Jump to content
Arkhan

Why do people misuse the term MIDI in regards to games

Recommended Posts

video game reviewer: It has huge bosses that take up the entire screen.

 

tech informed gamer: It's called a background layer, duh!

 

video game reviewer: But it was 1994! This was some technical breakthrough back then!

 

tech informed gamer: They've been doing this trick ever since 1986, by 1994 it was nothing new.

 

 

Another weird thing is they act like EVERY single game was some graphical/technical breakthrough, when most of what was "special" was already common place for games by the time it was released.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amiga games music 25 years ago was considered one of the best. Only in the 90s other systems began to catch up. The pc-engine games used a cd, the amiga games a few floppies. Big difference.

What I've come to notice is that most of the time, the Amiga game music doesn't really fit the game, or just sounds super. frigging. cheesy. Menace uses such hokey guitar sampling that it just sounds moronic. The C64 version of that game sounds better since it's not trying to be some late 80s power rock band crap.

 

With great power (Samples) comes great responsibility. Don't use retarded samples for your games. Even if the composition is awesome, crap sounding instrumentation is going to ruin it.

 

PC Engine also had card games. The chip in the PCE produces some really nice stuff. better than farty-FM quality arcade music even!

 

 

 

Game themes like Agony, Lotus, Turrican etc are still some of the best. That says a lot. The composer matters,not the system.

 

Jeroen Tel got it right with Agony though for sure. That and Shadow of the Beast are my two personal favorite Amiga sound tracks. They fit the game perfectly, and use excellent sampling.

 

I blame Europeans trying to mimic Japanese chiptunes with awful results. R-Type sounds sooooo stupid on the Amiga.

 

The Title music was great, and then it cuts to some of the lamest crap I have ever heard on the Amiga. It's the instrumentation. It ruined it. Its a bunch of thinned out, really stale sounding chipbleepery.

 

 

Whoever said that Amiga's sound chip was cack either is tone deaf or doesn't know their gaming music....I suggest they go to some of the amiga demo sites like lemon amiga and similar

Whoa there fanboy, settle down with the obnoxious accusations. Amiga DEMOs are not GAMING music. We are talking GAME music. I don't care how awesome the tunes are in a bunch of demoscene stuff. It's irrelevant.

 

Compare Daimaikamura (Ghouls and Ghosts) on Super Grafx and Amiga. I don't care if it's friggin Tim Follin, the Amiga one sounds lame. Its another case of the Western world messing with Japanese stuff. It obviously can't be done properly so I don't know why the hell people even tried.

 

Paula, depending how you look at it, is crap. Its sampling with hard panning. Its all up to the sampler to make it not suck. Usually, the sampler went stupid and picked awful sounds.

 

At least computer systems or the Genesis, etc, that had FM, used pretty nice instrumentation most of the time. Smooth, non-abrasive sounds that fit the games better. Given the results of the Amiga, I often prefer FM over sampled music for games of the time. FM doesn't give you the option of picking hideous noises. Nor does the NES and PCE.

 

and finally, the PCE *can* play 6 channels of sampled stuff. It's a poor idea, but it can do it!

You took the words out of my mouth when it comes to this stuff. *clicks rep button*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see a lot of YouTube videos of people reviewing games... and when the person goes "YEAH, THIS GAME HAS SOME PRETTY NICE OLDSCHOOL MIDI TUNES", I immediately want to reach into the screen and punch them.

 

Does anyone else get really annoyed about that?

 

Its like they're trying to sound all super hip and technically informed, but end up sounding like morons when they do it.

 

 

I don't know what you mean? In what respect are they referring to? I mean, I know the normal Sound Blaster / Adlib compatible uses the OPL3 chipset, and I know that MIDI is the 'MID files' basicaly... it was originally created so that people could control / develop / store music from their keyboard in the computer. But there are a lot of games that support General MIDI.

 

I have a Roland Sound Canvas SCC-1, and use the native MIDI support on all those old 80s games. Some of the older games only support MT-32 (which my card can emulate), but the newer older games like Wing Commander 2, Ultima 7p2, stuff like that, supports the full Roland SCC-1.

