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OCR03397 - *YES* Mega Man 2 'Dark Depths of Wily's Castle'

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ReMixer name - RushJet1
real name - Tadd Nuznov
music link - 
email address - 
website - http://nsf.4x86.com or http://rushjet1.bandcamp.com
userid - 9191
Name of game(s) arranged - Mega Man 2
Name of arrangement - Dark Depths of Wily's Castle
Name of individual song(s) arranged - Wily Castle stages 3 & 4

-comments-

This was originally made for my Mega Man 2 Remade project.  This version it has been cleaned up a good amount since the original release.  I always thought the first Wily Castle theme from Mega Man 2 got entirely too much coverage on remix sites, and even though the second theme was just the same bar raised a half step over and over, I thought I'd give it a crack anyway.  This song is straight Famitracker/NES/VRC6 with the extra 2 square channels panned about 75% left and right.

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here's the source link for fellow joojz: 

 

It's pretty ambitious to consider this specific source for a remix, especially using famitracker, but using the source as a canvas to paint a pretty creative theme and variations structure is the perfect way to go about it. I love how each variation increases the intensity, and the melodic additions or ornamenting the melody heavily while keeping the same 4 notes is really well done.

 

I like the parts where you use the 4 note progression of the source as a call, and then respond with a resolving melody line. The added backing arpeggios, bassline, and percussion all flows well, and while there is significant (SIGNIFICANT) expansion, the source is audible for basically the entire song. The transition at 2:30 was a small hiccup, IMO, but overall not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things. 

 

Production overall is strong and clear, and a lot of care has been put into making the soundscape full and rich. 

 

Pretty masterful work, it's like you've built your own epic boss fortress on the smoldering ruin's of Wily's castle. 

 

Yes

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Definitely love the intensity growth throughout the track. I always found the original to be a little bland, but you have a ton of stuff going on to keep the interest level moving without overpowering the source theme. Agreed with Andrew that the production is clear as well, nothing feels drowned out or muddled. Really fun listen overall!

 

YES

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I like this version so much better than the original, this mix really sounds like it belongs in the game.  Awesome work stretching this near-nothing source into a cohesive and emotive arrangement while keeping the original chip sounds intact.  Drums could use a bit more highs but no major problem.  I really love this.

 

YES

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Compared to the mangling that Mazedude did to this source years back, this track seems downright normal by comparison. However, compared to the source you went a long way to adapt a very challenging source into actual engaging arrangement with dynamics and change-ups. Kristina is right, this would sound right at home in the actual game OST. 

Production here is fine, it’s hard to go wrong with the classic chip tune pallet you’re utilizing, but where this REALLY shines on the arrangement front. I’m not sure how you found the inspiration to work with this source but the end result is great!

YES

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djp's not been in favor of pure chiptune pieces in the past with limited production choices, so this would have to clear where he sees the bar as far as songs solely employing chiptune tones. As Tadd noted, the extra VRC6-based channels were panned, but that may not be enough. I've personally been fine with straight chiptunes, even in light of the "limited production choices" argument, but djp can clarify his stance on all that.

Arrangement-wise, the integration of the original notes combined with the Wily theme were a seamless fit, and the way Tadd gradually built things and introduced more complex supporting writing was well done!

There were a few extended sections that didn't reference the source, so I did a source usage breakdown just to be sure I wasn't just wow'ed by how impressive the combination of VGM + original writing seemed; it's gotta lean toward using the VGM. For a 3:59-long piece, this needed at least 149.5 seconds of overt source usage for me to consider the VGM dominant in the arrangement according to the Submissions Standards.

:09.5-:12.25, :15.5-:18.75, :22-:38.25, :41.5-:44.75, :48-1:03.5, 1:07-1:10, 1:13-1:16.5, 1:19.5-1:42.25, 1:45.5-1:48.5, 1:51.75-2:01.5, 2:04.5-2:33, 2:36.5-2:39.5, 2:48.5-3:09.75, 3:25.5-3:46.75, 4:03-4:24 = 165 seconds or 55.18% overt source usage

Production-wise, it sounds like the highest frequencies got muted, because there's a distinct lack of brightness and clarity. I thought there was noticable clutter, with the fullest section of 2:49-4:24 being a big example; for example, there the hat-like percussion pattern was and the drum kicks within the overall texture were just muddy and smothered.

Nonetheless, the main focus was going to be on the leading elements, and on that level they're clear and upfront, and the supporting elements lacking clarity didn't kill this dead, they just were something to improve so that the writing would be better appreciated. Initially, I would have went NO based on that lack of clarity in the back, as I have reservations on the production; chiptunes usually sound sharper/clearer than this. That said, the sound quality's not bad, and the arrangement creativity carries it.

YES

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Oh my God, I literally was just listening to this from his album two minutes before Larry posted his comments on it - I had no idea Rushjet1 was posting any of his arrangements on here. Forgive me for geeking out a little bit, but this makes me happy as hell.

Not that I can add much to what has already been said, but it's incredibly impressive just how much Rushjet1 has pulled from such a sparse source. There's a lot of original writing in this, but it's very solidly based on that rising, repetitive motif. Changing chords, antecedent/consequence form, generative development of new themes and motifs that build off of the previous material... if anyone wants a lesson on how to develop a simple source in rich, interesting ways, study this track. It's incredible.

The production is good, pushing great. I'd argue it's not astounding, as far as regular (or even chiptune) standards go, but it's still pretty solid. This track does a very good job establishing instruments and timbres that fill the space effectively, and the panning of the elements helps give the different channels some depth. There are a few cool tricks that are used to emulate things like delay and reverb, but overall the track has surprisingly few tricks that many chiptune artists utilize - this track would rather simply build instruments and let the arrangement do the core of the work. Considering the arrangement quality, that isn't a bad thing.

The arrangement is incredible, and the production is good, overall. I'm very glad to see people giving this a solid vote. My hopes are that this can act as a flagship for other chiptune artists to send some of their even more timbrally rich and complex remixes our way - it's a very under-represented genre, on here.

YES

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1 hour ago, Liontamer said:

djp's not been in favor of pure chiptune pieces in the past with limited production choices, so this would have to clear where he sees the bar as far as songs solely employing chiptune tones. As Tadd noted, the extra VRC6-based channels were panned, but that may not be enough. I've personally been fine with straight chiptunes, even in light of the "limited production choices" argument, but djp can clarify his stance on all that.

What became commonly misinterpreted as "OCR doesn't allow chiptunes!" really just boiled down to our looking for a level of complexity in ALL submissions - including chiptune-oriented mixes - that goes beyond what are commonly referred to as "demakes" - where a 16-bit or newer song is converted almost verbatim to chip textures. In addition to not passing arrangement muster, these types of conversions often (not always!) don't really employ the full range of capabilities of the chip(s) being utilized, and defer a lot of decisions about panning, modulation, texture, DSP, etc. to default values.

We need submissions to illustrate creativity AND decision-making in arrangement AND production, more or less. The latter is entirely possible within a primarily chiptune paradigm, as previous featured mixes have illustrated and as this mix illustrates as well.

No issues.

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