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zircon

OCRA-0040 - Final Fantasy VI: Balance and Ruin

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Followed OCR for years, backed Balance and Ruin from the start, First time i have posted, Just listened to disc 2, great throughout, have to say "The Impresario" work of genius, need to listen to the next discs, but up to now BRILLIANT. 8-)

Edited by davidthall

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Has-has anyone actually managed to listen to the entire album? o_o' It's hard - I keep going back to Bad Octopus. XD But today I will reach the rest and Omen. ^-^

In awe of Trauermarsch. -_-

And the rendition of Dancing Mad... Demon, Fiend & Goddess, yeh!! :D

Humble Beginnings, Great Expectations - ah, another song for tears :')

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Has-has anyone actually managed to listen to the entire album? o_o' It's hard - I keep going back to Bad Octopus. XD

d'awww glad you like it!

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In awe of Trauermarsch. -_-

REALLY an awful song to listen to while you are trying to work on your own orchestration skills. It's like standing at the bottom of a six-thousand step staircase.

But yes, absolutely amazing piece.

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I'm still going through my first listen of the album towards the end of disc 4 and I'm really liking what I'm hearing so far. Got a lot of good picks for multiple listens, which is unusual with an album this big.

I'll have to say though, the breakout star of this album is XPRTNovice, who is ironically not a novice. I usually skim some of the tracks I like during my first listen, but this dude always demanded my attention with his remixes. Each one of them is just excellent, particularly the Spanish take on Mt. Koltz. That's the first track in the album that made me go WOW...honestly an unexpected and brilliant take on the theme. Flawlessly executed. I thought he was a newcomer on OCR, but when I clicked on his past remixes, I realized that he wasn't. Incidentally, that FF7 debut track he made awhile back is one of my favorite works for the site recently. I'm not surprised by the quality of his work here after I realized his past remix.

Other than that, virt's track is currently my favorite thus far next to Mt. Koltz's remix. The last thing I expected from a Maria & Draco remix is to be a pop-rock theatrical one, with original vocals mixed in with the classic ones from the game. I've always knew that virt was a good singer, even before Double Dragon Neon. He has an obscure track for DoD which was a remix from Rock Band. Anyway, if anyone would've told me that Maria & Draco's remix would be a theatrical rock version, I would've been upset because this idea sounds like disaster on paper. In reality, however, it's brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

Little by little I'm heading towards one of my most anticipated remixes, Dancing Mad.

Edited by SwordBreaker

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Some of the orchestrations in this album have just completely blown my mind. I'm 100% with Joe in the sense that it makes you take a look at your own skills haha. I was working on something the other day until I heard the first track on the album. I then promptly put my computer to sleep and cracked a beer. Nuff said...

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d'awww glad you like it!

:D Me too. XD

I'm so glad you made it. :3

It's so peppy and upbeat and-and punchy! :D Ah happy fight music... one of the best fight styles, really n_~

REALLY an awful song to listen to while you are trying to work on your own orchestration skills. It's like standing at the bottom of a six-thousand step staircase.

But yes, absolutely amazing piece.

*nods* I could see that. At times, it's like listening to... Dark Verdi?

But we can't let ourselves be intimidated! :) And, really, when you've trained yourself to that level in orchestration, your style will be different yet equally amazing! ^_^

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I was thinking the exact same thing today listening to these tracks, christ do I suck at orchestral music. It almost makes me want to not even bother.

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d'awww glad you like it!

yeah hard to not stop listening to that. nice collab there..with XPRT again. (XPRT stop blowing my mind at each of your remix thank you)

Also i enjoyed a lot the mood set by Zircon with catastrophe.

Edited by Doulifée

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Omen is badass. You need to do this live at MAGfest or something

The only problem I have with it is the songs don't seem to be cross-fading properly. There's a small gap between all four songs, and I'm listening to the mp3 version from the torrent.

Edited by Subz1987

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The only problem I have with it is the songs don't seem to be cross-fading properly. There's a one second gap between all four songs, and I'm listening to the mp3 version from the torrent.

Confirmed, the FLACs have the silence as well. Just checked them in my DAW.

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I have never played FF6 or any FF for that matter, so I can't really tell if the "remix" part is done well (I suppose it is). All I can tell is that this is some genuinely outstanding great awesome music!

I have yet to listen to each and every track because I keep coming back to "There's Nothing Like Flying" - what a crazy ride, what a delightful genre cocktail, what a chunk of references! So far, apart from the actual source, I've heard Fez, FF7, Kirby's Dream Land, and the end of the Airwolf theme of all things. I'm sure there is a bunch more in that track that I haven't found yet.

It has already been said, but this release definitely put XPRTNovice on my watchlist. While other tracks are powerful, pretty, epic, or dreamy, his tracks make me smile and dance around in my office chair, looking all weird and ridiculous. That stuff is so good it should have a NSFW warning.

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This album sounds good. I especially like the track Idle City Streets; it is very relaxing.

Two other comments so far on the album.

