Emunator

OCR03351 - *YES* Chrono Trigger 'The Dark Defender' *PROJECT*

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This is a mix for the upcoming album 'BadAss Volume 3'!

ReMixer name: pu_freak
Name of game(s) arranged: Chrono Trigger (SNES)
Name of arrangement: The Dark Defender
Name of individual song(s) arranged: Magus Confronted
Your own comments about the mix, for example the inspiration behind it, how it was made, etc.:

 

For BadAss 3, my aim was to create an album of mixes that make you feel evil, sinister, or twisted. To achieve that, people should either have something bombastic or epic in their mix (like the Imperial March), or make it creepy and twisted. I've always used one example for the latter category: the 'Blood Theme' from Dexter. To that end, I wanted to make a mix of my own in 'Blood Theme'-style. 

The mix starts the same as Magus' Castle theme, with brooding low strings and howling wind in the background. However, when playing the real Magus theme, I only use the two chords that are present in the Blood Theme (two chords that are twisted in itself). In the 0:29 - 1:20 part, I've used music bells that are very close the the background motif used in 'Blood Theme'. I couldn't do much else in terms of recreating the Blood Theme-vibe, since incorporating non-VGM is unwanted of course, but I think it's enough to remind people of the Blood Theme and to give the same creepy and twisted vibe. To increase the twisted feeling, I've made a dynamic panning and volume for the music bells, and the music box later in the mix. Furthermore, some intstruments (most notably the piano at the end) have a chorus effect, making them sound more distorted. Big differences in volume throughout will - hopefully - also instigate an unsettling effect and the mix featured brooding strings throughout. The uses of music bells and music boxes should also add to the creepy feeling. In terms of vibe, this mix combines the feeling of my Pokémon track on OCR and my Gilgamesh mix from BadAss 1.

The mix is a bit shorter than usual for me, but that's because you can only do so much with two chords (and I even cheated once at 1:16 by using two other chords). I've not fully used the source (which has to do with the very limited chord progression I could use), but the source is very recognizable I think. I've been more on the liberal side of OCR - this is no exception - but I think people will have more ease recognizing the source here than in my Pokémon track. In any case, good luck with the judging!

Source:

- Magus Confronted

 

- Blood Theme (For reference only - not actually featured in the remix)

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It was really insightful reading your writeup on this track and making the A-to-B connections from elements from "Blood Theme" that you incorporated into your own mix. Conceptually, I feel like this is a very successful track at creating the foreboding, moody vibe you were going for. I really dug the subtle integration of the bells throughout the track. The source usage goes off-rails at times but I had no problem identifying this as a Magus remix.

 

Mixing-wise, I thought your string sample was weak and contributed some muddiness during some of the more energetic piano sections. Your piano sample still sounds a little on the fake side and starts sounding indistinct when you start playing heavier on the low notes, but it's a pretty appropriate tone for this mix and I think the realism is good enough to pass muster. The wind sound effects felt very lo-fi, but it's not a big deal.

 

There's still room for improvement on the sound quality/mixing front but I think this is above the bar, thanks to a pretty solid arrangement and concept that I feel mitigates any of the sound quality issues.

 

YES

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Neat concept; love that Dexter piece and I think the spiritual (not literal) incorporation of it into the CT source worked well. Not much to add relative to Emunator's vote; strings were a little weak, as he said, but not a deal-breaker.

 

YES

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Cool concept here - taking the Magus theme from Epic Showdown to a darker brooding style (but still driving energy).

 

Really like the arrangement work here.  Clearly, lots of thought was put into how to modify the chords and melodies to achieve the dark tone.

 

Like Emu mentioned, the production is pretty solid, but some improvement is still possible.  In the louder sections, the lower piano notes become indistinct against the strings and the upper notes sound a bit heavy in the 2khz or so range.  Minor nitpick: not sure if you were going for realism, but the wind effect sounds pretty fakey to me - like it came from a game itself.  

 

Relatively short and to the point, but the arrangement sounds complete and cohesive.  Good stuff here.

 

YES

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Nice arrangement, though the piano sample really isn't up to the task. Gets really messy later on in the mix, especially around the 1:55 mark.

 

Feels like this needs another pass on production. Wind sound is super fake and pulls me out, and the piano sample sounds too bright and the reverb is kind of making everything bleed together.

 

NO, resub

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The track was 2:57-long, so I needed at least 88.5 seconds' worth overt usage of the source for it to be dominant here:

:19-:32, :39.5-:58.5, 1:00.5-1:23.5, 1:41.5-1:49, 1:51.5-2:00.5, 2:27-2:47.5 = 92 seconds or 51.97%

There could be other minor things I'm overlooking, but I just needed to confirm the source use checked out given some of the longer stretches where things seemed wholly original.

I think DarkeSword's right with his criticisms, but I didn't think they added up to a dealbreaker. Smallest thing first, the wind SFX does sound fake, so I understand why it was pointed out, but it's literally meant to sound similar to the wind SFX in the source, so I don't see the big deal there due to that connection.

The timing being so stilted and exposing the piano sample was personally my biggest issue. The production and piano tone could be improved, but what's here is solid enough, with the arrangement carrying things. If this had a dryer sound, this would have been a NO based on DarkeSword's other crits, because those issues would have stood out much more.

What's here gets it done enough.

YES

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