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Audio Engineering: A Tribute to Cid


Tracklist

Disc 1

01 Skyhigh OR How the Sun Set on an Engineering Age (Airship, The Rebel Army) 3:02
02 Above the Clouds (Go Above the Clouds!) 2:53
03 Dreams of Glory (Hey Cid!) 3:05
04 Heart of the Machine (Musica Machina, The Ancient Library, Fire Ship) 4:04
05 Experiments of a Fiend (Devil's Lab) 3:52
06 Canon in Cid Minor (Cid's Theme) 3:32
07 Garden of Hope (Balamb GARDEN) 5:17
08 Gwok! (Cid's Theme, Aboard the Hilda Garde) 4:43
09 Al Bhed Ec Faent (Oui Are Al Bhed) 2:41
10 An Engineer's Republic (The Republic of Bastok) 3:28
11 Progus Bunansa (Life and Death) 3:02
12 Gods and Crystals (Three Hours of Fate) 3:25
13 Windy City [City of Wind (Windia)] 2:37
Disc length 45:41

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Added
Feb 19, 2014 08:50 PM
Edited
Feb 19, 2014 08:50 PM
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Notes

ReMixers:

therex (1, 11)
PixelPanic (2)
Argle (3)
Tuberz McGee (4, 8, 11)
DjjD (5)
Omni-Psyence (6)
Ivan Hakštok (7)
Theory of N (9)
Amphibious (10)
Moomba (12)
Cyril the Wolf (13)

Audio Engineering: A Tribute to Cid
Comments from album director Taylor Brown (Mirby) & ReMixers
Album freely available at http://ocremix.org

Hey, Mirby here, and, as you can guess, I'm the director of Audio Engineering.

This album started in 2012 shortly after MAGFest ended, and was quite a simple idea. The first BadAss album had been recently released, and it made me realize that themed albums worked just as well as those based on whole game soundtracks. Much like BadAss was boss themes, Audio Engineering is Cid themes. More specifically, the themes of the many Cids of the Final Fantasy games. Of course, not all Cids have their own de facto themes, so I opened it up a bit more: themes that could be linked to that Cid, such as airship themes or area themes, were permissible. It worked quite well and, a little over two years later, the finished product stands before you.

Thirteen tracks by twelve talented artists showcasing all different Cids, in addition to a sampling of artwork by several different folks representing a small handful of those same Cids, are available for your listening, and viewing, pleasure.

- Taylor Brown (Mirby)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

01. "Skyhigh OR How the Sun Set on an Engineering Age" (Final Fantasy II)
Arranger: therex
Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Character: Cid
Sources: "Airship," "The Rebel Army"

Mirby: This is a fun little song that technically uses a song that was never used in the original game, but it's happy and bubbly and it works. Also, the title is a reference to an old, but awesome, movie. Because it's nice having song titles reference old things like that. Anyways, a great intro to the album with a promise of what's to come.

therex: So this was one of my first tracks I wrote for OCR. I was chilling on IRC when Mirby asked if I wanted to do a track for her Cid tribute album. Thrilled that someone was asking me to participate, I happily chose FF2.

An interesting thing about one of the FF2 Cid sources I used is that it actually doesn't appear in game anywhere -- it was a scrapped airship theme that was later released on the OST for FF2. The other theme I used ("Rebel Army") was one that I would constantly listen to on the bus from school.

For the feel of the piece, I wanted to go for a "final credits" type of vibe. I envisioned Cid sitting on a hill looking at the sunset after a long and arduous adventure. Shout out to Mirby for helping me with the name, and for allowing it to be egregiously long (10 points for whoever can catch the movie it was referencing).

While the track itself is by no means my best work, it has some artifacts of my old style that I love: namely, a more downtempo feel, more liberal arrangement, and some quirky solo stuff.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the piece!

02. "Above the Clouds" (Final Fantasy III)
Arranger: PixelPanic feat. mikeastarb
Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Character: Cid Haze
Source: "Go Above the Clouds!"

Mirby: This song has been through so many revisions, but I knew it was good with each one. This version on the album is actually a completely new version; for some time, there was a different version of this song in the final lineup! I'm not complaining though, because it turned out fantastically.

PixelPanic: This song has so much to it, it hurts to remember. Starting in my junior year of high school, I took this on and thought a great idea would be to make a ska band. I was in the music program and just switched from trumpet to trombone, so I got my friends to pick up the other instruments and help me out. Progress was being made, but stagnation collectively made people reluctant to move forward, so it evaporated after a short while.

Not long after, a better idea came to me: chiptune! Having had some experience with LSDj, I picked it up and got to work. Within a few months, things got recorded and were ready to go out. However, a problem occurred. I filled the midrange with too many sounds, and the arrangement I made was so difficult to go through, I had to scrap it. In my senior year of high school, within 3 hours of scrapping the old one, I made a newer, superior song. mikeastarb and I soon recorded our parts, and we have the current version that you hear now.

