ReMix:Duke Nukem 3D "Nostalgic Dump" 4:44

By Mike Norvak

Arranging the music of one song...

"Water World"

Primary Game: Duke Nukem 3D (GT Interactive , 1996, DOS), music by Bobby Prince, Lee Jackson

Posted 2017-03-04, evaluated by the judges panel

Newcomer Mike Norvak (Miguel Ángel Ramírez López) sends us our first Duke Nukem ReMix in almost seven years and only our second on the site, with a deliberate & dark industrial groove on the "Water World" theme, from a whole album of Duke mixes he put together:

"Definitely my favourite track from Reduked, the one I feel most identified with, the most spontaneous, and the most emotive. Early on 2011, when I started working on the remix, I noticed that original song was somewhat repetitive, which I wanted to avoid. Then I took a Korg nanoKEY controller I had ATM and recorded some improvisations with the same lead preset used in "Rabid Transit," over the original MIDI.

I quantized the result and made little changes, then imported the bassline MIDIs and pizzicato strings, and added some post-rock elements. Changing the bass and strings progressons at 3:05 as well to bring an emotive climax. I really liked what I had done, but the mastering was horrible. In between 2012, I took it over and remade the mix, EQ'ing and added two synthetic bass lines, plus the plucked arp at 2:52, and the break at 3:31 for the pad to bring it up.

The song reminds me of my childhood where I could play Duke Nukem the entire day. I'm really fond of this remix. This is the original track from 2012-2013 with no modifications. I'm really glad you can finally hear it. :)"

NOTE: Bobby Prince's brother started a GoFundMe due to Prince's recent colon cancer diagnosis. Though it's slightly exceeded the original goal, Bobby's hopefully final surgery will happen later this month, so it's still a very good time to support Bobby in what is no doubt a very trying time for him and his family. If you've ever enjoyed Prince's music in the Doom, Duke Nukem, Wolfenstein, or Commander Keen series, among others, please consider donating to Prince's medical fund on GoFundMe.

As for Miguel's ReMix, it takes a repetitive source and does a good job building it out into something more, favoring an additive approach but avoiding extensive original writing. MindWanderer writes:

"I listened to the source for reference first, and was a bit dubious that you could create something interesting out of that, but you definitely succeeded in meeting that challenge. I agree with Gario that the instrumentation feels a little old by the time it hits 3:00, but like him that's my only critique."

Sir_NutS adds:

"Despite the somewhat aggressive nature of the beat and instrumentation, I found this track to be kinda laid back actually. It's not trying to melt my face, rather it seems like it's trying to be mysterious. Anyways, regarding the production, it all sounds pretty solid here, and as I'm a fan of big snares, you've won some extra good boy points there. The lead used to carry the melody is perfect for the mood, and properly performed. Around 3:35 when the track reaches a climax, it gets quite busy but I can still hear the details, which is good."

Running 16th note bassline, rad koto groove, big 80s drums, and soaring synth leads. Some nice tom fills on the drum writing, but it's the expansive synth lead noodling that helps give the arrangement a lot more structure & development; very cool. Feels like a slightly more modern John Carpenter soundtrack, which is a style that suits Duke Nukem quite well. Good stuff from Mike Norvak, hope to hear more, be sure to check out the full Reduked album, and our collective best wishes and support to composer & VGM legend Bobby Prince.



Latest 5 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2017-05-07 14:49:57

Odd track, but pretty damn cool. Like it starts out as something I'd expect from Shadow Warrior, then moves into a cross between Duke Nukem and DK: Aquatic Ambience.

on 2017-05-02 04:26:17

Huh, the koto mixed with the hard bassline industrial beat was weird and interesting to me, and I gotta say, I'm surprised with how much I like it. I love listening to songs and ReMixes and hearing combinations I never would have thought of before. Very cool sound here. The watery effects were great, and really, like I said before, I'm kind of fascinated that this has such a hard beat going for it, but it seems more relaxing than heavy. I'm guessing the synths have that effect on me. In any event, I dig it. Great debut, man.

on 2017-03-08 16:38:41

Not going to lie, this is an arrangement that I find myself coming back to ever since I first heard it. It's the kind of track that, while it doesn't really have that 'one moment' that really strikes you as amazing, its consistent high quality overall keeps you smiling through the whole track. As mentioned in the write-up there's a period where it gets a little stale, but the track gets right back into it and doesn't let up after that.

There isn't really a mood that this track doesn't fit, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Solid work, a great track if you want to chill out OR shoot some alien scum.


on 2017-03-04 21:36:04

Hot diggity, nice to see some more Duke Nukem 3D love. I almost remixed this theme a while back, never did, so it's cool to hear someone else tackle it.

I feel it takes a bit to get going, but I'd agree with the judges that it almost has a mellow aspect once the groove comes in. Rather than headbangin' I find myself swaying back and forth, envisioning ol' Duke shooting them aliens up in a casual, laid-back manner.

I'd prefer a little more variety as the track continues, perhaps a different lead sound or a change in the percussion, but still, a nice track that hits that nuanced "aggressive chillout" style. Now to go check out the rest of "Reduked"!

on 2017-03-03 12:37:55

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

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Duke Nukem 3D (GT Interactive , 1996, DOS)
Music by Bobby Prince,Lee Jackson
"Water World"

Tags (6)


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