MIDI on the NET:
IF YOU CANT HEAR BACKGROUND MUSIC within 40 seconds (on this or any page):
FREE MIDI MUSIC FOUND ON THE INTERNET (see further below for LINKS)
BELOW: My Gear (bottom of page), Other Gear, Software, What is MIDI?, MIDI LINKS, HTML, etc
MIDI = "Musical Instrument Digital Interface"
MIDI files are very small (30k-100k) and quick to load (20-50 seconds)
MP3 files are large (3 meg +) and slow to load (dial up) 15 min +
MIDI once recorded or written, has the advantages of:
1) any track can be changed to different sounds: guitars, keyboards, classical instruments (strings, horns, woodwinds), percussion, koto, bagpipes, chimes, bells, marimba, kalimba, steel drums, etc.
2) the tracks automatically provide music notation, and the music score can be printed out.
3) midi tracks can be edited, change notes, pitch, duration, tone
But has the DISADVANTAGE of NO VOCALS
However, www.cakewalk.com HOME STUDIO 2 has its own pre-midi files which can have both MIDI and ANALOG which can be turned into MP3's (but not MIDI).
COMPUTER SOUND CARDS and DRIVERS may vary on QUALITY of SOUND
HTML: more advice about learning & using HTML making WEB PAGES: books, fonts, colors, sound issues http://archure.net/dexter/computeradvice.html
HTML (in pointy brackets, not round like this)
HTML backround sound (bgsound src="http://yourpage/subdir/filename.mid" loop="-1")
loop="-1" is endless, continual replay. Netscape does not support bgsound/
HTML to click and play use (a href=http://yourpage/subdir/filename.mid)click here(/a)
MIDI SOFTWARE: (my gear, see bottom of page) I use "Home Studio 2" by www.cakewalk.com, who also makes SONAR (even better), and some people use PRO TOOLS (hear its $$$$)
MIDI GEAR (see links below to ROLAND, YAMAHA, CASIO, and MIDI.org)
WHAT IS MIDI? with LINKS further below
(Also see www.midi.org )
Most Midi is done with a midi compatible keyboard (inexpensive Yamaha and Casio brand midi keyboards can be found in most music stores such as Sam Ash and The Guitar Center). MIDI IS DIFFERENT than MP3. Midi does not actually capture a musical sound, the keyboard sends a signal to the midi computer program which records which note is being played, when its played, how long its played, what pitch, and what toneality. -OR- one may write music (the slow way) in the computer, inserting notes in staff notation one by one with the mouse. Then when playing a MIDI file "anyname.mid", the signals are sent to the computer, to generate the specific tones as specified. Midi has 127 tones to choose from: several Piano types, harpsicord, flute, sax, trumpet, bassoon, several guitar types, kalimba, chimes, various synthesizer sounds, and a few sound effects such as birds, applause, non-musical guitar fret sounds, and in addition to the 127 sounds, an entire long list of percussive tones (bass drum, snare, conga, etc). One can "lay down tracks" like regular recording, but remember, its not actually capturing sound, so it can not record the human voice. One can lay down 16 midi tracks (actually more, if the other tracks are tied into the initial 16 tracks, the tie ins can not change from the original tracks volume, instrument tone selection, or ballance). Midi has many advantages. One can go into the fine and correct any imperfections, but erasing, adding, or changing midi notes from several viewpoints including actual staff notation (written music, automatically generated). One can copy and paste track segments, just like one can do with MP3, but a midi file is way less file size than an MP3, thus midi files can load in seconds on a slower computer. Most midi files are typically less than 100K, many under 50K. Many top Hollywood TV and Movies have MIDI music backgrounds. Some top musical performers play live music, with additional MIDI tracks backing them up. I use CAKEWALK "Home Studio" software (www.cakewalk.com), which also can lay down audio tracks for MP3 files.
