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Del Duio

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21st December, 2007 at 00:26:10 -

Hey guys, I want to branch out beyond what I usually use for my games' music (MIDI Maker -> MIDI files) and heard that mods are the way to go. I've never used any myself but just downloaded a copy of Mod Tracker. I can't install Mod Tracker on the computer I'm at now so I had a couple of questions if I may:

1.) Do mods sound the same on every computer? MIDIs don't. This would be great if they did!

2.) Are there length limitations to the actual songs themselves? My copy of MIDI maker always gets an array out of data error if the song is much more than 1 minute long or too complex. Having songs that lasted 3-4 minutes would be like a dream come true for me lol.

3.) Are mod files very big? I know that MIDIs are tiny filesize-wise, and MP3s are pretty big at a couple of MB each at least.

4.) I know that my MMF1.5 doesn't support embedded mods, so which extension would you recommend I get to play them? There seem to be a few out there.

5.) On the Mod Tracker page there's also a file called Mod Player. Do I need this to even listen to my mods I make, or can I skip Mod Player and just listen to them using Mod Tracker until I save them as .mod files that my game will use.

Thank you for your time, I used to make decent music for my games but they were all using actual guitars and bass and saved as gigantic .wav files. MIDIs gave me that very "video game-y" feeling and they were small enough so I've used them for almost every click game I've made since finding Midi Maker. But their limitations are starting to show up and I want to get to that next level and make some killer tunes.

 
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21st December, 2007 at 00:42:05 -

I'm not an expert, but I think I can answer these.

1.) Yes.

2.) Not as far as I can see, maybe if you crank it up to about a 5 day long song.

3.) Mod file sizes are determined by the quality of the samples (the sound files that are played to create the music.) If its a chip tune, it will be significantly smaller than a mod that uses full instrument samples at 128kbps 44100hz in stereo. They can range anywhere from 10 kilobytes to 5 megs I suppose.

4.) I think that ModFusion thing is cool, but I'm not sure.

5.) You can listen in modplug tracker, and Winamp also plays mod files but sometimes messes them up a little.

Image Edited by the Author.

 
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Del Duio

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21st December, 2007 at 04:24:03 -

I d/l'd ModFusion EX to test tonight. Thanks >>xerus!

Pssstt... How's about that Bonesaw already?

 
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21st December, 2007 at 05:31:20 -

1) Yes, they sound the same because the samples are contained in the file rather than the computer's sound card.

2) No length limitations.

3) They can be, but typically they're under 1Mb. If it doesn't bother you much, use 8-bit samples. Compressing them in a zip file with your game usually shrinks them by a lot anyway.

4) ModFusionEx 3

5) ModPlug Player is just a player. ModPlug Tracker is what you use to create them. Both will play mods but you might want to get ModPlug Player because it's just more convenient and you can set up playlists, etc.

When you're testing ModFusionEx, make sure you Load the song (on "Start of level", for example), then add a new event - "When Song has loaded: Play song". It sometimes crashes if you put them both in one event and the song hasn't loaded before it tells it to play.

Also, try to avoid using short patterns in your mods. By default, they're 62 rows so this won't be a problem unless you deliberately try to shorten them (for a time delay or something). Patterns less than 16 rows will crash your game.

I use MilkyTracker because it's pleasingly similar to a very old mod tracker I used back in the DOS days, but ModPlug Tracker is probably the better program.

Edit: bonesaw!

Image Edited by the Author.

 
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DaVince

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21st December, 2007 at 05:54:22 -


Originally Posted by Nim
By default, they're 62 rows so this won't be a problemrows will crash your game.


64 rows. 16 rows per measure does not calculate 62 rows for 4 measures.

 
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Del Duio

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21st December, 2007 at 08:35:17 -

Thanks guys but Jesus Christ this thing sounds complicated as all hell!

The one saving grace of Midi Maker is that it was very easy to use. I'm going to install ModFusion EX 3 in a few minutes.

I will try and load the songs up with a ton of tracks so the songs won't crash. And about that loading bug, that sounds a bit like a bug I found while using the Blowfish extension once- That it was trying to save while encrypting or something at the same time and my MMF would crash every time.

 
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Josh Whelchel

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21st December, 2007 at 09:00:49 -

Mod tracking is something that'll take a long time to get used to, especially if you're used to midi sequencing. Best of luck! (:

 
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21st December, 2007 at 10:47:26 -

Is there a place on the net where someone can download a large pack of samples or pre made instruments.

Ive often attempted to start making modules, but unfortunately i'm put off by the lack of instant success. ripping samples every time i want to take another stab at learning mod making is a bit of a pain.

 
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21st December, 2007 at 11:21:37 -


Originally Posted by DaVince [Ectoprods]

Originally Posted by Nim
By default, they're 62 rows so this won't be a problemrows will crash your game.


