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OCR04525 - *YES* EarthBound "Winters Is Coming"


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ReMixer name: jnWake
Name of game(s) arranged: Earthbound.
Name of arrangement: Winters is Coming.
Name of individual song(s) arranged: Snowman (https://ocremix.org/song/820/snowman)

Even more from Dwelling of Duels! This one's from the 20th anniversary in September 2023. That one was a big month and this track placed 12/59, which is honestly pretty decent!
Anyway, I'm gonna try to keep it brief this time. Unlike most of my remixes, this one wasn't born from an intention to remix. Instead, I was jamming on my keyboard and somehow came up with the somewhat unusual chord progression from the intro (FMaj7 - CMaj7x2 - GMaj7) and then. improvising over it, for some reason, I started playing the main melody from "Snowman". I thought it sounded pretty cool and archived that idea in my mind for a while. For DoD's 20th anniversary I was a little short on time so I decided to revive this idea and develop it further from my initial improvisation. Most of the track is built over doing fun chord/key variations over the source. I had a lot of fun building it so I hope you enjoy!
Regarding source usage, the source "Snowman" (here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niE24aTdtns ) has basically 2 main sections (A is from 00:00 to 00:32 and B from 00:33 to 1:07). During the remix I leave the main melodies almost unchanged but I move the chords a lot... Anyway, timestamp time!
0:00-0:30 - Original intro with the chord progression mentioned above.
0:30-0:57 - Melody from A on top of the melody, plus a transition also based on A.
0:58-1:29 - Based on B, piano does a variation of the main melody and the pads are based on the backing from B on the source track.
1:30-2:15 - Another variation of A, with a slightly different chord progression from the previous one.
2:17-2:47 - Piano solo! Nothing really based on the source here, except for the final quote of the solo.
2:48-3:14 - Melody from B over a very different chord progression.
3:15-3:41 - Sort of an original bridge I guess? Chord progression is a fun chromatic descent.
3:42-3:49 - This short synth run is based on part of B's melody (0:55 on the YT link).
3:50-4:05 - Ending of B, part just before the loop.
4:05-4:20 - Repeat of the intro, but it starts speeding up and has a big change as transition to final section.
4:21-end: - Yet another variation over A's melody, followed by a synth solo over the chord progression established in this section.
Hope you enjoy!
As a final note, this source is technically from MOTHER originally but I first heard it on Earthbound so I linked that game as main source.
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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2023/11/13 - EarthBound "Winters Is Coming"

when the drums come in on this one, the hats are heavily swung (practically in triplet but not quite) while the arp is actually doing triplets and rest of the drums are switching between standard eighths and some semblance of swing. this is intensely distracting to me and is almost enough for me to reject it by itself. it feels like a wobbly dance. i can barely focus on the rest of the song. it literally took five or six listens to get past that and listen to the melodic content.

there's a break from the drums at 0:59, and the piano does some expansion of the B theme. the eventual tempo-sync'd synths that come in are really nice, perfect timbres. the drums are back in at 1:47 and the hats are fixed although still strangely loud in the mix. there's some fun expansion and playing with time in here. this transitions suddenly into a much faster tempo section that's more ensemble based, and features some slick piano solo chops. the bridge at 3:15 is great and does a nice job connecting these two sections together. there's an extended tension-building section, and then we're suddenly back to the intro's progression - this is kind of awkward here.

4:14 to the end is a neat little groove on the A section, and then it just ends.

this is a pretty awesome adaptation overall of the snowball theme. it is not perfect - the ending is nonexistent, there's some awkward transition points, and the section from 0:15 through 0:57 is rough enough to make me just not listen - but there is some really joyous soloing and exciting realization going on in several other sections. if the hats were simplified in that first section, i think i'd be good at that point, and i do think that's a quick fix to just remove some ghost notes. i'll call this conditional based on that.




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  • prophetik music changed the title to 2023/11/13 - (1C) EarthBound "Winters Is Coming"

Funny what bugs people in different ways. I never would have picked up on the drum, hat, and arp patterns not lining up—I can barely notice it even when listing for it—and it certainly doesn't bother me. Also funny that we got two submissions for this source in close proximity, when I'd never heard of it before. (Well, I have played Earthbound, but decades ago.)

