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Hal_Emmerich

Why are there so few decent Chrono Trigger remixes?

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Ok. This may seem a bit harsh, but please allow me to explain my statement above before posting. This is my first time posting, but I've been a long time listener to this site, since I was in grade 11 (which would have been 5 years now), possibly earlier, I can't really remember.

Anyways, I have a lot of respect for the composers on this site, I really do. I may not like all of the works that are posted, but if nothing else I can appreciate their musical value and the work that went into them. Especially some of the Chrono Trigger mixes and the Chrono Symphonic project. Some brilliant works of art there.

With that being said, I also found it a major disappointment

Why? Please don't misconstrue what I'm saying, the music itself is great music, but in a lot of places it loses sight of the original songs purpose to such a degree that the music is harmed by it, or in other cases takes too much liberty with already great music. I found this worked on some tracks (I LOVED the remix of the ocean palace song), and failed horribly to recreate the song in other places (Last battle for me was a particular disappointment). There was too much liberty taken and in the end, I found it killed the song.

The music itself is gold, and from what I've seen on the site, orchestral songs with a bit of remixing (IE some of Jeremy Robsons brilliant works) qualify as remixes with little variation. My question is why hasn't anyone ever just taken the songs, and translated them into an orchestral work that stays true to the original. Look at Lavos's theme for instance, redoing that in full organ would be a thing of beauty with some light flutes to play the soft parts.

This leads me into the validation of the topic. A lot of the music in the Chrono Trigger section, while being great songs, lose the meaning of the original songs in translation. A good instance of that is in Black Wind Rising by Star Salzman. I love the song, I listen to it all the time. With that being said, it fails in my mind to capture the original song. Magus was a feared sorcerer in game, a magic powerhouse who headed an army of monsters. The fight music with him was meant to be a climax of the game. The remix seems to forget the song is about this big showdown with a magic powerhouse. Same with Requiem for a Green Revolution, it loses both the power of the World Revolution song and the peaceful 'homesick' nature of Memories of Green. These are excellent songs, but they don't stay true to the originals at all, which is why I say there are so few decent -Chrono Trigger- remixes.

There are also a lot of excellent songs in the section as well, such as Spekkio's 'The Trial in Concert'. BRILLIANT piece of work that stays absolutely true to the original context. You can picture the courtroom stress. Temporal Distortion somewhat remains true to the heroic nature of the Chrono Trigger theme.

Now, I know that everyone has their own tastes in music, and obviously the remixes appeal to people or they wouldn't be here. Still, I stand in saying that in my opinion, there are very few true -Chrono Trigger- remixes on OCremix. With all of that being said, I do have some requests for the likes of Jeremy Robson and others who do orchestral work (Jeremy Robson in particular I am a huge fan of).

#1: Lavos Fight #2 (World Revolution)

Remember the scene from the game, you've been chasing all around time and space trying to gain strength to fight the being thats influenced the course (and cause) of the last 65 million years of evolution. In several minutes, Lavos's plan comes to fruition, at which point he will obliterate the human race and leave Earth a charred future. Your standing there, sword drawn in front of this monstrosity, the last hope of survival. The song literally represents a revolution in world history, an event that will reshape hundreds of thousands of lives.

#2: Battle with Magus

Another song commonly done, rarely done true to the original song. In front of you is the man you believe is responsible for summoning Lavos, for cursing one of your friends, for starting a war with your ancestors and effectively being the cause of your journey. The battle is long and hard, as Magus is a magic dynamo, a master of the elements. Magus is capable of throwing around gigantic spells that destroy entire area's of the room.

Any of the other songs done in this fashion would, in my opinion, make an excellent addition to the library. A few other ideas would be the Ocean Palace, Black Omen, Hidden Truth/Shot of Crisis and the Lavos Theme (Lavos fight #1)

Thanks for reading the rant/essay. I hope I haven't offended anyone, because that was not the intent. Have a great day folks.

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Why? Please don't misconstrue what I'm saying, the music itself is great music, but in a lot of places it loses sight of the original songs purpose to such a degree that the music is harmed by it.

OCReMix is about reinterpreting the melodies, harmonies, and other motifs present in video game music. Coming on the boards and requesting that people make remixes that fit your (extremely vague) idea of what the original was supposed to mean is obnoxious, and downright pretentious.

