Posted 2019-08-19, evaluated by the judges panel

It's a great time to check out Tangledeep now that the Legend of Shara expansion is out; we've got another gem of an arrangement off of Tangledeep ~Arrange~ as timaeus222 (Truong-Son Nguyen) sends us a stirring, epic, hybrid symphonic/chip ballad medley with shiny, sparkling electric & acoustic piano, bells, & much more:

"The inspiration for this came from my Super Mystery Dungeon ReMix from early 2017, and the general vibe of Dungeonmans music. The sample palette here is fairly modest in terms of cost; I actually just stuck with soundfonts for the strings, harp, horns, and aux percussion; Platinum Percussion for the hand percussion; Juggernaut for the cinematic percussion; TruePianos for piano; Resonance: Emotional Mallets for the boltophone bells; and Zebra2 for everything else (more bells, pads, drones, leads, and bass).

Mixing this was dreadfully difficult at first, because I was still at WSU when writing this, and I just had half-decent ATH-M30 headphones with understated bass and somewhat overstated treble. So, I spent a few days in winter break breaking out my Beyers to clear out the low-midrange (both in mixing and partwriting), brighten up the mix (through EQ, but also through additional percussion layers), and making cleaner use of the stereo field overall (toned down the reverb and revised all the panning).

Ultimately, I just wanted something that was mostly calm with majestic climaxes. I hope you enjoy it, and here's to a great 2018! :)"

Source Breakdown:

  • Intro (0:12.9-0:22.5) = "Pastoral Excursion" (0:00.0-0:12.9)
  • Intro (0:25.8-0:38.6) = "Pastoral Excursion" (0:12.9-0:25.8)
  • Main 1 (0:38.6-0:48.2) = "Pastoral Excursion" (0:12.9-0:25.8) [Eastern mood]
  • Main 2 (0:51.5-1:04.3) = "Pastoral Excursion" (0:25.8-0:41.8) [Eastern mood]
  • Buildup (1:04.3-1:17.2) = "Pastoral Excursion" (0:41.8-0:54.7)
  • Climax 1 (1:17.2-1:42.1) = "Victory!" (0:15.4-0:30.3)
  • Breakdown Pt1 (1:42.1-1:55.0) = "Calamity of Dread" (1:35.4-1:46.0) [Dungeonmans motif]
  • Breakdown Pt2 (1:55.0-2:08.6) = "Riverstone Reprieve" (0:28.9-0:59.1) mixed with (1:28.7-1:35.8)
  • Main 1 v2 (2:08.6-2:18.3) = "Pastoral Excursion" (0:12.9-0:25.8) [Eastern mood]
  • Main 2 v2 (2:21.5-2:34.3) = "Pastoral Excursion" (0:25.8-0:41.8) [Eastern mood]
  • Buildup v2 (2:34.3-2:46.4) = "Pastoral Excursion" (0:41.8-0:54.7)
  • Climax 1 Pt1 (2:47.2-2:53.6) = "Pastoral Excursion" (0:25.8-0:41.8)
  • Climax 1 Pt2 (3:00.0-3:13.9) = "Pastoral Excursion" (0:25.8-0:41.8) mixed with (1:33.3-1:58.9)
  • Outtro (3:13.9-3:32.4) = "Pastoral Excursion" (0:25.8-0:41.8) mixed with (1:33.3-1:58.9)

In addition to offering a seamless blend of some harmonically interesting & more elaborate sources, timaeus does a superb job layering acoustic, symphonic, and electronic timbres and making sure there's enough room in the mix for each layer to be remain clear & detailed. It helps that percussion stays relatively sparse, making each hit count but not going for anything too flashy... until called for, of course. I love how this opens up & goes from intimate/delicate to soaring/epic, in relatively short order but still with the emotional legwork involved in getting there; s'great stuff. Rexy's judgment, in its entirety, is worth reposting here:

"I undoubtedly see it as a more unusual Timaeus arrangement. There's more of a focus on subtractive arranging with additional instrument layers under the primary source, which even goes as far as keeping the 6/8 time signature and general atmospheric feel. I also like the impressive tricks with the integration of other Tangledeep BGM (and the occasional riff from Dungonmans), as well as adjusting the source to a Persian scale on a couple of occasions. It matched the goal of a more calming mix that evolves as time goes on.

The production is also very charming. All the instruments are well mixed, the percussion sounds gorgeous, and the pitched percussion (harp, bells, piano, etc.) had proper attention paid to dynamics. And as an added bonus, the synth leads combining with the soundfonts generate a unique timbre that respects the pseudo-SNES nature of the source material. The stated extra time spent mixing the track to this meticulous detail paid off, that's for sure.

It's an easy decision here - it's a lovely crafted arrangement and an equally thorough presentation. That means a spot on the front page - great work as usual!"

Literally, everything she said. I can't say it better than Bev & I'll stop trying; compelling, refined, & emotional work from timaeus222 - highly recommended!



Latest 1 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2019-08-19 11:49:18

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Sources Arranged (4 Songs, 2 Games)

Primary Game:
Tangledeep (Impact Gameworks , 2018, WIN)
Music by Grant Kirkhope,Hiroki Kikuta,Norihiko Hibino,zircon
"Pastoral Excursion (Tutorial Area)"
"Riverstone Reprieve (Town Theme)"
Additional Game:
Dungeonmans (Adventurepro Games , 2014, WIN)
Music by zircon
"Calamity of Dread"

Tags (11)

Cinematic,New Age
Chromatic Percussion,Electric Piano,Hand Drums,Harp,Orchestral,Strings,Synth

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