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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    I've logged in to play in CA,TX,GA,DC,IL,MN,ID,OR,NV
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    What's different between regular ABC and LOTRO ABC

    What's different between regular ABC and LOTRO ABC? This is what I remember:

    No triplets
    No: (3abc instead do: a2/3b2/3c2/3

    No takebacks
    No: cdefga & AAAAAA & FEDCB,A, instead do: [cAF][dAE][eAD][fAC][gAB,][aAA,] (useful if a particular part/voice splits into two or more parts for a measure then recombines)

    No grace notes
    No: {g}B instead do: {g}/16B15/16 or whatever the smallest allowed value is in LOTRO ABC, I don't remember.

    Only three octaves
    C, up to c' -- no B,, for instance.

    I can't remember -- is > allowed? For instance can I use E>F or do I need to do E3/2F/ ?

    Edit: What about invisible rests? Does the game parse x the same as z or should I not use x's?

    Further Edit: I believe there was a difference between z4|z4|z4| and Z3| (or something like that, especially for like 15 measures) when played in LOTRO, that notes would be off once the "long-silenced" part came in. Any confirmation? I hate to spend time transcribing music when there's the choice between doing it right the first time and having to later go back to edit things to work correctly.

    Are there any other things that I should pay attention to?
    Last edited by Banaticus; Aug 17 2016 at 11:52 PM.
    2017: 6 levels and an instance! As a level 1 burglar, Bilbo got a pony when he joined the Smaug The Dragon raid. Then he asked for leadership, looted the chest, assigned himself the 1st age Arkenstone and mailed it to an alt (Bilbo's a VIP so can mail from anywhere). They did some PvMP and an Epic Battle, then he apologized and gave the Arkenstone back because it wasn't BoA. He kept the pony.

  2. #2
    I suppose this should be a new topic, but, since it's kinda related and this thread hasn't seen any responses anyway, I figure it would be okay to post here. (For some reason, I have an aversion to starting new threads.)

    The differences between LotRO ABC and "standard" ABC are something I occasionally try to puzzle out. (But I usually just give up and try to find another way to do whatever it was I wanted.)

    Like most LotRO arrangers, I do most of my note-level and measure-level editing in a MIDI sequencer (because directly modifying ABC notation with a text editor is generally pretty cumbersome.) For that, I typically use Anvil Studio in "piano roll" view (not just because I'm not so good at sight reading staff notation, but also because, especially when one is not actually *composing*, that seems to me a more logical way of looking at note sequences intended for computer playback).

    I frequently find myself in situations in which I have an ABC file that I need to modify but editing the MIDI would be inconvenient or not even an option (perhaps there have already been post-transcription changes to the ABC, I cannot locate my source MIDI, or maybe I even never had the source MIDI for it in the first place). As an example, someone recently gave me an ABC, but I find that the vocal track is pretty inaccurate. Because I do not have access to her source MIDI, and LotRO ABC usually cannot be viewed in music composition software, I'm pretty much stuck with deciphering the ABC code visually and entering the track note-by-note into a composition programme to create a MIDI track that I can edit graphically.

    Also, if I wish to make note- or measure-level changes to a LotRO song (such as insert a note, move/delete sections, change the octave of a couple measures, usw) and have those changes reflected in the MIDI (so that I won't have to re-do them after every time I re-transcribe), I have to edit the MIDI in my sequencer, then open the output in my transcoder (usually Maestro), reapply my instrument assignments and track volume/transposition settings, and re-transcode it to an ABC file. That's a lot of work to do each and every time I make some tweaks, especially if I'm just changing a few notes at a time. Thus, I sometimes just do it directly in the ABC notation using a text editor...and hope I remember what I did if I ever need to work with the source MIDI file again.

    My life would be *way* easier if there was an editing application that could natively work with LotRO ABC and present the tracks in a note/section-editable piano-roll view. But, of course, it's pretty darn unlikely that anyone will ever develop such specifically for LotRO ABC.

    Absent that sort of programme, there are some MIDI editors that can import (and, of course, export) ABC files. However, they are only designed for *standard* ABC, and, if they can even successfully import LotRO ABC at *all*, the results are often way off from what was intended. (And, of course, one also loses the LotRO instrument associations.) Likewise, the output is not LotRO-playable.

    Thus, what I'm hoping to find is something that can translate LotRO ABC to standard ABC (adjusting for problem areas, such as LotRO-ABC-specific conventions, and filling in any expected information that is missing in LotRO ABC that might otherwise cause the editor's importer to make some incorrect assumptions) and, conversely, convert a standard ABC into a LotRO ABC (eliminating any unsupported elements and perhaps asking for the desired LotRO instrument names, track IDs, and header information).