It feels great to actually type this out, now in my freshman year of college. It was a fantastic learning experience, and though I can't honestly say I have no regrets, I see the final work as being representative of our struggle and devotion, and we think it is amazing based on that merit (even despite my barely passable production skills), and being inspired by indie and punk rock styles, I am almost happier this way. It was either a fantastic failure, or an underwhelming success.

mikeastarb: Working on "Above the Clouds" was a huge learning experience for me as a band member, recorder, and musician. When the track first started out and PixelPanic first got the ska group together, I think we both realized how difficult it would be to get that many people all on the same page and same practice schedule. From that, I developed a deeper appreciation for groups that can get that many together and successfully create something awesome.

After the group fell apart, PixelPanic and I recorded the first cut of the track. One of our big problems was intonation with the track. Aside from the emulator running LSDj affecting the pitch, we had some issues with the guitar as well. Over the past 10 years, I've slowly taught myself to play but, it wasn't until this experience where I really learned how many components go into keeping a guitar in tune across the fretboard.

All in all, I'm glad to see the project coming to a successful ending. PixelPanic was great to work with. He took the initiative to continue when it seemed like the project was going to go under and without that we wouldn't be submitting anything at all.

And to end it: mikeastarb (guitars, recording help, trumpet in the ska phase) and PixelPanic (bass, mixing, arrangement, trombone in the ska phase) would like to thank the following people: Firstly, our previous musicians from the ska phase of the project, Steven Shoop (guitar), Ben Astarb (bass), Han Yang (drum kit), and Kyle Nichols (alto saxophone), for helping in the early stages and helping us see this a feasible task. We would also like to give a big "thank you" to Mirby, this project's director, for making this all possible and allowing us horribly extended deadlines when they, at any moment, could've just kicked us off the project.

03. "Dreams of Glory" (Final Fantasy IV)
Arranger: Argle
Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Character: Cid Pollendina
Source: "Hey Cid!"

Mirby: Argle took to covering this track quickly, knowing exactly what he was going to do with it. Which was great, because he was taking over for someone who was unable to finish their mix for this. A quick turnaround proved to me that getting Argle on board was a very wise decision. Little tip for project directors out there: Argle is a great asset if you get him on board.

Argle: I took the original march and sped it up to make synth rock. Initially was going to record some guitar leads, but honestly I suck at the guitar. And I like the way it turned out.

04. "Heart of the Machine" (Final Fantasy V)
Arranger: Tuberz McGee
Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Character: Cid Previa
Sources: "Fire Ship," "Musica Machina," "The Ancient Library"

Mirby: This is the first song that was completed for Cid. Tuberz took the three example sources I had picked so people could choose one and decided to use all three. Because why not. What resulted is pretty heavy but still pretty amazing. It was the start of a beautiful friendship... I mean, it's a great song and enjoy it. Yeah...

Tuberz McGee: A fun industrial metal ditty that I felt really juxtaposed the Cid from FFV. That and I just really wanted to make swooshy clangy music. Next time I make industrial, I'll make a point of finding metal pipes to clang together.

05. "Experiments of a Fiend" (Final Fantasy VI)
Arranger: DjjD
Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Character: Cid del Norte Márquez
Source: "Devil's Lab"

Mirby: Jake initially expressed doubts about remixing this song, but I reassured him he'd do great things with it. And he did, as evidenced by this song. Fantastic work that really shows his chops.

DjjD: I'd always wanted to remix this tune, just never had the motivation to start. A while back, Mirby asked me if I wanted to be a part of this project and she gave me dibs on whatever choice I wanted. So it was relatively easy to pick out this tune. I took it without hesitation. However, remixing it was a different story. I must've gone through 4 attempts before this happened. I wanted something to really show you how evil Kefka really was, something diabolical. Thus, the song starts off with anvils, staccatos, and a "weasel-y" high pitched synth. All elements that give it a cartoony/villainous feel. Even at that, I was having trouble utilizing all of the source. But in the end, it turned out being another electro-orchestral blend of things, and I hope you guys enjoy! :)

06. "Canon in Cid Minor" (Final Fantasy VII)
Arranger: Omni-Psyence
Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Character: Cid Highwind
Source: "Cid's Theme"

Mirby: Like several tracks on this final product, the FF7 track was the result of someone taking over for someone else. There was actually another claim on this track, but Omni-Psyence really came through and quickly delivered this amazing song that, while incredibly faithful to the original song, is also very unique and fits the style perfectly. Glad to have this one on board.

07. "Garden of Hope" (Final Fantasy VIII)
Arranger: Ivan Hakštok
Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Character: Cid Kramer
Source: "Balamb GARDEN"

Mirby: I still find it funny that "GARDEN" is all caps in that source title name. Anyways, the FF8 track was claimed for the longest time but, unfortunately, that fell through. Hakštok here was quickly inspired once I linked the source to him and got me a finished track in three weeks. I was amazed. And it's so beautiful; the solo makes me tear up every time. Well, not every time, but it does get to me. At the time, Hakštok told me it was his best solo yet, and I'm inclined to agree.

