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*N/A - NEW POLICY* Xenogears 'A Star Freezes Over'

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Geoffrey's requested that a link to the remix be left available for the public - LT

http://geofftaucer.tripod.com/desperadostar.htm

The info:

ReMixers: Geoffrey Taucer, The Prophet of Mephisto, PriZm

ReMix title: "A Star Freezes Over"

Songs: "Gathering Stars in the Night Sky", "Desperado"

Composers: Yasunori Mitsuda, Don Henley, Glenn Frey

Sources: Xenogears, the Eagles

Credits:

Original concept/arrangement by Geoffrey Taucer

Rythm guitars performed by Geoffrey Taucer

Piano arranged and performed by the Prophet of Mephisto

Saxophones performed (and partially arranged) by the Prophet of Mephisto

Lead guitars arranged and performed by PriZm

Percussion sequenced by PriZm

And I'm a new remixer ("new" as in "this is my fourth submission and none of the first three made the cut"), so here's my bio:

Name: Geoffrey Taucer

Real name: Jeremy Waters

e-mail: midgetboysk8@hotmail.com

My own comments on the mix:

I had not originally planned this mix to be a collab at all. I did most of the arrangement myself, then posted on the OneUp Studios boards asking for reccomendations for a good sax soundfont. That was when Mustin gave me the following advice: "never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever fake a sax." So I went in search of a sax player. And piano as well, because I couldn't stand the blocky, midi-esque sound I was getting from the piano soundfonts I had. The piano and eventually the sax went to the Prophet of Mephisto.

There were no lead guitars at all in the arrangement as I originally planned it. But when I posted a midi on the WIP boards, PriZm PMed me asking if I'd be willing to extend it and let him record a guitar solo for it. So I added a section in the middle (from about 1:30 to about 2:50) for him to play around with.

The Prophet sent me a recording of the piano part, but not the one I had written for the song; his version bore only a very vague resemblance to how I originally wrote it. And his version was enormously superior to mine.

Unfortunately you can barely hear it in the final version, but trust me:

there's some gorgeous piano going on in the background of the whole thing.

The Prophet's alto sax part stuck much more closely to the part as I had written it than did his piano part, but he still added a bit of flair, a few embellishments which I think added a lot to the piece, and he played it beautifully.

When PriZm sent me a demo recording of the lead guitars, I was blown away.

Listen to his section and you'll see what I mean. PriZm gets 100% of the credit for both arrangement and performance of the lead guitars, as well as for the idea of having lead guitars in the first place.

Originally, the remaining leads were going to be performed by Corran (from

VGmix) on flute, but he couldn't do it so we decided to have Prophet do the remaining leads on soprano sax. Again, he played them absolutely beautifully, and this time threw in a harmony that wasn't in my original arrangement, which I think turned out pretty well.

So, five months after I had the idea and whipped up a rough midi, here is "A Star Freezes Over." I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed putting it together.

-Geoffrey Taucer

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

Geoffrey Taucer

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There are some problems with the sax's intonation..but the arrangement aint bad. it's a little shmalzy for my tastes. However i'd say this is more than 50% desperado, and i dont think we can accept that.

NO

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http://www.tzone.org/~llin/psf/packs2/Xenogears_psf.rar - 207 "Gathering Stars in the Night Sky"

I had some comments on this one from late May for VGF:

Liontamer]Geoffrey Taucer, The Prophet of Mephisto & PriZm - Xenogears "A Star Freezes Over" [VGMix2 #3399]

Indeed, this sounds much like a slightly rougher version of The OneUps deciding to intermingle Xenogears with The Eagles' "Desperado" and actually would have made a good fit on OneUp Studios' Xenogears Light album with a bit more polish. The trio's collaborative efforts have certainly paid off with a very fresh spin on Mitsuda's "Gathering Stars in the Night Sky" that may need a glossier finish so-to-speak, but otherwise presents itself well. The concept certainly gets to the heart of what VGM arranging is all about, with some stylish mainstream material thrown into the mix as well.

Mix was 4:08 long, so lemme try and invoke Ari's 50% guideline and see if I think it denies the track here. (train of thought...) Solo piano opened with Desperado until :15. :15-1:00 used the Gathering melody right there. The section at 1:00 sounded derived from :58 of the Xenogears source tune. May have had some Desperado in there, I dunno, but it seemed cool to me. 1:32-2:14 had another nice iteration of the source melody. 2:14 had the transition right from :58 of the source again, then the same part arranged again at 2:33 followed by some original riffing. 2:48-3:18 pretty overtly arranged Desperado, before moving back into Xenogears at 3:18 until about 3:49 before wrapping things up. I don't feel this had an issue of not being mostly an arrangement of VGM source material.

