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yakfak

.mid vs modern audio file

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I notice that even though a large proportion of present-day Doom players are playing in an advanced source-port which can support all sorts of powerful audio files - ZDoom and PRBoom-plus can play back .OGG as well as a number of interesting tracker/chip formats like .IT and .NSF - most levels that are released still come bundled with a .MID soundtrack. Is this a tradition we're gonna keep forever? does the tiny GM soundset somewhat define Doom to you? Perhaps you like having the option to shove the tune through your own soundfont?

(i'm so sick of looking for a .MID sequencer I actually like that I decided I'm going to start making Impulse tracker files with MIDI instruments - hopefully that will suit most listeners... here's an example, should play back with VLC player if you've never seen a .it file before)

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Yes, it's pretty much a core part of Doom now IMO. OGGs stick out just like 3D models, voxels and other stuff - it feels like they come from some other, non-Doom dimension. Once in a while I can tolerate a well-fitting tracker or even OGG song but only once in a while when the planets align correctly.

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1. MIDIs are much smaller in file size. A single MP3/OGG track easily exceeds file size of a multi-map wad.
2. Copyright infringement of MIDI tracks is traditionally ignored by mostly everyone, including /idgames maintainers, unlike copyright infringement of MP3s (at least in theory).

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OGGs and trackers fit better in more non-ordinary or particular maps/wads. I actually like them but when they are used sparingly, I think that if they become more popular they will lose some of their charm.

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I have a list of quite a number of modules I really want to use in a Doom map (ie craft a map after), but often when I try to make a map after one of my favorite songs I end up trying to turn it into a huge ordeal by making it my best map ever, making sure it fits my vision perfectly, etc. I think it would be great to hear more tracker modules used in place of midis (can't say I really care about any additional file size), but in the end all that really matters is that the music fits the map

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There are plenty of old ZDoom maps with tracker music. Take most of Cyb's maps for example.

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Also from us composers' perspective, custom midis are quicker and easier to make, and actually allow for a lot of variation and experimentation with sound without needing to spend a lot of effort looking through samples.
In fact it's a bit like mapping in that respect - one of the reasons doom mapping has such a large active community behind it is that it's relatively easy and quick to do. The more advanced the port you map for and the more capability for effects and visual detail, the more time and effort you need to spend on it.

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scifista42 said:

2. Copyright infringement of MIDI tracks is traditionally ignored by mostly everyone, including /idgames maintainers, unlike copyright infringement of MP3s (at least in theory).

I've actually been wondering about this. I'm working on a map—who knows if it'll ever see the light day—but for the music I took an MP3 song, grabbed the instrumental sections, and spliced them back together into a nice looping track. If I released the resulting MP3 (which is obviously just the intro and interlude of The Longer Winters' "Sky Is Open") as part of my WAD, would that be frowned upon?

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The way I see it, only ZDoom specific maps should have those fancy OGGs and MP3s since ZDoom and its derivatives are the only engines capable of playing the tracks. *This is why I never use non-MIDIs in vanilla maps and never use MIDIs in ZDoom maps unless I like the MIDI more than the OGG/MP3. I honestly don't think file size is a concern in this day and age by the majority of people, though *I do put out separate files with no music that I like to call the Doomkid edition.

*when I actually do put out maps

My upcoming Quake themed map will most likely use a Quake track since that's the only thing that'll fit.

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SavageCorona said:

The way I see it, only ZDoom specific maps should have those fancy OGGs and MP3s since ZDoom and its derivatives are the only engines capable of playing the tracks.

OGG is also supported in PrBoom-Plus and Eternity, and probably others.

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SavageCorona said:

The way I see it, only ZDoom specific maps should have those fancy OGGs and MP3s since ZDoom and its derivatives are the only engines capable of playing the tracks.


Last I checked, PRBoom+ and Eternity can play OGG files. It's also supposed to be able to support MP3s but that doesn't seem to work, at least for me.

I might use OGGs in a future project as an optional add-on.

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AD_79 said:

Last I checked, PRBoom+ and Eternity can play OGG files. It's also supposed to be able to support MP3s but that doesn't seem to work, at least for me.

I might use OGGs in a future project as an optional add-on.

MP3 support is present in SDL-based Doom ports (like the above mentioned ones), but is unreliable because SDL's MP3 handling is lousy. Sucks, but you can just use OGG for the same end result (and a smaller filesize as a bonus).

