BotB Academy Bug Reports and Feature Requests
Level 23 Chipist
post #84350 :: 2017.05.21 2:44pm
  MovieMovies1, MiDoRi, Quirby64, pedipanol, goluigi, VinCMG, Bitfox and Jimmyoshi liēkd this
Hey! So I was thinking about MIDI's (first??) inclusion as a format for a Tracks comp, and it occurred to me that MIDI could have a Mixist format equivalent. I could be mistaken, but I think people would like that!
Maybe this has been discussed before in IRC or elsewhere.

My thought:
A MIDI file played back with soundfont(s) or GM synth(s) of choice... you know... the thing almost everyone does their first time submitting a MIDI. Effects processing through CC would naturally be a-okay and signal processing is okay as well.

There would definitely be some details to iron out. Some GM ROMplers have onboard effects for less commonly used CC values, meaning some people (like myself) would have access to phaser, delay, and flanger on certain modules. (Some even go further than that, especially in Multitimbral workstations that have GM modes.)
My thought would be that any time based effect is okay to level that field.
I would also vote that EQ is okay (some synths have that onboard anyway, like the MU90 and just about anything on the higher end of the "prosumer" grade and above) as well as dynamic effects.

Submission would be of a MIDI file for proof of concept, primarily just that it's possible in 16 channels of MIDI and that the instrument types match up; and then an audio file with the sounds you want.
I'd propose calling it General MIDI or MIDI+ (and MIDI XTREME! is a good choice if you too were an impressionable age in the 90s... on ly... 90 k ids... reme b rs.....)

New format. MIDI file played back by sounds not limited to GS Wavetable, but must adhere to 16 tracks and the 128 sounds available in standard GM. Time based effects O.K. Audio file submitted along with MIDI file

Final note:
If this is something we ultimately want, I'd be more than happy to help create a detailed list of restrictions and rules, as well as any kind of companion documentation needed to facilitate this.

(Allow me to also preemptively say that I feel like it differs itself enough from Allgear and WildChip to merit its own format)
(Also let me say thanks for humoring me)
(Also MT-32 for Summer Chip would be cool)
(I love you, bye)
Level 29 Mixist
post #84393 :: 2017.05.21 4:02pm
  MovieMovies1, RazerBlue6 and BubblegumOctopus liēkd this
How about XG?
Level 23 Chipist
post #84402 :: 2017.05.21 5:13pm
  mootbooxle liēkd this
Im down with that too but seems like another chipist format like MT-32 (^^
Level 27 Mixist
post #84406 :: 2017.05.21 5:45pm :: edit 2017.05.21 7:32pm
  BubblegumOctopus and pedipanol liēkd this
I like this idea. But I think that if we do MIDI+ it should be restricted to only songs that use MIDI as the base format but use a different soundfont. I think fancy things like EQ are pushing it a bit.
Level 28 Chipist
post #84407 :: 2017.05.21 5:48pm
  shinichi, BubblegumOctopus and Quirby64 liēkd this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upY4kpwfaeU if this proposal will allow midis like this to be submitted i am 10000000000000000000005% for it
Level 23 Chipist
post #84413 :: 2017.05.21 7:02pm :: edit 2017.05.21 9:15pm
  mootbooxle, BubblegumOctopus and VinCMG liēkd this
I really like the idea of having a MIDI+ format, since there's a ton of modules out there that could do some amazing things
, besides the 64kb limit on the midi format that really limits what we can do on our tracks even using just Microsoft's synthesizer.

Also, if it were to be such a format, I personally think limiting to 16 channels and GM instruments wouldn't be cool... I think that, as long as ALL the instructions are contained on the MIDI file and NO ADDITIONAL SETUP other than just play the file is required, anything should go, no matter what synth is used :PP

inb4 GXSCC entrires
Level 23 Chipist
post #84422 :: 2017.05.21 9:36pm
  mootbooxle and Bitfox liēkd this
Editing my previous statement, XG could totally be mixist.

Regarding EQ: Some GM modules have it internally (like the Yamaha MU90, a decidedly not fancy module, for example) and like if were using soundfonts it could even be done to the sample itself before being made into a soundfont so wed never know anyway. Maybe like an unspoken "its fine"? I only even bring it up in the interest of trying to put everyone on even footing (^^

Id be okay with going beyond 16 tracks and just having it as anything controlled by MIDI, but am definitely more partial to the limitations of
GM sound and standard CC control effects... UNLESS were talkin about havimg TWO new formats because thats actually an awesome idea honestly >____>

(MIDI+ being anything goes MIDI, General MIDI being 16 track GM format played back with any module or soundfont of choice with time based effects permitted... third bonus format XG)

64kb limit is definitely not a restriction Id want for this, forgot to include that in the initial post. Bring on the black MIDI submissions.

