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Gameplay: Live Midi/MML Music Instrument Playing

AdenoAdeno
Mabinogi Rep: 1,370
Posts: 139
Member
in Feedback and Suggestions
Hello! One of the most beautiful things in Mabinogi is the ability to make your own MML songs from midi files and turn them into music scrolls, which your character can then play.

What I am suggesting now is to give the players the ability to connect an actual digital musical instrument or keyboard to the computer, play the keys on it, and the Mabinogi character will actually play the notes live whenever they are using the Playing Instrument skill.

The process looks something like this:

1. Connect midi or digital keyboard to piano.
2. Mabinogi client will receive input from the connected digital keyboard or piano.
3. The player will activate the Playing Music skill and then play music on his real life digital keyboard or piano.
4. Mabinogi will take that input and the Mabinogi character will also play whatever notes the real person is playing.

Benefits of having a Live Midi Music Instrument Playing feature:

a. It would allow players who actually play music in real life, to also enjoy more involved, non-recorded music in the game.
b. This can lead to real live music jams in the game or something close to it without having to rely on scrolls.
c. This will encourage people in real life to also try and learn about music and how to play them.
NegumikoPyrrusMairu

Comments

  • NegumikoNegumiko
    Mabinogi Rep: 8,320
    Posts: 1,029
    Member
    that is a interesting idea, not sure how many players play music in real life and I certainly can't with my clumsy hands. something like this could really make a unique edition to our already wonderful bard system though.
    Adeno
  • GhostUN7GhostUN7
    Mabinogi Rep: 595
    Posts: 27
    Member
    one thing ill see a problem with this, is if there is latency. Only way I could see this working is if they have a buffer for what you put in, too prevent unusual gaps in the song. Other than that, this sounds like a really good idea, especially for those with music talent, however I'd doubt they will allow a Violin to hook up to a computer.
    Adeno
  • Pip-BoyPip-Boy
    Mabinogi Rep: 1,750
    Posts: 127
    Member
    Since mabi uses midi language everything can be done via Midi Controller or even your regular old computer keyboard should program it to (although it's not as nice as using a traditional midi controller imo). Windows comes with midi drivers preinstalled so the game could use those to fetch inputs and not have to do anything too fancy by itself. Failing that the game does have a midi player built in so the devs could allow you to keybind your own digital keyboard and let you play live from that.
    Adeno
  • HelsaHelsa
    Mabinogi Rep: 19,640
    Posts: 4,009
    Member
    That would be cool. I doubt it will happen but in the meantime you can kinda do that now, just not in real time. If you have an instrument that exports midi files you can pump them through 3ML into Mabinogi scrolls. A friend of mine did this on Alexina years ago. The result sounds VERY organic. Try it, if you can.
    Adeno
  • MairuMairu
    Mabinogi Rep: 1,115
    Posts: 64
    Member
    edited September 3, 2020
    This could be neat. The main difference between Mabi MML and regular MIDI though is that the 'volume' variable seems to be 'channel volume', and not 'note velocity' from what I've gathered messing with it over the years. The pressure-sensitivity on a MIDI keyboard controls 'note velocity' and not 'channel volume', so there would have to be a work-around to this if we wanted to have full integration with the existing music system (that is, be able to use your keyboard to compose music, and not just play it).

    The closest I can think of using only the existing Mabi MML system involves patching the client in such a way so as to read the 'first' note played as 'Melody', the second as 'Harmony 1', the third as 'Harmony 2', and just disallow more than a 3-note polyphony - unless Fantastic Chorus is activated, in which case 4-note polyphony is possible (though using such skills would need a mandatory 'maximum' timer so people can't just play March Song indefinitely).
    'Note velocity' output from the keyboard can then be cleanly translated into 'channel volume' and apply directly to a per-note basis, and instead of worrying about 'note length' in making instruments play back it just defaults to the longest note and uses 'channel volume' as an on/off. That is to say, you hit a note, it applies the approximate 'volume' and plays the longest note duration in MML, and when you let go, it tells the game to set the volume to '0'. Kinda like chiptunes in a way - but MML is linear IIRC and has to play each command in full before reading the next... so some sort of 'parallel notation' would have to be implemented for each track, otherwise it'd just set volume to '0' after the looooong note finishes playing.
    In the 'Compose' window, there would also need to be some method for the client to automatically add 'rest' notation to make sure the notes line up approximately if you're using your keyboard to compose - this might be a bit more difficult due to the restrictions of how the MML notation works; since you've also got 'note length' and etc. to deal with instead of just a blind on/off trigger. It's not impossible though, it'd just be a bit rough to work with.

    There's also the alternative of just a huge music system overhaul and replacing MML with actual MIDI. That might create a different entry barrier to beginner composers, but the benefits would outweigh the cost. Channel volume, note velocity, vibrato, note length, etc., and other automation would need to be implemented appropriately in Mabi. I think the game already uses a soundfont library for instruments, so it should be compatible already at least. Such an update could easily allow song scrolls to have 16 voices too - rr it could be limited to something smaller, like 4, or 8. 32- or 64-voice would be insane though, please don't do this. Unfortunately a switch to MIDI would also make older song scrolls unplayable and untranscribe-able, unless they keep the MML playback/composition system - maybe the compose window could have 'Classic' and 'Advanced' tabs, the former being MML and the latter being MIDI?

