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Proposal for a MIDI+ format
BotB Academy Bulletins
Level 27 Chipist
post #106395 :: 2018.12.31 4:27pm :: edit 2018.12.31 5:49pm
  Xemogasa, argarak, Yung Gotenks, ASIKWUSpulse, Tiido, kfaraday, Flaminglog, BubblegumOctopus, VinsCool, raphaelgoulart, kinkinkijkin, speedy, Galgox and MiDoRi liēkd this
I've been yelling a bit too much about it on Discord, I'll just make a thread for discussion instead.

MSGS as a MIDI device is only good up to a point, and I think having a MIDI+ format that allows for usage of other things than MSGS would be a very fun and exciting thing. Of course, what MIDI device means here is mostly GM, GS, XG, and GM2 sound modules and equivalent software, considering the current MIDI format allows MSGS only (GM/limited GS) and MT32 (MIDI, but not GM).

What constitutes a sound module here would be either software or hardware that plays MIDI files in any of those standards listed above. Free software is perfectly fine, as well as proprietary hardware modules, as long as they can play a GM/GM2/GS/XG MIDI file. As for how to handle submissions, my thoughts on it are along the lines of a .mid file, plus a render, and a text file with sound module info and perhaps comments, all contained in a compressed folder (zip, rar, 7z, stuff like that).The zipped folder contains the MIDI file so people can play it on the sound device specified, and render for those who don't have the hardware and don't have or don't wanna download the plugin or software used.

I think having a MIDI+ format would be very fun and inspire some very cool and inventive entries from BotBrs, so I hope this could potentially become a thing

EDIT: And yeah, renaming the current format to MSGS and giving the new format the MIDI monicker is a good idea, as Speedy elaborates on below.
Level 4 Playa
post #106396 :: 2018.12.31 4:43pm :: edit 2018.12.31 4:49pm
  Jadakra, argarak, ASIKWUSpulse, Flaminglog, raphaelgoulart, kinkinkijkin, anewuser, MiDoRi and MovieMovies1 liēkd this
Oh hey, this topic actually got me to post on this site again.

As someone who has worked with MIDI stuff in a sorta professional setting (once on the MT-32, one on the SC-88 Pro and SC-8850, and once on the SC-55), as well as made some EPs with it, I would absolutely love to see this site get a MIDI+ category or re-name the existing MIDI category to MSGS and have what Movies proposed replace it.

Supporting MIDI devices as a whole would lead to some very interesting entries - looking beyond the specifications offering some unique limitations not found anywhere else, the devices themselves that are commonly used for MIDI composition (Roland Sound Canvas, JV-1080, Yamaha MU, etc) are extremely flexible devices that have a very unique sound signature to each of them that's pretty much unmistakable once you know what each one sounds like.

I don't know how familiar the administrators here are with MIDI devices but I have been doing videos on them for a while now which might help explain why I'm so passionate about these things myself: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-XZ5ljB9LZEPT_4dmcm2JYbNtPawxbAq

edit: I forgot to say, part of the reason I would prefer the current MIDI format be renamed to MSGS and for this to take its place is because it's kind very much incorrect to name it that because MSGS isn't representative at all of the full scope of what MIDI can do... it also further reinforces a very annoying stereotype of "MIDI" music sounding bad.
Level 24 Chipist
post #106400 :: 2019.01.01 5:20am
>my thoughts on it are along the lines of a .mid file, plus a render, and a text file with sound module info and perhaps comments

I think that's way too much. Personally, I think the MIDI file itself should be submitted, but the render is whatever sound module/soundfont was used. It should not be required to buy/use whatever they use, and instead be compatible with GM/GM2/GS/XG. That way, any compatible soundfont/module can be used to playback.

