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djpretzel

OCR01349 - Final Fantasy VIII "Everything = Nothing"

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For some reason though I cant tell what the original song is

"Compression of Time". 8)

Given that I usually prefer more upbeat and varied remixes, this one was a pleasant surprise. Despite the general lack of original composition, I love the instrumentation (yeah, it almost fools you into thinking it's a real orchestra) and the clever ways that Sefiros disguises the original tune. Speaking of the original tune, this was an absolute gem of a choice. FF8 has a lot of great material out there, and I'm glad to see people reminding us of the lesser-known songs.

Just goes to show that you don't need to be drastic to make a good remix. Sometimes all it takes is a little rhythm and instrument change to provide a brand new take on a song. 5/5!

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Compression of Time was a very moody piece which added a great atmosphere to that part of FFVIII, I remember it well - this version does a very good job of capturing the feel of the original, although it isn't that recognizable at first.

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Most of this song was a cliche.

Nothing special.

There are so many other symphonic FF remixes it's not even funny.

So why did you pick this song to voice it as cliche? Or is that why you have such a high post count, just go around and tag songs that don't impress you as cliche.

Anyways I love this piece, and I am not a big fan of symphonic pieces, but this one has a true melancholy edge to it.

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Nice emotive orchestral work. Not quite the level of instrumentation to qualify as symphony, but not shabby at all.

One criticism is that while it is virtually impossible to disguise synth, particularly on a solo instrument, that violin gets pretty darn obvious synth when you have it play on those long notes. I'm no violinist, but from what I've seen when they get drawn out that long without a break in the note (to pull the bow the other way), they have to slow down their pull on the bow and pressure the strings more, so it kind of fades out and pitches upward. Anyone can confirm this?

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I was just swinging by giving this one a listen from the link on the front page. I thought I'd take a quick look at the comments, and seeing that negative bit motivates me to write something.

To get to this level of presentation and precision, and knowledge of musical dynamics takes an awful lot of dedication and willingness to learn.

Also, criticism is always a dish best served consructively, or frankly, you end up coming off as jealous, or perhaps a bit jerkish at least.

The good of this piece greatly outways any of the small inadeqacies which don't mean a lot when you sit back and appreciate what is good about it. And I'm sure if you ask the composer, they'd be the biggest critic upon themselves about it. People submit remixes, but from my point of view as a musician (perhaps a bad one!) a mix is NEVER finished.

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While I do feel that this is one of Sefiros's strongest efforts that i've witnessed in his expansive music collection, Maverick still has his opinion stated here. Nonetheless, there's a lot of emotional garb reflected in the source music that has made it do justice and provide something fresh for this game's coverage at this moment in time. :)

Again I'll quote in my VGMix review to summarise my feelings over this at the time of its completion.

Production techniques

In a similar fashion to his "Symphonic Evil" series, we are brought into an orchestrated rendition of the theme, and that should work well to counter against Past-Present-Future's mostly industrial focus. Panning is shown to be in a strong and realistic orchestrated fashion - good work all around, although the one thing that quirks me the most is the piano placement at the start, as I feel that would work stronger if it was double-tracked. The instruments here are the trademark orchestrated instruments as used in his Sonic related boss battle arrangements, and it's here that some elements of expression have improved a great deal since we last saw him most especially on the backing string instrumentation. The sound levels are very rich and vibrant for the current situation, and with enough thought towards the general sound levels to generate a realistic situation around the listener; one light thought is towards a few areas where the melody seemed to stick out a bit too sharply, but this is still very clever stuff in terms of leveling. So I see this to be a much stronger setting than in his recent Symphonic Evil works, thus making it destined to go down well with the audience.

Composition sequence

The track started off with a sweet and quiet start through the use of some emotive piano and string work, which have managed to work in creating a beautiful intro sequence that gradually sweeps the listener into the mix as the expression work gradually gets harder and harder. It is here that the basic instrumentation starts to build over time and provide a cinematic welcome, something that will be warmly appreciated by a good chunk of the audience. Even though the piano panning feels a bit uncomfortable at the start (which has been pointed out within the above paragraph), I see that to be a very good introduction - probably one of his better ones to date.

The melody then showed itself at 1:03, and it is here that it sounds a bit grating towards the start, given the sharp attack upon the violin lead, but it has been made up for by a strong pulse upon the instrumentation that seems to build up over time, with these elements mainly noted through the cello and majestic percussion work. So I feel that with some sharp and closer analysis upon the melody structures, this area has worked really well to bring the listener into the mix.

It's at 2:40 where the accompaniment provide a brief few seconds to themselves at first, before the melody came back in at 2:50 and provided the melody at a much faster interpretation. It's followed on from there that the sweeping strings have managed to provide enough reflection to keep the source going, as well as helping to keep the listener engaged with the varied progressions in that particular field. I wish I can say the same about the accompaniment, because by now I thought for them to be a bit on the tiring side with the similar progressions they have managed to provide. I'm sure most of the audience will be able to cope with it though.