64 rows. 16 rows per measure does not calculate 62 rows for 4 measures.



What are these rows?

 
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21st December, 2007 at 12:09:53 -


Originally Posted by DaVince [Ectoprods]
64 rows. 16 rows per measure does not calculate 62 rows for 4 measures.



Thanks DaVince I guess I can't do maths. Where's Joe when you need him!

 
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21st December, 2007 at 12:12:17 -

Each row represents an unit of time to put your samples in - 4 rows gives you enough time to put notes for 1 beat, at least at the default module timing speed.
To demonstrate better I'll copypaste part of these patterns (just 1 channel):


ModPlug Tracker IT
|C-606
|.....
|C-606
|.....
|C-606
|.....
|C-606
|.....
|C-606
|.....
|C-606
|.....
|C-606
|.....
|C-606
|.....

Dots are empty rows where nothing happens, but where you see the codes it's playing a C note at octave height 6 with sample 06. The above depicts how a hi hat would play every 1/2 of a beat.

EDIT: what's with the double line breaks in the code tag? It's kinda annoying...

Image Edited by the Author.

 
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Del Duio

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21st December, 2007 at 22:48:34 -

All I can say is..

AHHHHH!!!

Man, I didn't think a degree in rocket science was a prerequisite of this thing! It took me like 45 minutes to figure out anything simple, but I can't figure out how to get a specific note to stop playing. If I make the sample a non-looping one, the electric guitar just sounds like a little "blip". I'm also finding selecting a specific line hard to do with the mouse, as the whole pattern wants to jump around while I'm trying to select it. Very annoying to say the least.

Trying to remember what keypress I did to get a specific note / octave's pretty annoying too. There's no sort of keyboard interface that just lets you select a piano note and fly that I can see. I saw the option for a MIDI / keyboard connection but I'm all out of those

It's completely different than what I'm used to working with, but of course I'll give it another go tomorrow. Josh was right, it's going to take a LOT of getting used to. Music shouldn't be this hard to make IMO. I can play actual instruments and not have this much trouble laying down songs

 
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DaVince

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22nd December, 2007 at 08:22:12 -

It's not rocket science, there's a very comprehensive starter's guide included with Modplug Tracker. It's under the Help menu.

Also, there are a few different key settings you can choose from in the program's settings, as well as define your own keyboard configuration (I think).

EDIT: another good idea would be to add pattern highlighting on every 4th and 16th row, this allows you to see where the next beat/measure is more easily.

Image Edited by the Author.

 
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22nd December, 2007 at 12:07:37 -


Originally Posted by Del Duio
AHHHHH!!!



It's just like learning any new program. Keep practicing; it's great fun when you get over the initial learning curve.



 
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Del Duio

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22nd December, 2007 at 23:05:38 -

DaVince, I looked at the help guide that came with it and all it really says is that it expects me to be familiar with Mod Tracking first

Nim, do you know how to get a note to end using it? If I could get them to stop playing, I'd be well on my way.

I'll try finding some documentation on it now. It sucks I've had a total of about 5 hours of sleep these past 2+ days so I didn't get to do any computer today, which is amazing for me.

 
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"To be a true ninja you must first pick the most stealthy of our assorted combat suits. Might I suggest the bright neon orange?"

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Del Duio

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23rd December, 2007 at 05:32:40 -

Ahhh, nevermind it turns out I had an old copy of the program, but the Open ModPlug had some more helpful stuff with it. It's still a pain in the ass though I think it'll be fun when I learn it.

 
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23rd December, 2007 at 06:40:06 -

I think you press = in ModPlug Tracker to set a note stopper (Edit: also make sure Fadeout for that instrument is set to something high.) Or, you could just set the volume to 0. One great thing about mods is that you can learn from any other song, so when it comes to using effects that might help.

Image Edited by the Author.

 
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24th December, 2007 at 06:22:25 -

= will only work if you use instruments. If you use samples only you will have to use ` which puts a ^^ at the position you're at. That's a sample stopper.


Originally Posted by Del Duio
Ahhh, nevermind it turns out I had an old copy of the program, but the Open ModPlug had some more helpful stuff with it. It's still a pain in the ass though I think it'll be fun when I learn it.


The "old copy" is the last version before OpenMPT, and I actually use that version. The help file should have a comprehensive guide, I don't get why it isn't there for you.

Image Edited by the Author.

 
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Del Duio

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25th December, 2007 at 06:59:30 -

Where's the delete option, son?

Image Edited by the Author.

 
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Josh Whelchel

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25th December, 2007 at 13:04:08 -

Press the ~ key in MPT to make a sudden note end (like setting volume to 0, which still eats CPU power during playback, so don't do it)

 
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DaVince

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25th December, 2007 at 13:06:39 -


Originally Posted by Del Duio
Where's the delete option, son?

