ReMix:Final Fantasy VI "Locke's Theme for Brass Quintet" 4:12

By Vampire Hunter Dan

Arranging the music of 2 songs...

"Forever Rachel", "Locke"

Primary Game: Final Fantasy VI (Square , 1994, SNES), music by Nobuo Uematsu

Posted 2007-08-07, evaluated by the judges panel

VHD wins our latest incarnation of the most-intuitive-mix-title ever award. The ReMixer writes:

"This--as the title indicates--is an arrangement of "Locke's Theme" from Final Fantasy 6 for a brass quintet consisting of 2 trumpets, french horn, trombone and tuba."

WYSIWYG, indeed. I'm a former low brass player (euphonium, represent) who also played trumpet for a bit, and one of my sisters played the french horn (the other went the dark path of "woodwind" with the clarinet), so let me just say that it's great to see ensemble arranging for brass hit OverClocked ReMix in such style. If you've ever seen Canadian Brass live, or similarly awe-inspiring ensembles, you know just how vast a range of style, dynamic, and tone all-brass instrumentation can achieve. To fully appreciate the scope of what VHD's doing here, though, you need to fully understand how all the nuance, articulation, and tonality of a brass instrument is inevitably lost to varying extents when emulated using samples, no matter the quality. In this case the samples are pretty high quality, but moreover, the ReMixer uses a wide variety of articulations and velocities, not trying to mask limitations of samples by compromising his arrangement... and it still sounds damn good. Nearly all the judges touched on this topic in their decisions, and in this case the believability of the sounds used is inextricably tied to the high quality arrangement. While not wildly diverting from the original thematically, Mr. Barnaba arranges for brass ensemble in a way that sounds absolutely natural and professional. The conviction, confidence, and authenticity of the individual parts shines through, and production gracefully separates each instrument with a separate panning point and consistent ambience. Waleed writes:

"sequenced brass is the bane of the world, i know - but come on, this ain't that bad! i just listened to some of the fakest brass you can possibly have about two songs before this one and honestly, this is alright. arrangement is on point. it does not venture too far as it does not really need to. afterall this is now being performed as a brass quintent and that's really all the validation it needs as far as that. i think the original parts are very intelligently incorporated into the main body. very nice work on smoothing out the whole thing to being so coherent. the ending is not so abrupt really - its perfect. the build up is moving, the climax is a couple of brass hits and the fade is classic."

Nice synopsis. Something orchestral but very different in nature from VHD which takes some risks in terms of difficulty factor but achieves something singular and refreshing as a result.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2012-06-01 06:09:59

Thanks for sharing that. I've always loved this piece and to hear it with real brass is a treat. If I'm really lucky I'll hear it live and perfected before I die.

Vampire Hunter Dan
on 2010-10-27 16:56:09

I'd like to share this live brass recording of the piece. As I explained on Facebook today, it was recorded (a bit roughly, as they explain) in 2010, and I feel they did a splendid job. Please keep in mind that--as with just about everything else I've ever arranged--this piece was *not* meant to be played by humans at all, and thus is unbelievably difficult (especially on the poor trumpets). Their french horn player, btw, is exemplary.

Johnny C. Bad
on 2009-11-21 23:06:05

I truly love this mix, it's definitely in my top 3 or so most listened to OCRemixes, and certainly one of my favorites.

I only wish I could have the sheet music for this. Me(euphonium) and a few friends(trumpet, tuba, and trombone) have been looking for a good piece to learn as of late and this would be perfect. So vibrant and exciting.

on 2008-12-06 13:58:14

This is an amazing arrangement. I've always loved Locke's theme and wanted to hear a full-blown Williams-esque rendition of it, and this is the closest I've gotten, and I'm not saying that in a bad way in the least. This mix is powerful and energetic and reminds me of the Canadian Brass--this sounds just like something from their hypothetical video game cover album (which is something I think they should totally do).

on 2008-04-01 11:53:54

Beautiful work. VHD proves that he can do some amazing stuff with samples, and taking a good song and giving it a great, creative arrangement, and executing it very well. Some phrases are so good that when a synthetic-sounding note comes up, it's a bit jarring.

