Posted 2016-05-02, evaluated by the judges panel

Great to see so many orchestral arrangements lately; newcomer Laarx (Jon Kelliher) continues that trend with our FIRST EVAR ReMix of Crash Bandicoot 2, taking on the boss battle with Tiny in the epic symphonic/choral style of "Duel of the Fates" - Jon writes:

"The boss battle against Tiny in Crash Bandicoot 2 definitely scarred me as a kid. While he was one of my favourite video game characters, he was also the hardest boss I had encountered in my youth. I remember hearing the music repeating over and over to the point of insanity, so I felt it was only right to depict the battle as an epic Star Wars: The Phantom Menace-esque fight scene.

I found that, since the original source is pretty schizophrenic, it was a challenge to get the sections to flow well into one another. However, by adding some original melodies in the choruses, I was able to at least give the song some sort of loose form."

Definite Williams influence right from the get-go, although you could also make an argument for Carl Orff; big word-builder "Tiny" choral chords open things up, then a timpani roll ushers in big drums, brass, & strings. Piano, chromatic percussion, and a rock drum kit each end up playing substantive roles, and the overall arrangement has the sense of urgency you'd expect from a hectic boss fight, imbued with a dose of Gothic epicosity. Chimpazilla writes:

"The instrumentation of this source and the remix are as different as night and day but the arrangement is conservative enough to hear the source throughout. Wow, what a change in feeling with this source in orchestral! I think you did a great job of adapting the "schizophrenia" of the source into the orchestral soundscape."

Judges did find the mixing a little unusual for an orchestral piece, with overall volume & bass emphasis at relatively unorthodox levels, and there were some humanization issues noted with some of the part-writing, but the general consensus acknowledged the strength & creativity of the arrangement. DaMonz sums it up well:

"Other than that, definitely a super awesome arrangement that easily makes up for all the issues, for me. Source is still very recognizable, and I'm loving how the structure was elaborated to adapt the style."

Our first Crash 2 ReMix, a nice stylistic homage (while still quite distinct), and a great debut from Laarx - definitely hope to hear more!



Latest 7 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2023-11-26 23:16:06

It's rare that a piece of music makes me jump out of my chair with how good it is, but this is one of those cases. Bravo Laarx!

on 2016-05-07 17:40:38

The mixing is really getting to me but this is still well-executed. I'd say it's a battle theme worthy of a good RPG.

on 2016-05-03 20:31:23

Ok this song makes me feel like im seriously playing the level and that im on edge when those platforms are beeping red and bout to go down and that im scrambling to get to a spot thats not gonna make me die. i just love it man!

on 2016-05-03 05:29:24
12 hours ago, Rexy said:

":o I'm so happy I'm not alone in regards to Crash coverage now! And not only did you go for a difficult source but I can see how it served as an outlet for your childhood frustration."

"I am however with the judges when it comes to humanization, as there's some instruments like the piano and some of the staccato writing that felt more like the velocities for the entire riff were stagnant."

Thanks man, Im honoured to be sharing the Crash love with you! :)

Im really grateful for what the judges have said, and everyone else for that matter since the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Regarding the humanisation issues, I agree in every way because i used to be a little lazy when when it came to programming midi without a midi keyboard. Its also funny because this track is one, if not more than a year old and since that time I feel i have progressed immensely as a composer, particularly in terms of arrangement and mixing, so listening back to this tune really is a bitter-sweet mix of nostalgia and the feeling you get when you scratch your nails on a chalk board.

on 2016-05-03 00:15:35

This is awesome, I love epic music! Thanks for remixing Crash Bandicoot!

on 2016-05-02 16:23:44

:o I'm so happy I'm not alone in regards to Crash coverage now! And not only did you go for a difficult source but I can see how it served as an outlet for your childhood frustration. Though the Crash 2 bosses didn't really give me much trouble in comparison to the first game, Tiny was definitely one of the bigger challenges there (no pun intended).

For me, it's a great recognizable arrangement; sensed the source AND the Williams inspiration with the writing, not to mention some great additional melodies to add to the otherwise chaotic approach. I don't know why but the word-builder intro made me laugh - it's the same kind of effect as the final boss music of Jamestown, which also started out with amusing use of word-built choir, and in both cases it makes it feel less serious and more fun. It's also very difficult to be able to build up an orchestral palette when you have experience in multiple arrange-writing fields according to your Soundcloud, yet you've built up a great selection and also took advantage of different patches / keyswitches when appropriate (staccato strings at points, brass swells, etc). I didn't even expect the drum set given what I read prior to listening, though it's a nice surprise as using that gives me serious Video Games Live vibes about it. Seeing all this come together, I'm so happy to see you managed to put all this together to get it onto OCR!

I am however with the judges when it comes to humanization, as there's some instruments like the piano and some of the staccato writing that felt more like the velocities for the entire riff were stagnant. It's a good idea to think about what the instrumentalists would do in a live setting and envision how the sound would come out for that purpose. Extended legato based sections, especially with some of the lead / chorded brass, can also benefit quite well from the MIDI volume control from what I've learnt; I don't know what patches you primarily used, but I'm aware of some that completely change expression depending on the value of the MIDI volume event at the time, which would be really useful to bring in a sudden dynamic change or regulate the kind of air-flow you may see from (again) players in a live setting.

But yes, this is kind of weird for me to offer a pointer or two in an otherwise absolute moment of elevation for me. xD Kudos for giving some love to the Crash series here. welcome to the OCR clan, and I really hope you keep pushing yourself and sending stuff over in the future!

on 2016-05-02 12:19:12

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

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back (Sony , 1997, PS1)
Music by Josh Mancell,Mark Mothersbaugh

Tags (11)

Brass,Choir,Chromatic Percussion,Orchestral,Piano,Strings

File Information

6,117,553 bytes


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