MIDI Doing Weird Things to Newbies? READ THIS, please!!!

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MIDI Doing Weird Things to Newbies? READ THIS, please!!!

Postby HDB » Sat Jul 24, 2004 1:12 pm

I've noticed a lot of posts that concern MIDI doing things like, jumping in volume, playing wrong instruments, playing louder one time than another, etc.
One of the things that anyone who uses a sequencing program owes to themselves is to learn the Event List Editor. (In Pro Audio it's View>Event List).
This can be your best friend for locating and solving problems in a MIDI file.
It lists every note, and every performance parameter that is recorded on every track. The notes are usually easier to manipulate in the Piano Roll, but if there's something screwy happening to a MIDI track, the Event List is where to go.

People may have different work methods, but I'll tell what I do.

The first thing I do is to insert a GS reset message, if one is not there. (Depending on your module/card, you may want to use a GM or XG message).
I slide all the tracks over two measures, then insert this message to the very beginning of the file, on an empty track.
This basically flushes any information from the card that was in there previously that may cause problems.

Then I check all the tracks individually for performance and patch messages. If there are none there, I insert them.

Click the mouse to the spot in the event list that you want to insert a message.
Click the little yellow star, and it will add an event. Click on the cell that you have just added under "KIND".
Choose what kind of message you want to insert.
Click on the cell under DATA, and enter that info. (#10 is pan, #7 is volume, etc).
Click on the cell under the next column, and enter that number. (In Volume, Chorus, Reverb, etc., the higher the number, up to 127, the stronger the effect. In pan, left is 0, right is 127, and 63-64 is about centered).

The first thing I do is to make sure all the tracks have patch changes corresponding to each instrument that I want to use. Then I'll insert volume, pan, and a bit of reverb or chorus, depending on how I want it to sound at this point. (I don't get totally immersed in these at this stage, I just want to get a mix that's spread out a little and easy to follow. The major instrument choices and tweaking come AFTER I record any audio, or if it's just a MIDI section, when the arrangement is finished).
Now, anytime I play the file, the card(s) reset, and everything is FORCED to do what I want them to do, because I have specifically told them what I want them to do. There should be no confusion to the card(s) about what to do at this point.

If you look through a track in the Event List, you'll see that different kinds of data are different colors. This makes it easy to wade through all the notes.
My patch changes are brown. Maybe, in the middle of a tune, your bass track suddenly starts playing a flugelhorn. There's probably a patch change message in there somewhere. Find it and delete it.
And while you're at it, if there WAS a patch change, there was possibly also some controller data along with it. Delete them. Now, your bass will play all the way through.

"What if I want to paste a file to the end of another file? Won't that 2 measure delay create a gap?"

Yep. So on the file to be pasted, delete the Reset message, and slide the tracks back over to the beginning. As long as you have all your tracks on the pasted file containing patch change and performance messages, then the original reset message may be considered the reset for that entire file. When it reaches the paste location, the tracks should just respond to the messages that you have ensured are there. If you DON'T include messages at the change, the instruments are happy to just keep doing what they were doing before.

The only reason I insert a reset message at the beginning is so I don't have to manually send it each time. And it can always be removed.

After learning about all this the hard way, I learned it's MUCH easier to force the thing to do what I want it to do early on. It's no fun digging through 40 tracks of a file that was pasted together to figure out where to insert or change things.

Anyone would do themselves a HUGE favor by learning all they can about the Event List and Sysex. Frustration levels would drop, and work will flow much more efficiently when you take control of this feature. May be time to crack open the manual again.

Just trying to help :?

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Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 12:19 am

Re: MIDI Doing Weird Things to Newbies? READ THIS, please!!!

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