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Complete Rust MIDI Guide for 2022/23


Published: Sep 15, 2022
Last Edit: Sep 15, 2022
Rust MIDI
1,040 Words, 5 Minutes.

Watch the video:


Timestamps:
0:00 - Explanation
1:20 - Importing MIDI songs into Rust
2:09 - Testing
2:49 - Playing MIDI files in Rust
4:05 - Binding song to default right-click
5:10 - Bind songs to different keys
6:25 - Why some songs sound weird
7:27 - Downloading MidiEditor
8:05 - Fixing MIDI with random notes
10:16 - Downloading MIDI audio for Rust

Details

If you’ve played Rust before, you likely know the in-game instruments. If you have talent with a keyboard or even a real keyboard, you can smash out some good-sounding music. But, you’ve likely also heard recognizable tunes being played note-for-note in-game as well. This is because you can either plug a physical MIDI device like a keyboard into Rust and play along, or you can automate it through software – Or even now, the in-game feature. You can properly play MIDI files downloaded from the internet in-game without needing to tab out. Heck, you can even bind songs to specific keys.

What is MIDI

MIDI is a file format that stores music, notes, times, velocity (or volume), and instrument data. When played on a computer, you can choose a “voice”, an instrument (or a group of instruments), and hear your computer’s rendition of whatever you downloaded or created. Playing in Rust is no different. You’re using in-game devices to play your MIDI data, and others around you can enjoy it too.

Downloading MIDI

While you click and drag around in something like FL Studio or simply free software to create MIDI audio, it’s a lot easier for 99.9% of people to just download complete songs, tunes, beats, and tunes off the internet. You need to google <Song name> MIDI download, and you’ll find tons of links. Some are suspicious, and others are totally legit. With the progress made in files and technology, I’m sure you can worry much less about questionable things happening with MIDI, but it’s still possible. Make sure where you’re downloading from is trustworthy. Not to mention copyright. I’m almost certain that most music recreation into MIDI would fall under fair use. It would be especially understandable if you’re downloading for personal use only. Leaving all the copyright of downloading music and MIDI files up to you and your discretion, here are some links for downloading MIDI off the internet. A simple Google Search will result in many more.

In the video, I mentioned downloading a pack of MIDI files. You can find that here:

There are also sites like Bitmidi.com, Freemidi.org and Midiworld.com.

Importing MIDI files for Rust on Steam

All we need to do is create a folder called just “instruments” in the Rust game data folder. Head to Steam, Right-Click Steam and click Manage > Browse Local Files. The Rust folder will open up. Just create a new instruments folder if it doesn’t already exist. This should be right next to Rust.exe.

We can simply drag and drop MIDI files into this folder or optionally create new folders inside for some organization. The download link for the pack above features some folders for more straightforward navigation.

Playing MIDI files ingame

Simply locate a piano or another instrument, sit down or start using it and open the Rust Console with F1. Now enter either instruments.playrecording or playrecording for short (for some, this faster option may not work), followed by the name of the MIDI file or path to a MIDI file - without .mid at the end.

For example: playrecording never-give-you-up or playrecording trollsongs/test/never-give-you-up where never-give-you-up.mid exists.

Binding

Instead of entering text every time you want to play a song, you can instead just press a key. You can also hold the right mouse button, and a default tune will play. We can overwrite this as well.

Just like that you can quickly switch between songs by pressing different keys. You’ll now have a working soundboard, which is great.

Some songs sound bad

MIDI files can contain multiple instruments. When played on Rust, they are all represented by one. To fix weird-sounding songs, we need to open the MIDI file with a MIDI editor and clean up the unnecessary percussion instruments - More than likely just the drums.

Download MidiEditor or any other kind of MIDI editing software to do so. I’ll be using the aforementioned software as it’s free and open-source.

Find and expand the latest release on GitHub by going to this link, and clicking Assets under the latest release. Then download the installer for your computer. In my case, it was: “MidiEditor-3.3.2-Setup.exe”.

Go through the installation process and start it up. Then drag the MIDI file into it and start editing. First, you will need to open settings and enable Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth... to hear the audio preview.

We can also remove specific instruments if the song has been divided into tracks nicely by the creator.

Just like that, we can customize MIDI songs to sound better in-game or even create your own edits or entire songs. The MidiEditor is a powerful tool, but it can be confusing to newcomers. Hopefully, this short crash course is enough to get you going.

TCNO TechNobo / TroubleChute © Wesley Pyburn (TechNobo / TroubleChute)