I think when a lot of mixers are just starting out, there are several types of common pitfalls in terms of mix styles/approaches that often end up with less than desirable results. One of these archetypal "problem categories" is arrangements where, presumably to heighten the nostalgia or sense of immersion, there are a bazillion ingame sound FX strewn generously throughout the track. Usually the end result isn't nostalgic or immersive so much as it is incoherent & chaotic - it's actually really challenging to make this technique classy, or at least musical. Much harder than simply sticking with traditional instrumental components, I'd argue.
I mention all of this because when someone DOES pull it off - creates a ReMix that uses a lot of ingame FX effectively & tastefully - it's really kinda cool. It's not that it can't be done, per se, just that it's very often done without the requisite polish. Star Fox is a series that's rather iconic for its ingame FX, especially in the form of repeated gibberish phrases and excited leporine demands to perform barrel rolls. It's probably king of that specific niche. And so I think newcomer DaMonz (Emery Monzerol) was a little more justified in choosing this style for an arrangement of Star Fox 64, and I'm also glad to report that he did a pretty damn good job. In his initial submission, he writes:
"I've been loving OCR since I was a lil' kid. Thought I'd give it a go I intend to do a lot of ReMixes, so I just hope you like this, no matter if it's OCR worthy or not :D I give big big thanks to the WIP forums btw. The guys over there gave me an awesome hand. I've recently been chosen to be the lead programmer and music composer of a new indie games company, and I love how your site helps me hone my music production skills. I'll make sure to give you guys a special thanks in the credits of our games :D"
Judges rejected that first version largely for some specific & easily remedied production issues, including a bassline that was panned a bit oddly. Thankfully, Emery made those changes, resubmitted, and we've now got a high-energy, breakneck, breakbeat-infused electronica mix that uses the game's dialogue to enhance the atmosphere & narrative. Sure, there's still a DEGREE of cheese, but it's like a fine, gourmet Roquefort because there's ALSO some fun, spiralling synth leads, good stereo separation, a piano breakdown, a nifty feedback-loop ending, and a bunch of other touches that make this an adventurous, exciting, well-crafted mix. Emunator summed it up perfectly:
"Haha, it's WillRock incarnate! I've gotta say, I'm extremely impressed with the sequencing and soloing going on in this track, it's like the whole song is one big synth solo that still manages to keep the source usage at the forefront. Great job with that! The obligatory Star Fox vocal clips are actually used really well, although they get pretty buried in the mix once it kicks in... I'm also digging the unconventional breakbeats, they're reasonably powerful but not overpowering or grating on the ears. The rest of the synth sounds are pretty basic, but the insane sequencing uses them properly and keeps it interesting throughout."
Peppy agrees; a roller-coaster debut from DaMonz, who uses game dialogue to create a high-speed outer space joust between dueling synths & breakbeat artillery.
on 2015-12-08 00:57:07
When someone uses vocal samples in his mix, they are gonna either ruin it totally, or make it incredibly awesome. Thankfully, here we got the latter. These samples really help to embrace the high-energy, adventurous atmosphere of this track. The breakneck percussion is simply jaw-dropping and the synth soloing is pretty impressive as well. Amazing track, Emery!
on 2013-12-14 09:22:36
Okay, really liking the idea of using the SFX in the quieter sections to make it like one of those "dramatic story" tracks from an official arranged album. Nice electronica arrangement sprinkled with good variation. Nice work with your original debut mixpost.
on 2012-07-22 22:13:59
You took advantage of quiet parts of the song to work in the SFX which I thought was clever and it served as narration for the song. The breakbeat part at the end was quite impressive. Overall, great work!
on 2012-07-15 00:01:34
Pretty good electonica mix there. Fast-paced w/o sounding chaotic . . . everyone who had a hand in this deserves all the praise they get.
on 2012-07-07 22:20:29
Hm, very interesting ideas here. I only have a small problem with the obligatory stereo separation, but that's only because a lot of people break their earphones a lot. I don't, but I figure a lot of people I knew did.
Otherwise, this was a song that kept me listening until the end, so therefore I must have liked it!
Great job, DaMonz!
on 2012-07-07 14:39:33
Gosh, it's about time someone makes a StarWolf ReMix.
on 2012-07-07 13:28:11
I'm not a huge fan of electronica, and this didn't change my mind. The use of in-game voices was a nice touch, but the constant drums and sounds make it just too noisy for me.
on 2012-07-06 13:49:06
Nice remix here, the source material doesn't change much yet the drums still manage to have a very uninterrupted, "dancey" flow to them. Usually electronica remixes have to sacrifice one for the other. The drums also remind me of the Ada's Groove remix, they have the same feel and prominence. Hope your future remixes are just as fast paced and fun!
on 2012-07-06 08:42:35
Thanks for the comments everyone! I'm glad that most of you seem to enjoy! I'll do my best not to disappoint with my next tracks!
on 2012-07-03 23:02:41
Interesting song here. Just a bunch of crazy fun action along with appropriate usage of voice clips. This is the type of song that doesn't usually get such a detailed treatment so it's a nice change of pace.
on 2012-07-01 13:17:38
It seems a little on the thin side, but it's still unavoidably entertaining, especially in the crazier solo-ier sections.
on 2012-06-30 09:06:40
I know this for a while now from the WIP forums and have it on my player since then (just listened to it a few minutes ago). I really like the style. And of course Starwolf's theme is my favorite tune from Starfox 64.
on 2012-06-30 00:58:14
Congratulations on being posted dude! I've seen your stuff every now and then and I knew it was only a matter of time before I started seeing it on the front page. You have quite the impressive debut going for you, and I can't wait to see what else you plan on showing us. Great work!
on 2012-06-29 17:32:49
That was a highly intriguing mix. Kept my attention for a while, and that's getting harder and harder to do nowadays.
Also, very cheddar-y at the beginning.
on 2012-06-29 17:20:19
Woah. This was a big surprise.
Breakbeat electronica is a genre that's very hit or miss for me, and I'd like to congratulate you for pulling off an extremely awesome song here, DaMonz. The soloing is absolutely awesome, some of the best I've heard on this site. A staple of the genre (at least from all of what I've heard) being glitchy effects / drums are being used very well here. Also, I'm digging the soundscape and atmosphere of the song! That jump from the piano section back to the conclusion was awesome. Great focus on the dynamics in this song.
Recommending this song to anyone reading. Again, great stuff!
Sources Arranged (2 Songs, 2 Games)
- Primary Game:
Star Fox 64 (Nintendo, 1997, N64)
Music by Hajime Wakai, Koji Kondo
- "Starwolf's Theme"
- Additional Game:
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (Square, 1992, SNES)
Music by Ryuji Sasai, Yasuhiro Kawakami
- "Battle 3"
- Breakbeats, Electronic, In-game FX, Piano, Synth
- Origin > Resubmission
Time > Tempo: Fast
- 6,499,108 bytes
- Size: 6,499,108 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: b6b29dc6b6a11ecb1bdc68df811320b5
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