Archive for the ‘RW Music’ Category

New Track Up on YouTube! (Banjo-Kazooie)

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

Yes – that’s right – we’ve uploaded a new track. We actually got together and fully recorded a song. It’s been a long time, and we’ve all been very busy with various things on a personal and professional level – but we’ve finally found the time to get back together and we’ll be finding much more time to do so going forward.

Over a full year on. Yeah. We know. What happened? Well, life happened. I’m very busy with my work – I’m a freelancer who writes about games – so is Lloyd, and Sam is studying for a degree in music technology (something you’ll see reflected, I think, in the quality of our work going forward) and we’re both also super busy with our lives in general. That said, we’re finding a little more time now. We’re doing more. We’ve got several exciting mixes lined up that we’ve all been toiling away on arranging during our hiatus. I hope you look forward to them.

As for the rest… We’re still planning to get a limited run of CDs printed, and we’ll still be releasing downloads of all tracks free via this site. A download of this is coming after I do a final, final mix of it. In the meantime, enjoy the YouTube version. Leave us a comment with your thoughts! We’re recording again next Friday…excitement! Be sure to subscribe on YouTube, as sometimes we put stuff up there a little earlier.

We’ve also now got a Twitter Account. Please drop us a follow – this is one way we’ll be able to chat to you guys and give you more regular updates!

Ahead on Our Way (Final Fantasy VII)

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Final Fantasy VII again. There’s something about this game – while I prefer FF9’s soundtrack, FF7 has some truly phoenomenal pieces of music that give me shivers. This is one such tune. Ahead on Our Way is one of the stand-out tracks from FF7 that isn’t a pumping battle theme like Aerith’s Theme.

As with most of the Final Fantasy tracks we cover, this one is by the amazing Nobuo Uematsu. He really captures the feel of that segment of the game where the party is getting a rest from the fast-paced events of the game for the first time in the appropriately named town of Kalm. Here we’ve got some synthesised strings via keyboard throughout the track as well as some piano later on.

The bulk of the track is carried by soothing guitar, with ‘backing’ guitar picked and strummed and lead guitar punching through with a bit of reverb just to make it sound right with the feel of the track. We did try to turn this one into a bit of a power ballad after experimenting with different styles, so the track ‘builds up’ into a big climax with everything getting bigger until it all quiets down for an understated finish.

Remember to check out Our MySpace and YouTube Channel. If you want to stay up to date with new tracks, sign up for our RSS Feed! We’ll gladly accept requests and suggestions from people who add us there, or via the contact page here on our website!

Did You Know?
Ahead on Our Way is the first proper ‘town’ music in Final Fantasy VII, despite appearing around halfway through the first disc. With the party trapped inside Midgar for the early part of the game, it’s a while before the party enters FF7’s first traditional FF town – Kalm – which is where Cloud tells his story of what happened On that Day, Five Years Ago…

Lava Reef Zone (Sonic & Knuckles)

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Sonic 3 & Knuckles is one of my favorite games of all time. In the top three. I’m sure it rates pretty high for the other guys, too. When joined together, that is honest-to-god the best 2D platform game of all time. It also has some god damn amazing music by Jun Senoue, Howard Drossin and Tomonori Sawada.

I don’t know what one of them is responsible for the fantastic music to Lava Reef Zone, so we’ll give all three of them the credit on our cover – they all deserve it anyway. This point in the game is right when the plot is starting to hot up, and the game does a great job of drawing you in without any text or voice acting – just 2D graphics to explain what’s going on.

While a cover of Lava Reef, this track also touches on the Hidden Palace Zone music, which also features a little in Lava Reef. There’s a fair bit of synth here and we took a very different approach to recording the rhythm guitar as we arranged it to be such high notes. Overall we’re very pleased, and we’re definitely gonna revisit Sonic more.

Remember to check out Our MySpace! We’ll gladly accept requests and suggestions from people who add us there, or via the contact page here on our website!

Did You Know?
Lava Reef is actually the longest level in any of the Mega Drive/Genesis Sonic games. In terms of raw size and number of different paths characters can take the level is larger than any other, and really stretches the Mega Drive’s RAM to its limit.

Staff Roll (Super Mario 64)

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

This is an old track. Well over a year old. So yes, we know that the recording quality isn’t anywhere near as good as our latest stuff and the same can be said of the piece in general… but we still love this song. When most people think Mario Music, they think of the iconic NES tunes, including most of TRW. Not me, though.