Image Edited by the Author.


Press "delete". -_-

 
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Del Duio

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25th December, 2007 at 17:55:11 -

No, no, I mean to delete board posts you purple nurple

Thanks Josh! Hey you wouldn't know how to get a note to sort of fade out after a bit would you? Some of the notes will repeat forever until you "~" them, but there are some instances where cutting the note short like that doesn't sound just right.

DaVince, I downloaded a bunch of cool instruments and figured out how to put them into the Tracker. Off the top of my head I have some early 80's rap drum machine, a death metal distorted guitar (sounds SICK), a Jazz bass that's almost the same type as my own, and some guy playing full major acoutisc guitar chords. Thanks for pointing me to that site, a lot of great stuff to be found!

 
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25th December, 2007 at 20:22:37 -


Originally Posted by Del Duio
No, no, I mean to delete board posts you purple nurple

Thanks Josh! Hey you wouldn't know how to get a note to sort of fade out after a bit would you? Some of the notes will repeat forever until you "~" them, but there are some instances where cutting the note short like that doesn't sound just right.




For something like that I would just do something like "v32" followed by "v16" and then "v8" and then cut the note. I don't know if thats the "right" way to do it though.

 
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25th December, 2007 at 21:01:56 -

There are several ways to fade out a note.

If the instrument has a volume envelope, you can use that. (This is sort of something I like to do with instrument trails and not varying fade outs). Then use the == fade out to fade out the note with the envelope. (The ^^ method will be abrupt)

You can use Xerus' v32 v16 v8 method... but even better is putting a v64 where the fadeout starts and v0 where you want the note to be completely fadedout and then using Modplug's Interpolate Effect command to get it to make the values in between. Select the volume column from the v64 to v00 and right click and you'll see this option. (It's probably Interpolate Volume)

Lastly, you can use the Dxx command.

 
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Del Duio

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26th December, 2007 at 23:13:05 -

Josh, by v64 you mean to have this be the value of the instrument's starting global volume right? I have some heavy guitar sounds I downloaded that sound funny when you cut them off so I'll try it this way.

Thanks both of you too! The more I mess with this thing the more awesome it becomes. One last thing, do either of you know if the ModFusion 3 EX loops an .it file cleanly? In other words, MMF1.5 has a little "blurb" at the start of each midi play. I haven't been able to test any of these new songs still because my RL work has me working alternating 3rd and 1st shifts and I sleep all the time in my spare time now.

Image Edited by the Author.

 
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DaVince

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27th December, 2007 at 06:48:57 -

The blurb is Windows having to reload all instruments from the MIDI GM.DLS file. It's not there for modules because the extensions are smart enough to load the module and its samples only once. (Though MMF2 does have a little pause between loops, which is annoying.)

 
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Josh Whelchel

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27th December, 2007 at 12:13:29 -

ModFusion will loop seamlessly. You can have it disable the Bxx loops or not.

By v64, you will be setting the volume to the global volume of the instrument/sample (not the default volume), yes. The global volume is just a way of turning down a sample globally (obviously?).

 
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Del Duio

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28th December, 2007 at 01:20:29 -

Yes, I figured this out after I posted yesterday actually. Great news about not having that pause!

I have been messing around with instrument volumes a lot and got some pretty cool sounding delay effects with it.

For example, one guitar parts starts at global v 60 and goes like this (in tempo 132 I think)

B-4 01 v60
--- -- v40
--- -- v50
--- -- v30
--- -- v40
--- -- v20
--- -- v30
--- -- v10
--- -- v20
--- -- v05
--- -- v10
--- -- v00

And there's another guitar that's a different note (to form a fifth, a power chord) that starts about halfway through this one doing the same thing.

I've made one song so far, and it's 6MB at about 3 minutes and 20 seconds long. It's so cool to have something that's longer than a stinkin' minute!



 
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DaVince

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28th December, 2007 at 08:10:39 -

If you want a good delay effect bound to a sample, use the power of instruments!

Image

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Josh Whelchel

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28th December, 2007 at 12:14:26 -

Hmm, I wouldn't personally use instrument envelopes for a delay, but it's all style I guess. That's because the delay would be at a different position in the sample then it was when it started. If you want a true delay, try copying the channels contents into another channel about 3 rows later (depends on the speed and tempo and desired delay time for you, however), and lowering the volume by significant value. Then the start of the note will be delayed too. Your method is something I reserve for modules that need a lot of simplicity or have channel number limitations. (: Make sure if you copy, though, that any notes that are cut off at the end are found at the beginning of the next pattern. (:

 
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28th December, 2007 at 12:43:09 -

Oh, delay as in echoing? Yeah, I usually use multiple channels for that too. This just demonstrates a nice way to fade your instruments.

 
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