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Fun With MIDI


DonaldM

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I'm sure some of you have done this, but I've recently "discovered" (more accurately remembered) the use of MIDI files with my studio set-up. As you know, there's a ton of MIDI files out there, both free and for a fee, and some have some great arrangements. I re-discovered the use of them when a friend called and needed a backing track for a song he was singing in his brother's wedding, but couldn't find one in the right key for him. So, I found a good MIDI file arrangement of the piece, took it down a couple steps and re-voiced and re-mixed using Pro Tools and my Motif. It was fun to do and the track sounded great. That got me thinking, "Hmmm, I wonder if I could find..." Well, 20+ MIDI files later, its been a blast re-arranging and re-voicing some of these.

 

So, how about others? How have you used MIDI files and arrangements? Any favorite sites? One thing for me, not being a professional, is how helpful these are for learning better mixing and arranging techniques. Wish I'd thought of it earlier....like DUH!

 

Its fun trying out different voices for different tracks. I've spent hours auditioning for just the right guitar, or just the right harp or strings or whatever. Then, I can focus my time and attention on getting a really good mix. Not a bad learning tool actually.

There are 10 kinds of people in the world...those who can read binary, and those who can't.
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I've been doing this for the last eight years! It is extremely helpful especially for corporate/wedding gigs that need to be put together quickly. I find you need to do some searching to find good files, but I have amassed a decent library of midi files over the years. I like using Midi-Illustrator which is a shareware notation software which converts any midi file into notation. It works surprisingly well. You can find that on Harmony Central in the software pages.

Ian Benhamou

Keyboards/Guitar/Vocals

 

[url:https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTheMusicalBox/]The Musical Box[/url]

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I've been doing this for the last eight years! It is extremely helpful especially for corporate/wedding gigs that need to be put together quickly. I find you need to do some searching to find good files, but I have amassed a decent library of midi files over the years. I like using Midi-Illustrator which is a shareware notation software which converts any midi file into notation. It works surprisingly well. You can find that on Harmony Central in the software pages.

 

Does it convert midi to chords?

 

Montage 7, Mojo 61, PC-3, XK-3c Pro, Kronos 88, Hammond SK-1, Motif XF- 7, Hammond SK-2, Roland FR-1, FR-18, Hammond B3 - Blond, Hammond BV -Cherry
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I've been doing this for the last eight years! It is extremely helpful especially for corporate/wedding gigs that need to be put together quickly. I find you need to do some searching to find good files, but I have amassed a decent library of midi files over the years. I like using Midi-Illustrator which is a shareware notation software which converts any midi file into notation. It works surprisingly well. You can find that on Harmony Central in the software pages.

 

I don't that because Pro Tools 8 (which I'll be upgrading to soon, has Sibelius built in. I also have Cakewalk, which does simple scores from MIDI files, if I need it.

 

 

There are 10 kinds of people in the world...those who can read binary, and those who can't.
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It's a great way to learn. I've been away from that world for a few years now, but I seem to remember that these guys produce good quality MIDI files.

 

http://www.trantracks.com/

 

I also seem to remember that the free ones are more trouble than they're worth. That might've changed by now, but I doubt it. Free is usually not a bargain IMHO...

 

I've find some decent freebies, but not many. Thanks for the link.

There are 10 kinds of people in the world...those who can read binary, and those who can't.
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I used to mess with those a long time ago, and some of the trantracks ones weren't bad, but usually I spend as much time trying to "fix" them than I spend just doing them from scratch. So for quite a long time now, I've done any sequences I needed myself from scratch.

 

I will say that a lot of them sounded best on a plain old vanilla Roland GS sound module - Sound canvas, JV-30, whatever. Most of them don't sound nearly as good on any other GM implementation. Not to say other manufacturers don't have some better sounds, but it's almost like the early 90's Roland GS sound set seems to be what they are all based on. Anything else and you have to do some serious editing.

 

In either case, some are decent, but even the decent ones always end up sounding really cheesey and canned to me.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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What I've done is re-voice completely. Once I know the voice category from the GM list on my Motif, I then begin to listen to the part with other voices in the same category...strings, guitar, whatever, not just the GM voices. In some cases, I've created a voice for a part. Makes things more fun! I might have a couple tracks playing a voice in one of my soft-synths, a few others off the Motif, and others from some other sound module or other, depending.
There are 10 kinds of people in the world...those who can read binary, and those who can't.
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