Celes' Theme Missing. I checked the album and the bonus tracks, but I couldn't find the track for Celes' Theme. While I realize that Celes' Theme is a variation on the Aria De Mezzo Carattere, I would have liked to see a track of this variant, either in the album or in the Bonus Tracks. (This is track 22 of Disc 1 of the FFVI OST.)

Till We Meet Again (Aria de Mezzo Carattere). There is an interesting choice in the melody. In the Game, the melody pitches are: F# G A D F# G# A C#, (Source: FFVI OST and FFVI sheet music) while in this arrangement, the melody is F# G A D F# G A C# (the G# is changed to a G). Perhaps this is not the best place to ask this, but I am curious to know why the remixers of this piece decided to deviate from the original melody of the track. Does anybody have any ideas?

I'm looking forward to hearing more of the album! FFVI is one of my favorite games and I'm excited to hear the music.

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yeah hard to not stop listening to that. nice collab there..with XPRT again. (XPRT stop blowing my mind at each of your remix thank you)

Well it's funny. I actually finished the track and submitted it, and zircon had the wav. It was supposed to be a solo track. I showed it to him just because i thought he would find it hilarious, and 20 minutes later he hit me up with an mp3 of him jamming a line of clarinet over one bit and it was like shiiiiiiiiiiiiit this needs to happen, so we redid it and gave it to zircon.

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Well it's funny. I actually finished the track and submitted it, and zircon had the wav. It was supposed to be a solo track. I showed it to him just because i thought he would find it hilarious, and 20 minutes later he hit me up with an mp3 of him jamming a line of clarinet over one bit and it was like shiiiiiiiiiiiiit this needs to happen, so we redid it and gave it to zircon.

Yeah, definitely a conversation I never thought I'd have.

"Hey, you know what would sound good in this prog metal? Clarinet."

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Celes' Theme Missing. I checked the album and the bonus tracks, but I couldn't find the track for Celes' Theme. While I realize that Celes' Theme is a variation on the Aria De Mezzo Carattere, I would have liked to see a track of this variant, either in the album or in the Bonus Tracks. (This is track 22 of Disc 1 of the FFVI OST.)

Someone had signed up to do it, but ultimately did not finish their claim. However, between the two opera renditions including the Aria, we felt Celes was sufficiently covered.

Till We Meet Again (Aria de Mezzo Carattere). There is an interesting choice in the melody. In the Game, the melody pitches are: F# G A D F# G# A C#, (Source: FFVI OST and FFVI sheet music) while in this arrangement, the melody is F# G A D F# G A C# (the G# is changed to a G). Perhaps this is not the best place to ask this, but I am curious to know why the remixers of this piece decided to deviate from the original melody of the track. Does anybody have any ideas?

Many people (myself & Jill included) remix by memory and not necessarily comparing directly to the source... this often lends a greater measure of interpretation compared with directly copying the source note for note. In this case, I suppose it was just an arbitrary choice since both ways sound good in the key / tonality.

Other than that, virt's track is currently my favorite thus far next to Mt. Koltz's remix. The last thing I expected from a Maria & Draco remix is to be a pop-rock theatrical one, with original vocals mixed in with the classic ones from the game. I've always knew that virt was a good singer, even before Double Dragon Neon. He has an obscure track for DoD which was a remix from Rock Band. Anyway, if anyone would've told me that Maria & Draco's remix would be a theatrical rock version, I would've been upset because this idea sounds like disaster on paper. In reality, however, it's brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

virt arranged "The Impresario", played keys & guitar and did all other non-drum parts, but he was not the singer. That's Tommy Pedrini, along with a couple backup vocalists.

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I have yet to listen to each and every track because I keep coming back to "There's Nothing Like Flying" - what a crazy ride, what a delightful genre cocktail, what a chunk of references! So far, apart from the actual source, I've heard Fez, FF7, Kirby's Dream Land, and the end of the Airwolf theme of all things. I'm sure there is a bunch more in that track that I haven't found yet.

Man, a bunch of that was definitely unintentional ;P Especially with the Airwolf thing, that was just me riffing off of the intro of the Blackjack theme ^^;

The beginning starts off with setzer's theme mixed with the arp from FEZ's "

", yes. Then at 1:02 there's a melody from a song I made for One Hour Compo,
. Then we go into the main Blackjack theme...

There's a little bit at 2:36 that sounds like a snippet of the

. At 2:39 the Blackjack music is together with some other stuff, like Terra's theme. And of course, the part after that has that Mega Man stylistic influence.

Glad you liked it :)

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At 2:39 the Blackjack music is together with some other stuff, like Terra's theme.

That is where I hear Kirby's Dream Land, specifically a slower version of

as a backing track. Granted, it's quite generic so it might be unintentional, but it sends a picture of the little sucker to my head every single time.
Glad you liked it :)
Love it to pieces. :)

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I still plan on remarking on some of the other pieces, but I wanted to remark on something while it's fresh in my mind. Dancing Mad is one of my favorite FF6 tracks, and I definitely see where you were going with it, Sixto and zircon, and it's cool, but...am I the only one who feels like there's an underlying malice in the original track that's sort of missing in "Demon, Fiend, and Goddess"? To me, the underlying malice is a huge part of the original track.

