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MegaTurtleRex

So how do you make MIDI music?

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I've messed around with a few programs but haven't found anything that really works (in a time efficient manner) with just a mouse & keyboard. I was hoping there would be a simple program like those music games I used to mess with on PSX but no luck behehe.

From what I can gather people use actual instruments through a MIDI sequencer program to compose. Is this how you guys do it for Doom? Because if so I wouldn't mind investing in something basic just for fun.

I have a bass and electric guitar but no way of connecting them to a PC. I was thinking of getting a small MIDI keyboard for under $100 now that I'm on holidays. What do you guys use\recommend?

Thanks for any help.

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Here's a thread I made a while back asking about making MIDIs. I ended up downloading Sekaiju and it's a pretty good program. Unfortunately, it doesn't compensate for my incompetence. :P

EDIT: Oh wait, you were asking about literally using instruments? My bad.

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I was going to recommend Guitar Pro, but it's a software rather than a hardware instrument.

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argh I thought I posted this in Doom Editing, sorry.

Well if Sekaiju comes recommended by the mighty Essle then I should try it.

I'm curious how the community 'pros' go about it though, not just the software but how they do the whole thing. Do they just use one instrument to create everything (drum, bass, keyboard)or is that too hard?

I'm filthy noob on this basically. A bit of searching though and I think people use a 1/4 to 1/8 jack to get bass\guitar to work with a sequencer.


edit\ actually I think I'm wrong about the cable, looks like you need something to convert the signal into MIDI data

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I'm using an old program called TabIt, which is for making guitar tablatures basically. It's REALLY simple and easy to use, but I can not get bends, volume automation (fade in, fade out) and other effects to work in it, and thats too bad :/

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Not sure what you mean with "mouse it"? I use the arrow keys to move around and put in notes (numbers). You can point and click where you want with the mouse too of course, but you have to put in the notes with the keyboard. Not quite sure what you mean :P

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How time consuming? I started something yesterday, I've done about 4-5 hours work on it total and I have nearly 3 minutes of stuff. All by mouse.
That said, it's not a very "dense" track :P On the flip side, I did a remake of a game soundtrack which was 6 minutes long when I finished. It had 21 tracks and was over 90KB. That took about 3 weeks on and off.

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darkreaver said:

Not sure what you mean with "mouse it"? I use the arrow keys to move around and put in notes (numbers). You can point and click where you want with the mouse too of course, but you have to put in the notes with the keyboard. Not quite sure what you mean :P


Lol sorry, I meant do you use an instrument to input the notes? I'm assuming you mean PC keyboard but it could also mean piano keyboard :O

Eris Falling said:

How time consuming? I started something yesterday, I've done about 4-5 hours work on it total and I have nearly 3 minutes of stuff. All by mouse.
That said, it's not a very "dense" track :P On the flip side, I did a remake of a game soundtrack which was 6 minutes long when I finished. It had 21 tracks and was over 90KB. That took about 3 weeks on and off.


That doesn't sound too bad really. Do you have a link to any of the tracks you have made? I'm curious to hear them now and see how complex they look, if you'd rather not post them though that's cool.

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Here is the massive one I mentioned. It's a remix of the old RuneScape theme (2010), when the game was actually decent. That's the MIDI file itself, and wasn't made to be compatible with the default synth*. Here is the final product, with soundfonts, which took about 3 hours to render into MP3 ._.

While the other one I mentioned won't be heard by the masses for a while, I have one of similar complexity here. Not even 2KB.

EDIT: *that said, the guitar solo actually sounds surprisingly nice :P

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Meant PC keyboard :P Not sure if it supports hardware, but my guess is that it does not.

MegaTurtleRex said:

Lol sorry, I meant do you use an instrument to input the notes? I'm assuming you mean PC keyboard but it could also mean piano keyboard :O

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Eris Falling said:

Here is the massive one I mentioned. It's a remix of the old RuneScape theme (2010), when the game was actually decent. That's the MIDI file itself, and wasn't made to be compatible with the default synth*. Here is the final product, with soundfonts, which took about 3 hours to render into MP3 ._.

