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What else should I work on?


Halt
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Alright. I'm starting to come to the point where I feel I could potentially start a remix.

But I have a couple questions. People say they pull the instruments from the MIDI and sequence them. I use FL so how would I do that? If I could figure that out, I would start on a wip right now.

What things should I work on when it comes to remixng. Not so much as the songs. More like should I work on reverb, EQing, and such? or what should I work on?

The WIP I've been working on the is still in WIP. I hope to change that soon.

Any advice would be appreciated.

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With FL you can simply File>Import midi and it will get the midi data in there (not instruments, that's not how it's done) just be careful that you only use the MIDI to get a feel for the song and learn the melody etc, we don't need midi rips on OCR.

Of course not, but can't you get the instruments from them to sequence?

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When you say "instrument" are you referring to the notation or the actual instrument patches used in the midi file? People actually pull midi data for its notation, not so much for the type of instrument the midi is using.

All you need is the melody, some music theory, and creativity. Choose a genre you're good at and stick with it. Midis are used as references such as chord analysis and for the melody. Everyhing else is for you to interpret.

The problem with midis is that they can be wrong, or simply not exist. You'll need to develop aural skills to be able to transcribe a piece and analyze the chord progression.

As for mastering, that depends on the genre you choose.

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When you say "instrument" are you referring to the notation or the actual instrument patches used in the midi file? People actually pull midi data for its notation, not so much for the type of instrument the midi is using.

All you need is the melody, some music theory, and creativity. Choose a genre you're good at and stick with it. Midis are used as references such as chord analysis and for the melody. Everyhing else is for you to interpret.

The problem with midis is that they can be wrong, or simply not exist. You'll need to develop aural skills to be able to transcribe a piece and analyze the chord progression.

As for mastering, that depends on the genre you choose.

There is always that part of a song I want to keep EXACTLY how it is, but I don't have the sound or instrument to sequence it. :(

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"song" as in the actual official (original source) song, and not the GM/XG midi? In that case it depends. There are several soundfont plugins for the older gen consoles (from the 4th gen down because it's sequenced by hardware), but the 5th generation and up gets tricky or is just impossible. Any music that is sequenced (referred to as "midi" (not the GM midi on your PC)) by software will need to be hex edited to be able to extract the samples; I don't know hex editing yet. Anything that's not "sequenced" (wav, ogg, direct audio, etc.) is impossible to extract.

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Any music that is sequenced (referred to as "midi" (not the GM midi on your PC)) by software will need to be hex edited to be able to extract the samples

Sorry if this sounds rude but: what the hell are you on about? There's nothing in that sentence that even remotely makes sense.

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Sorry if this sounds rude but: what the hell are you on about? There's nothing in that sentence that even remotely makes sense.

Let's use Ocarina of Time for example.

At first when he said "People say they pull the instruments from the MIDI and sequence them" I thought he meant General Midi. That's not what he wanted. In games when music is "sequenced" via the game's internal software, it contains multiple channels or tracks, and other important data. This method is known as "Midi" as opposed to playing directly from a single 2-channel stereo source. The game's internal sequencer reads this midi data (ei. USF file for N64 games) and plays it back as would a PC midi, but this sequencer is only unique to the game's software, and it can only be read by that sequencer. It's this kind of data that we are looking for, and the best possible way to look at this data is to view it in Hex. What he wanted was a single sample from a game, say strings, and use that as a soundfont for his remix.

What's the dilemma? He wants to extract a single sample (ei. strings) from a game that is sequenced, say Ocarina of Time for example. You cannot possibly extract the sample from an mp3 file or a USF file directly. In order to extract these samples, you must hex edit the USF file. Wonder how hackers could extract soundfonts from games? This is how it's done. A lot of the ROM hacking is based on the usage of hex editing. Then you must transform this information into useful data in the form of .sf2 files or any files or plugins that can be played in your DAW application. Take a look at some of the soundfonts from Zophar's Domain.

If you never knew that games that are sequenced can be altered, then you know now. This sequenced music can be altered via hex editing. However, not all games are sequenced. Games that aren't sequenced, don't bother trying to extract a soundfont or hack the music file. It's like trying to extract the piano part from a large orchestra from an mp3 file.

Alternatively you can knock on Koji Kondo's door and ask him for the soundfonts and software he used in Ocarina of Time, but what are the chances of that happening?

at OP: what game are you trying to remix? If it's sequenced midi then it's possible, but I'm no genius at hex hacking. If it's direct audio then you'll have to find something else that's close to it. Check out Zophar's Domain for some soundfont samples, or any other sites similar to Zophar's domain. They may or may not have it.

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You're trying to hex edit midi files? what the hell?

Oh, emulated console sound formats

Well, what I do is sometimes if you get lucky you can disable certain channels. There are a few SPC players [like Super Jukebox] that do this. You can record the samples from the playback out of that. That's how virt made his NES samples for his FX albums.

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That's correct. Emulated console sound formats or chiptunes (spc, nsf, usf, psf, vgm, etc), not the crappy General Midi soundfont so it has nothing to do with a .mid file (which I think analoq was confused with GM and the midi-sequenced emulated sound format a game uses). It's actually possible to hex edit a .mid file, but who the hell does that when you can just open it up in a sequencer like FL Studio? lol.