(Not to imply wit any of this that I have authority here, just trying to keep the conversation going :)
Level 29 Mixist
post #84428 :: 2017.05.21 11:41pm
  raphaelgoulart, BubblegumOctopus, pedipanol, Cessor Safari and Jimmyoshi liēkd this
I like the idea of having a separate "General MIDI" format that adheres to the GM standard, but can use different soundfonts/GM-compatible sound modules for playback. Essentially just opening up the current MIDI format to allow for more polished/more interesting sounds than that of the mediocre-at-best Microsoft MIDI playback.

Obviously, we can already kinda do this, even the very advanced XG and other MIDI-based things, just as Wildchip or Allgear, but that's not as much fun and if I'm going to do that, I'm not even going to bother adhering to any format standard or method of recording/sequencing music.

This is a compromise that allows the fun challenge of making a General MIDI composition while having a wide array of sonic options.

It feels to me like if you go too far beyond the GM (or possibly XG) spec, it just turns into Allgear with a slightly limited set of tools; it doesn't seem distinct enough from that to warrant its own format.
After all, if in these proposed "extended MIDI" formats we would be required to submit both a MIDI file and an audio render, if you went very far beyond a standard data format (like with custom CC's or those fancy ones that use several CC's to interpolate much finer resolution automation), that MIDI file would be essentially useless to anyone but you and someone else who just happened to have an identical setup, which is unlikely to happen.

That was a long sentence.
Level 26 Chipist
post #84430 :: 2017.05.22 1:06am
  BubblegumOctopus, MiDoRi and mootbooxle liēkd this
Mediocre at best? Hey now. I've always felt that apart from nostalgia, the main point of chiptune is to show that you can make wonderful music with a limited palette, and Microsoft wavetable definitely fulfils that purpose. I'm not against a new format allowing soundfonts, but I feel compelled to defend the microsoft synth whenever this topic comes up. Maybe it's partly nostalgia for me as well, also probably because I've worked so much with it, but I'm quite fond of it by now.
Level 17 Mixist
post #84431 :: 2017.05.22 1:24am
  BubblegumOctopus liēkd this
I don't now if I would compete with this, but I leik the idea.

I'm all for
Level 29 Mixist
post #84435 :: 2017.05.22 2:06am
  raphaelgoulart, pedipanol, Cessor Safari, Jimmyoshi and MiDoRi liēkd this
stewboy: I'm not really throwing shade on Microsoft GS wavetable synth, just saying that it is objectively not a good-sounding set of instruments. They are basically very low-sample-rate versions of classic early-90s Roland sounds.
That relatively poor sonic quality compared to its Roland counterpart is also its greatest strength, as coaxing Actual Quality out of it is quite difficult, but quite possible. It's also fun to really play up the cheeze factor of these sounds. The cheesier the better, I say!

But yeah, I do believe the biggest thing is nostalgia. It sounds an awful lot like SNES music for one thing, which imho is the console that has produced some of the most memorable and masterful video game music of all time. Many of those games contain low-quality samples of then-current Roland and Ensoniq synthesizers/ROMplers, so of course the Microsoft GS Wavetable set is memorable.

I have a huge soft spot for many of these sounds as well, but they have been presented in a much nicer quality elsewhere (such as on the Roland SoundCanvas from which they were derived)!

I dunno, it's like preferring the 96kbps MP3 version of a piece of music to the 24-bit WAV version. One could definitely make a case that there is something magical and special about the low-quality MP3 (perhaps based on nostalgia, maybe you heard that version a million times because you downloaded it on Napster in 2002 and it was your fav song), but objectively the master file sounds the best and is the way the creators would have likely preferred it to be heard.

The majority of those sounds were originally created by my friend Eric Persing when he was the chief sound designer at Roland. He's now the guy behind Spectrasonics, still making some of the most widely-used (and some of the best) sample libraries on the market. He probably cringes when he hears his sounds as rendered by the Microsoft GS Wavetable synth!

Sorry for the long-winded explanation...And I hope I didn't come off sounding snooty. I just thought it was worth explaining why I said what I said initially about that sound set.
Level 23 Chipist
post #85347 :: 2017.06.04 1:28pm
  pedipanol liēkd this
Half in here just to bump this and get it to more eyes, half in here because I've been thinking about the thread/format a lot. (I remain incredibly interested/determined/optimistic!)

I think Moot is right, that a General MIDI format is probably the more distinct flavor of the two main options discussed for all of the reasons he illustrated. Also, I'd love to hear more 128 sound music that isn't restricted to GS! Not enough people go for that in Wildchip or AllGear.

I still find myself facing the hurdle of how timebased effects factor in for those using software, but I think maybe having a bus for reverb, bus for delay, and chorus on channels you want that for is a good way to go about it, no automating parameter changes. (Brownie points if you sync the standard CC values to automating your two sends and your chorus wet mix!)

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