As I grew up as a Sega Kid, I was more accustomed with Sonic, and while I knew Mario and had of course played his games, I didn’t actually own one until I got an N64 with Super Mario 64. That game blew my mind, and the music was a big part of it. To this day the main theme of Mario 64 is one of my favorite pieces of game music – and this here, the “Staff Roll” – the credits theme – is the second best track in the game.

It’s an exact cover with some slight changes, and another homage to the genius of Koji Kondo, Nintendo’s Uematsu. We’ll be sure to revisit Mario in the future, especially for some more retro stuff… and maybe even new stuff. The Mario Galaxy soundtrack is amazing.

Did You Know?
Completing Super Mario 64 100% rewards players with a cannon outside the castle which allows them to reach the roof – where they’ll find Yoshi. You can’t ride him, and fan backlash over the lack of a ridable Yoshi led to his return in Super Mario Sunshine.

Cornered! (Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney)

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

This track was originally submitted for (and was the winner!) of a Phoenix Wright Arrangement Competition over on Gyakusheets, a Phoenix Wright sheet music website. I’d been meaning to play the Phoenix Wright games for some time but when I finally played them the thing that struck me most wasn’t the funny writing, the nice sprites or the clever (if simple) gameplay, but the amazing, amazing music.

This track is a pretty much direct cover of the music heard when you’ve finally got your suspect ‘Cornered!’ in court and they’re beginning to panic and weave even more far-fetched lies. We make use of our staples – Guitars, Organs, Drums, Bass, a bit of soloing, 3 part harmonies – all the stuff a lot of you have come to expect from our tracks.

Believe me when I say that the game itself is as exciting as the music that’s used. There’s many, many more standout tracks from Phoenix Wright, and I recommend you try it. We’re almost certain to pick out some more Phoenix Wright music in the future… it just rocks that much.

Remember to check out Our MySpace! We’ll gladly accept requests and suggestions from people who add us there, or via the contact page here on our website!

Did You Know?
The Phoenix Wright games in the USA were released on DS, but the series actually began life on the Game Boy Advance in Japan. The first three games were later ported to the DS with touchscreen functionality added.

Clash on the Big Bridge (Final Fantasy V)

Friday, February 6th, 2009

We’re back with yet another Battle Theme from the end of the Final Fantasy series now officially definied as ‘retro.’ Sandwiched between the fourth and sixth entries in the series, Final Fantasy V is often majorly overlooked, but if anyone remembers one thing from FF5, it’s this – The Clash on the Big Bridge.

Literally taking place on an area of the map called “The Big Bridge”, this section sees you going through continuous battles with this track looping until you reach Gilgamesh in his first of many appearances in the FF series. This track is a classic, really, yet another piece of true genius from Nobuo Uematsu. Because of this, we don’t mess with what isn’t broken, and do a fairly straight cover of the original – two loops – a second pass so that Lloyd can solo a little, as he so loves to do.

I’m really pleased now as I’ve finally managed to perfect an organ sound I like, and one that mimics the Black Mages a little, great for use in those Final Fantasy battle tunes. Expect to hear the organ a lot more in the future! The organ is the sole synth part in this, though… we wanted to keep it simple. Or as simple as you can get with three guitars, two organs, bass and drums. Which isn’t very when you’re mixing it!

Remember to check out Our MySpace! We’ll gladly accept requests and suggestions from people who add us there, or via the contact page here on our website!

Did You Know?
Gilgamesh is now one of the most recurring characters in the Final Fantasy series, appearing as both an enemy and a summonable esper.

Frog’s Theme (Chrono Trigger)

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

What with Square Enix announcing that Chrono Trigger will be rereleased on the DS, we figured it’s about time that we released this track that we’ve been sitting on for a little while now. Frog is one of my favorite RPG characters ever. He’s an awesome character – and he has an awesome, awesome theme.

Similarly, Chrono Trigger is one of the best games ever made, with one of the best soundtracks ever made. We originally entered this track into a competition on the Penny Arcade Debate & Discourse Forum in a Cover competition which we surprisingly won! Thanks to all the guys at PAForums, and this one goes out to all the great musicians on that board!

From a musical standpoint, this track has a lot of synthesised parts alongside the live instruments. There’s some strings, some brass, and a single piccolo flute, all played in via a MIDI keyboard. I felt we had to keep these, as if we didn’t we’d lose the slightly medieval, epic orchestral quality of the original. The live rock instruments were, as usual, recorded in a single session. Everything came out pretty well, and I love – love how the drums in particular came out on this track. Download and streaming player below.

Remember to check out Our MySpace! We’ll gladly accept requests and suggestions from people who add us there, or via the contact page here on our website!

