Hm that’s true. Could have two spreadsheets, one from the form and then someone copy/pastes them into an alternate spreadsheet, that being the public one. Still requires someone to maintain it, but it’s a lot less work than the past. I’d honestly be willing to do that simple enough maintenance.
I’m not in favour of shunting music into any graphics repository. It’s already enough of a problem that people put all of their effort and care into sprites over music.
Here is my current plan, which I already discussed a little on the good ol’ Discoteca:
A Dropbox folder Github repository organised with the following hierarchy: [username] ->[instrument set] -> [file format] ->songs, labeled by game name and then song name. I will give edit access to a handful of people, ideally a mix of mods and trusted people who are good at music (so they can upload quality songs at their leisure).
Username is the highest-level category because everyone has their own style to some extent. My version of Army of Grannvale II is going to sound different than the next person’s. However, my main reason for doing this is that, quite frankly, a good amount of music in the old repository is terrible. I want to encourage people to browse for music based on whomever made it so people can more reliably find quality stuff. Additionally, I hope it can help people discover music from other games they may not have considered otherwise. “Man, this guy’s FE11 port sounds great! I wonder what else he’s done. Ogre Battle? I’ve never heard of that game, but I’ll give it a listen… Wow, this is rad! I wanna use it!” Fire-Emblem-only purism does nothing but make everyone’s games sound the same and should be discouraged. It would be like if we didn’t use custom portraits and only used recolours of vanilla FE characters.
Instrument set refers to what instrument table the song should use (e.g. the native instrument map, the revised native instrument map, Blazer’s patch, Tristan’s Hiraeth instruments, the FE7 or FE6 maps, etc). The old repository had some songs that were made for the original native instrument map, but ended up getting used with the revised one, or vice versa. I’m also creating an “instrument overhaul” patch for both EA and FEB for this year’s FEE3 which will fix the pitfalls of using the native samples, e.g. string instruments will use multiple samples and no longer have such harsh “base notes” that you have to stick to to avoid them sounding terrible. Additionally, if the user has songs that expect a customised instrument map, they can specify it here.
I am aware that 9/10 people are just always going to be using the FE8 revised native instrument map. For that reason, I’m considering that the above category be optional to reduce the amount of clicks people have to make to get to the music.
The file format category will typically just be .s and .mid. I want to encourage people to include midi versions of their songs along with the .s files so they are as easy as possible to open with an editor and see how they work. If you’re not sure how best to do something in a song, this lets you look at the midi forms of your favourite users’ songs and see how they did it. I also figured any custom samples expected by songs could be put here in folders for their corresponding formats, but uncompressed audio is so huge that they’d pile up very quickly and we should probably avoid bogging down the repository with it. It’s also why I don’t want to include .mp3 previews.
Finally, the songs will be at the very bottom, formatted as [game title]-[song title]. There will be more flexibility with how you name your songs as long as you’re consistent with it and the .s files don’t contain spaces. Since the songs will be in their own folders in the first place, this doesn’t make things an organizational nightmare the same way it would with the original repository (e.g. “Fire Emblem 4- Army of Grannvale II” vs “(FireEmblem-SeisenNoKeifu)ArmyOfGrannvale2”).
The greatest point of failure for this concept is that it’s still a Dropbox folder. However, the idea of having proper file hierarchy and not just having all the songs sprawled out in one big mess greatly appeals to me. Additionally, I’ve always liked the browse-ability of Dropbox folders, e.g. the unified hacking Dropbox.
However, now that I’ve typed this all out, I realise that a Github repository is actually what I’ve been thinking of. I like its system of accepting/rejecting changes and not instantly downloading files onto my computer whenever anyone changes something. Does anyone have opinions about this? I have a busy weekend coming up, so it works out well for me to leave this up for discussion for a few days.
I’m not suggesting “shunting” music or shortchanging it. I’m saying it’s a resource the community already manages that we can leverage to maintain music.
I think the structure you propose makes sense, although I am curious if user behavior is as you describe. Can only speak for myself, but I don’t usually care who put together the midi so long as I can work with it and adjust to my needs. If I’m not looking to find a track I’m familiar with, I’m cross referencing items with YouTube to preview the song.
Sorting by intended instrument set is a good idea and will set expectations.
Imo as long as there’s a resource of quality midis available for people to access and easy to access, that’s more than enough.
Why not use a system that lets them be organized any way someone wants, like how in Windows Explorer you can sort by file size, file name, file date. date uploaded, etc.?
After all, if you’re looking for a specific song, you’re going off of the name. If you’re looking for something to fit your instrument map, you’re going off of the name of the instrument map. If you want a .wav file because funny epic meme for a really small hack, you should be able to find that.
We might see it in best interest to organize based on that going forward, instead of some arbitrary system. We could organize it like the animation repository does.
An example of what I’m thinking of would look like this.
