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I Drink Lava

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About I Drink Lava

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  1. I Drink Lava

    How can I start making MIDIs???

    Definitely look into music theory if you haven't already. You can put in "music theory cheatsheet" and find some pretty useful information right out the gate. Learning the keys is a very overlooked thing. If you can hum a few notes, put them into your editor, and say "this is in the key of E flat minor", then it'll make the transcribing process a whole lot easier. Learning common chord progressions is also very helpful. I'd start with Bobby Prince's tried and true 12-bar blues progression first to get immediate Doom-sounding results. A MIDI is just any file that contains data including note pitch, length, and velocity. Pretty much any music software will create a MIDI or something that can be converted into one. Specific information such as preset numbers and bank numbers fall into the General MIDI standard. You'll need this GM information in order to create something that can be played back in Doom, otherwise it'll all default to piano sounds (even the drums).
  2. I Drink Lava

    Question about whitroom.wad

    There was an underground South Korean DOS scene in the early-to-mid-90s complete with its own MIDI community. The old Chaos soundfont came from this niche subculture, with a MIDI cover of the Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water opening as its demo file. No doubt this must've spilled over into the BBSes of the time, probably from bilingual users. I actually found this thread linked from another "old PWADs with custom music" thread several years ago and this MIDI ended up stuck in the back of my mind. It's a strangely memorable MIDI, moreso than the actual level it's from which sucks pretty bad. Now I just have to solve the mystery of where SLUGFEST.wad MAP02 is from.
  3. I Drink Lava

    Question about whitroom.wad

    Hoo boy, taking a big risk bumping a 12-year old thread like this but I found out the real source thanks to Youtube's over-aggressive Copyright ID system:
  4. I Drink Lava

    "Dreadful Heat" - a dark and ominous track

    I really hope you didn't pay a music instructor for this. -For starters, the entire structure is just I-II repeated during the entire duration of the song with no variation whatsoever. -Not only that, but the chords are 8 semitone intervals which just sounds wrong. Have you not heard of the Tritone, diabolus in musica? You want to space the notes 6 semitones apart for that classic dissonance. -The chord progression ascends, which doesn't sound right at all for the tone this piece is going for. Ascending notes gives listeners a sense of hopefulness. It reminds me of this song, which I should point out is often criticized for its repetitive sound as well as replacing more interesting songs after missions are beaten. You want the notes to descend to give them a sense of hopelessness. I've created an 8-bar proof of concept of what your chords should roughly look like. It goes I-VII-I-V on the first measure, then I-VII-I-III on the second. The I on the third bar is inverted to lend to the descending sound. -The bassline drops out on the 7th bar. Why? It happens again later in the song, too. -A timpani kicks in on the first beat of the 8th bar, but it should really start on the third beat to build up anticipation for the next measure. The rapid timpanis seem out-of-time, too. Also, you should keep the timpanis as a rhythm section, roughly like below. I think the timpanis are supposed to be in tune with the rest of the music, but you just have them play on G3. -Instead of those weird, sprinkler-like shakers constantly playing, have some orchestral snares roughly like this. I would change the bassline to better suit this marching-style percussion too. -At the 15th bar is where the song completely falls apart. Setting aside that you should really wait until the next measure to start the melody (17th bar), the melody is a complete jumbled mess of random notes that don't harmonize or resolve well at all. It honestly sounds like AI algorithm generated music. I would just throw out the entire melody in favor of something more minimalist and ambient, sort of like this Duke Nukem 3D track. When it comes to music, less is more. Just have your bass, chords, and percussion play on loop, then record yourself humming simple melodies over it. Transcribe those melodies into your editor playing each key one at a time. -Most perplexing is the fact that the notes are all in Major key, when they really should be Minor key. Have you never seen the meme videos where traditional Minor key music is transposed into Major key?
  5. I Drink Lava

    The General MIDI Museum - A Youtube Archive

    The rare Aureal Vortex 2 demo MIDIs are up! The soundfont sounds accurate for the most part, although the synth sounds are a bit thin compared to the real thing. You can download the soundfont here. I can't say it's the most exciting music in the world, but it's still well worth archiving.
  6. I Drink Lava

    The General MIDI Museum - A Youtube Archive

    Not sure if bumping is allowed, but I recently discovered the existence of 5 demo MIDIs that came with the Aureal Vortex2 that don't seem to have any information about them online. The Aureal Vortex2 actually has its own unique sample set that doesn't sound half bad. I found this post that mentions being able to convert the .ARL file into .SF2 format, but as usual the poster does not mention how to convert the file or even share the converted file for everyone else. I did find this post on VOGONS that has a converted file from the Turtle Beach Montego II, but some of the presets like the Orchestra Hit are noticeably lower quality than in that Youtube video. If anybody following this thread knows how to convert .ARL format to .SF2, please contact me so I can get these Aureal demo MIDIs archived with the intended sound by the composers. BTW if anybody here has been wondering what happened to this project, it's still continuing over on Youtube. This Passport Designs Inc. MIDI called dreamy.mid has become somewhat popular:
  7. I Drink Lava

