Finally we reach the final section of interviews. Apologies for the delays, I’ve been seriously ill with swine flu but all is getting back to normal now. So without further ado – the remixers of FF4 Echoes of Betrayal, Light of Redemption:
“Fighting for Tomorrow” (Fabul)
“I chose this song because even back in 1992, it was one of my favourite tracks on the soundtrack . Back then, I imagined this one being huge with guitars added on top of the existing orchestra. The men’s choir idea came around after thinking more about the philosophy behind Fabul and what they were all fighting for. The most challenging part was balancing all the parts to sound cohesive despite the multiple mics and room sounds the vocals all had. I am really proud of the guys in the choir, of which I had only a very, very small part in. Without these guys, it’d be just another OA rock track with orchestra. With them, it’s something that resonates even further with me.
“Finale Part One” (Another Moon)
This one was creepy sounding, and normally my propensity is to lean (strongly) towards highly melodic, upbeat tracks. This one I did as a personal challenge, to mike it sound sinister and foreboding, yet still catchy. The most challenging part was to let go and let the song do its work. I caved a little at the end and added a keyboard solo, but for the most part, it’s all about the atmosphere here.
“Until the Tower Falls” (Tower of Bab-il)
No pretensions here, I picked this one just to rock out. The hardest part was fitting all the stuff we wanted to add into it without it breaking, and I’m most proud of the keyboard craziness. I am a terrible keyboard player, so it was a few overdubs, but i think it sounds really cool.
“The Might of Baron” (Kingdom of Baron)
My first contribution of many to the album. I found Andrew’s original post starting the album by mistake. I was looking for info on the DS game and when I found it felt compelled to contribute to the album. I had always wanted to sub something to the community but this was the first time it felt right to get involved. I actually picked up the track from a comment he made about doing a really hard rock version of it and from there it took off. I felt I could do it justice with my background of being a metalhead!!!
This track as a whole was a challenge and my first attempt of an OCRemix. I had actually never tried to do a track with heavy guitars or orchestra. It took some work and Andrew (OA) was there to bear with me to make it work. And I can’t thank him more for him helping to get this track out of me.
I’m super proud of this track and was actually sweating it for awhile hoping it would be up to snuff but the guitars and orchestra came out awesome. I am actually much more of a bass player and had to take some time to get my chops up. The prelude arpeggios in particular took a little practice. Very happy with how the guitar solo came out especially with the ridiculous modulations going on during (fm-em). My favourite part is definitely the prelude in minor that integrates the baron theme. That part came together really fast and I just remember recording it as fast I could to keep up with my ideas. The whole thing was a was a lot of fun.
“The Skies Hold No Angels for Us” (Castle Damcyan)
I came on originally to just help Level 99 with drums on this track. The other ideas like piano in major idea, which came about through Dhsu’s WIP of the track that he wasn’t able to finish, and the duelling guitars came about later. We just felt like it was really fitting to run with the guitars cutting heads for the battle and incorporating all of these thematic ideas like the piano interlude with the kids playing (as a kind of memory of what Damcyan used to be) and the end of the track with the acoustics playing while people are bawling their eyes. It’s a great track to be able to use to integrate so many drama.
The most challenging was probably the drum editing which is not a fun thing. It’s very microscopic details – at least it was for me. I ended up playing live drums and taking my ideas into the sequencer. It was my first experience with Addictive Drums.
I really love that high hat entrance – always sounds great to me and gets me pumped. I modelled that all after Infected Mushroom “Deeply Disturbed” – and it came out really different – but you just gotta roll with it. The piano section with it’s modulated resolution is really neat too. I worked on that for awhile. And the whole ending with the guitars coming back in really does it for me. First time I heard it come together I was blown away.
“Finale Part Two ~ Genesis of Destruction” (The Final Battle)
Me and Andrew (OA) choose this because we really needed a final battle track. I was hesitant to take something so grand but I’ll be the first to say that the original is my most favourite battle theme from any game. And I wanted to just blow it up as much as possible and make the biggest track I ever could ha. So I enlisted the help of everyone on the project.
Pretty much everything. The easiest part was arranging the skeleton of the track with synths and drums. But collaborations take time and this one takes the cake. The coordination of getting tracks from others took months. All in all this track is the result of 8 months of work and I was still struggling at the end of the project to get it finished. The mixing was a nightmare with 255 choir tracks (dead serious) and about 100 tracks being mixed together. I was fortunate to get zircon to come in and save the day and relieve of much stress. Thanks Andy.
All the vocals I’m really happy with. I wrote some pretty demanding parts and everyone really came through. Lisa really did an awesome job and our fantastic Zeromus (Cyril) really sold that breakdown meaning I felt Zeromus lose his mind. Great job. Nutritious did an amazing job with the orchestra – way better than I could have ever hoped. I’m just proud of all the awesome people that came together to make this track what it is. It just became what it wanted to; it was out of my hands.
