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Audio How to remix some music into GBA style?

Started by pokemon1225534jhjf August 2nd, 2017 10:46 PM
  • 2 replies


A Ordinary Kanto Lover

Route 1 (Kanto)
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Of course, you have to obtain midi music first, either by extracting from a ROM or download from the Internet, or compose them yourself if you can.
If you only want to use GBA soundfonts to play the music on your PC than just skip all of the following because they are no more than piles of text. However, if you want to insert the music into a Generation III ROM, then this might be useful:
1. Make sure to know the basic knowledge of GBA music in Generation III ROMs (you may check voicegroups in Sappy for more detailed information):
1.1 Common Directsound instruments (A name in bold means it is different from a General MIDI instrument):
0. Drum Kit (In FRLG, pitch C#1 and D1 are both loud Snares similar to E1 in NDS games, and pitch F#1 is Acoustic Snare Drum as E1 instead of Closed Hi-hat; In all games, pitch B2 is Crash Cymbal instead of Ride Cymbal, and pitch C3 is Reverse Cymbal)
1. Bright Acoustic Piano (Multi) (Numbered 0 in some voicegroups)
2. Acoustic Guitar Steel String (FRLG&E exclusive, numbered 1 in some voicegroups)
4. Electric Piano 1 (FRLG&E exclusive)
5. Electric Piano 2 (FRLG&E exclusive)
9. Glockenspiel
13. Xylophone
14. Tubular Bells
17. Percussive Organ (Base note is C2)
19. Church Organ (Emerald exclusive)
21. Accordion (numbered 56 in Petalburg City)
24. Acoustic Guitar Nylon String (Numbered 25 in some voicegroups)
29. Overdriven Guitar (FRLG&E exclusive)
30. Distortion Guitar (FRLG&E exclusive)
31. Guitar Harmonics (FRLG&E exclusive, numbered 120 in some voicegroups)
33. Electric Bass
35. Fretless Bass
36. Slap Bass
38. Synth Bass
45. Pizzicato Strings
46. Harp
47. Timpani (In RSE battle music, Timpani are used as Bass Drums and Drum Kit pitch D1 is used as Snares)
48. String Ensemble (Multi)
52. Voice Aahs (FRLG&E exclusive, numbered 53 in Last Battle vs. Rival)
56. Trumpet (Multi)
58. Tuba (Multi)
60. Horn (Multi)
62. Bass Overdriven Guitar (FRLG&E exclusive. Base note is C2.)
68. Oboe (FRLG&E exclusive)
69. English Horn (FRLG&E exclusive, sounds more like Clarinet. Base note is C4.)
73. Flute
75. Pan Flute (FRLG&E exclusive. Base note is C4.)
78. Whistle (FRLG&E exclusive. Base note is C5.)
107. Koto (Emerald exclusive)

1.2 Special Directsound Instruments:
In Pokémon Mansion, Instrument 39 roughly sounds like Blown Bottle and Square Wave;
In S. S. Anne, Instrument 58 is more close to ship whistle than Tuba;
In songs numbered before 256 (FRLG) or 350 (RSE), there may be Directsound samples specially for a sound effect, such as raining or truck engine)

1.3 External Directsound Instruments:
Other GBA ROMs may contain other instruments like No. 11 Vibraphone, No. 12 Marimba, No. 55 Orchestral Hit, No. 57 Trombone, No. 71 Clarinet and No. 74 Recorder. You can use Export Samples and Import Sample in Sappy to insert them into a Pokémon ROM.

1.4 8-bit instruments:
1.4.1 Square Waves: Usually 80-89 (sometimes 2, 4-8 in RSE), The Square Wave 2 track is a common bass track in FRLG;
1.4.2 Triangle Wave: Usually 92 and 87 (sometimes 29, 73, 74, 81 in RSE). The Triangle Wave track is a common bass track in RSE and a supplemantary track in FRLG;
1.4.3 Noise: Usually 125-127. Instrument 127 can be used as Snare Drum (pitch below C4) or Closed Hi-hat (pitch C5); Instrument 126 can be used as Open Hi-hat (pitch G5);

2. GBA music player limitations:
2.1 A maximum of FIVE Directsound notes can be played simultaneously;
2.2 A maximum of ONE Square 1, Square 2, Triangle, Noise note EACH can be played simultaneously;
2.3 A maximum of TEN tracks can be in a single song. Tracks numbered over 11 will be MUTED;
2.4 Instruments not listed in Part 1 are all defined by default as 50% Square Wave 1;

3. Prepare your midi (I suggest that you use Anvil Studio):
If you compose music yourself, just carefully read Part 1 and 2 and insert your song to a GBA ROM; If you remix existing songs, follow this:
3.1 If your original song is from a game from GBA platform or later, remember to alter the instrument numbers to fit the GBA instrument table (OR THEY WILL SOUND WIERD AND TERRIBLE once inserted). For example:
In HGSS songs, Instrument 29 is Trumpet, so you every time you encounter a midi event switching instrument number to 29, you change it to 56. Other similar examples like No. 0 Piano, No. 23 String Ensemble, No. 32 Horn, No. 35 Flute, No. 39 Drum Kit. As of NDS music, it is recommended to extract a song via vgmtrans with its .sf2 soundfont to accurately identify all the instruments it uses.

3.2 If your original song is from a Game Boy game, then it contains only 3 or 4 tracks: Track 1 and 2 (Square Waves) are main tracks; Track 3 (Triangle Wave) is bass track (sometimes the main track, e.g in Gym and Lavender Town theme from GSC); Track 4 (Noise) is percussion. Similar to Part 3.1, alter the instrument numbers to fit the GBA instrument table, and change the pitch of notes if necessary. You may add more tracks to the song to make it sound more like GBA, but the tracks MUST comply with the limitations in Part 2!

4. Mark the loop points and insert the remixed song into your ROM and it is all done!

You are challenged by Pokémon Trainers Red, Blue & Leaf!
Pokémon AgateRed and JadeGreen (Chapter 1 Finished, Chapter 2 In Progress)
My remixed music list: Here
My deviantART page: Here
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