Sonic 2 Boss Theme: An in Depth Study of Remixology

This is my final project for Digital Media 2. The only requirement for the assignment is that the final product impresses my professor. I think this will do the job quite nicely. I took a concept we studied in class, remixes, and stretched it to extremes. This is essentially 3 remixes of the boss theme from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The first is a faithful re-instrumentation of the original song. The second is a sort of funk/reggae/blues fusion. I really don’t know what genre it falls into. The third is detuned, high-gain metal with lots of palm muting.

This song worked really well for this because of how simplistic it is. It is just a brief intro and then a riff that repeats four times, building in intensity each time. It was very easy to adapt the riff to different styles. The second section took the lead riff, changed it to a different scale, and then played it over different chords and a super groovy bass line. I put some fairly intense musical theory into deciding exactly what scale to use and what the bass should play, but I won’t go into grueling detail here, unless someone really wants me to.

The third section is actually pretty straight forward. I started with the chord progression of the original song: A G A G E. I played harsh and dissonant versions of these chords with palm muted notes and additional dissonant chords between them. I then took the counter lead riff from the original song and played a dissonant sounding version of it on a clean guitar. The bass is actually synthesized here. The guitar is playing in drop A, and when it gets that low, I just think synthesized bass adds higher quality low end that detuning a bass guitar to drop A as well. There isn’t too much to say about the lead synth here,;it is just playing rapid notes from a diminished scale.

The visuals really aren’t the main point of this project, but I still wanted to put together something that looks nice. I wore red and black, the same colors as Dr. Eggman, the guy you fight when this song plays. The synth solo in the second part of the cover is the only video that was recorded live as I was recording the audio. The reason for this is that I was improvising and there would have been no other way to get it to look right as I would be playing something completely different from what is shown in the video. If you look closely, the guitar isn’t even plugged in in the video. I also threw in some footage of the boss fights that this theme accompanies. The trial version watermark of shame is clearly visible, but at least I’m being honest about being cheap instead of pirating the full version.

Software used:

All audio recording was done in REAPER

Plugins from Waves Silver as well as Waves GTR Solo were used to shape the recordings

The drums were made with MT Power drumkit

All synths were created using U-He Hive

The video editing was done in Sony Movie Studio Platinum

The video was recorded with Logitech Webcam Software

The gameplay was recorded using Bandicam.