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Thread: The Complete Composing Guide

  1. #1
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    The Complete Composing Guide / Artistry Guide

    I will update this guide if anything changes.

    Update: Added a link to information on fixing tempo change desyncs.
    Update: Added another updated version of 3MLE for AA. (version 3)
    Update: Added updated version of 3MLE for AA. (version 2)
    Update: Fixed some typos and possible areas of confusion.
    Update:
    T̶e̶m̶p̶o̶ ̶c̶h̶a̶n̶g̶e̶s̶ ̶m̶i̶d̶ ̶s̶o̶n̶g̶ ̶d̶o̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶k̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶3̶r̶d̶ ̶t̶r̶a̶c̶k̶.̶ ̶3̶r̶d̶ ̶t̶r̶a̶c̶k̶ ̶w̶i̶l̶l̶ ̶u̶s̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶T̶e̶m̶p̶o̶ ̶f̶r̶o̶m̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶t̶r̶a̶c̶k̶ ̶b̶e̶f̶o̶r̶e̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶i̶n̶s̶t̶e̶a̶d̶.̶
    Update:
    Found out that dotted rest notes do not work in Archeage. Fixed guide to reflect.
    Update:
    I was wrong about the n# characters. Fixed the guide to reflect.

    Hello and welcome to my composing guide.
    I want to mention that if you know nothing about how music works I suggest you go learn. Musical Notation is complicated and I do not want to go that in depth on this guide. You can learn about Musical Notation here. They can explain it better than I can anyway. My specialty is MML.

    Also, a MML database has been made by ArcheageMmlLibrary and is appropriately named. You can upload and download MML songs here. I have also messaged Scapes to see if it would be possible to have an official database for Archeage but with this fan database, I might retract that suggestion.

    As promised here's my library of MMLs. I thought I had a couple thousand songs, but it turns out to be 12 thousand. I'm sure you don't mind. About 700 of them are not named. I'm working with another player to get those renamed. http://www.mediafire.com/download/ws...kivl/Music.zip

    First I want to give a thanks to these people for helping me out.
    • Archaous
    • Nyilaira
    • Oskar
    • Toy Fuzion
    • Etrigan
    • Lilblue
    • Xenogenic (from twitter)
    • Dusty
    • Sivuden
    • SomethingUnreal (youtube)
    • Solty-Aranzeb (reddit)



    With the thanks out of the way lets get down to business.

    Let's talk about how to get prepared in game to make music. Well actually it's quite simple and you only need a few materials to make wonderful music. There are two main items you need. An instrument like a Flute or Lute and Music Paper. To get a Flute or Lute simply follow the quests. The NPCs will hand them out. Music Paper on the other hand is slightly more difficult to obtain. You need to craft Music Paper. To do so you need 10 Paper, 1 Dawn Lake Light Essence, and 5 Memory Ink. When you have all the materials head to an Artistry Workbench. Once you craft the Music Paper you can begin composing music. Other instruments like the electric guitar and saxophone can be bought in the market place.



    Now that we have everything we need, let's talk about MML.

    MML stands for Music Macro Language. Think of it as a text document that can play music. Read more about MML here. How do you get music from text you ask? Your computer has a file with a library of about 128 instruments and each instrument has every note it could play recorded. This is a DLS file pertaining to the MS Waveable Synth. Every Microsoft OS past XP has this file. Archeage uses this library to play music by reading the note text from MML.

    Fun Fact: The library file is about 4mb so that every MML file only needs to contain the note information and not the actual sound itself, making the file a few kilobytes in size. Unlike modern music files like MP3 or AAC or WAV, they store every sound that happens in the song in their own file. Which is why those files range from 1mb to 30mb in size.



    Time to actually start learning the language of MML.

    In MML the notes are represented as the characters on the keyboard "c d e f g a b". The notes also have Sharps and Flats. They can be expressed as "c#" for C sharp or "c-" for C flat. Sharp can also be expressed as "c+". # or + indicates sharp and - indicates flat. There are 7 notes and with the sharps and flats that makes 21 possible combinations. However a piano has 88 notes which is why you need octaves to change the pitch of each note. If you know musical notation you will understand this very well.

