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Why MIDI?

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I am new to this site, submitted a few minutes ago. But the thing that keeps bothering me is why many musicians around here attach .mid files. Redered MIDI sounds awful. It's the same amount of work if you do it in other programs using Refills (reason) or VST's (Cubase, Protools, etc). And they can sound great. They are also user-friendly. Come on guys, let's make a touch to the sound of our work ! Otherwise, I (and the most, I'm sure) can't get touched by the music.

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General MIDI is really just a convenient format owing to its small file size and standardization. A lot of the people here approach composition from the perspective of what the notes are, as opposed to what the rendition sounds like (in the absence of a live performance at least), so to this end, MIDI is quite viable.

We do plan to add the ability to upload MP3 files to the site, but this will be introduced as part of a large-scale change which is still in the works.

As for samples, feel free to make use of them if you've got them - a lot of people haven't.

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I kind of agree with you. I can't really imaging people being fullfilt with their works they spent days on sounding like midi. But not everybody has a soundlibrary.

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I can't afford Reason. Or Logic. Or Cubase. Or samples. I can't afford Finale 2009 with VSTs and all that glamourous sound stuff, or a computer powerful enough to run any of that. My scores are the important part, we just use MIDI as a tool for those of us who can't hear every note in a score just by looking at it. Also, you DO need to put more work into VST'd recordings - or at least that's what I've heard.

Also, MIDI is not bad for some styles of piano writing. Works fine and gets the point across that the composer (hopefully) intended. Point is - unless we're into incidental or electronic music, the score is the important part, not an audio representation of it.

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its not the same amount of work

if you write it in a notation program you can save it as midi.

.mid is NOT a rendered midi file

if you want to make it sound nice, you need to put in alot of effort...

all the articulations have to be redone. in a big orchestral piece, thats a whole friggin lot

i usually do it though because i like to take a glympse of how it will sound. :)

and on a personal note, i am not exactly fulfilled with a properly sampled piece either (with properly i mean VSL with perf.tool), actually it only makes me crave even more to hear it live.. :)

edit:

come to think of it, ive spent days just tweaking the sound of the piece in Logic... while it was completely scored. but to be honest, a good sound was sort of inspiration for some parts which made me rewrite some of it.. :)

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Work with whatever you're comfortable with and can afford.

I never review a piece of music by listening to it (though I *do* listen to it!), I review it by reading it. A sound representation is just that, a representation.

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Yeah, I go almost completely by the score too, at least if there's no live recording. But apart from that, I prefer a midi in many cases to a half-assed sample rendering that tries to sound realistic without really managing to. With midi it is perfectly clear that it's not how it really should sound, but a mere representation. With samples the danger is greater that you're basing your impression on the sound you hear, and not your imagination, which can be rather misleading when it comes to orchestration questions. You might then try to make a piece that is actually intended for live performers sound good with your sample library, instead of optimizing it for how it would actually sound on stage, which is often a quite different thing. With midi this danger is less prevalent, since it sounds so obviously "unrealistic" in the first place.

I'm not saying that a good sample rending is not valid for some uses, but a MIDI file does what it's supposed to do perfectly fine - give a quick impression of the piece's structure/harmony/etc.

Personally though, I generally refuse to put up any midi/sound files of my pieces at all, unless they are live recordings. (But so far I've only uploaded pieces where I did have a live recording anyways.)

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i don't know, for some reason i'd like to hear better renditions of scores, one could as well say - score is just a bone with no flesh and skin, and we all know most of us have similar bone structures, but very very different outlook.

and - if one thinks not in notational terms, but sounds as such, would it not make saying 'sound is represention(of a score)' to some degree, well, to put it mildly, not correct? in this case 'score is a representation of a sound' would be true which is direct opposition of prementioned one.

so, yes, if one thinks in terms of structure and so on as being essential, notation is enough and midi isn't even needed.

if one thinks in terms of sound, notation is not enough and even secondary, while the actual sound file is a must.

i believe an actual sound file (if it has been worked with hard) may fulfill the function of a score (of course it's not how it works, but just because writing and copying was invented much earlier than sound recording.

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It really depends on what you're writing for. If, like a lot of the composers here, you're writing specifically for live performance (even if you don't expect it to be performed), there's nothing wrong with a score and a MIDI file to follow along with. Everybody here knows the caveat that goes along with General MIDI, and nobody is going to look down on you if you've got an obviously well put together piece and score, but a really cheesy sounding MIDI file.

Other people around here compose for film/tv/games, and since none of us are big enough to get a live orchestra to record our scores all the time, we have to make realistic sounding cues using samples to continue being hired.

Like I said, it really depends on what you're writing for.

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and - if one thinks not in notational terms, but sounds as such, would it not make saying 'sound is represention(of a score)' to some degree, well, to put it mildly, not correct? in this case 'score is a representation of a sound' would be true which is direct opposition of prementioned one.