    My first ever MIDI composition

    You can't just write a song using one scale, there's more to it than that. Music is made up of different chord progressions and rhythms. Even one of those "learn music theory in 30 MINUTES!!!" videos would be more useful than just learning a single scale. Listening to "Interrupted Vacation", I can clearly hear a disparity between the bass notes and the melody. The bass is just playing the root note of C (1) for the entire duration of the song with very little movement (only 2nd and 3rd intervals) and in a strangely out-of-sync way at that. The sixth note in the measure does not even line up with the beat, somehow. Even if your song does not have literal chords, the notes of the bassline and melody will still correspond to a chord in the scale. Now I am not well-versed in music to transcribe your chord progressions, but I can tell you that a root note of C in C Major would be for a I chord containing C, E, and G (1, 3, and 5). Also, why does the bassline go up an octave randomly on the 19th measure? Was that a user error in the editor? The percussion does not line up with the bass or the melody, either. When the other percussion instruments kick in, they just play on the same beat. It becomes a cacophony of noise. Typically, you want to have the percussion layered so it doesn't all robotically play on the same beat. The most simple way of doing it would be having quarter notes (usually kick-snare), layered with eighth notes (cymbals, the various conga drums and other misc. percussion) and sixteenth notes (hi-hats and shakers). I suggest you go back to the drawing board and take in more music theory lessons. Instead of randomly playing the 8 notes in C Major with no emotional resonance and the same few motifs repeated, you should start with with an actual structure. The most beginner lesson would be to use a I-IV-V progression, which in C Major would correspond to C-E-G, F-A-C, G-B-D. You could probably find a I-IV-V loop somewhere free online, then practice improvising over it by humming a melody, then transcribing that melody into notes in your editor. After that, I would listen to some music like you're trying to compose in the style of (in this case, Calypso music) and find a transcription that contains the key it's written in and the names of the chords so you can find the progression.
  8. I Drink Lava

    Mordeth - FEB'97 version

    After 25 years, Mordeth E1 doesn't quite retain its "legendary" status. The texturing is monotonous, leading to the levels all looking the same and feeling frustrating to navigate. The opposition is 90% fodder with not many memorable setpiece battles and new weapons handed out quite rarely. Still, Mordeth E1 stands out among other late 90s releases for its impressively large, non-linear, and atmospheric maps. Each is filled with tons of complex secrets beyond the usual "press use on the misaligned texture" variety. There's also some really inventive use of 3D space for the time, including a few clever platforming bits. I highly recommend playing with the DeuSF version in a high-resolution port to better appreciate all the details.
  9. I Drink Lava

    Batman DOOM

    At first glance, Batman Doom seems like a crusty '90s TC with some awkward, poorly-scaled sprites and bland, linear level designs. As the TC progresses, however, you begin to see how all these elements come together to make a really fun experience that's true to the Batman spirit. Each map is unique, with some of the standouts being a hospital that fills with poison gas, a house of horrors filled with death traps, and a chemical plant that ends with a massive explosion. The weak links were MAP07 and MAP08, as they featured cheap sniper enemies who could shoot you within a few tics placed far above your FOV. Be sure to use a compatible source port, or else you'll run into some serious bugs like enemies who throw molotov cocktails straight down at their feet.
  10. I Drink Lava

    HERIAN2 (revision 0, 24/01/1999)

    I've tried to play Herian 2 several times over the years but I've never gotten far. I finally got to MAP10 this time before I gave up, having wasted over 30 minutes in an empty level without finding the exit. While I don't normally review WADs I haven't beaten, I have to make an exception in this case. If you didn't like Eternal Doom, then you'll hate Herian 2, plain and simple. It's all the same cryptic level progression, except this time with no music and way too many rockets, Soulspheres, Mega Armors, and Megaspheres. I feel like the only reason this gets high ratings is because it was featured in the old "Top 100 WADs" list. People see its inclusion on a best WADs list, so it subconsciously creates a bias within the people who play it.
  11. I Drink Lava

    Assault on Tei Tenga

    What? This is not good at all. It's basically a handful of short maps straight out of 1994 complete with cheesy MIDIs and zero difficulty. The maps are interconnected with a hub, which in execution means you go through the right door first to flip a switch, then go back through the left door and take an alternate exit to flip another switch. The unskippable cutscenes highlight exactly why Doom was better off eschewing a narrative in the first place. To top things off, it ends with a tedious platforming sequence while an overpowered boss fires a railgun at you. I just fail to see how this could've ever been regarded as a good WAD, especially when Kurt Kesler's maps came out around the same time and actually had gameplay, detailing, and lighting to back up the source port gimmicks.
  12. I Drink Lava

    The amazing "identify that Doom song" thread.

    Anybody know what MAP02 of Slugfest by Shamus Young is from? In the textfile, he says it's the only track he didn't compose but the file itself had no information. If it's an original piece, I'd like to feature it on my MIDI Museum channel with proper credits.
  13. lol I think I was the one that wrote the "Huge, ugly, but AWESOME" review on CASTEVIL.WAD back in 2010/2011

    1. vdgg


      That's cool. I don't always agree with your reviews but I enjoy reading them a lot. Some maps I know, some I don't, thanks especially for the dickies series.

  14. I Drink Lava

    crusades.wad, Issue 1.

    crusades.wad is one of the finest vanilla Doom experiences ever created. It's just a set of really well-made, well-paced maps filled with striking details and brutal, punishing difficulty. No huge mazes, convoluted switch hunts, or artificially inflated monster counts, just good ol' fashioned Doom level design. 4.5/5
  15. I Drink Lava

    The Darkening

    An 11-map episode consisting of bite-sized, not-too-difficult maps from the Doom community's transition to the modern era. Personally, I found it uneven in quality. Jan Van der Veken's and Travers Dunne's maps are full of excellent texturing, detailing, and lighting effects. However, John "Gestalt666" Bye's, Nick Baker's, and Adam Windsor's levels feel seriously below-par. They could've come from any random episode from 1995, albeit with better texture alignment. MAP04 and MAP05 were definitely the highlights for me with their Quake-esque 3D layouts. 3.5/5