    There are 2 ways to express an octave change in MML. You can use "o" as in Orange and then a number or you can use ">" to go up 1 octave or "<" to go down 1 octave. An example would be, using Archeage's default octave of 5, "o3cdefo6gab" is the same as "<<cdef>>>gab".

    There are 2 ways to express note length. You can place a number after the note like so "c1d2e4f8g16a32b64". That will play C as a whole note, D as a half note, E as a quarter note, F as an 8th note, G as a 16th note, A as a 32nd note, and G as a 64th note. The second option is to use "l" as in Lion and then a number. "l8" will play all notes after it as an 8th note unless the note has a number behind it. An example of "l8aaaac4c4" will play 4 A 8th notes and 2 C quarter notes.

    Rest is indicated with "r". "r" acts the same way as a regular note minus the octave changes. It can be modified with numbers after it like "r1r2r4r8r64" or with the "l" modifier as "l4rrrrl1r".

    The "&" ampersand is used to tie notes together. "a4&a4&a4&a4" will play 4 a quarters as a whole note. This will come in handy if you are trying make music with a correction note. I will explain this later. Archeage does not allow dotted notes to be tied.

    The "." Dotted character is used to extend a note. It extends the length of the note by half of the length it is. A dotted whole note will extend for another half note and a dotted half note will extend for another quarter note. "c1." is the same as "c1&c2". Please note that dotted rests will work in 3rd party programs, it will not work within Archeage. "l4aar.aa" will not work, instead "l4aarr8aa" will work. You can also apply dotted notes to the default note length like this "l4.aaccdd" or "l2.aaccdd"

    Lastly Tempo and Volume are indicated with "t" and "v" with a number after. Tempo is how fast the section of notes will play and volume is how loud it will be. An example would be "t80v75ccc". That will play 3 C notes at a tempo of 80 and a volume of 75.

    S̶o̶m̶e̶ ̶m̶a̶y̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶k̶n̶o̶w̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶b̶u̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶r̶e̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶o̶n̶e̶ ̶f̶i̶n̶a̶l̶ ̶m̶y̶s̶t̶e̶r̶i̶o̶u̶s̶ ̶c̶h̶a̶r̶a̶c̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶s̶e̶e̶n̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶m̶a̶n̶y̶ ̶M̶M̶L̶ ̶f̶i̶l̶e̶s̶.̶ ̶T̶h̶e̶ ̶"̶n̶"̶ ̶c̶h̶a̶r̶a̶c̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶f̶o̶l̶l̶o̶w̶e̶d̶ ̶b̶y̶ ̶a̶
    n̶u̶m̶b̶e̶r̶.̶ ̶T̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶a̶c̶t̶u̶a̶l̶l̶y̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶e̶ ̶i̶d̶e̶n̶t̶i̶f̶i̶c̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶n̶u̶m̶b̶e̶r̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶a̶l̶l̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶e̶s̶.̶ ̶E̶v̶e̶n̶ ̶I̶ ̶d̶o̶n̶'̶t̶ ̶k̶n̶o̶w̶ ̶m̶u̶c̶h̶ ̶a̶b̶o̶u̶t̶ ̶i̶t̶.̶ ̶T̶h̶e̶ ̶m̶a̶i̶n̶ ̶p̶u̶r̶p̶o̶s̶e̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶
    ̶c̶h̶a̶r̶a̶c̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶s̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶s̶p̶a̶c̶e̶ ̶i̶f̶ ̶a̶ ̶s̶e̶c̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶e̶s̶ ̶n̶e̶e̶d̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶c̶h̶a̶n̶g̶e̶ ̶o̶c̶t̶a̶v̶e̶s̶.̶ ̶A̶n̶ ̶e̶x̶a̶m̶p̶l̶e̶ ̶w̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶"̶n̶4̶6̶n̶8̶"̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶w̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶G̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶o̶c̶t̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶3̶
    ̶t̶h̶e̶n̶ ̶A̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶o̶c̶t̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶1̶.̶ ̶I̶ ̶d̶o̶n̶'̶t̶ ̶k̶n̶o̶w̶ ̶i̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶e̶x̶a̶m̶p̶l̶e̶ ̶1̶0̶0̶%̶ ̶c̶o̶r̶r̶e̶c̶t̶ ̶b̶u̶t̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶g̶e̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶i̶d̶e̶a̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶"̶n̶"̶ ̶f̶o̶l̶l̶o̶w̶e̶d̶ ̶b̶y̶ ̶a̶ ̶n̶u̶m̶b̶e̶r̶ ̶i̶n̶d̶i̶c̶a̶t̶e̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶i̶s̶
    a̶ ̶s̶p̶e̶c̶i̶f̶i̶c̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶d̶o̶e̶s̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶f̶o̶l̶l̶o̶w̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶c̶u̶r̶r̶e̶n̶t̶ ̶s̶e̶t̶ ̶o̶c̶t̶a̶v̶e̶.̶ ̶"̶n̶4̶8̶8̶"̶ ̶w̶i̶l̶l̶ ̶p̶l̶a̶y̶ ̶a̶ ̶B̶ ̶8̶t̶h̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶e̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶o̶c̶t̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶3̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶e̶x̶a̶m̶p̶l̶e̶. I was informed that the n# characters did not work and I was able to confirm this. I left the information here because it does still work in other programs like 3MLE.

