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Jimmy

RAVEN MIDI Pack project - An Ode to Schilder

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@pcorf Thanks for the track! This suits me just fine, will fit the map like a glove!

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While I certainly don't mind the idea of a colab not sure I'd have much to work with at the moment, 24 seconds of two voice tracks, kind of running on fumes creatively, so maybe some outside perspective would help me greatly :)
I'll send you the little wip snip I do have though I am currently working on it so hopefully there'll be some progress today.

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1 hour ago, wolfmcbeard said:

While I certainly don't mind the idea of a colab ...

I'm up for finishing it for you. Once I'm done (should take 2 hours), you can choose to use my version as inspiration or as the final version, it is up to you. You can DM me the WIP midi and I'll get started immediately.

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I recently finished E1 of Heretic and was going to go on to play the rest of the episodes but I think I'll wait until this MIDI pack is done. I've listened to some of the MIDIs and they all sound pretty dang good. Don't have any idea of the maps for reference but seeing phrases like "will fit the map like a glove" is definitely exciting. Great work everyone, and thanks @Jimmy for organising another MIDI pack!

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While I appreciate your offer Peter, I think I may have struck on something not too long ago.
If my steam keeps up, I'll have something to post tomorrow.


 

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Thanks for sharing, Wolf. Take my below advice with a pinch of salt if you will, as I fully acknowledge that it's still early days for this piece, but I'm hoping I can steer you in a good direction.

 

Firstly, you might need to examine what instruments sound most "Heretic" and reexamine your choices. Schilder tended not to use steel guitar - he most likely would have gone for something like a twinkly synth, or harp, or possibly piano, to lead the piece. Currently the track is really missing some sort of identity through its instrument choices - it sounds a bit "disconnected", like it's not really an ensemble of instruments blending into a full piece, it kind of just sounds like... MIDI notes. I'm not really sure how else to describe it, I'm afraid.

 

Melodically, it's kind of all over the shop. A good bit of chromaticism is definitely a nice Schilderian touch, but here the melody on the acoustic guitar is wavering and not pleasing at all - there's no solid ground to latch onto, and again the instrument choice is quite jarring and sharp given the register those melodies occupy. Perhaps those melodies would sound better given a clearer underpinning drone, or series of chords, to establish a firmer basis for the harmony? You have low strings in there occupying the lower registers, but they're a little too low to be of any real use to establishing a firm harmonic ground.

 

My feeling is that the tempo change isn't really needed? That slow part of the song doesn't have much going on so I imagine you can get away with keeping it at 145 all throughout. A good cause for a tempo change is a radical change-up in instrumentation or mood. You generally want to slow the track down if more is coming in, and speed it up when the instruments strip themselves out, say if the beginning of a new musical idea comes in.

 

Lastly, I think fleshing out the percussion would be really nice. You'd need a good steady drum pattern, probably quite a simple one to establish the 6/4 meter, and perhaps timpani or taiko drum to make it sound more orchestral or tribal.

 

Again, that level of identity would really help the piece into something more complete-sounding. If you need any help executing these ideas don't be afraid to press me for more information.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you very much for your critique, very much appreciated.
I'll do away with that tempo change as I was on the fence about it (bit of a hold over from yesterday's work).
the guitar will likely be done away with for a form choir of horn, and the percussion I tend to save for last as it's never really been a strong point for me.
I decided to do this to sort of challenge myself and pick up good solid pointers along the way so again, thank you for your advice, I'll be getting back to it in a day or so.

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Posted (edited)

@Darman Macray Thanks for submitting!

 

The piece is very promising. It rather urgently needs a bit more percussion, though - Schilder's patterns were always fairly full-on, and you've essentially only got cymbals in there - it would make things a lot more exciting if you had some kicks and snares to create an actual drumbeat, and accompany those with rides or hihats holding a pulse - that would add an extra element of rhythm that intensified along with the melodic lines.

 

Bar 41 for example would be a great spot to add in some shakers or closed hi-hats in a semiquaver pattern.

 

More timpani on the whole would also be fantastic.

 

I'd love to use this, would you be okay making these changes?

 

@AD_79 Fabulous work, as I've already said to you. :P Consider it added!

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Whoa, really nice piece! Very multilayered and guitar-focused, which is awesome. A little like a Heretic midi on steroids. :P

 

Thanks for your contribution @Peter! I didn't see you claim for a specific mapslot, but I don't want to let the piece go to waste so I've placed it under "Unassigned". It'll get included in the pack either way, so I'm sure it'll see use somewhere. :D Heck, I might have a place for it in a project of mine...