Did You Know?
In the Japanese version of Chrono Trigger, Frog is called Kaeru – literally a Japanese word for a Frog.

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A Premonition/Chrono Trigger (Chrono Trigger)

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

At last. It has come to pass. What, you ask? Of course, I’m referring to Square Enix’s announncement that they are to re-release (or port in this case) the SNES classic Chrono Trigger to the DS. This is exciting for us in particular, as we are in Europe, that barren wasteland that in the days of the SNES never saw release of games such as Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy, in part because of Square’s localization teams lacking the ability to do so, and in part because back in those days, this was Sega-land.

So at last, Chrono Trigger announced. This combined with the many requests from our friend Craig to cover another track from the game (his favourite ever) finally made us look at the game’s music once more and get off our asses and do it. As we’ve already done the best piece of music in the game, Frog’s Theme (download coming soon!) it was a toss-up between this and Wind Scene. This slightly won out. But Wind Scene will also be coming. In time

This track has a lot of synth parts in it. The entire “Premonition” track is synth, and then throughout “Chrono Trigger” there’s a lot of quieter synth parts to help keep it close to the original. One major difference is where the original piece ‘pulls back’ and gets quieter, ours just gets louder and louder, building up to an even bigger ending. We had to. We are a rock band, after all.

Did You Know?
The original character in Chrono Trigger was meant to be called Chrono, but the game engine couldn’t handle a name that long for the English language version. As such, the h was dropped, and he was renamed Crono. In the subsequent PS1 release despite longer names being allowed, Chrono was still a blacklisted name – the game wouldn’t let you have it even if you swapped o’s for 0’s and so on. Press at this year’s E3 confirmed that the DS version will be the same, true to the original.

Dr. Wily Stage 1 (Mega Man 2)

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

This one has actually been sitting around on my hard drive for quite some time, and I’ve just been sitting around waiting for the most fitting moment to release it. Lucky for me, then, that Capcom announced Mega Man 9, a true 8-bit sequel in the vein of the NES masterpieces for the Wii’s WiiWare download service. It’s time to finish this one off and release it.

As I’ve mentioned before, there are certain tracks that as a game music cover band, you almost have to do – as a rites of passage, per se. Fast, awesome tunes that are built for rock instruments and are great fun to cover. The Decisive Battle is an example of this, and there’s some others which we intend to record in the future, such as FFVII’s Those Who Fight Further. Suggested by Lloyd who is a huge Mega Man fan, it was when he could already play the tune in full on his guitar that I knew it was time we recorded it.

There’s not a whole lot of synth in this piece. There’s some very low string backing to give the rhythm guitar a bit of support, and that’s it. Past that, it’s just guitar, bass and drums, and a few of Lloyd’s solos scattered in the piece to give it a bit of our own Red Wings flavor, seeing as almost everybody covers this track at some point in their VG Music career. We’re pretty happy with this, and we had a lot of fun arranging it, even if one particular part took hours to nail. I have no doubt we’ll be revisiting Mega Man’s music soon, too…

Did You Know?
Rock covers and remixes of this track are so widespread that a quick file-count reveals 25 different versions (or medleys containing this track) on my hard drive alone. We’ve just made that 26.

The Genius of Doctor Robotnik (Sonic Series)

Friday, July 4th, 2008

Sonic the Hedgehog is was awesome. Back in the day, his games were undoubtedly the best around, and one in particular, the epic “Sonic 3 & Knuckles” – two games combined into one – remains my favorite platform game of all time. ever. Even over juggernauts like Mario 3 & Mario 64. The music is fantastic too, with a wide variety of composers working on games throughout the series. This track features a few pieces from a few different composers.

The original idea for this mix has to be credited to a guy named Jay Reichard. He’s a musician who likes to mess around with game music in a midi format, and he came up with a medley piece called The Genius of Doctor Robotnik. It’s a medley of the boss themes from Sonic 1, 2, 3 & Knuckles all in one. I found it on his website and fell in love with it, and asked him if we could record it. He agreed, and a great little partnership was formed. Jay’s working with us on a new track right now – he’s a genius musician.

This track was really pretty straightforward to record. I took Jay’s midi and changed it around to fit our style better, adding, removing, expanding and slimming down several parts. And then the three of us went to it, recording the live instruments. The Robotnik tunes are some of the most memorable from Sonic, and this medley covers the best tracks from Sonic’s golden age.

Did You Know?
Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles were originally meant to be one game, but when Sonic 3 was going to slip from a Christmas release, Sega decided to make use of the Lock-On technology and shipped half of the game as Sonic 3 with the latter half to ship later as Sonic & Knuckles.