ReMix:Final Fantasy VII "Sweeter Than Honey" 4:32

By Will Buck

Arranging the music of one song...

"Honeybee Inn"

Primary Game: Final Fantasy VII (Sony , 1997, PS1), music by Nobuo Uematsu

Posted 2004-03-19, evaluated by the judges panel

Question: is anyone else finding that they randomly and without provocation can't stop humming the chorus to that Asterix mix, still? Right, so it's been an awfully busy week for moi and not so much has been posted. Frankly, this entire semester is going to be one of the busiest times for me to date, as job+college+OCR is exacerbated by my taking courses this go around that are a bit more time-consuming. At any rate, the weekend is almost here, and I'm using my lunch break today to post this FF7 mix from newcomer Will Buck, who had a rather flamboyant message to go with it:

"Once upon a time, there was a boy. One fateful summer, he was spending a dreary day of his summer vacation in his beach house with NOTHING TO DO. Such horror! Fortunately, he brought along his extensive collection of FF CDs for such occasions. He chose to listen to an album he hadn't heard in a while: FFVII Reunion Tracks. As he listened to one of the...more ill-chosen *cough* of the tracks, he found himself thinking, to his surprise, "You know, there's a LOT of musical material in this track! I bet I could remix it!" The result is what you have here, this utterly perverse arrangement of "Honeybee Manor" from FFVII. Furthermore, this is my firstest ever submission to the site. Go me. w00t, and so forth."

I wish I had a summer vacation in a beach house, with nothing to do. Hell, I wish I had a summer vacation period. At any rate, the ReMixer's spare time proved productive as this orchestral mix takes what many consider to be a lackluster (or at least mediocre) original and makes it both palatable and fresh. Though the samples aren't amazing and the arrangement is at times basic, the true allure lies in that Will Buck's significantly altered the original to a pleasant and varied track. Strong use of pizzicato, sentimental solo strings, good tempo fluctuation, and an evolving use of the main motifs in new contexts keep the piece interesting. There are also great swells in dynamics and quite a bit of melodrama or "symphonic cheese" (in a positive sense) with some of the primary statements of the refrain. "Sweeter than Honey" in that sense is a title that completely fits. Judge Israfel had a mixed list of technical insights that were both positive and negative but constructive in either case that bear repeating:

"-a bit on the quiet side/ muffled and distant quality to the sound
--samples do have a sort of "general midi" sound, but they're serviceable
--within the genre of symphonic music, this is perhaps a bit too straightforward and the arranging tends to be on the sparse side
--form seems lack a certain sort of logic- what I mean is that arrangement comes off as a bit sectionalistic. Rather than a logical sequence of ideas designed to build tension and maintain interest, the piece seems to be made up of fairly independent sections, and as such there's a lack of focus and forward momentum to the work
--I do appreciate the significant change in style and overall feel between the original and your arrangement
A nice mix that tilts to the better side of average "

Ari, who was familiar enough with the original to express a... strong dislike for it, had the most positive angle:

"Oh man. The original of this song sucked SOOOOOOO MUCH. HA! This is so cool! ...Really impressed here."

Indeed. Always subtle. At any rate, I think those familiar with the original might appreciate more what Will Buck's been able to do, but fans of orchestral/FF stuffs should find this an enjoyable ReMix regardless. Cool.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2012-10-16 12:33:27

Haha, Protricity totally nailed this one. I agree too, the original was terribly dull and in-your-face.

This remix does feel too quiet at 0:36 - 1:36, but if the volume were pumped up by, what, 2 dB, then it might be the right volume. The mixing itself is just fine, though.

1:49 is not too quiet; I actually like that breakdown a lot. :D

Aside from that, well, the rest is awesome. Ten thumbs up for turning *that* source into this remix. :D

Oh wait. I don't have ten thumbs. Hey, guys? Lend me your thumbs! :o

on 2012-10-15 20:35:24

Honeybee Manor is an awful song. It characterizes the worst aspects of early video game music, being both bland, repetitive, obnoxious, overly chirpy and frustrating all at the same time. In truth it is a blight on the FF7 soundtrack which is otherwise superb.

I dare you to go search out the song on the internet and listen to it from start to finish (really, really listen to it, don't put it on in the background, sit there and close your eyes and experience nothing BUT the music).

Therefore Will Buck should be credited for lifting this awful piece of filth out of the gutter. Not only has this song become serviceable, it now has it's own 'journey', a little muddy in places by for a remix 8 years old now that may be forgivable.

It's a little too quiet, there are a few moments when it begins to rise and I wish it would just go that extra mile to lift you out of your seat, but overall volume isn't the killer.

