M.O.G. "My Own Game" Multipart Event - Music Creation
In this event we will attempt create a soundtrack for a game. No prior experience is expected!
The intent is to get people out of their comfort zones and attempt the different aspects of game creation. The M.O.G. initiative be a 3-part event, with each event focusing on a different aspect - soundtrack, graphics, and game creation. This event will focus on the music (and soundeffects). The graphics event will be running in parallel and will focus on tilesets, charsets, and battlers and the like. The final event will be game creation, wherein we create a game but only using resources created in the previous two events (+ general public resources, like RTP, to fill gaps)!
This is a pretty ambitious undertaking, but it sounds pretty satisfying, too!
The more forward-thinking among you might even plan a game now, and then build your resources around that idea, and make your OWN game with your OWN resources.
Submit either individual tracks, or partial or complete soundtrack packages. Share them in posts on the event profile and upload them to the official event page. Feel free to also submit them as a Resource to RMN's resource section (they are still subject to RMN's quality guidelines).
Your songs CAN SUCK HARD. They can have crappy sound quality. But as long as they are YOURS they will still be accepted to the event!
THIS IS NOT A COMPETITION
For a soundtrack, what would the expected "core" tracks be? For a fantasy setting, perhaps:
..and these are a little less "core" but still common:
...and themes like "Sad theme", "Action theme", "Goofy theme" etc...
Your soundtrack should be comprehensive enough to supply most of a game's music, in my opinion.
What about remixes? Sure, that's okay. A reimagining of an existing song will suffice for this event.
This is a bit of a side-event, but I would encourage you to attempt to make your own suite of sound effects for your resource pack. These are a bit trickier in many ways to make, but we should attempt it in the spirit of the event!
You are free to submit custom legacy works of yours to this event. They are still subject to the "Free" caveats below.
We are doing this for the betterment of our game development skills. Familiarization with other aspects of game development, even if we never develop the expertise to be proficient in it, is still very valuable. That being said, I will be giving out achievements for:
...this includes achievements for the individual songs within a soundtrack (so, if you submitted a soundtrack with 10 songs, you'd get 11 achievements in the end).
-Sound Effects pack
...a sizable sound effects pack is worth a bonus achievement!
...a single Legacy achievement will be given out if you submit any number of legacy works.
Works submitted to this event are expected to be public domain. You can place restrictions on their use on a per works basis (but please specify this in the upload and in a post on the event page). They can be share-alike, or creative commons, or free to use with credit to the author,
While the event is very RPG-centric (hey, we are RPG Maker Network afterall!), feel free to create a soundtrack or song for any genre of your choice.
It is my sincere hope that those of us here who are qualified musicians and composers might share with us their expertise and learning. Either by helping out individuals in the comments section, offering advice, or posting links to useful resources, or even as far as writing tutorials of their own.
Members who take it upon themselves to be super-helpful in this event will receive a special achievement!
When you guys share good links to tutorials, resources, music programs, soundfonts, or the like, I will update this section.
How Music Works
How Music Works is a comprehensive suite of multimedia tutorials which explain music in clear, simple language you can relate to.
Creative Commons licenses
<Sailerius> I would suggest you only allow Creative Commons licenses. There's one to cover about every use case: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/
MuseScore is an open-source notation software. Its kind of incomplete (some of the dynamics markers don't affect playback at all), but has most of the basics.
Sekaiju is another open-source program, but this one is a MIDI editor. While not quite as good for making sheet music (it does still have a staff view), it allows for more control over the actual MIDI data. This might also make it more intimidating for the uninitiated...
BASSMIDI Driver is a Windows-only program that adds a SoundFont player to your list of MIDI playback devices (most soundcards only have "Microsoft Wavetable GS"), allowing programs like Sekaiju, Windows Media Player, or RPG Maker 2003 and other older game programs to use SoundFonts. Playback quality depends heavily on your system's specs, though. My computer is pretty old, so it skips a little every once in a while.
If you write something in MIDI and want an audio file of the SoundFont output, you can probably use Audacity for that.
