peoples midi interpritation of songs

Discussion in 'General Sequencing' started by fifis4, Jun 25, 2004.

  1. fifis4

    fifis4 New Member

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    its really bewildering how some of the sequencing mogals out there can sequence a song "gm format" put it out there and when people like me download and listen to them you wonder what the hell is it, how could a person believe that the song accualy sounds like that. i suppose people are entitled to there indiviuality but seriously i wonder what grugs there on some times or maybe even what planet or is it just boardum and they want to be funny............one more question is midi sequencing and performing to a sequence dieing out are we on the endangered list are live bands creeping back into the local pubs or is this just another phase and we electronic muso"s/performers will come back... you have to admit that there is less crap when your on your own or with just one other. dont get me rong i love a good live band but there is a lot of crap involved in keeping a band together..................
  2. voice of god

    voice of god Prodigal Pyjamas Pervert Staff Member Super Mod

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    I wonder what grugs ppl are on too sometimes...

    I hear ya about some of the bad midis and the hassles of a band

    I hope live bands do come back, but there will always be room for solo/midi performers cause of size and noise restrictions at some venues also we probably cost less

    do you sequence?
  3. Graeme

    Graeme New Member

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    In the interest of fairness and to put the other side of the argument - just because a midi file is in 'GM' format, this is no guarantee that it will sound as the composer intended on anything other than what he/she used when building the sequence.

    All GM does for you is to ensure that a particular patch is called up as the same instrument on any GM compatible sound producer. So, a piano is always a piano and a flute is always a flute, etc. (but see below!).

    However, that's the end of it. The real problem is that what one manufacturers piece of software or hardware produces as a 'piano' or 'flute' can be totally different timbre to anothers'. Similarly, the relative volume levels of the different patches could also be different and the quality of the samples can also vary greatly.

    Another thing which can happen is a function of how patches are numbered. Some manufacturers number the patches from 01, whereas others number them from 00 - if the writer of the midi file used one system and the player another, then all the patches are going to be wrong!

    From all of this, it is easy to understand why a 'GM compatible' file can sound so vastly different from what was intended and it's why I would never post midi files of my work. As a writer, if you want someone to hear it the way you do, then the only safe way is to render the midi to audio first.
  4. jeaniesing

    jeaniesing Super Moderator Staff Member Super Mod

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    aww Graeme... such the diplomat! Defender of the weak and helpless... but I have to agree with the gents... I have listened to several of the "pro" demos and ended up sequencing what I needed in disgust. I generally do choral arrangements of what I need though - so my files require a LOT of tweaking (called reworking) for ^^their use...
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2004
  5. fifis4

    fifis4 New Member

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    if i seqyenced i would do it myself but alass i have to relly on others to do it for me.....i have bourght all the gear to do it but alass again cant quite get my head around it and loose interest after a while siting there stareing at the arrange page...........To reply to the other diplomat it isnt the sound that im meaning its the arrangment. i suppose when you see an icon band and they go off on a bender on stage the crowd goes wild maybe thats what the composser is hopeing........as a general rule bourght gm files are all correct and the info is all there maybe the sound is a wee bit ****y but thats what you get and its up to you to fix it to the sound you require :;)
  6. saxmidiman

    saxmidiman Member

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    I suppose it will always come down to the fact that you will always "tweak" a midi file you download whether it's done professionally or not. Live with it. I've had to.

    I'm doing a midi for a guy on midibuddy right now and I'm including all the parts I can hear. It will be my interpretation, but he's going to edit it so it suits his purpose. He'll probably remove the vocal part, the guitar part(s) and maybe adjust the chorus and reverb and volume and pan settings. I think he'll love it just the same.
  7. fifis4

    fifis4 New Member

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    so how can i get a midi file sequenced for me like lou gramm midnight blue have you done it or do you know where to get it
  8. saxmidiman

    saxmidiman Member

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    I'm going to create it from scratch.

    I've never found the song either. I would love to have it for my collection so I'm going to work on it.

    This means I have to listen to the song five million times and try to pick out what each instrument in doing and play it one note after another. It can be painstaking, but worthwhile. I've done it for a few songs in this archive already. Check out Men At Work's Who Can It Be Now for a quick example.
  9. fifis4

    fifis4 New Member

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    well done when its finished let us know.....what have you got in your archive.....can i have a look? maybe ive got some you want
  10. Graeme

    Graeme New Member

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    I wasn't really arguing for one side or the other - merely pointing out that a 'GM compatible' file has its limitations, as do all midi files and you would be lucky if it sounded anything like it sounded to the writer when you played it. Midi is a fine format for composing and for exchanging ideas with other musicians but, as a medium for plain reproduction, it sucks big-time. It never ceases to amaze me that people will download and play midi files as a source of 'music', to be listened to as you would a record or CD.

    Having said that, I agree with you as well. I've heard transcriptions which have made me cringe, because they are basically incorrect musically - but that's another argument entirely.

    I've re-read fifis4's original post and I think that he/she trailed a bit of a red herring when including GM as part of the argument. Poor transcriptions can be (and are) done, no matter what the format. How many times have you bought a piece of sheet music, only to find incorrect notes, chords, etc.,etc?

