Talk:MIDI/Archive 1

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sample .mid files?

I think it makes sense to include links to a few sample .mid files in wikimedia, perhaps in the MIDI File Formats section. There are a few midi files at Wikimedia Category Music Sound. I also uploaded two of my own work to Wikimedia Category Electronic music. Fred Hsu 00:22, 17 September 2005 (UTC)

Does anyone else we should delete the paragraph starting with "The VanBasco player is available as shareware. For $30..."

Seems like a blatant advertisment to me. Do we want those in the Wikipedia?

Nope. - Omegatron 02:41, Dec 16, 2004 (UTC)

midi files copyright

Tell me: does the P2P copyright infraction file sharing trench war (PCRIFSTW) in MP3 land also apply to MIDI files? -Litefantastic 00:13, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The contents of midi files can be copyright just like any other file although i don't belive that the music industry is chasing up midi sites as much (because they can't provide a direct copy of whats availible on the cd)
It should also be remembered that while it is possible to produce a midi file that is simply a noncreative copy of sheet music it is also quite possible to have a midi file that contains creativity of its own above the sheet music it was made from (both in arrangement and in the timings if performed on a midi keyboard). So a midi of sheet music that is in the public domain isn't nessacerally in the public domain itself. Plugwash 20:27, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)
In addition, it should be noted that midi performances of copyrighted sheet music can't legally be placed in the public domain, in the same way as recordings of copyrighted sheet music can't. In some legislations (such as in Great Britain), it is even illegal to publish recordings of published Urtext editions as public domain, as demonstrated by the recent Hyperion Records court case.
There are two types of rights to a piece of music: "mechanical rights" which refer to the recording itself, and "publishing rights" which refers to the actual composition. MIDI files of copyrighted music infringe on publishing rights, but not mechanical rights. Infindebula 06:23, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

What about those sites that have been distributing (and most keep distributing) midi files for download? There are still literally hundreds of midi sites with thousands of midis available for download, ever since the advent of the Internet, and the interest in them has also been recently re-strenghtned by the advent of cell phones and they poly-ringtones. Exactly what is the legal status of those midi files? And what about those MOD/S3M files that reproduced quasi-perfect digital recordings of famous songs back in the 90s, by carefully re-using looped/repeated parts and mixing sheet music with samples, way before MP3? EpiVictor 21:41, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Almost certainly illegal in most contries Even if copyrights on the performance are avoided there will almost certainly be copyrights on the underlying composition that will apply. You might i suppose get away with it somewhere that a compulsory licensing scheme is purely revenue percentage based but presumablly if such a loophole existed in any developed country it would quickly become widely known.
Of course lots of illegal stuff goes on online every day and most of it never gets followed up because noone can be bothered. Just because a sites been running for decades without anyone prosecuting or suing them doesn't mean what they are doing is legal. Plugwash 23:11, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
I have seen a few cases of commercially (and legally) sold MIDIs, even on floppy disks in music stores, but the grand majority of MIDIs that can be downloaded via normal HTTP (no, not even P2P) at most contain the sequencer's name or contact/copyright info, or it's implied that they are just "accurate recreations" of famous songs by some John. P. Random guy, like e.g. somebody recreating a musical sheet by ear (or, at least, from a real musical sheet) and then sequencing it into a midi file. Besides I never heard in the news "site x was closed/prosecuted because it contained thousands of midi files!". OK, there could be a few cases where an artist's original MIDI compositions "leaked" out, but exactly what is the status of those -mostly rearrangement by John.P.Randoms- MIDIs (and, to a lesser extend, MOD and S3M files?) Fair use, creative liberties, a case of "closing one's eye" by part of the RIAA etc. or what? EpiVictor 23:26, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

More details

Can we have a better description of ports, channels, instruments, patches, sounds, etc.

Also sys ex, ctrl, meta, channel aftertouch, key aftertouch messages? - Omegatron 02:41, Dec 16, 2004 (UTC)

Good MIDI to WAV or MP3 conversion?

I know there are programs out there that can convert MIDIs to WAVs or MP3s, but I also know that most of them do it by simultaneously playing the MIDI and recording the WAV or MP3...which results in not-so-clear quality on some computers, including mine...what I wanted to ask is this: Is there a program that can convert a MIDI to a WAV or an MP3 without doing this, even internally? Thanx, DC

You might want to check out Timidity. I believe this will do what you are asking for, and runs on a number of platforms. Rabit 17:09, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Doesn't seem to work on my computer. All the output files are blank. I've tried lots of programs, and nothing seems able to convert my MIDI files to an iPod-compatible format. --Nintendorulez talk 20:02, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Sounds like you haven't got the soundfonts/patches set up or something. Plugwash 20:06, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

DIN connections

"MIDI connectors use standard 5-pin DIN connectors which at one time were a de facto European standard for audio interconnection. Over time the simpler American RCA phono jack has replaced DIN in this application, leaving MIDI as the only place they are commonly encountered in modern equipment."

Maybe I'm mistaken about how exactly "DIN" is defined, but every electric instrument and professional microphone I've ever seen has a connector that looks exactly like the kind used for MIDI. I have never seen RCA connectors on instruments, microphones, speakers, or any other audio equipment apart from tape decks. What gives?

Are you sure you are not confusing them with XLR connectors? These are usual on professional equipment. Perhaps the text would be more accurate to say "domestic audio interconnection" - DIN connectors have disappeared in favour of RCA jacks on all home equipment. Graham 02:46, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

“Standard” MIDI files? – Help needed on compatibility

Hi. I’ve got a MIDI file generated by a Technics SX-KN1400 electronic keyboard. It’s a recording from the keyboard’s sequencer converted to SMF 0 (Standard MIDI Format 0). However, this file only plays back on QuickTime Player or iTunes (Mac or Windows) and doesn’t play at all in Windows Media Player or MidiSwing.

I’ve tried using a few freeware MIDI conversion programs at, but it still doesn’t work on Windows Media Player. How can I convert it to work on all MIDI players? --IE 14:27, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

I've figured out how to do it!! Here's what I did:
The latest version of MidiSwing (version 0.3.2b) now plays MIDI files of format 0 and format 1, so the original format 0 MIDI from the keyboard now plays in MidiSwing.
MidiSwing allows you to convert from format 0 to format 1, so if you use tempo variations in your song, the tempo changes are now separated into track 1 and the notes are placed in track 2, rather than having 1 single track where tempo changes are stored sporadically amongst the notes.
Now if you use MidiSwing to look at the midi events in track 1, you'll see some unusual stuff in it, at time stamp 0. The first is a "System Exclusive 0" event which has a strange value that MidiSwing cannot decipher (it shows garbage unicode characters in the Value field). The 2nd is a duplicate meta event where the initial tempo appears to be set to the same value twice. You need a mechanism to delete these events from the MIDI file.
You can use the free Windows utilities midi2txt.exe and txt2midi.exe (from to convert the MIDI file to a text file, delete the erroneous events from the text, and then convert the text file back into a MIDI file. It should now work on Windows Media Player.
This looks like a bug in Windows MP, if it can't play MIDI files that contain uncommon system events, whereas other MIDI players can. --IE 21:37, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Recording music

The statement in the article

"Almost all music recordings today utilize MIDI as a key enabling technology for recording music"

is clearly wrong. Most recording is surely done using microphones. A performance on acoustic instruments cannot as such be recorded using MIDI. So I was very surpised to see a revert of my correction into:

"Almost all music recordings today, unless done with microphones, utilize MIDI as a key enabling technology for recording music"

Please comment. I realise of course that some pianos have a keyboard that has a double function as a MIDI contoller, but these are rare. −Woodstone 11:51, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

This has nothing to do with the fact that music recordings utilitize MIDI technology AT SOME POINT during the production process. By the composer in putting together the music, in orchestrating it, listening to the variations, and perfecting the process - and working in the studio. To say "unless done with microphones" means "if microphones are used, MIDI is NEVER used". This is very clearly incorrect since MIDI can easily be used along with microphones and virtually always done - MIDI is hardly ever used in the studio exclusively and not in conjunction with microphones. You could possibly say something like, "Almost all music recordings today utilize MIDI as a key enabling technology for recording music, with the sole exception of a completely live performance, recorded with microphones only." although I suspect some may have trouble with that as well.. Charlie Richmond 17:17, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

I still maintain that most of the music is not recorded using MIDI. There may be a few instruments in a band using MIDI. MIDI may have been used during the composing and notation process. But most instruments are still acoustic and cannot be recorded with MIDI. During the real act of recording most music is recorded by microphones. The statement in the article is therefore grossly misleading. Perhaps it could be stated along the lines you gave above as:

"The creation of many music recordings, especially in pop music, uses MIDI technology at some point in the production process. By the composer in putting together the music, in orchestrating it, listening to the variations, and perfecting the process - and working in the studio, where often some MIDI instruments are included."

Woodstone 17:56, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

That sounds better but MIDI can and is also usually included in the actual production process as well - especially now since digital recording and production tools are more and more combined audio multitrack recorders combined with sophisticated MIDI sequencers. Pro Tools for example is probably the most popular digital recording system and fully integrates MIDI along with the tracks being produced. MIDI is not just an ancillary, isolate process and is becoming more and more integrated right into the recording, editing and mixing process - especially when automated mixing and control during mixing is involved since the MIDI tracks record and play back the control changes for the remotely controlled effects devices. With respect, it doesn't sound like you are fully aware of the more advanced recording studio and production techniques being used these days - especially in commercial studios. Charlie Richmond 21:22, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

You are right, I am not a professional musician or music technician. Still, with the same respect, I wonder if you do not suffer from some professional blindness, and focus too much on the kind music you seem to be producing. There are still many bands (and don't forget orchestras) that perform and record entirely acoustically. How do you propose to rephrase to eliminate the doubtful veracity? −Woodstone 21:33, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Thank you. Just to clarify, I am not a music producer, I am a person who has been deeply involved in the recording and music industry and its technology for over 40 years and well understand how it has evolved. I would propose the following: "The creation of many music recordings, especially in pop music, uses MIDI technology at some point in the production process. By the composer in putting together the music, in orchestrating it, listening to the variations, and perfecting the process - and working in the studio, where often MIDI instruments, sequencers, and integrated digital recording systems are used to record, edit, automate and sequence the production and recording process." Charlie Richmond 06:07, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
MIDI is indeed a key enabling technology. It's used to store presets in signal processors to computer, it's used for synchronization, it's used to control mixer automation. Even in cases where recording is done "with a microphone" MIDI is often there during the recording process. The statement "Almost all music recordings today utilize MIDI as a key enabling technology for recording music" is true and as eloquently worded as it can be. It is not THE key enabling technology, just A key enabling technology. I am a professional producer. Infindebula 06:20, 21 June 2006 (UTC)