Purists might complain that though it was irritating the original song was at least engaging and cheerful, whereas this remix borders on the dull. Not so; there is a lot of delight to be had in here, that the song patiently and slowly teases out like the rising sun.

Not recommended for guitar enthusiasts or people who depend on the pounding drums to keep them awake in their mix, but perhaps this is one for people who appreciate beautiful simplicity in their music.

on 2008-04-04 10:11:27

I gotta agree with Larry on this one, I thought the original track was kindof ass. This track just proves that the source was good, just buried under a lot of junk. It needs some normalization, and some of the samples are on the weak end, but overall it works well, and has a lot of cool bits to keep things interesting.

Several of the passages are very pretty, and the ending chord progression is sublime. I think this arrangement with better samples would be completely jaw-dropping, but as is, it is still very very nice.

on 2006-05-14 01:04:42
Took a simple, out-of-the-ordinary, catchy track and turned it into an ordinary, epical, dull remix. Sorry but it's just too "WOW IT'S EPIC!" for me.

I love how I completely disagreed with that back when I first heard the mix. I thought Will took a completely bleh, unmemorable original and turned in into something good. Too quiet, but otherwise a solid track.

lady zelda
on 2006-05-13 22:38:44

I like the variety in atmosphere that's presented here. You've got some really light, quiet moments that build to something more majestic and outgoing. I don't remember the Honeybee Manor theme too well, but this mix definitely lives up to its name as well as the atmosphere of the Honeybee Manor from the game itself.

I do sort of have to concur with Instrument of GAWD in that it does try a bit too hard in some places with trying to portray "epicness", however, if that was not the intention, then this mix is overall a good salute to the original. Keep it up, Will!

The Instrument of GAWD
on 2006-05-13 21:58:24

Took a simple, out-of-the-ordinary, catchy track and turned it into an ordinary, epical, dull remix. Sorry but it's just too "WOW IT'S EPIC!" for me.

on 2005-10-26 15:25:51
I loved the honeybee manor song, I don't know why so many people hated it. I thought it was great.

The prescense of alot of different, annoying, MIDInoises made it quite painful, so I can concur with people about that at least.

For this song, WOW. Feels like I´m dancing around in a beehive with small fairies and flowers around me, and THAT IS real sweet. Beautiful flutes, strings, harps and other mellow and cushy stuff. The trumpets may have given this mix some sort of MIDI sound, but I feel that almost every trumpets sounds like that, so it´s the MIDIs that sounds real, not the real that sounds MIDI.

Buck, you better go back to that beach house, cause I want more of these coming. Very beautiful.

on 2004-08-11 14:22:40

This song was pretty cool. And the original one DID suck, I will say that. *chuckle*

on 2004-03-28 20:32:07

Hey, cool ReMix! Did anyone notice it kind of sounds like the music for the Mog Arcade game at Gold Saucer too? (Especially the part around 1:15)

Zaku II
on 2004-03-25 19:10:09

:Crowd is quiet for a moment.....a small sniff is heard from the audience as a slow clap begins. This clap grows into an uproarous standing ovation: Take a bow man! That was truly awsome.

on 2004-03-23 12:39:52

This mix flows really well. Also, it is one of the first honeybee manor remix I have ever heard. Good Job.

on 2004-03-22 15:02:13

I liked the arrangement, and have no problems with the way the music was put together, and on top of that Honeybee Manor is not an oft-remixed tune, so it was nice to see someone attempt it.

However, half the song was so quiet and muffled-sounding I could barely hear it, using the volume settings with which I can hear the rest of my remixes just fine. Basically, the technical presentation just didn't seem up to OCR standards.

Good for a one-time listen, but it won't go in my playlist unless it's redone with passable audio.

on 2004-03-22 04:26:16

until yesterday i couldnt believe that this song can be make in this way, i think this remix most surprised me of all FF VII remixes here :D

great work, i saw the titel and listened the remix, but i had to listen the remix 2 times again until i find out it is the honeybee song

(ok the remix sounds like the honeybee the first time i heard it, but it took 2 times more of listing the remix until i could believe it :D )

on 2004-03-21 19:28:30

lol I've been waiting for a remix of this song... I hope it's good !!

on 2004-03-20 03:48:57

I loved the honeybee manor song, I don't know why so many people hated it. I thought it was great. And this remix is great too. The soundfonts are a little lacking, but not super bad. This is great remix though! Nice Work!

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Final Fantasy VII (Sony , 1997, PS1)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu
"Honeybee Inn"

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