Mode7 (2009)

Mode7 by Main FingerMode7 was a turning point for me. The album was 5 years in the making. Part of this was due to the fact that it was mostly made on a computer more than a decade out of date.

During its development, I studied Sound Engineering. This greatly increased the clarity of my mixes. On top of that, I acquired a lot of new software and hardware since the last album, Some Assembly Required. This allowed me to include fairly believable orchestral sounds, 8bit sounds, and more powerful drum tracks than ever before. I took this album much more seriously than any album before it.

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  1. Unpleasant Noise (A James Brown Tribute) [ 2:38 ] This song is made using a sample from Godzilla vs. Monster Zero and samples from as many different James Brown songs as I could cram together. I had been wanting to use that Godzilla clip for a long time and this finally gave me the opportunity. I’m a huge fan of James Brown’s music and wanted to pay my respects in song.
  2. Carnival Cave (originally from Sonic the Hedgehog 2) [ 3:11 ] The Mystic Cave Zone is quite possibly my favorite song from the entire Sonic series. I’ve attempted to remix it several times and failed. Finally, I was able to make a remix of it I was truly happy with. You might notice a certain homage to a famous song in the solo.
  3. Doomsday Village (originally from American McGee’s Alice) [ 2:37 ] The soundtrack to American McGee’s Alice is largely ambient. Village of the Doomed was definitely the standout track for me. Even before the album’s release, this song started to get a bit of a cult following.
  4. Relaxin’ in Hyrule (originally from Zelda 2: The Adventures of Link)
    [ 2:25 ] This song contains a guitar sample of Mountain Con’s “I Woke Up and the Morning was Grey”. In fact, when I listened to that song, I immediately thought of the House music from Zelda 2. Right then, I knew I wanted to make a remix of it using the sample. Though the song starts with vibraphones, it evolves into Chip Hop midway through.
  5. Passion (Punch Drunk Mix) (originally from Kingdom Hearts 2)
    [ 6:34 ] I got the soundtrack to Kingdom Hearts 2 before the game came to the states. In fact, the original version of my remix came out long before the game released here. The American version is labeled Sanctuary, but since the Japanese version that I remixed is labeled as Passion, I went with that name instead.
  6. Don Your Armor, Armadillo (originally from Mega Man X) [ 2:49 ] This song starts with a triumphant orchestral intro leading into a fast-paced drum ‘n bass frenzy. I actually ripped the SPC guitar from the original SNES audio, layered it with effects, and used it to make both solos featured in the song.
  7. Beware of the Stalker (originally from Castlevania & Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse) [ 4:06 ] This is actually a combination of many different Castlevania songs. The most dominant are Stalker (hence the name) and Evergreen. At many points, riffs of different songs from the series are overlapped to create some interesting combinations.
  8. Dentists Unite [3:10 ] There is an interesting story behind this song. I am a web developer by trade and many of the sites I’ve worked on have been for cosmetic dentists. A lot of these sites have background music. What I did here is took several of these dental website loops, sliced them up together, and added my own instruments on top of it all.
  9. Enter the Shrine (originally by The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening)
    [ 2:30 ] Even using the GameBoy’s crude sound chip, the Face Shrine in Link’s Awakening had a tune that gave me the creeps. It was eerie, but addicting. My remix is much faster than the original, reducing a bit of the creepy factor, but giving it my own unique flavor.
  10. A Timeline Eliminated (originally from Chrono Cross & Chrono Trigger)
    [ 3:03 ] Interestingly enough, this remix started out double the speed it is now. Part way through writing it, I went to half speed for some reason and liked the way it sounded much better. This is a combination of The Dead Sea and Sealed Door with a little bit of Schala mixed in. I’m happy with how well all 3 of these songs meld together into one. I don’t believe it even feels like a medley, though technically it is.
  11. Balance of Power (originally from Metroid Prime 2 & Metroid)
    [ 3:04 ] The rhythm distortion in this song is actually my keytar ran through a distortion pedal with some effects layered onto it. This made for a rather interesting sound. It combines the intro tracks from both Prime 2 and the original Metroid.
  12. Shootin’ Both Ways (originally from Section Z) [ 3:01 ] The stage music from Section Z has been a favorite of mine since childhood. This started out as an original song until my good friend, Geoffio, pointed out the disturbing similarity to Section Z in what I had written so far. Rather than get disheartened at the work of my subconscious, I decided to go along with it and evolve it into a full blown Section Z remix.
  13. Doomsday Village (Thin Sliced Mix) (originally from American McGee’s Alice) [ 2:36 ] Because of the popularity of the preview version of my original Doomsday Village, I was reluctant to change it too much when revising all of the tracks. I had ideas I wanted to try, but didn’t want to upset the people who had already become so attached to the original. My solution was to create an alternate remix. This way, I would be free to make as many changes as I wanted, no matter how radical. This version is full of hip hop beats and lots of slicing.
  14. Requiem of Lost Beats [ 2:57 ] When I first purchased Miroslav Philharmonik, I felt the need to make an original song that used it heavily. It’s a mix of heavy beats, synth arpeggios, and digital orchestral performances done via my MIDI keyboard.
  15. The Brink of Time (originally from Chrono Trigger) [ 1:33 ] This is a bonus track only available on physical copies of the album. This was the first thing I did to test out my new orchestral plugin. It’s a fully orchestrated rendition of The Brink of Time from Chrono Trigger. All of the tracks (with the exception of a few minimalistic ones) were played by me on my MIDI keyboard. In fact, several of the instruments were played simultaneously and simply assigned to different hands. I chose to do this song since I already knew how to play it on piano by memory.