    With a tool like that, I could more easily work with LotRO songs for which I lack the MIDI, without needing to decipher ABC notation. Also, even if I *do* have the source file, I could just ignore the source and easily make simple modification without ever again needing to bother with editing the MIDI and re-transcoding it every time I want to change something. (Even if it would still require me to do some copy-paste and corrections with a text editor to complete the process, it still might be more convenient than repeatedly retranscribing.)

    Has anyone ever developed such? Either as a standalone LotRO-to-standard/standard-to-LotRO translator application or as import and export filter plugins for use with one of the popular MIDI editors?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Halgoreth View Post
    I suppose this should be a new topic, but, since it's kinda related and this thread hasn't seen any responses anyway, I figure it would be okay to post here. (For some reason, I have an aversion to starting new threads.)

    The differences between LotRO ABC and "standard" ABC are something I occasionally try to puzzle out. (But I usually just give up and try to find another way to do whatever it was I wanted.)

    Like most LotRO arrangers, I do most of my note-level and measure-level editing in a MIDI sequencer (because directly modifying ABC notation with a text editor is generally pretty cumbersome.) For that, I typically use Anvil Studio in "piano roll" view (not just because I'm not so good at sight reading staff notation, but also because, especially when one is not actually *composing*, that seems to me a more logical way of looking at note sequences intended for computer playback).

    I frequently find myself in situations in which I have an ABC file that I need to modify but editing the MIDI would be inconvenient or not even an option (perhaps there have already been post-transcription changes to the ABC, I cannot locate my source MIDI, or maybe I even never had the source MIDI for it in the first place). As an example, someone recently gave me an ABC, but I find that the vocal track is pretty inaccurate. Because I do not have access to her source MIDI, and LotRO ABC usually cannot be viewed in music composition software, I'm pretty much stuck with deciphering the ABC code visually and entering the track note-by-note into a composition programme to create a MIDI track that I can edit graphically.

    Also, if I wish to make note- or measure-level changes to a LotRO song (such as insert a note, move/delete sections, change the octave of a couple measures, usw) and have those changes reflected in the MIDI (so that I won't have to re-do them after every time I re-transcribe), I have to edit the MIDI in my sequencer, then open the output in my transcoder (usually Maestro), reapply my instrument assignments and track volume/transposition settings, and re-transcode it to an ABC file. That's a lot of work to do each and every time I make some tweaks, especially if I'm just changing a few notes at a time. Thus, I sometimes just do it directly in the ABC notation using a text editor...and hope I remember what I did if I ever need to work with the source MIDI file again.

    My life would be *way* easier if there was an editing application that could natively work with LotRO ABC and present the tracks in a note/section-editable piano-roll view. But, of course, it's pretty darn unlikely that anyone will ever develop such specifically for LotRO ABC.

    Absent that sort of programme, there are some MIDI editors that can import (and, of course, export) ABC files. However, they are only designed for *standard* ABC, and, if they can even successfully import LotRO ABC at *all*, the results are often way off from what was intended. (And, of course, one also loses the LotRO instrument associations.) Likewise, the output is not LotRO-playable.

    Thus, what I'm hoping to find is something that can translate LotRO ABC to standard ABC (adjusting for problem areas, such as LotRO-ABC-specific conventions, and filling in any expected information that is missing in LotRO ABC that might otherwise cause the editor's importer to make some incorrect assumptions) and, conversely, convert a standard ABC into a LotRO ABC (eliminating any unsupported elements and perhaps asking for the desired LotRO instrument names, track IDs, and header information).

    With a tool like that, I could more easily work with LotRO songs for which I lack the MIDI, without needing to decipher ABC notation. Also, even if I *do* have the source file, I could just ignore the source and easily make simple modification without ever again needing to bother with editing the MIDI and re-transcoding it every time I want to change something. (Even if it would still require me to do some copy-paste and corrections with a text editor to complete the process, it still might be more convenient than repeatedly retranscribing.)

    Has anyone ever developed such? Either as a standalone LotRO-to-standard/standard-to-LotRO translator application or as import and export filter plugins for use with one of the popular MIDI editors?
    Lotro ABC's are fairly compatible to the original ABC standard, meaning that you won't have to worry about the way tones/chords are written in lotro-abc. However there is one big difference "X:" in lotro-ABC marks different tracks, while in the true ABC it's for different pieces entirely. So to open a lotro-ABC in a midi editor with ABC support you have to exchange all the X: by V: (for voice) and maybe add a X:1 upfront (not always necessary).
    If your ABC was produced by Maestro however you have to do a lot more, because Maestro adds a lot of lines to those files that at least the reference implementation of ABC (abc2midi) does not accept. If you do those changes you can turn any ABC into a MIDI file again. I actually wrote a script that does most of the job, but I got annoyed by all the extra cases I needed to catch to free Maestro-ABC's from the garbage so I stopped it. But if you just need to do it for one file: go ahead and do it manually. You will find a binary of abc2midi somewhere on the web because it's open source software - and you probably need that tool to know where your lotro-ABC violates the standard, typical ABC import plugins just give you an unqualified error.

