Brandon Strader

Composer and Studio Services

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New Arrangement ‘Cynic’s Mind’ from Under Night In-Birth EXE:Late!

Welp, I just used the last of my energy writing the game’s title again… am I kidding? Not even! It’s been an insane few weeks. Work has been absolutely awful, and I haven’t had any time off except to sleep and a few personal hours that vanished like tears in rain. But never you fear, for there is a new fan arrangement afoot!

This is from.. ok, nevermind. You see the title up there! That’s what it is from. It’s an arrangement of the Erudite Eyes theme. The style is similar, but less electronic and more rock. It’s weird, I can do electronic music, and I can do hard rock and metal, but if I try to combine them it always ends up being more of one than the other. In this case, it’s more guitar riffs and chuggs. I-I’ll try to g-get better. ;_;

Anywho, hope you like it. Pretty short notes this time, but there’s really not much to say. The song was quite tricky for some of the guitar parts. It’s faster and heavier than the other stuff I’ve been playing with lately. I think you may get a taste of different musical directions in the future. Until next time, take care! L’uomo mangia il gatto!

Statement Concerning OverClocked ReMix

This post is remaining public for the sake of transparency / historic record, but may be made private at a later date.

“They can come back, but they have to do so legally.” ~Donald J. Trump

Most of you probably don’t know that recently, OC ReMix attempted to monetize videos to get revenue on YouTube. They started doing this on June 14th, 2016 but recently were forced by public response to take it off until such a time that their ducks are in a row. The monetization had been active for 2 months without any of the artists being informed or asked permission, and none of the remixes were legally licensed so that revenue made would be shared with the publisher or rights holders of the music.

There were a lot of issues with this taking place, bocrprofitgate1ut the most glaring issue is that they did this without asking or informing anyone. They did it in a really shady manner, and tried to justify having done it by saying “nobody noticed for 2 months”. When confronted with this betrayal and questions of legality and ethics, some staff shared their opinions, while others — such as site owner djpretzel / David W. Lloyd — became very defensive, and ultimately brushed concerns aside. At the end of the short discussion, I was blamed for “misrepresenting” the situation, or making OCR “toxic” by airing my concerns, speculation, and grievances.

My biggest problem from the start was that they had gone behind our backs — we, the artists, who essentially provide all of the content for OCR — and did this without asking and without permission. Then, when confronted about it, they justified generating revenue on this platform outside of OCR (YouTube) by saying it’s “the same as advertisements on the OCR website.” I personally don’t see it that way. YouTube is a free service, and “remixes” need to be legally licensed so that the rights holders get their fair share of the revenue. If the YouTube aspect had been in the agreement to begin with, or if we had simply been asked if it was alright, this probably wouldn’t have been such a big deal. Site owner djpretzel / David W. Lloyd has stated that the Content Policy will rightfully be updated to reflect changing technologies, as the original policy had been written in 2007.


The second thing that bothered me about the situation is that rather than apologize, and simply state that they’re going to try to work harder to appear ethical and work more diligently to adhere to legality as much as possible, I was demonized and scapegoated by site owner djpretzel / David W. Lloyd. I was, more or less, accused of “poisoning the well” as he brushed aside the negative concerns surrounding the situation. I have often, for multiple years, been critical of OC ReMix’s lack of accountability and transparency. Going forward, I will probably also be critical of their lack of trust and good will. As someone who provides content for the website, and essentially a customer (if you would consider OCR to be a company), I am in no position to be scapegoated any more than any other customer would be for asking questions.  That’s unprofessional, and demonizing me over the situation is embarrassing and shows a lack of character, something that has been coming more to the forefront with how OCR conducts its business.


As a result of this whole disrespectful display, and waste of my time, I am ready to remove all of my personal content that I produced alone from OC ReMix. However, I decided to do what OCR was not capable of and leave this decision up to the fans. Only 8 people voted in the poll I pinned on Twitter, sadly, which is hardly a sample size worthy of note. But in an age where people don’t really care that much to begin with, this is probably the best I can do outside of running the poll for a month and publicizing the situation in other ways. So in brief: I’m not going to request my content removed from OC ReMix.  However, as a result of this petty, inept nonsense, I am going to be seeking other avenues to release and promote my own content — legally, and in a manner that I can’t be exploited in some way. This may mean many less submissions to OCR, and more legally licensed, high quality projects released through Loudr, available on iTunes and Spotify, in addition to original music released through similar platforms.

(ed: I forgot to mention YouTube. I will still put all my new mixes on YouTube unless they’re made for a project.)