 

Am I using it wrong, or, am I missing something?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the context i guess they in a narrowminded way mean mostly music similar to that of the nes (chiptune music) and nothing else.

 

 

Adlib and soundblaster came later with dos in the late 80s.

Yes roland scc1 was a step forward in quality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see a lot of YouTube videos of people reviewing games... and when the person goes "YEAH, THIS GAME HAS SOME PRETTY NICE OLDSCHOOL MIDI TUNES", I immediately want to reach into the screen and punch them.

 

Does anyone else get really annoyed about that?

 

Its like they're trying to sound all super hip and technically informed, but end up sounding like morons when they do it.

 

 

I don't know what you mean? In what respect are they referring to? I mean, I know the normal Sound Blaster / Adlib compatible uses the OPL3 chipset, and I know that MIDI is the 'MID files' basicaly... it was originally created so that people could control / develop / store music from their keyboard in the computer. But there are a lot of games that support General MIDI.

 

I have a Roland Sound Canvas SCC-1, and use the native MIDI support on all those old 80s games. Some of the older games only support MT-32 (which my card can emulate), but the newer older games like Wing Commander 2, Ultima 7p2, stuff like that, supports the full Roland SCC-1.

 

Am I using it wrong, or, am I missing something?

 

Oh I should have specified a bit. Its usually used incorrectly in reference to Genesis, SMS (especially), NES, C64, and Spectrum music.

 

 

DOS PC stuff, you could totally say is midi, since it actually is most of the time :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know the difference myself but if I say hey listen to this cheesy "PSG" or "FM" music someone might not understand WTF I'm talking about. If I say MIDI music they probably will. Even if it has nothing to do with MIDI!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know the difference myself but if I say hey listen to this cheesy "PSG" or "FM" music someone might not understand WTF I'm talking about. If I say MIDI music they probably will. Even if it has nothing to do with MIDI!

I used to do the same. Now I just say chiptunes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know the difference myself but if I say hey listen to this cheesy "PSG" or "FM" music someone might not understand WTF I'm talking about. If I say MIDI music they probably will. Even if it has nothing to do with MIDI!

 

The question is the requirements for something to be called MIDI. For example, when you have a hardware MIDI decoder (Roland MT-32/LAPC-I, Yamaha FB-01/IBM Music feature card, etc...), it's obivously MIDI. But what if the MIDI decoder is in software (as with the OPL2/OPL3 GM windows drivers)? In that case the data is stored as actual MIDI commands and decoded for a PSG locally in software, something which can be done in any system. The big question is as follows: Is this still to be considered MIDI? And, where do we draw the line?

 

In theory PSG has the potential to sound better than MIDI due to the programmer having greater control of the device, however, this also makes it more challenging because he has to write his own tracker (to handle I/O) from scratch. In any hardware MIDI unit, this (obivously MIDI-compatible) tracker is already present, and all you have to send is the data.

 

Terms:

Hardware MIDI: MIDI Data -> MIDI-compatible hardware* tracker -> PSG

Software MIDI: MIDI Data -> MIDI-compatible software tracker -> PSG/DAC

Software PSG: Data -> software tracker -> PSG/DAC

Digitalized audio: Audio data -> DAC

 

Examples:

Hardware MIDI: Roland MT-32/Yamaha FB-01

Software MIDI: GM-drivers for AdLib and OPL3 cards, several (if not all) recent PC GM-drivers.

Software PSG: AdLib-compatible games, mostly any "chiptune" device.

Digitalized audio: Soundblasters

 

* hardware here essentially means the microcontroller within the synth, which is running a MIDI-compatible software tracker.

Edited by per

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know the difference myself but if I say hey listen to this cheesy "PSG" or "FM" music someone might not understand WTF I'm talking about. If I say MIDI music they probably will. Even if it has nothing to do with MIDI!

