Tuecer

Finding Music to Play

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Heya all, I'm new to the forums, and I'm just starting to get back into the music scene after a very long time away from playing, and I was hoping for some advice.

I don't do remixes (yet at least), since I don't know enough about creating music to make anything worthwhile, but I want to play video game music.

 

Where do you guys get your music, or do most of you just do it by ear?

Also, what methods do people use to transpose the music to keys they need? I used to do it by hand when I found some fan arrangements, but I've heard of programs that can do it automatically and you just print the sheet music.

In case it matters, anything I would play would be on an alto sax.

 

Thanks in advance!

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Where do you guys get your music, or do most of you just do it by ear?

 

I do it by ear. Most do it via MIDI files found on the internet, I think.

 

Also, what methods do people use to transpose the music to keys they need? 

 

  I play it in a different position on the fretboard on my guitar or hit shift+up/down after playing it in as MIDI via Keyboard. Finale, Sibelius and MuseScore and basically any notation software out there have functions to transpose sheet music to any key you want.

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I do it by ear. Most do it via MIDI files found on the internet, I think.

 

 

  I play it in a different position on the fretboard on my guitar or hit shift+up/down after playing it in as MIDI via Keyboard. Finale, Sibelius and MuseScore and basically any notation software out there have functions to transpose sheet music to any key you want.

 

Thanks! I'll check those out and give it a go.

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It's really a combination of using midi files, searching for sheet music, or go by ear.  Some of the more complicated ones I'd use midi files.  I'd look at the midi file to at least see what is going on with the music, but it doesn't mean I need to use them, for example if I need to record it via guitar.

 

If you're using a DAW, there might be a built-in transpose function, or just drag all the notes to the key you want.

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I just do it by ear. There has only been one instance where I ever used a MIDI, and besides that, I just don't. Sometimes if there is no MIDI, I like to use an audio editor to slow down absurdly fast passages and transcribe each note to hear it back in a clearer fashion.

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I think I used a MIDI only once or twice. I mostly do things by ear, and use the same trick as timaeus for the very fast passages. Transcribing by ear takes practice though. So if you can find a MIDI it can give you a good start.

 

Another trick is using an emulator that allows you to write down the channels to individual channels, so you can listen to them individually. Very helpful for older games that use non Redbook stuff. Think NES, SNES, Genesis, GBA, that kind of stuff, basically any system that didn't come with a CD/DVD drive.

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I use MIDI files every time I remix something. But that's because I transcribe the song and make the MIDI myself first. The rules and stigma against using existing MIDIs stem from people who will do nothing with the MIDI except play some synths with it and layer a drumbeat over it and call it a remix. You can and should MIDIs whenever you want as long as you're actually arranging the material and transforming it into your own musical vision. That doesn't mean changing the sounds but changing the MIDI itself into something that's original and your own. If you do use an existing MIDI you should consider giving credit to the person who made it also.

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The only real problem with going by MIDI files is that most of them are created by tone-deaf n00bz anyway.

Is this generally a problem? I'm messing around with Sibelius to transpose things to Alto Sax and getting some decent results when I do a playback, but since my ear is absolutely horrid, I don't know if any variation is a result of the midi being off, or if I'm just "hearing things".

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Is this generally a problem? I'm messing around with Sibelius to transpose things to Alto Sax and getting some decent results when I do a playback, but since my ear is absolutely horrid, I don't know if any variation is a result of the midi being off, or if I'm just "hearing things".

 

If you look at it as a system, you're bounded by the error of the person who transcribed the MIDI.

 

In other words, if the person gets it wrong in the MIDI, and you go off the MIDI, you're now arranging that person's false interpretation of the original music. Subjectively speaking, there's absolutely nothing "wrong" with this, but it would behoove people to train their ears to the point where they understand that sometimes game music is written a lot more complicated than it sounds, and the complicated writing of the original music gives far more room to work with and create interesting music from than simplified stuff done by "tone-deaf noobz". 

 

In other words, nothing better than the original, and train your ears first obviously, then trust your ears.

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If you look at it as a system, you're bounded by the error of the person who transcribed the MIDI.

 

I also use MIDI files for my remixes, since I'm not so good at transcribing anything by ear. But before I start sequencing my own mix, I want to download as many MIDIs as possible from as many different sequencers as I can. Then I take a close look (and listen) at every one of them and, when I start seeing similarities, I'd like to think that's because the original track was composed that way (otherwise, this could only mean all sequencers have the same very bad audition).

 

Working with a track you're very familiar with will also help, so don't be afraid to listen to the source as many time as you think it's necessary. You'll spot all the errors you'd want to correct more easily.

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Yeah, I noticed that a lot of MIDI files have that 'where the heck did you get THAT from?!' effect.

You should probably just start with popular game series such as Zelda, Final Fantasy or Mario. The songs have fairly straight-forward melodies and are therefore easy to transcribe. There are a whole lot of great midi files for these.

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