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Re: Welcome!

Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:59 pm
by andrew603
HamJamSpamalot wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:27 am
What will be the next post in the QuestStudios archive?
My next target is the actual MIDI file soundtrack pages.

It's a looong time coming.

I've been working on the framework for those pages on and off for a long time.

I want not just to be able to provide the original QS midi zips for download, but also have them playable in the web browser, or even on a mobile/phone on-the-go. This presents several problems, the the main one being the playback of MT-32 music or MIDI music in general. "How to do it?" and "How to do it without it sounding like garbage?". I could just make recordings of everything, but that's bandwidth intensive, and time consuming. Thankfully, Tomas Pollak's Polywave AKA solves this problem wonderfully with a great implementation of MUNT, a more than adequate Soundfont-based engine for GM, as well as being a great MIDI/chip-tune player in general! I've had a number of great and extensive chats with Tomas about the player, some of the playback quirks I ran into, as well as some feature suggestions.

On top of all that, I also wanted to have the website code handle all of this in a more easy to manage way. There is a long story of what I did to automate the parsing the original QS Zip file contents, to match all the track names to their actual file names, many of which did not quite match or had typos in them in some cases, as well as determine what type of synth is needed, and to determine if a patch bank file was needed in case of MT-32 MIDI's. Ultimately, I was able to create a workflow that accomplishes this and puts it all into JSON, which is what Polywave uses also. I actually extended Polywave's playlist JSON template for my own site so that I can include track names, synth information, patch banks, file locations/URLs, and other info into the site, without now having to actually make a ton of individual pages with tons of hyperlinks manually. I am pretty pleased with the result and the potential. Again the goal experience I had envisioned for the QSA was that it be something that allows me to browse and listen to any of the tunes I want from any device on any platform.

Here is a test page you can checkout:

Here is the entire source of that test page for reference:

Code: Select all

<h1>Larry, the Complete MIDI Soundtrack Collection!</h1>
<div style="text-align:center;"><p><a href=""><img src="/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/polywave-logo2-white.png" alt="Polywave" style="padding:0px; border:2px solid black;" /></a><br />A browser-based player with MT-32 Emulation, AdLib Emulation, SoundFont playback, and much more!</p>
<iframe src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="true" width="500" height="264" style="border: 6px outset; border-color: grey black black grey;"></iframe></div>
<h3>MIDI ZIP Download Links</h3>
$url = "./qs/midi-zips/larry.json";
$contents = file_get_contents($url);
$contents = utf8_encode($contents);
$results = json_decode($contents);
if (json_last_error() === JSON_ERROR_NONE) {
    //echo "<pre>", var_dump($results), "</pre>";
    foreach ($results->tracks as $track) {
        $trackPath = strtok($track->location,"/");
	//echo $trackPath;
        echo <<<HTML
<p><a href="/qs/midi-zips/$trackPath/{$track->download}">{$track->name}</a> - {$track->note1}</p>
} else {
    echo "Invalid JSON";

Re: Welcome!

Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:36 pm
by GhostRider
Howdy, I have not been on these forums since they moved, so wanted to say hello.

Re: Welcome!

Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:41 am
by HamJamSpamalot
I was wondering something else: of Police Quest I, only the version by Shad0wfax is posted on the website. What happened to the "original" version?

Re: Welcome!

Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:34 pm
by goatmeal1
HamJamSpamalot wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:41 am
I was wondering something else: of Police Quest I, only the version by Shad0wfax is posted on the website. What happened to the "original" version?
Looking at my MHT files from the old Quest Studios site, I believe that the listings might be labelled incorrectly here on MMAS. From my download of the QS page that is ©2006, it appears only track 25 was a Fantom XR version by Shad0wfax, pq1(25).mp3.

The rest were standard MP3 HQ Versions -- except, again, for a second track 25 (pq1(25-2).mp3), which was the Roland ED version. I downloaded a few of the supposed "Fantom XR" tracks here from MMAS, but they are exactly the same as the old QS MP3 HQ tracks...

So, what Andrew has here is the "original" version; except for track (25) noted above, they are all just labelled incorrectly as "Fantom XR" tracks instead of "MP3 HQ Versions" tracks (and the one Roland ED version for track (25-2)).

Here is that MHT file of the old QS Police Quest 1 webpage for reference: ... sp=sharing

Re: Welcome!

Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:22 am
by HamJamSpamalot
Ah, I understand. I'll explain what I was hinting towards. Because the soundtrack is labelled as "by Shad0wfax" I thought it wasn't an original version, but a different arrangement. For instance, the tracks don't sound like they were recorded from a Roland MT-32 to me. Because other soundtracks on the Quest Studios website were listed as "Roland MT-32 with Sound Canvas Enhancements", I was wondering if Police Quest I was recorded in a similar arrangement at some point. That's what I meant with "original version", I may have caused a little confusion with that.

Re: Welcome!

Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:55 pm
by goatmeal1
Ah, I guess I was a little confused, too... I really should read what I post/link/attach:

At the top of the page I attached, it DOES say PQ1 was Mixed, Arranged, and Produced for
Quest Studios by David Martinez Zorilla
(Shad0wFax) from the General MIDI using the Roland Fantom XR Sound module (which was Shad0wfax's module of choice). However, Tom only listed Track 25 as specifically being Fantom XR -- hence my initial assumption that the others were some other MIDI system.

However, Andrew has the tracks listed correctly. My most humble apologies, Andrew!

I don't know that Tom L. ever recorded a version of PQ1 himself.