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Standardizing headers; Single File songs or multi-file songs
Topic Started: Jan 7 2010, 01:05 PM (2,345 Views)
Vydor

Falidor
Jan 14 2010, 08:38 PM
Hmm. Just ran into something--for a part that could be played on either harp or lute--what would we number it? based on the arrangers preferred?
Include the instrument as both, label one as optional.
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Falibrand

Vydor
Jan 15 2010, 06:54 AM
Falidor
Jan 14 2010, 08:38 PM
Hmm. Just ran into something--for a part that could be played on either harp or lute--what would we number it? based on the arrangers preferred?
Include the instrument as both, label one as optional.
Yeah... that makes sense. And should have come to me last night. Ah well. I'll go in and mod "King of the Fairies" accordingly.
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Diamond
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Diamond Cottonwood
Makalaure
Jan 14 2010, 06:56 PM
I don't see a reason to stop what we are doing with our file system. If I have an 8 part multifile it would go in the 7 and up section. If it also has a 3 part that can be gleaned from it then the file can be in two places.
As when we work from the forum post for the weekly test list, the files needed for that night are not copied and uploaded to another post, but linked to. This can also work in the A-Z forums. In Maka's example, the full file designed for 8 would reside in the "7 and up" section, but in the 3 part section, a link to the original file can be posted (for download), along with a note on the post about which parts are intended for the 3 part arrangement... in addition the poster could make up the syntax to copy/paste for the user like we do for the weekly test list. That way, when someone is searching for a 3 part song on-the-fly (like what happens for Ales and Tales) the page link to the arrangement wanted is copied to the game chat, everyone goes to that page to download the multifile and then can copy the syntax to paste into chat and sync the song.
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Subcreator
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Hello, all. It looks like the system that Makalaure is suggesting is very similar to the one used by my Kinship and which I have been using since I started making abcs back in May of 2009. I recently wrote up a guide to how we format our files on my Kinship website for those in the Kinship who are learning to make abcs. I'll repost it here to add to the discussion.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Arachas and I have been employing a certain way of formatting our abc files since we were taught back in May of last year. This is certainly not the only way of formatting abc files, but we find that it offers better organization than other methods and it looks more professional. We recommend anyone who wants to make abcs for Kin use to adhere to this format.

I am going to use the abc file that Ultaran recently created as my Guinea Pig for showing you how to format abc files. The file the Ultaran uploaded has this heading:

Quote:
 
%abc
%%abc-alias none
%%abc-creator ABCexplorer 1.3.7 [3/2/2010]

X:11
T: rockland
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
Q:1/4=130
K:D % 2 sharps
% Suikoden: "Rock Rockland" (Town Theme)
% Conductor Track
% Lute
%%MIDI program 24
% Suikoden: "Rock Rockland" (Town Theme)
% Conductor Track


A glance at one of the abc files in our library will show you that this is quite a bit messier. Now everything with a % in front of it is a note that either the midi creator or the conversion program put in the file. We delete all of these from the file. Doing that we are left with:


Quote:
 


X:11
T: rockland
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
Q:1/4=130
K:D % 2 sharps


These are the important lines. The X line is the index number. The default number you will find there is 1. Many people who make abcs don't utilize this line, but we use it to include all tracks for a song in the same file instead of having a single file for every track. We assign index numbers thus:

1-9: Percussion
10s: Lute
20s Harp
30s: Theorbo
50s: Flute
60s: Horn
70s: Clarinet
80s: Bagpipe

In this two digit format the first digit represents the type of instrument to play and the second digit represents how many tracks for that instrument are present in the file. So, for instance, if a song has three Lute tracks the first will be indexed as 11, the second as 12 and the third as 13. The zero digit is reserved for optional tracks where multiple tracks for that instrument have been merged. So, using the above example, if there are three Lute tracks and there is also an optional fourth Lute track where those three have been merged together, the merged track will be indexed as 10.

