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djpretzel

OCR01135 - Final Fantasy VI "Battle Theme (Ivory Metal Mix)"

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As my piano teacher always says to me, "It could use a bit more practice..." :D

Actually, it's quite *wince* nice. But there are a slight delays when you shift your hands up/down.

Gonna have to get a bit on the defensive here. There are a few minor speed issues, mostly having to do with rushing of repeated notes. All the major pauses were intentional, of course. Besides that, I don't know what you are reffering to. "shift hands up and down"?

A minor? I woulda done the same thing. I hate the black keys. Not enough sound, and they're so far away. (That's why I'm a Chopin hater. Too bad I love his music after I get it down. Heh.)

That actually has nothing to do with it. For my own material, I HATE A minor. Actually, having black keys in there helps your hands to get their berings. The reason is... *drumroll* the original was in A minor, and since different keys sound differently, I didn't want to change that. I always tend to play arrangements in their original key. I do share you're loathing of Chopin, but more for esthetic reasons. Never attempted to play him, primarilly because I'm really not interested. My composition teacher sometimes compares me to him, and I don't care for that, but then he also compares me to Scriabin... which more than makes up for the previous comment.

Arpeggios at the beginning are nice. But get them down! Gotta play them at 92 bpm with 4 notes per beat.

Why? I played it no more or less the speed than I wanted it. If you talking about matching the original, I've always felt the orignal was too fast, and enevitably, so did Uematsu... check out the Black Mages version, it's about 72bpm (which most people complain about, but I think it helps to make it heavier and crunchier). This piano arrangement is sort of a happy medium (in more ways than one). As for "getting them down", I really don't know what you are reffering to, could you be a little more specific?

The "maintaining the themes provoked by the original song" is also kinda iffy there. But that's what a rendition is supposed to do, right?

Once again, I'm lost as to what you're talking about, what's that quote from? I've never heard it before.

- Eric

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Heh, no need to get offended here. I guess I just made some wrong assumptions.

When you shift your hands up and down... let me give you the times. Maybe that'll clear it up:

0:45 It could be somewhat more even... but if it was intentional, great.

0:50 There is a slight delay. Sounds a bit choppy.

Basically, those two transitions. The first time I listened to the song, I noticed these two distinctly. But now that I'm listening to it over and over again, I don't notice them anymore.

Arpeggios: you missed a note at 0:22... Yes, I'm being a bit critical. But that's what I do. :D

A thought: Are you overemphasizing *too much* your first notes? They tend to stick out. A lot. But it's probably just because my ears are too sensitive.

As for the theme of the song. I dont' know. What do you think about when you listen to the original?

Again, didn't mean to piss you off. Just if you play it next time, these might be areas to think about.

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Heh, no need to get offended here. I guess I just made some wrong assumptions.

No problem, actually, I'm very impressed by the subtleties you picked up on here.

When you shift your hands up and down... let me give you the times. Maybe that'll clear it up:

Well, I still don't hear the pause at 0:45, but I bet if I took it into a wave editor, you might be right, there may be a slight hesitation, but I'm still not hearing it.

As for 0:50, that's intentional, I always play that with a slight rallintando and then a slight accel, I think it raises a little tension during the rising 4ths.

Arpeggios: you missed a note at 0:22... Yes, I'm being a bit critical. But that's what I do. :D

WOW, this is where I'm really impressed. I've never noticed that before, but you're right, heh, there is a wrong note there! It's a G when it should be a G#. It's just such an unaccented note, it slipped through the cracks, even listening over and over in the studio I didn't catch it.

A thought: Are you overemphasizing *too much* your first notes? They tend to stick out. A lot. But it's probably just because my ears are too sensitive.

Hey, that's nothing to be ashamed of! "too sensitive" my ass, you're hearing can never be too accute!

Anyway, true, this is a weak point... I'm assuming you're talking about the prelude. I was at a bit of a loss for how to approach this stylistically, because it's so damn hard to record well, I had to find a balance between having it smooth while having it still punch through and be audible as very concise single notes. But the side effect was that I played the first note of every pattern (especially coming down), a bit too hard.

Seriously, this is the kind of critiquing I need... I was just not quite sure what you meant the first time, but thanks.

- Eric

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Heh, no problem man.

But I guess I have to be more careful before I actually hit the "submit" button next time. I read the posts I wrote, and man are they confusing. (Hmm... Maybe I have trouble putting my thoughts down into words... correctly... so that other people get what I mean.) I'll try to work on that next time.

Have you any other songs you plan to remix? I think the FF6 Boss Battle Theme is pretty cool. In fact, I'm thinking of doing it. I copied down the score from the SPC like 3 years ago, so I might as well write an arrangement and get it over with. But then again, I have no professional instruction in music theory, and I have no experience in remixing. And I haven't touched my piano in... 8 months? (Yep. I'm a slacker.) The only things I have are my (semi) perfect pitch and about 5 years of instruction.

The FF4 World Map theme (the first one) is pretty cool too. I fiddled with it on the piano some time ago, and I have about 1:30 down. But it's really just copying the theme from the game, with some random arpeggios here and there.

Maybe I'll actually write the scores down... Would you want to take a look at them?

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Not bad... You have some great talent, I wont say its bland, because its not..its more a personal choosing. Pianos are a bitch to play VG music on. But you covered it pretty well.

Its hard to say because of the plethora of Piano FF arrangements...hmmm I was wondering what other series would you consider doing?

