ReMix:Stardew Valley "Tomorrow's Starting" 3:54

By Michael Hudak

Arranging the music of one song...

"Fall (Ghost Synth)"

Primary Game: Stardew Valley (Chucklefish , 2016, PS4), music by ConcernedApe

Posted 2020-09-01, evaluated by the judges panel

Our first featured ReMix of Stardew Valley is a dreamy, ambient/post-rock beauty from Michael Hudak that builds like a particularly affecting sunrise:

"The Stardew Valley OST made me want to get into writing music again back in 2017 when a friend gifted me the PS4 version of the game while I was living in Japan. The soundtrack wasn't technically astounding, but each song was so incredibly appropriate to what was on screen in terms of art, story, and general aesthetic. I dug deeper into things and read that Eric Barone (ConcernedApe, the composer and also sole developer) used Reason for composition purposes, which was one of the less CPU-hungry DAWs, and one my darling old dual-core Asus SonicMaster could actually handle before I could afford to replace it (so long as it was fully charged AND plugged in!). So, I bought a copy of Reason 10, and started writing songs again after several years away. I started to revisit OCR too!

My version of "Ghost Synth" started as another synthwave track, but after stumbling upon Mattias Holmgren's fantastic post-rock tutorial video, I decided to keep the same tempo and general structure, but change the instrumentation. I'd been wanting to add more live guitar and bass to my songs anyhow, so I had to use some of his ideas. Addictive Drums has proven to complement the kind of slower playing I like really well. After finding the proper reverb settings for the pads and guitars, this track basically wrote itself! As usual for me, I went gentle on the mastering side of things. The title "Tomorrow's Starting" is a partial nod to Mark Hollis from Talk Talk -- he co-created what is now known as the "post-rock" genre with the Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock albums -- though an earlier Talk Talk track from the It's My Life album is called "Tomorrow Started."

So, thanks to Mark, Mattias, and especially Eric, of course. And to YOU! :)"

Following on Hudak's three previous glitch/experimental/vaporwave mixes, this is probably a more accessible/crowdpleasing aesthetic, and I think he specifically did a fantastic job taking the time to layer/build intensity & "sunlight," with the first inklings of dawn blossoming into a full-blown sunrise. Distant, heavily-verbed guitars feature more prominently in the intro, but a lovely lo-fi synth takes over for most of the rest of the mix, and the male vocalizing/chorus adds that touch of wordless, wide-eyed wonder. Judges were unanimous, with some minor compression nitpicks that tbh I didn't really notice; prophetik music writes:

"...a great example of post-rock without actually having any rock in it. it's enjoyable to listen to, accessible, recognizable as the source, and features some really fun effecting and uber-sustained synth work."

Rexy adds:

"...a clean mix, lovely attention to space, tight balance, and some fitting synth timbres. I don't mind the dynamic spread - the quieter instruments are there to provide a sense of delicacy in the bookends, and are an excellent contrast to the climax at 2:20."

While certainly no slouch on the arrangement front, Michael has an ear for sound design that serves him well, whether it's something a bit quirkier/challenging or a more serene, inspirational piece like this. I think his passion for the game's OST comes through, but he's universalized it into something that (hopefully?) every human on Earth can identify with - a sunrise, the beginning of a day - and captured that vibe perfectly. This would make superb, gradually-rousing alarm clock music, unless you go more for the abrupt, blood-curdling beeps sorta thing. No judgment. You can also wake up funky-style, with Jake Kaufman. At any rate, on top of being a fantastic standalone mix in its own right, this shows another side to Michael's voice as an artist/arranger, and ALSO gives OCR its first featured arrangement of a popular indie hit; sweet. From concept to execution, loving this mix through & through - highly recommended!



Latest 6 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2024-04-09 15:07:21

When those vocals came in I was like "Ooooooh!!!" They definitely kicked the remix to enjoyable to SUPER enjoyable. This remix gleamed and shined with sparkly audio goodness. Great stuff!

on 2024-01-06 05:29:48

This is beautiful. The vocal parts near the end remind me of Sea Power (who had a large role in the soundtrack for Disco Elysium). Love it, excellent work.

Mr. Hu
on 2020-09-21 01:00:08

@WesternZypherFunny you mention the commercial thing; I saw a whiskey commercial as I was mixing this one that had some striking similarities, and so I briefly toyed with the idea of changing the title to something with "Stardew Whiskey" in it. :idea:

on 2020-09-16 17:04:33

The vocals make this, to me, seem like every let's-take-a-spiritual-esque-car-trip commercial, ever. While there's nothing lacking w/ the synth arrangements, I think that speaks more to the catchiness inherent to the base tune. Solid 6.5/10 - good aural listerine

on 2020-09-04 12:33:49

As a fan of the Original Soundtrack I might like the original too much to be a good judge. This did tempt me into downloading directly rather than waiting for the torrents to be updated. This sounded like good: the instruments, the not-singing vocals. Not the usual genre/style I prefer but it has grown on me after listening a few times. Thanks.

on 2020-08-25 23:52:02

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

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
( , , )
Music by
Additional Game:
Stardew Valley (ConcernedApe , 2016, WIN)
Music by ConcernedApe
"Fall (Ghost Synth)"

Tags (8)

Electric Guitar,Synth,Vocals: Male
Effects > Lo-Fi

File Information

6,428,891 bytes


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