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OCR01649 - Final Fantasy VII "Scenes from a Memory"


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Yep, been waiting to review this one. This is easily my favorite song from VoTL. I love the rather a-melodic approach on this one (it gives off more of an ambient feeling than a typical rock-mix would), backed by a steady rock-beat. Great sequencing on both the strings and drums, and the harmonized Guitar crescendo that leads up to the solo is just pure arrangement gold. One could say that the mixing drowns the rhythm guitars and the drums out a bit, but I think that was a necessary to bring the 'lighter' instruments across well, and hey, the guitars and drums are still audible, so no problems there! I enjoy it very much, excellent job y'all :)

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I had fun mixing/mastering this one; I wish I had the original version to A/B it. The mixing was tricky due to the drum and guitar tone, which I really had no control over, so I had to do some careful EQ to get everything to fit and have the melodic elements emphasized properly. The strings were sort of washed out and pad-like too, which is why I reinforced them with my own samples and synths. The end result might not be perfect but I still think it's an improvement, and compliments the (most excellent) writing. :)

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String section early on was a little unnatural sounding with the attacks, but once things got moving, it was a lot better.

Great playing guitar wise, and it's interesting hearing what parts were doubled (or more), it gives a very cool texture to the proceedings. Nice guitar harmony before the modulation, which was well-timed to keep things interesting. The synth arpeggios that faded in and out add some seasoning, and the solo was good.

Though not near as creative as the title makes it out to be, it's a pretty rocking mix. Check it out by all means. :-)

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I'd definitely say this mix picks up at the guitar solo. From there on it sounds sublime, tight and uplifting. I dig the arpeggios over the string pads and those final two chords are so fine. Lovely piano underneath.

It takes unfortunately long to get there. When I decide to listen to this track, I try to remind myself why I like it so much. The ending is a revelation. The rest of the track really is not bad either, but definitely less good. Weak points: I agree with OA about the strings at the start. I also really don't like the tremolo piano sound, it's messy and just plain bad. In general, the decision to put the strings et al to the top and leave the rhythm guitar, drums and especially bass in the background makes the whole sound rather flimsy to my ears. The guitar/drums themselves could have used a bit more variation in the fast part. Slower stuff has nice rhythmical variations. Fast part does have nice fills, but maybe a half-tempo part or a fill with less playing somewhere could have spiced things up.

Also, and this is actually my major gripe, rhythmically the foreground from 01:17 to 02:27 seems detached from the background, even a bit "blocky". The strings/synths may be in the middle of the beat, where it would benefit them to be a bit on top of the beat. Perhaps? The attack of the synth/strings may be too slow? I'm not 100% sure about that but that's how I feel.

That's a lot of criticism, but that said, I still enjoy the track a whole lot. Intro is really nice except the problem with strings, 0:33-0:44 transition is great (love the gap).. good attention to detail overall.

--Eino

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  • 4 months later...

Like the uniformity of the piece. Nice to hear this melody rendered in a slightly faster beat.

Could be listening to this as I zoom out on the Hwy...

I can hear hints at other themes in this remix. The arpeggiation in the opening scenes is one of my favorite themes, and I can hear nods to this in the end.

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  • 3 months later...

I really like this mix. What I find so interesting about it is how it still "feels" like the original. This is gonna sound corny I'm sure. But even though the tempo is so much faster and the mix does plenty of "rocking out" it somehow keeps the same feel (which I can't even pinpoint...looming or sadness, not sure). It may have been intentional or not, but it's cool.

Also, I only noticed this much later, the little piano bits in 1:10-1:14. They're right from the original version but it was awhile before I heard them in the mix, very cool.

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  • 4 months later...

I will start by saying that a lot of good stuff is going on in the track. The solo is slick, the mixing is great, and the arrangement is pretty good. Overall I don't like it, though. The first minute's too iffy, and the stylistic change overall just doesn't sit well with me. Plenty of good things, but just not something I could get into. Sorry.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I must have listened to this track a hundred times by now and it still sends chills down my spine. Maybe the source was a bit more brooding, but I think the sense of foreboding that was so critical to the original atmosphere is here just as strong as ever... the strings keep this track true to its roots. Insert a bit of determination with the drum attack, a helping of optimism with the lead synth, and some serious internal fire with the climactic guitar work and Cloud and company are ready to take on the world! No materia needed, just a little help from Suzumebachi, Sixto Sounds, and zircon!

To say VotL was chock full of hits is an understatement, and even amongst such excellence this song stands out. Everything here clicks for me: it's a well-balanced track that captures some central emotions of the game and, ultimately, makes me feel like I can overcome anything. As such: this is remixing, and music, at its finest.

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  • 11 months later...

I wasn't a huge fan of this track in particular - it just rubs off as filler.

I understand the idea of going in the punk direction for this track, as it is supposed to mark the beginning, but it seems too synth driven. In addition, it's woefully straightforward to a fault - I think this is highlighted most by the song ending.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm the exact opposite of DragonAvenger - much of this song feels underwhelming and certain elements are just a bit "off." However, when all is said and done I really enjoyed it a lot and love leaving this one on repeat while I'm studying, for some reason. The guitar solo is an unquestionable highlight but even before that, everything feels pretty melodic and enjoyable.

Not the most unique thing to come out of Voices of the Lifestream but I'll be damned if it isn't still good! :-D

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For some reason, I'm just not really feeling the track.

By no means am I saying this is bad. Far from it actually, that arrangement is great, the production is top-notch and the solo at the end was awesome. However, some of the strings (at the beginning) and synths sound a little forth and the mix pretty much stays at the same level until the solo.

A few minor problems here and there, but it's still definitely worth a listen.

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  • 2 years later...
  • Liontamer changed the title to OCR01649 - Final Fantasy VII "Scenes from a Memory"

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