ReMix:Portal 2 "The Orchestra Is a Lie" 2:57

By Dummy

Arranging the music of one song...

"Want You Gone"

Primary Game: Portal 2 (Valve , 2011, WIN), music by Aaron Dessner, Jonathan Coulton, Matt Berninger, Mike Morasky

Posted 2013-03-08, evaluated by djpretzel

Dummy (Blake Robinson) returns & follows up his 2010 OCR debut with a sweet orchestral Portal 2 arrangement. Blake's got a huge following on YouTube & elsewhere doing faux symphonic renditions of VGM & anime tunes, in addition to his original work, and is armed to the teeth with not only a fistful of samples, but the gumption & marksmanship to use them effectively; samples don't make music - people make music... He writes:

"I orchestrated the original Portal ending song a while back and the response on my page and YouTube channel was pretty crazy. A lot of people had asked me to take a stab at the second game's outro-song and I had some time (and I'm a big fan of it) so I did. I normally stay quite true to the original pieces when I'm orchestrating but I took quite a few creative liberties with this one. It has a much more playful feel to it, almost sounding a little Christmasy in parts (I think that's the bells and choir).

From start to finish it's probably about 2 hours work. As usual, I used FL Studio with Kontakt 5 hosting various sample libraries. It has touches of WIVI but it's probably not noticeable. The brass utilises SM's French Horns & Tuba and CineBrass with Pro being used for reinforcing some of the solo parts. Other mainstream libraries were used for the accompaniment such as Spitfire Albion, Percussion & Solo Strings as well as Symphobia II, True Strike, Vivace and various others. Some samples from my own private orchestra libraries were also used here and there, but mostly just overlapping things just to add a little realism."

Sounds like Blake should be featured on a special "Sample Library" episode of Hoarders - I don't know what the equivalent of taking Scrooge McDuck money baths in a vault of gold coins would be for such an impressive digital arsenal, but I'm sure it would be awesome. With great gigabytes comes great responsibility, though, and even such a formidable stockpile as Blake's is insignificant next to the power of the Force - the Force in this case being a knack for arranging, orchestrating, and blending all those components into a complete whole. Yeah, and you thought it was just about midi-chlorians.

At just under three minutes, this does feel a bit brief, but it has a certain upbeat pageantry to it that feels celebratory, and the isolated choral and pizzicato passages are perfect - downright sublime, really, and make the whole mix work on the level it was intended to. It happens to be a pretty clear case where a sub-par sample library could have really diminished the arrangement, but it's also a great idea from a purely compositional perspective. Blake's the type of arranger where you can tell that having amazing tools frees him up to try whatever he wants, as opposed to just sounding slightly better. Great stuff from Dummy, who isn't; check out the rest of his ever-growing oeuvre @!



Latest 6 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2013-04-15 15:37:29

Want You Gone has to be one of the few songs where I personally feel like the original is pretty damn tough to beat or rearrange without going the wrong way, but I like what Dummy has done here with the orchestral take on it. The light, whimsical feeling of this ReMix is done really nicely and I would also love to hear this done live. Very nice.

on 2013-03-15 01:37:20

Thanks for the kind words! I'd love to have the chance to have this recorded live to see how it sounds - perhaps an idea for a project I've got in mind for later this year ;D

I agree, Guifrog, on doing better - this piece was made over a year ago and I think I've come a long way since then. You can sort my stuff by date over on my all-in-one-site to check out my more recent music

Clairval - If the artifact is what I think you're meaning, those are Violin pizzicatos that stick out a little bit because of their pitch. You would expect those in a live performance too though for Hollywood style scores they'd possibly be smoothed out post process. I like to keep my orchestrations a little loose and raw.

on 2013-03-11 04:39:11

It seems there is some artifact at 0:36 and 1:36, though it could be only strings synthesis.

on 2013-03-08 20:03:03

I think Dummy can do better than this, but it's still insanely hallucinogenic how crazily real his madchestra psounds.

on 2013-03-08 17:24:01

This is orchestral fire! Would love to hear this one performed live. :-)

on 2013-03-08 17:01:25

What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Portal 2 (Valve , 2011, WIN)
Music by Aaron Dessner,Jonathan Coulton,Matt Berninger,Mike Morasky
"Want You Gone"

Tags (7)

Time > Tempo: Fast

File Information

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