It's a fun, light, dynamic arrangement. Lots of interesting elements, easily enough to keep the listener engaged for the full 5 minutes. Although it's ironic that it fades out, suggesting that the arranger didn't manage to stay engaged themselves! I actually didn't really like 4:05+; it feels like extra ideas that the artist didn't manage to squeeze into the main body of the remix and just tacked on at the end.

Otherwise, this is strong stuff. I think structurally it could have been improved, but all the pieces are there.


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  • MindWanderer changed the title to 2023/11/13 - (1Y/1C) EarthBound "Winters Is Coming"

The timing oddness at :15 that proph brought up didn't register as problematic with me; since he was conditional based on it, I felt I had to speak on it.

Odd intro; that lead isn't doing anything melodious for this 7-note pattern, but I at least hear how it's adapted from :41-:48 of the source. OK, the main source melody kicks in at :30. Such a shrill lead.

Changeup at 2:16 felt abrupt, but wasn't a huge bother. Good energy in the writing, even if the drums didn't sound like a proper fit and felt like they lacked velocity variations.

Weird restart of the track at 4:05. Agreed with the others that it was awkward, but it was more of a briefly confusing choice rather than something that majorly hurt the track. Really good comping-style ideas afterward for that final section. The ending was too abrupt though and did lack a proper resolution, IMO.

Overall, I respect the treatment of the theme, even if it didn't fully gel for me with how some of the parts were mixed. For me, it still feels fairly creative and ambitious. Some of the timing of the sequenced parts felt blocky, but the overall presentation was humanized and vibrant enough. I could see jn revisiting this in 5 years and having a lot of ideas on how to tweak the production on this, though I'm not about to make the perfect the enemy of the good.


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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2023/11/13 - (2Y/1C) EarthBound "Winters Is Coming"
  • 4 weeks later...

Digging the retro-synth style. Nice cohesive sound palette. The swing on the hi-hats is a bit disconcerting, but it didn't trouble me as much as proph. Once I figured out it was 3/4 it was more natural, but I think a lighter hat sound with some more sizzle and decay on the transient might have worked a little better, with perhaps a looser feel to it. Or play the notes in triplets and then swing it from there.

Piano sounds lovely, and it fits right in with the synths. The transition to the 4/4 section at 2:16 is a bit clunky, but it's not easy to smoothly go between signatures. The ride cymbals here sound great - exactly the kind of thing I was suggesting about the hats earlier. Snazzy piano arps in the solo at 2:46 echoing the synth arp in the background. This whole section is golden.

Surprised it didn't end at 4:06; we're retreading some ground from the intro, and then some synth noodling to finish.

Altogether a really cool take on the Snowman theme, repackaged in a retro aesthetic. Still a couple of points to improve from both arrangement and production sides, however it's more than enough to pass the bar.


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  • DarkSim changed the title to 2023/11/13 - (3Y/1C) EarthBound "Winters Is Coming"

This is an easy one for me, this was one of my favorite entries from this Dwelling of Duels month. The first couple of minutes introduces an already fresh spin on the source material, and it only gets stronger as the track progresses and you cut into a more progressive jazz fusion style at 2:17 that reminds me of David Benoits 'Urban Daydreams'. From there, it's smooth sailing through incredibly fluid soloing and unpredictable funk progressions. The breakdown at 3:42 was a contender for the most memorable moment of the track, but honestly, this thing is chock full of them.

I think DarkSim hit the nail on the head with the hi-hat - it's just a  very sharp sample so it cuts through the mix, but if you used more of a brushed jazz kit, I think it would have sounded fine. On repeat listens, I do think the cut at 4:06 was a little disconcerting but I can't argue that the additional noodling you introduced during the last minute of the track wasn't worth the extra runtime - it totally was.


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  • Liontamer changed the title to OCR04525 - *YES* EarthBound "Winters Is Coming"
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