OSV: What was the first soundtrack that made you take note of video game music?
Tweex: When I look back on my life spent gaming, I’m not sure if there was ever ONE particular soundtrack that made me suddenly aware of how great VG music was. For me, it was more about single songs that would reach out and grab my attention. Some of the earliest tracks were pieces like the “Map 1” music in Super Mario Bros. 3, the opening song in Donkey Kong Country, “Click Clock Woods” in Banjo-Kazooie, and “Kokiri Forest” in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. However, the real “wake up” moment for me came back in the days of Napster when I inadvertently stumbled across several orchestral versions of music from Final Fantasy and Ocarina of Time. That was the moment when I truly realized that VG music was in fact REAL music that was simply hindered by the technology of its time. Since then, the music in a video game is a core aspect that I both consciously and sub-consciously evaluate while I play!
OSV: Tell us a little bit about starting up your business, Tweex Music, and your previous accomplishments through that.
Tweex: Tweex Music began as far back as 2006 when I first decided to start marketing myself while also really learning how to produce music digitally. Back then, I was known as Tweek. However, two years later I had 2 very defining moments: first was the release of my debut album, Alter Ego, in which I changed my name to Tweex and second was my first “real” job where I licensed a piece of music for a Delta Airlines commercial. Since then, Tweex Music has been a production company where I’ve been able to do work on numerous advertising campaigns/commercials, films, television, animation shorts, and video games.
OSV: What made you decide on arranging Final Fantasy XI for your new album, Land of Vana’diel.
Tweex: Final Fantasy XI is, by far, the game that I have spent the most time playing. My connection with the game is beyond any other I’ve ever played. Because I was such a fan, I came into very close and intimate contact with the music and developed a love for it that rivals most others. However, where the game succeeds in creating fantastic themes, I felt that it fell short in the production of the music. I wanted to see what the music would sound like if it had been performed by an entire orchestra which ended up by the direction for The Land of Vana’diel.
But even more than just wanting to hear the music with better production quality, I wanted to pay homage to a game that created truly incredible music. I wanted to be able to re-experience the world of the game but instead of playing it, I would find that nostalgia in the music. My greatest hope is that The Land of Vana’diel does justice to the legacy that Uematsu, Mizuta, and Tanioka created.
OSV: Can you tell us what gear and software you made use of for this album?
Tweex: The Land of Vana’diel was made entirely usual digital samples; i.e. no live instruments. I’m a Mac man, so I run everything through a Mac Pro tower and I use Logic as my main DAW. I ended up using a wide variety of sample packages for the album including East West Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra, Stormdrum, and Ministry of Rock. I made use of other orchestral packages like VSL, LA Scoring Strings, and Project SAM. In the end, it was all about finding a big collection of sounds and layering them all together.
OSV: What can we expect from you in the future?
Tweex: I’m constantly releasing content on my main site over at www.tweexgaminggeek.com with stuff like music, videos, comics, blogs, and more. In terms of future projects, I have a couple personal projects that I’m working on right now at various stages of completion as well as a couple projects for different clients that are being completed. I am itching with anticipation to announce them, but unfortunately, I have stay tight lipped for now lest I wish to be sued :)!
Land of Vana’Diel is now available for free at www.landofvanadiel.com!Tags: 5 Quick Questions, Arrangements, Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy XI, Interviews, Kumi Tanioka, Naoshi Mizuta, Nobuo Uematsu, Remixes, Tweex