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OCR03794 - *YES* Diablo 2 "Children of Zakarum"


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  • Diablo II
  • Children Of Zakarum
  • Docks
  • Comments:
Alright, here we go. I've been looking at this source for a while now, wanting to do something with it. I've been a massive Diablo fan since 199X, so why not continue my journey into slow EDM with another, even slower entry with this arrangement of Docks, a track that's in the original game but wasn't included in the soundtrack until the expansion release due to the time constraints of the CD format. (So don't be fooled by this; It's from the original Diablo II).
The chromatic percussion (especially the marimba) didn't work well with the soundscape I was creating, so I ended up exchanging it for something brighter and more plato-esque(?), using the same sample for all percs.
Working with Schism Tracker has its drawbacks. #NoEQ
* The intro is loosely based on the first few moments of the source (atmosphere and some loose chords). I made it as tiny as I possibly could to make the buildup section feel more powerful when it drops at 0:38.
* The buildup itself is based on the source's final section.
* As for the theme / main part. This is one of the melodies that are recurring in the game, but IMO the context here makes it work as a Docks arrangement.
I also super-imposed it on a slightly different chord line here, to give it a more chromatic feel. 
The extra chords are based on the fantastic augmented A 7th chord that appears once in the buildup to the theme in the source, making the tonal progression go from C# to B to A and then to A# / Bb. 
It's such an expressive line that I wanted to use it somehow; luckily, the second half of the melody fits over it! 
* That said, its introduction at 0:55 the chords are more similar to the original.
* I also used the small interlude before that in the source as a breakdown after the main section instead, because i think it fits better there in this arrangement.
Wow, that was a long write-up. Enjoy!
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Holy moley, is this a full blown Diablo II remix? Jeez, I've played that game more than I care to admit, and I have to say while the music in it is great and fitting, it ain't easy to arrange the non-Tristram music considering it's much more ambient than not. Full kudos for giving this some love, here.

As far as the arrangement goes, I'll say that the source does seem to check out. I do appreciate the subtractive arranging that's going on with some of the themes in order to get some mileage out of them without getting too stale (like how the source is handled at 0:38, for example). You don't have much to work with, and you do a great job stretching those motifs. The introduction of instruments gradually throughout the track also helps breathe new life into the arrangement just before it gets too stale.

The drums are serviceable, but unlike the rest of the instrumentation they feel like the kick just plods along for 75% of the track. There are some fills that change things up, and they aren't ALWAYS present, but the kick does just feel like it plods along with the beat, which gets boring over the track. It's not debilitating, but considering how the rest of the track does to prevent itself from getting static the kick works against you, here.

The production is heavy in the lower end of the soundscape for much of the arrangement, but when it fills out toward the end it does a nice job filling that space. Otherwise, the instruments are all pretty crunchy, which sounds intentional in this case.

Yeah, I like this, and I dig that you went for Diablo II, of all games. We need some more Blizzard love on here, I say, so let's get it up there.


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  • Gario changed the title to 2018/04/01 - (1Y) Diablo II "Children of Zakarum"

I love these mixes that take the subtle motifs of a source and remix them into something much more melodic.  Without stopwatching it, this definitely sounds like a "Kurast Docks" remix despite having a completely different feel.  It's like the Docks were remade in the TRON universe.

I don't have a problem with the kick, personally.  It's hardly omnipresent--although it always does the same thing when it is there, it's often not there, sometimes with other drums taking its place.  And kicks are usually repetitive.

The crunchy, low-heavy palette certainly does sound intentional.  There's enough in the highs that it doesn't sound thin to me.  It's maybe a little overdone--some of the FM synths are pretty plain--but I think it's fine.

The ending is underwhelming but it isn't a dealbreaker.

Overall, the remix is clever and it does what it needs to do.


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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2018/04/01 - (2Y) Diablo 2 "Children of Zakarum"

Good use of stereo panning for the synths here, with their movement and bouncing between channels giving the minimal instrumentation the illusion of being bigger than it actually is. The early break to introduce the main theme was a nice and simple departure from the initial build-up. While pacing is slower than expected, the arrangement progressed well, with a variety of synths and changes in lead working to keep things moving. The kick has decent weight to it, and the 8-bit synth and its associated riffing were welcome additions in the second half. Things return to earlier territory to take us out, which is probably the main area I would suggest improvement - I would've liked to have seen some further original ideas over the final bars. Regardless, this is a creative adaption of the original with its own rhythm and personality, a solid effort.


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  • 2 months later...

Laughed at how everything taken from the source and arranged here was from the very end of the source tune rather than the beginning. otherwise I would have made the connections faster. In any case, good subdued stuff from Jonas. I wasn't bothered by the beats; there's enough variation within the repeating patterns, so the overall track felt like it wasn't just coasting. Very cool transformation from a cinematic and jungle-y source tune into an low-key electronic version with a dark feel to it. Nice work!


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  • Liontamer changed the title to (2018/04/01) *YES - TAG* Diablo 2 "Children of Zakarum"
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