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Adam Corn Feb 10, 2008

Ashley Winchester wrote:

Not to be a troll, but am I the only one not really excited about this being an orchestral album? Sometimes I feel people think having something orchestrated or performed by an orchestra automatically makes it "good" or better than what it's based on.

Well if you have a synth OST that's mostly trying to mimic an orchestra, and then a true orchestral performance of that OST - even with the arrangement being identical - I would say that as a rule the true orchestral version is indeed better.  Provided it's an even marginally competent performance there's an added subtlety that comes with live instrumentation that improves on mock-orchestral synth.

If the original synth material isn't orchestral in nature and/or the performance sucks ("Bombing Mission" from FF Dear Friends comes to mind) then sometimes the OST comes out on top.

Ramza Feb 10, 2008

Adam Corn wrote:

Well if you have a synth OST that's mostly trying to mimic an orchestra, and then a true orchestral performance of that OST - even with the arrangement being identical - I would say that as a rule the true orchestral version is indeed better.

What he said.

AND, considering there are plenty of orchestra-ish tracks from the two Mana games, Front Mission, Kingdom Hearts, and even a few from Live A Live, there's no reason why this album can't be RIDICULOUSLY good.

Whether or not it *will* be good? Only time will tell.

Chris Feb 10, 2008

Agreed with Ramza. My only worry is if Yoko Shimomura orchestrates herself rather than someone like Kaoru Wada being used. I've found her orchestrations emotional in the past but not particularly professional or original technically. Then again, I found Heroes of Mana to feature her most convincing orchestrations to date so she may have refined since Parasite Eve (as much as I love it). She's already confirmed for 'arrangement', which may or may not include orchestration.

TerraEpon Feb 11, 2008

Ashley Winchester wrote:

Not to be a troll, but am I the only one not really excited about this being an orchestral album? Sometimes I feel people think having something orchestrated or performed by an orchestra automatically makes it "good" or better than what it's based on.

Well I for one love orchestral music, and have since well before I ever got into game music.

Sure other arrange formats are fine, but it's not like we're getting "Shimomura Orchestra Arrange #3" or anything, this is only the second time she's gotten an arrange album at ALL -- with the first being PE Remixes and we all know how that turned out. I'm sure a wonderful piano CD could be made of her music, or a jazz one, or rock one or WHATEVER, but a lot of her music really lends itself well to full orchestral treatment.

I'll grant, most arrangers aren't Leopold Stokowski...


-Joshua

Datschge Feb 11, 2008

With the site stating "composed & arranged by Yoko Shimomura" I'd actually be highly disappointed when she's actually not doing the arrangements. Imo way too many composers rely on other people for arrangements anyway.

Chris Feb 11, 2008

Orchestration is distinct from arrangement. A case in point is Symphonic Suite from ActRaiser; Yuzo Koshiro arranged it offering all sorts of inspiring ideas and good relation to the original score while Kaoru Wada orchestrated it, ensuring it was technically refined and suitable for a real orchestra to perform. I'd absolutely love Yoko Shimomura to have an active role in this album as she is promised to do so; however, the use of an orchestrator as well could take it to the next level beyond the realms of emotional and functional but somewhat amateurish and hackneyed orchestrations.

Datschge Feb 11, 2008

Orchestration is only distinct from arrangement insofar that it requires familiarity of the tonal ranges of the instruments used as well as some experience in combining them to get the orchestral timbre desired. I can't say I've much respect for composers incapable of such rather basic requirements. If this CD is orchestrated by Kaoru Wada it's more of a Kaoru Wada CD to me, not something I'd credit Shimomura for or want to listen to when I want to hear music by Shimomura.

I guess the Orchestral Game Concert series was pretty nice in showcasing who dared to do orchestrations of their own compositions (and who didn't) as well as the results.

Chris Feb 11, 2008 (edited Feb 11, 2008)

Getting instrument pitches correct and a balanced timbre is orchestration in the most functional form. I've always considered desirable orchestration to be representative of a demanding art form, not a basic requirement. Given many game composers lack thorough training (Shimomura herself is only a piano performance scholar), I feel there is a lack of really exquisite orchestration in game music. I've only heard especially wonderful orchestrations from Where orchestration those who are extensive educated (e.g. Hayato Matsuo on Final Fantasy XII, Yoshihisa Hirano on Dirge of Cerberus to name a couple of well-known examples). There are some self-taught orchestrators like Hitoshi Sakimoto and Motoi Sakuraba that produce some wonderfully emotional orchestrations, but I don't feel they produce such technically refined work. Yoko Shimomura is better than most, but I still find powerful stuff like Parasite Eve's opera or main theme to be quite amateurish technically.

