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Joe Dun

Converting MIDI to MP3

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I am certain this has been asked and answered many times.  But, every year or so, I spend several hours trying to figure it out, before eventually giving up.  All the tutorials and instructions I have found for this always refer to menu choices and icons that are ghosted, or simply don't seem to do anything.  So, perhaps I can get someone to hold my hand thorough the process, and I can comment about where I get stuck.

1st, my setup.  It is a Windows 7 computer without any external keyboards or synthesizers.  I am using Cakewalk only as it self configured itself when I installed it.  I am on the most recent version of Cakewalk.

After opening a MIDI file, I can hit play, and the music comes through my computer's speakers.  There are no audio tracks in this file.

From what I have read, it seems that you can "freeze" a midi track. (meaning convert it to an audio track.  One video shows someone clicking the freeze icon, and then Cakewalk immediately inserts an audio track, with an audio copy of the midi track.  So, it seems to be a "one track at a time" operation..  Note that the "Freeze" icon seems to be the asterisk. button on each track.  When I press it, it will cause it to change so that the asterisk is now surrounded by brackets... i.e. [*].  But, nothing happens.  The icon does not change color.

One set of instructions said that I don't need to use freeze, and can instead go to File, and then "Select all"... but there is no "select all" in the file menu.  The export menu choice cascades to a list that shows "audio", but it is ghosted.  If I first select all the tracks, and then go to the file menu, there the situation is exactly the same as before.

Any other hints or perhaps a referral to a tutorial somewhere?

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12 hours ago, Joe Dun said:

That did the trick!  Thank you all for sticking with me. 

Now that I am over that long-time hurdle, I am motivated to learn more.  Personally, I find the user manual inadequate.  Perhaps there is  well done series that is beyond a simplistic "getting started", that can carry me into being  "proficient".  I am totally baffled by this TTS-1 track, and the need to unselect the MIDI output devices to get it to appear.  I am not seeking an explanation of them here... but wonder how I should educate myself enough to know these things.

Suggest starting here: https://discuss.cakewalk.com/index.php?/forum/35-tutorials/

 

Be sure not to miss this one! It may appear to start out rather simplistic, but bear with it as some important concepts are introduced.

 

This is a good set of videos created for Sonar, and still applies to Cakewalk by Bandlab. 

Chapter 19 "MIDI Synths" covers inserting TTS-1 and routing MIDI data to it. 

 

Edited by abacab
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Normally when you open a midi file, Cakewalk will create an instrument track at the end containing the TTS1 synth.

Freezing this track on its own is enough to create a mixdown to audio.

However, if all you want to do is export the project as mp3, the easiest way to do it is to use the export module:

export_midi_to_mp3.gif

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TTS-1 is automatically added to a project when a MIDI file is opened AND there is no MIDI output device selected in preferences.

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There are other options available if you don't have a Hardware MIDI module. You can always use Plogue's sforzando to load soundfonts and SFZ libraries, and use those to route MIDI channels through individually.

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2 hours ago, Steve Leverich said:

Yes, but many aspects of those instructions don't match my Win7 system.  So I am unable to follow all of it, and a few hours of effort guessing about how to do the stuff that doesn't match has been fruitless.

Msmcleod, thank you for that video. I was not aware of that export module.  However, I do not have that TTS track that your version creates for some reason. And since you select it to export audio, I am guessing that it is a critical part of the process.

So, in an effort to start fresh, I uninstalled everything from both Cakewalk and Bandlab, and then reinstalled it all again. (this is actually the 2nd time I have done an uninstall/reinstall).  However, it behaves exactly the same. No TTS track.

-Joe

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49 minutes ago, scook said:

TTS-1 is automatically added to a project when a MIDI file is opened AND there is no MIDI output device selected in preferences.

That did the trick!  Thank you all for sticking with me. 

Now that I am over that long-time hurdle, I am motivated to learn more.  Personally, I find the user manual inadequate.  Perhaps there is  well done series that is beyond a simplistic "getting started", that can carry me into being  "proficient".  I am totally baffled by this TTS-1 track, and the need to unselect the MIDI output devices to get it to appear.  I am not seeking an explanation of them here... but wonder how I should educate myself enough to know these things.

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