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Eilye
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re: LMB Music Larnin'

Using Songbook to Play in a LMB Band

Perhaps you've been curious about the Lonely Mountain Band's various music groups, and have even thought about joining one? I know we could sure use you in our music test group! But getting started can be intimidating. No one wants to play the part of the inexperienced beginner. But it isn't hard at all! This post will serve as a gentle introduction to the arcane art of LotRO band play.

LotRO maintains a data folder (a subfolder of "My Documents" for Windows users) for user-related data. This folder contains a "music" folder and a "plugins" folder. Any ABC music files you download go into the music folder (or one of its subfolders), and one very important plugin goes into the plugins folder.

We're going to spend most of this post looking at this important plugin, called the Songbook plugin:

http://www.lotrointerface.com/downloads/info380-Songbook.html

Unzip the plugin into your LotRO Plugins folder, and then load it in-game using the Plugin manager (refer to this link for an introduction to plugins if you've never used them before).

Before you can use Songbook, and after any changes/additions to the music folder, you have to run an application to update the Songbook music directory. To do this, go to the folder containing the Songbook plugin (probably \The Lord of the Rings Online\Plugins\Chiran)...
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...and run the HTML Application (.hta, if your system displays file extensions):
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Once the plugin is loaded, click the music note button to load its UI:

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Let's take a look at this UI piece by piece:

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The "music mode" button. Clicking it toggles you back and forth between your music stance (i.e., ready to play music) and your regular stance. You must have an instrument equipped to enter music mode. Ocasionally (rarely) this button stops working; if this happens, simply unload the Songbook plugin and reload it using the Plugin manager.

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The "play song" button. This is for use when you are playing music by yourself. Once you have your song selected, have the appropriate instrument equipped, and are in your music stance, simply click this button to start playing.

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From here, we start to get into the features which facilitate playing music with others:

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The "ready check" button, for use by the bandleader. The bandleader may elect to perform a ready check (which will ask each band member if they are ready) by clicking this button.

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The "play with sync" button. This is one of the go-to buttons for band play. Once you have selected the appropriate song, have equipped the correct instrument, and have entered your music stance, click this button to queue up. Music will *not* start playing when you click this button. You are simply queuing up to start playing in coordination with the other band members.

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The "begin synchronized play" button. Don't click this button. It will make Beorbrand's beard fall off. Geoffroi will fall from the Bree stage if this button is clicked. Byrcha's hat will grow two sizes if someone clicks it. Lhinnthel has been known to throw herself from the Last Bridge when this button is clicked. The sun will flame out, the oceans will boil, and Hobbits will lose their appetite if this is clicked.

This button starts the band playing. All members who have queued their part via the "play with sync" button will start playing. This is for use by the bandleader only.

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Another go-to button for band play. The "X:11" (or whatever number is visible) denotes which instrumental part within the music file is currently selected. The little up and down arrows allow you to cycle through the various parts. The numbers you see after the "X:" are a kind of shorthand denoting which part is currently selected. LMB bands use a common convention for numbering these parts, so a glance at the number is enough to tell you which instrument is required to play it:

    1-9: drums
    11-19: lute
    21-29: harp
    31-39: theorbo
    41-49: bagpipes
    51-59: flute
    61-69: horn
    71-79: clarinet
    81-89: cowbell
    91-99: pibgorn or moor cowbell


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Rarely used. This button emotes to the audience to let them know what is currently being played. This would only be used by the bandleader (or you if you are playing alone).

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The final key component of band play: the search feature. You can type text in the box, and then click the "Search" button to fetch a list of any songs containing the fragment you typed. Please note that the search will return any song *containing* the fragment you've typed, not just songs which *start* with what you've typed. Click the "Clear" button to clear the contents of the search textbox.

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So, let's go through the motions of queuing up a song to play:

    1. You'll be invited into a group or raid by the bandleader as a start. This is your opportunity to load the Songbook plugin, and display it on screen by clicking the little musical note button to show its UI.
    2. The bandleader will call out a song to play:
    8-(Lhinn)ElvenPath 1-Lhinnthel 11-Galzagar 21-Braxwald 31-Aegthil 41-Beorbrand 51-Wilta 52-Corulin 61-Eilye
      * "8-(Lhinn)ElvenPath" is the song to be played. You might search for ")Elven" in the search box to find the right one. In an ideal world, no search would be necessary - we'd just play Elven Path over and over again. But since LMB is full of stubborn subversives who insist on playing non-Elven Path music, you will be happy for the search feature.
      * The numbers followed by names denote the parts to the song, and who is responsible for playing each part. In this example, my name appears after part #61, which we know from referring to the chart above is a horn part. You use the arrows above and below the "X:1" readout Forum Image to get to the desired part. I'm there when "X:61" is visible in the display.
      * Hopefully you are in a band filled with gloriously tall characters as in my example above. It's really quite embarrassing to take the stage with Bobbits.

    3. Make sure you have the correct instrument equipped. In my case, the bandleader called for me to be on a horn part, so I equip my horn. If you are presently finishing up a different song where you were on a different instrument, wait until playing stops, drop out of music mode, and then equip your instrument.
    4. Click the Forum Image button to enter music mode.
    5. Click the Forum Image button to queue up. Once everyone is queued, the bandleader will start.


That's it! You're playing in a band!

If you'd like to give this a practice runthrough prior to playing in a concert, please keep an eye on the forums for posts about music test group. We are always in desperate need of band members to cover the various parts. You can get practice using Songbook and help us test new music at the same time!

