One of the issues with using fmod for adaptive music is that the tails of your pieces sometimes get cut off during transitions. Sometimes it’s a small difference (such as a reverb tail) but sometimes, as with an instrument with a long decay, it’s much more noticeable. The changeover process works well for transient material, such as rock music, but not as well for orchestral/ambient pieces.
Here’s my example (slightly simplified): In my current piece, I have 3 parts that will be cycled throughout a game’s level (A, B, and C, all 8 bars). The A part loops for the first part of the level. The B part loops for the second part of the level, and the C part loops for the third (it’s all one level, but when a player completes certain goals, the music will switch at the end of the segment instead of looping).
For the transition between parts, Fmod randomly chooses from one of a few 1-bar percussive stingers. Some of these stingers have an open triangle hit in them. Since the open triangle hits on the 4th beat, when it transfers to the B part, the fading tail of the open triangle is cut off.
I think a solution to this problem would be to add a bar count entry to the "sychronization" segment property. Currently, Fmod determines how many bars a piece is by evaluating the tempo, length, and time signature of the piece. With my system, when rendering your 1-bar file from your DAW, you would render the bar plus an extra second or two for the tail. By manually adding a bar count to Fmod, you could specify the triangle part as being 1 bar long, and by evaluating the tempo/time signature/length/bar count, Fmod could determine that the remainder of the audio file beyond how many bars it officially extends, is the tail. The transition could still be made after the 4th beat, but the tail would continue to play until it fades out.
If anyone sees any issues with this proposal I would be glad to hear them. I really like the Fmod system but tails are a tricky issue I’ve noticed. Hopefully this can help.
EDIT: This would also help your randomly sequenced 8-bar loops (if you had a lot of them), so you could export them slightly longer than 8 bars from your DAW; they would still switch on beat yet keep their tails to more seamlessly flow together.
- Esaiah asked 6 years ago
[quote="Esaiah":8px44c4p]One of the issues with using fmod for adaptive music is that the tails of your pieces sometimes get cut off during transitions. Sometimes it’s a small difference (such as a reverb tail) but sometimes, as with an instrument with a long decay, it’s much more noticeable. The changeover process works well for transient material, such as rock music, but not as well for orchestral/ambient pieces.[/quote:8px44c4p]
Thanks for the feedback! We are aware of this issue, and we have a proposed solution, which is similar to yours. We’ll definitely take your suggestions into account in our final solution. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to schedule implementation of this solution yet; we’ll post an update here when we do.
- Guest answered 6 years ago
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