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jonny_rat

The lazy gaming MIDI cover challenge

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Here's what you need to do: 

  1. Grab a midi file for a gaming tune you love from one of the many sites out there (e.g...)
  2. Drop the file into your favourite DAW or whatever you like to use (Live for example will assign a track to each channel in the file)
  3. Assign instruments to each track
  4. Tweak it until you're happy with it (drum tracks/samples in particular may need a bit of editing)
  5. Profit

 

I think this is more fun with tracks from 8 or 16 bit systems, but it's up to you. Either keep it in the style of the original or do something weird with it! It's easier with some files than others: I tried a couple that took me ages to work out what each instrument was supposed to be, but with others it's more obvious.

 

Here is one I did a while back (and just realised I'd like to hear what others might come up with)..

 

 

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17 hours ago, jonny_rat said:

Here's what you need to do: 

  1. Grab a midi file for a gaming tune you love from one of the many sites out there (e.g...)
  2. Drop the file into your favourite DAW or whatever you like to use (Live for example will assign a track to each channel in the file)
  3. Assign instruments to each track
  4. Tweak it until you're happy with it (drum tracks/samples in particular may need a bit of editing)
  5. Profit

 

I think this is more fun with tracks from 8 or 16 bit systems, but it's up to you. Either keep it in the style of the original or do something weird with it! It's easier with some files than others: I tried a couple that took me ages to work out what each instrument was supposed to be, but with others it's more obvious.

 

Here is one I did a while back (and just realised I'd like to hear what others might come up with)..

 

 

 

Two things.

1. Sometimes Midi files have the insturment they roughly emulated within the midi files for each track.

2. Beware program and bank changes - if you change a synth, the bank or program change embedded in the midi track(s) will often change it so something else so ensure you delete that bit if you can't work out why that happening.

 

 

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32 minutes ago, Dimahoo said:

 

Two things.

1. Sometimes Midi files have the insturment they roughly emulated within the midi files for each track.

2. Beware program and bank changes - if you change a synth, the bank or program change embedded in the midi track(s) will often change it so something else so ensure you delete that bit if you can't work out why that happening.

 

 

 

Cheers! Talk me through number 1: any idea how a modern day DAW would interpret that information? Or would it just ignore it?

2 is really useful as well: I know Live does a good job of separating out instrument and bank/program change info, but no idea about other bits of software.

 

I wonder: is there some kind of inspector application for midi files that would tell you metadata, bank changes, etc? Might be handy..

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48 minutes ago, jonny_rat said:

 

Cheers! Talk me through number 1: any idea how a modern day DAW would interpret that information? Or would it just ignore it?

2 is really useful as well: I know Live does a good job of separating out instrument and bank/program change info, but no idea about other bits of software.

 

I wonder: is there some kind of inspector application for midi files that would tell you metadata, bank changes, etc? Might be handy..

 

The two issues are interlinked somewhat.

 

Firstly its done because the idea is to allow any media player, Roland Sound Canvas or general midi player to play the file with the nearest instruments as many access your soundcard which has a GSM built in (or they have their own module).

 

1. DAWS won't usually ignore embedded Midi data - at least Reaper and Cubase don't. I've not used Reason for a while and can't speak for anything else.

 

Some VST's will change their bank or parameters to match the assigned midi instrument or the original file if/where a Midi standard module was used (so if you used a Roland Sound Canvas VST, it would set itself up properly).

Some VST's just set themselves to their default start sound, but...if you don't remove the program/bank change having changed your sound in the instrument, it'll default back again...

Some don't react. So listen to whats happening on the track. Change the sound, then play it back. If the sound hasn't changed then you should be oka to tweak away.

 

2. When you look into the note late (with all the note midi data) all the other 127 functions have their own lane somewhere nearby running concurrently to match the sequencers timeline. 

Those two Program/Bank, etc are the two to check. They usually have a notch or mark at the start of the midi file so just remove it.

 

Basically in each midi file you'll have the number of tracks used and within each, their 127 midi components (per track - its a lot more data then you realise!). Everything else should be left as is as you'll want to keep pitch bends and so forth to mimic the orignal file.

 

It sounds more complex then is usually is tbh but annoying if you don't realise.

 

One other thing to note is that Amp or filter envelopes of original sounds arn't always correct.

They won't always fade as they're meant to as the instrument used at the time would have its own envelope set and midi files doesn't usually hold that info. But it does depend on how the orignal was recorded. Again you'll hear the difference as the note will appear to stick longer then your reference track.

 

So you may need to add your own volume envelope in the timeline to decay the volume or change your instruments envelope "decay" setting to suit.

Or leave it. Your choice!

 

 

 

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"NU W.A.R." (Hubbard) 

 

Shame they don't have more choice really so i went with the one i knew best.

One of my favourite SID tunes (and an average Uridium clone). Its very long....as Hubbards Tune's usually are but a fantastic piece nevertheless.

I didn't try to stray to far from the orignal in sound as the i think hubbards filtering, sound choice and LFO usage is pretty deliberate so i used similar pulses and saws along with some grittier patches.

 

 

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Really enjoyed this thread - it wasn't something I'd considered doing before.  This one took time because it's only got a bit of the original midi, and it's not gaming related - but here's Stop! by Erasure, with all voices either revoiced, removed or replaced live.

 

 

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I've been sitting on this for ages because the midi file went all out of kilter, but i tidied up the second half and it sounded alright (but different from the original)

 

 

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This is still rough but I'm dead pleased with it.  It's an Amiga Soundtracker module from the very early days, originally by Titan of Northstar. He went on to be Uncle Tom of Scoopex and did some of the Amiga's best tunes but this on blew me away. It was the first module I heard that slipped in extra notes and sounds into the channels, so you would hear a missing bass note when a ride cymbal came in, or you'd hear arpeggios fading out and back in, with drum fills just at the right moment.  The original module is a proper banger, I love it, and over the years I've played about with it.  Heres the original.

 

 

 

So I loaded the mod into protracker, deleted all the drums, used the new space to reinsert as many missing notes as I could.  Then I used a PC programme to convert it to midi.  As always this sounded awful, because all the notes are in the same octave and all piano. So I transposed each channel to the right key and octave, revoiced each channel, then played layers over the top whilst playing the midi back and recording the whole thing. Finally I used a rock drumbeat from the DAW drum machine and layered the new drums over the top.  Here's the result!

 

 

 

 

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