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ElFuzzo

Choosing music for maps?

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Hi there!

I was curious how people go about choosing music to use in their maps! The rules for idgames state that you need permission to use anything that isn't your original work (I assume this includes midis, too). Do you just find music and e-mail the authors? Do you personally know some composer friends? Or am I reading the idgames rules as being stricter than they actually are?

I've got a map I've been working on that's pretty much done, but I want to replace the music before I upload it and I'm not really sure where to start!

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midis usually aren't a big deal. Some people here write their own stuff and write stuff for other people, I usually go to vgmusic.com and snag video game midis from there.

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I was wondering the same: Many levels use music from ROTT. Where did they get permission, or is it that the game is out-of-print?

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There are many MIDI musicians, myself included, on this very forum, who are ready to write you a MIDI or two for your project. (I'm waterlogged with requests and my own projects at the moment, so I'm afraid I'm very busy. :P Just giving you a heads-up.)

Generally, using MIDIs from other iD/Apogee/3DR games is acceptable, but technically isn't ethical, because the composers were paid to write them for use in a commercial video game. Even so, it hasn't stopped very many people from taking these tracks and using them in their projects anyway. :P I personally don't mind people doing this - it doesn't hurt anyone, and adds a bit of much-needed flavor to the project.

My motto is very much "Music Makes Mods". Face it, if you're going to make a big megawad, don't use the original Doom 2 OST. It gets boring REAL fast. To pose an example, the first Community Chest project doesn't use many custom MIDIs, and, while the levels are really excellent, I can never really get into it. Sure, I can run it with another music WAD, but in my opinion what makes a map a map is a custom MIDI, specially selected by the author to encapsulate the feel and atmosphere that the map suggests.

So, I encourage you to outsource and find as many MIDIs on the internet as you can use, such as the massive VGMusic.com archive. Do be aware that some MIDI artists are more anal than others about people using their work, in which case you may have to contact them, but most of the time, it's fine to use whatever you download. A somewhat less ethical source is Mirsoft.info, which has MIDIs ripped from almost every game ever made.

That's scratching the surface. There's so much more. :P

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Very few resources that find their way in project-to-project are ever permitted by the original creators; partly due to transient nature of the internet and being able to contact them, and partly due to the silly nature of intellectual property and most people's choice to ignore it.

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Jimmy91 said:
So, I encourage you to outsource and find as many MIDIs on the internet as you can use, such as the massive VGMusic.com archive.

Most of the time when people do that the result is pretty lame. It's much better when music authors actually put some sweat into adding the music, adding another facet to mod making past just scourging the junkyard for shiny things. So I suggest either relying on the game music much like we rely on the original sprites, textures and sounds all the time, or encouraging musicians to participate directly in mods. Mods can be judged by their game play but also by their design, and "selecting stuff" can be part of the process, yet it isn't really an admirable skill by itself. Mods that rely mainly on selection to acquire their aesthetics are generally crap in that respect, resulting from a lack of direct dedication. Compare Plutonia 2 and Alien Vendetta in this way. Both play very well but one is more stylish than the other.

Recent mods that have attracted musicians did a lot to add some freshness to the music in DOOM mods, as opposed to getting more or less the same rips over and over. I don't get tired of seeing the original music in WADs, especially if in WADs with styles akin to the originals, and, in a (preferably classic) megawad it allows one to tell what level one is on without even looking at the automap. Although seeing the same Heretic, ROTT or (insert other commercial source) music in many WADs does indeed get old.

I would suggest (roughly in order):

  • Make your own music.
  • Invite musicians to participate in your project.
  • Ask musicians in the community whether you can use their music.
  • Resort to other sources, especially productive ones, such as remix sites and MIDI authors offering their stuff to use, not sites that compiled rips from other places.

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Choosing music is a lot like choosing any other resource: If done carefully and fittingly, it will certainly spice things up, but picking one haphazardly never works out.

I, for one, welcome new tunes if they're good ones. Makes things more interesting.

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I select my music from my massive collection of modules (6000+ files), virtually all of which are public domain or with unlimited noncommercial usage rights.

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I'm just wondering whether using the music of sy else, but representing "the music is from sy else" in the description - so, is it still bad?

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Cell said:

I'm just wondering whether using the music of sy else, but representing "the music is from sy else" in the description - so, is it still bad?

sy are you talking about?

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Looks like "sy" is somebody.

Cell said:
I'm just wondering whether using the music of sy else, but representing "the music is from sy else" in the description - so, is it still bad?

It's more honest than not saying anything, but it's still not necessarily ethical if that person doesn't want his music used in that way.

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