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Boom might be able to play them but it's not exactly 100% compatible if what AD is saying isn't an isolated incident. From what I can tell ZDoom can play pretty much any of the regular music filetypes with no troubles. I'm no expert on this issue though, I'm most likely wrong.

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SavageCorona said:

Boom might be able to play them but it's not exactly 100% compatible

esselfortium said:

OGG is also supported in PrBoom-Plus and Eternity

It's compatible

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also I've been trying to run Doom using .IT soundtracks and when faced with even a moderately complicated map, the music skips and stalls - might just be my crappy laptop but it's not a good sign, since I'm probably not the only Doomer with a crappy laptop. sigh

I reckon using MIDI samples as a base while introducing some subtle DSPs and more effective drums could still be the way to go. .OGG is seemingly more efficient than .IT anyway

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I noticed people talking about tracker modules and ogg/mp3. The problem with modules is that they balloon in size, the other is they play differently depending on the player (sometimes this can be fun though). Me programming tunes with Renoise, and dumping entire project files on mappers is not an option. One .ogg that is 5 minutes in length is roughly 5 megs, which is much more passable.

I personally have a clear idea of what kind of music would suit DOOM given the visuals and gameplay it provides, and general midi is not ideal in 2015. Considering the options we have now available, and how DOOM has grown over 20 years with modifications, ports and intricate map designery, I do not understand background music staying in the early 90's when everything else has moved on.

Although I do love GM for the cheese.

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Wouldn't module music only balloon in size if you're using a lot of samples, or "high-res" samples or whatever? I have a bunch of modules and the biggest of them is still below the megabyte. It doesn't make much sense to me to say that OGG is more efficient than IT, because they're completely different approaches. Modules are conceptually closer to MIDI than to streamed audio; it's just MIDI that comes with its own sound banks instead of relying on whatever the user's got.

yakfak said:

also I've been trying to run Doom using .IT soundtracks and when faced with even a moderately complicated map, the music skips and stalls - might just be my crappy laptop but it's not a good sign, since I'm probably not the only Doomer with a crappy laptop. sigh

If you're using ZDoom (or derived), you can try messing with the module replayer options to try to improve performances.

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Is it true you can usually get away with using midi files without anyone really caring?

I'm working on a map for Doom 2 that none of the Doom 2 music fits, but some of the original Doom music would work perfectly. Is anyone going to mind if I nab the .mus file from the Doom WAD and pop it into my PWAD?

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Bauul said:

Is it true you can usually get away with using midi files without anyone really caring?

I'm working on a map for Doom 2 that none of the Doom 2 music fits, but some of the original Doom music would work perfectly. Is anyone going to mind if I nab the .mus file from the Doom WAD and pop it into my PWAD?


People have been reusing Doom music ever since mapping was a thing, so don't worry about that.

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It would be better to talk about new soundfonts rather than file formats. You can make great songs in many programs, but if you use tons of different and unfitting sounds between tracks, the result won't be good. In pwad we are used to hear all kind of techno, power metal, classical an humorous midis, maybe even in one wad, and it will slip through fingers easily and no one takes it as a bad taste of wad author.

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ps, the file I posted in teh original post was meant to elicit some sort of feedback =P you can tell I used MIDI instruments but introduced effects and better drums, was wondering if it'd sound jarring in a Doom level?

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yakfak said:

ps, the file I posted in teh original post was meant to elicit some sort of feedback =P you can tell I used MIDI instruments but introduced effects and better drums, was wondering if it'd sound jarring in a Doom level?


I was just popping into this thread preparing to say "I'm surprised no one has complimented the piece" if no one in fact had complimented the piece since I last read the thread.

It does sound odd as far as Doom music goes, but it gets away with that due to sheer quality. 0:00-1:43 or so is okay, but 1:44-2:18 is where the track really takes off. Pretty great. I'd make that part 2x longer or something.

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thanks! I know it's not rock enough to suit the most traditional players among us, but hopefully it's "MIDI enough"... the tune is a cover I did from memory of a piece from teh Suikoden 2 soundtrack and, listening back to it, I did drama it up a little and accidentally abridge the verse lol

(frankly I think the concept of doomy/not doomy music is a millstone around the necks of the community's musicians, which happily they are beginning to remove. personally I've grown sick of traditional rock music and want to hear more interesting beats, swing, stronger melodies etc. but that's probably a different discussion entirely!)

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