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MIDI Files

 
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0db



Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 36
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:25 am    Post subject: MIDI Files Reply with quote

I have absolutely no experience working with MIDI files, but have found (in Sweden, of all places!) a treasure trove of freely downloadable ragtime music, in the MIDI format. Amadeus opens these files with no problems.

Normally, I don't use any sort of compression- I do all my stuff in the aiff format. These MIDI files, however, are very small, a three minute file is typically about 20kb. This suggests that some sort of fairly severe compression was involved here, and that it might be a waste of HD space to convert and save these as aiff files.

Has anyone any thoughts on this? A quick and dirty MIDI primer, perhaps, or a pointer to a good info source?

Thanks

0db
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CDJonah_alt



Joined: 15 Mar 2007
Posts: 378

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:44 am    Post subject: MIDI Files Reply with quote

Check
http://www.answers.com/topic/midi

http://www.answers.com/topic/midi-file?cat=technology

The first will show you the difference between midi and normal sound,
the second will tell you more than you want to know.

In some senses it is like a page of text -- it doesn't take a very big
file to express the data on the page if one considers characters but it
takes a lot if one scans it and one describes the page, pixel by pixel,
whether it is black or white. In the midi sense, things are expressed
as pitch, duration and instrument, which is much shorter than describing
the signal as a function of time.

Chuck


0db wrote:
Quote:
I have absolutely no experience working with MIDI files, but have found (in Sweden, of all places!) a treasure trove of freely downloadable ragtime music, in the MIDI format. Amadeus opens these files with no problems.

Normally, I don't use any sort of compression- I do all my stuff in the aiff format. These MIDI files, however, are very small, a three minute file is typically about 20kb. This suggests that some sort of fairly severe compression was involved here, and that it might be a waste of HD space to convert and save these as aiff files.

Has anyone any thoughts on this? A quick and dirty MIDI primer, perhaps, or a pointer to a good info source?

Thanks

0db




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0db



Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 36
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:21 am    Post subject: MIDI Reply with quote

Mr Jonah: After reading both sources, it looks like it won't hurt to convert the MIDI files to aiff for further processing.

Thanks for the helpful info.

0db
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CDJonah_alt



Joined: 15 Mar 2007
Posts: 378

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:48 pm    Post subject: MIDI Files Reply with quote

The quality of sound you will get from a midi will be strongly
dependent on the quality of the "instrument" that interprets the sound.
Also, with the midi, it is relatively simple to change tempo, do
ritards, change individual notes, etc. Once you convert to aiff it is
very difficult. (As it is easy to change a sentence into bold face in
the middle of a word file, but very difficult if you just have a scan of
the page).

So, it depends a lot on how you want to process the data.

You could take a look at a program called "Melody Assistant", which will
read the midi in, convert it to musical notation, at which time you can
do lots of different things. (You can download a demo version that will
let you do everything except save the results). If you do read a midi
in, you will need to worry about the question of quantization of the
input. I am certain there are lots of programs out there that will do
it, but that is the one I use. (For a group I sing with, the music is
scanned in, converted to midis. I then manipulate it, save in aiff form
and then create practice CDs).

Chuck

0db wrote:
Quote:
Mr Jonah: After reading both sources, it looks like it won't hurt to convert the MIDI files to aiff for further processing.

Thanks for the helpful info.

0db




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--
Charles D. Jonah CDJonah@anl.gov
630-252-3471
Chemistry Division
Argonne National Laboratory
Argonne, IL 60439



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