pixelchips “Behind the Scenes”: Snowman (Holiday Song #1)

Hey! Happy holidays.

Over on my SoundCloud page I am doing a fun little series of video game covers for the holiday season. I am uploading a new winter-themed video game cover each day until Christmas Eve. For the first of five songs, I chose “Snowman”, from Mother. You can take a listen here.

I tried to stay pretty faithful to the original at the start, though the tempo is more similar to the EarthBound version. I drew inspiration from both the original and the EarthBound version, as well as the Brawl remix, when coming up with my arrangement. In terms of instrumentation, I went for a light orchestral sound: a soft flute, a female choir, accompaniment on the harp, and a bass guitar. I made sure to emphasize the electric bass, as the bassline tends to be very prominent in many EarthBound songs. The melody is decorated with tubular bells and light pizzicatto strings to create that Christmas carol feel.

Then, the steady, echoey sleighbells come in, and the violin joins the flute for the melody line. As the song builds up, accompanied by glissando on the harp, I used a few subtle synths in the background to really give it that EarthBound vibe.

Then, the beat kicks in. I chose to leave the beat out during the first verse so it would be sort of a “surprise” element for the listeners; something to mix it up. An introductory lick on the toms leads into the steady beat. I opted for a more contemporary rock or pop-style drumkit rather than orchestral percussion simply because I thought it sounded better. I’m not super confident when it comes to making beats, but I tried my best to create a beat that would “carry” the rest of the song, and to give it a little more energy.

Halfway through the song, I decided to transition into the melody of Winters White! I figured it would be appropriate to mash up these two wintry EarthBound songs a bit, and plus it’s a nice callback to my Christmas cover from last year. I reworked Winters White into 6:8 time to stay consistent with Snowman, and I kept the instrument and general composition similar in style so the song would flow.

Overall, I’m quite happy with how it turned out. I’m really enjoying Kontakt 5 and it’s amazing factory library; I think the instruments sound so nice!