Posts Tagged ‘MIDI’

[MIDI] The River (Ghosts Of Paraguay) [SC-88Pro]

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

I tried to remake my favourite liquid dubstep song for the ever-aging Roland SC-88Pro synth (18 this year!), complete with fancy percussion and a reversed piano effect, because I wanted a challenge. I actually started this in August 2014, got it about 40% done and then lost motivation, and finished it off in the last week. If you like it, please check their other stuff.

[Watch in HD]

The top-left is the 88P’s display, the text below it is every MIDI message (displayed by Bawami, my own MIDI soft-synth), and the background is a view of most of the notes (top part – unfortunately, I couldn’t capture the view of all 128 MIDI notes) and all control changes (bottom part). I’m trying something a little different this time – a smoothly-scrolling piano roll made possible by Sekaiju (the MIDI editor program)’s ability to print the pianoroll view. I used a virtual printer driver (PDFCreator) to print the pianoroll to a series of images, batch-crop (FSViewer) and stitch them together (IrfanView), and then simply pan it at the right speed on the video editor.

This is my new biggest MIDI yet, both in duration and file size (138 KB) thanks to those thousands of expression changes to get the reversed piano effect (simply changing the piano’s attack time did not sound good).

I am working on a dedicated page on my web site for hosting all MIDIs I’ve made for the SC-88 Pro synth and any modified, “general-purpose” versions which I made to make it sound at least acceptable on other synths. Please be aware that it is often very tedious (and sometimes, downright impossible) for me to make simplified versions which sound good, so I don’t intend to make them often. The page will also show the various features of the synth used by each MIDI, for any curious people like myself who find that stuff interesting. It’ll also act as a warning for how bad the MIDI will sound if played on a different synth, since some of my MIDIs are basically built around the 88P.

I have a lot of MIDIs started but very little motivation to finish them recently. Among them are “Verge” (Shimamiya Eiko), “Borderland” (Kawada Mami), “Planeptune’s Theme ver. Re;Birth” (Neptunia), “I’m Not Okay” (My Chemical Romance), “You Are Alive” (Fragma), fragments of various hardstyle songs, and the first one I ever started making for the 88P in 2012: “AirFort-JP Hardcore mix” (Minamotoya). I really have to finish at least some of these some time.

BaWaMI (silent update)

Friday, March 27th, 2015

To anyone who has already downloaded the new version of Bawami which I released about 90 minutes ago, I have updated the Bawami EXEs in the v0.6.122 download to correct an excessive chorus (I had left the chorus’s rate high during testing by mistake). To avoid being annoyed by the chorus making things sound out-of-tune, please download the now-modified archive. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.

BaWaMI (revision 122)

Friday, March 27th, 2015

This very big update brings Bawami up to version 0.6! The biggest changes are support for Attack/Decay/Release Time MIDI messages to override an instrument’s default sound, kick drums in non-retro mode actually sound good, 22 new instruments (GS) plus a “Synth Brass 2″ (finally), everything on the “MIDI Params” tab works (it’s been redesigned and there are more options now), and a much better-sounding stereo chorus which does not stop working after some time has passed!

Other improvements include reduced CPU usage in most situations, 8 new columns on the “Sound+MIDI channels” window (and yet lower CPU usage here, too), higher-contrast colours for Sound Canvas LCD emulation make it easier to see, and I’ve also styled the “Override Other Controls” window to look a bit more like the main window. Plus, added support for a handful of SysEx messages, and the usual dose of bug fixes.

Download link and full details are below, but please note this important information first:

  • Please don’t extract this version of Bawami over an old version – I’ve renamed/removed some language and instrument files, so you will have duplicate files and instruments if you do this. If you want to keep the settings from your old version, simply copy its startup.cfg file into the new version’s folder. You can safely copy any custom skin folders and instruments you’ve made individually, too. Sorry about this inconvenience.
  • If you’re using something other than Windows XP or 7, you might need to run this new version of Bawami “as administrator” for the first time so that it can install a new font (jsmalle.fon, “Small Fonts“) which is used on the “Override Other Controls” window.

