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OCR04113 - *YES* Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 "Bright Moon"


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ReMixer name: Michael Hudak
Real name: Michael Hudak
Website: My SoundCloud
Game arranged: Persona 3
Name of arrangement: Bright Moon
Name of songs arranged: Tartarus
LINK TO ORIGINAL:


Persona 3 is one of those games that, upon release in the mid-aughts, had several soundtrack choices (made by composer Shoji Meguro) that were seen as quite unorthodox for a big-budget game. Here we are well over a decade later, and the music of the Persona series (everyone's got a favorite game out of 3, 4 and 5! What's yours?) has become some of the most beloved stuff ever. Go figure. 

The music from Persona 3's main dungeon, Tartarus, has 6 different versions (or "blocks" in the video sample) that build on one another as the game progresses. The one I prefer is the 4th version, coming in at 2:40. The first section of my ReMix is the closest to it.

I attempted this ReMix in the style of Ryuichi Sakamoto's collaborations with Alva Noto (real name Carsten Nicolai), in which Sakamoto would record a piano track for Nicolai to then chop to pieces and add “raw material” sounds to – sine waves, shaped white noise, tiny clips of 808 kicks, etc. - to varying degrees of listener accessibility. A lot of time in their collaborations, only the very tail ends of sustained piano notes/chords would be used, with the gain cranked up of course, so the hiss of the mic used to record the piano came through clearly and added an extra element to the sounds. Since I only used sampled piano sounds that I assume were de-noised by the companies that released them, I mostly didn't have that natural mic hiss that I needed, so I had to layer much of my chopped up sampled piano on top of various layers of white/pink noise of the same length to create that effect artificially. So, all hisses you hear in this ReMix are deliberate - even the subtle and/or oddly-panned sounds - and not unwanted artifacts. Thanks for considering such a weird piece. Unfortunately, this is the kind of artsy, sound-design-y music that simply doesn't sound good on laptop speakers (nor is it supposed to), but hopefully, not too many listeners will be put off by that.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I listened to the source, first, of course, and was really curious how you were going to make anything out of something so minimal.  You certainly approached it creatively.

Unfortunately, my first impression is that the sounds you chose are severely irritating.  The clicks are what distortion normally sounds like--they're clearly deliberate here but in every other context they're objectively wrong, and they're really unpleasant.  1:45-2:16 also uses an extremely high-pitched whine that's also normally the result of an error.

I'm also not sure whether the source usage is overt enough.  It seemed questionable to me.  I'm not going to timestamp it because I just can't listen to those sounds anymore.  My ears are literally ringing.  I'm sorry.

NO

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  • MindWanderer changed the title to 2019/04/08 - (1N) Persona 3 "Bright Moon"
  • 1 month later...

more musique concrete? yes please!

yet another great concept here. this is definitely an interesting and niche application but i think it actually turned out being something really interesting. i love the chopped tail effects being used, and the layering of sliced piano chords on top of organic piano sustain is really a great contrast. i didn't mind the pink noise being used at all, although my wife found it grating (we have very different listening profiles in terms of genre).

from an arrangement perspective, there's definitely enough going on here to make it clear (once i knew the source) what the melodic content was. i'd argue that the original melody is at most four repetitions of the initial chord cluster, and this track has that in spades, so from a content perspective it's enough. the arrangement comes from all the ways that hudak glitches and goofs with time and pitch. again, more than enough.

as someone who didn't mind the high freqs, i'd argue that this is a superb realization of a very simple original track in a style we don't do enough of. if anything, i'd love to have seen more weirdness - more pitch shifts, more temporal shifts, more clicky stuff - as similar tracks in classical music often have way, way more experimentation. this is very tame as a result, but still very accessible. a definite yes from me.

 

 

YES

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Oh god, this sounds soooooo broken.  My brain keeps wondering if my computer is about to blue screen.  I can see how this could be super irritating to some people.  But it's so ridiculously clean and well-balanced.  This track throws my brain off in such a wonderful way.   The sub booms in the intro are subtle and divine.  I absolutely love this.  Like, seriously love.  Smiling.  Thank you.

YES

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  • Chimpazilla changed the title to 2019/04/08 - (2Y/1N) Persona 3 "Bright Moon"

I'd love this track to be warning audio for my PC as well, lol.

After listening to a couple of examples of the Sakamoto-Nicolai partnership, I understood what you were going for in regards to the arrangement's direction.  It's a very unusual approach - aside from chords that last for two measures, the only thing that resembles a melody is the progression of chords in the first half of block 4, and I sensed variations aplenty within the constraints of the art form, as prophetik brought up.  Given how minimal the source is, I would've liked to have heard some reference to the rhythmic drone throughout for further familiarity, but that's more like something that's "nice to have".

The mixdown is also very clean as well - which makes sense as the palette only consists of piano and some glitch effects.  None of those SFX were louder than the main lead, which was luckily needed in a track like this as it needed to show itself off with those manipulations - varied panning techniques, wave-forms getting spliced, pitch-shifting aplenty and some brief EQ changes.  I can see where MW is coming from with the pink noise at 1:45, but technically it's just simmering next to the piano and not out to dominate the soundscape.  These are unorthodox techniques, but they function together in context, and I'm okay to consider this over the bar.

All in all, you did good with a minimal source and have continued to push for more musique concrete onto the front page.  Due to inspirations, it's a more accessible form of this sub-genre, with enough source and sound manipulations to keep the listener engaged. Excellent work, Michael!

YES

Edited by Rexy
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  • Rexy changed the title to 2019/04/08 - (3Y/1N) Persona 3 "Bright Moon"
  • 1 month later...

For as strange of a remix as this is - I will admit that I had to sit with it for quite a while before tackling it - it really makes a lot of sense how you got to this end result from the source you're remixing. It's weird, but it feels surprisingly natural. This is a track that I'm sure will not resonate with all listeners, but especially along with the context provided in your submission letter, I absolutely think this is the sort of musical boundary-pushing that we should be encouraging here, and perhaps it will expose listeners to a genre they might not have otherwise been familiar with. This is a challenging and deliberate effort and I appreciate what you've done here!

I agree with the consensus here that the mixdown is very clean and there's not a lot that could be chalked up as "accidental" - the noise that others have called out at 1:45 is about as close as this track comes to that, and I will agree that the noise is a bit harsh, but it's not a dealbreaker. 

Nice work Michael!

YES

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  • Emunator changed the title to 2019/04/08 - *YES - TAG* Persona 3 "Bright Moon"
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