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OCR03945 - *YES* Undertale "Guided by Hopes and Dreams"

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Goedenavond,
 
Remixer name: Jorito
Real name: Jorrith Schaap
Email: 
Userid: 3899
 
ReMixer name: Psamathes
Email: 
 
Remixer name: jmabate
Real Name: Jean-Marc Abate
Email: 
 
Remixer name: Kalu4ii Plays
Real Name: Pavel Vasilenko
Email: 
 
Submission information:
 
Name of Game(s) Remixed: Undertale
Name of Arrangement: Guided by Hopes and Dreams
Names of songs arranged: Hopes and Dreams (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tz82xbLvK_k)
Link to the remix: 
 
Comments about the mix:
 
Jorito:
 
I completely missed the Undertale hype train from a few years ago (also somewhat intentionally), but Undertale’s music is too good to ignore. So when there was a free Undertale slot on the Indie Games v2 tribute album, over at the Pixel Mixers community, it felt like too good an opportunity to pass up. 
 
Hopes and Dreams is one of my favorite tracks from Undertale for its upbeat and optimistic vibe and just plain catchy melody. Since I’ve been looking for an excuse to try my hand at a Nightwish-esque, that meant operatic female vocals. Fortunately one-woman choir Psamathes, a Pixel Mixers regular, was immediately interested to do some symphonic metal, so I got to arranging. As far as the arrangement goes, the source track is catchy but also quite repetitive, so I had to be creative. Fortunately there was enough material create a verse and chorus section as well as a bridge part. To spice it up, I wrote a riff + chant section quite heavily inspired by a part of the source (even though I completely forgot from where by now...), added a solo section and threw in some (intentionally keyboardy/ROMpler-ey sounding) orchestral sounds for that symphonic feel.
 
No symphonic metal without guitars, and while I liked my Shreddage 2 midi riffs well enough to blend them in too, I was happy to work with jmabate for some great guitar work. He provided the lead and rhythm guitars and threw in an extra tasty solo bit as well as a few harmonies at the end to boot. Bass was provided by Kalu4ii Plays, another PM community member, and provides the rhythm section together with the pretty layered drums courtesy of Logic Pro’s Drummer (and heavily edited by yours truly). 
 
After the usual mixing hell (it turned out to be one of these high track count monsters with too many layers) it turned out not quite as Nightwish-esque as I originally planned, but I still feel it’s a great homage to Undertale, to symphonic rock/metal in general and it has plenty of good vibes and power. All of this was immensely helped by the fantastic singing from Psamathes and the extra oomph provided by the performances from jmabate and Kalu4ii, and I can't thank them enough for helping the track come to life!
 
Psamathes:
 
When Jorito asked me to sing on this track, I was very easily convinced: he just had to say "Undertale" and "Nightwish" in the same sentence. We eventually incorporated the symphonic metal influences in a more personal way, in order to fit our styles and musical identities, but the bombastic feeling stayed, and it really gave the song a special energy.
 
Undertale is a game that got me through some very difficult times, and I loved how the original lyrics Jorito wrote somehow reflected the struggles I was going through back then. As a singer, I absolutely had to put all my heart in the interpretation, and I worked towards that both with enunciation and by using different voice colors. I was able to add a lot of nuances by experimenting with different operatic techniques, from the fuller, "determined" tones of the chorus to the lighter notes of the bridge, which immediately convey the insecurity expressed by the lyrics. I also sang all the harmonies in the choir section, and for those I had to make sure that I was consistent and varied at the same time.
 
Technically speaking, this song was really challenging. The main melody of Hopes and Dreams is full of big jumps that take a huge amount of control to be sung with a consistent tone, and the upbeat tempo also required an almost surgical use of breathing to safely make it through the phrases. After that, it was all a matter of being one with the music!
 
jmabate:
 
When Jorito asked for guitars on the Pixel Mixers Discord, I really liked the music and it inspired me a lot! When the guitars were recorded and I heard the finished track, I really enjoyed the mood of the arrangement and the voice of Psamathes!
 
Credits:
Arrangement, lyrics, production, backing vocals: Jorito
Vocals: Psamathes
Guitars: jmabate
Bass: Kalu4ii Plays
 
Lyrics:
 
Intro
 
Have the strength
to believe
Guided by
Your Hopes and Dreams
 
Verse 1:
 
I am stuck 
In dark surroundings,
Lost and dazed,
Feels like I'm drowning
 
Thinking back,
As I was falling
Down this void,
My ears still roaring
 
Can I get up,
From this nightmare?
Won't give up,
Give in to despair
 
'Cause the dreams
And hopes inside me
Fill my heart with 
determination
 
Chorus:
 
(I) find the strength
to believe
Guided by
My Hopes and Dreams
 
Determined to
Find a way
My heart won't
Lead me astray
 
Bridge:
 
Feeling lost and helpless,
I'm so scared...
 
I don't know how I will 
Get out of this mess.
 
But when I remember
All my dreams
 
I feel stronger,
I know I can't give up
Just yet
 
Chants during guitar riff:
 
Trust your
Hopes and Dreams
(4x)
 
Verse 2:
 
I am struggling,
'cause beliefs,
They're causing conflict
Fuelled by passion
 
Clashing,
Now my friends are hurting,
I just want to end this fighting.
 
Can I find a way
To stop this?
Bring back peace
To all around me?
 
Won't give up, 
To save my friends
They're in the hopes and dreams
That guide me
 
Chants during guitar riff:
 
Trust your
Hopes and Dreams
(4x)
 
Bridge:
 
The struggles of my past,
They have shaped me 
They made me strong,
And showed me what I could be
 
My doubts are gone,
A thing of yesterday,
'Cause now I know
Nothing can stand in my way!
 
Chorus:
 
(I) find the strength
to believe
Guided by
My Hopes and Dreams
 
Determined to
Find a way
My heart won't
Lead me astray
 
Outro:
 
Determination,
It will fill our hearts
Nothing can stop us,
Or can break us apart
 
Trust the power of your
Hopes and 
of your Dreams
 
 
Cheers,
Jorrith
 

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There may be a lot in here that doesn't scream Nightwish, but plenty does.  It's pretty darn epic in any event.  The lyrics are really hard to make out, but that's my only crit.  This is going into my own playlist for sure.

YES

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I thought the main snare sound was in the uncanny valley and didn't quite click with the rest of the instrumentation (this stood out even moreso during the machine gun drums from 4:18-4:30), so the rock opera synergy wasn't there, IMO. Agreed with MW on the lyrics being hard to make out at times due to the mixing. Other than that, creative and ambitious! Rubber stamp.

YES

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Listened to this several times before, it's a great track.  The Nightwish feel is very close, it would've been pitch-perfect with more heavy metal arrangement tropes, but it doesn't need to be a straight-up copy.  Production is clean and the vocal performance is great. It's a huge undertaking that turned out very well.

YES

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Love this track - great instrumentation and overall arrangement, and the rock-opera singer is pretty beast. Gotta be careful with such a singer, though - intelligibility gets lost in the mix, in part due to the lack of articulation on the consonants, and in part due to the fact that she shares the same overall range as the rest of the instruments (which obscures the vowels that she's using quite a bit). It's tricky business, but it doesn't take away from the generally amazing arrangement that we've got here.

Wish I could make out the words better without the lyrics in front of me, but otherwise some great stuff, here!

YES

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