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The Art of Noise

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Adding Music and Sound Music and ambient sound can enhance the atmosphere in a room. But make sure you include the option to SWITCH IT OFF! Not everyone appreciates MIDI and people with slow modems may curse if you forced them to download large wav files.

What Format?

  • Midi

    Midis are computer generated using synthesizers. They can sound very close to the original (especially if the original is a Pet Shop Boys creation...) but a lot of them can seem very similar to the sound of one hand playing...

    • PROS
      • Midis are plentiful on the Internet and are the smallest size format available. Good quality midis can sound very close to the original especially if you have MIDI rendering software like WINGROOVE. Midis require only one download.
    • CONS
      • Midis can sound really annoying without good rendering software or a good soundcard. Jukebox scripts with the INCHAT function (i.e.: triggered by one and heard by all) is a source of much cursing and swearing amongst those who aren't fans of MIDI.
    • Indications
      • Best used as background music. Utilize a 'button' that users can click to activate the Midi. Automatic entry midis are a no-no unless they form part of a special presentation. Some people have the CD playing while they surf and chat - and the resulting cacophony is not appreciated.
    • Where to find them
      • Midis R Us
      • Midi Composers


  • WAV

    Wav files are samples of recorded sound. You can make them yourself with a microphone and the Sound Recorder option in Windows (haven't a clue what the equivalent is on Mac - sorry!) You can also record entire songs in wav format.

    • PROS
      • Wavs allow you to play soundfiles in palace. Some palaces convert songs to low quality wavs for their jukebox. Wav files need only one download.
    • CONS
      • There is a limit of 2 MB for each wav - bigger files are not recognised by older versions of palace. (However, Logan's Fury tells me that he has wav files approximately 15 MBs in his palace that work!) But bear in mind that most people will be complaining by 0.5 MBs. Wavs are notoriously large files by palace standards especially if you are going to use it for a whole song. Small sized wavs come at the cost of stereo sound and sound quality.
    • Indications
      • Ideally used for ambient or triggered sound effects (e.g.: explosions, running water, waves etc), short voice messages and short song clips.
    • Where to Get them
      • The Magic SOund Bla
      • Wav Central
      • Make your own!!!!


  • Real Audio

    Real Audio is a web-streaming audio format that allows you to listen to CD quality sound without having to wait to download an entire file first. You can integrate Real Audio with palace via the NETGOTO command.

    An example of a simple script is as follows:

"http://yourdirectory/realaudio/yoursong.ram" NETGOTO}

    • PROS
      • Can be placed on a seperate webserver saving precious palace server space. Can be as high or low quality as you want. The average real audio file size is 1 - 2 MBs. There is no need for a long download because it uses streaming audio.
    • CONS
      • Read Audio needs the software plugin which some people do not have installed. Some free webspaces may not support streaming audio. Real Audio is not accessed directly from palace, you have to go through a browser. This may be a strain on slower machines. Because it uses streaming audio, it needs a short download everytime. Lastly, Real Audio files are a bugger to make! (Even with Real Producer)
    • Indications
      • If you wish to provide good quality music and do not have the server space to spare.
    • How to make a Real Audio file
      • Use Real Producer - it is a free download from the Real Audio website. You may need to record your songs first in wav format before converting them to Real Audio.

MP3s can also be used instead of wavs. However, to use them you need to have installed a codec in your computer. Visit Studio Dust Palace Tips for more information and to download the codec. (Thanks to Floyd Miller for this tip!)

What Script?

The scripts that I have chosen to put here are just to start you off. They are extremely basic and for quick reference only. If you have no previous knowledge of iptscrae and no idea how to put together a basic script, please read Ori's Palace Instructions first for some easy to understand basic explainations.

The most basic sound script is triggered off by someone clicking on a door or spot.


This works for all midi and wav files. The MIDIPLAY command can be used for midi files as well but the SOUND command does the same thing. Once a wav file is triggered, there isn't a way to shut it off. However, the midi file is easily interruptable with the following command typed into the text box: / MIDISTOP.

You can easily program in a shortcut for your users by using an OUTCHAT command. This means that if the user types in the special command, usually 'ms', the Midi file automatically stops playing. The user does not need to know the exact filename of the midi playing. It will not affect any one else in the room who may be listening to the midi as well. This can be done by adding an section to your script (highlighted in italics), for e.g.:

{" " MIDISTOP } CHATSTR "ms" == IF

If you wish to provide a jukebox in your palace, check out the jukebox scripts at the Script Barn. You can choose to implement it with elaborate graphics or use a simple list triggered by OUTCHAT commands.

Sounds that play upon entry tend to be ambient sounds or a greeting message. If this is part of a room tour, ensure that you provide a seperate room for people to predownload the sound before entering that room otherwise, they will not hear the sound the first time.

Predownloading sounds can be done in two ways.

The Upfront way - via the simple ON SELECT function:

Label: To predownload sounds click here...
Script: ON SELECT {

;and so on


The Sneaky way - via an ON ENTER script:
Use a short wav as the first wav. Using one of the sound effects supplied with palace is a good idea. Then sneak in the wavs you wish the user to download after it. Place this script in a 'entrance room' for your presentation.

Script: ON ENTER {

;and so on


Getting Loopy

Some rooms - like waterfalls, fountains and fireplaces are favourite targets of animation. To further enhance the atmosphere, a looped wav can be inserted.







What happens in this script is, that when you enter the room, an alarm gets triggered which activates the script in that spot. 400 is the number of ticks before the script is repeated again. (Modify it according to the duration you want) A tick is roughly 1/60th of a second but in realtime, it is modified by the speed of your client and server and network load.

A brief note on animations

To adequetely cover the topic of animation, I would probably have to write a whole new document with chapters of its own. Since I am no animation expert, nor talented enough to draw people without stick limbs, a round head and a smiley face, I feel I would be out of my depth to embark on such a task. So here's an extremely short introduction to them:

Animations on palace can be triggered or ambient. Examples of triggered animations include - ghostly figures that appear when clicking on a spot, pictures that appear by command etc. Popular ambient animations include running water, a flickering flame, stars etc.

Each animation slice must be saved as a seperate gif file. Make sure they are the same size otherwise you will get pictures out of synch with each other. When you add them to a spot, each slice gets a spotstate number. The first slice is always 0. Animations in palace work by cycling through these spotstates - either as a loop (ambient animations) or simple spotstate changes (triggered animation).

Simple triggered animation script: ( SETSPOTSTATELOCAL)




This script changes the spotstate in spot 5, to 1 therefore showing the second animation slice. It reverts back to 0 (the first slice) after 300 ticks. SETSPOTSTATELOCAL means that the statechange can only be seen by the person triggering it. To make the whole room see the statechange, replace it with SETSPOTSTATE.

Simple looped animation script:



This looped scripts works only with 3 sliced loops. You need to modify the number in the 3rd line after ON ALARM to the number of slices you have in your loop -2 slices. The 4th line sets how quickly each frame is to be shown.

WARNING... don't make that number too small otherwise you may get killed from your own palace for 'flooding' everytime that script is activated.

For a great example of a combination of looped sound and ambient animation, check out Edge of Heaven's fountain.

Ok, now that you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, have a look in Ori's Palace Instructions for more detailed explainations of everything I have mentioned here.

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