Sign in to follow this  
djpretzel

OCR01487 - Secret of Mana "Dark Star Scherzo"

Recommended Posts

I'm sure anyone who likes the music of Secret of Mana will enjoy this arrangement. It's a very intelligently written piece. The performance is fairly realistic.

I just don't like it. It's not entertaining. Perhaps it is a little bit as I try to think about it from a theoretical standpoint, but I simply don't like these sorts of piano pieces.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I originally heard this in RPGamer, and was impressed with it then, and am still impressed when I listen to it now. I find that the flavoring of the original tune throughout fits very well while leaving a lot of room for additions and alterations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to see this on OCRemix. I heard it a while back and absolutely loved it. I'm still a fan of the original sample though. To me is sounded crisper and cleaner. Awesome arrangement though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
it just sounds boring and mechanical to me.

The use of dynamics in this piece is superb. It's the recording quality that makes it harder to notice.

Anyway...

I LOVE this to death.

So much personality, excellent ideas that flow together really well. Just amazing stuff, I especially like the first moments.

Hope you keep remixing, man!

EDIT: Forgot to mention that the contrast between softer and more agitated parts is really well done. Impressive arrengment skills.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This remix definitely will make any Secret of Mana fan smile. In my first listen-through, there were some sections where I did not totally "get." But after listening to it a couple of times, I have a better understanding as to what the remixer was going for. I think that it'll take some time for this remix to definitely grow on me. Nonetheless, I don't think that anyone can deny that this is an amazing and equally impressive performance.

Good work, Jormungand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh man, where to start. I'm a fan of piano arrangements that are well put together. This song is no exception. The feeling is on a whole new level. As stated in the comments, the composer and player of the piano, Jormungand, has a very unique playing style.

This song also has an added bonus for me, as I can visualize things through listening to this song. Picture this: It's fall and you're standing in front of a huge stone mansion. Inside you can hear the sounds of a piano, simple notes to start, but then more complex as the notes seem to rebound off of each other. You step through a huge wooden door hinged with black iron and begin to follow the sounds of the piano growing ever louder. Running through the halls, feet beating down on the cherry maple floor, the piano begins to reach a peak that almost makes you want to cry. You need to find this piano, you think you've found the room, but when you burst through the iron-wrought doors, you find nothing, and the playing slows down to an almost dismal level. Now it sounds as if it's accross the mansion. Heart beating faster, you blast through the doors oncest again, while the notes from the piano pick up faster and louder. Dynamic as it is, you're almost mad with delight as you burst through opening to find a piano... but no one playing. Your heart sinks, and you begin to leave. As you pass through the huge door entrance, you smile a small smile as the piano picks up again. So the chase is on...

Perhaps that was too elaborate, but I couldn't stop myself. Anyway, that's what I feel about this piece.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I share zircon's opinion as well, this stuff really does sound live. The melody being displayed was a nice pick I believe, the brigher keys playing brought some new life into this song.

I don't really know what else to say about this, makes me happy that technology has gone so far now that you don't need to play piano to create such beautiful pieces like this. Knowledge on how to use remix equipment is however a completely other subject, so let's not go there.

The one thing I admired about this piece is the flow, the lower keys that follows the brigher ones, it's almost like you can imagine someone playing rapidly with their fingers on top of the panel. How the melody of this theme echoes....it's wonderful.

Jormungard, thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joe rocks the house! Another one I've been waiting patiently for; glad to see it's finally arrived, and glad to see Jormungand finally winding up on OCR. First, I'll get my criticisms out of the way - I'm not too keen on the production, and figured that'd be the aspect that would let this mix down when it came to being judged. Fortunately (and surprisingly) it only recieved the one NO, so I guess it can't be too much of a concern, but yeah, I'd definitely have preferred something a little more convincing in that department, though I'm aware that such tools were not available to him at the time of this piece's writing. Even better would be printing a score and getting someone to play/recording it. Maybe somewhere down the line we'll (or at least I'll ;)) be able to hear this with a more convincing sample bank. Either that or I'll ask for a MIDI sequence!

Another small criticism I had was similar to that which Larry mentioned; in places the texture is more sparse than I think it could do with being, almost as if it needs some strings to back it up.

I think the pluses far outweigh that small gripe though. The arrangement here is very mature; clearly Joe knows what it's all about, putting his own flair into the piece, be it rhythmic, structural, harmonic, whatever - and no small amount of it. There's a lot of subtle details put into this which make this both an interesting and enjoyable development. I love the real precise attention to dynamics/note velocities, so it doesn't surprise me that people would think this was recorded in realtime.

Better still, not only is it steprecorded/sequenced, but he's no pianist, so to create a solid piano arrangement such as this has surely taken some good measure of skill. It goes to show that not being able to play an instrument isn't always a good excuse for not being able to write for it! Joe clearly knows his way around a piano, even if not in realtime.

