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MIKE HERMAN
04-19-2002, 10:34 AM
I haven't really looked into this but was wondering what the story was on using midi files. Currently i use wav files and launch them at the appropriate times. I know that the end user has to have a midi capable sound board for the midi files to play. (Are there any sound cards that aren't midi capable? ) But it would seem to me that the end user also has to have all the midi instruments that are used in the midi file and, as i understand things, there are a number of midi instruments that are available but not everyone has them...or am i confused on this?
mh

k_e_moeller
04-19-2002, 11:35 AM
Hi - you're right that there is opportunity for confusion.

However, there IS a standard for MIDI capable sound cards and MIDI playback modules. You probably know MIDI is a serial protocol running at about 38Kbits/second, and transmits up to 16 'channels' of musical performance data.

Do a GOOGLE or other search for 'General MIDI'.

General MIDI is a combined standard that assigns virtual instruments to specific MIDI channels and, where necessary, assigns specific MIDI note numbers to specific sounds.

Piano on MIDI channel 1
Strings on MIDI channel 2
--
--
DRUMS on MIDI channel X and here's the standard note-to-sound assignments - i.e. MIDI note#64, Middle C, = snare hit.

best of luck

Karl, EMMY Award in Sound Design

MIKE HERMAN
04-19-2002, 02:49 PM
Ok, so based on what you are saying, then it is concievable that one could recoerd instuments that are not available to some listener...i wonder what sort of sound they hear in place of the instrument or do they just not hear that particular instrument that they are missing?
mh

k_e_moeller
04-19-2002, 02:59 PM
>>>Ok, so based on what you are saying, then it is concievable that one could recoerd instuments that are not available to some listener...i wonder what sort of sound they hear in place of the instrument or do they just not hear that particular instrument that they are missing?

Mike, certainly it's conceivable - in my MIDI studio I do it all the time, because I'm recording MIDI events which trigger sounds in MY own MIDI modules, with the attendant mix of timbres unique to my studio. If I wanted to give you MY music, I'd do a stereo analog .WAV mix or .MP3 mix and give you that.

But back to MIDI, since your source material is destined for GM compatible sound cards, you would have to pay scrupulous attention to the standard. So the problem you mention above would not occur !!

I suggest you check this URL.

http://www.northwestern.edu/musicschool/links/projects/midi/pages/genmidi.html

It shows all the channels and instruments available. What IS interesting is the variation within GM standard sound cards - one might have a great piano patch but crappy percussion. You can't do anything about that.

I WILL say that MIDI is the absolute space-savin'est method of transferring music ever invented. However !!! Since we ARE talking about Demoshield here, and supposedly CD resident demos, you probably DO have the space on the CD to include stereo .WAV files of reasonable length -- and there's NO guessing about the instrument timbres then !

With technology, here's my watchword:

Just because you CAN do it (in this case, General MIDI) doesn't mean you SHOULD do it.

Karl, EMMY Award winning sound designer

MIKE HERMAN
04-19-2002, 03:07 PM
i seem to remember, a long time ago before i became interested in this, that there were various software "players" that were available. (I may be way off here) if this is correct, could one package a "player" into a cd, install it and have the midi come out relatively close to it's original? And if this is the case, i would guess that one would have to get a licensing agreement from the "player" maker for distribution.
mh