Phantasy Star II - "Restoration" Mega Drive +/Arrangement Album

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Phantasy Star II - Restoration - An arrangement album
(Sorry if this is an inappropriate place for this thread. Move if need be.)
Hey OCR Folks, it's been a long time. This is the first project and music remixes i've actually worked on in 4 to 5 years. (Last complete thing I made was an audio restoration project for Grandia II ) So i'm a little rusty.
The reason it's been so long is that in 2016 through a myriad of unknown circumstances I acquired Tinnitus in both my ears along with some major sinus issues and something wrong with the left side of my jaw that has caused a variety of symptoms in my left ear that i've had to learn to deal with. (The biggest issue being for whatever reason more low frequency sounds seem to travel through my left side of my head more than the right. And so listening to audio with bass it sounds more localized in my left ear and slightly off center and not entirely unidirectional.) Learning to live with this stuff took a long time to not only acclimate to, but to get over the extreme anxiety of never being able to hear really the same as I used to. One day I was fine, one day I randomly woke up and my whole world was changed.  And so I thought I had to give up audio and music forever.

I did try to start a few things here and there after 2016 but could never overcome my anxiety to finish. I uploaded a few on my soundcloud

Something you could do to be helpful as well. I've only ever played part of Phantasy Star II, never finished it and I watched my older brother play through parts of it a lot when I was younger. (I was born 2 years after release) and so while I am familiar with the music and love it. There is a lot of context to some of these I am missing. So if anyone could provide useful hints about where or how pieces of music are played (For songs I haven't already posted a WIP for) that would be very helpful for inspiration

  1. Restoration - Current WIP
    I've started to build the mix further, add and polish some stuff. Still very fluid.
  2. Step up - Current WIP
    This is the first arrangement of a song that is actually very short that just loops a lot. So I created a new intro section. Basic sequencing is in, very basic mixing. But the foundations are in place for the idea I have for this.
  3. A Prologue - Current WIP
    This one is fairly far along. Polished sequencing/performances and a lot more developed mixing and arrangement changes. (Plus a reference to Phantasy Star 1!).  A prominent  feature of the first half of this "Nightmare" is a Heartbeat driving the song. The arrangement is a lot more fleshed out and additional sections of music have been added.
    Overall I feel like this song really wants to channel some Vanegllis and Blade Runner. Subconsciously, those are what my brain goes to with "Space!"
  4. Bracky news - Current WIP
    Another song that started out as a *very* short original piece of music. Like 16 seconds. The composition is extended to almost 1.5 minutes with variations of the core composition to make a longer loop. This one gave me the most trouble so far trying not to go too overboard and make something that won't be fitting to hear in game. There are more guitars because I can't help but think about Metal when I see this guy
    So I wouldn't be opposed to scrapping this arrangement and starting from scratch for something more "Blip Bloopy Spacey"
  5. Mystery - Current WIP
    I just started this one last night. The basics are in place and the core loop is sort of developed. But this is *Exactly* how I imagined this one in my head. :p
  6. Phantasy
  7. Pressure
  8. Pleasure
  9. My Home
  10. Rise or Fall
  11. Movement
  12. Advanced
  13. Secret Ways
  14. Over
  15. Silent Zone
  16. Excite Town
  17. Violation
  18. Power
  19. Under
  20. Death Place
  21. Exclaim
  22. Never Dream

This will probably take a while to finish between working full time and trying to do other stuff. But i'm more motivated the more I go on,though I have to mind my ears. Some days with Tinnitus are worse than others and that can affect my sound perception. And worst come to worst if I can't finish i'll just release the few songs that are finished eventually.


Edited by BONKERS

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Fuggin' love me some Phantasy Star and the amount of work you're undertaking is wild, but commendable. It's sounding great so far - really enjoyed "Bracky News". I'm always happy to give feedback or constructive criticism, but I kind of want to walk away from this and come back when it's all done so I can just sit and enjoy the whole album.

One piece of advice I can offer, though, is that the original soundtrack is perfectly suitable, contextually, whether it's supposed to be conveying emotion, or just there to amble along as dungeon BGM (something "Secret Ways" does brilliantly). Just trust your ears and your feels and go for it - or better yet, finish the game :-P, though as both an adult and a Dad, I can appreciate how that might not be possible.

Either way, good luck and keep up the good work!

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@BONKERS Well, this is a surprise! Sounding promising so far. I love this OST too, but I've always found it challenging to interpret - staying close to the original might be the best option, as you've done w/ "Step-Up" (though I think changing the time signature on that source might be interesting...)

It's been almost 3 decades since I played the game, but I might be able to help w/ context. In order to do so more effectively, if you could add links to the source tunes on YouTube to your post, would aid in jogging my (and perhaps others') memory.

Also, any interest in this being an OCRI release when finished, as we recently did with @Cyril the Wolf's Mega Man X album?

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Hey DJP, great idea about a time signature change. I'll try to play around with ideas with that. I hadn't considered doing so for that song.

Bracky News for example, in the original 2nd section as far as I can tell it switches around between 3/4 and 4/4. But only once.  The pattern seemed to be 3/4(1 measure), 4/4(1 measure), 3/4 (2 measures) then back to section A. In my 3rd variation of section B I basically switched it up to a full 7/4 for 4 measures, 2 for some prog'ish wankery and 2 for a return to part closer to original B before switching back to the 3/4/3 pattern.  So time signature changes definitely don't feel entirely out of place in the soundtrack. I'ld like to build more on each song as it goes on without going too crazy. (Which I think just reflects my own preferences for remixes anyway)

Here's a link to a playlist of the OST

An OCR release would be cool, whether through submission or as an album. Just getting more ears to hear it (Especially Phantasy Star fans now that Sega is releasing PSO2 so late) would be a wonderful motivator. :)

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