I can see how you guys wanted to put some of your own flavor on it, and I can dig that, I guess I'll put it diplomatically and say it's not a choice I would've thought to make. Now, take this with a grain of salt given:

-Dancing Mad might be, in terms of a single piece, my favorite game track ever (though as an entire soundtrack, FF6 is second to Chrono Trigger) so I probably had impossible to meet expectations coming in.

-I haven't given that particular piece multiple listens yet, and it's quite possible it will grow on me on repeat listens.

-Based on the backer updates I kind of surmise that possibly zircon and Sixto had to scramble a little as the original person who was tasked with Dancing Mad wasn't keeping up with deadlines, and if this is the case, I can't imagine how tricky it was to pick up the slack.

-Like I said, it IS a cool take, and it's quality work.

I suppose I only bring this up out of curiosity to see if I'm the only one who feels that way. Certainly not trying to start any conflict; the album as a whole is incredible and well beyond anything I could've imagined and I'm still SUPER hyped to get my physical copy and utilize it proudly. I just was interested in maybe starting some dialogue. =)

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Omen is amazing. I haven't finished listening to it yet but I have to say it's really impressive, almost an album on its own!

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Omen is amazing.

Yup, just finished listening. Never thought I would hear something like that on an OCR album, but there it is and it doesn't disappoint.

I'm loving the rest of the album too. Haven't finished disc 5 yet, but there's already so much good stuff on this thing.

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I still plan on remarking on some of the other pieces, but I wanted to remark on something while it's fresh in my mind. Dancing Mad is one of my favorite FF6 tracks, and I definitely see where you were going with it, Sixto and zircon, and it's cool, but...am I the only one who feels like there's an underlying malice in the original track that's sort of missing in "Demon, Fiend, and Goddess"? To me, the underlying malice is a huge part of the original track.

I can see how you guys wanted to put some of your own flavor on it, and I can dig that, I guess I'll put it diplomatically and say it's not a choice I would've thought to make. Now, take this with a grain of salt given:

-Dancing Mad might be, in terms of a single piece, my favorite game track ever (though as an entire soundtrack, FF6 is second to Chrono Trigger) so I probably had impossible to meet expectations coming in.

-I haven't given that particular piece multiple listens yet, and it's quite possible it will grow on me on repeat listens.

-Based on the backer updates I kind of surmise that possibly zircon and Sixto had to scramble a little as the original person who was tasked with Dancing Mad wasn't keeping up with deadlines, and if this is the case, I can't imagine how tricky it was to pick up the slack.

-Like I said, it IS a cool take, and it's quality work.

I suppose I only bring this up out of curiosity to see if I'm the only one who feels that way. Certainly not trying to start any conflict; the album as a whole is incredible and well beyond anything I could've imagined and I'm still SUPER hyped to get my physical copy and utilize it proudly. I just was interested in maybe starting some dialogue. =)

Actually I was listening to it earlier today and I felt the same way. Quality work and production values but it seemed like the chaotic aura that comes with that source track was unfortunately missing. I still like and appreciate what we got but I think a little more doom and gloom in the sound to compliment the chugging guitars would have pushed it to the next level!

Still, overall I'm totally happy with what we got from this release and will be listening to it plenty in the next couple months!

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Dancing Mad was not a track dropped for time reasons, even though it was one of the last ~10 or so completed. I chose the style I did (classic progressive rock) because I feel that other artists have remixed Dancing Mad to perfection in a more straightforward epic style with metal & orchestral elements. For example, the Black Mages' version, Prince of Darkness' 'Prancing Dad', and virt's original take on it, to name a few. I saw little sense in repeating the excellent work those artists have done, and instead chose to look at Uematsu's own inspirations; namely, bands like Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Yes, Genesis, etc.

Here are a few examples that inspired me. These may have been among the very same songs that influenced Uematsu himself when writing the original track. Just listen to parts of Tarkus and you'll hear what I mean!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TACC1z7hcA

Regarding a change in tone, or the lack of 'malice', I think that may simply be the way we chose to cut down on the repetition + length of the original. Rather than sticking very closely to the long, dirge-like, baroque-inspired sections with heavy church organ and long solos, I sought to condense things into a shorter piece that had a higher average energy level. Again, other artists have done the full 12+ minute version very well and while I could have gone for that approach, I just don't think it would have been adding anything new or musically interesting to the world of game remixes.

I worked hard to create an interpretation of the original that switched up the rhythms, harmonies, and melodies in a way that I believe Mr. Uematsu would respect, given the type of source material that heavily influenced this arrangement; not to mention the cameos of "I Like to Live in America" and "Fanfare for the Common Man", two staples of ELP :-) It appeals to the prog rock aspect of the original track over the heavily baroque and slower portions, and though I knew from the start that some people would miss those sections, I would definitely do it again the same way if given the chance.

Either way, I appreciate you listening to this piece and the rest of the album!

Edited by zircon

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