ReMix:Halo: Combat Evolved "Ruined Desert" 3:56

By Edgen Animations

Arranging the music of one song...


Primary Game: Halo: Combat Evolved (Microsoft , 2001, XBOX), music by Marty O'Donnell, Michael Salvatori

Posted 2004-04-05, evaluated by the judges panel

Edgen Animations aka Justin R. Durban actually has some experience with composition for television - currently his music is being used for the TV trailer for the upcoming film Taking Lives - pretty cool. Also a slick website design with some good originals and arrangements worth checking out. This is our first ReMix from Halo, and as such requires a bit of a preamble - though the game's soundtrack was very minimalist, there was in fact music and Justin has in fact managed to produce an arrangement that takes the original score and works with it in a substantive way. It's late and I've spent large portions of this weekend working on OCR's fabled redesign (more on that as we edge closer), so I'll quote some emphatically punctuated DarkeSword:

"Pretty cinematic. Nice opening. Brass is kinda bleh, but good atmosphere. Samples at some points are kinda "meh," but the arrangement is good. Nice highs and lows. Kinda slow goings though; I wish it would pick up more. Choir swelling at the end is nice. The gong would have been nice to hear again at the end. This works. I LIEK IT!!~1~1!!@12"

I'd say Halo is a difficult game to ReMix - there's not all that much there, and what's there is fairly high quality - so kudos for taking on a difficult task and running with it. The cinematic style would seem to be the ReMixer's forte, and I imagined this helped quite a bit. Very dramatic choral work, atmospheric percussion, and a rich, dark sound from Edgen Animations.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2017-05-11 16:49:32
On 2/12/2008 at 11:15 AM, OceansAndrew said:

The brass sample itself at the beginning was fine, it's just that the wrong sample was used for the phrasing. The attack was far too slow for the passage, but when it was a single held note, it worked beautifully. The choir and percussion was fantastic, and the build was excellent, though I would have preferred A strong resolution just for personal taste.

As is, it works very well and is Super Effective(!) even for those of us who haven't played the game, and is great mood-setting music. Very nice work.

@OceansAndrew echoed my thoughts, only more articulately than I ever could. This doesn't age well in that the opening brass articulations were rough, but when it was mostly held notes, it was OK. Same criticism could be put on the strings as well. The pace was pretty deliberate, which ended up exposing the samples, but it was interesting to hear a decidedly different mood to the Halo theme. Would be interested to hear how far @Edgen has come these days.

on 2009-04-02 10:09:57

The main thing that I have against this Remix is the lack of strings. They were used so heavily in the original, so a remix of the Halo Theme without much strings just doesn't cut it. Not for me anyway.

If there were more strings to this, I'd love it.

The rythmic changes that were made are cool, however, and they definately were a touch of a surprise for me. Snare and bass drum at the beginning was very nice, and the use of the Gregorian chant throughout the piece was also interesting and something that I enjoyed.

So on that note, good job!

There's my two-and-a-half cents.

on 2009-03-31 20:59:16

The Halo theme is actually quite a simple melody, which is becoming more common with modern game soundtracks. I would never call it one of the best themes of gaming history, but it works well and, lucky for us, is extremely versatile and adaptable to remixing.

I loved this mix, mainly because I love choral music, and the writing and samples were really well done in the choral department. I'm not sure what people were expecting, but I thought the end was a terrific climax. Certainly satisfied me.

There are dull samples in here, but that's not worrisome. It's a great package regardless. It has that epic sound, but not the ambition. A brave concept, and one that I'm sure alienates a few people. I dig it, though.

on 2008-02-12 11:15:53

The brass sample itself at the beginning was fine, it's just that the wrong sample was used for the phrasing. The attack was far too slow for the passage, but when it was a single held note, it worked beautifully. The choir and percussion was fantastic, and the build was excellent, though I would have preferred A strong resolution just for personal taste.

As is, it works very well and is Super Effective(!) even for those of us who haven't played the game, and is great mood-setting music. Very nice work.

on 2007-10-06 02:14:37

to be honest listening to this track made me wanna go play halo. I totally loved it. Yea its slow, but its grand and sweeping, just like the game which has giant environment and durastic/epic proportions, which the music reflects accurately. Kudos, it definitely painted an image of master chief running through the story.

As a technical note, i have to agree with the writeup in that the brass is lacking, BUT having said that, i dont think its the composers fault. If someone out there has a program that can actually MAKE synth horns sound good, then number one its worth its weight in GOLD and number two PLEASE LINK IT FOR THE REST OF US! lol

on 2006-12-27 17:48:54

Ok a few things I gotta come clean on, Halo fun game but not all it's cracked up to be. The music from halo...friggin awesome 'enchanting' and this mix completely captures that feeling.

For me that's saying alot, IMO the music is what told the story and the emotion of Halo. I've had this on my playlist for about a year now it's friggin awesome. The choir, the soundscape, I really couldn't ask for more. I've really enjoyed listening to this thanks dude.

