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OCR01485 - Secret of Mana "Dueling Consoles"


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The intro is an amazing use of 2 seemingly disaparate tunes to create a harmony that was only mildly discordant. This lead into an amazing synthesis of sound which seems almost impossible from the intro.

I'm awed at the how the 2 chiptunes flow together in the second half.

Simple amazing and from one of my favorite games.

Keep up the good work

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Sorry I couldn't review any quicker :P.

This has been one of my most played shnab tunes, ever. Ever since shnab sent it to me about...what, 3 months ago or something? I've listened to it alot every now and then, f*^&%^£ beautiful mix sam, the ideas are genius, and your work with time signatures never ceases to amaze me.

Can't wait to hear what you're doing now when I get back man :wink:.

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Sorry I couldn't review any quicker :P.

This has been one of my most played shnab tunes, ever. Ever since shnab sent it to me about...what, 3 months ago or something? I've listened to it alot every now and then, f*^&%^£ beautiful mix sam, the ideas are genius, and your work with time signatures never ceases to amaze me.

Can't wait to hear what you're doing now when I get back man :wink:.

Haha, he thought you might've died :D.

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I don't think the default review, which may or may not have a proper name, gives this piece nearly the credit it deserves. This is one of the most extraordinary pieces I've heard (typically I go for either classical-based or relaxing ones.) Shnabubuluba is one of the demi-gods of this site with his creativity and audacity, this piece deserves praise.

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I don't like it.

Here's why:

NES games and Genesis games tend to have very different styles synth instruments, mostly as a result of the NES and Genesis having sound chips that operate in quite different manners.

In this piece, the Genesis chip isn't producing any of it's trademark sounds. Rather, it's being made to reproduce NES and SNES trademark sounds.

This is like making a xylophone sound like a piano. It may be possible, and it would be a great technical accomplishment.

But it's a waste of a xylophone.

I would actually go a step further and put forth that this composition does not really make good use of the NES as an instrument.

It sounds like it was written and arranged for live instruments, and then transposed to NES & Genesis chip synths. This prevents it from really taking advantage of the charms of the retro sounds those chips produce. Additionally, the source tune is a bit too cacaphonous to allow proper emphasis of the dueling consoles concept (it becomes difficult to tell NES from Genesis at many points, and it's even harder to tell when they stop dueling and start cooperating).

The overall effect is that the chiptune sounds have been reduced to a gimmick, which pales in comparison to the original SPC.

I would really like to hear Shnabubula make a second offering of the NES + Genesis "dueling consoles", with a less frenetic source tune, and some of the signature Genesis type sounds in mind (strengths seem to be sustained tones, rapid arpeggios, and solid percussion). I think that could be truly great.

Edit: I fully expect to be lynched for this opinion, but it is my honest opinion, and I have tried to make it as constructive as possible.

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I don't like it.

Here's why:

NES games and Genesis games tend to have very different styles synth instruments, mostly as a result of the NES and Genesis having sound chips that operate in quite different manners.

In this piece, the Genesis chip isn't producing any of it's trademark sounds. Rather, it's being made to reproduce NES and SNES trademark sounds.

This is like making a xylophone sound like a piano. It may be possible, and it would be a great technical accomplishment.

But it's a waste of a xylophone.

I would actually go a step further and put forth that this composition does not really make good use of the NES as an instrument.

It sounds like it was written and arranged for live instruments, and then transposed to NES & Genesis chip synths. This prevents it from really taking advantage of the charms of the retro sounds those chips produce. Additionally, the source tune is a bit too cacaphonous to allow proper emphasis of the dueling consoles concept (it becomes difficult to tell NES from Genesis at many points, and it's even harder to tell when they stop dueling and start cooperating).

The overall effect is that the chiptune sounds have been reduced to a gimmick, which pales in comparison to the original SPC.

I would really like to hear Shnabubula make a second offering of the NES + Genesis "dueling consoles", with a less frenetic source tune, and some of the signature Genesis type sounds in mind (strengths seem to be sustained tones, rapid arpeggios, and solid percussion). I think that could be truly great.

Edit: I fully expect to be lynched for this opinion, but it is my honest opinion, and I have tried to make it as constructive as possible.

haha, this song is awesome and this review is probably the funniest thing I've ever read. This has got to be some sort of joke I hope, because it makes absolutely no sense. Could you please answer these questions to the best of your ability in order to defend your review? I'm just so curious as to what you're thinking, because I've never read a review that made me laugh so hard.

#1 what is a "trademark" genesis sound?

#2 why does making a xylophone sound like a piano 'waste' the xylophone??

#3 The song WAS written and arranged for live instruments and transposed to the NES (hence the dueling banjos idea). Why do you think this detracts from the 'charm' of the NES sounds? How would the NES sounds be different if the source material was all original and not 'transposed'? Please give a detailed description of the aesthetic changes in both musical and descriptive terminology.