“Goodbye Cid…” (Hey Cid!)
I came on to help Wiesty with guitar. I really liked his WIP and dramatic reinterpretation of the source. I got a big kick out of it. It was my idea to get him more involved with doing the organ solo. I’m really glad he came through
This actually came together rather smooth. I spent some time getting the right feeling for the clean stuff – I think the last bit with “wah” was a take or two. The solo in the middle was pretty much – “hey – track 4 bars and lets see what happens” but it came out pretty awesome. Oh and Andrew’s acoustics were fun - but he gave an awesome performance!
I really dig the bass tone I got, which was completely direct and surprised me. Some of the guitar licks during the solo were pretty sweet and I was surprised I pulled them off. I think the section without source in the middle with the solos is just awesome. Sure it’s liberal but the whole song just needs it. Cid needs it!
“RDX Necklace” (Bomb Ring)
This collaboration was the result of COTMM coming to me asking me to play guitar on it. And I’m really glad he did. It was a blast. I got to do some upright bass stuff and get some gnarly tones on bass and guitar.
The most challenging was the mix and trying to make sense of the 30 tracks of soundscapes that COTMM put together and have it build to a final conclusion. I was pushing for more arrangement in the track which is why we have two versions of the track essentially (his being a bonus track). And I love them both – I was just trying to make this version more accessible for the album. But even so, the song is really his baby. Also the tremolo guitar parts were pretty intense and I was having a hard time making it through takes but it was fun heh.
I’m just really proud of the mood we set and the pacing we were able to achieve to have this large crescendo track. It just keeps building to that final explosion.
“Kind of Green” (Rydia)
I helped resurrect this track for Abadoss when I heard his auto-arrange finale function on his joke accordion track. I just strangely really liked it. We already had a Rydia track so it was never meant to be on the album. I was originally just going to update the midi to have it as a bonus track but I got this crazy idea to use it as the last track for the album and get some live instrumentation. I met bustatunez at mag and he helped with piano and later melodica to replace the accordion which I think was the best way to go from the beginning and my good friend here in Nashville helped with the guitar.
What took the longest was the brush drums in terms of getting them to sound realistic and like a performance to compete with all the other live instrumentation. But I may have spent more time getting the piano to sit right in the mix – I spent way too long on this mix – but it came out awesome!
I’m just shocked how well everything worked. The parts Abadoss gave us changed quite a bit in the rhythm section but everyone brought their A game and it worked. the solos are well paced and we sound like we’re really jamming together when it really didn’t go down like that – ha . Great job to busta and ultravisitor.
“Zeromus the Serialist” (The Final Battle)
This is kinda a joke track that I did with all the MIDI data from Zeromus. I heard it play back by accident with all grand pianos and it sounded amazing and utterly ridiculous. I thought about converting just that but I spent a little more time getting some better sounds. It’s only for those not a faint of dissonances but I think it actually works well and is kinda interesting if your familiar with the original arrangement.
VAMPIRE HUNTER DAN
“A Saviour Ascends” (Lunar Whale)
Final Fantasy IV (“II” at the time) was literally the first video game to ever emotionally engage me. After finally arriving at what’s arguably one of its climaxes, I’ll never forget staring at the screen in awe as “The Big Whale” rose up to welcome the party aboard, with that magnificent theme song blaring out of my pathetic little TV speakers. “Mt. Ordeals,” too, hasn’t left my mind from the first time I entered that fateful place, and I’ll never forget recording each of these songs (the whole soundtrack, really) to cassette tape for repeated Walkman listens.
I typically find it challenging to make my tracks compete volume-wise with other “modern” remixes, so it’s no coincidence that the most difficult part about this arrangement was getting it to sound *epic* enough. I often had to get extremely creative just to make certain sections seem louder or more full. I tried to strike a balance between “constantly kicking the listener in the ears” and “subtlety,” and I hope I’ve achieved that here.
(What part/sound are they most proud of?) This is difficult, because I’m honestly not big on “pride.” It’s interesting to listen to an arrangement from what seems like long ago, as I think I’ve grown immensely since then. I’m definitely pleased I could somehow make such a grandiose piece sound..even *more* grandiose, while at the same time being a part of such a beautiful project to pay tribute to Cecil, Rydia and Co..
THE SCUBA DIVERS
“Rhymes with Elixir” (Chocobo Chocobo)
We did this track to try to encourage people to not take things so seriously. The purpose of this project was to have fun making something cool together, and though everyone who listens to the album brings with them their own perspective and experiences, we wanted to at least attempt to show that those who made the album had a lot of fun and made some new friends while doing so. PEACE OUT