupies. :P

I passed my congrats to Kyle through Googletalk earlier this week, and so I'll acknowledge it here again - big thanks to Nintendo Power :D

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SoS thread is the second most viewed project thread, far ahead of Voices of the Lifestream or even Darkside of Phobos,

and with the almost same view counts as Chono Symphonic.

So I'm surprised it isn't more popular. 8-O

it's because we lurked in it for years waiting for the project to be finished. those views came way before the project was released.

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it's just Kyle hitting refresh for the past 4 months. :<

Correction, since I believe Mokram is referring to the original project history thread, NOT the current feedback thread (which only has 18,000 views compared S3&K, which has 56,000): It was me hitting refresh for 4 YEARS. The S3&K project thread still has the most views, though.

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Last one!

Disc 4, track 10: Apogee

For the longest time, the piano intro just didn't agree with me at all. Lately, it mostly clicked for me, I still hear something clashing at 00:14-00:15 - I think this tiny moment in time made the intro not work for me, and I couldn't actually enjoy the track at all. Thankfully I got over that, but it still was my genuine experience of the track for the first few times.

But now it sounds really good to me. It's very, very full of ideas, but they do work. Slightly exhausting, but very enjoyable to listen to.

There are two especially great moments in the piece, the first being what I'm calling "the bass lift" first at 1:40, the other being the following section first at 1:47-2:16. I like the guitar lead playing in that section, and I love the organ, great sound, compliments the guitar wonderfully in that section. Good variety of instruments in general, well used to hilight the structure and different sections.

I think the lead playing in other parts that those moments mentioned could be better. While it's not bad at all, it's a bit stiff, leaden.. it covers the section instead of communicating with it. I'm also thinking that it's ok to use some rests in lead playing too. :) But not sure if it was necessary for this piece. Other thing, the keyboard string in the intro and outro sounds a bit out of tune.

Disc 4, track 11: Dark Corner

I like this one very much. As with Antagenesis and This Fate, I get a very story-like feel out of the piece's progression. Also, it's somewhat similar to Battle over the Continent, which is one of my favourite tracks on OCR.

Guitar sound processing here is delicious. The jagged rhythms are a treat as well. I like how the drums are de-emphasized, although the toms have ended up sounding powerless pop/splat sounds in some (not all) fills. The lead part starting at 02:23 is really grand, it's been playing in my head every now and then.

Disc 4, track 12: Holy Judgement

I've had a lot of trouble getting into this track. It's massive, after all. Disc 4 in itself feels quite massive, so I'm usually sort of exhausted by the time I get here. I've since been listening to this track separately, which helps. I still feel to need to tackle this with a bullet point list..

* The intro is wider and louder than the following section, in a way that I find not good for the flow of the piece. Even when all the guitars come in, my impression is that they don't sound as full and loud as the intro did.

* The intro itself sounds pretty good. It's atmospheric in a way that I appreciate.

* The guitar fill from the first orchestral bit to the guitar bit is really good.

* The dialogue snippets work quite well.

* There's a lot of different sections and instrumentations. It sounds a bit disparate, the sound changing slightly from section to section, but it holds together. Notably the guitars have a feeling they're not in the same sonic space all the time. Some of this duality works for the track, actually.

* My favourite part: 07:35-08:04 - great bass, and the riffs over steady beat. Goosebumps. Sandwhiched between two orchestral/chill bits. Nice.

Disc 4, track 13: Summoning of the Spirits

Very nice touch starting and ending the album with the same source piece, and so differently. This take is somber and calm. I like the pacing. Great for late night listening. I like how it's long and relatively few instruments are going on at each time. The instruments take turns without competing with each other, if that makes sense.

At first I was thinking that the track could have worked without the drums, maybe even better, but now I think I was wrong. The fills for instance are well built and the beat keeps interesting throughout. The use of timpani is great. I also thought using them for only half the track was tasteful, if that makes sense. Drumless COULD work but that would be a different track.

The sine bass towards the end sounds slightly out of tune to me. I might be just hearing it like that (on headphones too), since it's so low. (clarified in a further post)

"If that makes sense", my new favourite expression.

Disc 5, track 1: No Better Time Than Now

I really liked Just Go, and this has the same "gliding" feel to it. Delicious. It's a really good song too.

The lead vocals have a slight feel of hesitance to them, at times, during verses. The very first two lines gave me the first impression that the singing wasn't going to be very good, because of this. When the support vocals kicked in, it clicked into place. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the singing and I'm glad this piece is a song rather than an instrumental, because a song is what it is. My critique is that the impression I get is that the singer isn't 100% comfortable singing, which makes me uncomfortable too. At the same time I like the vulnerable feel. THAT is great.

From my own meager experience from singing and recording songs, it's hard and important to get the very beginning of the singing sound right. Often I only warm up after the first few lines and then the opportunity to make a good first impression is gone already. I try to sort of imagine that the vocal part starts before the singing actually starts, that it doesn't begin from a void, so to speak, that I've already began (and warmed up, settled into the music) before I need to sing the first lines. I don't really mean to give advice here, I don't think I'm in any position to do that, I just think this is an interesting subject. :) Completely different subject is comfortably singing a vulnerable song out for the whole world to listen to. I have no words on that. I like this song.

Disc 5, track 2: Standing Up

Very cool instrumentation. There's a strange floating feel, as if there was a lack of a tonal anchor, if that makes sense. I have trouble recognizing what direction the piece is going, some of this works for the track, but it doesn't feel fully realized.

Disc 5, track 3: Go the Distance

Hard panning, gurrgg. Causes nausea.