    TLDR: any lotro-ABC can be turned back into a midi using abc2midi and some manual editing

    Edit:

    The short answer to the original question is:

    The difference of lotro-ABC and a standard ABC is the same than the difference of MIDI and lotro-ABC, as the ABC standard is designed as a human readable form of MIDI.
    Last edited by SchorschiSchrumpf; Nov 06 2016 at 08:17 AM.
    Bruzo, Dwarrowdelf Minstrel ~ "A Rock & a Hard Place"

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by SchorschiSchrumpf View Post
    Lotro ABC's are fairly compatible to the original ABC standard, meaning that you won't have to worry about the way tones/chords are written in lotro-abc.
    Ah, good! When I have looked at some tutorials about standard ABC, I always see a lot of things that look alien to me. (I admit, I have not looked at it in quite awhile, but I seem to recall there being, for instance, a slight difference in the punctuation used to denote a note's octave.) But if the basic syntax of Lotro-ABC is identical to earlier standards for ABC (rather than a not-directly-compatible modification of it) and remains a supported (legacy?) subset of the current standard, then I feel much more optimistic about getting a MIDI editor (er, one that supports importing ABC, of course) to read it correctly.


    However there is one big difference "X:" in lotro-ABC marks different tracks, while in the true ABC it's for different pieces entirely. So to open a lotro-ABC in a midi editor with ABC support you have to exchange all the X: by V: (for voice)
    So, even a multi-part ABC file, once appropriately modified, should be recognised as a mulit-track source? Or would I likely need to split them up and import each separately?

    and maybe add a X:1 upfront (not always necessary).
    Not sure what you mean there, but I suspect it will become apparent when I take another look at some docs about the standard.

    If your ABC was produced by Maestro however you have to do a lot more, because Maestro adds a lot of lines to those files
    Well, I think you know that I typically use Maestro. But stripping out the header lines that contain unwanted tags or metatage should be easy enough to automate with a bit of GREPing, if I felt that doing it visually was too tedious. Really, though, I expect that my wishing to go from ABC to MIDI will only ever be a course of last resort and only on an occasional file, not entire folders of them. So it's likely not worth it to me to devise a method to batch-process them. (Related, but completely tangential...I really wish Maestro and others would insert a meta-tag into the top header to record the time and date that the file was transcoded. It would help resolve some of my need for a simple version tracking/control system. For instance, file dates do not provide a reliable means of version identification, because those can change when my band members unzip them.)

    that at least the reference implementation of ABC (abc2midi) does not accept.
    You will find a binary of abc2midi somewhere on the web because it's open source software
    Sadly, when I have researched that one before, it always seems that all the links that sound particularly promising for what I want to do (like install a pre-compiled binary for Windows that has a GUI instead of a command line) point to resources that no longer exist. I recall being able to find only the abc2midi source code, but I haven't a clue about how to compile it into something I can actually run.

    you probably need that tool to know where your lotro-ABC violates the standard, typical ABC import plugins just give you an unqualified error.
    How do you mean? It is more saavy than the others? (I mean, can it recognise and handle a wider variety of variants?) Or are you saying it gives more descriptive error messages? (Such as "Cannot import -- Broken chord: line 1332." instead of just "File is invalid".)

    Thanks a bunch for your response. It has encouraged me to try another go at it. (And, especially, look again at abc2midi.)

  5. #5
    Lotro-ABC is a subset of the real ABC standard. I converted a lot of lotro-abc's back to midi to check the load on songs generated with Maestro - so it's not that big of a deal.

    But don't forget: There is no tempo changes in lotro-abc, while in midi/abc there is. So you will only be able to recover a new constant speed midi from a lotro-abc that was generated from a multispeed midi, meaning that it will not be aligned to measures anymore. And if you convert it again to lotro-abc it will be quantized once more and then all those non-fitting parts will sound horrible.

    About the multi-part lotro-abc's: yes, if all the parts start with V:1, V:2, ... then any abc capable program will recognize this as one piece with multiple voices and import all the parts in one - that's how abc2midi does it.

    About the tracking/control system: you could use a versioning system like subversion, mercurial, git, cvs or similar - they are exactly designed to hold a number of text files and their editing history. That would keep track of all your changes, and always gives you the option to save a zip with all the current up-to-date versions of your files. You can even do that online, so everyone of your band can connect to that repository and update their songs with just 2 mouseclicks.
    ( hint: that's how a rock and a hard place is keeping their songs up to date, thanks to our member Nelphindal/Fidhris who kindly forced us into that direction )


    Well ... if I find the time I may even update the abc-to-midi converter that is within my converter to also "eat" Maestro files - then your problem would be gone entirely. But there is a lot of things going on for me these days..
    Bruzo, Dwarrowdelf Minstrel ~ "A Rock & a Hard Place"

 

 

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