Yes, certainly the score is a representation of the intended sound. It is however not a representation of the sample/midi sound, unless piece is intended for that medium. If the intended medium is a live performance, both the score and a midi or sample file are mere representations and the deciding factor becomes how they represent the intention, and how helpful this is to get a "good impression" of the piece. I'm clearly not saying that there's one single, optimal way of representation, as this depends both on the piece and the listener/viewer.

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Yes, certainly the score is a representation of the intended sound. It is however not a representation of the sample/midi sound, unless piece is intended for that medium. If the intended medium is a live performance, both the score and a midi or sample file are mere representations and the deciding factor becomes how accurately they represent the intention.

well, yes, but one can work samples with additional editing to sound very much like live performance, except for insignificant factors like the size of hall it is performed in and such. it is like painting - it changes little if it is placed in different museums and so on. (i'm not arguing for conceptual things here) and of course, as you maybe know, i cannot write scores, though i believe my acoustic music could be and sounds very much like i would want it to sound if it was performed, so, i do it imagining live performance and the sound and the way it moves, but being not able to write scores and not thinking in terms of notes, chords, progressions as they are written down, i must try and make it sound as if it was real performance. for how else could i find pleasure in my work? and, doing that, i must imagine how it (imaginate performance) could be worked out without me writing notes.

maybe i misinterpreted something, i'm sorry then.

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Well, I also used the term "half-assed sample rendering", which clearly doesn't go as far as creating an almost realistic impression of the actual sound. A sample rendering that is created with great care can indeed be rather accurate.

Personally, I still like a score though, because it lets me go through the music at my own pace and look at certain things closely. But I certainly don't mind if it's accompanied by a recording or good sample rendering.

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I can't afford Reason. Or Logic. Or Cubase. Or samples. I can't afford Finale 2009 with VSTs and all that glamourous sound stuff, or a computer powerful enough to run any of that. My scores are the important part, we just use MIDI as a tool for those of us who can't hear every note in a score just by looking at it. Also, you DO need to put more work into VST'd recordings - or at least that's what I've heard.

Also, MIDI is not bad for some styles of piano writing. Works fine and gets the point across that the composer (hopefully) intended. Point is - unless we're into incidental or electronic music, the score is the important part, not an audio representation of it.

These programs are readily available for "borrowing" from "certain places" on the internet :toothygrin:

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These programs are readily available for "borrowing" from "certain places" on the internet :toothygrin:
Be aware that there are rules against posting links or directions to cracked software, and it can get you banned.

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Well, I also used the term "half-assed sample rendering", which clearly doesn't go as far as creating an almost realistic impression of the actual sound. A sample rendering that is created with great care can indeed be rather accurate.

Personally, I still like a score though, because it lets me go through the music at my own pace and look at certain things closely. But I certainly don't mind if it's accompanied by a recording or good sample rendering.

fair enough ;)

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In US copyright law sound recording is treated as a special intellectual property, designated the symbol ℗. The design of the music itself (melody, lyrics) is regarded as the same kind of intellectual property as say, literary works. They are designated the symbol

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I think it's because it's easy to export to a .mid, it's a really small file, and it works on any program. I use something nobody else here probably uses, because I run linux, and that's MuseScore (and sometimes Rosegarden) and thsoe two programs save as a .ms and .rg, I can export it to other types of universal files, but .mid is the smallest and most convenient to up/download.

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What if someone writes on PURPOSE for a "crappy midi" soundset?

What if the score is actually a poorly rendered version of that midi in a notation software, with all the errors (like absurd triplet figures, etc) uncorrected?

I've been thinking about that for a while, lol.

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Well, in addition...

Beginning composers (which is most of the population here, including myself) cannot use these programs properly. There are simply too many options in them. For example, if the piece itself has poor orchestration, these samples can be used to cover up the problems or blur them. That is simply unacceptable.

Also, the midi doesn't REALLY sound that much different from real instruments. There are some techniques such as Colle bowing, Vibrato, etc.. that the midi doesn't do very well but for how easy it is to use it gives a pretty good rendition of a live performance.

Basically, the transparency of the format is what shows the true colors of the composer. If you want your music to "sound good" then write it better. If you want it to sound like real instruments, then hire a sound engineer.

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What if someone writes on PURPOSE for a "crappy midi" soundset?

What if the score is actually a poorly rendered version of that midi in a notation software, with all the errors (like absurd triplet figures, etc) uncorrected?

I've been thinking about that for a while, lol.

That's why I specifically said "unless the piece is intended for that medium"!

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Also, the midi doesn't REALLY sound that much different from real instruments.

Oh.... I beg to differ..

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Basically, the transparency of the format is what shows the true colors of the composer. If you want your music to "sound good" then write it better. If you want it to sound like real instruments, then hire a sound engineer.

i am a sound engineer :P

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Oh.... I beg to differ..

I think it all comes with conditioning and a breaking of preconceptions. Maybe some imagination can help too... lol. But what I basically did was listen to real orchestras play a piece and then find a midi rendition of said piece. In the end, the midi sounded much closer to real life than I expected. And that's how it has remained for me now. It's training :P

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