TLDR: make it like the MIDI format, but without render restrictions as long as it's specified what MIDI standard is used in the description! Besides, sysex usually solves that.
Level 27 Chipist
post #106401 :: 2019.01.01 5:45am :: edit 2019.01.01 5:45am
  raphaelgoulart liēkd this
That would cause problems with OHBs though, if those were to happen. I'm not saying only submitting a MIDI file would be per se bad, but it only seems suitable for a major battle where renders are uploaded usually immediately after the entry itself is. I tried as best to accommodate for OHBs where renders usually only happen once the OHB is over with the whole midi+render+moduleinfo zip pack idea.
Level 24 Chipist
post #106405 :: 2019.01.01 6:23am
  Slimeball liēkd this
For OHBs, if we put what MIDI standard it is in the title, then it should be perfectly fine.
Level 26 Chipist
post #106406 :: 2019.01.01 7:25am
there's a character limit in song titles, isn't there?
Level 4 Playa
post #106407 :: 2019.01.01 9:55am
  raphaelgoulart liēkd this
Raphael - in MIDI? No, the title can be as long as you want both in the MIDI it self and as a file name. I think you're thinking of old .MID files made on DOS/Win9x that were restricted to the 8.5 character limit of those operating systems.
Level 26 Chipist
post #106410 :: 2019.01.01 11:54am :: edit 2019.01.01 11:59am
  speedy and MovieMovies1 liēkd this
i meant on BotB itself, iirc puke7 added a 50 character limit for song titles and filenames at some point, but i could be remembering wrong

edit: forgot to say that i'm in favor of this. i was asking because of robyn's idea of putting the midi standard in the filename for OHBs, which might be not a very good idea for songs with overly long titles, though those are extremely rare so i don't think its an issue. (i think i prefer the .7z idea tho)
Level 27 Mixist
post #106412 :: 2019.01.01 1:05pm
  Razerek, Lia, Savestate, pedipanol and Robyn liēkd this
  speedy and MovieMovies1 hæitd this
> it also further reinforces a very annoying stereotype of "MIDI" music sounding bad.

Who says MSGS needs to sound bad!
Level 26 Chipist
post #106421 :: 2019.01.01 2:27pm
  MiDoRi and MovieMovies1 liēkd this
moot does (sort of but he brings good points)
Level 27 Chipist
post #106422 :: 2019.01.01 2:30pm
  speedy and raphaelgoulart liēkd this
Nobody said MSGS had to sound bad! In fact, MSGS can sound nice if you layer your sounds well and/or exploit some of the weird behaviours it has, but having it be the "face" of MIDI when it's the most cut-down and featureless MIDI soundbank I can think of is a gigantic disservice to GM, GS, and MIDI in general.
Level 23 Chipist
post #106423 :: 2019.01.01 3:59pm
  Post-retro, MovieMovies1 and raphaelgoulart liēkd this
I had a similar proposal for a format like this that sadly went nowhere ;___;
I'd still love some mixist incarnation of a MIDI format to exist!
Level 27 Chipist
post #106424 :: 2019.01.01 4:58pm
  BubblegumOctopus and raphaelgoulart liēkd this
bubblegumoctopus we've been referencing your proposal a lot here hahahahaha
Level 4 Playa
post #106437 :: 2019.01.02 3:07pm :: edit 2019.01.02 3:08pm
  MiDoRi, raphaelgoulart and MovieMovies1 liēkd this
Moot and Movies pretty much summarized everything about MSGS; it doesn't have to sound bad (in fact, some people have made it sound great) but it's objectively worse than what it's based on (SC-55/SC-88), and has one of the most ridiculously basic feature sets of any MIDI playback engine (it doesn't even have reverb/chorus support...) which makes it a poor representation of what can actually be done with any of the MIDI standards.
Level 23 Chipist
post #106479 :: 2019.01.03 7:53pm
  MiDoRi and MovieMovies1 liēkd this
oh, whoops, I didn't read anything except first post (^^;;
Level 12 Criticist
post #106482 :: 2019.01.04 1:13am
  MiDoRi and MovieMovies1 liēkd this
I approve of this stuff. Gimme some XG and whatnot and rename the current MIDI format to MSGS.
Level 30 Chipist
post #106483 :: 2019.01.04 1:53am
  MovieMovies1 liēkd this
I think that this might be a good idea yes.
Level 30 Chipist
post #106485 :: 2019.01.04 7:44am
  Melon, Slimeball, MiDoRi and MovieMovies1 liēkd this
remove the 64k limit as well! i want to see strobe go even more crazy. >:-)
Level 27 Chipist
post #106486 :: 2019.01.04 7:58am
  Melon, Jimmyoshi and Slimeball liēkd this
lol keffie idk if you noticed but some time ago the midi(msgs) limit was increased to 256k :^)
Level 30 Chipist
post #106487 :: 2019.01.04 8:25am
  Melon, Slimeball and MovieMovies1 liēkd this
Level 30 Chipist
post #106488 :: 2019.01.04 9:44am
  argarak, Robyn, Slimeball, speedy and MovieMovies1 liēkd this
hahahaha, my MIDI for WCXIV is about 250kB ;)
Level 27 Chipist
post #106677 :: 2019.01.14 12:54pm :: edit 2019.01.14 5:42pm
  DCT Master and raphaelgoulart liēkd this
Bumping this up, as this is an important topic to me and probably more people too.