While the other one I mentioned won't be heard by the masses for a while, I have one of similar complexity here. Not even 2KB.

EDIT: *that said, the guitar solo actually sounds surprisingly nice :P


Wow I remember playing Runescape at the library computers back when it was 2D. These are really good, I ran them through one of the programs mentioned here and holy balls that Runescape one is massive.

darkreaver said:

Meant PC keyboard :P Not sure if it supports hardware, but my guess is that it does not.


So at least a couple of you are not using any kind of instrument. I'm kind of tempted to get one of these MIDI keyboards now though



I was watching some bloke play with something similar on Youtube and they look pretty fun. From what I can tell programs like Anvil let you input the music through them so it could be quite enjoyable.

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Bucket said:

I tried an earlier NanoKey and the action on it was horrendous. I wouldn't use it for any kind of live recording.

Mouse input isn't as bad as you think - with copious amounts of looping, and then a once-over to do fills and variations, it takes me a night (about 2-4 hours) to do something like this.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9nX-nszGzKvUXZGZU5uRDJnVDg/edit?usp=sharing


Lol that's cool, I love MIDI metal tracks in Doom. That's really polished for 2-4 hours work, what program did you use?

Btw what do you mean by 'action' on the device? Is that the responsiveness\spring of the keys? I only use string instruments so I got no idea about keyboards, MIDI or otherwise.

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I use Cakewalk Pro 6.0, which isn't available anywhere except maybe eBay. I have to run it on a dedicated netbook because it doesn't support 64-bit - but I just haven't found a program with better editing capabilities.

Yes, the responsiveness on NanoKeys are terrible. The keys remind me of those rubber Casio drum machines. You'll seriously have a better time using your computer's keyboard as a piano, which many programs support.

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Bucket said:

I use Cakewalk


Seems to be a popular one. I need to something eventually because the the demo version of Anvil is becoming really limiting now. I don't know whether its best to find a different editor, or just buy the full version of Anvil, since I can't really imagine making MIDIs without that keyboard interface down the bottom.

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Buy a Yammie. These have an USB-Port, that acts as a MIDI-Interface and good sound for the money. EZ-220 or PSR-E243 will do. And they are General MIDI compatible, so you can playback the Doom MIDIs without trouble...:-)

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hmmm I would get that EZ-220 but I am actually going to have to go against people's advice and get the crappy nanokey just because of the price. I can't really justify spending more than $100 on a distraction right now, I really need to save for school books :(

Thanks for all the information though, I should be making terrible MIDI tracks soon. Though I will probably have more questions about it no doubt :P

Is there any Doomworld documentation\guides on MIDI tracks?

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Don't worry, I'll be de-railing this thread with my own enquiries from now on :P
I considered a MIDI-keyboard, since I can't really sequence piano via the mouse method, because I play very rhythmically, as I'm sure most do.
Trouble is, I could do with getting a proper keyboard too since I play both bass AND keyboard in my college band now and I can't actually practice my piano parts at home (I don't think they know this..shh)
MIDI keyboard also wouldn't solve the limitations of Anvil Studio I don't think.
On some MIDIs I'm making/have made, I just wish I could have that fade-in/fade-out effect on instruments, or pitch bending. It's annoying when I can't do that.

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Well I ordered the NanoKey2 so I should have it in 3-4 days :)

I should start learning what makes a good challenging map now, best way to learn is probably play lots of maps :)

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i've been using FL Studio since, well, maybe half a year or so now? it's been serving me pretty well for its worth, though if you do get the demo edition you can't save projects (which can be circumvented by exporting MIDI files and re-importing them).

the only problem i have with it is that it's hard as shit to do any precise note-bending (works, but i'd like an easier method that doesn't involve vaguely drawing a line through the channel pitch), fade-outs and fade-ins (doable, actually, but it bloats the file-size somewhat enormous if done too much. i dunno if it actually does this, though), and having several drumtracks in a file (i swear i've seen it Jimmy's Quicksilver).

this might be more due to my inexperience than technical limitations and such, though.