I have no intention to end any of my current projects. The only difference you might see is less fresh content going towards OC ReMix from me personally, yet the projects that are currently active (FF3, FF8, others) should ultimately not be affected. I can only hope that the revenue generated by upcoming projects allows the staff to look past their grudges, as the artists involved deserve to have their content heard if they agree to release their content through OC Remix.

“Leaving it up to the fans is the best possible course of action, in my opinion. I will leave my content available on OC ReMix for those who wish to still see it and enjoy it on that platform. I may not be happy, but if my music brings joys to others, I’ll live with it.”

Thank you for reading,
Brandon E. Strader

New Arrangement ‘Save Chloe’ from Life is Strange!

Hey! Here’s a new fan arrangement from Life is Strange covering Golden Hour and Blackwell Academy by the amazing Jonathan Morali. You might notice my change of language here — I find it more accurate and more fitting going forward into the future. At some point, I will differentiate works by being fan arrangements from games, covers of existing band songs, and hopefully original stuff. I still need to change things to match graphically,  and can’t retroactively change some things, but this is how it’ll be! I have so many plans I need to catch up on but believe me, it’ll happen!

Life is Strange is one of the most important games I’ve ever played, and it has an amazing soundtrack of both original compositions by Jonathan Morali and a nice licensed soundtrack as well, which both go hand in hand to present an amazing indie music atmosphere. Although my remix pales in comparison to the original, I think it is one of my most successful mixes in terms of accomplishing what I set out to do from beginning to end.

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New ReMix ‘Beyond’!

Bonjour! This was my entry into Dwelling of Duel’s MAGFest month this year, but interestingly, it’s also one of the songs I had planned to make for my vocal remix album, Endless Night, which is totally still a thing. Right now I am planning to not take on any new free remixing projects or other type of free projects so that I can focus on a few important things: my original album and my vocal remix album. These most importantly, but also some other projects that I owe to people. The sad fact is that if I don’t strictly limit the amount of projects I take on, then this vocal remix album is never going to happen. And honestly, it’s more important that I finish it (and my original album of course) than creating occasional remixes with no specific goal in mind. Having said that, I’ll probably still have remixes to put up on youtube for you guys, and I might still enter Dwelling of Duels too, but seriously, I need to focus on these albums.

‘Beyond’ kinda follows the theme of Chapter 1, which is orchestrated rock / acoustic with a little bit of heavy guitar thrown in, but mostly emotional ballad type songs. For example, “Don’t Even Try” is also part of this chapter. So very happy with how this song came out, and incredibly overjoyed to be working with Cheryl for the album. She said she is interested in doing vocals throughout the album, so it will be a very special collaboration. I won’t have to worry about finding a bunch of people, and then receiving inconsistent results! It’s all going to be good.

As for Endless Night, so many ideas are still flowing for the album. A couple songs have been dropped, but have been replaced with more lyrically suitable replacements. Most notably the prologue and epilogue have been replaced. However I am not against dropping a song here or there if I just find it too tricky to work with. Preferably I’ll do that before I try working on said songs though. Really exciting songs coming next, good collaborations. Can’t share too many details now. I will have to start withholding some of the songs soon — if I just released them all as soon as they were done, there’d be no anticipation for the album. If anyone is still following along, THANK YOU!! I will make the original album and the remix album GREAT AGAIN!!

New ReMix ‘Familiar Waves’

Hey folks! I really need to update the website more often. Hopefully I’ll get to that. I have some new remixes to share, so you can either check them out on my youtube page, or wait until I add them all here. ;)

Here is Familiar Waves, a song from Ecco the Dolphin (Sega CD) that I made for a compilation called SOUND WAVES. I wanted to try something more new age-like, easy listening, without a lot of instruments. I keep getting burnt out by making stuff that’s fully orchestrated. I love orchestrated stuff, but it’s a lot of work and a ton of tiny details to keep in mind. Playing each part isn’t so bad, but humanizing everything with modulation, EQing it all, mixing it all… it adds up. Though that’s the story of any studio musician, writing and playing the music is always going to be less of a chore than the post-production stuff, which is more like crunching the numbers on some level.

So this was a great break from that workflow. A couple small electric guitar lines, bass guitar, a few synths, and drums. The idea was to make a wall of sound without actually writing in a wall of sound, and that bass guitar combined with the synth pad did a great job of making this small ensemble sound “big”! Not to mention that eBow in there.

I hope you dig the mix, and look forward to short stories about ones I’ll post in the future. :) Some of my jobs I’ve written about before have dissipated while others may be on the horizon. I’ll learn from my mistake of writing about stuff that has the potential to fall apart. I have faith in future projects, but that’s not enough! Until next time, adios!

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