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Author Topic: Noob Question - Edit/load VGZ Megadrive tracks?  (Read 4327 times)

Offline funkwad

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Noob Question - Edit/load VGZ Megadrive tracks?
« on: March 13, 2017, 09:46:09 pm »
Hi - is is possible to edit / import from VGZ format files?  Was hoping to experiment with an existing track using files from this site http://project2612.org/  Not sure if the DefleMask tool can do this, or if I may need some other tool?

A friend turned me on RymCast to isolate individual tracks, which is useful, but hoping to export midi note data or something similar for editing.

Any info appreciated.  Thanks




Offline marcb0t

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Noob Question - Edit/load VGZ Megadrive tracks?
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2017, 10:55:20 pm »
Greetings Funkwad,

It's a perfectly valid question. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Delek has already made clear that this goes beyond the scope of Deflemask's purpose.

However, there is a sneaky workaround solution. If you can find a VGM2MIDI converter, and then hunt down the MIDI2DMF converter... you can mostly accomplish what you are looking for. It'll plop all the notes into your Deflemask module.

Just keep in mind, the conversion won't be perfect, but it's better than nothing. In other words, you'll have to do a bit of tweaking and remaking the instruments for the tracks, which can be rather time consuming.

Also, there is a way to extract instruments from VGM/VGZ files. Hunt around on Google, and you'll find a couple. I recommend Aly James tool: http://www.alyjameslab.com/download.html

On that page, click on the text that says: FMDrive Related

One of the programs will be VGM2TFI 2.0 that you can download. Basically, you load your vgz file into it, and it'll spit out instrument files that are compatible with Deflemask. Only for Sega Genesis, though.

I'll have to hunt around for that MIDI2DMF program.

Offline marcb0t

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Noob Question - Edit/load VGZ Megadrive tracks?
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2017, 11:15:22 pm »
Here you go, Bubba!

Read through this thread: http://www.deflemask.com/forum/general/converting/15/

Basically, you'll find a MIDI2DMF converter.

You should convert your vgz file to MIDI first. So I would probably download
https://www.dropbox.com/s/dsnp0oyryjmhke5/VGM2MIDI.zip?dl=0

Basically, open the .exe file, and click the "Add File" button in the program. Then select your VGM/VGZ file.

After making the MIDI, then use the "MIDI2DMF" converter, and see if you have any success. Let me know if you have any questions, or need help.

Offline Speedy

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Noob Question - Edit/load VGZ Megadrive tracks?
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2017, 01:18:11 am »
I tried what you outlined and it doesn't work at all. Most notes give some sort of error upon conversion and the DMF that results from the whole process is mostly blank. If you want to mess with pre-existing music, you can always see if someone else has covered it before or you can recreate it by ear and then toy with it.

Offline marcb0t

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Noob Question - Edit/load VGZ Megadrive tracks?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2017, 01:32:08 am »
I tried what you outlined and it doesn't work at all. Most notes give some sort of error upon conversion and the DMF that results from the whole process is mostly blank. If you want to mess with pre-existing music, you can always see if someone else has covered it before or you can recreate it by ear and then toy with it.

That "error" simply means that no instrument is assigned to that note. That's where the red text is for the instrument number is.

You need to create an instrument to associate with the number after conversion.

It should work after that, or at least the notes will sound. Now, the actual conversion is not perfect either. So there might be missing channels or notes, or wrong timing. But I will test it tonight myself to see what's up.

ALSO... make sure to open the file with the Sega Genesis module that does NOT use channel 3 special mode. Since this converter was created before Deflemask implemented that feature.

Offline funkwad

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Noob Question - Edit/load VGZ Megadrive tracks?
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2017, 04:49:08 pm »
Hey Thanks Marcb0t !

Great info - yeah, I actually think I toyed around with the convert to midi awhile back and it did some pretty strange things...but it is useful.

so I tried again - and first thing I'm noticing is that tempo is not aligning to click or set tempo.  Is there maybe a missed step on why the tempo may not be aligned to click?  I was able to align it with a stretch function in my DAW, but not sure if the export has an issue

Another thing I noticed one of the tracks seems to be a 'fake reverb' effect on a lead synth/sound.  It ends up being a reverb /echo effect.  Is there any suggested method to deal with these types of channels? 

ok thanks again
« Last Edit: March 15, 2017, 06:13:27 pm by funkwad »

Offline marcb0t

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Noob Question - Edit/load VGZ Megadrive tracks?
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2017, 05:43:21 pm »
Hey Thanks Marcb0t !