You can mute channels from Snes, sega genesis, gameboy, NES, and the rest of the 4th gen consoles and earlier through a universal plugin that can work for ANY games because they are sequenced via hardware, not software. This is why all the games sound alike. Because they all sound the same, a hacker can simply extract this data from the hardware itself that playbacks this sequenced music. The soundfonts are contained within the hardware. If you can reverse-engineer the algorithm that the hardware uses then you can create and program the plugin. You'll get the most pure raw form of the soundfont rather than how virt made it through recording.

If you're interested in muting channels from old consoles, download winamp + chipamp. You may however want to update the individual plugins to the latest version.

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In games when music is "sequenced" via the game's internal software, it contains multiple channels or tracks, and other important data. This method is known as "Midi" as opposed to playing directly from a single 2-channel stereo source.

Stop right there, that's where you're not making sense. You're misusing the terminology. MIDI is not a "method", it is a spec'd protocol. Just because music is sequenced does not make it MIDI. Console games have proprietary protocols for representing music sequences, they do not use MIDI.

In order to extract these samples, you must hex edit the USF file. Wonder how hackers could extract soundfonts from games? This is how it's done. A lot of the ROM hacking is based on the usage of hex editing. Then you must transform this information into useful data in the form of .sf2 files or any files or plugins that can be played in your DAW application.

Again I think you understand the concept but you can't seem to articulate it properly. I've done plenty of hex editing, it's not specific to ROM hacking. Sure, if you understand the data format you certainly can use a hex editor to extract the sample data from a USF file, but you're not really hex "editing" it because you're not modifying the file.

Misuse of MIDI and hex editing = making no sense.

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Sorry, I've misused a lot of the words. Not midi, but some form of program a game uses to read some kind of data to stream this music back. If we can see this data, we can use it. In this case where this soundfont is located. I'm not good at forming or conveying my ideas. Please excuse my wording. I think we're on the same page though, which should answer Halt's question regarding trying to use the game's soundfont.

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You're trying to hex edit midi files? what the hell?

Oh, emulated console sound formats

Well, what I do is sometimes if you get lucky you can disable certain channels. There are a few SPC players [like Super Jukebox] that do this. You can record the samples from the playback out of that. That's how virt made his NES samples for his FX albums.

That would work great. Because, when I get ready to remix. I have a whole mess of stuff. But without some VG FX and sounds. There pretty useless to me. I would like some for the playstation, and snes and such, but if there is a way to get them, I'm all for it.

Could you get a link or something? I can't get it to download from some sites... I don't know why.

The page where it originated from the download page comes up as 403 forbiddein

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Anything that's not "sequenced" (wav, ogg, direct audio, etc.) is impossible to extract.

Software like Melodyne and Cubase 5 can extract pitch info and note on/off from monophonic audio clips (like .wav) , convert to standard MIDI , and dump it onto a MIDI track. I've seen the Cubase 5 video demos do this , and I think Melodyne can even work with polyphonic audio (I've never tried this though so I'm not sure how the results will be).

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  • 1 year later...

I don't think anyone has really answered the original question here yet. When you ask if you should work on reverb, EQ, etc., the answer is all of the above. Don't really look at these as requirements or phases of working on a song. Instead, look at them as tools. Your goal is to get every element to sit together well in a mix (By mix, I mean the way the audio meshes together into a stereo audio track, not a ReMix by OCR definitions). You can do this by using the various tools at your disposal; compression, EQ, reverb, etc. There are really no set rules on when or when not to use any of these. The only thing that should matter is, "Does it sound good?" Just remember that something that sounds excellent on its own may sound terrible in a mix, and something that sounds awful on its own may be absolutely perfect in a mix. Experiment and find out!

As far as what you should work on first, or in what order, that's really up to personal preference. Find a workflow that you like and stick with it. Personally, I'd recommend using placeholder instruments that are generally close to what you want and arranging / composing the whole song first, then go back and fine tune the sounds into exactly what you want. Then start the actual mixing process. Others can chime in here, there are millions of ways to approach this. This seems to be one way that's worked for me. I hope that helped!

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I don't think anyone has really answered the original question here yet.

Tru dat. However, I'm going to continue the trend because nobody's covered this yet :-P

You can get samples from spc files (not sure if similar utilities exist for other formats). There's an old ms-dos program that converts spc to impulse tracker format (I think it's called spc2it or something like that), which you can use with dosbox and then extract samples from with something like modplug tracker.

EDIT: It's called OpenSPC, and you can dump ITs from it like this:

openspc -i /path/to/file.spc

I've uploaded it for anyone who wants it (MegaUpload). Hope that helps, at least with regard to this tangent about ripping samples :-P

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Because they all sound the same, a hacker can simply extract this data from the hardware itself that playbacks this sequenced music. The soundfonts are contained within the hardware. If you can reverse-engineer the algorithm that the hardware uses then you can create and program the plugin. You'll get the most pure raw form of the soundfont rather than how virt made it through recording.

But the Gameboy, NES, and Genesis all have a PCM channel that plays sound stored on the cartridge, not the hardware. And the SNES runs exclusively on samples stored on the cartridge. The hardware stores only the instructions to handle the sequence and effects, NOT the actual sound samples. Those come from the cartridge. All video games that use samples with a MIDI standard use this method. Reverse engineering the console only works for synth sounds, not samples. You must reverse engineer the SPC/USF/whatever to get the samples.

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