Jump to content

OCR04408 - *YES* Goemon’s Great Adventure "The Heart Beats with the Rhythm of the Rain"


Recommended Posts

Good evening,

I am submitting a remix for approval:

Remixer Name: PrismaticBlack
Real Name: Hunter Johnson
Email Address: 
Website: none, www.soundcloud.com/prismaticblack , https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUBOajjeZ7M5MAEpNFQybdg
User ID: 38390

Name of Game: Goemon’s Great Adventure (Nintendo 64)
Name of Arrangement: “The Heart Beats with the Rhythm of the Rain”
Name of Song Arranged: Mokeke Forest
Site Address to Game: https://ocremix.org/game/548/goemons-great-adventure-n64


I didn’t own this game for years. I would always rent it from Blockbuster time after time, until I eventually beat it. There was something alluring about this game during my childhood years. It was humorous. It had epic robot battles. It had a colorful cast of playable characters and a wicked soundtrack. It all stuck with me. I absolutely cherish this game for it’s influence on me musically.

From my years perusing the internet, I have found a commonality amongst those who appreciate this game: The Mokeke Forest music has the ability to put a millennial at ease. I can’t recall how many times I’ve seen a comment on the reuploads of the OST that say “This song relaxes me when I feel overwhelmed”, or “This is nostalgia in it’s purest form”. The truth is that there is something magical about this song. The N64 Goemon games blend Japanese fold music with funk, jazz and rock and simply cannot go unrecognized.

The nostalgic elements of the gameplay certainly add to it’s appeal. In this particular level, you can take the clear and apparent path to reach the Entry Pass, or  you can wade through the waters and wait at a bus stop hidden deep within the forest and be transported to the mystical Tengu Village. It was one of the first experiences I had with a game involving a lore-enhancing “secret”, and for that reason it really sticks with me.

I wanted to preserve the traditional Eastern vibe of this song, while creating a new listening experience. I let the melody lead me into new directions and eventually I ended up with what I can only call a “journey”. I mean this sincerely. The track starts of sedated and calm, but builds into a grandiose modernized interpretation of the source material. It just happened organically, and I can’t effectively explain it. I think that’s why I am so proud of it. I just let little old me from 1999 lead the way. I imagined myself deep in the forest, and searching for a way out. Did I take to clear path or the road less traveled? The answer is “yes”, as cliché as that sounds. Please enjoy our adventure through Mokeke Forest.

Download can be obtained here: 

Youtube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICKZTmv7rCk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The instrumentation, the SFX, the energy, the constantly evolving soundscape, it's a tremendous journey. You made my night with this. You definitely have a lot to be proud of with it. I'm just one of the judges, but I loved it. Honored that you submitted this. Very nice work, Hunter! :-)


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

What a vibrant sound palette!  I kind of expected the guzheng and erhu going into it, but the soundscape is nicely filled out with sylvan synths.  The first half is a little predictable, but a treat to the ears nonetheless.  The pad from 2:00 on is a bit loud, and making it quieter would help make the rest of the complex instrumentation shine, but I'd be willing to give it a pass.

I'm not personally as keen on the second half.  I appreciate the more EDM approach to it; it's full of energy and creativity.  But the balance is a problem.  The overall soundscape is a wall of noise; there's a ton of detail that's lost because there are so many layers fighting for space.  3:50-4:11  is the worst offender, with a supersaw that just crushes everything beneath it, but the rest of the second half all has the same issue.  That's not to mention the sidechaining, which for me is way, way over the top, relentlessly pounding away for over a minute and a half.

Fadeout ending, meh.  And this section has the offending loud pad as well.

I'm really ambivalent about this one.  If it had ended at 2:54, I wouldn't hesitate to give this my stamp of approval.  Balance could be improved, and using that as ending wouldn't be great, but the first half is easily strong enough even with those issues.  But from 2:55-4:44, it's mostly a wash of pulsing saws to me, and I don't think it sounds good at all.  Rebalance that section so I can actually hear music and I'll be all over this.

