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OCR03224 - *YES* Chrono Trigger 'The Depetrification of the Submerged Forest'

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Hey guys! Here is an ambient mix I just finished less than a week ago, after many hours of tweaking. Please note, I also submitted a wizards and warriors remix over a month ago and I never received any confirmation email and haven't heard back from anyone. I know you guys are backlogged, so I'm assuming that's why, but just wanted to check. If you did get that one, I didn't put a remixer name down, but you can use the one I've made for this song in that one too if it's accepted, thanks! I couldn't get my DAW to bump this down from 32 bit to 16 bit. I hope that is okay. Details below:

Remixer Name: Zisotto
Real Name: Zack Sottolano
Email: 
Website: Youtube Account: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd3sHCKLl7A3Bpk7v2DaDQQ/videos
                 SoundCloud Account: https://soundcloud.com/zack-sottolano
UserId: Although I signed up a couple months ago, I never got an email with my userID. Please help!

Name of Game Arranged: Chrono Trigger
Name of Arrangement: The Depetrification of the Submerged Forest
Name of Individual Song Arranged: Secret of the Forest
Original Composer: Yasunori Mitsuda

Comments (Take what you need from here. It is my YouTube description): 

This is my remix of Chrono Trigger's "Secret of the Forest" theme. I have titled it "The Depetrification of the Submerged Forest." I think it has a very underwatery feel and I think it is the equivalent of taking a chill pill as well! 

Chrono Trigger is arguably one of the greatest RPG's of all time. Not only does it boast one of the best plotlines, but it also has one of the best soundtracks ever created, in my opinion. The score was mostly written by Yasunori Mitsuda, along with a few tracks being written by Nobuo Uematsu. The source material for this one (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_QxG...) is extremely well known and has been remixed hundreds, if not thousands, of times. It is a really relaxing, memorable, and soothing melody. I thought I'd brush up on my remixing chops and steer this into a more ambient mix. I wasn't planning on having this turn into a 10 minute piece, but the most important focus for this one was to create a soundscape that was very lush, and I quickly realized in order to fully explore my idea for this song, it'd take some time to develop the sound. I never really did a piece in this style before. It gets frantic early on and then mellows out about halfway through with some laid-back drums, and finally finishes off kind of edgy. 

The other issue I wanted to learn about and explore more was instrument development, and I tinkered for many hours to tweak the sounds, using effects such as delay, reverb, distortion, EQ, flangers, arpeggiators, envelope shapers, filters, compressors, panning, pitch adjusting, reverse processing, and quite a few more. I also developed sounds in Halion 5 from scratch and honed them to my liking using a zillion different knobs and automating controls such as volume and send effects. I cut down on my total instruments from my last video game remix from 205 down to only 64 for this one. I kind of realized my Wizards and Warriors mix was a bit chaotic and had too many different instruments and too much activity, ideas, and effects going on all at once, so I wanted to it be more cohesive this time around. 

I utilized virtual instrument plug-ins including pianos, an ocarina, orchestral harps, flamenco guitars, and mostly a ton of "world" and ethnic instruments to give it a more earthy feel. Some of those include a balalaika, pan flutes, a canapa, a balafon kalimba, a Celtic Harp, Himalayan Chimes, a Ney, and a few more. These were rounded off by more traditional instruments such as strings, but with surreal effects added so that they complimented the ethnic instruments, and also the inclusion of various pads for texture and character. 

I had a lot of fun making this one, it's probably a much different spin on the source material than what most are used to, but that was my intent, as I felt the song greatly lended itself to a subdued vibe that I wanted to experiment with, rather than just throw some beats and effects together. I'm pleased with the result and hope this song takes you away on a blissful reminiscience of the glory days of the SNES, traveling through time with Crono and Co!

 

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I was very skeptical that a ten minute remix of Secret of the Forest could work, but Zack gives it a good go here. Great sound design and mood and lots of ideas. It takes until 7:30 to get to the final section of the song, but I didn't think it ran out of ideas before then. What this does lack though, IMO, is direction. I could see YES votes on this, but I feel like the pace is a little too slow, without any major development once the main melody gets introduced. It sounds like the song is building up to something big for the first couple minutes, but it never moves out of that gear. There's also a fair amount of repetition of certain patterns despite the many ideas here; perhaps that's inevitable in a ten minute sub. This is closer to a pass than I thought it would be. I'm not sure it HAS TO be cut down in length, but that would be a good place to start to tackle the repetition issues. I also think it could use a more dramatic build-up and payoff.

 

NO (resubmit)

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Beautiful, lush soundscape that Zack has crafted here.  Despite the song's length, I never felt like I was getting bored or that there was anything that was anything overly repetitive about how he handled the arrangement.  It also never felt like it lost sight of the original source connections.

 

I disagree on a track like this needs (or necessarily should) have more in the way of builds and payoffs.  This is supposed to be an ambient mix after all and the mixer has done a great job keeping fresh ideas flowing throughout and also keeping a degree of understated energy moving through the second half.

 

The only real disappointing part for me was that the ending was a bit sudden and could've resolved better.  Otherwise, I'm really liking what I'm hearing here and hope we can hear some more tracks from you soon.

 

YES

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Heard the source in play from 1:17-4:25, 5:42-6:08, 6:33-6:56, and 6:59-9:51, i.e. used in spades.

 

The source theme was used pretty consistently, and there were some more subtle but explicit chord progression usages that seemed valid but I chose not to count (e.g. 6:08-6:33), since the source usage was clearly dominant and I didn't need to get that into the weeds.

 

It felt a bit overlong for me, so I see how Palpable was put off in that way. However, I didn't feel I was hearing much retreading, so I couldn't co-sign on that.

 

I'm more in line with Nutritious's POV. The first overt usage of the melody around 1:27 already sounded promising as far as going for a different sound, but the arrangement/interpretation call could been dicey had this just been 10 minutes of the piano lead and carrying a similar tone as the original song. That said, the arrangement evolved well enough over the near-10 minutes, and Zack did well with constantly varying the instrumentation and making sure the textures were different from the original. Let's go.

 

YES

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Going to also agree with Justun here. I think the mix does a great job of being pretty ambient and wandering, but I felt like there is enough variations and approaches that prevent the mix from being too repetitive. Also going to agree that the mix works despite or even because of the strong lack of direction. It floats along and gets where it needs to go eventually, and you get to float along for the ride.

I love that mixers are still able to approach often mixed songs and still find a way to make it unique!

Yes

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Absolutely gorgeous ambiance sets the mood nicely here. I love how deep your bass tones are and how enveloping your atmosphere is without becoming too crowded. I never felt like you were treading water to fill out time, either - despite the lack of a clearly-defined structure, you continued to introduce new instruments, effects, and ideas that kept things rolling along nicely. Aside from the overall soundscape, a big highlight for me was the glitching on your acoustic instruments - that had a very Jon Hopkins-esque feel to it that really grabbed my attention.

 

The strange pitch-bent synth that popped up briefly during the last minute did not seem to fit, but not a big deal. In general I thought the lead choices were well-chosen but there are times where it felt like you just slapped the patch onto the melody without much concern for articulation or velocity, so a lot of the melodies came across sounding stiff and unrealistic. Not a huge deal in the face of everything that you did right here, but the sequencing was underwhelming to me. Small potatoes but that might be an area to address with your future submissions.

 

I love what I'm hearing here, ambient mixes are very susceptible to becoming boring or overlong but you adeptly avoided both of those and brought something totally fresh to the table. Good stuff!

 

YES

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