The 123s of ABCs: Making a Solo ABC Part 2

Last time we edited a midi with the goal of creating a solo abc file. This time we will take that midi and run it through the LOTRO midi player conversion program. Remember, you can get LOTRO midi player here.

Remember this chart?

That is a depiction of what the notes will actually sound like in game. However, LOTRO uses the same letters of abc notation ( C, to c’ ) to represent different musical notes all instruments. For instance, the abc notation “c” will represent this note on the Lute:

And this note on the Clarinet:

If you run a midi through LOTRO midi player where the clarinet range is inside the range shown on the above chart, the program will have to transpose the notes down until they are within the lute range so that the abc notation is correct. However, LOTRO midi player does this by transposing the whole track the necessary number of steps to get all the notes in range. It does not just transpose the tracks by octaves. This means that often it will change notes and move them around in ways that ruin a melody line or a chord. Because LOTRO midi player is a program it is not capable of making intelligent decisions about how to transpose. It is best to do all the necessary transposing yourself and to make sure the program doesn’t do any at all.

So going back to your midi, after you’ve edited all the notes to make sure they are in the correct range for their instrument you will need to then transpose all track until they are within the range of the lute. (This is for LOTRO midi player. Other conversion programs may work differently.)

Flute: transpose entire track two octaves down (-24)
Clarinet, Bagpipe: transpose entire track one octave down (-12)
Lute, Harp, Horn, Drum: leave as is
Theorbo: transpose entire track one octave up (12)

All notes in the midi should now fit snugly into the lute range. Remember, once the abc is played in game, the notes will still [i]sound[/I] the way they did before you made these transpositions. This is just to make sure that the notation in the abc file is correct.

In LOTRO there is a glitch which causes the lowest note in the clarinet’s range to produce a sound similar to a cough instead of the note. As a result LOTRO midi player considers this note ( C, in abc notation) to be out of range. However, LOTRO midi player doesn’t just consider it out of range for the clarinet, but for every instrument. So when using LOTRO midi player for conversion you should make sure that your midi does not contain any bottom C notes for any instrument once you’ve transposed it all into the lute range. This is the note you need to eliminate:

Now open the midi in LOTRO midi player by going to the file menu, click Open Midi File and select the midi you want to convert.

We created a solo midi, but if you are making a multipart midi you should first make sure ALL tracks are checked. Then see if there are any notes out of range. It will tell you if there are here:


Our midi has zero notes out of range which is perfect. If it does show notes out of range it will also give you a recommendation for transposing the track to bring the notes into range here:

However, you DO NOT want it to transpose anything. If you have notes out of range, go back to the midi, find the notes and edit them until they are in range. When you convert your midi in LOTRO midi player the number in the box should always be “0″.

This means the program will not alter any notes when you convert it. Now if you have multiple tracks, you want to make sure that you have only one at a time checked off when you export to abc. If you have them all checked, the program will merge all of those tracks together. Since it is just a computer program and cannot make intelligent decisions about which notes from the tracks are the most important, this almost always results in a messy, chaotic abc with important notes missing.

Instead select each track one at a time and click on the “Export to ABC” option under the file menu. Name the file to your choosing and save it to your music folder. Here’s the result of the conversion process:

I like to edit the header information on my abc files to show the full title and composer of the song and also to give myself credit for the transcription. Here’s what mine looks like when it’s done:

Anything after a % is recognized by the system as a note and will not affect the play of the abc.

Now we are completely done. We’ve taken a midi found off the internet and made it playable in LOTRO as an abc. Once again, the process takes some time to describe, but it is much faster when you are actually doing it. With practice anyone can do this same thing in a very short time. If you would like to play the abc I created in these posts you can find it on The Fat Lute here.

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3 Responses to “The 123s of ABCs: Making a Solo ABC Part 2”

  1. Shahn Gomeli T.B. Says:

    Nice, but you should change the explanation for the % to be “… as a comment …”, not note. Note that naming notes notes in a text dealing with notes can be notoriously misleading ;)
    I don’t know if there is a difference between the US client and the european one, but the coughing with the clarinet occurs on C, and ^C, in the european client and on C, with the horn.
    LOTRO midi player will convert these notes only if you select the appropiate entry from the instrument dropbox. Selecting any other instrument will leave these notes untouched although C, will be shown as being out of range.

    Reply

    • Fionnuala Says:

      Huh. After doing some experimentation I find that you are right. LOTRO midi player will convert C, if you select any instrument other than clarinet or horn though it continues to report the notes as “out of range”. I admit that because it says “out of range” no matter the instrument I had always assumed it would not convert them correctly. It’s odd that it does that. I guess it’s just a limitation of the program. Well, this one on hand makes things better. I don’t have to avoid those C’s anymore. However, it also makes it more confusing and harder to explain. I shall have to think about how to update the guide to reflect this.

      Reply

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