    There is one downside to MML. This is the reason why MIDI replaced MML. Fundamentally MML and MIDI are the same except for 1 major difference. MML cannot support more than 1 note played at the same time on the same track. Think of tracks as a separate instrument. MML using 1 line of code will play 1 instrument. There is a way to play multiple notes at the same time however. To make a separate track while composing in MML put a "," in the code and put notes after it. That will play all notes after the "," as a seperate track. If you place the notes correctly you can have 2 or more notes play at the same time. Here is an example "cda,arc". That will play C and A at the same time, then D by itself and then C and A at the same time again.



    Now that you know how to read and write in MML lets go in game and write some music.

    You have an extra Music Paper so lets put that to use. Below is a song from Katamari. It's a simple piece so I hope that it will make a good example.
    t161o4e8l16ed+e8ed+e8ed+l8ee>a2&ab>c+dc+l4<aeae8ga g8f+e8<e8l16ed+e8ed+e8ed+l8ee>a2&ab>c+dc+l4<aeae8g ag8f+edc+d.a2l8&ab>c+dc+l4<aeae8gag8f+e8<e8l16ed+e 8ed+e8ed+l8ee>a2&ab>c+dc+l4<aeae8gag8f+edc+de1&e8
    All you need to do is copy and paste what's in the quote into the Music Paper in the game, give it a title, and save it. However once you save it you can no longer read what's written on it.

    Right click the Music Paper and you will be able to open the composition window. At the bottom left is the How To button. It might come in handy if you plan on composing music while ingame. The defaults for Archeage are as follows. Tempo is 100, Volume is 100, Note length is quarter, octave is 5. Please note that Archeage supports 10 octaves instead of the usual 8. When importing MML's you may need to bump the octave up 1 time. If the octave is "o2" set it to "o3".

    There are different instruments in the game. In the How To section there is a tab for percussion. That corresponds to the drum set. The drum set is not included in MML composition programs. Probably because the drum set has a lot of notes that can be played at once. If you use a MIDI composition program, channel (track) 10 is the drum set. For simple songs you don't need drums. For instruments other than the Lute, Flute, and Drum. You will need to buy from the Marketplace.

