Skeletroy’s Rearranged Memories #2

Rearranged Memories – King Dedede’s theme, New Messiah

Hey everyone, Skeletroy here again to reflect on a couple songs I did a while ago, and any other random memories and thoughts that come with them.

     3. Kirby Super Star – King Dedede’s theme

Original release date: December 1, 2015

Okay, on to songs that still hold up. Again, it’s not that the first two songs were bad, just not quite realized. But this one…this is one of my all-time favorite songs, from the first time I heard it at age 10 in Kirby’s Dream Land. The entire KDL soundtrack is fantastic, and really helped to showcase the Game Boy’s strengths when it comes to music. While the Game Boy has one less sound channel than the NES did, it was the PCM channel that was missing. I don’t think having the ability to play low-quality voice samples would have improved the Game Boy very much.  

The Super Star version of King Dedede’s theme added the final section to the song, which is why I credit it in the title. This was another attempt at a different musical direction, but wasn’t as much about trying to make it different as it was an attempt to match the musical style with the subject matter of the game, which is one of the overarching points to the SNES thrash project. Kirby games are cute, so I wanted to make “cute metal”, now given the moniker of “dreamland thrash”. It was a pretty fun experiment, meshing vibraphone, piccolo, and strings in with (simulated) heavy guitars and drums. There’s actually another version of this song locked away in the vaults. I wasn’t sure whether to go with the piccolo, or if I should use a trumpet instead. Considering how much I use the trumpet in other genres, I’m pretty happy with the choice I made here.

 

  1. Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge – New Messiah

Original release date: December 24, 2015

Another Castlevania song already? Yeah, I thought it’d be funny. Hopefully some of you thought so too, as I’ll be repeating the joke at least twice more. On a more serious note, this is where I began to turn the corner to really thinking about making these songs as intense as possible, and I have JimmyTR to thank for it. I was working on a song for his character for Adver-tainment (the TR crew were all going to be main characters in the second season), and Jimmy wanted it to sound as death metal as possible. Since the plans for the show were shelved, the song in question is currently unreleased *cough*August 2017*cough*.

This was very much an eye-opening moment, and led me to looking at each of my songs that were in progress to see if I had either the available space (120 measures maximum) or if it was enough under the maximum tempo (up to 300 bpm) to be able to double the tempos. This is why it’s handy to be working on a hundred songs at a time – after I double the tempo, I have to manually move every single note on every single track (of which there are thankfully only eight), and double the length of each of them to fit the new tempo…as you can guess, that takes quite a while. But then the fun really begins, as I see all the spaces in between the drum parts that weren’t there with the original slower tempo, and I start playing around to see what I can do. I love how this song turned out, but at the same time I kind of feel like I overdid the drums just a bit.

That’s going to wrap things up until next time. Coincidentally, I released another Kirby song today, you can listen to it here! Thanks for reading and listening!

Skeletroy’s Rearranged Memories #1

Hey everyone, I’ve been off doing my own thing for a while and haven’t posted much to the site in a while. I started a project called SNES Thrash Remixes which was an offshoot of Adver-tainment, which may or may not see the light of day as season 2 is just too much work. Anyway, I wanted to start posting the songs I’ve done to the site, and so to catch up I’ll be doing two old songs per post, along with two paragraphs for each, reflecting my past memories and more recent thoughts. These aren’t set in stone though, I’m just going to write about whatever comes to mind and hope for the best.

  1. Castlevania – Wicked Child

Original release date: October 1, 2015

Oh, the difference a day makes…or in this case, a year. I was working on a lot of video game cover songs to use as background music in another project, and wanted to start releasing some of them. SNES thrash remixes was conceived as Song of the Month, as I didn’t want to overwhelm myself with working on a huge project. It wasn’t long, however, before I found that doing all the music itself was another huge project inside of the first one. I remember thinking “I sure hope I can keep this pace up”, which seems laughable now. Simple math shows that it would have resulted in a twelve song album each year, and that seemed like a pretty good result to me. That also seems laughable now, as more simple math showed me that I’d probably be at it for the next 30 years if I only released 12 songs a year.

At the time of its release, Wicked Child was the best song that I had put together. At the time of this writing, it’s the only song to have a second version released. I wouldn’t say it’s because this version is bad, it’s more of a case where I hadn’t given it enough time but didn’t have enough experience to realize it. A good song is like a good hot meal, sometimes they need a bit of simmering time at the end to really bring all the flavor out. I hadn’t fully realized the “Castlevania sound” I wanted until a year later, when I did the entire soundtrack to the first game. So basically I redid this one so it wouldn’t stick out compared to the rest of the soundtrack.

  1. Metal Gear Solid 2 theme

Original release date: November 1, 2015

When I was younger and had dreams of being a world famous rock star, I had a binder of notes for ideas about releasing albums. I’ll most likely be revealing the details of a lot of these ideas, as it’s been almost 20 years since I’ve written them. One of those ideas was to first release a fairly standard album that kind of tiptoed around the different sounds that would be attempted later, then to go all out with those later albums. The second would be more of an acoustic style album, the third would be more metal, etc. Granted, it’s not the most marketable strategy when you consider how people as a whole fear change, but I never wanted to be pigeon-holed into repeating the same thing simply because it’s what people want.

This was the mindset I revisited with Song of the Month, albeit on a much smaller scale with the concept applied to individual songs instead of full albums. I went with MGS2 because it was about as different from Wicked Child as I could do at the time. Due to it being so different though, it was quite a challenge to get the final mix just right. This was a real challenge, learning how different sound levels needed to be to sound right as an mp3 compared to it pretty well always sounding right through DS speakers. It took something like 40 tries to get the final mix from my DS to the computer. Unfortunately, this song also suffers from “didn’t find my voice yet” syndrome, and will see an eventual re-release when I do a proper “military metal” album.     

 

Thanks for reading and listening! I released a new song today, and although it’s going to be a while before I get to it in this series, you can check it out here: