How can I modify my midi file so that it can become a high quality bam file?
Some MIDIs will naturally sound good when converted to BAM format. Unfortunately, the vast majority will need a bit of work before they sound optimal. This short tutorial will show how to fix those cases.
Step 1: Midi2Bam
Before you actually modify the MIDI itself, you can try stuff in Midi2Bam. After loading a MIDI file to convert, press F5 to listen. If it doesn't sound good, try locating any track that doesn't make much sound (tracks with quiet instruments), and disabling it (Left/Right to select a track, "1" to [en/dis]able it). Then, reload the file. This will free up that track for other tracks which need more room.
If that doesn't work (or if all the sounds are equally important), next you can try the precussion (drums) track. Since most drums don't sound too good in BAM format anyway, you probably won't miss much. Precussion tracks are generally brown or grey.
NOTE: If your music sounds "hollow", then it's probably best to put the precussion back.
Step 2: A MIDI Editor
For this step, you will need a MIDI Editor. I use Anvil Studio, and that's what I will assume for the rest of this article. However, most steps should be easily done in other editors.
Note: After each mini step (each paragraph below), try importing the MIDI into Midi2Bam to test it out. You can stop doing this article when you like how it sounds.
First things first, you should get rid of any "echo tracks". Echo tracks are just tracks that have the same/similar instruments in another track, but offset by a couple ticks. You won't lose much by getting rid of them, and you will free up a lot of space. You can delete a track by selecting it and goint to Track->Delete.
Next, get rid of SFX tracks. These are tracks with instruments set to "Breath Noise" (122) or later. Same with tracks that are designed to simulate SFX in the original song (Example: In the original Dr. Mario: Fever song, there is a bit that sounds like a monkey. That can safely be removed when converting to BAM).
Then, you can try changing instruments around. Certain instruments sound better in BAM than others, so you should avoid the following instruments:
- I'll add this list later. For now, use your ears, and play around!
You can change instruments on tracks by clicking on the current instrument, and then double clicking on a new one in the dialog that pops up.
Step 3: Another MIDI
Sometimes, no matter what, a MIDI just will not sound good in BAM. When that happens, the only thing left is to get another MIDI, hopefully of the same song. If you got your MIDI from The Video Game Music Archive, there's usually other versions of the same song sequenced by different people. Try other versions, see what turns up.
And, if that's a bust, you can always try another song altogether.