Editing Midi files on Mac?

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BazC
Posts: 11

Post by BazC »

One problem I have with many midi files I find on the net is that left and right hand parts are on the same midi channel. It would be great to separate them for easier practicing. Hopefully this will be possible in a future version of Synthesia but until then does anyone know of and app that will do this on Macintosh?
Nicholas
Posts: 12608

Post by Nicholas »

Would Garageband be any good at that? I haven't used it much, but it seems like you should be able to draw a box around certain notes in MIDI tracks, and cut/paste them.

In either case, regarding future support for splitting that track up in the game, I've thought of a couple solutions, one high tech and one simpler. The high tech one would involve telling the game "this is the piano track I'd like you to split" and the game would model a pair of hands and find the mathematically simplest fingering (it's a resource allocation problem: 10 fingers, none of which like to travel very far too fast, with a few extra constraints like "each finger in this set of 5 has to stay within a certain number of keys of each other"), and then break the track based on which virtual hand played it.

That's super geeky and sounds like a lot of fun to program, but it's a really hard problem (part of the appeal ;) ) and wouldn't ever be perfect.

So, an alternate solution, is that in a strange sort of paused game mode where you can freely scroll the music up and down (maybe via Google-maps style "grab-and-drag" panning) you would just draw a line down the entire song where the split should occur for that instrument. (Granted, it becomes a less graceful solution when there are hand-over-hand piano parts, but those are at least pretty rare early on in the difficulty curve.) You'd only have to do the drawing once, because the game could either save the resulting spline, or let you write out a new MIDI file entirely where the track has actually been split.

That one involves a bit of interface work to allow the line drawing/free-scrolling, but is otherwise pretty simple. While there are a handful of things left to do that are still a really high priority, the track-splitting problem is climbing up there. It's certainly coming this year, and I daresay I might get to it in the next 6 months or so.
BazC
Posts: 11

Post by BazC »

Hi Nicholas

I don't think Garageband will export Midi files, at least I can't find any way to do it. I'm not using the latest version though.

I think your second "manual" method sounds great, even better if you can drag select groups of notes, that would allow separation of parts where the hands overlap. I'd also prefer to export a modified midi file rather than Synthesia just remembering any changes.

It would also be cool if we could change the midi instrument for each track, maybe that's an upcoming feature already though.
Nicholas
Posts: 12608

Post by Nicholas »

Oh, that's right, I did have to find a little freeware thing out there on the net to turn Garageband files into MIDI files (and it wasn't a very clean conversion).

And even tying in your "changing instruments" suggestion, I could see a way to have both the "export" thing and the "save your settings" idea work in tandem:

So, some users aren't interested in the hassle of managing more than one set of MIDI files with different split tracks, changed instruments and whatnot, so they could just let the game manage it and always load the original file they downloaded. While others -- yourself included -- would like to be able to export the songs using the new settings. So, rather than building an "export" feature into the track-splitting interface specifically, I could just add a general "export this song using my current settings" that would capture track splitting, instrument changes, and maybe even cut tracks out that you had muted at the time.

Not quite your typical MIDI editing features, but a nice little set that can perform some common operations. With a general purpose "export", it'll be easy to add more in the future, too.
BazC
Posts: 11

Post by BazC »

Nicholas wrote: I could just add a general "export this song using my current settings" that would capture track splitting, instrument changes, and maybe even cut tracks out that you had muted at the time.
Sounds good to me! :D
BazC
Posts: 11

Post by BazC »

I just discovered Finale Notepad, free for use on Windows and Mac. It's a little clumsy for editing existing midi files but it will do the job and is great for creating sheet music/midi files from scratch!

http://www.finalemusic.com/notepad/
tommai78101
Posts: 762

Post by tommai78101 »

That's not good for beginners. Wish there's GPL/GNU, MIDI editing, easy-to-edit, cross-platform, program.

Linux has Rosegarden, wish there's one for Windows and Mac also.
Hardware Information: Windows Vista Home Premium SP1, 358MB Mobile Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100, Synthesia 0.7.1 preview r697, 2 GB DDRAM, 1.6 GHz Intel Pentium Dual-Core Processor T2330, Acer Aspire 5720-4126
New Hardware Information: Windows 10 Pro, 2GB Nvidia GeForce 860M, 8GB RAM, 1.7GHz Core-i5 4210U, Alienware 13 R1.
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