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Lesson 4

Table of Contents

Lesson 4: Working with MIDI

MIDI is a common tool used in the process of music composition because it offers the composer incredible speed and flexibility, especially when experimenting with different musical motifs and instrumental textures. Even thirty-plus years ago, when computers were too slow to facilitate direct audio recording and mixing, MIDI began to change the landscape of music composition because of its relatively low system requirements necessary for computer based MIDI sequencing. Flexibility with a small data footprint are two traits that work well for video game music integration, so it’s understandable that the ability to work directly with MIDI is integrated into Wwise.

A big advantage of the MIDI approach is that it’s very easy to modify the sound that’s reacting to MIDI data, without having to re-record, render, or bounce a new audio file. Even at run-time, subtle to very obvious sonic changes can be applied as a MIDI sequence is played, providing a lot of opportunity for variation without having to pre-render every sonic option as unique audio files. This saves disk space, and it doesn’t require an audio file to stream from the disk.

To use MIDI in Wwise, MIDI sequences must first be created elsewhere using any of the many MIDI sequencing/DAW applications. From there, Wwise can then import and arrange MIDI recordings using workflows very similar to what you’ve already learned for audio. Wwise then provides the tools necessary to turn the silent MIDI information into sound.

For this lesson you’ll begin with a project that already has an additional Music Playlist Container configured for when the player must confront the biggest baddest monster of all… the Big Boss. This Boss Music Playlist Container has a simple sequential structure, similar to what you created for the Explore music. In the DAW project, you can see that there were multiple tracks of audio recordings which were bounced as a single audio file for each of the music sections, Boss-Intro and Boss-A through Boss-D.

You can see that the Boss-A, Boss-C, and Boss-D sections have some additional tracks (the Boss Sampler, Boss Arpeggio Synth, and Boss Melody Synth) that are based on MIDI sequences. While you could import the rendered audio files for these parts, you’re going to take a different approach and directly import the MIDI sequence into Wwise and use them as the basis for those musical lines.

  1. Launch Lesson 4's Wwise project and, in the Interactive Music Hierarchy, select and expand the Boss Music Playlist Container.

    In the Music Playlist Editor, you see that the Boss music starts with the Boss-Intro Music Segment then loops the Boss-A, Boss-B, Boss-C and Boss-D Music Segments.

  2. Play the Boss Music Playlist Container to get familiar with the Boss music.

    You hear an up tempo, rock style music cue, heavy on drums and guitar. While the music sounds relatively complete as it is, it’s missing the synthesizer parts that are designed to give it more of an old school 8-bit game system sound.