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Hello there, guys! I'm a little unsure here about the forum rules concerning orchestrations. After all it's not a 100% composition in the strict meaning of the word. I think it should fit here, though. If not, I appologize and promise to never do it again.

Down to business, then. I made an orchestration of some themes from Metal Gear on the MSX: 'Operation N313', 'Theme of Tara' and 'Red Alert'. Three separate pieces that I've merged into a medley. The game was released in 1987, it's a stealth action game (meaning you must avoid being seen) and used only 8-bit sounds on its soundtrack. Although I've heard a lot of orchestrations for the Theme of Tara, I have never found a 'Red Alert' rendition.

I tried to emulate the military feeling we get from the whole Metal Gear franchise, that's why I've abundantly used the snare and brass in strongest parts throughout the piece.

Operation N313 works like an overture, introducing an epic adventure but leaving something in the air. I wanted this part to be just brass, percussion at really high dynamics and just a little bit of winds to set the mood of the entire piece. There's also a trumpet arpeggio that I'm not sure it's possible to play at the original tempo, so I made a rallentando there to try to solve that and also increase drama at the overture's end.

Theme of Tara is the main theme of the game. It plays while the main character sneaks past guards and surveillance cameras. Pizzicato strings and sttaccato winds to simulate that misterious, tiptoe hidden action and sudden tutti and percussion attacks to show some danger. Later on it develops into a more fast paced rhythm and gets more military when the full orchestra plays together until the end of this part.

Red Alert is the chasing theme; it plays when the main character is spoted sneaking around and it's really really fast, meaning it may be impossible for an orchestra to play. I slowed the tempo so it feels more realistic, but maybe it's still not possible to play, I don't know. Anyway, lots of stuff happening at the same time. I tried to switch the melodies between sections from time to time and created accompaniments and counterpoints based on the original.

I have attached a mp3 file with the original 8-bit music edited to have the same strucuture as my medley, for comparison. What I would like to know is if I'm on the right track orchestration wise; if I succeeded in conveying the moods I described with the instrumentation I chose; and what could I have done to better achieve those.

Again, I'm not sure about the forum rules on orchestration, as it's not my original music. I apologize once again and am ready to remove the thread at the mods' command. Thanks for listening and be nice, please! I'm studying and learning, I swear!

Metal Gear 8-bit.mp3

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In an attempt to answer to your question posted in chat earlier,  I think maybe why you arent getting any feedback is due to the fact that your submission is a remake/remix, rather than an outright composition. While it does sound good, the dissection forum is more for those that have actually composed the work they post. Hope this helps.  

Thanks Dankk! Can't say I wasn't expecting that. Not that much though. But it's ok, I'll keep orchestrations out of music dissection from now on. Also, thanks for listening!

Dankk said:

In an attempt to answer to your question posted in chat earlier,  I think maybe why you arent getting any feedback is due to the fact that your submission is a remake/remix, rather than an outright composition. While it does sound good, the dissection forum is more for those that have actually composed the work they post. Hope this helps.  

I took a listen to your arrangement. There were some good orchestration moments, and it sounds like you know around an orchestra. 

The down side to this orchestration is that at times it sounded more disney than metal gear. The the whole section where you had pizzicato string section with the clarinet solo just didn't match up with the source material and kind of took the heaviness of the martial and almost made it sound comical. 
Other than that I can't say much except its very well orchestrated, due to the fact that this isn't an original composition.  

Thanks a lot Tyler! I haven't looked at the first section like that, but now that you mentioned it, it does sound a bit comical. Interesting fact is that I'm quite happy you find it sounding disney-ish.

I was really testing what the reception would be towards an orchestration and now I know this might not be the place for it. Sorry guys, just original music from now on!

Tyler Hughes said:

I took a listen to your arrangement. There were some good orchestration moments, and it sounds like you know around an orchestra. 

The down side to this orchestration is that at times it sounded more disney than metal gear. The the whole section where you had pizzicato string section with the clarinet solo just didn't match up with the source material and kind of took the heaviness of the martial and almost made it sound comical. 
Other than that I can't say much except its very well orchestrated, due to the fact that this isn't an original composition.  

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