Ivan Hakštok: FF8 was one of the first RPGs I played, and since I wasn't using any guides at the time, I spent a lot of time wandering around Balamb Garden because I had no idea what to do next. But that, at least, made the music embedded into my memory, so when I saw the track is open for the Cid album, I thought it would be nice to give it a go.

Something I hate about Nobuo Uematsu's compositions are the weird chord progressions he likes to use a lot, so I transformed this source out into a more straightforward song, which worked out pretty well. I opted for a rock ballad style, but with some folk elements. I'm pretty happy with the song, especially since my style and Nobuo Uematsu's style are pretty different and I usually don't like remixing his songs. Well, this time I made an exception. :)

08. "Gwok!" (Final Fantasy IX)
Arranger: Tuberz McGee
Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Character: Cid Fabool IX
Sources: "Cid's Theme," "The Airship - Hildagarde"

Mirby: Tuberz got this song to me quite quickly, and I was quite happy to receive it. Though nowhere near as heavy as his earlier track on this album, it still has a somewhat heavy part near the middle. Either way, it's pretty awesome. As for the name, well... hopefully you like a little oglop in your album.

Tuberz McGee: Dear lord, this mix was fun to make. I rushed it together in about 8 hours or something godawfully fast. I love the source tune SOOOOO much. I realised that in order to make up for my lack of talent in any form of mixing I should add chippy elements (I mean, any poor mixing just comes across as authentic and lo-fi). Overall... pretty sweet. Gwok~!

09. "Al Bhed Ec Faent" (Final Fantasy X)
Arranger: Theory of N
Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Character: Cid
Source: "Oui Are Al Bhed"

Mirby: I dare you to not be happy while listening to this song. Seriously. It's so infectiously happy. Also, the song's title is in Al Bhed, the language spoken by the Al Bhed people of Spira. So that's cool. All in all, a very jazzy track.

10. "An Engineer's Republic" (Final Fantasy XI Online)
Arranger: Amphibious
Composer: Kumi Tanioka
Character: Cid
Source: "The Republic of Bastok"

Mirby: Is this The Who? "Teenage Wasteland"? 'Cause those synths at the start are certainly reminiscent of that song. Fell in love instantly with this song because of those; knew the rest would be amazing, just because of the strong start those synths give this song.

11. "Progus Bunansa" (Final Fantasy XII)
Arrangers: therex, Tuberz McGee
Composer: Hitoshi Sakimoto
Character: Cidolfus Demen Bunansa
Source: "Desperate Fight"

Mirby: This song... I could say so much about this one song... But I won't, because I don't want to bore you. To summarize, the song title is one I jokingly suggested and they went with anyways (not that I'm complaining) and Cidolfus Demen Bunansa is friggin' insane. But still somehow one of my favorite Cids. So, yeah.

therex: Tuberz and I were already on for the Cid project when the FF12 Cid got dropped. Tuberz jumped in to fill the gap, and I chimed in about a collab (with the secret intention to get all of his secret mixing powers by osmosis). Fast forward a few months, and we had a finished track to send off.

Tuberz did the bulk of the arrangement and the RAWKIN guitars; I did production, drum track arrangement, and all of those ridiculous synths. Flexstyle also really hit it out of the park with the mastering on this one. While I've come quite a way production-wise after this piece, this was a pretty big jump for me, as it was one of my first times working with real instruments.

tl;dr Tuberz is a god, everyone worship him, 11/10 would collab again.

Tuberz McGee: I would love to thank my cat for keeping me up late at night with its irritable noise to work on this track. Fun stuff. Pretty cool to collab with Ethan. He's a true bro and I love his music, so, naturally, we finished our set. <3 What more can I say?

12. "Gods and Crystals" (Final Fantasy Type-0)
Arranger: Moomba
Composer: Takeharu Ishimoto
Character: Cid Aulstyne
Source: "Three Hours of Fate"

Mirby: Moomba is one of the few people I know who played through Type-0 despite the game being entirely in Japanese. As such, he knows a lot about the lore of the world, or as much as one can ascertain from playing it, I suppose. Either way, he was probably the most appropriate person to tackle a song from this game, one that I still fervently hope gets an official release here. The music is also fantastic, and Moomba manages to take the intensity of it and distill it into something comparatively chill and relaxing. Wonderful work here.

13. "Windy City" (Final Fantasy Mystic Quest)
Arranger: Cyril the Wolf
Composer: Yasuhiro Kawakami
Character: Otto Cid Bekenstein
Source: "City of Wind (Windia)"

Mirby: I didn't even realize there was a Cid in this game until I saw him on the FF wiki! Doesn't help that his name is Otto Cid Bekenstein; Cid isn't even his first name! Still counts though, and literally all I had to do to get Cyril on board was ask if he wanted to cover a Mystic Quest track. This nice vocal mix is very relaxing, and is a great closer to the album.