Interview with a ReMixer: Sixto Sounds

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!