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Topic: a brief presentation

SirVer
Joined: 2009-02-19, 15:18
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Location: Germany - Munich
Posted at: 2017-11-16, 19:49

i believe something similar may be reached with Lua itself: game events triggering pre-mixed instruments so, when some structure is build, an audio effect is played and a cello or french horn phrase is added to the music, etc. such phrase would already be recorded and playing along with the other audible instruments, but its level would be set at zero. Lua would "open" it — make it audible — only after some event was triggered.

That is exactly what I had in mind. I thought about coding it into the engine and expose it through our configuration files - which coincidentally are also in Lua.

now: on a negative side. more audio files translates as a "heavier" game for downloading and even playing, for more will be required from the audio board and CPU. but the benefits are substantial!

I have no worries here. Widelands is single threaded. All computers today have more than one CPU, but Widelands only uses one. We have plenty of resources (on other threads/CPUs) to use for extra decoding of music. Also download size: Music can and is already optionally bundled. For those that want it, it should not matter too much if the size increases a bit.

so, if the original composers allow me

Please go ahead. You do not require permission from the individual composers. That is the beauty of open source - people come, contribute something and eventually leave again. Others come and build upon the work of those that came before them. Everybody contributes their work in the GPL license, so it can be taken, improved and recontributed. Please take any music from Widelands you like and propose improvement!

The music contributors that came before you put their source files into source control in the media repository. Maybe it helps you get started quicker. Please think if there is a way for you to also contribute back the "source" of your music for easier future changes. This has been notoriously difficult for graphics and sound in the past - source code is so much simpler to share and archive face-smile.png


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GunChleoc
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Posted at: 2017-11-17, 09:07

The Miles Sound System would really make your work easier, but we can't use it - anything we use in the game has to be free (as in freedom) software and compatible with the General Public License. You can use any software you like to create your music, although it would be a huge plus if you used a free file format when sharing any source files.


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TomatoEddie
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Joined: 2017-11-13, 18:28
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Posted at: 2017-11-17, 17:08
hello, GunChleoc,

hope this message finds you well.

> *GunChleoc wrote:*
>
> The Miles Sound System would really make your work easier, but we can't use it - anything we use in the game has to be free (as in freedom) software and compatible with the General Public License. You can use any software you like to create your music, although it would be a huge plus if you used a free file format when sharing any source files.

Miles was one of the reasons things didn't work back in 2012/13. :-) really expensive, indeed.
i've been researching other audio engines that should work with Lua scripting; so far, i've found fMod! — a free software and API that is Unity and UE ready, but supposedly works with all platforms.
fMod, according to their current EULA, is free for non-commercial use:

"1. GRANT OF LICENCE
This EULA grants you the right to use FMOD, in a software application (Product), for
personal (hobbyist), educational (students and teachers) or Non-Commercial use only,
subject to the following:
i) Non-Commercial use does not involve any form of monetisation, sponsorship
or promotion.
ii) FMOD is distributed as integrated into a Product only;
iii) FMOD is not distributed as part of any Commercial Product or service;
iv) FMOD is not distributed as part of a game engine or tool set;
v) FMOD is not used in any Commercial enterprise or for any Commercial
production or subcontracting, except for the purposes of Evaluation or
Development of a Commercial Product;
vi) Product includes attribution in accordance with Clause 3" <--- Credits

the installation of runtime libraries — two APIs — is required, though.
at this moment i'm skimming through their online info, and coding it doesn't seem to be hard.
first things first. for the moment, i shall dive into the musical facets of Widelands' existing cues. after a brief search, i found there's a lot of music offered as Creative Commons as well, and i shall also look into that.

wish you a great weekend, GunChleoc;


E.
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TomatoEddie
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Posted at: 2017-11-17, 18:42
dear SirVer,

i hope these words will find you well.