The Master Maniac
on 2004-05-20 03:39:52

I don't quite understand how someone could have a distaste for Halo without playing it, but, before I'd even BOUGHT the game a few months back, I was already well-accustomed to its interestingly strange, even tribal-like musical style, which featured a roller-coaster of brass swells and high-quality vocals--just my kinda music. Just listening to previews of its soundtrack alone drove me to play the game (I can easily imagine the people in charge of this game thinking "hey, how about we throw some killer hard-rock in there--that would be SWEET!" but I'm relieved to see they didn't act on the norm, given the more intense subject-matter a beefier soundtrack like this compliments perfectly.) Good music strikes an emotional chord in the player, making intense scenes in a game that much more memorable. Halo's orchestral dips, tribal drums, haunting vocals, driving beats, and some generally emotionally-charged strings sections are top of the line when it comes to inspiring, emotive music. Make no mistake, people, Halo's soundtrack was professionally done, and this inspired remix is no exception. How can a piece of music be solemn, mellow, heartfelt, thought-provoking, and incredibly intense at the same time? Play Halo and find out--listen to this remix and get a taste. All in all, it's essentially an oh-so-unfortunately-brief showcase of a few of the more modern, string-style aspects of the original soundtrack. Featuring a nice, smooth beginning replete with mellow woodwind instruments, sharp, nicely timed military-like drum beats that sound every bit as good as something you'd see in the latest war movie, a rising brass segment highly reminiscent of the aptly-named Halo Action Theme of the game's soundtrack itself, you'd swear this should be in the game, though it's original enough to stand on its own. I absolutely love the quiet start to this one, which gradually builds into a wonderfully militaristic, definitely-Halo march-like brass segment. The chorus sounds great, but, like a couple other elements of the piece, is a tad muffled. Although the brass sounds quite nice, it doesn't seem as clear or nearly so crisp as it should have been--it's got the beat, feel, and pace all down, but darn it if it's just not as LOUD as it seems it should've been. In all honestly, I thought my speakers were malfunctioning for a second or so--I knew it was supposed to be blowing me away with an incredible swelling brass section (starting at about 2:15) but it just didn't seem right that something so bold and intense should have sounded so...muffled. That's not to say this is a pedestrian, mellow piece by any stretch of the word, though. Although I'd have no qualms just listening to this for leisure, Ruined Desert does manage to come across as a strong, driving, though ulitmately short homage to Halo's unique style of music, and one that I'd be downright stupid not to recommend. The gong at the end just makes you wish there was more to it, though...

prophetik music
on 2004-04-20 21:17:13

I love the entire piece! i love the atmospheric stuff (after all, ebing a prophet, I have to love entrance music and background for my new movie, The Prophet of Mephisto does Dallas) so I love it. LOVE THE BRASS AT :51! Its great! Can't wait till Master and Chief, Edgen! Keep up the sweet orchestrations!


on 2004-04-18 18:28:33

I completely disagree that this isn't listening music. This is exactly the sort of music I do like listening to. Although I agree that the brass samples are kind of meh, that doesn't stop this from being one of my favorites on the site. Great job.

on 2004-04-09 15:38:16

I didn't mind the brass at the beginning; there's a beautifully done spot right at 0:50. The strings later on bummed me out, though, especially since they're so heavily leaned-upon in the arrangement...

But the arrangement kicks my ass all over the place. The mixer's cinematic background is quite obvious. :wink: The way it climaxes and dies away at 3:45, I can just see the title of whatever it's previewing coming up on the screen with release dates. But ask me if it's overly cheesy or in any way bad or unpleasurable to listen to... and I'll say "whatchu talkin' bout, Willis?" All in all, this is a very tight, professional piece of work that gets top marks with me.

on 2004-04-09 06:51:57

thanks fellas!!! wew hew! Finally made it in OCR!

If you liked this one, look out for my "Master and Chief" track. Its still in the "submission phase" and will most likely take a bit to get reviewed. Oh well. Lots of time. Lots to do. Of course, you can d/l it at my site as well. I appreciate the kind words about my web work DJpretzel! 8)


on 2004-04-08 13:28:55

Ok, I like this a lot, I can't even begin to start making songs in this genre, but I'll tell ya what... I'm now pumped up to make a halo mix my self :)

I thought the horns were good, despite what everyone else says. It's just extreamly hard to top the games existing sound track. Those vocals are just too cool, thats why I think I'll sample them when I make my version. Or sing it my self :roll: I'll leave the rest of what I'm going to do to be a suprise :)


on 2004-04-07 20:25:42

You can easily tell this guy composes for movies, everything about this song was atmospheric. So, yes, this would be good for a movie (Halo movie?), but not for stand alone listening pleasure, it just got a little....boring. Good remix none the less.

on 2004-04-06 22:13:31

Very well arranged. I have never heard the original, having a distaste for Halo, but I can say that this mix is very well done. I, not to beat a dead horse or anything, also found that the brass samples were a bit under par, but look whose speaking, so...

Somewhat anti climactic. For all the buildup that happens in the final act, there is little payoff. Still, the mix itself is well done. I applaud ye.

on 2004-04-06 01:53:57

Great stuff.

Very atmospheric.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Halo: Combat Evolved (Microsoft , 2001, XBOX)
Music by Marty O'Donnell,Michael Salvatori

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