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How can you make professional sounding music

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arrite, right now i got about 30 songs done for my game, but they are midi files.... is there a way to make those midi''s sound more real, instead of computerized as it is? I talked to some people and some of them have told me i''d have to get some hardware and a bunch of programs...but nothing specific. can some one point me in the right direction. also what do they do in game companies today?

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If you want to keep the songs as MIDI, then you will have to put up with the MIDI sound. The problem with MIDI is that MIDI is device independant. Which means the same song will sound different on different soundcards depending on the cards built in MIDI Synth. Your musician may have used an external synth or has a decent sound card with a good Software Synth to write his music.

This is the reason why MIDI has disappeared from games and they switched to MODs earlier, and now MP3/RedBook CD Audio.

MODs are a little more tricky to write but they contain the sound data in the format so they will sound the same on every platform.

If your platform is restricted by memory such as N64, MODs are a good way to go for audio, however the sample quality will be affected as well. Try writing 8 tunes in 1meg of memory for a commercial grade game that has to sound the same on all platforms!!

Most companies these days go with their own proprietory streaming audio formats and CD Audio, as there is no restriction on sound quality. However with 30 tunes, unless you are using a compressed streaming format like MP3, your sound data in WAV format will be huge!

HOWEVER... if you take a look at Microsoft's Direct Music Producer, you can actually use 3rd party software synthesizers for midi playback. I think it comes bundled with the Yamaha one free, but I am not exactly sure so don't quote me on that.

BUT Software synthesizers chew up CPU, so if speed is an issue in your game, then don't go for these.

PERHAPS consider converting the midi files to WAV/MP3/OGG/CD Audio, or any other audio file format for streaming. Get a your audio guy to convert the midi to MP3 or something. I have done this recently for the project I am helping out now. It's quite simple

Hope this helps.


----

Proffessional Music/Sound Engineer

"Music is not something you just do, it's part of who you are"

[edited by - yjbrown on August 16, 2002 7:00:32 AM]

[edited by - yjbrown on August 16, 2002 9:37:17 AM]

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quote:
Original post by yjbrown
PERHAPS consider converting the midi files to WAV/MP3/OGG/CD Audio, or any other audio file format for streaming. Get a your audio guy to convert the midi to MP3 or something. I have done this recently for the project I am helping out now. It''s quite simple



for converting download this wav-maker!

AngelForce

--
If you find any mistakes, you''re allowed to keep ''em!

''When I look back I am lost.''

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great! thats a lot of questions answered to me. Thanks alot. but i have anotehr question now....sorry if this is annoying but...

"Most companies these days go with their own proprietory streaming audio formats and CD Audio, as there is no restriction on sound quality. However with 30 tunes, unless you are using a compressed streaming format like MP3, your sound data in WAV format will be huge!"

ok, how do companies make there own music by making "proprietory streaming audio formats" how do you do that? how does...Capcom or Squaresoft, for example do this?

i hope this is pretty understandable, but im really itching for "how to do this." thanks a lot.


[edited by - bblade17 on August 16, 2002 12:52:36 AM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
squaresoft still uses MIDI (at least I believe they did on FFX)

I personally would suggest using a sampler and samples...or soundfonts. and then recording that as audio. then compressing to mp3 or ogg, or whatever you prefer.

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For ideal sound quality, you''d want to have someone with a decent collection of synths/samplers orchestrate your MIDI files and record the result as WAV files. You could then convert these to MP3''s if you needed to save space.

DirectMusic is another way to go. It uses MIDI files at its core, but comes with a standard Roland soundset so your music sounds the same from system to system. You can also create custom DLS collections if you need sounds that aren''t included in the standard set.

If you need assistance with this, let me know.

Mike Damon
Virtual Productions
mike@virtualproductions.net
[link]www.virtualproductions.net[/link]

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quote:

ok, how do companies make there own music by making "proprietory streaming audio formats" how do you do that? how does...Capcom or Squaresoft, for example do this?



Well, companies used proprietory audio formats to stop people from ripping the music, and perhaps for a bit more control for interactive music in games.

I wouldn't worry about this, as there are plenty of code out there on streaming audio, MP3 formats, etc..

quote:

for converting download this wav-maker!

AngelForce



He will need to have some software synths, or soundfonts to get a better sound than his internal midi synth on his sound card, which is the problem right now. Does wave-maker have a built in midisynth or something to do this?


If you're still thinking of using midi, then still have a look at Mirosoft Direct Music Producer as someone else mentioned here, it comes with built in midi synths.

Direct Music Producer is a free download from Microsoft.


Here's an example of converting MIDI using software synths to MP3
ORiginal Midi
Mastered MP3 Version 900k 160bps


----

Proffessional Music/Sound Engineer

"Music is not something you just do, it's part of who you are"


[edited by - yjbrown on August 17, 2002 8:26:25 AM]

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I would have a question to ask you about professional music producing. Most of the videogames companie are now composing their musics with an orchestral quality. Do they really employ orchetra or is there any solution to obtain a such quality with any harware/software solution ? (and good composer of course

Thanks...

__________________________



Bruno Wieckowski
Lead Programmer
Exood4 Studios

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Believe it or not, you can get extremely close to imitating a real orchestra using software sampling alone, but it is also extremely expensive. The most popular software out there for this sort of thing is Gigastudio (and it''s little brother, Gigasampler) which can be found at this site.

Then you must purchase orchestral libraries from sites such as soundsonline.com which can range from an entire orchestra of limited quality, to a single section of an orchestra with excellent quality, but at a hugely expensive cost. I''ve been using this software for over two years now an am still surprised on how expensive these libraries can get. But in the end it is worth it.

Game composers such as Jeremy Soule use Gigastudio too, and you can check out his demos for gigastrings at their site. Excellent sound, but still a bit too much for me.

Anyway, it''s either this, or yes, you can hire a real orchestra.

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quote:
Original post by yjbrown
If you''re still thinking of using midi, then still have a look at Mirosoft Direct Music Producer as someone else mentioned here, it comes with built in midi synths.

Direct Music Producer is a free download from Microsoft.


Here''s an example of converting MIDI using software synths to MP3
ORiginal Midi
Mastered MP3 Version 900k 160bps



Was that converted using Direct Music Producer?

- Andrew

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using soundfonts is cool, but make sure you''re not breaching any copyrights.

Also, you can improve your actual midis by adding softer background instruments. Also, if you havn''t done it, it''s good to have notes of difrent velocities, or even run it through a program that will slightly randomise the velocity and start and endpoints of the notes. This will make it sound more natural and flowing, basicly more real.

One easy of doing this is to actualy play it out and record it to midi (if you have the equipment)

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