Downloading .mid files and how to use them properly
PTB
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#1
23rd September 2009
Old 23rd September 2009
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Downloading .mid files and how to use them properly

Ok so I want to remix a few songs and since I can't play the melodies of each instrument, my idea is to download the midi file, import it into my sequencer (live) and trigger the midi notes with a similiar sound from my synth. I'm sure this has been done before and is how cover songs are done by DJs who really don't play an instrument.

So I was able to find a .mid file for the song I wanted but all the notes of each instrument were combined into the 1 file. Therefore when I select a sound it triggers every note of the song instead of just the part it should. (e.g., I choose a piano sound but the piano played the piano, guitar, bass and drum parts.)

Secondly, it imported with a time signature of 3/4 and I work in 4/4. When I changed the signature to 4/4 the melody was still off with the kick and since it's a midi file you can't warp the file to adjust the timing.

What should my approach be to
A) split the midi file to get the notes for each instrument in a seperate track
B) get the time signature to sync with a 4/4 kick
???

Any other tips, techniques, lessons learned, etc is welcomed. I hope this sparks an educated conversation full of knowledge sharing.

Thanks
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23rd September 2009
Old 23rd September 2009
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What DAW are you using?
PTB
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23rd September 2009
Old 23rd September 2009
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Ableton Live 8
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23rd September 2009
Old 23rd September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTB View Post
What should my approach be to
A) split the midi file to get the notes for each instrument in a seperate track
Try Reaper : Problems IMPORTING MIDI FILES [Archive] - Cockos Confederated Forums

More Live users report this phenomenon with MIDI files, so either the import function didn't do something correctly or you have to save the MIDI file in a different way (with separate tracks).

Quote:
B) get the time signature to sync with a 4/4 kick
???
If the original song is in 3/4 you're not going to sync anything automatically. The application does not know where you want to move the notes and what kind of groove you want to play them in. If you want to remix Strauss' Blue Danube into horrible and cheesy commercial trance, no piece of software is going to tell you how it should be played differently.

Quote:
Any other tips, techniques, lessons learned, etc is welcomed.
When you have wasted a lot of time on importing a less than perfect MIDI file and still end up with rubbish, try this:

Analyzing and trying to replay a melody is not as hard as you think it is. Slow the original mp3 down with something like PaceMaker - Customize Winamp Media Player or a wave editor. Play it in short bits. Try to get the basics correct; almost always a MIDI file of a pop song contains a complex arrangement of each separate instrument, while a lot of remixes strip the song down to its essentials; the bassline, the melody and the chord progression.
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23rd September 2009
Old 23rd September 2009
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I needed some ideas recently for rhythms and downloaded some free Salsa/Latin midi files of complete songs. When I imported them into PT M-Powered 8, all the tracks were split out to individual midi tracks with instrument names and such. I'm no midi expert, but this was way cool. It seems like Live is the culprit, try something like Reaper as the other poster suggested.
PTB
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23rd September 2009
Old 23rd September 2009
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Quote:
Try Reaper : Problems IMPORTING MIDI FILES [Archive] - Cockos Confederated Forums

More Live users report this phenomenon with MIDI files, so either the import function didn't do something correctly or you have to save the MIDI file in a different way (with separate tracks).
Thanks. I will check into Reaper to see what that is about. However, I don't have an option to save the midi file in different ways. It was downloaded off of a website as one file. I'll check into the import functionality to see if I could find anything.

Quote:
If the original song is in 3/4 you're not going to sync anything automatically. The application does not know where you want to move the notes and what kind of groove you want to play them in. If you want to remix Strauss' Blue Danube into horrible and cheesy commercial trance, no piece of software is going to tell you how it should be played differently.
Agreed. But if I change the signature to 4/4 the kick should atleast hit on the downbeats in time. There may be no groove and it will probably sound stupid but it shouldn't be off. I've imported midi files before that synced up fairly tight upon import so that's why I'm making that statement.

Quote:
When you have wasted a lot of time on importing a less than perfect MIDI file and still end up with rubbish, try this:

Analyzing and trying to replay a melody is not as hard as you think it is. Slow the original mp3 down with something like PaceMaker - Customize Winamp Media Player or a wave editor. Play it in short bits. Try to get the basics correct; almost always a MIDI file of a pop song contains a complex arrangement of each separate instrument, while a lot of remixes strip the song down to its essentials; the bassline, the melody and the chord progression.
Agreed and I knew I was going to get one of these comments. However, the track in question in a classical song. For me...it's harder to duplicate wind, horn and string instruments compared to a synth bass or melody line. In terms of remixes...I do tend to strip down to 1 or 2 of my favorite elements but in this case...I actually want to keep several of them in for my mix.