also this is post no 23 here, next post will be no. 24, the OG sc55 has 24 voices of polyphony, wow
Level 4 Playa
post #106875 :: 2019.01.24 5:01pm
  raphaelgoulart, MovieMovies1 and MiDoRi liēkd this
I claim this post in honor of the SC-55's adorably low polyphony
and also claimed for another request to please add a better MIDI format
Level 23 Chipist
post #106921 :: 2019.01.25 11:19pm
  raphaelgoulart, Robyn and kleeder liēkd this
hey guys what's up? nice! oh me? not much, just enjoying some MIDI files played back on my Yamaha MU50. Love hearin' those General MIDI sounds in a variety of different ways, might switch to the Korg X5DR in a second. Variety is the spice of life lol!!!!11one
Level 21 Chipist
post #106935 :: 2019.01.26 3:48pm
  MiDoRi and raphaelgoulart liēkd this
can't wait for midi 2.0
Level 26 Chipist
post #107070 :: 2019.01.30 3:33am
  argarak, Post-retro, petet and MiDoRi liēkd this
if MIDI is so good, why haven't they announced midi tw- oh
Level 27 Chipist
post #107085 :: 2019.01.30 11:10pm
  DCT Master liēkd this
MIDI 2.0 wouldn't really have an impact on this though.

Also this is post no. 28, SC-55mkII polyphony achieved
Level 26 Chipist
post #107090 :: 2019.01.31 12:59pm
  BubblegumOctopus, MovieMovies1 and kleeder liēkd this
i commented that mostly as a joke (and as a way to keep this post alive too)
Level 14 Criticist
post #107122 :: 2019.02.02 2:40am
They DID announce midi 2.0 right? But I can't find any specifics on it. (sorry if it's off topic)
Level 23 Chipist
post #107367 :: 2019.02.11 8:36am
  MiDoRi, MovieMovies1, raphaelgoulart and Robyn liēkd this
Just logging in to bump my favorite topic!!
Soon I'll have time to post music here again, too (´ ∀ ` *)

I pretty much covered every point I'd make in the thread pedipanol linked, but I figured I'd also come back and mention that I (and I'm sure many others with the resources) would be more than happy to provide hardware renders of users' MIDI files on various modules, for those who might want other options, were using a specific soundfont etc.

Nice potential for more community engagement
Level 16 Chipist
post #107576 :: 2019.02.14 12:05pm :: edit 2019.02.14 1:13pm
midi+ category would be great - based by how some of the best MSGS-MIDIs sounds here (even tried playing back on real midi-synth hardware), such MIDI-files making use of the GS-features may create stuff like or even better than this:
(yes, I believe mostly if not all these instruments in this great SSBM-track come from a SC-8850 - this can even be a single MIDI-file! Not easy to hear the first time, but blows mind when you realise it is)
HAL-Labs really seem to like midi

The best push-to-the-limit SoundCanvas midi+ Example though would be Anomaria:
Level 28 Renderist
post #107620 :: 2019.02.15 5:20am
  MiDoRi and kleeder liēkd this
  MovieMovies1 hæitd this
I don't think it's a good idea to make this a separate format. Why?