This site has nothing to do with channeling the "intent" of the original. Please familiarize yourself with the site mission and submission guidelines. Thank you.

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Welcome to OCR.

As far as I know, ReMixers on this site aren't required to follow the same goal as the original composers. While the original composers have to create a tune specifically for the game's scene, ReMixers here are allowed creative control of their own work to make whatever stylistic choices they want. They aren't making soundtracks for any videogames when they start working; they're interpreting the music the way they envision it in their minds.

Edit: JJT beat me to the punch :(. No need to be harsh, buddy. He just made a mistake.

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No need to be harsh, buddy. He just made a mistake.

Well, the implication of his post is that my remixes (Enter the Frog for example) are abominations of the source. If you listen to everything I have posted here, you'll notice that they all have a different tone and mood then the original.

Yeah, he doesn't know any better, but I can't help being a little overzealous in correcting him.

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I do see the point. After going over the submission guidelines, I see what you mean about the remixes not necessarily having to stick with the original concept. With that being said though, I just find it strange that when the original concept material is so rich (and orchestral versions of these songs so incredibly lacking), one would think there would be more of them. Also, I'd like to point out, JJT that I never said 'This is what should be on the site, everything else is garbage', or at least thats not what I intended (and in doing so, I agree that defining what a chrono trigger remix is is a tad pretentious, so I apologize). Rather, what I intended was perhaps a motion to encourage more of these remixes because there is such potential in the music.

Edit: On side notes, I actually happen to like your Enter the Frog remix, I have it on my iPod. Like I said, there are a lot of great songs in the section, and I didn't mean to imply they were in any way bad. As to Vig's comment, I never said 'rehash', rather, a rearrangement that maintains the original concept. Again, something like Jeremy Robsons philaharmonic suite for Final Fantasy 7 demonstrates what I mean.

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Also, I'd like to point out, JJT that I never said 'This is what should be on the site, everything else is garbage'

Topic title: Why are there so few decent Chrono Trigger remixes?

How about "please make more orchestral Chrono Trigger remixes" as your thread title? And for future reference, threads like this should go in the requests forum.

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I'll take it from here, fellas!

Welcome to OCR! There's the door, get your no-talent cracker ass outta here.

Oh, I get it. Cuz you're black and bouncers are black.

Thats a mistatement, sadly. I wanted to have a provocative topic title that would make sense as you read the topic, but sadly I didn't achieve that, so I apologize.

Okay, I've browbeat you enough. I hope this won't discourage you from posting on the forums again. I would also encourage you to keep an open mind, because there's an incredible depth of beauty in some VGM that has nothing to do with the songs "function" or "purpose" in the game.

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Don't be pissed when we make happy hardcore remixes of "Day the World Revived."

Something is not always gonna be your cup of tea, but really there might be instances where you will enjoy them.

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But it is mine.

This is not much more than an elaborate request post.

In any case, Jon pretty much covered it.

And don't make your topic titles "provocative." Why do you need to provoke anyone? Just title your thread with exactly what it's about.

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Eh, couldn't the same be said of any game that has a decent soundtrack? Along that vein, why the attention to Chrono Trigger in general? IIRC it has more ReMixes than any game on the site. It seems like CT should need the least attention as far as new mixes go, regardless of how good the current ones are.

EDIT: Oh yeah, one more thing. These arrangements are done just as much for the sake of the arranger as for the listener. Arrangers don't usually want to adhere to someone else's idea of what style the piece should be, because there's a lot of fun to be had in deliberately restylizing a piece of music. It sounds selfish, and I guess it is, but music is a pretty selfish industry. I mean...jazz? Seriously.

Anyway, my point is something along the lines of "You will rarely be able to get remixers to mix in any given style just by asking, no matter how nicely. Sorry."

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Hal,

I would personally encourage you to remix any way you want. Welcome! And you know what? If it doesn't fit here? So what! You made something! A remix! Just do it any way you want, make something YOU are proud of. In my opinion, do that, and you've already gone farther than most musicians out there.

Go ahead and remix! The world's open!

Sincerely,

Sean aka Fickett

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Sorry Hal. The folks here can be a bit harsh at times, especially to newer users, but after you look around some more and hopefully get the feel of the place better, it should go better for you. Although, if you really have been just a listener and an occasional browser for five years, I'm guessing it's just as likely you won't stick around long. Either way, have a good time with OCR while you're here.

