Comparison of MIDI standards

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This table provides summary of comparison of various MIDI enhancement standards by various parameters.

MT-32 GM GS XG level 1 XG level 2 XG level 3 GM level 2
Entry date 1987 1991 1991 1994 1997 1998 1999
Organization Roland MMA Roland Yamaha MMA
Minimum equipment requirements
Simultaneous voices 8 or more (up to 32 partials) 24 24 32 64 128 32
Simultaneous melodic voices N/A 16 16 N/A
XG synths have no separate limits on melodic / percussion sounds
16
Simultaneous percussion voices 8 8 16
MIDI channels allocation 8 channels, 1 rhythm channel 16 channels, #10 is fixed for percussion 16 channels, one channel can be set to play drum kits 16 channels, every channel can play drum kits with Bank Select MSB (CC#0) set to 7FH 32 channels, 2 ports, drums as in XG level 1 64 channels, 4 ports, drums as in XG level 1 16 channels, #10 and #11 are used for percussion
Channel recommendations #1: melody; #2: melody (duet); #3: bass; #4: pad; #5: riff; #10: drums[1]
Sounds banks available
Melodic instruments 128 128 226 480 1074 1149 256
Drum kits 1 1 8 + 1 SFX kit 9 + 2 SFX kits 34 + 2 SFX kits 35 + 2 SFX kits 9
Drum sounds per kit 30 47 61 72 61
Controls available
Special CC[2] 2[3] 6 (MT32+4) 6 (GM)
Parametric effect CC[4] 4[3] 5 16 (GM+11) 51 (GM+46) 12 (GM+7)
RPNs 0[3] 5[5] 6 (GM+1) [5]
SysEx messages 2 14

References[edit]

  1. ^ TheWhippinpost article on MIDI XG STANDARD
  2. ^ Special CCs are CCs that don't correspond to the parameter of any particular effect. Most usually they represent special one-shot control commands for the device (these ones are usually represented by a button on a console), or used internally for bank selection, RPN or data entry, etc.
  3. ^ a b c youngmonkey Roland MT-32 MIDI/SYSEX reference
  4. ^ Parametric CCs (also known as continuous controller) correspond to the parameter of some particular effect (i.e. depth, strength, delay of effect, etc). Such CCs are usually represented by a rotating knob or fader in mixers.
  5. ^ a b MMA MIDI Message Tables: Table 3a: Registered Parameter Numbers