You can grab the newest version from here (7.41 MB), and see the full list of changes below the page break:


BaWaMI (revision 121)

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

This release greatly improves PC speaker control, adds 3 more instruments, has the usual helping of bug fixes and things to avoid crashes, plus adds support for GS SysEx messages to specify how much modulation effects vibrato or tremolo. I added a new advanced command line option, and they shouldn’t cause problems with the Windows command prompt anymore. …Oh, and I added some more dodgy Japanese translations.

Not only can the PC speaker now do silky-smooth pitch-bends and vibrato (no longer sounds like scraping metal), but the cutoff volume can now take MIDI channel’s expression and volume into account. Plus, the “Arpeggio” controls, for choosing how quickly to cycle through the playing notes, are finally usable!

You can get the newest version from here (7.32 MB), and see the full list of changes below the page break:


BaWaMI – old versions

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

For people who are curious, I have made a section where you can download old versions of Bawami. There’s now a link in the top-right of the usual download page, too.

IMPORTANT: These old versions contain bugs which can sometimes make them unusable, and even make your system unstable! That’s why I released newer versions, after all. Please have a quick look through the latest change log to see what was fixed in versions after the one you choose to download, in order to get an idea of the bugs that you can expect to encounter. I will not change or support these old versions, and recommend that you always download the latest version if you want things to work with the fewest problems. If you feel that you need to use an older version instead of the newest one for some reason, please let me know why and I’ll try to fix the newest version for you!

I’m doing this because I’ve found myself wanting old versions of various programs recently, and I’d hate Bawami to be one of those programs that’s hard to find old versions of, if only for seeing what’s changed over time. Plus, I saw in my server’s log someone trying to download old versions by guessing the URLs, so I thought I’d help them out! I can’t stress enough the importance of checking the changelog to avoid nasty surprises that I fixed in later versions, and would recommend running the old version in a virtual machine just to be safe, but please have fun! Revision 121 (which lets the PC speaker do silky-smooth pitch-bends, among other things) will be released shortly, but as it’s gone 3AM here, I’d like to sleep before I write up that blog post.

[MIDI] You Make My Day! (Otome Wa Boku Ni Koi Shiteru OP) (SC-88Pro)

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

I finally finished this MIDI for the Roland SC-88Pro synth (I abandoned it a few months ago). Gotta love those electro toms. This is the opening theme (originally performed by YURIA) to the VN 「処女はお姉さまに恋してる」.

[Watch at YouTube]

The original song has some heavy dynamic range compression so it sounds like this MIDI is lacking somewhat if you compare them, but I couldn’t actually make out any more parts than this in the original. The 88Pro has a compressor effect available, but it can only use one effect at a time, and I was already using distortion. The high-pitched sound effects on the right speaker should be faster, but the synth can’t reliably update the pitch much faster than this. There was an unexpectedly tricky selection of percussive sounds and panning needed for the toms, so I ended up using 4 separate percussion channels…

BaWaMI (revision 120)

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

This fixes quite a few bugs I discovered, and adds a new option to choose the buffer length when using the DSound or WinMM sound drivers. I also added instrument “Effect 8 (Sci-fi)” (103) (only 4 more GM instruments left to add until all 128 are there!). Details and download link are below.

New stuff

  • Added “buffer length” slider on “Sound system” tab of config window. This only affects the DSound and WinMM drivers. When using ASIO, your soundcard’s ASIO driver controls the buffer size. Lower values let you reduce the delay at the cost of potentially-stuttering sound on slow computers or inefficient drivers. Default is 93 (x 44 = 4092 samples) (~93 milliseconds). This setting is saved between runs.
  • Added instrument file for Sci-fi Effect (103).

