Question About MIDIs

Discussion in 'General Sequencing' started by Nah!, Feb 3, 2005.

  1. Nah!

    Nah! New Member

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    How come MIDIs sound different on different computers? :confused2 When I listen to a MIDI using "Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth" it sounds different then when I listen to it using "SoundMAX Wavetable Synth". When I make a MIDI, how am I supposed to know what other people are gonna hear when they listen to it? I might hear perfection while they hear complete crap. What can I do? :confused2
  2. ZelRiptha

    ZelRiptha Thnow White but I drifted Staff Member Super Mod

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    That is the nature of MIDI. The end result is entirely dependent on the listener's equipment. MIDI is a lousy music delivery system as compared to digital audio, but it is a handy transport for people creating, making, and sharing music.

    For your own enjoyment, I'd highly recommend downloading a good software synthesizer or piping your MIDI into a hardware device such as a MIDI keyboard or sound module. The Microsoft GS SoftSynth will make the best of files sound crap. :)
  3. Nah!

    Nah! New Member

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    Thanks so much :)
  4. Graeme

    Graeme New Member

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    If you check the archives, you'll find many posts from me warning people about this very problem - midi is not really designed for listening to material, it's a composing tool, which is great for sharing stuff among collaborators, but that's about the end of it.

    If you want people to hear what you hear, you must convert it ('render') to an audio format first. The sounds you hear are then locked into the file and everyone will hear it exactly as you do (with only the differences of audio playback systems to take into account - but they would exist anyway).
  5. Siznitch84

    Siznitch84 New Member

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    THat is true.
  6. Nah!

    Nah! New Member

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    Re: Re: Question About MIDIs

    That is true. :) What about professional MIDI-making companies like Hitrax...all of those MIDIs sound good no matter what synth I use. Or is that just a case of the way they were sequenced (with a MIDI keyboard, not a software program) ?
  7. Graeme

    Graeme New Member

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    Re: Re: Re: Question About MIDIs

    They're certainly well done (usually, anyway) - which is a good starting point. Also, they tend to use 'standard' GM or GS banks - which means that at least the 'right' instrument will be called up when required.

    A lot of home midi users will be using soundfonts or some other 'non-standard' sound generation. Quite often they use patch numbers which fall outside of the accepted ones. Consequently, their tracks can be a bit of a gamble when played on another system.

    I'm as guilty of this sort of thing as anyone else - as long as I can call up the sounds I want, it matters not that they are on the 'wrong' patch numbers, or whatever. However, I would never give any of my midis to anyone (at least, not for simply listening). I always render to audio first.

    Professional midi suppliers take great care to ensure thier product is as universal as it can be. Even so, there will still be a difference in the general sound and balance, depending on which sound engine you use. This is an inescapable fact of life with midi - there is no way to avoid it.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2005
  8. Nah!

    Nah! New Member

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    Thanks so much :)
  9. johnrowley

    johnrowley Member

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    I wondered why the MS Gs Soft synth was so crap. Thanks Zelriptha. I now use the SB Live and load the 8mb soundfonts for more realism. What a difference!
  10. nmenme

    nmenme New Member

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    Soundfonts make a world of difference
  11. fragmare

    fragmare New Member

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    when seriously editing/tweaking midis, i keep an old Creative SB16 Classic sound card around to test how it sounds. I figure if you can make something that sounds decent on ye olde SB16, it'll sound good on just about anything that's more advanced. This may be a little extreme, but it gets results. Besides... you can find SB16s in bargain bins for less than 20 bucks nowadays.
  12. Anno_Anubus

    Anno_Anubus New Member

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    Soundfonts are great if your song is great, but a poorly done MIDI will only sound worse.

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