Also, when editing the midi make sure that you have the tracks arranged so that they will appear in numerical order in the converted abc file. You don't want it to look like this:

Quote:
 
Rock, 4 tunes:
11: rockland
1: rockland
51: rockland
31: rockland


It should look like this:

Quote:
 
Rock, 4 tunes:
1: Rock Rockland from Suidoken- Drum
11: Rock Rockland from Suidoken- Lute
31: Rock Rockland from Suidoken- Theorbo
51: Rock Rockland from Suidoken- Flute


Next, the T line. This is the title of the abc and what will show up when you playlist the song in game, as above, or when you queue up a song. I like to include on this line the name of the song, the author or where the song is from, and the instrument it should be played on. For playing in a group including the instrument is the most important part as this will allow the band leader to make sure that the band members are queuing up the correct tracks.

The M, L, Q, and K lines remain as they are. These six lines (X, T, M, L, Q, and K) should be the only lines in the header for each track. So now that we've rearranged the tracks this is what shows at the top of the file:

Quote:
 
X: 1
T: Rock Rockland from Suidoken- Drum
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
Q: 1/4=142
K: D % 2 sharps


The next step is to copy this header and paste in in at the top of each track, changing the index number and instrument name for each one. Leave a single space above and below each header.

Now, you'll notice that after converting the lines of abc text are generally ended with | \ like this:

Quote:
 
x8| \
x3D C2 G,A,| \
x8| \
x2 CC, CC, Cx|


What we like to do, just to make it look neater, is to use the replace function to replace | \ with just |.

The last thing we do it to credit the transcriber of the abc. We do it by adding a line at the very top of the file beginning with %. Like this:


Quote:
 
%Transcribed by Ultaran of Landroval.

X: 1
T: Rock Rockland from Suidoken- Drum
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
Q: 1/4=142
K: D % 2 sharps


And now the formatting is complete. You can look at any of the abcs in our files to see a finished product. As always, feel free to ask me any questions.
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Tirigifu
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Tirigifu
Even though the final result may bear little resemblance to the original midi, I like to credit the midi maker when I know the name. He or she does the same kind of monkeying and testing and arranging that we do, only with the result in a different format. So to the extent that I stand on someone's shoulders, it's a nice gesture to credit them. I'm open to standardizing how that credit is given.

In your example, is Suidoken the composer? Is there a spot for the composer? I guess I've been putting it in the title line.
Edited by Tirigifu, Mar 5 2010, 09:23 AM.
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Subcreator
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No, Suidoken is the name of the game the music came from. I did not make that abc, a Kinmate did, and I did not know the composer. I was using his raw abc file (his first effort) as an example of how our formatting works. Normally I always credit the composer.
Edited by Subcreator, Mar 5 2010, 11:02 AM.
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Macalaure
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We like to add the time the instrument takes to play the song as well. It can be helpful on the fly in how long you want to play.

Also, what instrument goes in the 40s slot?
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Subcreator
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Nothing goes in the 40s slot. Eske, who developed this system, had left the 40s open in the hope that Turbine would add another instrument at some point. Now I'm just used to the numbers the way they are. You'll also notice that there are no numbers assigned to the Cowbell and this is because the transcribers of Gweth Valacirca NEVER used cowbell, a phobia I'm afraid I've caught as well. ;)

I agree that the length of the song is useful, though we tend to know our music so well that it isn't really needed among us. Would you put it at the very end of the T line or add it in a note below the T line? I might start doing the later. I already find that with some songs I can have too much information on the T line and the instrument gets cut off at the end and then we don't know if the player is queued up properly or not. Then I have to start using shortcuts with the composer's name (ex. C. Scheidler instead of Christian Scheidler) or shorten the title of the song.
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Subcreator
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Falidor
Jan 14 2010, 08:38 PM
Hmm. Just ran into something--for a part that could be played on either harp or lute--what would we number it? based on the arrangers preferred?
I find that when I make an abc I know what instruments I want the song to be played on to achieve the desired sound and that is what I put in the header. At times we have come across situations where someone needed to play a Harp part on the Lute, for example, because of restrictions in what the musicians present were able to play. But we always make sure than any member who might be in a position as bandleader where such a decision would have to be made knows how the music system works and knows that in a pinch a lute is as good as a harp.