Miscellaneous bug fixes

  • No longer acts as if “Use filters” is ticked when it’s not, after the sound system is restarted. This fun bug meant that filters were always enabled when Bawami started even if checkbox was unticked, because the sound system is initialised after settings are loaded.
  • No longer possible to crash Bawami by holding Ctrl+Left to skip backwards when playback is already at the beginning of some MIDIs.
  • Fixed bug where Bawami could freeze in a loop at the end of playback or a custom loop end point, if a MIDI file set a custom loop start point to be the same as the end point. In this case, the custom points will be ignored, and playback will loop to 0 seconds at the end of the file. I had tried to make Bawami detect this situation before, but I discovered just now that it didn’t work.
  • Section loops that should only loop a certain number of times should now work correctly (not be infinite).

Visual/logging fixes

  • Made all the window icons look nice even when they’re small (16×16 or 32×32). This also fixes the silly-looking icon in the Windows Volume Mixer. This actually reduced the EXE file size by 28KB!
  • Text that prompts to click “Apply” on the sound system tab of the configuration is bold again (it unintentionally stopped being bold some time when I worked on the language system).
  • Fixed bug where no “action” text would be displayed on the MIDI Messages view for CC #74 (cutoff frequency) messages if “Use filters” was unticked. Descriptive text would also be missing for NRPN H001.L032 (cutoff frequency) data entry messages.

You can get the new version from here (7.30 MB).

[MIDI] Futari No Honey Boy (KissxSis OAD OP) [SC-88Pro]

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

This sure was a fun one to make! And more trying to make the Sound Canvas synth sound like it’s speaking, yay! But unfortunately, I was pushing it so close to its limit that I actually had to cut notes at those points so that it could keep running smoothly. It’s also extremely tedious to do, so I don’t think I’ll be making a whole song like that any time soon.

[Watch in HD]

This is a MIDI I made for the Roland SC-88Pro of the opening theme to Kiss×sis OAD, originally sung by Taketatsu Ayana and Tatsumi Yuiko, written/arranged by Takahashi Nana. Despite being pretty complex and having a part that was incredibly hard to decipher beneath all the other instruments (I could only clearly make out half of one bar, and had to estimate what the rest was), this one only took me 5-6 days.

I decided to screenshot my MIDI player BaWaMI, chop it in half and re-arrange it into one long row of 16 MIDI channels at the bottom. I think this makes better use of the 16:9 video frame. Fun fact: Early versions of Bawami had the channels arranged like that, when they were narrower and didn’t have those blue bars.

I wonder if this synth is older than Ako or Riko.

SC-88Pro LCD SysEx Generator (revision 4)

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

This avoids a crash if the clipboard can’t be opened for reading from / writing to. It also now tries 10 times (with a small wait (15ms) between each attempt) before displaying an error.

You can download the less-crashy version from here (1.01 MB).

SC-88Pro LCD SysEx Generator

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

After I recently released the video of my Kill Me Baby MIDI, someone was interested in how I controlled the Sound Canvas’s LCD. It’s actually possible to draw using the buttons on the front of the synth itself, but that’d be tedious and would wear out the buttons, so I made this program… along with this cheap video to quickly show what it does!

[Watch in HD]

This program generates System-Exclusive MIDI messages to control the LCD on the Roland SC-88Pro MIDI synth (it may work with other Roland Sound Canvas models, too). The SysEx message text can then be pasted onto any MIDI editor that lets you insert SysEx messages. The program replicates the SC-88Pro’s own FrameDraw functions, allowing you to draw graphics on the 10 pages, as well as display text at the top of the LCD.

(Click it to see full-size image)

  • Create SysEx to store graphics, display graphics, or display text.
  • Easily shift/drag the graphic up/down/left/right, invert colours and duplicate it
  • Can also decode LCD SysEx messages back to graphics or plain text
  • Can recalculate the checksum bytes of GS SysEx messages
  • Can automatically copy SysEx to clipboard for quick editing
  • SysEx updates as soon as you change anything (e.g. draw a pixel)
  • Remembers the 10 graphic pages between runs, like how the SC-88Pro keeps pages stored while powered off.

Please see the included “info.txt” for full details and tips/advice. The Microsoft Visual Basic Runtime installer is included in the download for convenience. You only need to install it if the program fails to run – newer Windows operating systems come with it pre-installed.

You can download it from here (1.01 MB).