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Emunator

OCR03255 - *YES* Chrono Trigger 'Coming Darkness'

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Remix Title: Coming Darkness
Remixers: Chris Bess, ffmusicdj, Geoffrey Taucer
Game: Chrono Trigger
Tracks arranged: Millennial Fair, Magus's Theme, Schala's Theme
 
Who did what:
Taucer: arrangement, guitars
Haroon: arrangement, production
Chris Bess: tank drum
 
Taucer says:
Millennial Fair has always been one of my favorite game tracks; I've played it at MAGfest with two separate bands, and it's always a blast to play these sorts of happy bouncy Irish-influenced songs that Mitsuda does so well.
So of course, when it came to remixing it for OCR, I decided to go with the obvious choice of completely throwing out all that happy bouncy Irish stuff and turning it into headbanging metal with middle-eastern influences. I started on this track years ago, and then left it on the backburner for awhile. Last year, I went back home and visited several of my former students, among them Chris. While we were hanging out, he pulled out his tank drum and played around a bit, and I instantly thought of this old WIP and knew I wanted to feature Chris in it. A few months later, Chris came out to visit me in Cali, and he and Haroon recorded a bunch of loops for this track (as well as individual note samples that we'll eventually be assembling into a commercially-available sample library). All of the tank drum parts you hear in this are played live -- we didn't use any of the individual samples, just Chris's awesome grooves.
We also used this mix to extensively demo Haroon's Mr. Overdrive plugin, which is quite versatile and which I highly recommend everybody check out.
One more note, lest I be accused of being a better guitarist than I actually am, let me say up front: I cheated on the lead run at 2:40, and recorded it at about half-speed.
 
FFmusicdj says:
It was fun working with Jeremy. From the engineering aspect, it was an easy project to finish. Drums were the only part that I was worried about but found nice default samples to work with. A lot of the instruments weren't wide enough for my taste. Too many resided in the mono range. I've recently created a new plug-in called Mr. Overdrive. It has a feature that allows me to make tracks wide in stereo width. The ethnic instruments were all mono and were widened by Mr. Overdrive. Mr. Overdrive is also being used to amplify some of the guitar tracks and resonate the drum kick in lower frequency. Currently Mr. Overdrive is only available as a Rack Extension for Reason 6.5 and up. You can download a free demo of Mr. Overdrive from the Propellerhead shop page, and try it out for yourself. VST will be available soon.
Chris was a blast to work with, very professional while recording the steel drums. The drums were recorded in stereo. I love Jeremy's sick guitar solo, best yet! That rhythm guitar is being quaded. Wouldn't have it any other way.
I can not wait to work on more music with Jeremy. We have a lot more coming.
 
Chris says:
This is actually the first time I’ve ever worked on a mix, although I’ve been a fan of OCR for years now. It’s also the first time I’ve ever been recorded, since I usually just take my tank drum out and play around for fun, and for the public in busy places on Friday nights while I hope for a couple of tips and nice conversation from strangers who have never seen something like this drum before.
When Jeremy came down to visit, I knew I had to show him, and who knew it would lead to something amazing like this mix! It’s been a great time making music and recording with Jeremy and Haroon, and I’m glad I was able to contribute something new and interesting to the song. I definitely hope to collaborate further in the future.

 

Sources:

 

Millenial Fair

Schala's Theme

Magus's Theme

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I recommend that my fellow judges listen to this one first before reading the submission email, going in blind sans-spoilers will give you a better first-time listening experience here!

 

Like everything you two have submitted recently, this is ambitious and entirely unexpected. I'm excited whenever I open up a Taucer/Haroon submission because I know I'm getting something fresh. The first minute of the track sounds very much like the Potion Shop theme from Ocarina of Time... I know Jeremy's a huge Zelda fan so I can't help but feel that might be intentional. The transition afterward into full-blown metal was a great, albeit unexpected direction to take the source in. My favorite aspect of the track is the different melodic variations on a whole slew of very recognizable source tunes, I think people will appreciate the work you did here even if this isn't a very true-to-source remix.

 

Production is mostly solid here - I feel that, like your previous submission 'Ragnarok,' the rock guitar tone could be even more powerful and the kit drums & snare are somewhat weak, but your current production model gives this an interesting garage-rock quality that doesn't sink the track dead in the water by any means. The production on the ethnic sections sound a lot more full, and the live drums are very well-mixed and recorded.

 

This is definitely over the bar for me, I'm interested to see how this sits with everyone else!

 

YES

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The drums (kit) are clearly sequenced, and honestly don't sound terribly real. They're mixed adequately though, fitting nicely into that garage-rock-y feel that Emu mentioned. Steel drums add a super cool flavor and don't clash. Arrangement is just fine, nothing that was mind-blowing but certainly solid.

I really don't like the drum sequencing, and if it were to be redone more realistically I'd be much happier, but everything else seems to get this thing over the bar, I think.

YES (borderline)

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An interesting take on this source. I enjoyed the instrumental selection and progression over the course of the track.

 

A couple of points:

  • I agree with flex that the drums are not overly interesting in this mix. This is partly exacerbated by the fact that the musical elements surrounding them are real so the parts stick out. It's not a deal breaker for me but a bit more attention to detail would have strengthened the percussion and mix overall.
  • I found the distortion guitar tone a bit bland and quite dry. It didn't wreck the mix for me but I would've liked to see some more development there.

 

I thought this mix was ok production wise, I could make out all the elements and didn't have any major problems with the mixing.

 

YES

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The track was barely under 4:00-long, so I needed at least 120 seconds of overt source usage for the source to be dominant in the arrangement:

:25.5-57.5, 1:38.5-2:11, 2:23.5-2:28.5, 2:43.5-3:14.25, 3:16.25-3:30.5, 3:32.5-3:39.75 = 121.75 seconds or 50.73% overt source usage

Close shave, at least in terms of what I could make out, but it gets a toe over the line. :-)

I agree with the criticisms about the drumwork sounding somewhat rigid/robotic/underwhelming in places, but to me it wasn't a big deal in the big picture and the tone was solid enough where it meaningfully filled out the track and drove it forward. The guitar work was fine, and I see where that tone/meat criticism comes from, but that's more of a personal taste thing for me.

Great job arranging these themes, and I loved the ethnic sections in particular. Everything pieced together smoothly and the original writing & grace notes clicked nicely with all 3 themes. Nice work from Jeremy & Haroon again, with excellent organic additions from Chris (welcome aboard!).

YES

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