Great info - yeah, I actually think I toyed around with the convert to midi awhile back and it did some pretty strange things...but it is useful.

so I tried again - and first thing I'm noticing is that tempo is not aligning to click or set tempo.  Is there maybe a missed step on why the tempo may not be aligned to click?

Another tihng I noticed one of the tracks seems to be a 'fake reverb' effect on a lead synth/sound.  It ends up being a reverb /echo effect.  Is there any suggested method to deal with these types of channels? 

Hi Funkwad,

Well, you would also need to convert the PPQ of the MIDI file to "24". You can use a program like "Reaper" to do that. It's a professional DAW that can import and export MIDI files.

Deflemask has a PPQ of 24. I don't know why, but that's just the way it is.

However, after playing with it a little more, I was having difficulty importing some vgm music with it. It was better with the correct PPQ, but still very rough conversion. :(  I don't really feel up to playing around and tweaking the method to perfection. It could take me all day.

You would have to increase the tracker speed much higher for tempo coherency as well.

In terms of the fake reverb channel, you could just always delete the notes in that channel if you want. But keep in mind that a LOT of old Sega Genesis games used that technique to thicken up their sound. Thunderforce was notorious for that. It really adds some cool depth to your tracks since Genesis doesn't have a built in reverb/echo filter.

You can hold down the "CTRL" button and press "A" twice. This will highlight a whole channel. Then press "DELETE". Clean slate on that channel effects, notes, and all!

After that in the "Pattern Matrix" up at the top left side of the window, click on the next red track number. Your channel highlight will still be there. Click "DELETE" again, and repeat the process, until finished.

I think the best thing you can do is use Winamp to play your VGM files, and isolate each channel you want to mimic while it plays. That's how I and other people have done it.

That technique will also make you better at tracking. Worth considering.

Offline funkwad

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Noob Question - Edit/load VGZ Megadrive tracks?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2017, 07:38:03 pm »

Well, you would also need to convert the PPQ of the MIDI file to "24". You can use a program like "Reaper" to do that. It's a professional DAW that can import and export MIDI files.


Wow thanks so much for the quick response - so I have reaper and Logic - right now I'm doing a "stretch" function in Logic but like you say , something like that could take all day.

So can you elaborate on how I may change PPQ in reaper?   Just wondering if it's something relatively easy I should look for?

Yeah I've recreated tracks by ear, but just looking some possible time savers along the way.  Here's some my tracks BTW: https://soundcloud.com/brandonx76
 Thanks again

Offline marcb0t

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Noob Question - Edit/load VGZ Megadrive tracks?
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2017, 10:10:44 pm »

Well, you would also need to convert the PPQ of the MIDI file to "24". You can use a program like "Reaper" to do that. It's a professional DAW that can import and export MIDI files.


Wow thanks so much for the quick response - so I have reaper and Logic - right now I'm doing a "stretch" function in Logic but like you say , something like that could take all day.

So can you elaborate on how I may change PPQ in reaper?   Just wondering if it's something relatively easy I should look for?

Yeah I've recreated tracks by ear, but just looking some possible time savers along the way.  Here's some my tracks BTW: https://soundcloud.com/brandonx76
 Thanks again

In Reaper, hold CTRL+P. Then, in the sidescroll box to the left, look for the heading that says "Media".
Click on MIDI which is right under that.
Now, to your right, you'll see it says: "Ticks per quarter note for new MIDI items:"
The box next to it says "960".
Change it to "24".

After that, load your MIDI file into Reaper. Then save your MIDI file under a different name. The MIDI with the new name will now be at 24ppq.

At this time, there is not a really good way to save time with note entry like this. This is probably as close as you'll get. Maybe in the future, someone will come up with a better conversion method like with what Famitracker has for NSF files.

Offline funkwad

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Noob Question - Edit/load VGZ Megadrive tracks?
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2017, 10:19:41 pm »
Thanks again Marco - I'll give this a shot soon :)

Offline marcb0t

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Noob Question - Edit/load VGZ Megadrive tracks?
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2017, 01:56:52 am »
Thanks again Marco - I'll give this a shot soon :)
Sure. It's a real crude and shoddy method.
But I hope it works out for you! I'm here to help when I can.

Maybe you have more patience than me! ;)