Posted 2020-10-20, evaluated by the judges panel


Serenity & Grace! You remember them... right?? Here in the US of A, they've admittedly been pretty scarce these last several decades ;) While he can't singlehandedly fix the decline in tolerance, cooperation, shared principles, personal dignity, and myriad other victims of polarization & social media, timaeus222 (Truong-Son Nguyen) hits us with some musical healing in the form of a sweet synthwave/pop ballad arranging Chrono Cross, Radical Dreamers, & Chrono Trigger (NOT PMD2 - but we'll get to that!):

"Right around the time I was asked to evaluate the Chrono Cross album that was in the works (around March 2018 or so), I heard the title track of the album and felt inspired to write this ReMix here over the summer.

This combines "Radical Dreamers" (CC) with a bit of "Scars of Time" (CC) and the "Pokémon Exploration Team Theme" (PMD2). The latter two shared surprisingly similar melodies. Also, some zircon/Jillian Aversa fans might notice a little Easter egg I threw in that references a certain song from Unearthed that sounds very similar to a "Radical Dreamers" motif. ;)

Lastly, this is something that I wrote entirely with what I'd call "budget" sounds (no sample libraries, nothing pulling from massive external storage). The bulk of the instruments used are just drum samples, u-he Zebra2 patches (plus some Xfer Records Serum), and 4Front TruePianos. This encouraged me to focus on cooperation between harmony and melody, and just trying to make the melodic phrasing and chord choices completely intentional. Yup, for me this time, production was secondary to arrangement!"

Source Breakdown:

  • 0:00.0-0:05.3, 0:07.0-0:12.2 = "Radical Dreamers" (0:00.0-0:26.4)
  • 0:13.9-0:19.2, 0:20.9-0:27.9 = "Radical Dreamers" (0:00.0-0:26.4)
  • 0:27.9-0:52.9 = "Radical Dreamers" (0:26.4-1:19.1)
  • 1:09.6-1:17.4 = "Radical Dreamers" (1:19.1-1:44.5)
  • 1:23.5-1:37.4 = "Radical Dreamers" (1:19.1-1:44.5) layered on (0:00.0-0:26.4)
  • 1:37.4-1:42.7, 1:44.4-1:50.5 = Original melody + "Radical Dreamers" (0:00.0-0:26.4)
  • 1:51.4-2:04.8 = "Scars of Time" (1:32.6-2:07.2) layered on "Radical Dreamers" (0:00.0-0:26.4)
  • 2:05.3-2:15.7 = "Pokémon Exploration Team Theme" (1:13.6-1:40.4)
  • 2:19.2-2:32.0, 2:33.1-2:40.0 = "Pokémon Exploration Team Theme" (1:40.4-1:54.2)
  • 2:47.0-3:12.6 = "Radical Dreamers" (0:26.4-1:19.1) [New key?! Psych!]
  • 3:28.7-3:36.6 = "Radical Dreamers" (1:19.1-1:44.5)
  • 3:42.7-3:56.6 = "Radical Dreamers" (1:19.1-1:44.5) layered on (0:00.0-0:26.4)
  • 3:56.6-4:01.8, 4:03.6-4:15.4 = "Radical Dreamers" (0:00.0-0:26.4)

5.3 + 5.2 + 5.3 + 7.0 + 25.0 + 7.8 + 13.9 + 5.3 + 6.1 + 13.4 + 10.4 + 12.8 + 6.9 + 25.6 + 7.9 + 13.9 + 5.2 + 11.8
= 188.8 secs
188.8/256.6 = 73.6% source overall

"Scars of Time" (SoT):
13.4/256.6 = 5.22% SoT

"Pokémon Exploration Team Theme" (PETT):
30.1/256.6 = 11.7% PETT

"Radical Dreamers" (RD):
73.6% - 5.22% - 11.7% = 56.7% RD

Let it be known that Truong-Son in "budget production mode" still sounds pretty dope; a few less whiz-bang FX & more electronic textures, but the lead piano melody still emotes beautifully over a crisp, clean synthwave/pop accompaniment, with lush pads & punchy drums. Props to the SilvaGunner team/universe for foolin' timaeus, because what he thought was the "Pokémon Exploration Team Theme" from PMD2 was actually the Chrono Trigger theme as a "high-quality rip," reconstructed using different sounds - Rexy uncovered the true truth:

"When I listened to the "Pokémon source" that timaeus attached to the sub, I realized very quickly that it's one of SiIvagunner's high quality rips - remaking the theme to Chrono Trigger with the soundbank for Explorers of Time / Darkness / Sky. I don't know how it happened as the CT theme is a popular source, but there you go. The submission text is completely unedited, though - and I'll attach the meme to the end of the post."