NO (please resubmit!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • MindWanderer changed the title to 2023/01/03 - (1Y/1N) Goemon’s Great Adventure "The Heart Beats with the Rhythm of the Rain"
  • MindWanderer pinned this topic

The plucked instruments in the first half are sheer delight!  What a luscious vibe you've set up.  The instrument palette is just wonderful and well executed.  The mix is full and beautiful. But starting at the 2:00 mark, there is sidechaining that is too deep and long for the percussion being used, and it sounds/feels stilted and unnatural.  When the kick enters at 2:56, that sidechaining is even heavier.  WOW that's heavy.  Clearly it is a stylistic choice (heart beat), and sometimes that works (often in a much more sparse soundscape) but I am not sure it works here. You've got such a full, beautiful soundscape and it's all dented with this intense heavy sidechaining. I think the issue for me is that every element in the mix is being sidechained this hard.  In my mixes I sidechain absolutely everything but not by the same amounts.  Bass and low pads usually get the deepest sidechaining, plucks and backing elements get softer/less sidechaining, leads and perc loops get minimal sidechaining (for mixing and groove purposes only).  I feel like if the leads and backing plucks and percs were less heavily sidechained, this mix would still sound huge but way more natural.  Often times I am telling people to sidechain their elements to make the track groove because it's not grooving without it, but in this case I feel like the groove of the track is actually ruined by this much sidechaining.  I agree with MW that the mix, especially the second half, is very instrument dense.  I can't quite tell if balance is a problem or not, due to the heavy sidechaining over it.  Then at 4:03 you also added super heavy gating.  It's just too much for me.  On a third listen through, I feel like my heart is trying to beat in resonance with this and not in a good way.  I also dislike fadeout endings although it's not a dealbreaker it is just a final disappointment in this case.

I actually love this arrangement and the beautiful instrumentation.  The sidechaining is killing it for me.  If I could hear it without the heavy (everything getting the same amount) sidechaining, and with that gating also dialed back, then I could comment on the balance of leads vs. backing.  I won't be upset if this passes because it is lovely, but if it doesn't pass, please structure the sidechaining so not everything is getting it as deeply; make it sound and feel just a little less jarring, and let's hear it again.  You can still get a heartbeat effect without giving your listeners an actual heart attack!

TL;DR - If I'm saying there's too much sidechaining, there's probably too much sidechaining

NO (please resubmit)

Edit 1/21/23:  Listening again, I am no longer sure that the ducking at the 2:00 is intentional.  It sounds like it could just be master overcompression rather than sidechaining, which is worse.  In judging another track, I was linked to another mix that, in my opinion, does that super-deep sidechaining thing right.  The ducks on PTR's track are extremely deep but also very fast release.  Also, you can easily hear that the lead instruments are not getting ducked as hard or deep as the bass and backing plucks, which makes it sound more natural and purposeful, and less disorienting.  

Edited by Chimpazilla
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Chimpazilla changed the title to 2023/01/03 - (1Y/2N) Goemon’s Great Adventure "The Heart Beats with the Rhythm of the Rain"

I've probably listened to this 50 times at this point. Even putting the heartbeat gimmick aside, I'm not put off by the volume or mixing, and can hear everything well. Love this, including the sidechaining. :-) Put another way, let's say the source files are kaput, there's no way I'd reject this either. Lots of character in this one. A hex on these production NOs! (Note to any readers that I've often been the production NO deserving a hex.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

never heard of the original, it's fun.

intro features some sfx and some fun eastern elements blended with synths. the first big chord shift at 0:52 was really nice. there's a bit of a break at 1:17, and we get some nice stylized guzheng echoing the earlier plucked synths. the addition of taikos at 1:59 is nice, but there's a lot of compression occurring there when the lower taiko gets hit, and it's very distracting given how clear the production up until then has been.

there's a break and a big chillsteppy hit at 2:55. the heavy sidechaining here is absolutely a stylistic thing - this is every single downtempo track i've heard in the last 5 years. ducking even the melodic content behind the kick is something i've heard a lot in that style. this is a little more intense of transition between kick and everything else than i've heard, but it's not an incorrect methodology, it's a genre choice.