#4 How does a source tune being cacophonous preclude proper use of the NES and genesis synth sounds from being properly emphasized? Why do you think the source tune is cacophonous in the first place?? (I assume you meant cacophonous. You spelled it wrong in your review).

Please answer these questions as I'm utterly confused as to what your review is trying to say. Were you up at 2 in the morning writing this on LSD or what? :)

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I don't like it.

Instead of lynching you, I'll go ahead and say that I agree with you wholeheartedly. This mix did not make it into my library for the exact reasons you've suggested: It didn't feel like the NES or the Genesis had their particular styles in this piece at all, but rather simply synths that emulated NES and Genesis sounds were used in a gimmick fashion. All in all, I'll say that the production was good and the arrangement was decent, but it did not hold my interest.

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#1 what is a "trademark" genesis sound?

One of many types of sounds which are commonly used in actual Genesis games. It's hard to come up with specific examples, but like I said, sustained tones, arpeggios, and solid percussion seem to have been signature elements to most compositions for those games.

The sustained tones, especially, are lacking on that front.

#2 why does making a xylophone sound like a piano 'waste' the xylophone??

Because the whole point of having a xylophone is that it does not sound like a piano (or dulcimer, or harp, or trumpet, or violin, etc...), but it, instead, sounds like a xylophone.

If you're going to use a xylophone to make it sound like a piano, why not simply use a piano? (Unless you plan to do it as a small segment in a larger xylophone piece)

That is not the case, in this piece. In this piece, for the entire length, the genesis synth fails to produce sounds that provoke my memories of genesis music.

#3 The song WAS written and arranged for live instruments and transposed to the NES (hence the dueling banjos idea). Why do you think this detracts from the 'charm' of the NES sounds?

In the same way that composing a five and a half minute piece for the piano, with a pianos musical strengths, weaknesses and playing styles in mind, and then playing it with no alteration on a guitar would detract from the charm of the guitar's sounds.

Ironically, the only part which I felt made proper use of the NES sounds, is the one which was taken from the deliverance "dueling banjos" tune. (note that this part still made poor use of the Genesis synthesizer).

How would the NES sounds be different if the source material was all original and not 'transposed'?

The problem is not so much that the source material was transposed from SNES chip, or banjo to the NES + Genesis synths, it's that it was not sufficiently rearranged and interpreted to make good use of the instruments which "dueling consoles" was recorded on.

#4 How does a source tune being cacophonous preclude proper use of the NES and genesis synth sounds from being properly emphasized?

I did not say that the cacophony precludes proper use of the NES and/or genesis synth sounds.

I said that the it precludes proper emphasis on the "dueling consoles" concept, because in the tumult of sounds, it becomes difficult if not impossible to determine the origin of each particular sound.

In dueling banjos, the listener can easily keep track of which banjo is which, and they're the same instrument.

In dueling consoles, it is difficult to keep track of which is the NES and which is the Genesis, even during the call and response portions.

During the loud parts with many different synth instruments, it is all but impossible. Partially because the genesis sounds were chosen to directly mimic the NES synth instruments, but also because there are many different musical parts all being played at once, so it becomes a din.

Why do you think the source tune is cacophonous in the first place?? (I assume you meant cacophonous. You spelled it wrong in your review).

I did, indeed mean cacophonous.

and, while not true of the whole source, many segments could easily be described as "loud confusing disagreeable sounds" as in the definition of the word cacophony.

The source, however, uses it to good effect.

Please answer these questions as I'm utterly confused as to what your review is trying to say.

My review is trying to say that, in Dueling Consoles, Shnabubula made poor choice of genesis synth sounds, and took the wrong approach in translating the piece to nes+genesis chiptunes, with the result being that the piece fails to communicate its concept effectively.

That said, about three/quarters of my complaints wouldn't apply if I hadn't read the writeup before I downloaded. And if I listen to it without thinking about what shnabubula said he was trying to do, or thinking about what a genesis ought to sound like, it's not half bad.

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I don't think I gave this enough credit before. I think many remixers would feel satisfied with what you achieved up until the 2 minute mark, but the mix doesn't slow or loop from there, but takes the song to a different level. I wish I had this kind of talent ^^

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, this was ...it was quite nice.

I always liked the boss theme from SOM, I never understood how such a fast-paced and chaotic theme could morph and transition from one feeling to another so well.

But anyway, Shna has pretty much hit the core of this theme strongly. I always thought the song was a dueling or sorts...

It starts with the evil monster threatening and the uh, hero answering back...and then the evil theme comes back with more strength etc, only to be answered again by the really awesome theme that was always my favorite in the original (2:00 in this mix). And then it's all wrapped up to start over again.

So anyway, you hit the nail on the head on this one There was great expansion in this arrangement, but it kept (and enhanced) the spirit of the original. w

Wee

edit: p.s. controversy!

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  • Liontamer changed the title to OCR01485 - Secret of Mana "Dueling Consoles"

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