Regardless, this is beautiful work, with a lot of attention paid to each detail. I'm a brass fan, and this one totally delivers.


on 2007-08-24 03:56:01

Some of the samples get blatty on the harder attacks, but it's a remarkable example of what can be accomplished in a normally robotic-style-bad-whatever area.

Martin Penwald
on 2007-08-22 15:52:20

I'm really surprised at how good this turned out to be. Using only 5 brass instruments sounded as if the song would be rather sparse and "empty", but VHD managed to produce a really interesting piece.

Nice work.

on 2007-08-19 23:04:04

Practically in the same boots as Mark. I've been lurking here and there at OCR for years but never bothered to really sign up and review other people's works or join in the discussion. But this tune changed it for me.

Now I'm no big brass player, but I respect the sound that comes from brass and adore it when the instrument hits it right. I would also love to see a quintet perform this rendition live and just run around to see how many people have got goosebumps from it :-) I especially love the part at the 1.30min mark where Locke's theme kicks in. Speaking of, this whole remix gave me that awesome tingly feeling that JigginJonT gave me with the muted brass section in his Anthem of Exile remix. Maybe FFVI is the best series to opt for brass remixes? Heh.

Anyway keep up the good work VHD.

Mark 'Moogle' Brown
on 2007-08-15 20:11:35

I have lurked around this site for about 6.5 years and 1400 remixes. There have been many, many beautiful and creative mixes posted on the site in this time. This is the first time I ever felt compelled to leave a review about a piece.

This was a treat to listen to. My knowledge of the whole library on this site is spotty, but I don't recall a past mix that was so dedicated to the brass among us. I played the trombone for 11 years of my life before a lack of groups to play with forced me into inactivity, and I love this because it sounds so much like something I could have played back in those days. Ah, the work to get a I at adjucation...

As DJP touched upon in his writeup, the trained ear can certainly tell it's not live brass. This is hardly the only mix of which this can be said, but this is probably the most real-sounding use of brass I've heard here, and very skillfully arranged. Each of the parts in the quintet contributes something to the overall piece, without which it would not be nearly the same.

The bulk of it is so charming to listen to that the few moments where you really hear a note that is plainly synthesized can be overlooked. I can almost close my eyes and picture myself and some old bandmates of mine from college performing it on stage. Many mixes on this site tickle my fancy as a lifelong band nerd and musician, but this is the first that has ever gotten me so close as a brass musician specifically.

Here's this lurker's salute to Vampire Hunter Dan for trying something quite different and coming out with an incredible end product even given the inherent limitations with using brass in a mix. I hope this will not be the last time I hear such great brass work on this site.

on 2007-08-14 13:01:08

I originally learned brass on a trumpet, but was lured away to baritone and eventually landed on the french horn, so I love listening to these instruments do their thing. Props.

on 2007-08-08 15:04:39

Really enjoyed the mix! Your instrument patches are really, really astounding - especially the tuba! I found that your tuba writing really reinforced the sound quality... in other words, your tuba writing was characteristic of the instrument and (while it doesn't happen as often as I'd like) I think that that's what really made your patches sound awesome. Also, really solid runs with the french horn, very well arranged :)

Does a score exist for this? I'd love to see it and maybe perform it live (but alas, the plight of the euphonium player... lol).

Really fantastic job!

on 2007-08-08 14:39:57

Really enjoyed this track. I agree with the above post in that you wouldn't immediately think Locke + brass, but it works fantastically.

Unfortunately the 4 minutes of listening to it just fly by too quickly!

Less Ashamed Of Self
on 2007-08-08 14:12:17

Lord only knows what makes someone wake up in the morning and say to themselves: Locke's Theme... Brass Quintet... of COURSE! Still, regardless, a very nice execution and a very nice mix. Very welcomed and a very excellent theme. It compliments Shnabubula's new mario bros piece on the front page very well.

on 2007-08-08 11:57:29

Best Locke Remix I've heard so far.

Damn I would love to hear this in a Live Concert

Dante L. Wolfe
on 2007-08-07 20:35:08

Fantastic Job! Boy this takes me back to when I played trumpet in Middle School. x3

Sources Arranged (2 Songs)

Primary Game:
Final Fantasy VI (Square , 1994, SNES)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu
"Forever Rachel"

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