OTHER MIDI INSTRUMENTS:
Include MIDI GUITAR and MIDI DRUMS. Midi Drums are made by Yamaha and Roland, and are available at most major rock music stores such as Sam Ash and The Guitar Center. Midi Drums are totally electronic drums -OR- one can add midi pickups to a regular trap set. MIDI GUIARs come in 2 styles: a non-guitar which one presses the note location to generate a signal (I have never been able to try one), and an actual Midi guitar, with a midi pickup (Archure has a ROLAND as of Oct 2005). There is a different pickup for each string, and a special interface (made by Roland) determins what note is being played on each string, and converts that actual sound wave ("analog signal") to a "digital" midi signal, which is way more complex and difficult than playing a more direct signal keyboard. Midi sound recordings are plagued with additional overtones and undertones (and musical mistakes) which must be edited out (in the Piano Roll view, or Staff Notation view); and when Bending a guitar note, the computer reads this as a series of individual notes. But one has quite a variety of sounds to chose from. You can make a guitar sound like a flute, or a string section of an orchestra, or a sax, or kalimba, steel drums, bells, organ, etc. These midi sounds may sound different on different computer sound cards, and one may play back the midi signals to an external midi keyboard (one per track). One can hook up a bunch of midi instruments (keyboards, guitars, and drums) and record them all at the same time, with each instrument getting its own track (such as a rock band, with all midi gear, which can also output regular non-midi music sounds at the same time. Thus one can record ones performances with "digital" midi, while outputting a regular rock "analog" sound).
One can use the Automated Riff features in a Casio and input it to a midi track (Yamaha has them too, but I have never tried this with a Yamaha). Its a bit complex (read your manual). And when I contacted Casio to ask if I could use the Casio Riffs in my songs and then copyright the songs (copy right the songs, not the already copyrighted casio riffs in my songs), I was given an AOK (nice of them). I exlained it to the copyright office and got an OK from them too. So some of my songs on my SONG page may include Casio automated riffs which have been separated into different tracks and modified.
Conclusions: Midi recording is not for the average brain, it helps if your a genius (genius is officially 140 IQ or 145 IQ, 2 schools of thought), or at least 130 IQ or something (your born with your IQ, cant raise it), and even then it can be quite complex (and the software is way more complex), one must remain calm and study and work at it and call tech support (possibly several times), in order to begin to lay down a first time midi track, due to the complexity of it all which is not well documented. Help files for Cakewalk software are very limited and not clear nor specific enough (but its still a fantastic product, and they have many more software products such as SONAR). Books on midi tend to be very limited, and don't explain much. I am searching for an excellent book on midi (I have a couple of mediocre books on midi). There may be MIDI pickups for other instruments (I know they make a Bass pickup, they have "Wind" pickups, and I think that a Violin might be midi-able), but I am not certain (best to look to ROLAND www.rolandus.com in the USA and www.Midi.org for more info)
WARNING: many MIDI links have changed as of Spring 2004, many MIDI pages have totally gone commercial. So I have removed these and many other links. BEWARE of those links left, I can not guarantee anything. They might spam you or charge you or who knows (I would think the .EDU links to be safe enough).
JS Bach was "The Man" I am convinced his IQ was much higher than they claim, I would guess at least 190 (like Newton).
Sample: Roaring 20's "Thats a Plenty" put to Midi by Gerald Ross, which I modified and enhanced
Betty Kainz's MIDI MAINIA page is great http://midimania.cpsnet.at/
MIDI MUSIC ON THE NET
MIVAULT top quality
Rockin @ UCI.edu
CLASSICAL ARCHIVES classical, excellent sign up required, but excellent JS Bach, Renaissance, Ravel, Debussy
ULTIMATEMIDI LINKS & MORE LINKS
Music Robot pop up ads etc, but quality MIDI links
YAHOO MIDI LINKS
MID LINKS web ring hub
BETTYS MIDI MANIA excellent Original MIDI music, composer
Original MIDI music by a music professor
KEL's Favorite MIDIs good quality rock etc
Lauras MIDI Heaven MIDI Leader on the net
BEATLES fixer uppers
http://www.midifarm.com MIDI FARM poor quality & sign up required (dont bother)
Erins Favorte MIDIs
MIDI Keyboards can do just about everything, and Roland, Casio, and
Yamaha are of the upmost quality at a reasonable price.