the filtro fill at 3:49 into the block stutter chords sounds great, very evocative and intense. transitioning it to a harder stutter with less verb is a fun idea too, and you did a nice job ensuring that the guzheng and other lead instruments are still audible later in this section.

there's a transition around 4:45 into a very long fade. this is another stylistic element that i hear a lot in downtempo and chillstep although i also would prefer a more standard ending.

this is a great approach and a very evocative implementation of the original. clearly the heavy sidechaining is a taste thing, and i think it's handled well here. i like the progression from the initial feel to the more intense second half. excellent work.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • prophetik music changed the title to 2023/01/03 - (2Y/2N) Goemon’s Great Adventure "The Heart Beats with the Rhythm of the Rain"

Ooooh, I like the opening. The sound palate you used here is really fun. And I immediatley know I'm in the source, while immediately knowing it's an interpretation and not a cover. I love the instrumentation in the intro. 

I feel like I'm catching a little bit of overcompression at 2:00, which makes the song sound like it's pumping and breathing a little bit to me, which took away from the overall soundscape of the piece. If you could find a way to make that a little more subtle, while keeping the piece as full and beautiful as it is, I think it would benefit your overall presentation. 

But then at 3:01, the compression becomes an active part of the piece in that wonderful side-chainy way. I still think it's too much here, but that's a taste thing. This drop at 3:00 was great, I loved it. Things are still sounding full and not overbearing, you've got lots of instruments doing lots of things and still it doesn't sound too busy. 

I have to admit, when I saw a 5:36 song on a source that was about 30 seconds, I was a little skeptical. But man, there are some really great variations and flourishes in there. When that koto came in at 1:28 ish, I got goosebumps. This track is great, and it doesn't stop changing or morphing until the very end. Well done. 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • XPRTNovice changed the title to 2023/01/03 - (3Y/2N) Goemon’s Great Adventure "The Heart Beats with the Rhythm of the Rain"

Yeah I'm firmly on board with this one. The dreamy intro led me to look up the game and see if it was the one I played on N64 (this is the sequel, as it turns out), and while I was looking up the info, the track switched things up and grabbed my full attention.

Yes, things do sound overcompressed, and the sidechain is rough around the edges, but it doesn't detract from the experience enough to reject on those grounds. The little break into the stutter gating at 4:04 is really cool, and then the eastern instrumentation comes back in for this heavy section. There's some low-mid content with some detuning that really pumps, and is quite noticeable, building for about 20 seconds up to 4:43. It made me a little uncomfortable with how it was ramping up in intensity and drowning out other elements, but then the clearing up of the soundscape after 4:44 was a breath of fresh air. I'm sure that could have been handled better, but nevertheless I did appreciate the intent, and you pulled it off.

Listening again to the intro, it's got some lovely instrumentation and lulls you in to the rest of the piece beautifully well. Despite some rough production, I enjoyed the arrangement, instrumentation and storytelling immensely.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • DarkSim changed the title to 2023/01/03 - (4Y/2N) Goemon’s Great Adventure "The Heart Beats with the Rhythm of the Rain"

I have to admit, I'm surprised to see NO votes on this from a few of my fellow judges! The contentious sidechain compression immediately registered as an intentional stylistic effect to me - maybe it's just genre familiarity with modern downtempo EDM, which leans heavily into sidechaining like this, but I didn't find myself off-put by it at all. I don't want to diminish the criticisms made, but after multiple listens, I was far more entranced by the lush soundscape and the constantly evolving arrangement that gets so much mileage out of such little source material. Any messiness in the production ultimately felt inconsequential to me personally, because the rest of the arrangement is so damn good. 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Liontamer changed the title to OCR04408 - *YES* Goemon’s Great Adventure "The Heart Beats with the Rhythm of the Rain"
  • Liontamer locked this topic
  • Emunator unpinned this topic
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Create New...