Fun! MindWanderer reacts:

"That's hilarious. And true to form, Timaeus altered the Chrono Trigger source so much that the connection doesn't leap out at you anyway. But it's clearly Chrono Trigger and not the PMD theme (which I checked just to make sure).

The opening is lovely, the vibraphone is an excellent choice for the Radical Dreamers lead. I got one of those goosebumps moments. The piano gets squashed a bit occasionally, but it's still clear despite losing some resonance. Some of the layering gets a little crazy, and results in occasional discordance. Nothing too severe, though.

Basically a classic Timaeus mix all around, with a creative mix of themes and some excellent synth work."

A classic, yes, but different than many other t222 mixes I think due to the (explicit, acknowledged) emphasis of arrangement OVER production; feels a bit pared down, where the relationship/interaction between themes & some of the harmonic alterations are front & center. Sir_NutS adds:

"Tim does a very good job when he's mixing different sources (guess those DarkeSword compos paid off!) and the source breakdown is always appreciated. There are some sections that get a little too busy but it doesn't detract from the arrangement. Production is very clean as always. Really loved the piano on this one, it's very detailed but it doesn't try to take over the leads, and it's very fun to follow it. I thought the segue into scars of time around the second minute was flawless too.

This track has a lot of Future Bass elements (and structure) too, just a bit on the mellower side."

Precisely; there are little hints at the shinier, more flamboyant Future Bass version of this arrangement that might have been more consistent w/ his repertroire, so I think in some ways the restraint (in production/instrumentation) ends up defining this one, but in a good way. Restraint is a sibling to serenity & grace, so thematically it all clicks on that level. The key change at 0'53" still hits me weird, after repeated listens, but it didn't seem to bother many judges so YMMV; overall, the modulations & alterations to progressions helped keep the piece fresh & added character. Something a bit different, I think, from timaeus, but accessible, creative, & very easy to listen to & just sit back and chill. Enjoy!

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 4 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
avatar
Emunator
on 2020-10-26 23:38:21

This has such a nice vintage OCR quality to it :) Really takes me back to the early 2010's. As someone who can get hung up on production in my own work, I appreciate the challenge you set for yourself to work with a simpler palette and focus primarily on the arrangement. At the end of the day, I'd argue that both aspects of the remix came out strong!

avatar
Geoffrey Taucer
on 2020-10-21 12:35:16

OOOOOOOOOOOH this is gorgeous! Top-notch!

avatar
timaeus222
on 2020-10-20 20:37:42

I was honestly not sure what to call the fake key change. Guess I'll roll with that! :D

FWIW, the "PMD2" imitation was pretty good. Sounds like it would fit in the real game! ;)

Quote

Rexy 01/16/2020

do you seriously not know the main theme to chrono trigger? :lol:

timaeus222 01/16/2020

LOOOOL

Rexy 01/16/2020

I just paneled "Serenity Grace" and witnessed the glory of what you wrote down

timaeus222 01/16/2020

oh yeah
I do kinda know it but not by heart

Rexy 01/16/2020

yeah, well
fairplay if you don't know your SiIvagunner memes
but that gave me a laugh today

timaeus222 01/16/2020

so when I saw that the sources I used were exactly the same note for note I was like wut

avatar
Liontamer
on 2020-10-13 14:48:43

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

Sources Arranged (3 Songs, 2 Games)


Primary Game:
Chrono Cross (Square, 1999, PS1)
Music by Yasunori Mitsuda
Songs:
"CHRONO CROSS ~Scars Left By Time~"
"RADICAL DREAMERS ~The Jewel That Has Not Been Stolen~"
Additional Game:
Chrono Trigger (Square, 1995, SNES)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu, Noriko Matsueda, Yasunori Mitsuda
Songs:
"Chrono Trigger"

Tags (10)


Genre:
Ballad, Pop, Synthwave
Mood:
Chill
Instrumentation:
Bells, Chromatic Percussion, Electric Piano, Piano, Synth
Additional:
Time > 4/4 Time Signature

File Information


Name:
Chrono_Cross_Serenity_&_Grace_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
7,383,295 bytes
MD5:
66a4d27031f520cd36420550a61e579b
Bitrate:
227Kbps
Duration:
4:17

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