    Anyway those are my thoughts on it! I definitely would love a 'live play' feature in Mabi, MML code just makes that pretty difficult without some custom implementations - switching to MIDI wholesale would be better for accomodating that kind of thing.
    Adeno
  • AdenoAdeno
    Mabinogi Rep: 1,370
    Posts: 139
    Member
    edited September 3, 2020
    Mairu wrote: »
    This could be neat. The main difference between Mabi MML and regular MIDI though is that the 'volume' variable seems to be 'channel volume', and not 'note velocity' from what I've gathered messing with it over the years. The pressure-sensitivity on a MIDI keyboard controls 'note velocity' and not 'channel volume', so there would have to be a work-around to this if we wanted to have full integration with the existing music system (that is, be able to use your keyboard to compose music, and not just play it).

    The closest I can think of using only the existing Mabi MML system involves patching the client in such a way so as to read the 'first' note played as 'Melody', the second as 'Harmony 1', the third as 'Harmony 2', and just disallow more than a 3-note polyphony - unless Fantastic Chorus is activated, in which case 4-note polyphony is possible (though using such skills would need a mandatory 'maximum' timer so people can't just play March Song indefinitely).
    'Note velocity' output from the keyboard can then be cleanly translated into 'channel volume' and apply directly to a per-note basis, and instead of worrying about 'note length' in making instruments play back it just defaults to the longest note and uses 'channel volume' as an on/off. That is to say, you hit a note, it applies the approximate 'volume' and plays the longest note duration in MML, and when you let go, it tells the game to set the volume to '0'. Kinda like chiptunes in a way - but MML is linear IIRC and has to play each command in full before reading the next... so some sort of 'parallel notation' would have to be implemented for each track, otherwise it'd just set volume to '0' after the looooong note finishes playing.
    In the 'Compose' window, there would also need to be some method for the client to automatically add 'rest' notation to make sure the notes line up approximately if you're using your keyboard to compose - this might be a bit more difficult due to the restrictions of how the MML notation works; since you've also got 'note length' and etc. to deal with instead of just a blind on/off trigger. It's not impossible though, it'd just be a bit rough to work with.

    There's also the alternative of just a huge music system overhaul and replacing MML with actual MIDI. That might create a different entry barrier to beginner composers, but the benefits would outweigh the cost. Channel volume, note velocity, vibrato, note length, etc., and other automation would need to be implemented appropriately in Mabi. I think the game already uses a soundfont library for instruments, so it should be compatible already at least. Such an update could easily allow song scrolls to have 16 voices too - rr it could be limited to something smaller, like 4, or 8. 32- or 64-voice would be insane though, please don't do this. Unfortunately a switch to MIDI would also make older song scrolls unplayable and untranscribe-able, unless they keep the MML playback/composition system - maybe the compose window could have 'Classic' and 'Advanced' tabs, the former being MML and the latter being MIDI?

    Anyway those are my thoughts on it! I definitely would love a 'live play' feature in Mabi, MML code just makes that pretty difficult without some custom implementations - switching to MIDI wholesale would be better for accomodating that kind of thing.

    This is very well thought out indeed! I agree, maybe Mabinogi would have to upgrade the music system in the future and not just for live playing, but also for music scroll making.

    Personally, I just find it really difficult making Mabinogi music for the game's piano (or maybe I just haven't figured it out, I've been away for 10 years lol!). For example, when I record something from my digital piano going into FL Studio to record something and convert it into midi, and that midi gets imported into 3MLE, suddenly there's like 7 or 8 tracks when all I really used was a piano. If I try to force it all into just one track, then the music sounds lacking as if it's just the melody (or part of it). Stringed instruments are mostly easy due to their nature of not requiring chords or bass lines, but when you're a pianist, you play both melody and the chords/bass lines, and music scrolls just can't seem to provide enough "space" for the notes to be put in.

    I think one of the problems is that the music system for some reason, thought that the chords, bass, harmony, should have a lower limit than the melody itself. Aside from that, I think the default 1000+ character or note limit is very restrictive when it comes to having fun with music in Mabinogi. Sure there are quite a few songs that might fit, especially slow ones that are around a minute or two in length, but a lot of real life songs are 4 minutes and 30 seconds or something around that number. Then of course there's classical music and jazz, which can have thousands of notes within a very short time frame. I heard you can use the Scroll of Jabroni or whatever it is which lets you use three different music scrolls in succession, thus prolonging the usual limitations of the music system, but I haven't finished that part of the game yet.

    Anyway, the ability to play music is definitely one of the things I love in this game so I hope the developers would indeed upgrade or perform an overhaul of this beloved system :) Something very easy to use, like aside from inputting codes, it can also record actual playing from your instrument like a digital piano or anything digital at all and then it'll play it as you recorded it.

    Here's a little video I made earlier when I tried putting my piano recording into Mabinogi. It's there but it's missing so many sounds haha :)





  • NegumikoNegumiko
    Mabinogi Rep: 8,320
    Posts: 1,029
    Member
    looks like Final Fantasy 14 basically has the bard feature you are suggesting:


    would be cool if we got something similar to this in mabi. so a feature like this is definitely possible and I believe adding this would greatly improve our bard system, the big question is would a ancient game like mabi be able to handle it or would it lag and have to many problems to work properly.
    Adeno
  • HelsaHelsa
    Mabinogi Rep: 19,640
    Posts: 4,009
    Member
    Negumiko wrote: »
    looks like Final Fantasy 14 basically has the bard feature you are suggesting:


    would be cool if we got something similar to this in mabi. so a feature like this is definitely possible and I believe adding this would greatly improve our bard system, the big question is would a ancient game like mabi be able to handle it or would it lag and have to many problems to work properly.

    How many voices does the virtual instrument have?