For MIDI Guitar search for Roland GR-20 (polyphonic), and now "Zoom" has MIDI guitar (might be only monophonic), have not tried it, but Zoom has an excellent reputation for guitar effects pedals
Roland www.rolandus.com EDIROL (keyboards) and DRUMS
Yamaha http://www.yamahamusicsoft.com/ MIDI etc, main link
Yamaha http://www.yamahasynth.com/ Drums & Synthsizers
mediocre & Pop up ads
HOW CAN I SAVE MIDI FILES?
MIDI's which you hear on your computer, are in your "Temporary Internet Folder" (inside Windows directory),
and all the pictures you see on your screen are also stored in that
folder. (Once you see that folder, you can, before opening it, Right
Click the Mouse on the folder, and select MAKE SHORTCUT, then the SHORTCUT ICON
will appear in the Windows Subdirectory, drag the Icon to the DESKTOP (or copy
and past it to the Desktop). This not only can access your folder for
getting MIDI's and Pictures (you must COPY them out, can't open them in that
folder, and you can't MOVE them, only COPY them), THIS ALSO SERVES to have a
quick and handy way of DELETING COOKIES (that is what cookies are, wait till you
see what trash they stick in your cookie jar).
C:\Documents and Settings\Admin\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files
You can not play them there, but you can copy (not Move) them to another folder, then click on them to play (same with MP3 or JPG files).
I find crummy MIDIs and I fix them, correct notes, change the sounds, spearation
of sound, and I make my own MIDIs as well (copyright my own songs).
TO INSTALL MIDI's on YOUR WEB PAGES
First upload it as you would a .jpg or .gif THEN
If you include the following HTML on your web page (anywhere on the page)
<bgsound src="http://www.yourpage.net/subdir/songname.mid" loop="-1">
(you may loop it as many times as you like, negative 1 = endless)
More about HTML (web page code), I use these books:
HTML Goodies by Burns
HTML Pocket Reference by Niederst published by O'Reilly Books,
Design in a Nutshell by O'Reilly Books www.oreilly.com
And more Detailed O'Reilly books on HTML include HTML The Definitive Guide,
HTML & XHTML, and Dynamic HTML (reference books which I don't use too often, but have some details the others don't have).
If you start with the first 3 you'd be in great shape, but if you had to have just one, HTML Goodies by Burns, great way to go, very clear and easy to use.
You can post your MIDI files at your own web pages (such as www.Yahoo.com for $11.95/mo (or cheaper) you can have your own domain name in a .com or .net or .org and post your MIDI files, jpg's etc). I don't think you can store your MIDI files at MSN TV or WEB TV, but you can store your jpgs.
MIDI's take up much less space than MP3 or even .wav files.
Once again YAHOO comes highly recommended, a good deal, as per many experts whom
I have talked with.
+ + ------------- + -------- ++ ----- +++ ---
HIGH I.Q.s ONLY BEYOND THIS POINT advised
(and even then you gotta be crazy or will be).
+ + ------------- + -------- ++ ----- +++ ---
You can make your own MIDI files (or edit ones you find on the net, good way to learn midi) by using CAKEWALK software
www.cakewalk.com for around $100 (confusing, but excellent), they also now make "SONAR".
NOTE: PRICES HAVE VARRIED SINCE I FIRST WROTE THIS (year unknown, 2003?)
I got a refurbished Casio CTK-611 at the ("Bellz") outlet mall (Casio store),
for under $100, and it is of exceptional quality, both for MIDI and live
performance, or plugging in headphones and practicing. Other equipment such as
Drums are more expensive, and Midi guitar pickups (analog to digital
converter of the highest MIDI capabilities, are expensive and difficult, that's why my MIDI's which I write, previously did not have guitar on them. I have studied guitar all my life and jammed with famous stars, I am excellent and I got my "Squire Strat" guitar (made in China)hooked up to MIDI as of Oct 2005;
But if you can begin to play keyboards, have some PC experience, and are a top IQ level such as a genius (in order to deal with MIDI, very confusing), and with a good "ear" (tallent)
for music, then perhaps you can get started for $200
to $300 (software and keyboard total).
