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djpretzel

OCR01377 - Chrono Trigger "Atonement"

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At the 0:46 second mark, the transition from the guitars to the flute-like-instrument is far to abrupt. Also, I felt the ending of the song (when the accoustic guitar cut out leaving just the distortion guitar, drums, and flanger-like-sound playing) was a bit abrupt as well, though not nearly as much as at 0:46.

Overall good though.

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Quite impressive, Darangen. This ReMix of Magus' Theme brings out the darkness and ferocity portrayed in the character quite well. Although at times, certain elements were questionable, primarily how the guitar squeal sounded out of place in many moments, I believe you did quite well, and produced a fine result.

This is an excellent tribute. :)

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Good mix, but I think it would have been better to have lyrics to go with it.. I don't know if anyone would agree with me here, but to add some significant lyrics to this track would really juice it up.

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I wasn't really going for a "heavy metal" vibe, it was meant to be a straight rock arrangement.

Yeah, I was wondering why everyone was calling it heavy metal... It's certainly not what came to my mind when I heard it. :?

Because the people who normally listen to the mixes on this site don't listen to metal and think that anything with distorted guitars equals metal. :roll:

Still awesome though.

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Oh, man... Darangen... I've been looking and waiting for a Magus mix I could really get into for *years*. Magus' theme was always my favorite piece of music from Chrono Trigger, and I've never really been that pleased with any of the mixes I've heard - there's a temptation to put heavy distortion along with the overall evil feel, and that dilutes the purity of the theme, to me.

True, there is distortion guitar aplenty in this mix, but the tune itself is pure and very, very well done.

Some day... some day someone will rip off a Magus mix with a full horn section. That will be a good day. But until then, I will be quite happy with Atonement.

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Who would have thought that a track first exposed to the web (via the DoD) three weeks ago would arrive to OCR just as fast? Then again, how can I complain ever since I am a very big fan of Darangen's work? :D

Heck, we were both there for both competitions, and I especially have some fond memories remaining for the second audition of RPGamer's "Splendid Performance" contest. Even though he passed and I (still) didn't, it was great fun for what it was. He was all "these entries are amazing, I doubt I'll pass" and I was all "you'll make it, you've got hot stuff", and seeing him score third place in both contests was well placed in my book. He should have scored higher in the SP audition IMO, but even here I'm interested to see what he coughs up in the final round for said contest come October.

So now I'm game to see how far he has gone with his latest effort, covering a theme that I believe he also approached nearly a year ago with Omen of the Prophet. And wow, it's been a while since I last showed a full write-up for him (the last one I did being Deadly Promises at VGMix), so it's time I got back in the habit on this one.

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Remix

Well I can't find the stated Frog reference anywhere, but there's definitely a lot of Magus going on here. It has shown some truth to the original, and in my book it's shown to be a lot stronger than some of the other adaptations I've seen on the site so far. The overall execution of the instruments leading from one place to another is well thought out for what it was; nothing much in terms of tuning quirks that can be seen on that particular side of the fence. Even here there's some tasteful variation on the theme by a lot of solo work and countermelodies scattered throughout, as well as a fair amount of rhythmic playing around by the second permutation. The structuring of this has also done well for a rock mix - two adaptations, a solo rush, a final adaptation of the source material and its closure. I don't see it as a no-brainer - I see it to cooperate firm enough to the point to fit what the song was seeking for. Personally I thought the ending was a bit sudden with the drop out to the pitch-shifting Magus laugh, but the technical side on seeing that push out was clever enough for site acceptance. While I've seen some sharper conceptual ideas from Darangen, this is still very solid in my book and something that I will take in for much of the piece's duration.

Creativity

In terms of life being breathed into the mix I'd definitely point on at some of the solos and a fair amount of artistic visions captured within the general performance to be able to match with the often-seen-as-sinful characteristics behind Magus. While I was hoping for some more areas that aid in doing so, this setting was still clever enough to fit what was being searched for. Fortunately, for structured rock it has been able to show just as many transitions to different sections of the theme and the creative parts as there were with those that work well tonally, so we can say this is a flowing song all the way through. "Fresh" may be the wrong word to portray when it comes to expressing the overall edge as granted towards the piece, but there is definitely enough attention taken towards the varied moods, especially with some of the lighter ones with the acoustic guitar and the flute synth leading the way and the more energetic ones with the more overdriven textures taken into account. Repetition on various segments of the track is few and far between; if anything I'd probably say some of the riffs and percussion, but most of these are used tastefully to be able to spice up the backing every now and again. Personally I can say I enjoyed the arrangement as it stood; while not quite the best out of Mike's material it's still got plenty to keep the audience happy, and kudos for that.

