Rebecca E. Tripp goes in a different direction, injecting some synth/glitch futurism into an ambient, cinematic soundscape for an immersive take on Chrono Cross's "Chronopolis" theme:
""Anti-Annihilation Matrix" is my cover of the Chronopolis theme from Chrono Cross (originally composed by Yasunori Mitsuda). In this track, I tried my very best to represent the FATE computer in its wondrous, infinite complexity. I tried to convey the essence of both organic and artificial lifeforms, living, breathing, and coexisting. I wanted it to sound like a vast pair of metal lungs were expanding and retracting, creating and re-creating the universe with each suspiration.
For those who haven't played Chrono Cross, the FATE Engine is a massive computer imbued with a god-like AI responsible for powering and interfacing with Chronopolis, a facility built in the distant future, which carefully controls the gossamer fabric of time (along with the modes of consciousness necessarily ensconced within said fabric). The employees of Chronopolis do this in order to prevent a major cataclysm from occurring anywhere within their timeline and, ultimately, try their luck at creating a paradise on Earth. The ethical implications therein, I hope, also made it into this track: is it ever right to cancel one branch of time in favour of another?
This song was mixed/mastered by Gabriel Tripp."
I have to voice my appreciation for the use of "suspiration" in submission comments; Rebecca's vocabulary & eloquence mirror her musical prowess, and it's always a pleasure reading what she's written. With pieces she's mastered herself, the volume levels are often a little low, but when Gabriel has mastered her work, the opposite seems to be true - this is a little hot on the metering, and some of the dynamics may have gotten a lil flattened, but it's still a gorgeous, biomechanical environment. It's striking how well she's captured in sound exactly what she describes in words - the vast, electro-organic lungs, expanding & contracting.... of a near-omnipotent supercomputer. Very cool. Also cool are the tiny nano-glitch FX running throughout, a sizzling ride cymbal, a recurring synth pattern/motif, and an almost Philip Glass approach to repeating, nested patterns in general - appropriate, for the context. DragonAvenger writes:
"What a fun take on this track, which was already eclectic in it's own right! Really enjoyed the use of percussion and sound effects to really seal the 'industrial' feel mixed with the more organic instruments. I don't have anything to mention that wasn't already brought up, but I am glad you are working on bringing the volume up overall."
Some judges did feel strongly enough about the percieved overcompression to vote against the mix passing; I could go either way. I do think Rebecca should take Chimpazilla's comments to heart:
"This is a fantastic arrangement, with all the elements well sequenced. I agree that this submission is louder than your usual submissions, but too loud, bordering on overcompression. A lot of the dynamic range has been lost as a result. I think if you can find a balance between this and your too-quiet submissions, you'll be at your mastering goal."
I concur; somewhere between Rebecca's lighter touch & Gabriel's more aggressive loudness lies the mastering sweet spot that I think would be most appropriate for her work. I don't think it's a dealbreaker for this mix, but I can sympathize with those who disagree. To me, the bigger takeaway and the compelling thing is how well she's worked in electronic textures & timbres - based on her (substantial) body of work, we might tend to think of her sound as "acoustic" and "organic" a bit too much, because she can clearly diversify, and she's done a fantastic job with contrasting aesthetics as part of the core concept for this arrangement. I'd love to hear her explore more electronic, even abrasive/industrial textures, if this mix is any indication. I was surprised by & enjoyed this mix quite a bit, and found that it conjured the precise imagery Rebecca described, even before reading her words. Excellent, unique work!
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Ambient, Cinematic
- Chill, Suspenseful
- Piano, Sound FX, Strings, Synth, Woodwinds
- 7,758,860 bytes
- Size: 7,758,860 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: dd4a97e84c9ac2d1f0ce01c3c5011d10
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