The intro riff is very powerful, lots of fun. I like the alternation between violin, synth and guitar leads, it gives a lot of variation to the track. The violin sounds quite gorgeous at times. Some of the violin riffing is off rhythmically: 01:02-01:13 and the same part later on.

Fun, powerful track, one of my Sixto favourites easily.

---

Aand that's it! I want to thank all the remixers on the album, it's been fun listening to it and I like some of the tracks very much. I've also enjoyed writing these comments (even if it all took a while), and I'm grateful to all of you who have let me known you've read and even enjoyed them, and the discussions we've had here. Biggest thanks to Kyle and Aleah for overseeing this huge effort (once again, great album art!). Kyle, a question; there were tracks selected to be posted on the OCR front page with the release. I see you submitted more - did you choose these for a "single release" according to the reception they got after the release?

--Eino

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Aand that's it! I want to thank all the remixers on the album, it's been fun listening to it and I like some of the tracks very much. I've also enjoyed writing these comments (even if it all took a while), and I'm grateful to all of you who have let me known you've read and even enjoyed them, and the discussions we've had here. Biggest thanks to Kyle and Aleah for overseeing this huge effort (once again, great album art!). Kyle, a question; there were tracks selected to be posted on the OCR front page with the release. I see you submitted more - did you choose these for a "single release" according to the reception they got after the release?

--Eino

Nah, they were chosen well in advance. Most of the songs that came out with and/or near the projects' release were submitted by the remixers themselves (although I did in some cases make the suggestion that they do so), but Lea and I did select a number of tracks to put through the panel as well. I will admit that I did have Antegenesis pulled after the judgement on Dark Corner, only because there is even less source in Antegenesis, and I knew it would just be a waste of time. Here's what has been submitted but not judged yet: My Secret Forest, Dream Traveler, Continental Divide, Beyond Absentminded, Mirror Image, Chaotic Heart, The Fall of Iselia, & Like a Glint.

By the way, HUGE thanks for undertaking the task of doing a detailed review on this album, Eino. I promise the next one won't take as long. :-P

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Thanks for the reply, Kyle, and you're welcome.

The sine bass towards the end sounds slightly out of tune to me. I might be just hearing it like that (on headphones too), since it's so low.

I need to clarify this - not all the bass notes sound out of tune, just some of them, the lowest ones. That's why I think it's a byproduct of the low freqs.

--Eino

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  • 4 weeks later...
My favorite track so far is Horizon's Walk by Prizm and Tepid. Mad props to them, and to the staff and musicians for one epic album!

To be perfectly honest, I only recorded the electric guitar parts in that song, so you should direct your props to Tepid ;) Thank you for the comment.

Also thanks to evktalo for his extensive review, you have no idea how much this is appreciated by remixers.

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  • 4 weeks later...
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I haven't played any of the tales games sadly but when I listened to this remix I now want to get my hands on any tales game I can. I usually see a correlation between quality of music and quality of a game and even though I was unable to link any of the songs to game memories like the other remixes I really really enjoyed them.

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What? I haven't serious-posted in this thread yet? For shame.

Tangent:

@Gurkfak: Tales of Phantasia - the first in the series - was very good. If you don't mind the dated aspects of earlier RPGs then start with that one. For timeframe, think late SNES, early PS1, since that's precisely what happened (released late on the SNES, revamped - revamped, not simply ported - for the PS1). The encounter rate was too high (even with holy potions!), but just about everything else was excellent. I played the PS1 version because I decided the enhancements and the superior fan translation (from Absolute Zero... lol at the infamous quote about Arche from the DeJap translation) made that the one to try, plus I love the PS1 soundfonts Sakuraba uses (SO2, VP1... both classics). I suppose I should mention that there is a GBA version that was actually released in NA. Which, per my research and in my opinion, didn't stack up as well. Yes, I do this with games with multiple releases but no clear definitive release.

Also, I plugged in Symphonia a couple/few weeks ago. I only got about three-ish hours in before getting distracted by non-rpgs, but man, next time I'm in the rpg mood I know I'll be hooked. I'm glad I played through my initial disgust at what I heard as a sickly rehashing of good, old tunes playing in the background, as the music, and the plot, quickly picked up. Can't say more than that and that it looks good.

End tangent.

I don't know if I ever would have gotten to either game if it weren't for this remix album. I knew ToP was one I wanted to play eventually, and likewise (to a lesser extent) with ToS, but 'eventually' with me and rpgs usually means 'never'. Too many games, not enough time. But I knew I wanted to listen to this album, and because I refuse to listen to a remix album for a game I know I'll eventually play until I actually play the game, I self-kicked my ass into popping in ToP.

And I'm glad I did, because not only did I play a great game but I also got to listen to two disks of very, very enjoyable remixes. Sorry, I still (as of edit), haven't listened to the second two disks since I started and stopped on playing ToS. But I'll get to them eventually with both another great game under my belt and a better appreciation for what you all have done.

My thanks and appreciation to everyone who helped make this awesomeness happen. Gigantic thanks to the project coordinators and everyone behind the scenes. And thanks, of course, to everyone who made me laugh my ass off in the original thread. I like turtles.

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  • 3 months later...

To Sir_NutS.

Thank you for constructing the pulsing sonic trek that is Deity (Martel), playing it on continuous repeat has provided some of the most "flow-inducing" background music for writing papers to. I believe this track will be partially responsible for passing grades in two of my classes this semester.

That is all.

(The rest of the album rocks too, but this was of immediate interest)

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  • 6 months later...

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