So many soundfonts, so many hardware modules. Most of the accurate software emulators locked behind a paywall. Several incompatible MIDI extensions.

All other current music formats can be played back consistently using freely available software.

If anything plain .mp3 is a much more sensible format for submission than the source file, or even an archive containing the source file + render + playback requirements.

With all the sounfonts/vsts/hardware modules out there, it's extremely likely that whoever's listening/voting does NOT have the setup required for proper playback.

I see y'all are enthusiastic about your midi extensions.

I don't see what's holding y'all back from using the allgear format.
Level 30 Chipist
post #107622 :: 2019.02.15 5:28am
  MovieMovies1 hæitd this
  Slimeball liēkd this
i agree with slimeball tbh, i just wasnt sure how to phrase it
Level 23 Chipist
post #107758 :: 2019.02.16 8:14pm
  raphaelgoulart liēkd this
"So many soundfonts, so many hardware modules. Most of the accurate software emulators locked behind a paywall. Several incompatible MIDI extensions."

"With all the sounfonts/vsts/hardware modules out there, it's extremely likely that whoever's listening/voting does NOT have the setup required for proper playback."

If a person makes a MIDI+ song, all they need to do is render it, and everyone can hear how the song is intended to sound like. I don't really see the problem here.
Level 28 Renderist
post #107769 :: 2019.02.17 2:06am
  MovieMovies1 hæitd this
  kleeder liēkd this
When you need to spend cash on hardware or software up front before the source file is of any use, the source is pretty much useless unless you own the correct playback setup.

Again, I don't see what the problem is with using allgear.
Level 23 Chipist
post #107777 :: 2019.02.17 5:23am :: edit 2019.02.17 5:29am
  Robyn and raphaelgoulart liēkd this
You don't NEED to use the source just because it's there for download. Like I said, just play the render. I feel like there's gonna be at least one other person with the device to play the MIDI correctly.
Level 30 Chipist
post #107781 :: 2019.02.17 6:07am
  argarak, MiDoRi, raphaelgoulart, ipi and Slimeball liēkd this
  MovieMovies1 hæitd this
i thought the general idea of botb is that every sourcefile you submit should be playable for everyone. of course you could jsut listen to the render. but what would stop someone to use [weird hardware mod] which isnt available anymore, extremly limited and also not available on the internet. this person could do almost everything with their render and noone could ever check if its legal or not.

i think thats one of the main problems.
see nsf+ for example. the format is still limited to the given expansion chips featured in famitracker and everyone is able to play back an nsf file.
being able to play back source modules is an important part of this whole botb-compo-stuff because otherwise everyone could just submit their modified, EQd, reverbed submissions and noone could ever tell if its modified or not.
Level 26 Chipist
post #107802 :: 2019.02.17 8:55am
  pedipanol, MiDoRi, Robyn, Slimeball and kleeder liēkd this
i agree with that's a concern but not enough to un-justify the format; maybe restrict the usable hardware/software to only free stuff / stuff that can be freely emulated? idk just giving my 2c