> That is exactly what I had in mind. I thought about coding it into the engine and expose it through our configuration files - which coincidentally are also in Lua.
> I have no worries here. Widelands is single threaded. All computers today have more than one CPU, but Widelands only uses one. We have plenty of resources (on other threads/CPUs) to use for extra decoding of music. Also download size: Music can and is already optionally bundled. For those that want it, it should not matter too much if the size increases a bit.

it will be great if we may implement this idea in Widelands; it's a huge and positive differential for the game, indeed.
as i stated in my previous post, there are free audio engines available for most platforms. the one i mentioned, fMod, is gratis for non-commercial use; since it works with its own pair of APIs, i believe it may be implemented with any scripting language. i've downloaded their files and tools, and will begin studying it next week — as soon as i'm done with the production of Widelands' music cue.
one remark on this subject: there is plenty of original scores on medieval music (written from the XII to the XV centuries) on IMSLP as well as some of their recorded material. hence, unless a specific style, genre, or cue is necessary, these scores could be recorded as background music, giving the game a more realistic and broader variety. the recorded material i found is also usable, since it's well produced, free, and may be used for any purpose.
i shall give the latter a deeper look.

> Please go ahead. You do not require permission from the individual composers. That is the beauty of open source - people come, contribute something and eventually leave again. Others come and build upon the work of those that came before them. Everybody contributes their work in the GPL license, so it can be taken, improved and recontributed. Please take any music from Widelands you like and propose improvement!
> The music contributors that came before you put their source files into source control (http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~widelands-media-dev/widelands-media/widelands-media/files/head:/music/src/). Maybe it helps you get started quicker. Please think if there is a way for you to also contribute back the "source" of your music for easier future changes. This has been notoriously difficult for graphics and sound in the past - source code is so much simpler to share and archive :)

thanks very much for the link, SirVer. i gave it a brief look, and found out there are Sibelius and MIDI files there. those will surely facilitate the music (re)production process.

i guess that's all for now.

my gratitude once again, and i wish you and All a great weekend.
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GunChleoc
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Posted at: 2017-11-18, 11:02

We cannot use fmod. It is gratis, but not libre. We can only include GPL-Compatible code, anything else would get us in legal trouble at the very least. And custom licenses are always something we need stay well clear of, they are big cans of worms.


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TomatoEddie
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Posted at: 2017-11-21, 19:18
hello, GunChleoc,

> *GunChleoc wrote:*
>
> We cannot use fmod. It is gratis, but not libre (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gratis_versus_libre). We can only include GPL-Compatible (https://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html) code, anything else would get us in legal trouble at the very least. And custom licenses are always something we need stay well clear of, they are big cans of worms.

i was not aware of that; thanks for explaining i to me. i was actually beginning to study the app, so i'll stay away of it for the time being. :-)

wish you the very best,


Eddie
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TomatoEddie
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Joined: 2017-11-13, 18:28
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Posted at: 2017-11-21, 19:52
dear SirVer and All,

> *SirVer wrote:*
> Please go ahead. You do not require permission from the individual composers. That is the beauty of open source - people come, contribute something and eventually leave again. Others come and build upon the work of those that came before them. Everybody contributes their work in the GPL license, so it can be taken, improved and recontributed. Please take any music from Widelands you like and propose improvement!
> The music contributors that came before you put their source files into source control (http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~widelands-media-dev/widelands-media/widelands-media/files/head:/music/src/). Maybe it helps you get started quicker. Please think if there is a way for you to also contribute back the "source" of your music for easier future changes. This has been notoriously difficult for graphics and sound in the past - source code is so much simpler to share and archive :)

i hope you had a great weekend. my apologies for the delayed reply, but i was actually working on the first cue for the game.

i tried to read the Midi and Sibelius files from the repository; for some reason, they did not open neither in my version of Sibelius nor in Logic X Pro. in due time, i'll see into it.
since i'm still transcribing the ingame music cues, i decided to produce a usable demo: a rewriting of a minuet from John Dowland (ca. 1563 – 1626) entitled "Midnight Minuit."
it's not fully produced yet, for i'm not done with the extra tracks to be triggered by game events; in this case: strings quartet and horn. yet, it gives a concrete idea of how realistic yet gentle the music can be, even if it's performed by an alto recorder, an acoustic guitar, a Spinet (or Virginal, basically an older and smaller version of the Cembalo or Harpsichord but with a penetrating timbre), bassoon, and Bodhran drum. the recorder and the Spinet are actually played live; that way, the performance looses the mechanised factor i referred previously.
there are two files inside the "7z" wrapper: 20171121_AnOdeToJohnDowland_I_Edit.ogg and 20171121_AnOdeToJohnDowland_I_Edit.wav. since i don't know which sound format you prefer but the game music files are in Ogg, i decided to send you both. the .wav file follows the 48KHz 16 bit parameters.
i'm probably finishing the strings and horn tomorrow evening, hence Thursday or Friday you may have the complete performance.

i wish you folks a wonderful Tuesday, and hope you like it;


Eddie.

forgot to write it: the cue, even though having an ending, is loop-ready.
Edited: 2017-11-21, 20:15

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GunChleoc
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Posted at: 2017-11-21, 21:16

Sounds good face-smile.png

I think it might be nice to have a mix of natural instruments and electronic music - with the synthesizers doing obviously artificial sounds.