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Thanks @Jimmy. I had fun working in 5/4 with a little 4/4 section with quintuple swing at the last part of the song before it loops.

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Posted (edited)

A new track to be added into the Unassigned pile, as it was formerly part of a track by @mrgrimsdale which I wound up removing from its original home and expanding upon to give it its own space to develop into a full track. Enjoy!

 

Talons (2:11)

Edited by Jimmy

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Thanks @Darman Macray! This is much better. The added percussion just drives the track along so much.

 

I don't think I have any further notes. Only a very minor technical issue: I have had to remove a "Port Prefix" event on one of the new drum tracks as it's causing the track to go completely silent when I load it in Sekaiju. Unsure if it has an effect in-game, but just to be safe.

 

Thanks for your submission! :)

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So I was getting ahead of myself and tried throwing some of these tracks into my current heretic music replacer (Xenotroid's remixes) with SLADE; but it seems that, no matter what I do, levels keep using their original replacement track in GZDoom.

 

i.e. adding in an MUS_E4M1 track into the pk3, and then adding a replacement version of mapinfo into the pk3 so that it points to MUS_E4M1 rather than MUS_E1M6 under the music entry for the level. But no dice; still plays the E1M6. Weird.

 

Guess I'll have to wait for full release. XD Looking forwards to it!

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Well, you asked the question I wanted to ask. Judging from the way how heretic musics don't have duplication in the WAD files (unlike Doom 2), I assume there's a mapping in a particular file that matches what musics is being played during a certain level. Probably you need to alter that file as well.

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Yeah, ZDoom and Eternity's MAPINFO - and probably PrBoom+'s UMAPINFO - will do it. I hate to say it but this might be the first MIDI pack that's not compatible with Vanilla simply due to the limitations set out in the soundtrack's original mapping.

 

The WAD will come with MAPINFO lumps to accommodate this so running it in your non-Vanilla source port of choice should be viable.

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1 hour ago, eharper256 said:

i.e. adding in an MUS_E4M1 track into the pk3, and then adding a replacement version of mapinfo into the pk3 so that it points to MUS_E4M1 rather than MUS_E1M6 under the music entry for the level. But no dice; still plays the E1M6. Weird.

You probably made a mistake along the way which makes your MAPINFO inoperant. I cannot tell you which one, but that is the only explanation I see.

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I've (sort of) finished Fort Rot! I say sort of because it may need some modifications but I'm pretty happy with it and I'm ready to turn it in for any needed tweaks. That, and my music program exported the MIDI without the instruments. I'm including and OGG version with all the instruments intact so you can get a feel of what it's supposed to sound like. Listening to the old MIDI version is not recommended.

 

EDIT: I managed to reassign the proper instruments in Sekaiju, so here's the proper sounding MIDI version.

 

Fort Rot - OGG Version (1:26)

MIDI Version (1:26)

Edited by Baratus : MIDI version is better

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Because I'm not particularly experienced with Heretic - does anyone know what the most likely emulators to be used are? And therefore what will be the most likely default soundfont that these midi's will be heard with? Presumably an OPL synth emulator?

 

And what does everyone use to compose?

 

I use Logic, which means I have to compose hearing the default MIDI synth that is bundled with MacOS/Windows, and then listen to it back in GZDoom to check it sounds ok with OPL synth emulation.

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1 hour ago, dial-up said:

And therefore what will be the most likely default soundfont that these midi's will be heard with? Presumably an OPL synth emulator?

Nah, most if not all of us have been using the Windows synth as usual.

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1 hour ago, Eris Falling said:

Nah, most if not all of us have been using the Windows synth as usual.

Heretic's soundtrack was composed for a Sound Blaster card, Kevin Schilder confirmed it.

 

39874399_kevinschilderhereticpolyphonymessage1.png

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Whoa. The staggered note starts is a really interesting technique I hardly even noticed was a hallmark of Heretic's soundtrack. Useful to know that he did that consciously!

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10 hours ago, dial-up said:

And what does everyone use to compose?

 

I use Logic, which means I have to compose hearing the default MIDI synth that is bundled with MacOS/Windows, and then listen to it back in GZDoom to check it sounds ok with OPL synth emulation.

 

@dial-up I'm also on Logic, and it's helped to open up one of Schilder's midis in the program to see what Logic's software parallels are.

 

I also generally kick my midis over to Musescore for final edits to get a better ear of what they'll sound like with something similar to a synth-wave soundfont before testing in game. My thought generally is "If it sounds alright with something like Synth-wave, odds are it'll sound alright with the other soundfonts."

 

 

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