    I mentioned above that there is a correction note. Let me explain how this works. In Archeage and other games like Mabinogi and LOTRO, their music systems do not play music perfectly. There is a percent chance that the song will play perfectly like it is written. On the off chance that you get a bad play, the note pitches will be out of tune. To check if your song is playing properly you can add this to the beginning of your song, "l8d&d&d&d&d&d&d&dl4". What it does is play 8 8th notes for a whole measure. It will play one whole solid note. If there is a change in pitch the rest of the song will not play properly.
    l8d&d&d&d&d&d&d&dl4t161o4e8l16ed+e8ed+e8ed+l8ee>a2 &ab>c+dc+l4<aeae8gag8f+e8<e8l16ed+e8ed+e8ed+l8ee>a 2&ab>c+dc+l4<aeae8gag8f+edc+d.a2l8&ab>c+dc+l4<aeae 8gag8f+e8<e8l16ed+e8ed+e8ed+l8ee>a2&ab>c+dc+l4<aea e8gag8f+edc+de1&e8
    One final thing to mention. Archeage has a limit on the maximum number of characters you can place in a song. At novice the maximum is 200. Yes that includes more than one track. The total number of characters cannot exceed the maximum or you will not be able to save the song. The maximum number of characters can be increased to 1000 by ranking up the Artistry profession. The number of characters you get for each rank is as follows. Amateur - 200, Novice - 400, Veteran - 600, Expert - 800, Master - 1000, Authority - 1000, Champion - 1000. I don't know if the last 2 ranks will ever boost the maximum number of characters. It's possible those ranks are only there for crafting instruments.



    So you are not that talented and you're not good at making music.

    There are several MML programs and web based applications out there but the best one available in my opinion is 3MLE. I have optimized the original version to more easily work with Archeage and you can download it here. If there are any problems please let me know.

    Let me explain what 3MLE is. 3MLE is short for Mabinogi MML Editor. It is a MML editor made a few years ago for the game Mabinogi. Mabinogi has the same MML music system as Archeage. 3MLE has stopped receiving updates in 2008 but the website is still online here. Despite not having an update in the past 6 years it is still a robust composition program almost on par with other MIDI programs.

    Another option you could try is using a MIDI editor program like Anvil. You can compose music in Anvil, save it as a MIDI, then import it into 3MLE and it will convert to MML format. Please remember the limitations of MML when composing in MIDI format. Anvil can be found here.

    If you're not a talented musical person, like me, then you can try and convert music from MIDI to MML. So I'll explain how to do that. Also if you want to compose for the drum set. You will need to write it in Anvil as 3MLE, or any other MML editor, does not support the drum set. First you will need a MIDI file. Look for a version that's simple and not to elaborate. Complicated songs will take longer to convert. When you have a MIDI you will import into a MIDI editor like Anvil. When it is in there select the most important channels/tracks in the song. Due to the character limitation in Archeage I suggest using only 1 maybe 2 channels. When the channels are isolated you can delete the rest of the channels you don't need. Now for the hardest and most annoying part. You need to check each channel for 2 or more notes played at the same time. You need to delete the extra notes then find a note in the middle close to original sound. If your song has many double+ notes it would be wise to select only 1 channel and move the extra notes to a 2nd or 3rd channel. If you place rests in the right spots you can get the same effect as 2 or more notes playing at the same time on the same channel.

    When your notes are separated export the file and save it. Next open 3MLE and select File>Import Standard MIDI File. Do not touch any of the settings on the left. If the song is to long after exporting the MML, re-import the MIDI and select the Reduce rest option. The Convert one MIDI track to multiple MML tracks is broken. Do not bother with that option. This will load the MIDI into 3MLE and convert the events into the text format that is MML.

    At the top left you see tabs for the number of tracks you imported with the MIDI file and then a drop down box to select the type of instrument the music will be played on.

    Play the song with the instrument that will be used in the game to make sure everything is played properly. Once that's done click on File>Export MML to clipboard or hit F7 on your keyboard. Here you will select Mabinogi MML@ Format and make sure the Optimize MML is selected. The optimization will shorten the characters into the bare minimum needed to play the song. A 1000 character song could be shortened to 700 characters. When the song is exported to the clipboard just go back in game and open your Music Paper and hit Ctrl+V to paste in what you composed. n# characters do not work within Archeage. Please turn them back to their usual characters. You can see what note a n# character plays by looking in the event list on the left hand side.