I have to say though, I didn't really grasp the Hamauzu aspects, which is a surprise since I would have thought I'd been schooled enough on this man to pick up on such things by now. It may just be the mixing and sharp thin piano sample that throws me off.

Definitely want to hear more remixes from this man in future. THUMBS UP!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Better still, not only is it steprecorded/sequenced, but he's no pianist, so to create a solid piano arrangement such as this has surely taken some good measure of skill. It goes to show that not being able to play an instrument isn't always a good excuse for not being able to write for it! Joe clearly knows his way around a piano, even if not in realtime.

Overall, an excellent mix, but something kept irking me about this as a pianist - the balance between bass and treble that most pieces contain is absent for a good portion of this piece. The bass is right up there in your face, and it often drowns out the actual melody, which is being played much softer in the uppermost registers of the instrument. This is OK to emphasize the bass for a few measures, but do it too often and the melody gets drowned out - and most of the expressiveness of the song with it. That may be why people have complained that it sounds somewhat mechanical - lots of dynamics, but only the large crescendos are audible. Most of the subtle dynamic variations (and they are usually more powerful when you can hear them in the melody, not just the accompaniment) that make a piano piece sound more "human" are inaudible, whether or not they're actually present.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This a superb piece. I fell in love with it right away. As for me, I don't hear anything mechanical about it. It sounds live and amazingly expressionistic, in my opinion. Making it sound crisper might even ruin it for me. I've never been a huge fan of piano remixes for some reason, but this one took the cake for me. It's my favorite piano piece right now. Thanks for the beautiful work, Jormungand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This a superb piece. I fell in love with it right away. As for me, I don't hear anything mechanical about it. It sounds live and amazingly expressionistic, in my opinion. Making it sound crisper might even ruin it for me. I've never been a huge fan of piano remixes for some reason, but this one took the cake for me. It's my favorite piano piece right now. Thanks for the beautiful work, Jormungand.

I feel the same way

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dark Star Scherzo is one of my favorite remixes. Of all time. It reeks of powerful emotion regardless of quality issues. Jormungand plays with feeling And believe it or not, no matter how good you are on piano, if you can't play with feeling, a song will have less effect on the listener.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't really like this when I first heard it, mostly because the way it's recorded made it sound dull and uninteresting. But recently it's really started to grow on me. The arrangement is really creative, and it really enhanced the source (eg. 1:21). That piano sample is pretty good too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would you all believe it took me this long to realize there was a remix review forum? >.<'

I have to be honest, I was shocked that my arrangement made it, and even more surprised at all the positive commentary. I'm very glad that it was able to entertain some of you, as that's all that matters to me in the long run.

I figured I'd address a few things regarding the mix for the sake of clarity, though most has already been illuminated.

First (and I want to emphasize this point the most), as many of you deciphered this arrangement was entirely sequenced. The limits of my piano proficiency qualify me, at best, to be a master performer of the ABC song (and that's on good days). Still, my love for the instrument and all the inspirational literature for it I've experienced is always foremost in my mind when I'm sequencing piano music. While it's impossible to imitate human performance, especially on a solo instrumental piece, if I was able to impart at least a fraction of human expression then I achieved my goal.

As for the recording quality, yeah, it's not terribly good. At the time, I was recording using GPO's steinway (the previous sample I used―the one that is currently on vgmix―was too bright for my tastes so I opted to re-record with the darker steinway sound). However, this also forced me to rebalance the MIDI date itself―mainly to correct velocity issues. Additionally I modified the ending in attempts to make it sound less abrupt.

Interestingly, I hadn't even noticed the stereo issue until after I recorded and submitted. You know how you listen to something so many times certain details become numb? Composers and remixers, you know what I'm talking about. ;) Unfortunately, even if I had noticed it earlier, I wouldn't have had the means to fix it due to inadequate computer power and even less adequacy in having any production skills to speak of. I rely entirely on the samples and my own sequencing; don't know a damn thing about mastering.

Finally, I'd like to acknowledge those who expressed interest in sheet music for Dark Star Scherzo. It's not something I've ruled out altogether, and it's certainly possible (I may not be able to play piano to save my life, but I can notate for it! :P). Currently I've got four remixes on the queue, as well as a thousand^3 compositions in the works, so I'm not sure when (or if) I'll find the time to sit down and develop an appropriate and accurate transcription in Finale. I did offer the raw midi file to those of you who emailed me, so hopefully that will satisfy some of your needs (even if it's partially) for the time being.

Anyway, thanks again for all the feedback, positive and negative alike. I hope to continue sharing with the vgm community in the future. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say this remix is nice. And just to show that I'm not bias I haven't read any other reviews on this song yet. It has a very "waltzy" attitude. I like it, it's delicious. I'm a sucker for Piano melodies, though.

In the middle it starts to just throw staccato chords in there. I thought that sounded a little... bland. I didn't like that part much. But after that it rollentandos. That was nice. Woo. I liked your remix... kind of.

8 out of 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this