Our first ReMix from Guild Wars 2 comes in the form of an aggressive, biting rock arrangement of "Battle on the Breachmaker" from DusK (Dustin Branscum) - the source, by Lena Chappelle, is from the March 2014 Season 1 release Battle for Lion's Arch... Dustin writes:
"BOSS FIGHT! The idea behind this one was to create a sort of modern-style boss music for Scarlet Briar (one of the big bads in GW2) utilizing her actual final boss music, but in a genre completely different from the source. Along the way, I ended up incorporating elements from "The Nightmare Within," which never actually appeared in-game but was used in the trailer for a content release. This was a lot of fun to do, as Lena and Maclaine's music usually is (I'm up to 7 released covers of their music right now), because it's quite a bit more melodic than many of Soule's works for the series. Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy this piece. Under-repped VGM fo lyfe! #WeMissYouMokram"
The heavy intro with synth arpeggio reminds me of Muse quite a bit; while judges focused on the heavy use of compression w/ regards to production, I actually feel like this is one of DusK's cleaner, more defined ReMixes to date, and I didn't have any problems making out the details while enjoying the energy & momentum. Emunator writes:
"Wow, excellent source tune. I'm always worried when I see a submission with a 5+ minute source tune that I'm unfamiliar with, but I really enjoyed listening to the original. The source usage in your track is surprisingly straightforward and easy to pick up on, the string patterns in the original translate really nicely to rhyhtm guitars."
Judges were on board with the arrangement & performance and it really did come down to overcompression, for some, but I weighed in with my own two cents as per the above, and Palpable corroborated:
"I think I've softened a bit on overcompression the past year or two. Maybe overcompression won the loudness war and now I'm just used to it, lol. I can hear the degradation in quality, and yes, I WANT it to be less compressed, but the arrangement is great. Like Dave said, I can still make out everything in this easily, so I don't really see anything preventing a pass."
The thing that muddies the waters of the so-called loudness war a bit is that extensive use of compression, instead of JUST being a means of maximizing decibels, also confers its own aesthetic, which can be a very intentional & desired choice on the part of artists. In this case I agree that Dustin could & should have dialed it back, but it's not so egregious as to prevent my enjoyment OR clear identification of each component, which is my personal litmus test. Arrangement is actually a pretty conservative genre adaptation - it keeps the source very recognizable but repurposes instrumentation & tone for something edgier, making smart decisions about what to include/exclude and running with the concept from there. The primary source here is an epic, beautiful piece of "large-scale battle" scoring that you should check out if you're unfamiliar - thanks to DusK for bringing it to our attention AND for putting together a unique, assertive, & rockin' take on it!
on 2018-03-13 01:29:59
Now this is some proper fight music, with high energy, breakneck percussion, and electric guitars hitting hard while providing the melody in the lead. I kinda like how the synth sorta sounds like it's backing the guitars up, adding layers to the whole ReMix. Sounds like a technique I'd expect from an older RPG battle theme, so it worked for me even if they didn't change throughout the mix. I will say that I can understand where some are coming from on the over-compression critique, but it kinda came off more retro sounding than bad to me, so I'm not really bugged by it at all. I think DusK did a great job with this battle ReMix.
on 2016-01-03 07:38:58
There's nothing I can really fault about this! The guitars are rich and biting, the drums are perfectly programmed and sound excellent and the synth doesn't get in the way of the main guitar melodies and simply helps to add to the rich tapestry of awesome. Excellent work as always, DusK!
on 2015-12-14 00:55:35
Great hard rock battle theme. I especially appreciate how the synthesized sounds didn’t try to do too much all at once. The focus was mainly on the guitars, as it should be. It almost felt like something straight out of the Black Mages catalog.
on 2015-12-06 04:20:39
I've heard more overcompressed than this. Yes, the drums are pushed down, but I can tell that they're there, and I would say that this doesn't detract from my overall enjoyment of how this was intended to be. (If everything under the limiter was maybe 1~2 dB louder though, that would probably tip it over.) I agree with Emu that the synth stuff here pales in comparison to your mad guitar skills; the pads at 2:12 - 2:33 could have had an exponential volume envelope to pull the listener in as a reverse cymbal would. Otherwise, this is classic DusK jamming away and leaving us in the dust.
on 2015-10-20 15:39:18
Man, if that compression in the master was the only beef with it, I could've fixed it. I've gotten a lot better with it, and it's a really quick fix. As Bill Clinton once wisely said, "It'd take like a minute".
on 2015-10-20 12:05:34
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Guild Wars 2 (NCsoft, 2012, WIN)
Music by Jeremy Soule, Keenan Sieg, Lena Raine, Maclaine Diemer, Matthew Moore, Stan LePard
- "Battle on the Breachmaker"
- Electric Guitar, Synth
- Time > 4/4 Time Signature
- 7,824,701 bytes
- Size: 7,824,701 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: c2fb5e61e02da253ffaa0821033e855c
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