MIDI never quite works like they explain it, you just gotta mess with it long enough, and the documentation in Books and Net must have been written 20 years ago by one person who thought they knew what they were talking about, and everyone has since
copied their text. You just have to mess with it. Lots of guessing in the
dark, and trying different things with no instruction manual.
Yamaha makes MIDI keyboards, drums, guitars (Yamaha is one of the top leaders in the world of MIDI). Roland makes MIDI Guitars (that is what I need, a midi guitar).
Music I listen to (my favorites) www.archure.net/music/listen.html
I have posted my own MIDI files www.archure.net/music/rock.html. I have an AA in Music and an AS in CIM and the Cakewalk is no piece of cake, yet it is a masterpiece but you gotta learn how to use it, and even then, I hear the complaints from experts. But its worth it. (It has a Time Delay recording problem, and an overload issue: I am playing along in midi, and it overloads & reboots my computer; and other issues. But its a Tremendously Valuable Tool, and I hope to eventually work around any problems. I had both the Cakewalk 9 and Cakewalk Express (older versions) but now have "HOME STUDIO 2" and its all very nice, but exteemly complex
Unbelievable, Sensational, once you get the hang of it. BUT YOUR ON YOUR OWN (till I can find a good book on MIDI).
Casio CTK-611 keyboard (refurb) at Bellz in Las Vegas for less than $100 around 2001 (why pay more?).
The CASIO has nice automated riffs, which can be picked up by midi software. It's not easy nor clear on how to do it, but I have, one can eventually figure it out, hire 100 monkeys, and put them in front of typewriters, and you have the Technical Writing Staff for all known MIDI documentation)
EDIROL PCR-M50 keyboard (newly aquired FALL 2006)
This unit is cheap (quoted the online Sam Ash price at a Sam Ash store and they gave me the online discount, thanks).
But many of the features (greater control of midi signal) are a bit complex. With more time and experience it may be more valuable than the Casio (but Casio is very nice, and easier, and Analog, while the EDIROL appears to be MIDI digital for computers only).
EDIROL is made by ROLAND (leaders in MIDI)
SOFTWARE: Cakewalk "HOME STUDIO 2" www.cakewalk.com also makes "SONAR"
GUITAR MIDI: Roland GK-3 guitar pickup & Roland GR20 converter on a Squire Strat (made in China) or Gibson ES-335 (on songs dated as of Feb 2007). I prefer a Strat neck, but the action on the Gibson is easier to vary (which I like to do), and the GK-3 pickup fits perfectly (very important for MIDI quality) on a Gibson bridge. I understand that "ZOOM" (love my old non-midi analog "2020 ZOOM", thanks to the advice of old friend Marcus McCallen) new ZOOM units (2006) now have a MIDI in/out; but is it Polyphonic? (many tones at a time, a different pickup for each string, like the GK-3) or most likely just Monophonic? (one note at a time). The Roland GR20 has both MIDI and Analog inputs, and can provide excellent LIVE performances with MIDI sounds and riffs and tricks (excellent SITAR sound, unlike most sound cards). But when recording MIDI GUITAR, one must do lots of EDITING to get rid of unintended overtones and undertones, lots and lots of editing, but well worth it.
for other excellent gear brand names see
The music on this page "La Magdalena" by Pierre Attaignant, I found at www.classicalarchives.com then I altered the midi file
merly by changing the instruments (GOOD WAY TO LEARN MIDI, GET SOME FILES, SEE WHAT THEY HAVE, MAKE A "COPY2" OF IT AND PLAY AROUND WITH IT). And in this case, I re-wrote the 1st 14 measures (to match the recorded version of "NOSTRADAMUS" (music from his erra, not by Nostradamus himself) on the Chacra lable