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Orchestrated Chrono Trigger medley

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Here is a preview of what I'm doing: Millennium 2 (preliminary title, 4:11, approx. 8 MB)

Included in this arrangement are: 600 AD and Schala's Theme. There are a few short little nuggets included as well.

I have been working on this all summer, and have wanted to do this for a couple years. After a few false starts earlier in the year, all these pieces are finally together to create an early preview of what I'm trying to do. It's better to release an unfinished product than to work indefinitely when no one can hear it!

So.. I hope fans of the game will enjoy it, and I also hope the next version of this track will be even better!

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Overall, this WIP is a case of good ideas and poor production. I fell into that boat as well because I didn't have the proper gear and production know-how. (

). You might consider buying some new virtual instruments as I should have done. Production is going to be a huge issue when you submit something like this to the judges panel. Plus, you are working with a very popular, and some may say too popular, source. Those are two significant handicaps on you if you want to get this past the panel. You have some good ideas, and I see a lot of potential after several further revisions in the arrangement. Just keep in mind that Chrono Trigger is always getting orchestral takes so try to avoid anything even remotely cliche in your arrangement.

Production is what is going to kill this mix, though. The same thing happened to me on my submission (http://ocremix.org/forums/showthread.php?t=22765)(and rightfully so). With today's technology there is no excuse for unrealistic samples and production. I recommend listening to every other orchestral Chrono Trigger arrangement on the site, including chrono.ocremix.org. Your production will have to be at least as good as those. Unfortunately, I am definitely not the go-to guy for information on production, but there are plenty of other members and artists on the forums that could help you out. I see that you are using Acid and Reason. I don't have experience with either, but I know that Another Soundscape uses Reason extensively. Overall, you've got a lot against you here, but if you keep working at it (and by working on it, I mean a massive overhaul), you should be able to make it past the panel. Best of luck.

Here are some specific things that I noticed, but keep in mind, you are going to need to make several more fundamental changes (particularly the instrument samples and other production items)

:00 strings are too far in front

:18 introduces a cool idea

:30 bring out the pizzicato strings

:50 good balance in instruments (try to emulate this towards the beginning)

1:20 the slow string samples just don't sound quite right

2:15 nice, refreshing transition

2:40 this part sounds too recycled

2:59 the brass is too unrealistic. the transition doesn't work because of this, but you might also consider a more fluid transition

3:15 i like the percussion work here. very fitting. the bells need better samples, imo

the ending needs to be much more climatic or at least follow a climax. there is too much buildup going on throughout the piece for a simple ending.

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I hear you -- working on a track for months without soliciting feedback can drive me crazy, even if it's not quite ready for prime time yet. I applaud you for sharing at this stage.

This is a pleasant mix, pretty well arranged, and certainly evocative of the source (not a bad thing!). However, the fact that it doesn't stray too far from the original source could pose a problem for the judges should you submit it in the future, so I'd encourage you to explore more variation -- rhythmically, harmonically, instrumentally. I like the variation introduced at 2:10; more of this and other similar ideas would be great.

Varying up the tempo could add some nice drama. Some dramatic ritardandi between some sections would be nice (e.g. leading into the section starting at 2:10), as well as more subtle changes to shape melodic phrases. I think this is an under-utilized technique in many remixes on this site, and is especially important for orchestral works.

The flute playing the melody is really nicely expressive -- volume changes and vibrato are well used. You might consider changing up the melodic line a little bit when it comes back around, or giving the lead to another instrument (or even some sort of duet).

At 1:20, the spiccato (?) strings sound pretty good, but they clash with the legato strings. Maybe decide one way or the other, or switch one of them to a different instrument set. This section could use some (light) woodwinds, maybe? Also, what about adding some more mid-range tones to the string parts in general?

Finally, I'm not really feeling the transition at 3:00. It seems like mellow, ALL OF A SUDDEN LOUD, then mellow. You could try introducing this (and the next section) more gradually, or explore other transitions.

I hope my suggestions aren't too overwhelming. This is a good start, and you should definitely continue working on this. I've been working on one remix off and on for over a year now, and it's still evolving...

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  • 3 weeks later...

:40 the flute is too far behind for this part. This is related to strings being too far in front.

2:59 The brass samples for this made the transition underwhelming. It also didn’t feel right (trust me, I am guilty of doing this too). It went from calm, to triumphant loud, to dreamy. Ditch the loud.

Overall an interesting arrangement. I look forward to hearing an update.

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  • 6 months later...

Wow guys, I got totally sidetracked from this project ages ago and recently remembered it. I should revisit it. Also, someone PMed me ages ago about a little collaboration on it.

Thanks for all the detailed feedback (you guys are absolutely right) and yes, I was starting to tinker with the Schala theme at the end and sort of split it off and had a jazzy type of thing happening with it... it's hard to describe, but it's not even long enough to consider posting yet.

Sorry for 6 month old thread necromancy without music! Hopefully soon I will get a real update together!

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