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There aren't a lot of remixes of the various FF battle themes, not unsurprisingly, a piano version is not something I'd have expected, but it's a great idea. I like how people take a somewhat repetitive, simple, though catchy theme, and put their own spin on it. But I think this is the most original one I've heard.

Anyway, I really did love this mix. I look forward to hearing more of your stuff in the future. I really can't get enough quality piano mixes.

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I have somewhat mixed feelings on this one. While there's no questioning that I enjoy it very much, and that it's pleasantly flashy and fun to listen to, the arrangement is somewhat shallow. I say this because when I attempted to play it by ear on the piano myself, I was able to play it fairly easily on the first attempt; most of the techniques used (ie. various progressions, arpeggios, tremolos) turned out to be quite basic.

However, this is by no means a reason to discard this mix as being amateur. Much like klutz's arrangements, it sounds great, and does an excellent job of presenting a new take on the original theme. As for performance and production values, I honestly have no problems. Being someone who tends to play flashy pieces like this (like the Sonata Pathetique movement 1, Rhapsody in Blue, Hungarian Rhapsody #2) I can say that you're SUPPOSED to do many of the things that some of the earlier posters were complaining about; for instance, tempo changes, delay, emphasizing first notes, etc.

So, overall, in the grand scheme of piano pieces go, this is probably only average in arrangement. But as far as video game arrangements go, it's definitly awesome. All things considered, I highly recommend this mix- 8.5/10.

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I personally don't like the little bit at the beginning before you go into the actual battle theme. While nice in and of itself, it doesn't give that feeling of sudden crisis that battle music should. Otherwise an awesome piece. Good to hear some pure piano. What would've made me really happy would've been if you would've ended the piece with the Victory Fanfare, but that's mostly cause I really love that piece, no one's remixed it yet, and I don't have clue one how to remix stuff.

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Ahhhh... but the Victory fanfare IS there! It's just not at the end, but in the middle (just before the tempo slows down before the "improv solo section"). Surprisingly, NOONE has realized it yet! I keep waiting for someone to go, "Oooh! Is that the victory fanfare in there?" but noone has. Maybe that's a good thing, because it was a total musical joke, and comes across as a really bad punn when people finally realize it's there... I've made many of my gamer friends really groan when they figure it out.

About doing a remix of the victory fanfare, I DO actually have a version I've been working on now for a while. It's a flashy, running 16th note thing in 5/8 time. Although, it's just the original melodic line, and I usually just improvise a B section (the thing is SO short, it would need a lot of extra material to make it a stand alone piece). When I get around to actually writing some solid material for a B section, I may do a release of it.

- Eric

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Noir's best, and that is one hell of a statement. This is in my opinion the single greatest piano piece ever, not just in the game music genre but in any genre. I cannot possibly describe how awesome this piece is. Keep it up, Noir :)

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You can certainly hear the quality and effort put into this. It manages to give the battle theme a fresh feel without altering what is generally liked about it, in my opinion.

I like it, very much so!

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Nice song with average piano skills. The dynamics are a little confusing at times, and some of the rythm, though it may have been intentionally, sound very off and sounds sloppy at times. Other than that, nice job.

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This piano sounds like it´s from the old times, 1890 or something, I´m not that good at history. Just liked the sound noir got out of it, the battle theme is of course a very hectic track, thanks for that, but that makes it harder to remix it, or is it just me being stupid? It is me right?

Anyhow, very good piano rush, draws out a little more power from this instrument that many of us love.

Nice work black.

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I really like it! The begining is obviously a little reference to the Prelude and I even heard from 0:25 to 0:32 something that sounds like FF7 but this part can be found somewhere in almost all FF battle themes. The Fanfare can be heard but it's very subtle and just blends perfectly. A great work you did!

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Reading the reviews here is a bit of a surprise, but then again not really. I would NEVER have labelled this a piece that is hard to access, hard to interpret and especially would never say it was hard to listen to. Okay, so it has some dissonant notes. It has some fluctuating tempos. It's a piano piece. Versatile, dynamic instruments play versatile dynamic music. Also, the type of play style doesn't equate to a good song, so it's just as well this track and it's artist have the credentials to justify the instrument.

Arrangement wise, I can see where the controversy lies, but I also see it as a bit of a moot point. OverClocked Remix, to me, is that flash moment where the familiar meets the unexpected and unimagined. I agree with the critics that say this mix is too divided between old arrangement and original arrangement, but there are some great moments where the two converge. It does lose tightness because this only occurs in a few isolated incidents, but without outside knowledge, noone would really care. As a standalone song, this is perfect. Freaking awesome playing with some truly special portions of music (2:28 - 2:42 is brilliant stuff.) Piano pieces are generally awesome, but this raises the bar. Recommended.

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I enjoyed this tune, the dynamics makes it ideal for an intense battle theme. I'm reminded of the battle theme scene in Advent Children, when Tifa fights the bigger brother.

Besides the ending being a little more choppy than I prefer it was wonderful song, keep up the good work!

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I didn't really find this one that challenging to listen to, but i'm sure people listen to all kinds of different things. The performance of this is very human, and the live aspect is one of it's strengths. I also love the massive dynamic shifts. Go big or go home, IMO. The original writing was tastefully mixed in with the source, and there were a lot of cool moments to this.

Overall it's really nice stuff; not flawless, but damn good.

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I also love the massive dynamic shifts. Go big or go home, IMO.

Most definitely this ^

The dynamics here are what make this mix fun to listen to; you can literally feel the urgency underlying this. It makes sense why this is called Ivory Metal. :)

This is definitely a piece no one should miss.

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