ReMix:Star Ocean: The Second Story "This Love, Our Love" 5:11

By DusK

Arranging the music of one song...

"The venerable forest"

Primary Game: Star Ocean: The Second Story (Sony , 1998, PS1), music by Motoi Sakuraba

Posted 2015-02-14, evaluated by the judges panel

Happy Valentine's Day! Whether you find the holiday to be a painful reminder of love lost, an insipid commercialization of intimacy, OR just a good occasion to tell the person (or people) you care for how you feel & maybe buy 'em some chocolates, we've got a couple ReMixes to celebrate. I personally fall in that last camp, but I've certainly been in the former groups at different parts in my life, so I can relate. Here to set the mood OR take your mind off things is DusK, with a vocal Star Ocean ballad set to original lyrics:

"I did this remix to perform it live at my wedding reception. My wife walked down the aisle to "The venerable forest," so it seemed fitting that I create a vocal remix of the track. I spent a great deal of time on the instrumentation, particularly the string sections, and I feel it's by far my best attempt at creating a convincing orchestral piece using samples, something I'd love to do more often. The vocals were revised quite a bit after I got some feedback from Flexstyle, who noted that the original recording was fairly pitchy. The lyrics create a comparison to marriage through references to the roles we both commonly play in MMORPGs. Enjoy. :)"

Awwwwww... We've seen a lot of VGM at weddings, including OC ReMixes being used, but this is the opposite - an arrangement written for a wedding (reception) that's now being posted on OCR. Dustin picked a good melody to add vocals to; the resetting as a gentle, acoustic-guitar + piano + strings ballad with gamer-love lyrics works well. Chimpazilla reads my mind with her comments:

"What a sweet song to sing at your wedding! I can't imagine there was a dry eye in the house. I love the lyrics, very appropriate for the marriage of two gamers. I think the orchestral elements, piano and guitar are all produced very well. Good care was given to the humanization of the strings. The vocals are performed well. I do wish there had been some vocal harmony or widening somewhere, like during a chorus or two, to break up and widen the vocal soundscape. But really it is just a very lovely and touching song."

A vocal harmony part, widening effect, or even a vocal counter-melody part (Simon & Garfunkel-style) would have been helpful, giving the piece a bit more structural contrast and intermittently buttressing the vocal part; bit of a missed opportunity, in that sense. Nevertheless, it's heartfelt, it's straightforward & honest, and there's a bard-ish, fireside atmosphere. Deia concurs:

"There are a couple times where I can kinda hear what Will is getting at, but being a vocalist myself with some of the same issues, I don't really take issue with the use of autotune to clean things up. I think the song is a great and intimate piece that really reflects a lot of emotion; Dustin's feelings really come through here. The nits I would pick is that I would have liked a bit more in terms of harmony with the vocals, either a second singing part, or maybe some other instrument to flow with the vocals at times. Aside from that, I'm feeling this!"

She's feeling the feelings :) Moving stuff from DusK that he wrote for his lady and performed on their special day; here's hoping it provides BGM for couples' moments for years to come!



Latest 8 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2015-12-29 14:46:41

The atmosphere of this remix is excellent. I love the mix between the acoustic guitars and strings (even if the strings are not harder to blend -- they're quite wet while the guitars are dry). The piano was a nice addition later on. The vocals were on spot as well. Decent production, but who cares with such a lovely mix? :) Nice job, Dustin!

on 2015-02-22 14:50:25

Vocal mixes are iffy for me but this is so good. I really like how it has a fantasy feel (both lyrics and music) while still being a clear love song. Great work!

on 2015-02-18 14:52:19

I simply loved this song, getting goosebumps. I like how solemn it is and I also was a fan of keeping the vocals dry, center and singular the whole tune - a harmony might have been nice but for me it really delivers as it is, without additional oompah or sugar coating. It sounds more direct and earnest this way (I'm guessing, anyway). (Also, I'm glad there's no thundering drums and stuff, or modulation coming in, that kind of thing ;))

Can't say I was bothered about the guitar sound either, sounds good enough to me, might be better if it was better sounding but no problem. The swelling string/pad is very nice, the single line bowed string is pretty weak and pushed to the side, but not a huge issue.

I can hear the autotuning, it doesn't bother me, though I'd prefer without (tough of course it's nice that it's in tune). I enjoy Dustin's voice quite a lot here. Well done, and that it was made for the occasion is super cool - thanks for sharing!

on 2015-02-16 13:33:30

I love how this works for both the wedding and co-op play themes turned into a romantic "need you" story in the lyrics. That's a pretty emotional and clever idea and I'm all for it. Excellent work with the production and I personally don't have anything to nitpick at with the auto-tune or vocals for the most part because they are done in a way that fixes rather than causes problems to me.

on 2015-02-15 15:53:38

Really lovely track. I already love it but it makes me even happier to hear these wonderful lyrics put to a Star Ocean song. Great job with everything!

on 2015-02-15 00:39:24

Just to clarify: I had considered throwing in vocal harmonies at one point, but this song was created to be played live, and there's only one of me. For that reason, I stuck with a single vocal track and a single guitar track.

I recorded the acoustic guitar with a Shure SM58, because that's the only mic I own. I could not for the life of me EQ what I ended up with after tracking to sound as good as I really wanted. All I could do is try to get it close.

Brandon Strader
on 2015-02-15 00:28:08

Definitely hear where they're coming from with the lossy sounding acoustic... what was up with that, just too much EQ on the high end? Low pass or something? Lacks the high end vibrance. That's the only area that is kinda unfortunate in an otherwise awesome song -- not hearing any issues with the auto tune. Sounds tasteful and not overbearing. Not even hearing anything that sounds "force tuned", nice humanization on the settings. Avoiding the robot sound. No vibrato, but that's a common vocal style. Overall I dig it, a nice mix! An interesting combination too with the more punky vocals against the more pleasant backing... A nice, roomy acoustic guitar sound really would have put this over the edge in a good way.

on 2015-02-14 03:03:15

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

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Star Ocean: The Second Story (Sony , 1998, PS1)
Music by Motoi Sakuraba
"The venerable forest"

Tags (9)

Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Strings,Vocals: Male
Lyrics > Lyrics: Original
Time > 6/8 Time Signature
Usage > Wedding

File Information

8,152,225 bytes

You take me away from loss
You give, and you give freely
We'll walk through this world unharmed
As long as you walk with me

Through smoke and ash, we're hand in hand
You bring me far above
And though we're two against the land
We wield this love, our love

Your robes flowing in the wind
My armor scratched and torn
You make me whole again
An embrace soft as it is warm

Though darkness looms, we're back to back
You bring me far above
And though we're two, and worlds fade black
We wield this love, our love

We'll take on this world
With our fates entwined
Never lose your wand
I need you at my side

Through paths and trees, with sword and staff
We'll fight, endure it all
Though outnumbered, not outmatched, we'll always have
This love, our love

We'll take on this world
With our fates entwined
Never lose your wand
I need you at my side
Though outnumbered, not outmatched, we'll always have
This love, our love


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