Interview with a ReMixer: Sixto Sounds

The hardworking Texas native Juan Medrano takes time out of his busy day to be interviewed in this classic. Or something. It was conducted in February, so enjoy this article from Mirby’s personal archives.

Originally Posted at Feb 17, 2010 5:47PM PST, updated on November 3, 2010 10:41 PDT for ThaSauce

Juan P. Medrano, alias Sixto Sounds, is a man who lives by his state’s standard: Everything’s bigger in Texas. His remixes are big on the rock, heavy on the guitar, and huge on the quality. Whether it’s remixing a track from a classic Ninja Turtles game or from a recent entry in the Tales of series, he’s doing it, and doing it well. Being a contributor to OCR for 5 years, half the time it’s been around, he’s built up a stable of 20+ tracks, including one to the Dwelling of Duels that’s been accepted and updated over at OCR and a self-admitted ThaSauce exclusive. I recently interviewed him, and this is what he had to say.

Mirby: What started your interest in video game music?

Sixto: Hmmm… well, as a kid i didn’t play video games THAT much. I dabbled in a little Nintendo, little bit of Sega. But there were some games like Punch-Out!!, Afterburner, Sreet Fighter 2, [Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV] Turtles in Time where the music just kind of stuck with me. In my head I could always here the music being played by a live band.

M: I was the same way (just different games).

S: Anyway, once I picked up guitar at around 11-12 years of age, I pretty much forgot about video games; wasn’t till maybe 2004 that a friend shared some MP3s with me. Remixes from OCR; It was Prot’s Brainsick Metal and djp’s GerudoInterlude.

M: Two of my favorites! Nice!

S: Yeah, that really drew me into the site and that’s when I started listening to the music of all these older games I used to love…

M: And that’s what started your interest in remixing tracks yourself, I take it?

S: Yeah, exactly; I figured, why not?

M: Are there any tracks you’ve done that you’re more proud of, or like more, than the others?

S: Let’s see… Well, my favorite one might be my Super Hang-On remix “Burn, Baby, Burn.” I think I like it the most because, well, I went in with the idea of making it sound a certain way…

M: Actually, I haven’t heard that one. So I’m going to get it now. I actually have no idea how I missed it…

S: Hehe. I wanted to give it this 80s kind of feel. Not so much 80s metal or anything. Also, this was the first time I was able to get everything sounding just the way I wanted.

M: That’s pretty cool! To continue, which do you prefer; solo tracks, or collaborations?

S: I prefer the solo stuff. To be honest, i’ve never really collaborated, per se… Except for one time, with zircon, on the FF7 project [Voices of the Lifestream].

M: Lunatic Moon?

S: Yeah. In that track, zircon and I wrote together. In all of my other collabs the music had pretty much been written out already.

M: Great track, one of my favorites. Especially with your 45 second or so guitar solo type thing.

S: I do wish I could re-do it; it’s not one of my favorites.

M: Ah, well a true artist in never satisfied with their work, I suppose.

S: True that.

M: Any tracks you’d like to remix in the future?

S: Tons!

M: Such as?

S: Well, I’ve got about 23 project tracks i’m working on; stuff from Megaman X games, Final Fantasy 9, the Dragon Quest games… Lots of stuff. Plus, I’m going to be remixing another track from Turtles in Time, which is probably my favorite game soundtrack.

M: For the Boss Themes project?

S: Yeah.

M: And it is a fairly epic soundtrack.

S: That it is.

M: Fun game too, for that matter.

S: Definitely, even today. That re-shelled version is so great.

M: Re-shelled? Is that some sort of re-release for XBLA or something?

S: Yeah; a remake of the arcade game in 3D. It’s really fun when you play online with 3 friends.

M: That it would be.

M: Do you have a favorite track from a game?

S: Hmmm… That’s a tough one. It would be a toss up between Ken’s Theme in Street Fighter 2 or Sewer Surfing from Turtles in Time.

M: Both of which you’ve remixed.

S: Right!

M: Do you have a favorite video-game composer?

S: I’d probably have to say Motoi Sakuraba. I love Nobuo [Uematsu]’s Final Fantasy stuff, but I dunno…

M: He’s pretty cool. Tales games and Golden Sun, that’s all that really needs to be said

S: I’ve always liked how Motoi writes; more of a modern style. Yeah, I love the Tales soundtracks and the Star Ocean’s.

M: I always liked how there’s a Sakuraba (and Sakuraba III) in Tales of Phantasia. One last question. What do you enjoy most about remixing?

S: Well… I like recording and mixing music. Period. I just love doing it. It feels like it’s something that comes naturally to me. Remixing video game music, though… I guess I just love being part of such a big community, being able to make something that other people enjoy. I still haven’t met any of these people as I’ve never been to MAGFest or a meetup, but I’d like to some day.

M: Well you’re being interviewed by one right now. Thank you for your time. It has been an honor, Sixto.

S: Anytime.

You can find Sixto’s page on OCR here: Artist: Sixto Sounds (Juan P. Medrano), and his page here on ThaSauce at Artist: Sixto Sounds – ReMixer. I’ll keep interviewing them as they come, so stay tuned. Until next time, game on!

Taylor Brown

Author: Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown, alias Mirby, has been playing games for as long as she can remember. As such, she's also been listening to the music contained within said games, and enjoying it for just as long. She's interviewed quite a few remixers, including Level 99, Sixto Sounds, zircon, and even djpretzel! Now that she's at ThaSauce, she's gonna keep the interviews and scoops coming! Stay tuned!