Midi vs. MP3 for Live Performance

Discussion in 'General Sequencing' started by Rankinfile, Jul 27, 2003.

  1. Rankinfile

    Rankinfile Guardian Angel

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    Do any of you live performers out there use mp3 recordings of your midi files when you play instead of a midi file through a keyboard or sound module? Just curious as to the sound and quality difference and if anyone has a personal preference.

    I use midi files with a Roland XP-60 for live performance but always have a problem with sound output equalization of songs (always tweaking) and I think it would be great to just normalize an mp3, stick it in a player and go! Any opinions???
  2. Jobu

    Jobu New Member

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    "have a problem with sound output equalization of songs (always tweaking)"

    Are you sure the problem is the output of the sequencer? I had similar problems until I started tuning the PA system to each different room. I purchased an RTA unit to do this but it can be done by ear using a 31 band EQ (wouldnt suggest less than 31 band). Once you tune the system you will get more consistent results.

    I started out using MIDI through a Korg Synth/Sequencer then switched to MP3. I found the MP3 route more versatile, better sounding, cheaper & convenient. Bought one of the MP3 CD players and can fit about 120 songs at a decent sample rate (160). Playback was mostly faster and navigation from song to song was fairly simple (I would burn the songs to disk in order for that nights sets... ie. 101 thissong - would be the first song of the first set, 203 thatsong - would be the third song of the second set, then any song that wasnt on the set lists I would burn in alphabetical order). The sound quality was vastly superior as I could use real sampled drums, bass, piano etc. and I could do post production on the audio file before I mixed down and burnt to a CD.
  3. Rankinfile

    Rankinfile Guardian Angel

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    Jobu--

    Just wondering about your transfer to mp3 procedure for optimum quality. Did you take the stereo outs from your Korg into your computer using a program like Total Recorder to capture and digitize the audio? I'd like to give the mp3 route a try but heard someone locally who had a very tinny quality to his sound using this route. Maybe he just wasn't eq'd properly.
  4. Jobu

    Jobu New Member

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    "Did you take the stereo outs from your Korg into your computer using a program like Total Recorder to capture and digitize the audio?"

    Did away with the Korg completely...

    Original Setup:
    Korg N1(?? not positive on Model#) - $1400

    Replacement setup:
    SBLive mp3+ Soundcard - $85
    Cakewalk Pro Audio 9 - $99
    MP3 CD Player - $149 (this was a few years back, now they are much cheaper)
    Soundfonts (samples) - Free via the internet
    Audio Compositor - $40 (renders Midi files to Wav files)

    the process I used was as follows:

    1) Sequence MIDI files in Cakewalk 9 and save to a .mid file.
    2) Open .mid file in Audio Compositor and render each track to a seperate .wav file.
    3) Import wav files into cakewalk 9.
    4) add FX as needed and save file.
    5) Playback track from soundcard through PA setup (making sure system was EQ'ed to practice room) and (5.1) tweak individual track levels as needed.
    6) Once levels were set I would mix down to a stereo track. Left channel for click track, right channel for backing track.
    7) Save file again then convert stereo mix down to an MP3.
    8) Burn to CD and playback mp3, through PA system, on MP3 CD player and note any minor adjustments to instruments that needed to be made.
    9) repeat steps 5.1 thru 8 until satisfied with track.

    what was also nice about using the computer and not a stand alone sequencer was that I could record audio tracks that I didnt want MIDI sequenced (perhaps a Bass track, 3rd Rhythm guitar part etc.). The SBLive soundcard wasnt the greatest for recording live instruments (noisy) but I have since added a better recording card and use the SBLive for my MIDI sounds (Soundfonts).
  5. Rankinfile

    Rankinfile Guardian Angel

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    Sounds like a lot of work Jobu but I'll give it a try. Thanks. Anyone else have an opinion on which is better?

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