As for obtaining free SoundFonts, its not something I've tried for a while. HammerSound is the only place I really remember.
I personally recommend GeneralUser soundfont, which can be found on that site and also here.
You really have to be careful with SoundFonts. Not only is malware rampant on many of these sites, some of the 'Fonts themselves are badly programmed, and might be excessively loud or even crash your computer on occasion.
Viena is a free SoundFont editor (not to be confused with one other editor called "Vienna"). Viena can be used on any MS Windows computer independently of audio card installed (as opposed to the "Vienna" software).
While by no means a complete course (its mostly just a sampler), the mini-courses available on this YouTube channel seemed pretty decent to me. I'd specifically highlight the "Functional Harmony" video.
Making a looping OGG
RPG music for beginner
Schematist has a bunch of tutorials specifically for making RPG music for beginners. They sound like they'd be useful here:
- How to make video game music for beginners: Part 1, Part 2
- How to make an RPG battle theme
- How to make an RPG town theme
- How to make an RPG field theme
- How to make an RPG boss theme
Here's LMMS, an useful program to create music. It's basically a freeware, open source version of FL Studio.
I've been using this basic LMMS tutorial here.
DefleMask is a fairly new tracker that emulates NES, GameBoy, PC-Engine/TurboGrafix, Sega Genesis/MegaDrive and Master System, and the Commodore64. Its still got a few bugs, but it seems usable.
I've made music before using tablatures, converted to MIDI. I'm sure most of you are familiar with them but in case you aren't, here's an example of a (crappy) tab I made up:
The lower the number, the lower the pitch, and vice versa obviously (note you can go above 9, if two 1s are next to each other it counts as an 11, if you want two actual 1s separately then you need that dash between them). And the higher up the lines, the higher the pitch for that, and vice versa too. Should be six separate lines stacked above each other, no more or less, at least with the site I use. And this needs to be done on Notepad.
Then go this site: http://www.8notes.com/tab/new_tab.asp and upload your text document (or write it out there on the spot). I have to stress on this site it'll only be able to read out basic tabs, as in, just the numbers and their spacing and placement. No way to replicate, like, slides with them or anything.
Then you'll have a small selection of instrumental sounds to choose from, what tempo you want it at, and if you want the music to play as is notated or to ignore the spaces and place at one steady rhythm.
You now have a MIDI file!
In addition to BassMidi there's its offshoot Virtualmidisynth, which allows you to choose your midi output and soundfonts; i use it quite often when playing Rm2k/3 games. As for soundfonts, if you're on Hammersound you might want to check out the Junk Soundfont; it's very interesting. i know of some other resources that are free; William Kage has aggregated and created soundfonts from several existing video games, Wooly's has some resources, ther's Arachno Soundfont; darkesword's site has links to many good ones, including Johannes Russel's. SF2midi has become more restrictive, but i have some of their fonts from before then if anyone wishes them. Other options are Ethan's soundfonts (original ones like the turtle drum) and you can grab the first anomaly set if you want. lots of optionsif you know where to look.
Here's where I went to both convert my files to mp3 and also embellish it further to make it sound, well, less MIDI-like: http://solmire.com/
As you can see you can choose the soundfront, quality, effect (reverb, echo, etc.) and even adjust the tempo further if you want.
I still have the mp3s of the two songs I did, but they are too long and repetitive. Unfortunately I can't find the actual text files with the tabs I made on them to edit them down to size, and I'm not good enough with music editing software like Audacity to edit them to where they wouldn't sound sloppy. Oh well.
OH, yes, I just wanted to say, to the head admin people of this, disregard my last post, please. I figured the problem out. For 8notes.com, if you keep getting sent to a media player that won't save your file, like the free version of QuickTime, then you need to do a fresh install of whatever media player you know of that can play MIDI files. This is what I used, simply called Soundfont Media Player: http://soundfont-midi-player.en.softonic.com/
BFXR (sound effects)
Another useful link: Bfxr, an app that gives you a bunch of sliders that allow you to create NES style sound effects.
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