The MIDI music - for what to make ?
What the MIDI music ?
What a synthetizer ?
Why impassion to realize a MIDI file ?
Technical exploit or artistic realization ?
The MIDI music
- for what to make ?
For some, music lovers or not, the MIDI music, especially in the field of the
classical music is only one artificial substitute of a musical hearing. For other, and even for professionals, the MIDI music is full with promises
and has a series of advantages still little exploited at the present time.
Thus let us try to take stock, to point out the basic concepts of the MIDI music, analysis its weaknesses, its strong points, its promises
also at the bottom of the page for the
realization of soundfiles (WAV, MP3)
What the MIDI
Contrary to the musical files found on the Net (type MP3 is well-known), the
MIDI music is not a recording of a musical execution. The MIDI file is only
composed of instructions intended for a synthetizer.
There is thus no executant, the file is composed of instructions of the type: to
play the flute C 7 with a volume 80 during 1/2 second. For this reason, the MIDI file is extraordinarily compact. 100 times smaller
than a MP3, 1000 times smaller than a file WAV, that which one finds on CD.
On the other hand, the synthetizer can give only mechanized music, like the
barrel organ. There is a priori no sensitivity in a MIDI music, there are notes, cerebral organization, but not of heart.
However, with good to think, the musician, the executant lays out him also
only of notes to transmit his sensitivity. Thus, an organist, would have
it the best organ of the world, does nothing but actuate switches. It
cannot vary the attacks, volume, and its principal asset would thus come
from the quality of the instrument which it uses, and of acoustics of the
quite different, obviously, on a violin, where there are hundred manners
of playing a note, via the gestures of the two hands, the behaviour of the
bow, the subtle movement of the left hand, and so much of other details.
synthetizer, it is all and anything. There are "free" synthetizers (currently
installed on all new PC) and others which cost several thousands of euros.
Same capacities should not be awaited as other. Thus, soundcards installed
at great prices on PC in the Nineties were hardly able to make a complaint
painful, while the current basic model behaves already in a quite
Yes, here, contrary to files MP3, the
MIDI files can be returned in a way completely different according to the
equipment of the PC, without forgetting the system of loudspeakers whose
price also varies from 1 to 100.
Another important factor: the MIDI synthetizer reconstitutes the sound
starting from sound samples. Those can be free, downloaded on the Net, or
to cost more than 1000 euros for one instrument. Here also, the result
will depend largely on the cost.
to establish the dialogue between the computer (or a keyboard) and the
synthetizer, is needed a coherent language. This language is precisely
the MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface).
is a standard. i.e. that the synthetizer or the software for realization
of the files must answer precise characteristics. It is not a question
that a violin on an installation is transformed into trombone on another.
Unfortunately the standard speaks about figures, of formats of the
instructions, it does not approach the quality of the of the sound.
Moreover, it requires only some minimal characteristics. An ordinary
installation will show already characteristics quite higher than the
Thus, the standard requires that the synthetizer be able to play 16
notes simultaneously. This is insufficient for a correct classical
interpretation. 24 is a bare minimum, and 32 or 48 playable notes
simultaneously will allow a listening without chance mishaps.
There are ialso alternatives to this standard. Three under-standards
currently dominate : MIDI GM (lthe original standart), MIDI GS
(chosen officially by Microsoft and developed by Roland ), and Yamaha..
The differences are tiny, but it may be that you hear in certain files
of the abnormal percussions. That often means that the MIDI file was
optimized for a standard different from that of your synthetizer.
MIDI is not a method intended for fortunate people. My MIDI files are
optimized for a modest installation (a soudcard at 100 euros, an acoustic
installation at 70 euros), and a parameter setting correct makes it
possible to obtain sounds resembling to there with ordinary CD, in any
case for the sonority. You can realize it by examining some examples of
MIDI realized in MP3. You will hear it thus such quasi such as it appears
on my PC.
the artistic part is still far from the objectives, a subject which
further we will reconsider. Even if it remains mechanical, which
palpitates in a leader, we try to discover it and adapt it in Midday. I
say ' we' because thanks to the Internet, we try to work in team, which
does nothing but improve our judgement.
impassion to realize a MIDI file ?
needs about 4 to 10 working hours to carry out one minute of correct MIDI
music . Is necessary it to be insane to undertake such a work, when
excellent CD commercial costs hardly more than 10 euros. Moreover, a MIDI
file must mature several months, regularly to be improved and corrected
before being published on the site.
