Posted 2021-07-01, evaluated by Emunator
"One cool thing that happened to me in the past 18 months is getting involved with the Pixel Mixers. I should've done so some time ago, but after getting roped into an Ecco the Dolphin album from them, I actually stuck around and decided to help out on any other projects that piqued my interest.
When I heard they were doing a Zelda: Ocarina of Time/Majora's Mask combination album - Sunrise & Moonfall, I easily showed interest in covering the latter. Majora's Mask is one of those games that drew my attention from the moment I played it - using OoT's assets in a creative way that makes you care about the many NPCs, keeping all quests locked to that three-day cycle that keeps you thinking on your feet, the breadth of mask abilities throughout... heck, even the music style took a more mature direction and made you think about how it impacts the rest of the game.
So why, exactly, did I arrange one of the most light-hearted tracks on the OST? In all seriousness, I like working with defined melodies. I've proven that before on various other music endeavors, so this is no different. Having just an A and B section was challenging enough as it is, so getting 20 seconds more mileage out of "Ballad of the Wind Fish" - the track you need to re-create to get access to the Chateau Romani item - worked well for both the mid-development and outro.
The creative process was definitely something else, though - as while I originally wanted to stick with chip/synth elements to keep it as upbeat as the source, the people in the PM Discord wanted to hear bottle sounds as an homage to the location. This got me to invest in 8Dio's Bottles VST, hoping to get a variety of natural and processed sounds to use in the mix. Was that the weirdest $2 I ever spent? Possibly. Did I have fun making it work within my soundscape? Absolutely.
Thanks once again for checking the track out - and be sure to enjoy the album! :D"
After the playfully cool, clockwork-style percussive intro, things dig into a pop/rock+chip groove, with sugary synths and plenty of momentum. I'd like to see Rexy experiment with 9-bit chip/electronic drums at some point; she's got a good hold on marrying a more acoustic rock kit vibe with with synthpop elements, and I think swapping out the drums to something more synthetic could offer a nice changeup & new direction for tracks like this. That being said, it's also groovy as-is, with a thick kick that you can feel & a crispy, tight snare... a clean funk kit sound, but tackling more of a swift pop arrangement. Cheery, infectious, and as Bev writes, centered around a strong, defined melody. Emunator evaluated:
"I certainly wouldn't consider this among the most iconic source tunes from Majora's Mask, but nonetheless Bev stepped up to deliver an exuberant expansion on the Milk Bar theme that fleshes it out tenfold without ever straying too far from the spirit of the original! The use of bottle percussion throughout the track not only offers a satisfying organic component to contrast with the chiptune-esque synths that make up the bulk of the arrangement, but also provides a contextual tie-in to the in-game setting, as well.
I also want to highlight the nimble drum work throughout the entire track - while it never *demands* your attention, I couldn't help but notice how much life fills such as the ones at 1:24 or 2:21, just to name a few, bring to the mix. This would certainly be a lesser product if not for all of the rhythmic embellishments that are sprinkled throughout.
This arrangement is a refreshing treat for the ears that will practically force a smile onto your face. Bravo!"
Superior Drummer 3, Addictive Drums 2, BFD3 et al. are all super-useful tools for laying down drum parts & sprinkling in fills/breaks, and they all sound great, but you can also use their MIDI patterns on other VSTs & kits, which can yield more varied results. Something to keep in mind for taking arrangements like this in a more electronic direction, that could also be cool. I love the positive vibes & energy emanating from this mix, and I think as Wes writes that Bev's done a superb job extending & elaborating on the "Milk Bar" theme & giving it a sweeter flavor profile (Moloko Plus?) in the process!
Sources Arranged (2 Songs)
- Primary Game:
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (Nintendo, 2000, N64)
Music by Koji Kondo, Toru Minegishi
- "Ballad of the Wind Fish"
- Energetic, Happy
- Chiptune, Chromatic Percussion, Synth
- 6,681,451 bytes
- Size: 6,681,451 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: f088de94de07fbd1cdad6beba227825d
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