Ramza Feb 12, 2008

TerraEpon wrote:

Sure other arrange formats are fine, but it's not like we're getting "Shimomura Orchestra Arrange #3" or anything, this is only the second time she's gotten an arrange album at ALL -- with the first being PE Remixes and we all know how that turned out.

I'd also note her brief involvement in Dark Chronicle Premium Arrange. She did tracks 4 and 7 on that album. Both turned out GREAT, and 4 ("Sun") was ESPECIALLY awesome. I think Shimomura knows how to make a good arrangement. I think receiving some help from someone like Kaoru Wada or Shiro Hamaguchi on orchestration would help (I enjoyed reading people's debate on the differences of these two words, orchestration vs arrangement!)

Ramza

Wanderer Feb 12, 2008

There is a big difference between simulating an orchestra through synth and actually writing for a real one. The knowledge needed is actually pretty staggering. You have to go into that recording studio really knowing your stuff as there isn't any room for trial and error when you have several dozen musicians who are all being paid by the hour.

I was especially impressed with Hirano's work on DoC (although a good chunk of credit goes to Hamauzu for his detailed compositions).

(It's a shame that all the French Impressionists are dead. Now THEY knew how to orchestrate...)

Qui-Gon Joe Feb 12, 2008

Datschge wrote:

So you all want this CD to not be done by Shimomura? o.O

I don't!  That said, I apparently am some sort of musical idiot because I totally can't tell why her previous orchestrations haven't been technical masterpieces or whatever.

KujaFFman Feb 12, 2008

Qui-Gon Joe wrote:
Datschge wrote:

So you all want this CD to not be done by Shimomura? o.O

I don't!  That said, I apparently am some sort of musical idiot because I totally can't tell why her previous orchestrations haven't been technical masterpieces or whatever.

I agree. If she provides us with orchestrations as beautiful as those from Legend of Mana (if she handled them herself), then I am extremely happy.

Chris Feb 12, 2008 (edited Feb 12, 2008)

So you all want this CD to not be done by Shimomura? o.O

As I said, I want the arrangements to be done by Shimomura, the orchestrations to be done by someone else who really understands her music. If there were a quasi-orchestral arranged album (like her contributions on Dark Chronicle), I'd say Shimomura could handle it alone and produce a really great work. However, I completely agree with Wanderer (<3 Ravel!) that really knowing your stuff is necessary when a real orchestra is used.

Cedille Feb 15, 2008

TerraEpon wrote:

Hopefully it'll be a COMPLETE arranged disc, rather than just a couple tracks with OST tracks. I *hate* that, and am inclined to not buy but just DL the couple new tracks.

All 15 tracks, selected by her, are rearranged with an orchestra.

Datschge wrote:

With the site stating "composed & arranged by Yoko Shimomura" I'd actually be highly disappointed when she's actually not doing the arrangements.

Actually it states "Music Composed by Yoko Shimomura" in another page, though I know none of us trust the site in the slightest degree, to begin with.

Datschge Feb 15, 2008

Cedille wrote:

Actually it states "Music Composed by Yoko Shimomura" in another page, though I know none of us trust the site in the slightest degree, to begin with.

That's not much of an indication considering they list the SO OST right below it the same way (while it was also rearranged/extended by the composer and contains unrelated jpop stuff). So your latter statement is pretty much spot on...

Qui-Gon Joe Feb 15, 2008

In Shimomura's blog it SOUNDS like it's all orchestra tracks, but I could just be reading the Japanese wrong.

(also her post about how she plays Brawl is pretty amusing)

Jodo Kast Feb 15, 2008

Just finding out that there may be Live A Live arranged tracks was enough for me to put in a pre-order.

Cedille Feb 15, 2008

Datschge wrote:

That's not much of an indication considering they list the SO OST right below it the same way (while it was also rearranged/extended by the composer and contains unrelated jpop stuff).

I didn't intend to make someone think she merely composed the album just because another page indicated it. All I wanted to reaffirm was how incomplete and inaccurate the Square Enix music site usually has been, or they have to omit unrepresentative persons because of workload (besides the new SO album we still can pick up some arranged albums that don’t have proper credits, such as Potion).

Incidentally, their only modification I saw is an addition of Iwata name on the FFT soundtrack which happened, accidentally or otherwise, after I sent a complaint =P

KujaFFman Feb 16, 2008

At first, they were also saying that drammatica had a bonus DVD... So they simply copy and paste the last entry to add a new album, and eventually forget to change some details.

Ramza Feb 22, 2008

That music is amazing.

And the end of the trailer lists the date 2/26, not 3/26. Is that in reference to the release? Could we really have it in FOUR days?! I WANT!!!

Cedille Feb 22, 2008 (edited Feb 23, 2008)

That's when the track listing is revealed.

I just noticed there is a recorded message-like audio file which you can hear by clicking (♪) at the lower left of the flash. She suggests the fourth track be 'Domina' which needless to say stands for that track.

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