also - assuming in the end this format idea gets rejected after all - whats your guys' opinion on songs using specific midi modules to wildchip? imo they should be accepted since you're still following a set of limitations (the module's sounds), although not that huge of a limitation for me its closer than using square waves on fl studio because you're at least following some limitations at all
Level 27 Chipist
post #108601 :: 2019.03.04 9:38am
  BubblegumOctopus liēkd this
Bumping this again
Level 23 Chipist
post #108607 :: 2019.03.04 11:43am
  argarak, MiDoRi, Schallwelle, MovieMovies1, BubblegumOctopus and kleeder liēkd this
wow this format is so rare you can't even see it in the format list yet
Level 23 Chipist
post #108611 :: 2019.03.04 1:15pm
  Schallwelle and MovieMovies1 liēkd this
we just have to unlock it
Level 27 Chipist
post #108873 :: 2019.03.07 2:31pm
  Schallwelle, BubblegumOctopus, raphaelgoulart and Yung Gotenks liēkd this
the format so secret even the web servers have never seen it
the myth, the legend
Level 27 Chipist
post #109163 :: 2019.03.17 2:43pm
  ASIKWUSpulse, Jimmyoshi, raphaelgoulart and BubblegumOctopus liēkd this
Bumping this again because idk MIDI+ is still important to me and I want this thread to reach 64 posts to reach SC-88/88Pro polyphony levels of posts because idk MEMES i guess :9
Level 6 Chipist
post #109170 :: 2019.03.18 9:41am
You're welcome bro
Level 12 Criticist
post #109179 :: 2019.03.18 3:24pm
There's no Windows softsynth in Linux world so that's already lot of people who will have to use renders rather than the source file.
I will support a MIDI+ format, I want some Yamaha specific stuff to be a thing even if it only means the S-YXG50 softsynth.
Level 22 Pixelist
post #109181 :: 2019.03.18 5:15pm :: edit 2019.03.18 5:16pm
  pedipanol, Slimeball, raphaelgoulart and Jimmyoshi liēkd this
  MovieMovies1 hæitd this
After rethinking all of this, i agree with last Raphael's post - if we're gonna have it, it should encompass only synths and extensions which are in the reach of everybody, not just the ones with too much money to throw away for a whole rack of JVSCPRo8899XP-FantasticomagicoSamplistico, thanks

In such cases - either allgear or wildchip, which never required providiing the actual source projects (???? weird, now to think about it)
Level 27 Chipist
post #109207 :: 2019.03.19 10:21am
  MiDoRi and Slimeball liēkd this
top ten anime betrayals
Level 12 Criticist
post #109211 :: 2019.03.19 12:36pm
  MovieMovies1 liēkd this
But I can only have one Wildchip or Allgear entry which I would rather use for something more elaborate or impossible etc.
The very least current MIDI format should be renamed to Microsoft Softsynth or something like it since it isn't really MIDI per se.
Level 22 Pixelist
post #109215 :: 2019.03.19 2:23pm
  MovieMovies1 and raphaelgoulart liēkd this
  Slimeball and Jimmyoshi hæitd this
I still agree with renaming to MSGS
Level 27 Mixist
post #109219 :: 2019.03.19 3:25pm
  kleeder, Slimeball, MiDoRi and JonKaruzu liēkd this
Proof MiDoRi wants to be called MsGoRs
Level 24 Chipist
post #109220 :: 2019.03.19 3:35pm
  raphaelgoulart and Jimmyoshi liēkd this
Agree. Yuzu I back with some Japanese MIDIs
Level 22 Pixelist
post #109222 :: 2019.03.19 4:05pm :: edit 2019.03.19 4:06pm
  Jimmyoshi liēkd this
Level 27 Chipist
post #109497 :: 2019.04.03 12:20pm
  ASIKWUSpulse liēkd this
Henlo, this is a bump, topic still near to me.
Level 24 Chipist
post #109506 :: 2019.04.03 10:14pm :: edit 2019.04.03 10:16pm
  MovieMovies1, argarak, MiDoRi and kleeder liēkd this
I agree to MiDoRi's and raphaelgoulart's post. After rethinking, I don't think there's much of a point to have a format where you submit a format other than the render if you can't play it on free software or emulation.

That's one of the things that makes this website what it is, the only thing that can get in the way to play the entries here how they are supposed to sound like is the hassle to set up the player for some formats.

Yea the MP3 of the render would be the track playing as intended for anyone to hear but if that's the only way for everyone else to play it, shouldn't it just be allgear?