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SirVer
Joined: 2009-02-19, 15:18
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Location: Germany - Munich
Posted at: 2017-11-21, 21:59

Sounds really nice! I think wav is the way to go for the source files and we encode into ogg for shipping in the game.

I am not sure how much criticism you are looking for in your track, since I did not understand how much of it you want to put into the game. Here are my 2c:

I feel the music is too realistic and too close to a specific era in our actual history. I feel a bit disconnected from the game because it reminds me too much of concert music. I think the odd meters and meter changes also draw the attention too much which distracts from the game play. I think going for an easier palatable style might make everything glue better together.

The production is awesome - professional grate and great playing too!

As for the musical engine: I am not too worried about the features we need - just dream up what you'd like to have and we find a way to code it into the actual engine. We build nightlies of Widelands for every system including Mac, so there is a fast turnaround with features getting coded and for you to try them out - if you want to go that route.

Edit: I reread what I wrote and it sounds awfully negative. I apologize for that. The music is really good, in fact I had it looping for the last 30 minutes while doing email and I really like the intricate voices. I found myself frequently stopping while typing or reading to listen to a part of the music again.

Edited: 2017-11-21, 22:14

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TomatoEddie
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Posted at: 2017-11-22, 01:28
SirVer,

> *SirVer wrote:*
>
> Sounds really nice! I think wav is the way to go for the source files and we encode into ogg for shipping in the game.
> I am not sure how much criticism you are looking for in your track, since I did not understand how much of it you want to put into the game. Here are my 2c:
> I feel the music is too realistic and too close to a specific era in our actual history. I feel a bit disconnected from the game because it reminds me too much of concert music. I think the odd meters and meter changes also draw the attention too much which distracts from the game play. I think going for an easier palatable style might make everything glue better together.
> The production is awesome - professional grate and great playing too!
> As for the musical engine: I am not too worried about the features we need - just dream up what you'd like to have and we find a way to code it into the actual engine. We build nightlies of Widelands for every system (http://www.widelands.org/~sirver/wl/macos_daily/), so there is a fast turnaround with features getting coded and for you to try them out - if you want to go that route.
> Edit: I reread what I wrote and it sounds awfully negative. I apologize for that. The music is *really* good, in fact I had it looping for the last 30 minutes while doing email and I really like the intricate voices. I found myself frequently stopping while typing or reading to listen to a part of the music again.

first and above all: thank you! :-) i found nothing negative at all in your words, so there's no need for apologies: they are constructive, and gave me the direction of what you as a creator and developer expects from a music track. so please continue to feed me your impressions and "criticism;" as a composer, i couldn't ask for more than that.

i believe the acoustic guitar performance is indeed too artistic; my father played the nylon guitar — both classical (especially renaissance music) and bossa nova — so i kept hearing his own critics in my head while i sequenced it (he passed in May, 2009; his strictures remain quite vivid, though). :-)
concurrently, i had this work more like an applied exercise than a true composition — the reason i based it on a John Dowland's piece. this composer is a true Master to me; his themes and harmony are quite tonal and simple (they have to be — those were the rules of composition at his time); the way he was capable of exploring it is, even to this day, astounding. but you're right: it represents a real period of our history, and such might become conflictive.

the fact that you truly listened it for over 30 minutes is perhaps the best compliment a composer/producer can receive.
for such, i thank you again — deeply.

i shall finish the original idea — strings and horn — then finish the transcriptions, so to begin (re)producing the original games cues and make them sound fresh and within the same parameters. as i wrote before, there are great compositions in there: real treasures.

i wish you and all a wonderful Wednesday;
all the best.


Eddie
Edited: 2017-11-22, 07:01

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