I guess I could hire a bunch of musicians to play the parts but it would be nice if I could accomplish it myself with the midi.
PTB
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23rd September 2009
Old 23rd September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarnutz View Post
I needed some ideas recently for rhythms and downloaded some free Salsa/Latin midi files of complete songs. When I imported them into PT M-Powered 8, all the tracks were split out to individual midi tracks with instrument names and such. I'm no midi expert, but this was way cool. It seems like Live is the culprit, try something like Reaper as the other poster suggested.
Pshoo that is

What site did you use to download your midi files?
PTB
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24th September 2009
Old 24th September 2009
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REAPER

YOOZER...I'm looking into Reaper and it looks very interesting. I will post again once I completed a full review. Are you using this?

Thanks for the lead on this.
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24th September 2009
Old 24th September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTB View Post
Agreed and I knew I was going to get one of these comments. However, the track in question in a classical song. For me...it's harder to duplicate wind, horn and string instruments compared to a synth bass or melody line. In terms of remixes...I do tend to strip down to 1 or 2 of my favorite elements but in this case...I actually want to keep several of them in for my mix.

I guess I could hire a bunch of musicians to play the parts but it would be nice if I could accomplish it myself with the midi.
Even if it was a simple song it wasn't meant as a "learn to actually play stuff, damnit" remark

It's more that if the base material turned out to be of inferior quality, the time spent on reverse-engineering it yourself is of more value - and may take as long as trying to convince the MIDI file to behave properly in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTB View Post
Are you using this?
Nope, I've got Ableton Live 8, too. I just never import MIDI files. When I still had a workstation, I once got a CD with a whole load of 'm and meticulously copied each one to DD floppy disks. I have no clue where the CD is now, and I no longer have a floppy drive.

Quote:
Thanks for the lead on this.
You're welcome . It gets quite a bit of praise here on GS.
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24th September 2009
Old 24th September 2009
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Quote:
Even if it was a simple song it wasn't meant as a "learn to actually play stuff, damnit" remark
hahah you read my mind. I know...all good!

Quote:
It's more that if the base material turned out to be of inferior quality, the time spent on reverse-engineering it yourself is of more value - and may take as long as trying to convince the MIDI file to behave properly in the first place.
I agree but to a certain extent. If Reaper can extract a midi file that combines multiple instruments into seperate tracks then that would accomplish the first issue. Of course from there I would then have to figure out a way to play with the timing of each track to work with a typical 4/4 beat. Hmnn maybe this is going to be more trouble then it's worth.

Since the song in question is a classical piece with wind instruments where you can hear the breathing with the playing, etc...I think a better remix would come from recording live musicians rather then trying to re-create it myself with a synth. Plus I don't have synths that replicate violins, flutes and horns.

Maybe I just answered my own question...get live musicians to play the parts I want to keep in the remix and pay them a flat rate for a work for hire service. Then I will have the parts in audio that I can time strecth in Live with warp markers. Talking things out on GS = results!
#11
25th September 2009
Old 25th September 2009
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Cubase can take a midi file and take apart the midi files and seperate them all into their own track... I bet that's what you really want. I had that same trouble...it's called dissolve track I believe.

The only problem after that, is that sometimes it's programmed into the tracks what instrument is used..... Si I had to delete the very start of each track so the automation was not there.

I've only done it one time so I'm far from an expert on it.
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25th September 2009
Old 25th September 2009
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MIDI format 0 = EVERYHTING on one track, looks horrible when out open it in DAW you to process it to separate instruments on different tracks. Most of the DAW's should have this tool somewhere...

MIDI format 1 = all instrments on separate tracks, look nice and clean.

note that many (well programmed to be exact ) MIDI files contain Program Change messages and Controller data, the Program change messages are usually on the beginning of the tracks.
The Program Changes messages are there because the person who made the MIDI wanted it play with same/similar sounds which he had chosen, ofcourse all this in General MIDI enviroment (95% of th time). If you're using non GM-synths, the program change messages mess up things, so it is a god move to delete them right away.
Sometimes there are fade-outs that are done with MIDI volume controller, this rather irritating since it can silence your synth (if it responds to midi volume) and you need the volume controller to bring up the volume again.

so, delete/filter everyhting except note data from the MIDI files (if they contain automation) and your life will be easier.

-Tomi
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25th September 2009
Old 25th September 2009
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Quote:
MIDI format 1 = all instrments on separate tracks, look nice and clean.
By any chance do you know where this function is on Live 8?


Quote:
delete/filter everyhting except note data from the MIDI files (if they contain automation) and your life will be easier.
You're right about the MIDI file containing extra messages. Good tip to execute at the get-go. Now if I can only find a way to assign MIDI format 1 to this MIDI file.
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25th September 2009
Old 25th September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTB View Post
By any chance do you know where this function is on Live 8?




You're right about the MIDI file containing extra messages. Good tip to execute at the get-go. Now if I can only find a way to assign MIDI format 1 to this MIDI file.

MIDI format is determined when it is saved, but there are converters to change format afterwards(i don't konw does live has its own), google for convert midi 0 to 1


-Tomi
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25th September 2009
Old 25th September 2009
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