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Doomhuntress said:

i've been using FL Studio since, well, maybe half a year or so now? it's been serving me pretty well for its worth, though if you do get the demo edition you can't save projects (which can be circumvented by exporting MIDI files and re-importing them).

the only problem i have with it is that it's hard as shit to do any precise note-bending (works, but i'd like an easier method that doesn't involve vaguely drawing a line through the channel pitch), fade-outs and fade-ins (doable, actually, but it bloats the file-size somewhat enormous if done too much. i dunno if it actually does this, though), and having several drumtracks in a file (i swear i've seen it Jimmy's Quicksilver).

this might be more due to my inexperience than technical limitations and such, though.


Use the glissando tool for note bending.

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Ok so I got the nanokey. I goofed around with the sound software it comes with, but now I gotta figure out how to set it up with the audio programs people suggested.

They all handle it a bit differently, some barely pick it up; I'm guessing I gotta find some software to control its volume\velocity. Unless Anvil etc. have the options buried somewhere.

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Fernito said:

Use the glissando tool for note bending.

how do i do that? neither the slide or portamento action in the piano roll bends the notes in a MIDI Out channel.

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Does exporting the MIDI from Guitar pro work alright within Doom? I use the program a lot but always seem to have issues when importing the MIDI into another program, almost like Guitar Pro doesn't interpret and write things like most MIDI software does.

I would love to make some music for people to use but not sure i could be bothered going back to using Cubase and drawing out scores, I'm too familiar eith Guitar Pro now.

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I use Guitar Pro 5 religiously, every MIDI I've exported worked perfectly in Doom. Even after a MUS conversion they still usually sound correct so it seems to export in a pretty universal fashion. I can't speak for GP6 though, haven't gotten around to that one since 5 has everything I need.

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Doomkid said:

I use Guitar Pro 5 religiously, every MIDI I've exported worked perfectly in Doom. Even after a MUS conversion they still usually sound correct so it seems to export in a pretty universal fashion. I can't speak for GP6 though, haven't gotten around to that one since 5 has everything I need.


Awesome, thanks for the feedback, as I've experienced a few issues trying to import GP MIDI files into some DAWs. Good to know they are fine though as I am a guitar player and find it much easier to compose withing GP, the layout is familiar and i find it much easier to deal with note duration than in note plotters.

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A DAW like REAPER or Cubase can easily collect the MIDI. Dunno about exporting MIDI though.

MegaTurtleRex said:

I've messed around with a few programs but haven't found anything that really works (in a time efficient manner) with just a mouse & keyboard. I was hoping there would be a simple program like those music games I used to mess with on PSX but no luck behehe.

From what I can gather people use actual instruments through a MIDI sequencer program to compose. Is this how you guys do it for Doom? Because if so I wouldn't mind investing in something basic just for fun.

I have a bass and electric guitar but no way of connecting them to a PC. I was thinking of getting a small MIDI keyboard for under $100 now that I'm on holidays. What do you guys use\recommend?

Thanks for any help.


There's tons of virtual pianos, google "turn my keyboard into a piano" and there are a whole bunch of links even for online applications, had a play with http://virtualpiano.net/ and that is good. There are tons of virtual MIDI keyboard players, nearly any DAW has this feature.

If you can plug your guitar into your mic socket, using a line in cable, you can record 'clean' and then soup up the sound with VSTis. A really cool and easy one for distortion is DammitDistortion VSTi. Although you're best off getting a virtual pedal and amp.

Time sensitive: listen close. If you want good 'time sensitivity', you need 'low latency'. The lower (better) the latency, the better your computer needs to be. Also windows XP was easy to be time-sensitive with real-time instruments, but with later versions I found that to record my guitar and keyboard properly, I needed a separate mixer to co-ordinate the input and output at the same time. Damn new Windows!

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I use TuxGuitar. It's a guitar tablature application that already has that old SC-55 soundcard, and it has all the instruments. It also allows you to see all musical scales on both guitar and piano. It's great.

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