 

The question is the requirements for something to be called MIDI. For example, when you have a hardware MIDI decoder (Roland MT-32/LAPC-I, Yamaha FB-01/IBM Music feature card, etc...), it's obivously MIDI. But what if the MIDI decoder is in software (as with the OPL2/OPL3 GM windows drivers)? In that case the data is stored as actual MIDI commands and decoded for a PSG locally in software, something which can be done in any system. The big question is as follows: Is this still to be considered MIDI? And, where do we draw the line?

 

In theory PSG has the potential to sound better than MIDI due to the programmer having greater control of the device, however, this also makes it more challenging because he has to write his own tracker (to handle I/O) from scratch. In any hardware MIDI unit, this (obivously MIDI-compatible) tracker is already present, and all you have to send is the data.

 

Terms:

Hardware MIDI: MIDI Data -> MIDI-compatible hardware* tracker -> PSG

Software MIDI: MIDI Data -> MIDI-compatible software tracker -> PSG/DAC

Software PSG: Data -> software tracker -> PSG/DAC

Digitalized audio: Audio data -> DAC

 

Examples:

Hardware MIDI: Roland MT-32/Yamaha FB-01

Software MIDI: GM-drivers for AdLib and OPL3 cards, several (if not all) recent PC GM-drivers.

Software PSG: AdLib-compatible games, mostly any "chiptune" device.

Digitalized audio: Soundblasters

 

* hardware here essentially means the microcontroller within the synth, which is running a MIDI-compatible software tracker.

 

From my experience, no "chiptune" devices generally use MIDI. Some of them are from before MIDI, or before MIDI truly caught on. Others just don't use it, probably because of the obvious limitations of MIDI. Generally, chiptune device programmers have their own in house formats. Konami and Capcom for example, have their own formats. They're not MIDI.

 

The PC Engine CD ROM BIOS has it's own format complete with support for effects and stuff. It isn't MIDI either.

 

Its possible some programmers wrote a MIDI decoder for games back in the day, but unless you looked REALLY hard for this, you'd never know. The majority of the retro computers don't have native MIDI in/out, so its not like the software had external MIDI support (like sending data to an MT-32 on the PC). So even if it was decoding MIDI, you'd never know. You'd just hear the bleepblooping.

 

Its highly unlikely that the format used was MIDI though.

 

So when someone is reviewing a C64 game, or a SMS game and they say "LISTEN TO THAT MIDI MUSIC", they're mostly just being an idiot.

 

 

Now, if you had a MIDI cart shoved in, and you were actually sending MIDI and playing it, you could say its a MIDI tune. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From my experience, no "chiptune" devices generally use MIDI. Some of them are from before MIDI, or before MIDI truly caught on. Others just don't use it, probably because of the obvious limitations of MIDI. Generally, chiptune device programmers have their own in house formats. Konami and Capcom for example, have their own formats. They're not MIDI.

I never said it was. As you see in my post, I list them all under "software PMG". The reason I commented on it was because somebody mentioned FM (as a whole, as of my understanding,) not being MIDI. FM is mostly associated with 80's Yamaha synths, most of them being MIDI-compatible. The OPL2 used in the AdLib for the PC is under direct I/O controll, but it's more likely that games on the PC from that time got some kind of MIDI translation there as most of them also provided support for hardware MIDI devices. In other words, the OPL2 and FM can be called MIDI uncer certain circumstances (that is, when you know a software MIDI-tracker is in use).

 

So when someone is reviewing a C64 game, or a SMS game and they say "LISTEN TO THAT MIDI MUSIC", they're mostly just being an idiot.

I highly agree with this.

 

 

 

The only thing that bothers me is that, allthough almost every DOS game from the late 80's supports the AdLib and MT-32, almost nothing supports the Yamaha FB-01. Even though it is FM-based, and that the default instruments are cheesy, you can program some awesome custom instruments on it if you just take your time. And you can tune it in the range of single cents.

Edited by per

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never said it was.

Oh, I never meant to imply you did, my bad :D

 

It was early when I posted, haha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...