ReMix:Final Fantasy IV "Rainbow Forms" 4:12

By Michael Hudak

Arranging the music of one song...

"The Prelude"

Primary Game: Final Fantasy IV (Square , 1991, SNES), music by Nobuo Uematsu

Posted 2022-10-17, evaluated by Liontamer


It's been a bit! We've been lining up our respective ducks & prepping for our next album release and goodness, we seem to have lost track of time. Back to the queue, we've got ReMix #20 for Michael Hudak, who continues his experimental/spliced piano work with this lovely, atmospheric, & glitched take on the classic FF "Prelude":

"Never even played FFIV, but I know the "Prelude" melody atop the arpeggios first appeared in that game (I first heard it in FFVII), so I consider this a FFIV ReMix.

The Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto version of Brian Eno's "By This River" was the primary inspiration behind my methodology here; I wanted to take the sustained chords of the "Prelude" and cut them into slivers before gluing them back together in the same order, just with temporal gaps in the sustained note information and pure sine sub bass underneath. I tried playing the original chords underneath these slivers as well, but I couldn't de-clutter it enough mix-wise to pull it off, so the whole middle section of the song is just those slivers with (many) various shimmer and delay sends creeping in and out. I've done this before in several other of my mixes (maybe "Run" or "Bluesuperstructure" are the most digestible), but never have I relied on delays to carry the arrangement so far. I think it works, though. "The Prelude" is a beautiful piece of music and it's tough to mess it up.

There are also a lot of field recordings here that I wanted to sound "raw", and not cinematic or processed. Just reality as I heard it, within the confines of what midrange frequency space I could spare (most of them were recorded with a phone anyhow). As for the piano slivers, I really wanted that sparkle and reverb once the higher notes appeared. There's a noise gate set to the reverb so that the verb kicks in when the piano reaches higher frequencies. The highest notes were sounding a little harsh at first, though, because the verb tail was pretty long and those particular frequencies were building up and bouncing around inside of it, so I finally went and splurged on Soothe2 by Oeksound to help with that.

Source breakdown:

  • 0:00-0:50 is a run through the "Prelude" chords - C/A/C/A/F/G/Ab/Bb - and aforementioned chopped up FFIV top melody.
  • 1:00-2:10 is C to A repeating 3 times, then the rest of the chords, but only a partial ascent & descent of the arpeggios.
  • 2:11-3:15 is the "Prelude" arpeggios note for note, essentially.
  • 3:16-4:12 is back to C to A repeating (not strictly C major and A major; there are some small chord variations) until the final fade-out.

Thanks much, as always."

Fans of the artists' previous mixes in this style/aesthetic will certainly dig this; interesting about the noise gate triggering reverb, because I would have assumed it was just straight-up manual modulation envelope stuff. Gives me some ideas! It's the prelude, so you're looking at rise-fall arpeggios, and there's not much melodic/harmonic interpretation to speak of, so the arrangement is largely in the sound design realm... but it works for me: maintains the purity & simplicity of the source while transporting into a pianoscape of width, depth, and the now-familiar unfamiliarity of manipulated piano bits that Hudak employs. Enjoy, and stay tuned for more regular mixes & our upcoming Mode 7 jazz tribute to the SNES!

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 4 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
avatar
Mr. Hu
on 2022-10-18 20:16:39

The idea of the noise gate activating a verb send I got from reading about the recording of Nirvana's "Scentless Apprentice".

When recording the vocals to the song, Steve Albini (the engineer) put a noise gate in front of a chorus distortion combo effect, so when Kurt Cobain's voice hit a certain loudness, the effect would kick in. That's why the screaming in the chorus sounds blown-out but the rest of the vocal take (which is quieter) doesn't.

I also think this was used on Mark Hollis' self-titled album, except instead of distortion, the vocal chain noise gate was in front of the reverb. If you listen to that record, the verb kicks in only when the singing reaches a certain level. I actually haven't confirmed this but the verb swells sound too smooth to be a manual punch-in to my ears.

avatar
evktalo
on 2022-10-18 12:04:00

Gotta say I love the way the source has been treated here. The first part reminds me how beautiful just the melody is. The second part is quite clever in using just parts of the arpeggio run. And then we get the full beautiful arpeggio. The glitchy, choppy approach is also really fun! FF4 was a really really impactful game for me when I was a kid, and I get the nostalgia recognition goosebumps here too.

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Jragyn
on 2022-10-17 19:14:01

While I'm not really an expert by any means in the field of music, I still love the stuff I find here on OCRemix!

This song was an interesting listen... it was very... entrancing?
I found myself wanting to continue listening, enjoying the almost-nostalgia feeling the choice of digital instruments provided like a warm blanket and some hot cocoa.

I can't say I've ever felt that from an OCR mix before, but thank you for that.

avatar
Liontamer
on 2022-10-10 02:33:56
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
Final Fantasy IV (Square , 1991, SNES)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu
Songs:
"The Prelude"

Tags (6)


Genre:
Ambient,Experimental
Mood:
Instrumentation:
Piano
Additional:
Effects > Glitching
Effects > Lo-Fi
Effects > Reversing

File Information


Name:
Final_Fantasy_4_Rainbow_Forms_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
6,380,393 bytes
MD5:
5972d50b5c39fea6ad5ea8b03e764546
Bitrate:
200Kbps
Duration:
4:12

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