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*NO* Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword "Variations on Skyloft"

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ReMixer name: Garrett Thompson

Name of game arranged: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Name of arrangement: Variations on Skyloft
Name of individual song arranged: Skyloft

Additional game information:

  • Composer: Shiho Fujii

Link to the original soundtrack:


Additional commentary:

I made this because I got the A-section of Skyloft stuck in my head for three days straight and needed to exorcise that demon. The arrangement I made to do this then sat around on my hard drive for about six months collecting virtual dust. I rediscovered it recently and found I was still a bit fond of it, so I decided to have a go at giving it a proper rendering.

I might ruin it by mentioning this (or perhaps it’s obvious) but this track is all sequenced music. I took some extra time in producing it to fiddle around with the dynamics to hopefully create a more organic sound. I don’t know how well I’ve been able to maintain the illusion of a live performance, but I hope at the very least it doesn’t sound distractingly artificial. It’s… probably physically possible to play on a solo piano? But I’m not much of a pianist, so a sequenced track it will remain.

Thank you for your consideration,

  • Garrett Thompson
Edited by Rexy
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Lovely source, one of my favorites from Skyward Sword! Your arrangement checks all the right boxes, there's some excellent rhythmic variations and expansions over the original source. Unfortunately, the sequencing and sample dynamics are simply not cutting it in its current form. There's a rigidity to the whole performance that is quite evident in the velocity layers, note timing, and note sustains. It starts off noticeable but not too egregious because most of the notes are played at a lower velocity range, but as your part writing becomes more energetic, the sequencing issues are amplified. I'm not much of a pianist myself, but for example, take a listen to the left-hand rhythms starting around the 2 minute mark up til 2:35. The notes all seem like they are played at the exact same duration and intensity each time, and they sound like they're nearly maxed out at the highest velocity. It comes across very aggressive and unnatural. The biggest issue, however, is the fact that nearly every note sounds rigidly quantized to the grid, where a live piano player would have a more natural cadence and would never be able to hit every note perfectly on the beat. 

I'm not saying it's impossible to successfully sequence a piano solo such as this, but given the resources available in the community, I think the path of least resistance, if you chose to revisit and resubmit this track, would be to find a live pianist to help bring this arrangement to live. There are a number of talented individuals in the OCRemix or Pixel Mixers Discord channels that might take an interest. If you were to tackle it solo, a good first step would be to revisit the timing and velocity of your notes and re-introduce some of the imperfections that a live pianist would naturally include in the performance.

Great arrangement, but the sequencing doesn't cut the mustard just yet. Thanks for the submission!


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I know what you mean, how hard it is to make sequenced solo piano sound real!  I have undertaken the same challenge and I was told that for the most part it sounded natural.  On this mix, I think it sounds lovely and natural enough, until the faster bass notes start up at 1:42.  They are almost tolerable until 2:02 when they just become too much.  It sounds like someone is hammering away at the keys.  I think it would be incredibly hard to make writing such as that sound non-sequenced.  In the second half of this arrangement, the illusion of it being a real piano is unfortunately ruined.  I love the variations on the motif, and I feel like the right hand of this arrangement works very well.  Perhaps you could look into substituting another lower instrument for the ferocious keyboarding that takes place from 1:42 onward?  I would love to see this posted in some form!  But it's not quite there yet.

NO (please resubmit)

Edited by Chimpazilla
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  • Chimpazilla changed the title to 2020/06/24 - (2N) Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword "Variations on Skyloft"

Piano sounds a bit hot, particularly when it hits the louder/harder sections. There is a limiter or other kind of issue here that's causing some distortion that you need to check out. I felt the left/right channel balance was also a bit off. The playing also sounds quite robotic, which is very noticeable from 2:04. Give that a look to see what can be done to humanise it away from the grid. Arrangement seems ok with some playful extras added in, so really you just have the production issues holding this back.


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  • Rexy changed the title to *NO* Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword "Variations on Skyloft"
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