What are the advantages and drawbacks of the different music programs?

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Plain audio[edit]

These mean Ogg Vorbis (recommended), MP3, WAV.


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Csound is one of the most powerful programs there is for writing music in plain audio formats. The standard numeric score isn't particularly good to write music manually, although some people like it. However, there are alternative methods of writing the score: use realtime MIDI input, use a MIDI file, use a GUI (there are several ones available, see what you like), or use CsoundMML.


  • Can be difficult to understand
  • Can be slow to render on some computers


  • Open source
  • Extremely powerful
  • Extensible with Csound plugins written in C or Lua
  • Extensible with VST plugins and LADSPA plugins


The Windows and Linux versions of the OHRRPGCE support MIDI format music. There are a lot of programs out there that let you create MID files, some free, some shareware, and some commercial.

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Anvil Studio[edit]

Anvil Studio is a Freeware MIDI sequencer. It also does WAVE mixing, but the plugin for that costs money, and you can't use it in the OHRRPGCE anyway.


  • Technically shareware/not open source
  • Kind of buggy
  • Windows only


  • For our purposes, it's free.
  • Support for Sysex events/Music Code
  • Lots of neato midi-editing features which make life easier (if you know how to use them...)


BAM format music used to be the only format supported by the OHRRPGCE. Tools for creating BAM are all DOS based. You will often need VDMSound if you want to use them under Windows, or you can try using an emulator such as DOSBox.


Notate allows you to create BAM format music by placing notes on a staff, similar to writing sheet music. It is included with the OHRRPGCE


  • Only opens its own NOT formatted files. It cannot open BAM files created with other tools.
  • BAM is somewhat depreciated, now that the OHRRPGCE is capable of playing MIDI music


  • It is probably the only music notation program available that allows pure keyboard input... which is only an advantage if you are the type of person who goes for that sort of thing ;)


Midi2Bam.exe converts MIDI formatted music into BAM formatted music. It is included with the OHRRPGCE


  • It is not recommended for use anymore, now that the OHRRPGCE supports MIDI music


  • The only reason you would want to use it is if you want to make backwards compatible versions of your MIDI music for the DOS version of the OHRRPGCE.

Stephanie's PC Piano[edit]

Stephanie's PC Piano lets you play your computer's keyboard as if it was a music keyboard. You can record and save the results in BAM format. It also supports real MIDI instruments attached via the gameport. You can download it from http://HamsterRepublic.com/dl/pcpiano.zip


  • BAM is somewhat depreciated, now that the OHRRPGCE is capable of playing MIDI music
  • Most modern MIDI instruments attach to the USB port, so only very old gameport-style instruments will be usable


  • Small, simple, and easy to understand compared with many larger programs that do the same thing.



AmigaMML is a command-line UNIX-filter-type program that is written in plain C and is cross platform. It will read input in Music Macro Language format and output the MOD or XM format.


  • Does not play back (yet)
  • Only MOD/XM format
  • Doesn't edit existing MOD/XM files (not considered a problem though; you should edit the input file instead)


  • Cross-platform
  • Open source
  • Command-line program
  • Can use Music Macro Language
  • Built-in instruments and synthesizers (you can use external instruments too though)
  • A very small program compared to others

ModPlug Tracker[edit]

OpenMPT is a GUI program for Windows that can be used to write MOD/XM/S3M/IT files by keyboard, mouse, and MIDI. It also supports VST and DirectX plugins, but these features are not compatible with other programs and should not be used for creating portable files.


  • Windows only
  • Writes junk to the end of files (which is useful only to OpenMPT)


  • Open source
  • Accurate playback
  • Supports all four formats
  • Support MIDI input


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See Also[edit]