For solo songs I don't even bother to put in an instrument most of the time. Unless it is a song that is clearly meant for a particular instrument, like the Leprechaun's Reel I did recently that sounds best on Bagpipe or Clarinet.
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Falibrand

Here's one I did--
X:1
T: ashokan-trio flute (lead fiddle)(2:02)
R: Folk
C: Ashokan Farewell, by Jay Ungar
N: Arranged by Falibrand of Landroval
Z: Transcribed by LotRO MIDI Player: http://lotro.acasylum.com/midi
% Original file: ashokan-trio.mid

as you can see, I use the C line to credit the composer and (if known) the Midi creator, and the N line for myself (or any others who contributed to the LOTRO ABC version).
In the title, in addition to listing which instrument part it is, I also add a note that's helpful to others who may want to use the song--is it optional, what part does it equate to in a non-LOTRO version of the song, etc.
Edited by Falibrand, Mar 6 2010, 10:56 AM.
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Tirigifu
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Tirigifu
The cleaned-up example Fionnuala made does look much better for examination than the original produced by the software made. I want to make more use of the % lines, but keeping it neat as Fionnuala and Falidor have done. Briffo used it in at least one piece to mark measures--pretty clever.
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Falibrand

We're running into a lot of tunes now where folks are doing combined parts to allow playing by smaller ensembles. For combos of the same instrument, it's not a problem to determine an index. But for mixed--example flute/clarinet, it's not so clear.
What about using the 80 or 90 range for combined parts? Thoughts?
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Vydor

If it's a cross instrument combination...either can be used..and the numbering can be placed in either category.

And I generally use 80's for ye ole cowbell.

But usually if I'm ganna combine the instruments I'll put it in the instrument section which I think sounds the best.
Edited by Vydor, Apr 5 2010, 02:34 PM.
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Deleted User
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I had noticed that there was no "definitive" final answer to the "X:" Format to be used for Multi-Index files, and upon checking GHMS's section (As I saw Falibrand had a post, covering the topic in the GHMS testing section), I noticed, though Falibrand had posted an "X:" format table, it was not the one folks have been using, so I began a dialogue, with him to make sure the one folks have been using was correct, and to check to see if he might want to correct the post, if folks were using the one agreed upon.

I also noticed that the subject of what to do if there were more than nine of the same instruments were used in any song (a longshot and rare occurrence to be sure...it could happen though), but thought we should settle that issue as well, to finalize and post a definitive Chart of "X:" number format, that both group's leaders could agree upon.

So the format we both settled on, and to be used, by agreement, by both EMS and GHMS, is as follow:

Format for the X: numbers:

1-9 DRUM (all drum files are in this number range) - Any beyond 9 parts, 100-109
11-19 LUTE (all lute files are in this number range) - Any beyond 9 parts, 110-119
21-29 HARP (all harp files are in this number range) - Any beyond 9 parts, 220-229
31-39 THEORBO (all theorbo files are in this number range) - Any beyond 9 parts, 330-339
41-49 BAGPIPES (all bagpipe files are in this number range) - Any beyond 9 parts, 440-449
51-59 FLUTE (all flute files are in this number range) - Any beyond 9 parts, 550-559
61-69 HORN (all horn files are in this number range) - Any beyond 9 parts, 660-669
71-79 CLARINET (all clarinet files are in this number range) - Any beyond 9 parts, 770-779
81-89 COWBELL (all cowbell files are in this number range) - Any beyond 9 parts, 880-889


This allows for over 9 of the same instruments for any given song (up to 19 of the same instruments...how's that for a longshot? :P ). We decided to start the possible 10th part with a "0" to keep a logical Numerical progression to the numbering system.

This is the format that I will be publishing in the EMS Testing Section Stickies (Pinned) topics, and Falibrand has said he will be revising the GHMS Testing Section Sticky, for GHMS to reflect this agreed upon format as well.


On a lighter note...I'm looking forward to the first song that requires an a Cowbell part to be labeled "X: 880" :O ^_^
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Falibrand

Ooooh.. dangerous dare there, Kept! :)

Revised the GHMS stickies as well.
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