But the realization of a Midi sequence is fisrt a whole splendid method to
learn, discover, a work in-depth. Better than a listening, than a
traditional analysis, than a hearing with the partition, the writing of a
sequence is one marvellous moment of discovery, especially in the presence
of giants of the music like Brahms or Beethoven.
Arnold Schönberg learned besides a broad part of its musical knowledge
while working as copyist during his free times as student.
this reason I prefer to work on the traditional masterpiece, whereas it
would be much simpler to copy less rich works (light music). But to admire
how Schubert organizes such or such topic, such or such harmonization, is
much more of interest than an overture of Offenbach, this known as without
the least pejorative concept.
The Midi music will undoubtedly become what was the piano at the last
century: in the corner of the living room, how much works were mutilated,
while other musicians, future geniuses, made their first difficulties
Currently, the midi music interests many professors of music, for analysis,
but also as working tool.
Lastly, I will add a small detail: the Midi music can
render the greatness of a work (but the technique is still far from being
with the height). Let's think to the modern Organ, which one finds in the
churches or the concert halls, where the electric drive replaced the
decayed system of pneumatic power. They are not here than switches opening
of the pneumatic valves towards the pipes, exactly as in the Midi
technique, if not than the bank of samples is provided infinitely more.
But the interpreter has under the fingers only switches. The rendering of
life of the music is possible by negligible imperfections, the variations
in the length of the notes, or subtle changes of tempo (even and
especially at Bach).
Here details which deserve to be studied, not for the greatness of music,
but by personal curiosity. The executant plays with his brain and his
heart. The brain can be translated into Midi, I remain persuaded that the
heart can be partially translated. But I do not have the audacity to say
to have already arrived there, after 7 years of work on the subject.
exploit or artistic realization ?
received from a visitor of the site, this message left in the guestbook:
music, as a promise of art and not of completed art - because the
completion of the music, it is its listening, and thus its death -
supposes major relations between the interpreter and the partition.
Relations that only the genuine instruments - whose Midi is not that a
memory more or less definite - can clarify. Admittedly, the idea is good,
the gratuitousness also, but all these files betray all that saw and
palpitates in an orchestra. In short, it is classical music without the
Is it necessary, for that reason, to give up my passion, or on the
contrary, to continue my long work, while hoping to better do each time.
I do not think of betraying the composer. Quite to the contrary, I seek
with better knowing it, better including/understanding his work, restoring
his partition with an increased fidelity, with time with other, a personal
touch. I seek to forget the technical side to concentrate me exclusively
on what lives. I seek in turn to put myself at the place of a leader, a
soloist or an executant - sometimes also, of a sound-engineer.
I would like to destroy all my MIDI files old of more than two years.
However, it is the proof of a constant improvement. Because long before
2000, there existed on the Internet of the achievements remarkable,
incomparable, seemed to me there. It is as thanks to the Internet, with
the dialogue between these in love with the music as each one made
enormous progress, that the technique of writing also progressed.
tutorial is available on the site. Although it
is very old (and updated soon, I hope), it makes it possible to find some
basic tricks to surpass a simple transcribing of the partition. It
proposes tips, not done everything things. It shows how to translate the
inevitable small human defects of a real execution. It insists especially
on the study of the pulsation. As repeated it the musicologist Fred .
Goldbeck, the rate/rhythm and measure are two quite different things.
whoever is impassioned by the realization of Midi will quickly find a real
pleasure to conduct 'his' orchestra, awkwardly at the beginning, then,
once the controlled basic technique, progress will appear, very quickly.
is no professor for Midi music. Each one must learn by oneself, by reading
the tutorials, by copying others impassioned. And especially by exchanging
opinions. That they are positive or negative, as soon as they carry out to
a discussion, these exchanges are extraordinarily enriching.
Arrived at this stage, passion overrides the technical exploit. It is what
I wish for who want to begin the realization of Midi. All those which like
the music but ever were likely to study an instrument.
From the MIDI files, it is
also possible for you to create files WAV, to make MP3 or CD of them. This
method is rather complex. For more explanations, click on this button :
There is not a great
realization which was not initially utopia