Thursday, 22 December 2011

An Interview with OverClocked Remix

OverClocked Remix is a website devoted to creating remixes of a huge variety of video game tracks. It's a great site, and I managed to interview a few of it's members, after watching their performance/Q&A at the London Gaming Con last month. 
Q. Can you tell us a little about what OverClocked Remix is?

A: To quote the press page:

"OverClocked ReMix is an organization dedicated to the appreciation and promotion of video game music as an art form. Its primary focus is, a website featuring thousands of free fan arrangements, information on game music and composers, resources for aspiring artists, and a thriving community of video game music fans."

Or as the guy who introduced us at the convention kindly summarized, we "take video game music and make it awesome". The focus is definitely on arranging the music in a meaningful way rather then just pumping out a million covers with different instruments or drum loops over them.

Q. OverClocked Remix has been around for a while now, and it's obviously grown to a significant size since then! How does it feel knowing it has become so popular?

A: Fishy: Well I'm sure it means a whole lot to Dave (djpretzel) in particular, as it's his baby. Obviously it's gotten a lot of attention from the actual composers and games companies complimenting the music. It even led to OCReMix providing the (first ever fan-made) soundtrack to Super Street Fighter II HD Remix.

In terms of the scale of the popularity it's hard to measure but djpretzel has something like 750,000 scrabbles That's mind-blowing considering the percentage of people who don't use Its definitely exciting to be a part of but we can only take so much credit as the arrangers. I think it's a sign that people care about video game music, and that the site is doing exactly what it set out to do!

Q. A few of the UK team represented OCR at the London Gaming Convention on the 3rd December (which I went to, and really enjoyed!). How was this experience, and do you plan on spreading the OverClocked Remix love at future conventions soon?

A: Protodome: 1. Despite being incredibly last minute and our first con ever, it was a blast. The audience and staff were awesome and it went so much smoother than we could have expected. If we get the gigs, you bet we’ll be along.

Rexy: It was a new and exciting experience for me. After the amazing reception from the audience, I'm definitely set for future events.

WillRock: It was awesome, went smoothly, and we've all expressed interest in going to more conventions in the future so this is an exciting time for us.
Fishy: I think we're definitely all interested in coming back and playing some more music next time!

Q. What's your favourite song that you've contributed to OCR?

A: Protodome: Fill Me Up With Snacky Happiness. Not because it’s my best work, but, yeah, just listen to it.

Rexy: The Feather's Reflection. Of all the piano arrangements I worked on over the years, this one ended up being one of my best recorded performances.

WillRock: Transient Shadows. Out of all my remixes, I felt that one best showcased what i'm about generally as an artist.

Fishy: An arrangement of the final battle theme from Final Fantasy IX, coming out soon with the project album!

Q. What's your favourite remix on the site? 

A: Protodome: I don’t know as my opinions shift all the time- I don’t think I could pick one remix.

Rexy: Neskvartetten's "Ganon's Temple". To see them take the source and capture it in a live setting whilst still maintaining the creepiness of the original is seen as a big draw for me.

WillRock: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV - Subterranean Kamikaze. I'm a big fan of 80's Rock and that track delivers on a huge scale.

Fishy: Either ilpo - In the Land of the Dwarves (FFIV), or Midee/Prozax - The Twelfth Commandment (FF7)

Q. Is there a particular game that gets a noticeably bigger amount of remixes submitted than others. If so, why do you think this is?

A: Protodome: Chrono Trigger. Because dceiowcnieownhvewvce. (Don’t include this).
Rexy: Either Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy 7. The reasons are usually for popularity/nostalgia and source accessibility. CT's "Schala's Theme" is a popular tune to remix due to its simplicity.

WillRock: Chrono Trigger, Mega Man, Mario Bros etc all have so many remixes. I put it down to popularity, nostalgia, and quality of the soundtracks.

Fishy: Megaman seems to get a lot more attention then I ever gave it credit for. The songs are all super short, but maybe that's what makes it attractive as arrangement material.

Q. Have you got any advice for those budding remixers who are wishing to submit to OverClocked Remix?

A: Protodome: Don’t be afraid to take criticism!

Rexy: Be true to yourself. Think about what the source tune means to you, and express it when writing it.

WillRock: Head to the WIP forum! OCR has specific standards to hit and getting feedback from the WIP forums is the best way to increase your changes of getting posted.

Fishy: Don't be tempted to remix music you have no attachment to for the sake of popularity! If the music means something to you, it will show and you will be happier.

Q. And finally, what's next for you all?

Protodome: Doing what we always do really.

Rexy: Refining my technique, continuing to represent OCR here in the UK and to keep getting involved with the community.

WillRock: Focus more on original music. However, I won't stop supporting the game music industry in the best way I can!

Fishy: Probably some kind of ridiculous prog album or trying to arrange a live vg music band!

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