Any information lost when doing XMI -> MID conversion? (esp. Warcraft 1)

Discussion about old sound cards, MIDI devices and sound related accessories.

Any information lost when doing XMI -> MID conversion? (esp. Warcraft 1)

Postby lordskylark » 2019-1-19 @ 08:46

I am wondering if any information is lost when converting a file from XMI into MID? Will they sound exactly the same (obviously provided the correct soundcard is used)? If not, what information is lost and how frequent will that be?

The current experiment in question would be Warcraft 1. Is there any specific commands or anything that would be lost during the conversion? The original files sent by the composer to Blizzard were probably midi files (I received 100% verification from the composer that they were made on SC-55) that were then converted into XMI.

Andrew
Last edited by lordskylark on 2019-3-15 @ 06:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Any information lost when doing XMI -> MID conversion?

Postby Stretch » 2019-1-19 @ 23:13

The recommended method would be to enable the Dosbox MIDI logging and play the xmi files with xmiplay or px. I read that the Dosbox FM DRO is not as accurate since it captures every 1000 ms. I don't know if that applies to the MIDI capture though.
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Re: Any information lost when doing XMI -> MID conversion?

Postby Falcosoft » 2019-1-20 @ 02:51

Hi,
Theoretically XMI->MID conversion is a lossless one as far as musical data is concerned. But there are some features in XMI that are either not standardized in SMF/mid file specification (such as loop points) or not widely supported (such as Type 2 midi files). Type 2 Midi file support is required from the Midi player since in XMI multiple tracks have to be played one after the other and not simultaneously like in case of the much frequent Type 1 Midi files. Also loop points are not standardized in SMF specification but since loops are standard features in case of game music XMI supports them.
Few players support both Type 2 midi files and loop points. One of them is my Midi Player better known here as FSMP (it also supports XMI so you can compare native XMI and converted Midi file playback. It can also save XMI as MID file so in this sense it's also a converter).
http://falcosoft.hu/softwares.html#midiplayer
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Re: Any information lost when doing XMI -> MID conversion?

Postby bristlehog » 2019-1-20 @ 07:59

Generally speaking almost nothing should be lost. However, in practice some conversions (depending on the tool you use to convert XMI to MID) will suffer from incorrect tempo (slower than it should be).
Hardware comparisons and game system requirements: https://technical.city
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Re: Any information lost when doing XMI -> MID conversion?

Postby lordskylark » 2019-1-22 @ 07:23

bristlehog wrote:Generally speaking almost nothing should be lost. However, in practice some conversions (depending on the tool you use to convert XMI to MID) will suffer from incorrect tempo (slower than it should be).


Thanks for all the help. I did some testing with the tempo. It appears that Falcosoft's converter converts at the correct tempo (at least for the warcraft 1 xmi I converted using his program). Though another program did not convert at the correct tempo.
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Re: Any information lost when doing XMI -> MID conversion?

Postby lordskylark » 2019-3-15 @ 05:50

Thanks to Falcosoft for the proper XMI to MID conversion!

I was finally able to record the SC-55 version of Warcraft 1 soundtrack -- which I didn't find any online before mine.
Comparing it to the CD-audio version, it sounds nearly identical -- except that the CD-audio version is recorded in mono, whereas the one I did would preserve the original stereo. (And the CD version only had 6+1 tracks). So I'm pretty confident that what Greg Alper told me was correct about him composing the tracks with an SC-55.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5QVHzaGfQ8&t=11s
(I also uploaded all files individually.)

If you want to download the 320k MP3 version, I uploaded it to my Patreon page (see link on video) as one of the few complete freebies (no subscription or anything required.)

Andrew
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Re: Any information lost when doing XMI -> MID conversion? (esp. Warcraft 1)

Postby bristlehog » 2019-3-15 @ 10:39

That was one of the reason for me to make PX Player - so that you could play XMI files from command line with the very engine they are played in-game, not bothering of MIDI conversion or anything else.

This has its limitations, one of them being some drivers are specific to later versions of Miles sound library, and thus aren't supported by PX Player. However, Warcraft II uses a standard General MIDI driver for SC-55, so this should not be an issue.
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