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40oz

Black MIDI

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Anyone ever heard of this? Apparently theres a subculture of MIDI composers called blackers who write "impossible music" by layering sequences of notes over and over and over (creating sheet music that is essentially black with cascades of notes) in a midi file generating seemingly nigh incomprehensible noise. Sometimes as much as 200,000,000,000 (two hundred billion) notes in a single track!

Some of these midi files reach over hundreds of gigabytes in filesize.

I found a list of the Largest Midi files ever written, as well as a video of the worlds largest midi file, which reaches over a terabyte in size and is just under four minutes long.

The best is around halfway through the video the whole midi system just digests itself and starts to lock up.



Here's another video of a Black Midi with a distinct artsy approach

Anybody consider sticking one of these things in a Doom wad as a stress test?

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It's interesting that the melody is still comprehensive throughout the noise. It would be an interesting battle to try and balance the effect to make the song as listenable as possible. Walking the edge, really.

Here is a much more conservative version of the song:

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This is very, very odd. MIDI is flexible enough to do most of this without having to resort to superfast tempos. some midis my friend spencer made in college (called ohbaby.mid and ohbaby2.mid) had this same approach, resulting in a 25MB MIDI file unzipped. These would never play in any MIDI rack, and would crash Noteworthy and Sibelius instantly.

It's very likely these are generated using a custom program; no one could ever put down 280 billion notes.

Doomhuntress said:

wouldn't a 1.1 TB MIDI files be impossible for the Doom engine to read, unless it's some kind of source-port?


I used to work in the music tech biz, and I'll be honest - there were 0 instances of MIDI files of this size used. Most MIDI racks wouldn't even attempt to load them, or try playing only what was possible in memory, stopping somewhere mid-track. Feeding this through a MIDI cable, though? I'm not even sure it's possible. MIDI is capped at 31250 baud, which is, for a lack of a better comparison, Dial-up modem speed.

I am highly skeptical of MIDI setups playing this. Most were 32-bit RISC setups, which meant that the addressable range of the file would be impossible. Given that most of these MIDI files are from Touhou enthusiasts, who are known for crazy boundary-pushing stuff like this, I'm not surprised the biggest MIDI file ever is "Bad Apple".

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Csonicgo said:

It's very likely these are generated using a custom program; no one could ever put down 280 billion notes.


Indeed, the link 40oz posted (http://impossible-music.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_Largest_MIDIs) says that most of the MIDIs it lists are unplayable due to the sheer size. Also:

MIDIs with billions of notes are synthetically made and are unopenable.


So yeah, it's definitely a custom program used to make them.

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I stumbled upon some of these on YouTube once. I didn't know what to think. I didn't realize these things had about 10 million notes as a lower limit. People be crazy.

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I had actually considered suggesting a few black MIDIs for WOOO 2's soundtrack, until I realized that these songs are bad enough playing alone in their own little isolated environments.

They'd probably fuck over Zdoom and all its little bastard-child babby ports until they flat out imploded.

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Jeez, the videos you guys posted makes this:



Seem WAY tame. I actually like this version more than the real "UN Owen Was Her", it feels like more of a treat for the ears.

Excellent share, this kind of stuff fascinates me for some reason.

That slightly more conservative 'Bad Apple' Midi seems to use a lot of quiet notes, for the helix shapes and stuff. I laughed at the middle bit where it froze from all the notes.

@Eris, that's definitely more efficient :P

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You know, I've never actually seen or played a Touhou game. I hear they are all shooty like Smash TV or R-Type. Where can I find one? Are they on Steam?

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I believe the term is African American MIDi

After watching/listening to a few, this might be my favorite just based on how uncomfortable yet familiar it is:

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Nomad said:

I believe the term is African American MIDi

After watching/listening to a few, this might be my favorite just based on how uncomfortable yet familiar it is:


That is beautiful. Can you give me a download link for that? I honestly want to see if I can use that for a map.

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Nomad said:

After watching/listening to a few, this might be my favorite just based on how uncomfortable yet familiar it is:

It's like the loudness war caught up to MIDI.

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Jaxxoon said:
You know, I've never actually seen or played a Touhou game. I hear they are all shooty like Smash TV or R-Type. Where can I find one? Are they on Steam?

Sadly, Touhou has no local release so it's either import or pirate. The creator said in a recent interview that he likes Steam, though.

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Certain avant-garde compositions can be like this (large number of tracks, unconventional scales, lack of harmony etc.)

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Stygian said:

Sadly, Touhou has no local release so it's either import or pirate. The creator said in a recent interview that he likes Steam, though.

Most, if not all, of the TouHou games are free by my understanding. Most of them have been translated into English at some point, so getting a playable copy shouldn't be too hard unless you're trying to play the old PC-98 games, (even at that, the download links for them still exist, but getting a translated version loaded into an emulator might require a little effort.)

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Jaxxoon R said:

I just realized Touhou features anime characters.

That shit's legitimately scary to me, so... yeah.

you've never known this before? just searching for the name gives up results like that. :p

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I have not seen anything about this before but I do find this to be quite interesting. More so that they used touhou music.

BlueFeena said:

Most, if not all, of the TouHou games are free by my understanding. Most of them have been translated into English at some point, so getting a playable copy shouldn't be too hard unless you're trying to play the old PC-98 games, (even at that, the download links for them still exist, but getting a translated version loaded into an emulator might require a little effort.)


None of the main games are free, which are generally the games that most people play. I'm pretty sure most of the games that aren't part of the series, that are created by other people, aren't free either. There are some free games and some rom hacks like touhoumon.

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This is great! Thanks for sharing.

Maes said:

Certain avant-garde compositions can be like this (large number of tracks, unconventional scales, lack of harmony etc.)

The closest thing that I know of is this:

http://www.thenormanconquest.net/myriad/myriad

Which clocks in at a mere 10,000 tracks. Interestingly, it sounds similarly bombastic to the black midis, insofar there's audibly very many musical events occurring simultaneously at any one time.

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Ooh, nice find!

Technician said:

It's interesting that the melody is still comprehensive throughout the noise. It would be an interesting battle to try and balance the effect to make the song as listenable as possible. Walking the edge, really.

This is a really interesting idea. In particular, one can see a natural rhythm developing in the OP video, in how the midi software locks up. If one could take advantage of that, you could get a really nice 'glitchy' aesthetic going!

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