Onto some other things, the recording was really rough. The hiss during the solo piano was easily noticed during the first :14 and I would have preferred to have had that hiss fixed or cut down a bit. I don't mean to come down on these bros when I say they sound like a rougher version of the OneUps. I'm along the lines of Vig's thoughts where I felt some of the sax work could have flowed a little bit smoother, and I also felt it sounded a bit dry. Crappy, exposed-sounding last few seconds at 3:57, but that and the hissy intro aren't enough to make me NO. The rest sounded fine by me.

Production was the biggest hit here, so I really wouldn't mind the input of some other Js on how to really get at this and sharpen it up, since a lot of the higher frequencies are AWOL. I'm sure the OneUp peeps have offered some suggestions on that over at the OUS forums.

In any case, I felt Gathering Stars was well-woven with Desperado, and that these bros ultimately brought some good stuff to the table. Could be more refined, sure, but this wasn't sloppy, and the arrangement was there. Good job, y'all.

YES

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Enter the panel's Xenogears expert...

When larry is actually right for once, you know there's complete universal disorder! 8O

Let me state I don't like it when people do this and mix game arrangements with other arrangements. Why don't you consider expanding and creating your own ideas instead of borrowing WHOLESALE from other sources?

Now, overall this is a very pretty and listenable arrangement. I do completely agree with Vig that this is so shmalzy. This sounds like what a more sophisticated IggyKoopa might compose. Anyway the arrangement and instrumentatioin as a whole is solid. The material here was definitely along the timeline Larry sectionalized. His ears must be getting better, nice work bro.

Production wasn't great, but it's by no means a huge problem. To me it gave it some charm, sort of like one of those MTV Unplugged sounds rather than the professional pristine productions of a studio.

Good work. YES

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Xenogears: Kenny G's Saga

As for the schmalztiness, I think that's wholly intentional, if I "get it" like I think I'm supposed to. It sounds like a cross between a KG album and a 90's TGIF sitcom themesong. And yes, THESE ARE ALL GOOD THINGS.

Production ain't bad enough to make me hold it back. I like the different energies that the different genre-specific instruments bring. I like it lots.

YES

Desparado... you better let somebody love you... Let somebody loooooooooooooove you :cry:

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If we say that an adequate amount of time is spent with the source, and I'm willing to go along with that, then I think that the arrangement is strong enough for this to pass. The recording and performance aren't exactly pro quality, but they're decently well-done and certainly acceptable for an amateur community.

YES

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My ears have always been the greatest. But then again "that's a slap bass" and "those strings are fake".

It sounds like a cross between a KG album and a 90's TGIF sitcom themesong.

Hahaha, that TGIF commment is so true now that I think about it! Nice analogy, Blacky McBlackerton.

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I suppose I'm the bad guy on this one, so let me throw in my two cents...

This isn't the first time I've rejected something that I both liked myself and wanted people to hear, but I think we did it for the right reasons.

It's a good mix. It's a good CONCEPT - the Desperado theme DOES work well with the Xeno theme, no doubt about it. It's well-executed, well-produced, and creative.

Problem is, it's not clearly, first and foremost, a game music arrangement. I don't want to open the floodgates to similar mash-ups, however well-crafted, where Mega Man is fused with Creedence Clearwater or Luther Vandross mixed in Final Fantasy or ABBA spliced with Sonic. It's not a direction I think the site needs to go in, and it's not a direction I want it to go in, either.

The submissions standards have been revised with the addition of the following text:

Submission Instructions & Standards]Please ensure that submissions are primarily composed of arranged game music plus your own original additions. Any incorporation of non-game music (mainstream, classical, etc.) should be very limited and should never carry significant portions of the mix. For example, a Mega Man mix that used Beethoven's 9th symphony for its chorus, where 15-25% of the mix was not from the game itself, would likely be rejected.

This does indeed suck for the mixers, who've put together some good, enjoyable music, but I simply feel that posting this would be setting a precedent for even more liberal mash-ups, and the idea is to honor game music by reinterpreting it - while melding it with external sources is a creative and musical act, or at least can be as these artists have shown, in my book it doesn't jive with the site's mission statement, and is similar to our existing rule that popular movie themes like Star Wars which happen to be used in games don't "count" either.

More than two cents, I know, but the music was good and the mixers deserved a more thorough explanation.

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