To me it would be like allowing people to use external plugins on Renoise entries

So I'm in the favor of a MIDI+ format but limited to free soundfonts/software. I'm also in favor of renaming the current MIDI format to MSGS
Level 27 Renderist
post #109510 :: 2019.04.04 4:44am :: edit 2019.04.04 4:45am
  Slimeball, pedipanol, argarak, MiDoRi and kleeder liēkd this
if midi gets renamed to msgs the backend won't be renamed to msgs.

i'm still surprised to how much buzz this topic still gets. it's just such a slippery topic. you'd have to make sure to include the soundfont and .mid in a zip; and use no post-processing. dunno how else it would work. otherwise it's allgear. also aren't certain soundfonts copyrighted? don't want to open the floodgates to piracy.
Level 22 Pixelist
post #109512 :: 2019.04.04 5:09am
  BubblegumOctopus liēkd this
Certain ones are, but on the other hand, many of things in everyday use on BotB are in the grey area too at best (samples from copyrighted games, MT-32 ROMs etc, except most of these things can be considered abandonware)
Level 6 Chipist
post #109689 :: 2019.04.14 5:04am
Just change it or leave it already.
Level 27 Chipist
post #109852 :: 2019.04.20 11:23am
  BubblegumOctopus liēkd this
No matter wether one solution or the other, I will bump this again, because I simply love MIDI too much and another MIDI format would be a fun thing to toy with here
Level 30 Mixist
post #110473 :: 2019.05.14 8:13am
  Yung Gotenks, argarak, Sintel, kleeder and Robyn liēkd this
Here's a question: What would the limitation of devices be?

For example, I could create a MIDI file and then control a stack of synths / drum machines with it. And then, if that's ok, what's the difference if someone wanted to load said MIDI in a DAW and use VSTs? And then all of a sudden we are mostly in allgear land except the entry file would be MIDI and the render sounds nothing like it. I'm not opposed to this idea, but really curious what limitations we really want. Part of BotB's ethos is that no battle should cost money to participate in. A format dedicated to single-unit MIDI hardware does not fit into that picture. :shrug:
Level 24 Chipist
post #110475 :: 2019.05.14 10:22am :: edit 2019.05.14 11:39am
  MiDoRi, BubblegumOctopus and raphaelgoulart liēkd this
The limitation aside from it needing to be free software should be: no setup other than playing the MIDI onto the intended VST/soundfont is allowed.

If it uses a VST, it should be able to play fine by loading the VST in a host, and just sending the MIDI messages to that, without need to manually change settings.

What differs this from allgear is that you're tied to what the MIDI file alone can make the program/soundfont do

Idk if it's clear what I meant, but it's the same concept as playing MT-32 files with munt
Level 16 Chipist
post #110521 :: 2019.05.16 9:03am
Soundfont could be a format... There's a lot of free soundfonts + tools.
Level 23 Chipist
post #110528 :: 2019.05.16 11:50am
  ASIKWUSpulse, raphaelgoulart, MovieMovies1, Jangler and Yung Gotenks liēkd this
yeah my feeling for this in my version of this proposal a year or two ago has been that the file format is the limitation and the render would just be with the GM soundset of choice, but I really like the idea of a soundfont thing, and it seems like it'd be a non-issue since we're already in legally dubious territory with remix battles, certain samples used in module stuff, MT-32 emulation, etc

At the current time, my feeling would be this:

1. Create a 128 sound soundfont or at least the sounds you want to use, in accordance to GM standards. *tools for soundfont creation go in Lyceum*

1 (a). Unique processing, original recording, other forms of sound design for your samples is considered "very cool"
Arguments over dumb stuff like "how is this a Brass 1..?" will occur, because we are gigantic nerds and the format is new.

1 (b). Explanation of sample creation in description would also be considered "very good". We could italicize or something this to save our streamer overlords from having to read all of them if we wanna be really specific about origins

2. Compose a MIDI file

3. Upload MIDI and .sf2 or .sfz or whatever format you want for soundfont

4. Vote on render as usual

5. Smile happy and have a good time forever
Level 27 Chipist
post #110535 :: 2019.05.16 4:33pm
  puke7, ASIKWUSpulse and BubblegumOctopus liēkd this
This is post number 64
We have achieved SC-88Pro polyphony

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