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djpretzel

OCR01531 - Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past "Dark World Prelude & March"

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While not all the samples are of the highest quality, the overriding factor is the outstanding arrangement. I couldn't help but think of Star Wars at 2:40. Dun dun dun dun...alright I'll stop there, haha. Nice work!! :D

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I think there may be something wrong with the file I downloaded. The first time I played it in Winamp, it reported that the length was 5:44. The second time, it said 6:37. Third time was 7:03. Fourth was 6:29. I think the actual length is closer to 5:15.

I like the idea of what was done but don't necessarily like how it was executed. Two things that I didn't agree with: 1) The transitions didn't seem to make sense to me, meaning that they didn't sound smooth and the sounds that were played felt noisy and random. There also didn't seem to be any element that connected one theme to the others. 2) would be sound quality. Normally, this is forgiveable, but for this particular genre, I think quality is critical in order to make it believable. I'm sure there were some technical limitations, but I feel the samples could have been much better, and in some places I felt that volume was substituted for proper emphasis (i.e. notes should have been played softly instead of quietly if that makes any sense). I think more instruments also would have helped.

Another thing about this genre is that these types of pieces are usually very long. Cramming three musical themes down into 5 minutes makes it hard to appreciate any of them. I can understand the reasoning why one would leave it short, though. File size and patience of listeners.

Anyways, I'm not trying to pick this apart but just give my overall impression. Let it be known, however, that I loved the Death Mountain theme starting at 2:40! That rocked and I felt it was the most passionate part of the mix. I think you could have easily just taken this theme and made it its own remix.

I look forward to checking out some of your other work.

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There is definitely something wrong with the file. Quicktime and iTunes will not play it at all. I had to play it in Windows Media Player.

Anyway, as for the song...

I thought that samples were alright. There were very few issues that I had with them. The only things that came into play were awkward orchestration and poor production.

The prelude had great production, but it became very bland after that. The entire piece sounds like a hybrid between a film score and a marching band show. That makes this a very boring piece to listen to for me. There's very little going on here that catches my attention.

I didn't care for it, but that's because I mostly don't care for pieces written in this style.

EDIT: Sorry for being such an ass. This is neither a bad nor a boring piece of music.

Edited by oakthielbar
I was an asshole

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I look forward to any orchestral arrangement posted on ocremix because it’s always interesting to hear the different approaches to orchestration generated by a love of game music. And since I’m familiar with the source tunes, it’s very easy to see how the material was interpreted.

The use of celesta in the first minute reminds me of Silvestri’s Back to the Future score; very nice and atmospheric.

The harmonies with the bassoons at around 0:47 are also very nice, and especially Herrmann-esque. I think the oboe becomes a little too dominant during this moment, though. The use of winds overall is a plus in my book.

The cello solo and subsequent sustained dissonance would benefit from a sample upgrade. When you start doing more ambient effects with the orchestra (as opposed to melodic/harmonic) with all those solo bits, the sound really becomes dependent on the instrument and not the writing.

The switch from a dissonant Ab harmony to Ab major at around 1:40 sounds confusing for two reasons. For one, the dissonance is not resolved in a pleasing way, though it's a good idea. Also, once the Ab major theme starts, there doesn’t seem to be a heavy enough bass to carry the harmony. I’m not too sure about the harmonic progression beginning at 2:11 to reach 2:20. (The exact times keep switching on me, so I can best describe this as the part leading up to the F in the trumpets with the cymbal crash.) However, the part that follows is great because it has a strong harmony supported in the trombones.

The march is really well orchestrated. You make use of different combinations of instruments, every line is strong, and I get a real Star Wars vibe from it, especially in your use of counterpoint (excellent use of low strings). Speaking of which, I think the whole counter-theme section at around 3:14 is the highlight of the piece. The key change near 3:48 is also great, and I’m sure you got that idea from the Imperial March. :)

The Stravinsky-like crescendo at around 4:00 is again one of those things that sound better coming from real instruments. The following climax too suffers from problems with the ranges the instruments are sounding in (too much treble.) I think the trumpets could be doubled with the trombones an octave lower just to get more of that brassy sound in the mid-range.

I think you should try to get this performed. It would work really well in that capacity.

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The march is really well orchestrated. You make use of different combinations of instruments, every line is strong, and I get a real Star Wars vibe from it, especially in your use of counterpoint (excellent use of low strings). Speaking of which, I think the whole counter-theme section at around 3:14 is the highlight of the piece. The key change near 3:48 is also great, and I’m sure you got that idea from the Imperial March.

You know, even before this mix, the Dark World music sounded a lot like

Imperial March to me. Maybe a little too similar in fact...

But I actually like this ReMix. Oddly, I think one of the reasons I like it is

because it further confirms in my mind the similarity between the two tracks.

The samples seemed ok to me. I like dynamic orchestral tracks, and this fits the bill nicely.

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The march is really well orchestrated. You make use of different combinations of instruments, every line is strong, and I get a real Star Wars vibe from it, especially in your use of counterpoint (excellent use of low strings). Speaking of which, I think the whole counter-theme section at around 3:14 is the highlight of the piece. The key change near 3:48 is also great, and I’m sure you got that idea from the Imperial March.

You know, even before this mix, the Dark World music sounded a lot like

Imperial March to me. Maybe a little too similar in fact...

Turnabout's fair play. The Imperial March always sounded a little too similar to Holst's Mars.

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Thanks Mage.

The beginning is very fine, portentous and yet not inactive. Obvious synthetic nature of the strings just a cost of doing business in the remix community. Scattered percussion sounds very similar to something Alan Hovhaness might write.

It proceeds very quietly towards the actual march, but there's no real boredom. The mixer always adds something new as the song goes on, keeping even repetitions of the theme fresh. People could learn.

By about the halfway mark, one would guess we're within the Adagio of a symphony, but no, the march is starting up. The brass crescendoes--and some glissandi on some instrument I can't identify--are wonderful. The timbral contrasts--sudden darknesses as winds take over, bright brass--are enjoyable.

My compliments to the remixer. My only complaint is the obvious synthetic nature of the brass and strings--but I realize that's not exactly fair, given most of us do not have orchestras at our disposal. Well done.

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WinAmp > iTunes. (also xmms) Ha!

This is pretty cool. Crazy dynamics! They usually work in classical music but some of these songs on this site could benefit from some heavy compression.

The first 2 minutes or so are pretty abstract and uneventful. Sounded like it was going to go into Feena (Ys) music at around 0:50. Most of the samples sound great, but that makes the constrasting weaker ones (mostly horns) really glaring.

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Seems like there's a big nod to Silvestri here which I love. If that's the case, you did a great job. If it's not the case, you might listen to too much Silvestri?

Anyway, awesome stuff! Great orchestral arrangement.

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WinAmp > iTunes. (also xmms) Ha!

Okay, but it still doesn't change the fact that all the other songs play in itunes and this one doesn't. Also I'm not likely to switch to.... wait a minute. Did you say WinAmp is better than Itunes? What's the color of the sky in your world, sweetheart?

Thanks for putting it up again, Black Mage.

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I have to say I didn't enjoy it. Not because it's poorly arranged, but because the sample quality is really poor. This is particularly apparent after the 1:15 mark when the percussion comes in. Personally, I would of wanted this to be resubmitted with new samples.

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I really liked it. Great cover of the Death Mountain/Dark Woods theme. Excellent, really. I agree there are a couple spots where the sampling is weak, but the overal arrangement is so good, that it didn't take away from the song for me.

I give it a 4/5, only taking away points for those weak samples and because the beginning is a little uninteresting, or at least not as powerful as the ending.

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