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Sort Music by instrument
Forum Index - Valley of Bowser - Site Questions & Feedback - Sort Music by instrument
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I think there should be a feature where you can sort the songs by instruments. In case if you’re looking for the Distortion Guitar in a song.

Layout created by Dominicentek
This is not directly related to site coding, so I'm moving it to Site Questions. It's up to the music team whether they want to categorize songs by instruments.
While you may not be specifically on about the distortion guitar it's a really good example to center a response around. It might sound as simple as scanning texts for @17, it is a bit more nuanced:

Hypothetically, someone could submit music where some default samples are replaced, but what replaces the distortion guitar (example, if someone really liked the MegaMan overdriven guitar sample or a birthday party horn for some obscure reason, but wanted to keep more ARAM available for other effects, samples, or big music) still called with @17 for simplicity instead of making what was the distortion guitar "EMPTY.brr" and tuned with $FA $02 and $EE instead of the more modern #instruments {} definitions, - (other than Bowser I am not sure what it affects and I do not know whether such a thing would be accepted under today's standard. It could be an issue for old ports.) Things like distortion guitar, orchestra hit might also be targeted for replacement. @17 may also not be called by @17; if someone wanted to be really hipster they could call it by the BRR file in #instruments {} to redo the ADSR and it could appear in the text as @30 or higher or not even be used at all, having been scrapped before becoming final but the author forgot to delete it. Who knows. (Something like that ought to be called out during moderation for bloat though.)

Easier to work around might be if a ; precedes @17: I assume some regex tomfoolery will make commented-out @17's a non-issue to filter out.

Either:
1) a database would have to be generated and amended with each submission, a deleted submission ID would have to be removed from that database, and a modified submission would have to refresh the database removing itself from association with prior instruments and linking itself to its new instruments (might make sense?);
2) a query would have to be run each time someone searches by instrument (sloppy and inefficient);
3) remoderation to integrate instruments into tags (by far the most inefficient and would use the existing code)

So I can't imagine at this stage such a feature would work out even though it could be implemented in a number of ways: it's resource-intensive given how big the music section has become and how quickly new content gets submitted, if not on the server itself than on human beings. There is also no way automated identification would recognize a custom distortion guitar sample. Then again, a more creative mind might be able to come up with another, more feasible way than I can think of.

I really like the ability to play SPCs to gauge whether or not I like a song. This can help you save time finding the sound you're looking for since you can freely jump around song duration and flip between pages sampling audio. Tags and descriptions may help you identify what you are looking for. Think what associations are had by the instrument you have in mind:

"Athletic"
"Tense"
"Chase"
"Boss"
"Final"
"Dark"

And in description searching, think of what is synonymous with "rock music" or "metal music" where such a sample relates, or any other attribute that may not exist in a tag. I think that may yield you some desirable results in the meantime.

You may find more things you want this way, filling level themes fittingly and putting together a consistent soundtrack. Many times, several songs can use the same instrument(s) in such ways that they don't seem to belong together at all, or utilize such instruments in either a poor manner or a manner that makes them seem like they aren't even that instrument anymore. Stylistically, songs using same instruments can also seem like they belong to different universes entirely. Therefore, I question what benefit such a feature brings to hack makers. Would you be willing to share what you have in mind, like if it relates to another inquiry porters might be able to help with, or if resource recommendations from the community at large can fill your need?

Just look above you...
If it's something that can be stopped, then just try to stop it!
I'm not a music mod so it's from the perspective of a regular user: It's... too specialised to be useful. Sure, it makes sense to search for instruments but that's if you search for samples, not whole songs. There also is the logistic issue i.e. the mods: Do you really think they would make work to determine which instruments are used?
The only realistic exceptions I can think of are solos as those are defined by the instrument they're playing, not just their content.

Even then, the same instrument can be played in multiple ways, defined by the song itself. There is the key, there is the tempo, there is the time signature, etc.

Really, not all songs which use distortion guitars are fast paced rock or metal but may be very well used in a slow, calm song even if it's mostly in the background. Sometimes, the listed instruments are not even defining the song if they play more in the background than in the foreground.

There also is the case of ambiguity in (mostly) vanilla sampled songs: SMW's samples are very simplistic, in certain cases what I would say semi-chiptune basically so they're mostly defined by the ADSR. One example is the @4 which SMW uses as the chello but may also work as the better trumpet sample (most famously in Touhou songs as ZUN loves trumpets).
Occasionally, that makes defining the instrument a bit more difficult. One example I can think of is the mostly unsampled port of Romacing Saga 3 - The Last Battle: The main melody is defined by sawtooth waves and organ but Maxo's version uses @1 (which comes pretty close to a sawtooth, in fact, but also sounds like strings) and @13 (which doesn't really sound like an organ).
Even chiptunes themselves have this issue what instrument plays as the samples they use can only be improvised to sound like a real instrument. A simpler solution is to just mention that the song uses simples waves but then you might want to search for the theme rather than instruments again (not to mention we already have got a tag, retro).

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Okay, my layout looks ugly.
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Forum Index - Valley of Bowser - Site Questions & Feedback - Sort Music by instrument

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