The sudden drop to quieter textures at 4:31 may end up surprising a few people at first, but much of this has been made up for through to some good use of gentle progressions that eventually end up with the strings (which provide a strong resemblance to the original's harp part) fading in by 4:43 and providing a gentle touch towards the technical progressions at that moment in time. The texture building by 5:30 has also worked well to provide enough beauty and thought towards the arranger's aspect, and have worked well to provide a strong closing portion to this area. It would have been easier if the drop to the light textures was a bit less sudden, but this is still some very strong and thoughtful work out there.

And this follows on at 6:06 where the instrument textures drop to a thinner texture, where the violin lead is portrayed over a light piano progression at the end. It's here that the panning textures for that instrument are shown to be more thoughtful this time around, and the reflective expressive motions at the end have worked well to progress all the way through to the end. While this is mostly solid stuff I don't think the final note on the violin managed to sit too well with me given the finishing chord provided. But outside from that minor nit-pick, this closing sequence is beautiful.

Within the months that have followed leading to its posting here, I had a few doubts on whether it would make it or not. My main issues here relate to a conservative composition (which I think isn't usual in some of his other experimental work) and some really, REALLY synthetic orchestration. I just saw that as a way of showcasing high-quality samples, although some of the attacks, releases, note lengths, velocities and timings (mainly on the violin) were rather synthetic.

I was more than surprised to see this mix managed to come through; not quite the strongest synthetic mix to date, but there's definitely a lot of heart and soul placed into it that have easily welcomed Sefiros within the OCR clan.

Well done, you wee scot; let's see you keep things up in the future ;)

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Good song. It seems, to me, like it's building up to the perverbial something, but never really breaks. It never seems to lose momentum, and keep going, until, at the end, it fades out. I really like the way that was done. AS I said, it's a good song.

I'm going to have to go with an 8 out of 10. It's not really my thing, and keep in mind that it's an 8 in my mind; you may not agree with me. One of the weak points to a song that doesn't seem to change pace or lose/gain momentum is that it can feel repetitious at times. IN this case, I didn't feel that until the very end, so it's not too bad.

All in all, not to shabby of a remix.

~Lord Syruss

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I REALLY enjoyed this. It boasts incredible power and pulsing orchestration that leaves you hanging on every single long note. The kind of music that moves you. Excellent work.

It may have already been covered, but I wondered about what instrument carries the main melody. Certainly the vibrato sounds violin'ish, but the attack sounds almost more like a sax. I wasn't sure if this was layered instrumentation, clever filtering, or just the particular violin you used. It almost seems electronic, providing interesting contrast to the more traditional orchestral elements backing it up. Either way, it brings an exceptionally unique and almost otherworldly sound to the piece.

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Most of this song was a cliche.

Nothing special.

There are so many other symphonic FF remixes it's not even funny.

So why did you pick this song to voice it as cliche? Or is that why you have such a high post count, just go around and tag songs that don't impress you as cliche.

Anyways I love this piece, and I am not a big fan of symphonic pieces, but this one has a true melancholy edge to it.

It can NEVER be to many symphonic and orchestric remixes, their grace and majestic instruments may sound alike, but even so, when I listen to all of mine that I´ve downloaded, I don´t start thinking of an another with the same instruments, every mix has it´s own power and style, that goes for symphonic too. And as I said, I love this genre, so for me, there can´t really be too much orchestric remixes. Maybe on the same track perhaps.

And moving on to the song. Starts out quietly, then builds up with some nice strings, trombones, and the violin that has the centre role in this masterpiece. It´s both powerful and sad, and yes, Shariq pointed pointed it out quite well that this reminds you of a depressing chinese movie story. But you can still recognize the original, at least I can. The org was very good, considering the beautiful harp and groovy saxophone, but this mix gave it a more serious mood to it, no matter how hard you trust, you still end up having what you got from the very beginning, nothing.

Not one of my personal philosophies, maybe not one of Sefiros´ either, but this was a very tremendous remix, excellent done. Congratulations dude.

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Absolutely brilliant work.

This is easily one of the best remixes on the site... the orchestration carries with it so much power, so much hope, and simultaneously so much pain and sorrow. OCR boasts many excellent remixes, but there are only so many that can actually evoke memories and emotions in me.

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^ I can't agree more. It starts out with that melancholy and then you get the percussion that makes it sound like a march to war with that spirit inside every soldier, but the main melody tells us that despite that, there is a deeper darker truth that will emerge. This is an amazing multi-dimensional work and there's definitely a message between the notes that we all relate to.

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There are about 30 remixes on VGMix.

And I have four original albums.

I actually just started going to VGMix the other day. I've only checked out a few your songs. I'm liking what I've heard so far (like the FF8 one where you threw in Freya's theme; don't remember the name). Have you submitted any of them to this site? I know OCR's standards are pretty high, but I think you could land a few more here.

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This is pretty cool. Has a sort of GY!BE thing going on. Feels a little heavy on the left though. Maybe it's just my headphones. Samples don't bother me that much.

Yeah this is awesome. Nice work.

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