Eilye


Last edited by Eilye on 2014/10/06 6:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
Calycanthus
NoCyg
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re: LMB Music Larnin'

This is a pretty good guide, but a few things to note:

1. Before you can use Songbook, and after any changes/additions to the music folder, you have to run an application to update the Songbook music directory. To do this, go to the folder containing the Songbook plugin (probably \The Lord of the Rings Online\Plugins\Chiran) and run the HTML Application (.hta, if your system displays file extensions).

2. Eilye's Songbook either is not the latest version or has been customized. The default version of the most recent version of Songbook looks like this:
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There's two major differences:

A) The song parts are listed in the display. This means that you don't have to memorize which numbers go with which instruments, as the parts tell you.
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B) There are eight instrument quickslots. To use these, you have to have the instrument in your inventory and drag it to a slot. Then, when you click on the quickslot, it will automatically change your instrument for you. This means you don't have to go into your inventory every time you need to switch instruments, which is useful particularly if you're doing a lot of rapid instrument changes.
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Ealthina
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re: LMB Music Larnin'

h this is fabulous as I've wanted to get more involved, but I have not touched the music system since closed beta....=( Keep it up!
Corulin
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re: LMB Music Larnin'

Great guide! :D

I will point Isilerin this way when her computer gets fixed! She's felt quite intimidated by the whole ABC playing thing and this guide will be of great help to her Happy


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Beorbrand
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re: LMB Music Larnin'

This is super helpful. You are super for posting it.
Lhinnthel
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re: LMB Music Larnin'

I feel the intense need to play 8-(Lhinn)ElvenPath, I've no idea why.

Anyways, this is fabulous and I propose stickiness! I've made a tiny url so we can direct folks here easily! tinyurl.com/songbooktut


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Keli
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re: LMB Music Larnin'

Additional points:

Whenever I've had to tutor someone in Songbook, they invariably have never used plugins before. The information on Lotro Wiki you provide for Plugin Manager may be off putting for newbies and can be simplified - I can provide text if you wish.

The folder Music (and I think plugins) is not created automatically by the Turbine installation process. You have to create it yourself.

If you have any problems using the .hta songbook filler, try this .exe file - http://www.electricwarriors.net/SongbookFiller.zip

You should edit the UI before use:

To show the track parts and instruments:

Hit the Settings button and selecting the show instruments panel (allows one click swapping) and the show parts panel. This gives a list of parts in the song where you can just click the part you will be playing.

To resize the panel, Click and drag from the bottom right corner of the window.
Click and drag the title bar to move the window.
Closing the window will save its position and size.
Drag the separator lines to scale the sizes of directory, song, and part lists.
If the song has multiple parts, you can click little arrows next to the part number ( marked X: ) to switch selected part.

Optional commands
/songbook show - shows the Songbook window
/songbook hide - hides the Songbook window
/songbook toggle - toggles the Songbook window
/songbook - lists command line options

Finally, the bandleader instructions shown may not (and aren't) used by all bandleaders. Not sure if we can do anything about this except mention it.

Oh, for completeness, should we also give the link to the music gallery here?

Good work Eilye!


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Kiralynn
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re: LMB Music Larnin'

Shall we give this one a more intuitive title, delete non-info comments, and sticky it as a reference guide?


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Eilye
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re: LMB Music Larnin'

NoCyg wrote:
Before you can use Songbook...

Super important! I can't believe I left this out. I've updated my post.

NoCyg wrote:
Eilye's Songbook either is not the latest version or has been customized.

Yes, I'd forgotten that I'd customized it. I find the default view to be a bit busy. Thanks for pointing out the other features, with pictures, even!

Keli wrote:
The information on Lotro Wiki you provide for Plugin Manager may be off putting for newbies and can be simplified - I can provide text if you wish.

Please do send me what you have, and I'll flesh out the appropriate parts of the OP.
Calycanthus
NoCyg
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re: LMB Music Larnin'

You may want to rearrange the beginning of your post a little so that you mention loading the plugin in-game after the bit about updating the directory out-of-game.
Tearna Quickfoot
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re: LMB Music Larnin'

Wonderful guide! One thing I didn't see mentioned, that I've run into with folks new to songbook is the need to update after any change to the music folder.

When you open Songbook, it accesses the songs from some secret memory spot..somewhere.... NOT from your music folder. If you've made changes to that folder... additions or deletions, you must update Songbook (I always use songbook filler... I have a shortcut to it on my desktop to make it easy and fast).

If you have Songbook open in game when you run the update, you must close Songbook and open it again so will grab this new memory.

Thanks for this Eilye!! Happy


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Iorithiel
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re: LMB Music Larnin'

I have the Songbook plugin loaded into the plugin folder and double clicked on songbook.hta which gives me a pop up window to build the song library to my two LOTRO User names (or accounts). I tried right clicking on songbook.hta but have to select how to open the Songbook with the list of songs listed in it. My choices are:

Use this app for all .hta files
or
Keep using Microsoft (R) HTML Application Host
or
a link to more options such as Notepad, Paint, Adobe Reader. etc. which I know won't work.

So...what do I do now? use the first or second option. I don't want to pick one because sometimes I open a file and it looks like gobblety gook!
Calycanthus
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re: LMB Music Larnin'

Iorithiel, you're going to double-click the Songbook filler icon, choose the account you want to build for, and then click 'Build song library'. Once it tells you it's done, that's all you need to do out-of-game. No need to right click.

To access the actual Songbook (the one with the files listed), you need to launch it in-game. To do that, once you're in-game, use the command line /plugins load songbook in the chat window to start it up. It will either bring up the Songbook window automatically, or a button with a music note on it (it tends to default to corners--you may have to search your interface for it) which you can click to open the window.
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