Instrument Map > Source > Song List
So, if you want, for example, someone’s interpretation of Venus Lighthouse for your FE8 instrument map, you would go
FE8 > Golden Sun >
And you would find a list of all compatible songs from Golden Sun, organized by the name of the song and then with the creator’s name. So, you would find both Tristan and Sme made variations of Venus Lighthouse for the same instrument map (they did, lol), and now you decide which you prefer.
I understand the concern for archaic tracks at this point, so if we attach a year to the end of the file name, one will quickly be able to decide “I don’t want to waste time with tracks from before 2018” or some arbitrary year. It should be placed before the creator’s name to ensure it is sorted alphabetically, so songs from previous years will always appear above the newer ones, easily sorting them.
Ergo, the route would be
Parent Folder\Source\Song - Year Creator.file
Or, to fit the example…
Music Repository\Golden Sun\Venus Lighthouse - 2020 Sme.mid
This system will probably sustain until we start seeing massive bloat for certain sources, but it’s only two categories and a presentation of list of songs that should be easy to browse. I don’t want to have to have a username file, because then I would have to browse every username folder to find what I want, because I don’t care who made it. If it were the highest category, I’d really hate that, and I feel most people probably don’t care to go through the same trouble, either.
I’ve just now been informed that “retiring” meant leaving Discord too. I don’t know what motivated you to do so, but I’ll miss you. I liked having you around making jokes and sharing your latest tracks. Take care.
Dude, I thought you would make the part 2 of THWD, I’m gonna miss you, We don’t know… but to hope for some day for you to comeback. Relax and enjoy free time not spending it in social distancing.
I would do this, but I’m not sure if there’s any file hosting system that lets you do that easily. If I had the relevant skills, I could make some kind of web app that does that, but I don’t. I think I’ve come up with a way to have things categorised cleanly while still making sure people can find what they’re looking for and discover new stuff easily.
(After I composed this post, I actually changed my mind on categorising things by user vs game. After about a dozen of so different people/games have music on the repository, it’s going to become a huge list of folders quickly and they’ll be more easily navigable by game rather than user.)
It was recommended to me to try Google Drive, so I did. While it seems like a nice way of storing things in folders online that isn’t Dropbox, it’s still a Google service and as such has some dumb/slow Web 3.0 UX stuff weighing it down to the point that I would rather just use Dropbox. I played around with GitHub a bit yesterday and now I’ve got a better idea of how I want to tackle it.
One of the things I love about GitHub is that, by default, it displays the contents of a repository’s readme on its front page. This can be used to great advantage here; in the case of a music repository, the “readme” would be a glossary of songs structured to help people discover suitable music for their game. While I still think the folders themselves make the most sense to be sorted by user (because of the way GitHub works with making branches and merging them into the main repo, it’s a lot cleaner that each person gets their own “portfolio” to play around with rather than making changes to a bunch of different game folders), the songs in the glossary would be primarily sorted by game. Each entry in a category would be formatted [song - user - situation], “situation” being the suggested use for the music. My original idea was to primarily categorise by situation, but what song fits for which situation is arbitrary enough that I no longer think it’s a good idea. For example, I might use Venus Lighthouse as a “victory” cutscene theme, but I’m sure there are other people who envision it as something to be played during the player phase in gameplay instead.
battle (with legendary weapon)
boss (separate into tier 1 and tier 2?)
staff use (healing)
staff use (hostile)
fog of war player phase
fog of war enemy phase
setting out on adventure (When the Rush Comes)
pan over to bad guys scheming (Stratagem)
panic (An Unexpected Caller)
the shadow of victory
friends (Eliwood and Hector meet up; like Hector’s Theme but not specific to Hector)
“pull yourself together” (A Knight’s Oath)
hive of scum and villainy (The Inn)
laughter; low-stakes happiness (expendable characters bounce off of each other)
high-stakes happiness (main characters are happy, or romance)
confidence; ready to fight
calm area/sit down and think (Silent Ground)
ruined area/aftermath of bad thing (Recollection of a Petal)
dramatic tragedy (Eliwood just killed Ninian)
foreboding (Lost Heart)
quiet place where you find the legendary weapon
old man tells you legends
serious business bad guys talking (Black Fang)
bad guys reveal themselves and/or execute their plan
final chapter quotes
strange/unfamiliar/exotic places (like how Nabata had its own themes in FE7)
royalty; pomp and circumstance (The Kingdom of Bern)
sadness into determination (The Grieving Heart)
bad guy is undone
negative opening theme; adversity (The Cogs of Fate)
- overture; introducing countries
- setting off; earlygame
- uncertainty, forging into the unknown; midgame
- hardship; late/endgame
So an example glossary entry would be:
Venus Lighthouse - Alusq - cutscene: victory
It would be under a “Golden Sun” category with other Golden Sun songs, so if you’re just looking for Golden Sun music you’ll find it quickly (even if you don’t agree with my calling it a victory theme and just want to use it as a player phase theme), but if you’re looking for victory themes in particular, you can ctrl+F search for “cutscene: victory” and see what turns up. People often already have ideas for what games they want to lift music from for the player/enemy phase bits of the game, but struggle with finding songs for specific situations in cut scenes and have to go around asking “so what’s a good song that would work as a victory theme?”. Having a glossary laid out in this way will help people to find stuff to fill in those musical gaps.