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Part of the harshness can probably be explained away by constant attacks on remixers and their remixes by people who weren't intending to provoke thought, but were merely looking to be an anonymous little shit and flex their e-penis. After a while, most criticism, constructive or not, tends to raise the defensive hackles and the unwitting step into the bear trap.

I'd have to say that a lot of times, I completely agree with where you're coming from - certain mixes I really, really prefer done in the theme of the game, having heard other attempts at the theme. But then there are times I hear a variation that is such a stark departure from the theme I can't help but appreciate it...Reuben Kee's "Ryu for Four Pianos" is one of these - a somewhat delicate, moving rendition of a fighting theme? It's odd, and somewhat far out there, but it works really, really well.

I've found that it helps if I approach every mix as if it were just another piece of music - it may be a familiar tune, but it's also a unique composition. There are a lot of remixes that I'd rate among my favorites, not because of what source tune they're from, but because they're really, really well done. I prefer zircon's "Calamitous Judgement" over Spekkosaurus' "The Trial In Concert" because I like the way it sounds better - and I was really never a fan of the source material much, to be honest. It was obnoxious because I always got locked up when I heard it :(

So yes. Rambling on and reaching the same conclusion as other people! Victory.

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Thanks for the support and the understanding. To be quite honest, I kind of expected some flame when I posted it, so that wasn't a big surprise. After the first few posts, its nice to know there are people who understood the point I was trying to make (or at least politely disagreed) :). To answer a few questions that got raised in the thread though.

#1: The reason for the focus on Chrono Trigger is because Square has demonstrated time and time again they will not orchestrate the majority of Chrono Trigger themes. All of the Final Fantasy games have had their orchestral arrangements, however Chrono Trigger had that little mini arranged disc (the '99 OST) and the jazz arrangement, a lot of which I thought was utter crap honestly (the rendition of Magus's theme killed my inner child). Anyone looking for orchestrated themes for this game just really has no where to turn-- which is a shame when the music leans towards orchestration that much. As you said, the statement can really be applied to any game.

#2: I never said the other songs 'pissed me off'. On the contrary, I love a lot of the songs on the site, even the ones that are out of context. Its just that theres a certain degree of pleasure in hearing the familliar tune done in higher quality. Why else would there be several versions of One Winged Angel floating around that mostly remain true to the original theme?

#3: Why make topic titles provocative? Attention draw mostly, and I had planned on making it a true statement from the argument, which I sadly failed to do.

#4: As to Mogrothir, The Trial In Concert is actually one of my favorite remixes. I do like Calamitous judgement too, its a great song. I just have very fond memories of Chrono Trigger (first RPG) and have long since been waiting for an orchestral rearrangement to come out.

I do plan on sticking around, this seems like a fairly nice forum, and I finally got around to registering.

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I just gotta say, that if you have such specific ideas of what you'd like to hear with something...

1.) Learn some theory/piano.

2.) Get some software.

3.) Do it yourself.

There are plenty of people willing to help (e.g. www.ocremix.org).

Rock and/or Roll.

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Actually, I do know how to play the Piano, as well as a few other instruments. Composition on the other hand was never really a strong suit of mine, but I might give it a shot some time. Doesn't it usually require very expensive hardware and thousand dollar software to get involved though?

My impression was that most people who make OC grade remixes had several thousand dollar equipment setups with all the trimmings.

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Not necessarily. You can start with free (legal) software and inexpensive hardware - so that you learn which kind of equipment you will need. Some here ditch buying software and stick with the freeware like modplug and put the effort into making decent mockups of orchestras. I'm sure there is some people around here who know enough to help you if you want to try that. It all comes down to patience.

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My impression was that most people who make OC grade remixes had several thousand dollar equipment setups with all the trimmings.

Correct me if i'm wrong someone, but I was under the impression that Darkesword (who has a few Chrono Trigger mixes up) works with flstudio (what like $100-ish), and entirely free samples and soundfonts. As he shows, it's not impossible to sound awesome on a low budget, you just need to know how to push the buttons.

I'm sure there's some remixers with Protools, gigastudio and a $50,000 diamond laiden microphone, but a lot of the time its hard to tell the difference between that and a simple studio used effectively.

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