What determines how MIDI sounds in RPG Maker?

Jatopian

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Say I want to convert an old MIDI track to OGG for use in MV, or to preview it using an external music player, or any reason really. What would I need to get it to sound like it does in a VX or VX Ace game?

Also interested if the answer is different for past Maker versions, but that's more an idle curiosity at the moment.
 

djDarkX

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They don't use a soundfont. Any MIDI is passed through whatever MIDI Software Synth is installed on the computer, which in the case of Windows is the General MIDI Software Synthesizer. You can always install a software synth to have it sound different or, in my case just for listening pleasure, grab Foobar2000, grab the MIDI playback component and install a soundfont of your choice.
 

Jatopian

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They don't use a soundfont. Any MIDI is passed through whatever MIDI Software Synth is installed on the computer, which in the case of Windows is the General MIDI Software Synthesizer.
Well, that's useful information at least, so thanks for it.
You can always install a software synth to have it sound different or, in my case just for listening pleasure, grab Foobar2000, grab the MIDI playback component and install a soundfont of your choice.
But sounding different is the opposite of what I want. I may have asked the wrong question in my title, but I thought my initial paragraph was pretty clear...
 

Kes

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You will not have total control over it. As djDarkX says, it passes through the whatever is installed on the computer of the listener. Therefore, it could well sound different to different players of your game.
 

Jatopian

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Messing with the MIDI plugin on Foobar2000, I can't even get it to sound the same on the same computer, so I do not think this is a complete picture.

Besides, that would mean that even as late as VX Ace, Degica intentionally chose a system where no one could guarantee that what a developer hears is the same as what a player hears. Why would that be considered a good design choice?
 

Andar

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MIDI is not an audio format, it's a notation format.
That is why it always has sounded different on different computers, always depending on which synthesizer software or hardware was installed on the computers.
And this is also the reason why all game creators moved away from MIDI as the main format.

It was once used due to its size - no audio format can ever get as small files as a notation format, exactly because the notation format does not contain the audio data itself.
 

taarna23

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Like Andar said, they were a good design choice when distribution media and internet speeds affected how one planned their game size. A midi file is basically sheet music your computer can read. So when it comes to shipping a game, it's like sending someone the sheet music instead of the orchestra. Far simpler, and far smaller.

The reason it sounds different even between programs is some programs may be set up in different ways, either with their own sets of sounds (soundfonts) or different ways of processing. If you want to "convert" (it's not really converting, just outputting and recording the audio) a midi, a good place to start is figuring out what soundfonts will make it sound a way you like. Anything from there, however, falls outside my own technical skill.
 

TheoAllen

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While most of the replies are telling you that midi is played differently according to whatever the synthesizer is, if the OP is looking for the one which can play a midi like this, then I'm on the same boat as OP


Unfortunately, I don't think there's a way besides, well just record it from VXA itself
 

Jatopian

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Yes, that's what I'm trying to do.

I don't know why I'm getting explanations of what a MIDI is - maybe an attempt to explain why MIDI is used in RPG Maker? But what I questioned was why MIDI would be used in a way that would not ensure correct playback on other computers, as opposed to, for example, defaulting to a particular soundfont or synthesizer software included in the RTP. And ultimately that was all to highlight why it seems so unlikely that there's no way to reproduce the sound correctly - either RPG Maker has its own way of playing MIDI files, or it relies on the operating system and other programs should be able to do the same.
 

djDarkX

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Sorry, I would have been more helpful yesterday, but I was out of it due to having to do lots of things. You can, in fact, record the audio as MIDI, even with Foobar2000, with the same sound Windows gives, which is from the default that everyone uses. I had converted the original GM.dls soundbank that exists on my machine a long time ago, which still exists on any given Windows machine, however, due to the conversion process, some of the instruments didn't sound right. I found one elsewhere just now that is as close to the original GM.dls, but some of the cymbals last a tiny bit longer than they're supposed to because of the way the conversion process is from DLS to SF2. Sad fact of these formats.

https://onedrive.live.com/download?cid=2AB8EDBAF99D9C4F&resid=2AB8EDBAF99D9C4F!20009&authkey=AAOs2FE_BN7uVNQ

If you want a 1:1 without a converted soundbank, your only other option is to play the MIDI you want in one of the Makers, or Windows Media Player, and record the audio that way, then just loop and trim the audio as needed. In that case, you'd pick the option "What U Hear" or "Stereo Mix", depending on your audio hardware and software. You can use Audacity or Adobe Audition if you own it.

I'd suggest the converted soundbank because it will be far less work and have it still sound 99% the same.
 

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