The thing is, cut scenes are where categorization of “situations” get especially arbitrary. After going through the sound rooms of FE7 and FE8 and giving them a good listen, I came up with “only” just over thirty situations that would be broadly applicable to both games’ soundtracks. It would be necessary for the glossary to begin with a list of situations so people would know what to search for, and if someone feels there’s a vital situation missing and adds their own, they would need to take care to add it to the beginning of the glossary so it’s searchable too. For example, “strange/unfamiliar/exotic places” might merit secondary categories of “desert”, “Japanese”, “islands”, etc, or someone might come up with an entirely new category that was thereto completely missing from my list. Finally, there will inevitably be imbalance, with probably at least half the songs labeled as player/enemy phase music, and it may be necessary for others to go through them and offer secondary categorizations for where they would work in other places in the game.
Even with these quibbles in mind, I’m thinking this is the way I’m going to go in setting things up: GitHub repo with folders set up by user game for ease of maintenance with a robust glossary at the forefront to help people find what they’re looking for or discover suitable music for whatever situation they need. This will make a neat system of people uploading their stuff to their own folder and then making note of it in the glossary. The base directory of folders is going to become a huge list very quickly, and to that end it’s worth having people making changes in a bunch of different folders in exchange for easier navigation for people who just want music; clicking on a game’s title to see the game’s music rather than clicking on a string of gibberish to get another list of games just makes more sense. Can I get another round of thoughts? It’s possible there’s a file hosting thing out there that indeed allows dynamic categorization and I’ve just missed it.
I think you’re over engineering it a bit. I’d stick with organizing by game and leave the user to figure out the situation that it is best suited for. It’s too subjective. Tone of a person’s game will matter when selecting a track for a specific phase or moment, and I don’t think it’s fair for someone submitting a track to be prescriptive.
Should focus on making it easy to find the tracks, and leave the rest up to user discernment IMO. Will be easier on you and those who submit, too.
Appreciate the thought and dedication! Looking forward to seeing the new repo.
Do whatever you guys have to do, it’s not like I owned the music repo, I just threw a bunch of .s files people were willing to share with a few guidelines to try and keep it standardized.
The music repo was included in the ultimate repo before I pulled it down last week. A while ago, I asked Shin if we could include audio samples of the music repo on the graphics site but I never really pushed for it or made an effort afterwards.
It may have been abrupt, but a lot of things in my life have changed quite quickly in a short period of time. I was planning on retiring in the near future (as I’ve told a few people around here), instead of just ghosting, I’d like to leave a solid Retired.
RE: Music Repo 2 Format:
Honestly, throw all of the MR1’s .s files into a folder; start up the second one with the same format but include quality control and you’ll be fine.
Sorry for leaving people hanging on this, but I’m going to have to back out of any direct role in the new repository. GitHub and Dropbox both don’t work super well on my browsers and I’d rather not just have the folder on my computer for reasons mentioned. I do encourage implementation of my suggestions (organise by instrument map and then by game, with a glossary .txt file at the base folder), but after the technical weirdness I’ve run into and how unexpectedly busy I’ve been the past month, it’s clear that I’m just not the person to be hosting this.
Can you look into integrating it with the broader repo if the current solution isn’t sustainable?
Yeah I just came here to look at this repo… this is not good. The links in the OP are dead. We need a new music repo. The primary repo has 10GB’s free, so integrating all of the music into there is definitely doable. This ‘people pasting links’ system is terrible and exactly the opposite of what a modern repo should be, since links can die, people use different uploaders of varying quality, etc.
Who here, if anyone, has downloaded a majority of the songs in this topic? Collecting all these songs would take eons… and I don’t have that kind of time anymore.
Edit: Did someone happen to save the May 22 folder @anon98251803 posted?
I have a portion of the repo from may 18. I’ll open a dropbox link ASAP.
It should have all of the ones posted in this thread, I think
That helps! A good starting block.
The link is up! Should I upload it to the main repo too?
Well, you don’t have upload perms so I don’t think you can, but I will. Maybe. I need to look at how it’s setup and read some of Alusq’s thoughts. A reorganization might be in order first.
Thank you! I’d forgotten to save it myself, too.
the MidiShrine Archive link is also dead
Alright, I’m working on some stuff now. I see a lot of users have previews for their songs, which the current repo does not have.
For anyone who has submitted song previews, preferably in mp3, ogg, or a similar format, can you compile those previews into a zip folder and post them here?
For anyone else, if you can, by all means, please make some previews for your songs if you haven’t and zip them up. We might be able to put the whole music repo on the new website, and even if we can’t, a playable preview in the google drive is doable too.
Edit: Sme and Pikmin gave me theirs on Discord. Sme’s was… work. A lot of work.
I would still like to get anyone else’s previews if possible. This is not something I can do alone, unlike the animation repo.
Update: Music Repo V2: The Music Repository Reloaded (Very WIP) Current Version: 0.2