Production

The samples chosen are pretty tasteful, although some of which seemed to be a bit watered down since his last synth-included OCR posting with Warriors of Light. The FX is great, I'd tell you that, but I think that he could have been able to find some sharper sound fonts for the choir and flute for free. Even so the flute sounds a bit on the fake side, although that can be pointing towards the idea of using a keyboard in his live instrument setting for the In The Band audition. Nonetheless it's still fine. In terms of overall EQ power there's definitely plenty granted towards the drums; can be argued that the low-end seemed to dominate the sound a bit too much so it may have helped to roll some of that off a bit, but the sounds are still strongly emphasized for his target audience. The recorded guitars here may sound a bit more distant than the usual, but the overall tone is still just as sharp as we expect from Dar's work here, so that's firm to know. Although not quite as sharp on the overall attack as expected from him, it's definitely there to give in the edge that was needed. Those didn't seem to peeve me that much, but I still stand by the one thing I said about the sound levels during the latter contest's judging process, mainly the one that I thought the tom rolling during the chorus areas seemed to drown out a fair amount of the musical components. Even with that in mind I can't imagine the rhythmic backing for a Magus mix any better myself. As for the panning the instruments have been spaced out well enough to capture that real band environment; while I was hoping for some wider panning between the rhythmic guitars here to add in more of that energetic space, there's still plenty of thought that has carried this forward. So yeah, I know I have criticized this portion quite a bit, but that's probably because I've seen some tighter production techniques from this user; regardless, this is still cool enough to absorb and will go down well with the target fan base.

---

I know djp's involvement with Darangen's material through much of his contributions towards the site, and even through listening to every single one of his VG remixes during his stay around the community I can tell that he has built up a heck of a lot in terms of technical strength. So I personally feel the direct posting was well required. Some people may not look past its rock structure and see it for what it was (groove bias? j/k), but myself I found it to be an involving track that what I feel truly deciphers the musical meaning behind Magus. Although I feel that some of the technical aspects could have been given a little bit more of an overhaul, it's still very firm and fitting for those who want to hear more pieces within this user's collection.

Once again, congrats with the DoD placement, way to go on passing the SP audition, and best of luck with your future music out there. You know I'll still be there all the way :D

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Awesome work as always, Darangen. This song and all of your music continues to speak to me and stay with me even long after I've listened to it. I could rant forever but I'll just keep it short and simple for now. This kicks so much ass. \m/

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I like how this song has the part of Magus' Theme that most others ignore: the part that starts at 0:46. Why they don't, I'll never know since I think it's the best part of the song. As for the remix, it's my absolute favorite version of Magus' Theme.

I really do think this captures Magus' dark, somewhat gothic-yet-not attitude. Excellent

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You sunk my freakin' battleship Darangen! Magus theme, heavy guitarwork, orchestration laid in there too ... and third place in DoD. Well deserved ranking, for a kick-arse track.

(New feature now)

iPod rating: 5 stars

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Well I can't find the stated Frog reference anywhere

It's the section from 3:02 to 3:31. If you listen carefully, you can hear a second flute playing Frog's theme. You have to be paying close attention, though, it's easy to miss.

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I wasn't really going for a "heavy metal" vibe, it was meant to be a straight rock arrangement.

My mistake. I read Jenga's comment on Page 1 and sort of assumed that's what you were after.

I still stand by my comments about the drums and the overall feel of the mix. While technically good, I think it could have been better.

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I think it's a pretty good remix. Lots of stuff I like, especially when the acoustic guitar comes in. It works well with the toms. But aside from that, I think there's some eq issues that could've been resolved before wrapping the track up. The guitar seems a little muffled and held back (not the playing style). But overall pretty decent stuff.

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A Magus Remix that I actually like? What manner of sorcery be this? Seriously, I am not a fan of the other Magus tracks on the site. Especially since I can barely tell that his theme. This hit the mood of the track right on for something that's death metal. 9.5/10 loses a few points because the guitar solos were too frequent. Surely there's more to heavy metal than the 80s style rock guitar.

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If i had to choose.....This song has an amazing groove to it throughout. I can let go and not worry about songwriting or the process of it, and just groove to this track in my head. Amazing section, especially the first one.

-Sideshow

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