ReMix:Skies of Arcadia "The MFD" 3:21

By djpretzel

Arranging the music of one song...

"Dungeon of the Military Facilities"

Primary Game: Skies of Arcadia (Sega , 2000, DC), music by Tatsuyuki Maeda, Yutaka Minobe

Posted 2019-01-28, evaluated by Liontamer

We'll be featuring more from Arcadia Legends in the future, no doubt, but we conclude our initial out-of-cycle flood series with.... oh hey, a ReMix by me! I was honored when Darkflamewolf invited me to join the project, and while I tested deadlines a bit as per usual, I ended up relatively happy with the synth funk/rock take on the military facility dungeon theme that I put together. Me quoting me:

"While I loved my Dreamcast, I never actually played Skies of Arcadia for more than a few minutes - I forget what shiny, new thing came along which would have distracted me, since I knew it was a great game with great music. Probably Street Fighter Something. At any rate, while it was later ported to more popular platforms, it was always a point of pride for Dreamcast owners that this was one of the games WE got to play first. When Darkflamewolf asked me about contributing to the project, the "Military Facility Dungeon" theme struck me as something exciting that would be fun to work with, and I had a general notion of where I wanted to go with it.

"MFD" stands for whatever you want it to stand for. For whatever reason, I've been picking genres which are a bit more difficult for me lately, and it's been years since I put together a "spotlight" synth solo, but I basically went with an "outer-space funk + violin/cello" vibe. The bassline in the original sits on the same note longer than I was comfortable with, but I kept some of its stubbornness in there, for good measure. I really love Superior Drummer 3 - they took the best bits of the EZdrummer line and merged them back into their "premium" product, and it's a joy to work with; I used it quite a bit here, tweaking patterns & individual sounds to fit. While it's technically a dungeon theme, I feel like the main melody of the source is more open, adventurous, exploratory, etc., so in the intro I have computer doodads firing up, for a "systems initializing" sorta vibe, then we take off. IK Modo on bass, some Keyscape EPs, Chris Hein solo strings, and UVI Falcon on the synth solo lead, which marks the first time I actually drew in a pitch bend curve, at least in Studio One. This is meant to be a sort of an ascent, then an EXPLOSION... but my favorite part is probably the pull-away at 1'34", which turned out how I wanted. Thanks to DFW for the album invite and for their patience; looking forward to hearing the whole finished album!"

Note that I didn't quite get the levels/mix right and you may need to, in the wise words of Chapelle, turn your headphones up. I wouldn't have done this mix, in this particular style, if I didn't have SD3 to lean on for the drums - I tweaked both the kit and the patterns a good bit, but it was still rather critical in pushing things along. It's a short piece, and while there was enough in the source to do something more elaborate, I ended up staying relatively concise. By sheer coincidence, I think the highlight both of this mix AND my contribution to Resonance of the Pure Land is the string duet/harmony writing. Sucker for cello, sucker for lead harmony... do the math, I guess :) Larry Oji writes:

"Dave usually bats cleanup on every album he's involved with as one of the final people to get in their contributions, but you can't disagree with results like this. I like how Dave briefly gave this a skulking feeling, IMO, during the more subdued opening for the first 28 seconds. After that, Dave's always game for the funk, and it's here in spades. The violin writing clicked incredibly well with the genre, which wasn't something I would have expected. I also agreed with him that the dropoff into the 1:33 violin solo was awesome as well as the buildup before going to the synth comping at 2:14. Just knowing that Dave usually plays in his solos live, I can appreciate the musicianship all the more. Whether it's booming drums in the background playing the 3-note opening of the source melody or the always-morphing cymbal work, the percussion writing was incredibly varied and gave this a ton of life. I'll use my comments as a backdrop to ask, but how much of this was sequenced vs. played in live? What was the balance like? Really polished work!"

I wish I could lay claim to the type of finger-drumming prowess that someone like Brandon Bush possesses, but this was my first piece to lean more heavily on Superior Drummer, and thus the patterns are adapted & mixed/matched from there. Boo? I'm not personally one to go a-hatin' on preset use, but I do feel that with groove libraries there's more of an obligation to tweak, and tweak I did. I'm thrilled that Kontakt libraries exist these days which allow for playable & relatively natural solo violin/viola/cello parts, without the need for keyswitching - makes the process FUN, and I definitely enjoyed playing in those lines and, with the synth solo, extensively tweaking them afterward. This arrangement lives for its solo sections, in my opinion, and provides a framework/context for a couple moments that I thought were pretty cool. Hope you do as well, and my congratulations & international high-fives to the talented team of artists who made the entire Arcadia Legends experience possible!



Latest 5 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2019-02-02 14:21:12

When I was listening to this album for the first time, I wasn't really looking at the tracklist, but when this track started playing, I immidiately recognized it as a djp's work :)To my mind, there's just a whole lot of similarities to some of his previous works for sure. The strings reminded of his excellent "Red Waltz" and "What the Ocean Taught the Forest", the funkier bits seem to come staight from "Love Hurts" and "Fortuna Favors the Funk", and the rock-ish parts certainly make me think of "Dark Storm". This is some solid atmospheric stuff, and while it's a relatively short piece, it definitely goes places, being a really cool sonic adventure ;) Mad props for this sweet track!

Mr. Hu
on 2019-01-31 10:04:26

As someone who listened to the "Love Hurts" Sonic 1 remix two hundred times over the last 15 years, this almost sounds like a sequel to that song. Or a companion piece, at least. I'd agree that it's better than the source, for sure. And I actually quite like that I need to turn it up a little!

on 2019-01-30 14:57:58

I actually like this better than the source. Military Facility Dungeon is one of those universally-popular tracks from the original OST, along with Ixa'Taka, but it's also one of the more quagmire-ish dungeons, so you hear this on loop for.. um, a while. This digests so smoothly, and it's really emotive and.. well, beautiful.

The viola front and center is courageous and pays off. It owns the stage and dances with the lead synth. I just love the expressiveness, and its tinge of melancholy.

And that's why I recommend The Milk-Fudge Donut.

on 2019-01-29 10:51:10

I always admired and loved the OCRemix albums that would get released every few months. I always dreamed of having one directed by myself one day too. (hey, look what happened!!) However, one thing I did notice that in almost every single one of the albums, @djpretzel always had a hand in it by contributing at least one track. It almost seemed like a tradition at this point - that the creator and owner of OCRemix involves himself at least once in every major project released. So, obviously I had to ask the man himself if he was willing to donate a track to the cause after it was approved for official album status. Imagine my surprise and excitement when he said yes!

However, true to form and to the advice other album directors gave me, they all mentioned that @djpretzel would take his time and most likely be the last track to be finished for the album....and boy did he not disappoint! :D If it weren't for a last minute change for Fina's Theme involving @Deedubs at literally the 11th hour (no kidding, it was finished and sent in AFTER the album had been submitted for eval!), @djpretzel's track would have been the last completed for the album! You almost made it there, buddy, but your streak has been broken! haha! :P

As for the track itself, not much to say except he nailed it on the first try, is awesome in every way and I loved it so much that it instantly became my top pick to be the opening track for disc 3. Thanks again to @djpretzel for being so great and easy to work with, you made the final stages of this album submission so much easier and friendly. I appreciate all the help you've given me and the help you'll continue to give as we progress forward in working out these physicals! Huzzah to all for a job well done!

on 2019-01-21 12:21:01

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

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Skies of Arcadia (Sega , 2000, DC)
Music by Tatsuyuki Maeda,Yutaka Minobe
"Dungeon of the Military Facilities"

Tags (8)

Cello,Electric Piano,Synth,Viola

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