    However, incorrect parts can not be laid at midi's door, but the person who did the transcribing. If they got it wrong anyway, then it's hardly a midi problem. Midi, in itself, just introduces yet another set of variables where things can go completely wrong (for the reasons I stated earlier).
  11. johnrowley

    johnrowley Member

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    I think the GM is useful for sending files to each other across the globe (quicker than snail mail). I have found as Graeme said earlier re patch numbers on rackmount equipment not being the same! ie EMU classic Keys and a Roland JV880 being 0-127 and 1-128 making me patch the EMU as I used a Roland A80 as a mother keyboard (no sounds on it). I am currently arranging one or 2 songs for a friend to get a feel of the backing and then we will record live vocals and guitar over the drums, strings, piano etc. It it less expensive than time in a studio (unless you have a good home setup). A good tool for musicians to use, but you cannot beat a live performance for adrenaline kick!
  12. iroquail

    iroquail New Member

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    I understand Graeme. Sometimes there can be problems between midi playing devices. If a midi device even playes the instruments at different relative levels then the track can sound radically different. For sure there are some guys that don't seem to be on the same planet when it comes to programming midi, but sometimes even the sequencer will say that midi track doesn't sound like that on his system.
  13. Graeme

    Graeme New Member

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    Unless the two systems concerned were identical, it would be very surprising if it did :) .

    I have nothing against midi - in fact, I love it! It enables me to do things which I could never do 'live'. However, it does have its limitations.

    As a medium for transferring ideas between collaborators it's great. As a medium for displaying one's wares, it's close to useless. I would never publicly post any of my midis in their raw form, only after rendering to audio and mixing.
  14. voice of god

    voice of god Prodigal Pyjamas Pervert Staff Member Super Mod

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    do u sequence any new songs Graeme, like top40 stuff?
  15. kuerbo

    kuerbo New Member

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    I do mainly Rock sequences. Vinnie Moore, Gary Moore, Guitar Stuff i can play along.
  16. Graeme

    Graeme New Member

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    No. Haven't done anything like that for years :eek: .

    For me midi is primarily a composing tool. In the unlikely event I wanted something like that, I'd buy it - it would be cheaper than doing it for myself (time is money, after all).
  17. midiprog2000

    midiprog2000 New Member

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    Hi Graeme,

    You wrote:
    "... Another thing which can happen is a function of how patches are numbered. Some manufacturers number the patches from 01, whereas others number them from 00 - if the writer of the midi file used one system and the player another, then all the patches are going to be wrong! ..."

    This is nonsense !!! A computer "thinks" zero-based, and will start counting from zero. Yamaha does the same with their patch list, but Roland starts counting from 1. However, both will recall "Grand piano 1" from the GM patch list if they receive a Program Change &H00, etc...

    A sound device that is not responding according this GM convention, is not even allowed to use the GM logo !

    Kind regards,
    Alain
    www.mididesign.be
  18. Graeme

    Graeme New Member

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    Then, how come I have fallen foul of this (and so has another poster here)?
  19. midiprog2000

    midiprog2000 New Member

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    Hi Graeme,

    What do you mean ? Have you ever had a GM midifile (with the right GM reset and Program changes) that selects other sounds on your Yamaha than on your Roland ???

    I've sold thousands of midifile to users with all different keyboards, soundcards, sound modules etc... and I NEVER had any problems with wrong selected patches. The only problems I've ever had are keyboards responding in a wrong way to a GM reset sysex message (fi. Solton MS60 resets expression controller (CC 11) to 100, while MMA rules clearly state it should reset a CC 11 to 127).

    I know for sure that the GM patchlist goes from sound &H 00 to &H 7F and this is also stored in the midi file this way. It's not difficult for a keyboard manufacturer to implement this simple convention into his devices, and it has nothing to do with the way he actually displays the patch names and their resp. patch number.

    Are you sure you didn't load an XG file in a GS compatibel device, or vice versa ?

    Or maybe you are entering the program changes manually into Cubase on an Atari computer ? I remember older Cubase versions on Atari counted zero-based (selecting "Grand Piano 1" was done entering a PC 00 !), while all new versions are counting starting on PC 01 (actually stored in the midifile as &H 00).

    Kind regards,
    Alain
  20. Graeme

    Graeme New Member

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    Quite honestly, it's such a long time since this has happened to me, I couldn't give you chapter and verse on why it happened. I just know it's something which I had been caught out by in the past. I've been playing around with this stuff since midi first appeared, so I've almost certainly used devices which weren't totally compliant with the spec :) - maybe that's where the problem arose and things are better now.

    Obviously, under certain conditions, it can still be a problem (see johnrowley's post, above) but I have a pretty stable setup which I rarely change (although I am evaluating new sequencers at this moment) and my midi files are not published for all to play.

    However, I accept your statement that it should not be a problem in the general run of things. Aside from this issue, there are still a load of reasons why one midi file will sound different to different users - even if the transcription is a good one!

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