Part 2, Setting Up Our Tools For An Efficient, MIDI Editing Environment

If you didn’t start with Part 1, So You Want to Add Custom Music to Your Banjo-Kazooie Romhack, I highly recommend you start there first as it provides context and download links to what we’re using here.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7

If you didn’t start with Part 1, So You Want to Add Custom Music to Your Banjo-Kazooie Romhack, I highly recommend you start there first as it provides context and download links to what we’re using here.

Obtaining your Banjo-Kazooie soundbank (.dls)

Making music using the official BK soundbank lets us hear how the music will sound in game.

1. Unzip the contents of your [N64 Tools] zipped folder into a location that you can easy navigate to. I chose to create a folder called [BK Working] on my desktop then drag and dropped the unzipped N64 Tools inside.

2. Navigate to [N64 Soundbank Tool > Release] then launch [N64SoundbankTool.exe]. If you get a side-by-side error, then you didn’t install Visual C++ 2008 SP1. Any other error and I would consult the official FAQ for this software.

3. Under the [games] drop down menu, scroll to [Banjo-Kazooie (U) (v1)]. If you only have a PAL (E) or Japanese (J) copy of BK, I’d suggest grabbing a student copy that’s got that lil (U) in the title.

4. Then press [Load ROM] and navigate to your copy of BK. Personally, I keep a clean, working rom in the BK Working folder for convenience. Once this is done, your Window should look something like this:

5. A lot of N64 games utilize multiple banks (.dls files that store various instruments) but thankfully Banjo-Kazooie keeps everything in a single bank. Thus, all we have to do from here is click [Write DLS Soundfont] and choose a location for your file to be extracted. Give it a name you can recognize and save it to the root of your BK Working folder.

Converting your DLS soundbank to an SF2 soundfont

Now that we have a copy of the soundbank the game uses to make noise, we need to turn it into a file that VirtualMIDISynth can use.

1. Boot up which ever version of Viena you installed. I’ll be using Viena64.

2. Navigate to [File > Open] and locate your soundbank. Open this file up and the Viena should now display quite a few files relating to the instruments of Banjo-Kazooie.

3. In the row of icons Viena uses, located Save then click the drop down beside it and select Save as…

4. The window that popped up should be the location of our .dls file. If it isn’t, navigate back to your BK Working folder. Now we can save your new .sf2! I chose to title mine [bk soundbank sf2.sf2] so even if I didn’t have my file extensions visible, the title would denote the file type. I’d also recommend you verify that your File type is set to [SoundFont files (*.sf2)] before clicking save.

Configuring CoolSoft VirtualMIDISynth

Sekaiju, the DAW we’ll be using, doesn’t natively support a lot of files types. Thus, we’ll be using VirtualMIDISynth (VMS) to load our Banjo-Kazooie soundfont into Sekaiju.

1. Launch VMS and if a virtual mixerboard pops up, just exit out of it. Down in your bottom right toolbar, find the VMS icon, then [right-click > About VirtualMIDISynth…]

2. Move to the Soundfonts tab, then press the green plus sign on the right side of the window.

3. Navigate to your BK Soundfont in .sf2 format and click Open. Your VMS window should now look just like mine.

Note: If you get an error here, you more than likely are opening up the .dls soundfont. If this happens, I would recommend verifying that you are opening the .sf2 file or redo the previous step and title your new .sf2 file something more distinguished.

4. Tab over to MIDI Mapper. Below is a Window Media Player default device drop down menu. Choose VirtualMIDISynth #1 for this option.

5. You can now safely minimize or exit this window. Either way, the application will remain open and accessible from your toolbar.

Setting up Sekaiju for the first time

Since Sekaiju is a portable piece of software, we’ll need to extract it from the zip folder it came in. I would recommend keeping it in the root of your BK working folder and navigating to [Sekaiju.exe > right-click > Send to > Desktop (create shortcut)] to maintain easy access to this software.

1. Locate the file [BK_InstrumentNames.ins] we previously downloaded. If you can’t find it, another link is available here. Copy this file.

2. Navigate to your [sekaiju > instrument] folder and drop this file inside.

3. Launch Sekaiju. If everything is in Japanese (and you can’t read Kanji), press [Alt + S + L] to select English. A window should pop up asking you to restart the program. Do just that.

4. From the Sekaiju’s toolbar, navigate to [Setup > MIDI Device and Instrument…]

5. Tab over to MIDI Out Device, select the drop down menu at Out Port01 and change this option to VirtualMIDISynth #1 and press Okay.

6. Then tab over to MIDI Inst Def (Normal) and select Soundfont Generated by N64 Soundbank Tool (GoldenEye Vault) for Out Port01. This will change the names of the instruments when reading them in Sekaiju’s Program Number.

Note: If you had Sekaiju open before these steps, you’re going to need to restart Sekaiju for the options to appear.

7. Now, if we pull the divider bar in the default untitled track, we see that the OutputPort now states [1-VirtualMIDISynth] and if we double-click any track’s Program Number, we can type in a value that reflects the Banjo-Kazooie instruments in your Soundfont.

With Sekaiju now able to play music using the actual Banjo-Kazooie soundfont, you’re ready to move on to step 3.

Part 3, Extracting MIDI Files From Any N64 ROM

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7