TSSZ Fan Fridays: Tee Lopes

TSSZ Fan Fridays: Tee Lopes

by December 16, 2011

Sonic 2 HD’s Music Man, Interview Inside

Music is one of the most recognizable aspects of the Sonic series; just a few notes from a song in the older games can send a gamer into fits of nostalgia. With that in mind, some Sonic fans take it upon themselves to put their own twist on the tried-and-true tunes that millions of gamers love. This week, TSSZ spotlights Tee Lopes, a fan with some impressive remixes to his name. His work largely consists of remixes from the original Genesis trilogy, along with a handful of original pieces and the soundtrack to the upcoming fan game Sonic 2 HD. We have included a sample of his work below. Additionally, we conducted an interview with him about his experience with the series, and that can be read below the video.

We thank VizardJeffhog for bringing his work to our attention. We’re always looking for fan projects to spotlight, so if you have something great and unique to share, send us a link at fansonfriday@tssznews.com.

The following interview has been edited only to correct spelling and grammar errors for the sake of readability.

TSSZ: What inspired you to start creating your Sonic remixes?

Tee Lopes: It started with a “what if”. What if the Genesis had a better sound chip back then? If the composers could have created soundtracks without technical limitations, what would it have sounded like? So, I started remaking songs from my favorite games, using more sophisticated sounds while trying to keep the original feeling.

TSSZ: Can you describe the creative process you go through to create your music?

Tee Lopes: The process is very simple. I listen to the original track once, and try to absorb its feeling and details as well as I can. After that, I begin building the song right away, usually starting with the hook, and I recreate all the elements I can remember using instruments that I find appropriate. Whatever I can’t remember (or is simply missing from the original song), I just make up on the spot. I only listen to the original song once. That gives me room for creation. I don’t want the song to sound like an exact copy, or a MIDI file, or whatever. Also, I like changing the chords and adding solos.

TSSZ: Approximately how long does it take to bring a remix from conception to completion?

Tee Lopes: Four to six hours if FL Studio doesn’t crash, which unfortunately is quite common. Usually I do it in one shot, and new ideas pop up as I go. When the feeling is there, you’ve got to take advantage of it!

TSSZ: How did you get involved with Sonic 2 HD and what has it been like working with that team?

Tee Lopes: Someone on board happened to hear a couple of my remixes on YouTube, and they thought they would fit great into the game. They sent a really cool poster they made, and I thought the art was great. I was in after looking at it!

TSSZ: Is there any one remix you’ve created that you’re particularly fond of? If so, which one is it?

Tee Lopes: I’m fond of all of them, because they’re re-invented into what I wish they would sound like. Luckily, technology allows me to reach results that are extremely similar to what I had in mind to begin with. Some older songs’ instruments don’t sound super real, as I intended them to (partially because of the less-than-realistic way I’ve sequenced them,) but I’m getting the hang of it. I’d say my favorite pieces are “Spring Yard Zone Re-Invented” and “Sonic 2 Musical Trip” because they explore different musical genres and because they took forever to complete!

TSSZ: Which Sonic game was the first you ever played, and which one is currently your favorite?

Tee Lopes: It was actually Sonic the Hedgehog for the Mega Drive (as we call it in Portugal), at a friend’s house. As a kid, my family couldn’t afford to buy me video games, so I would daydream of the music, the colors, the character, and draw Sonic all the time. I’m 25 today, and proud to say Sonic is still my hero!