    When you use 3MLE to make songs for Archeage please, please double check that if your song starts with tempo 120 and/or octave 4 that it has those when you paste the text in. 3MLE will shorten the code because it thinks the defaults are tempo 120 and octave 4 instead of tempo 100 and octave 5. If your song has volume changes hopefully you used 3MLE's ranges of 0 to 10. When you paste in the code just scan through and add a 0 to the volume characters. You will need to make all these changes after you paste the song into the Music Paper in game.

    If your song is desyncing because you have tempo changes in the middle of the song please check out this link.
    https://www.reddit.com/r/archebards/...gemml_desyncs/



    Videos
    I would completely read the guide first. If there are portions you don't understand then watch the videos or ask me a question here on the forum. These videos are not well done and I will re-do them later.

    Explaining materials needed to make music.
    Part 1

    How to write in MML.
    Part 2

    How to use 3rd party programs like 3MLE and Anvil to your advantage.
    Part 3


    Well that's about it. Thank you for reading this far.

    If you have any questions feel free to ask. If you don't understand anything I'm here to help and I'd be happy to help walk you through.

    If you feel I left any thing out don't hesitate to let me know.

    If you see any grammatical errors let me know.

    If you wish to use this guide somewhere. On a wikipedia for example or perhaps you want to edit the guide into a better format. Please contact me before you do so.

    Programs:
    3MLE MML editor
    Anvil MIDI editor
    Sekaiju MIDI editor

  2. #2
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    It took a whole day of checking sources to make sure I'm not spitting out jibberish but I finished it.

    I hope this answers many questions people may have of the music composition in the game.

  3. #3
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    +5 thanks.
    u wot m8?

  4. #4
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    How would you notate more than one line of music? You stated that this was possible.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the guide.

    I come from Nexon's MMOs so I think it would be helpful to know that since, as you've mentioned, Mabinogi uses the same format for music playing, there's already a huge MML library of modern song from movies, TV, anime and videogames all over the internet, compiled by Mabi players and most of it has been tuned and refined by the Mabi community to play well over games.
    Liliruca
    "For Coin and Commerce!"
    Aranzeb | Firran | Cleric
    Closed Beta Tester 1.0

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    what is the benefit of composing music in archeage? is it profittable like trade run or fishing or grinding? or is it just for player to passtime?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JLcello View Post
    How would you notate more than one line of music? You stated that this was possible.
    You put a comma in the code.
    Code:
    aaaaa,ddddd,ccccc
    That will play A D and C at the same time 5 times. The comma separates each track.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyperbbossy View Post
    what is the benefit of composing music in archeage? is it profittable like trade run or fishing or grinding? or is it just for player to passtime?
    It's more to pass time yes. I've seen on the auction house sheet music being advertised as 1g to 50s. I don't know if anyone buys any of it. At higher ranks like Master selling music would be more profitable because of the increased character count.

    Quote Originally Posted by RinYao View Post
    I come from Nexon's MMOs so I think it would be helpful to know that since, as you've mentioned, Mabinogi uses the same format for music playing, there's already a huge MML library of modern song from movies, TV, anime and videogames all over the internet, compiled by Mabi players and most of it has been tuned and refined by the Mabi community to play well over games.
    Yes I come from Mabinogi as well. Been playing that game since the day it came out. As you mentioned there are many many songs already composed for Mabinogi. Guess what I have most of them. I have over 1000 songs that were composed for the game. They're from old MML databases that no longer exist. I will share them once I have the video guides made. Don't expect those to be done soon though.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by offroadguy56 View Post
    Been playing that game since the day it came out.
    Me too! What server are you from?
    Liliruca
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    Aranzeb | Firran | Cleric
    Closed Beta Tester 1.0

  9. #9
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    I'm on Tarlach.

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    Great guide. I'll probably try to convert MIDI to MML.

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