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acewhistle

Learning about MIDI

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Hello community,

First of all, completely noob about MIDI and hoping to learn MIDI with it's vast potential to create audio files from all kinds of instruments :)

I've been watching some Youtube guides about using MIDI in Cakewalk and it is really interesting to learn after my 20+ years of guitar playing and how much info and potential skills I am missing out on what it can offer to make my audio recordings move to the next level.

I just like to ask if someone would know where I can download some midipack files where I can see how a composer/writer wrote a midi for those instruments and how those notes relates to one another.

It's like listening to a song where you have no clue how certain riffs or melodies are played until you've seen it from a guitar tab / piano lead sheet and only then you will understand how/why certain notes/chords works for that particular song.

Thought this will help me accelerate my knowledge how to use MIDI for my future recordings.

Hope that makes sense.

Many thanks.

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There are 1,000 of free midi files spread across the internet. This site I think has the most. https://www.midiworld.com/

I generally google a song and see if it's out there Example -" Sweet Child of Mine midi file" 

Just avoid any site that tell you you have to download anything else. The good sites it's very straight forward no strings attached. 

If you go to preferences and un check all the output boxes under MIDSI/Devices, Cakewalk will play these files using the TTS_1 sounds.  They will play as GM ( General MIDI ) sounds.  You have to OPEN the midi file. If you set Cakewalk as the default software for midi files in Windows settings they should automatically open cakewalk and play if you double click the file.   Otherwise you can preview them in Media player. 

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Bear in mind that like playing any musical instrument there are the mechanics of playing and then the extra bits that add feel/emotion into the music.

That is the real art in writing music as MIDI. 
It’s important to have an appreciation for how an instrument is played, and how good the MIDI synth can replicate the sound of the chosen instrument and how well the composer can manipulate the MIDI to play like a real performance of that instrument. 
Example. You can write the notes (with MIDI) for a saxophone synth to play but how  close to a real saxophone being played will it sound. 

Edited by Michael Vogel
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This is true. Out of all those songs I linked above- probably 1 in 100 will sound like a real song. The rest I think are cranked out from Band in a Box, Auto generated Mall organ keyboard workstations or hand entered in a sequencer . You can tell the difference with the ones that were actually "played" by a musician.  Such as it is with free stuff. I've never "bought" a midi file as if that needed to happen I just roll my own because that's more fun than working a day job to pay for a midi file. 

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13 hours ago, John Vere said:

It looks like it's been a while since the first sentence at the top of the main page has been updated.

"MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface and has been the rage among electronic musicians throughout its six year existence."

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17 hours ago, John Vere said:

There are 1,000 of free midi files spread across the internet. This site I think has the most. https://www.midiworld.com/

I generally google a song and see if it's out there Example -" Sweet Child of Mine midi file" 

Just avoid any site that tell you you have to download anything else. The good sites it's very straight forward no strings attached. 

If you go to preferences and un check all the output boxes under MIDSI/Devices, Cakewalk will play these files using the TTS_1 sounds.  They will play as GM ( General MIDI ) sounds.  You have to OPEN the midi file. If you set Cakewalk as the default software for midi files in Windows settings they should automatically open cakewalk and play if you double click the file.   Otherwise you can preview them in Media player. 

Wow thank you very much for your help. Really appreciate for the link and the tips above :)

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11 hours ago, Michael Vogel said:

Bear in mind that like playing any musical instrument there are the mechanics of playing and then the extra bits that add feel/emotion into the music.

That is the real art in writing music as MIDI. 
It’s important to have an appreciation for how an instrument is played, and how good the MIDI synth can replicate the sound of the chosen instrument and how well the composer can manipulate the MIDI to play like a real performance of that instrument. 
Example. You can write the notes (with MIDI) for a saxophone synth to play but how  close to a real saxophone being played will it sound. 

Many thanks for the advice Michael. That is what really in my mind as I am more interested to add classical instruments in my future projects to give it some more character :)

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4 hours ago, 57Gregy said:

Steal This Book!
Apologies to Abbie Hoffman. And Craig A.
 

Andertion Book.jpg

Lol, must be a holy grail book

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Thank you very much for everyone's reply here. It is nice to know that I have a supportive community that I can go to when I am stuck with something.

More power to you guys and keep safe always.

 

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It’s a book I bought not long after the MIDI 1.0 spec was released. Not only did Craig Anderson write that book I’m pretty sure he was involved with the group who originally setup the MIDI 1.0 spec. He knows what he’s on about pretty much in most things musical.

While it’s a great book for the absolute basics MIDI has evolved to become much more expansive over the decades.

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19 hours ago, acewhistle said:

Lol, must be a holy grail book

It's probably available somewhere.
In 2002, I was wanting to get back into recording, so I bought guitars, a keyboard (with drum patches), a microphone and a TASCAM Portastudio tape recorder. Going to do it the old-fashioned way.
But my brother the programmer kept telling me to get into computer recording instead. He said it would be easier and I'd be able to do more. I resisted, mainly because I was a new computer user at that time. 
We went to Circuit City and I found a copy of Cakewalk's Music Creator 2003, which was MC 2 with a MIDI-to-gameport connector, for $50. I bought it and my brother gave me that book.
I haven't looked back.

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Like you, I arrived at midi as a guitarist. No. Actually it's worse than that. As a singer who played some guitar.

Thing about midi, I think, is that it's really easy, once you've figured out the mechanics, to make something that sounds, y'know, pretty good. By which I mean, competent, acceptable, crafted, musical.

The next bit, which is much more difficult, is to make something that sounds original, emotive, compelling, unique.

And to achieve that, you have to do a whole lot of stuff that requires the sort of hands-on, inventive, self-critical hard work that - wouldn't you know it? - all creativity demands.

And that's what I Iike about using midi. It's like having painted for forty years using the colours of the traditional spectrum, and then a new colour's invented. Your first instinct is to use it all over the place, splash it across every canvas, just because it's so cool and arresting.  But, in the end, you realise that it's just another element in what you do, and so you have to figure out what to do with it - and that's work. Some artists you know will create whole exhibitions using that colour as the main theme. Others won't think it needs to be there at all, because Michelangelo managed without it.  You have to figure out how it can help you make the pictures you want to make, or provoke you to make something you wouldn't have made at all had that colour not been invented.

....I can spin pretentious metaphors like this all day. But you see the point....

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