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General MIDI Level 1 Sound Set
 

General MIDI's most recognized feature is the defined list of sounds or "patches". However, General MIDI does not actually define the way the sound will be reproduced, only the name of that sound.

Though this can obviously result in wide variations in performance from the same song data on different GM sound sources, the authors of General MIDI felt it important to allow each manufacturer to have their own ideas and express their personal aesthetics when it comes to picking the exact timbres for each sound.

Each manufacturer must insure that their sounds provide an acceptable representation of song data written for General MIDI. Guidelines for developing GM compatible sound sets and song data are available through the MMA.

  • The names of the instruments indicate what sort of sound will be heard when that instrument number (MIDI Program Change or "PC#") is selected on the GM1 synthesizer.
  • These sounds are the same for all MIDI Channels except Channel 10, which has only percussion sounds and some sound "effects". (See "GM1 Percussion Key Map" )

General MIDI Level 1 Instrument Families

The General MIDI Level 1 instrument sounds are grouped by families. In each family are 8 specific instruments.
PC# Family Name PC# Family Name
1-8 Piano  65-72  Reed
 9-16 Chromatic Percussion 73-80 Pipe
17-24 Organ 81-88 Synth Lead
25-32 Guitar 89-96 Synth Pad
33-40 Bass 97-104 Synth Effects
41-48 Strings 105-112 Ethnic
49-56 Ensemble 113-120 Percussive
57-64  Brass  121-128  Sound Effects

General MIDI Level 1 Instrument Patch Map

Note: While GM1 does not define the actual characteristics of any sounds, the names in parentheses after each of the synth leads, pads, and sound effects are, in particular, intended only as guides).
PC#Instrument NamePC#Instrument Name
1.Acoustic Grand Piano65.Soprano Sax
2.Bright Acoustic Piano66.Alto Sax
3.Electric Grand Piano67.Tenor Sax
4.Honky-tonk Piano68.Baritone Sax
5.Electric Piano 169.Oboe
6.Electric Piano 270.English Horn
7.Harpsichord71.Bassoon
8.Clavi72.Clarinet
9.Celesta73.Piccolo
10.Glockenspiel74.Flute
11.Music Box75.Recorder
12.Vibraphone76.Pan Flute
13.Marimba77.Blown Bottle
14.Xylophone78.Shakuhachi
15.Tubular Bells79.Whistle
16.Dulcimer80.Ocarina
17.Drawbar Organ81.Lead 1 (square)
18.Percussive Organ 82.Lead 2 (sawtooth)
19.Rock Organ83.Lead 3 (calliope)
20.Church Organ84.Lead 4 (chiff)
21.Reed Organ85.Lead 5 (charang)
22.Accordion86.Lead 6 (voice)
23.Harmonica87.Lead 7 (fifths)
24.Tango Accordion88.Lead 8 (bass + lead)
25.Acoustic Guitar (nylon)89.Pad 1 (new age)
26.Acoustic Guitar (steel)90.Pad 2 (warm)
27.Electric Guitar (jazz)91.Pad 3 (polysynth)
28.Electric Guitar (clean)92.Pad 4 (choir)
29.Electric Guitar (muted)93.Pad 5 (bowed)
30.Overdriven Guitar94.Pad 6 (metallic)
31.Distortion Guitar95.Pad 7 (halo)
32.Guitar harmonics96.Pad 8 (sweep)
33.Acoustic Bass97.FX 1 (rain)
34.Electric Bass (finger)98.FX 2 (soundtrack)
35.Electric Bass (pick)99.FX 3 (crystal)
36.Fretless Bass100.FX 4 (atmosphere)
37.Slap Bass 1 101.FX 5 (brightness)
38.Slap Bass 2 102.FX 6 (goblins)
39.Synth Bass 1103.FX 7 (echoes)
40.Synth Bass 2104.FX 8 (sci-fi)
41.Violin105.Sitar
42.Viola106.Banjo
43.Cello107.Shamisen
44.Contrabass108.Koto
45.Tremolo Strings109.Kalimba
46.Pizzicato Strings110.Bag pipe
47.Orchestral Harp111.Fiddle
48.Timpani112.Shanai
49.String Ensemble 1113.Tinkle Bell
50.String Ensemble 2114.Agogo
51.SynthStrings 1115.Steel Drums
52.SynthStrings 2116.Woodblock
53.Choir Aahs117.Taiko Drum
54.Voice Oohs118.Melodic Tom
55.Synth Voice119.Synth Drum
56.Orchestra Hit120.Reverse Cymbal
57.Trumpet121.Guitar Fret Noise
58.Trombone122.Breath Noise
59.Tuba123.Seashore
60.Muted Trumpet124.Bird Tweet
61.French Horn125.Telephone Ring
62.Brass Section126.Helicopter
63.SynthBrass 1127.Applause
64.SynthBrass 2128.Gunshot

General MIDI Level 1 Percussion Key Map

On MIDI Channel 10, each MIDI Note number ("Key#") corresponds to a different drum sound, as shown below. GM-compatible instruments must have the sounds on the keys shown here. While many current instruments also have additional sounds above or below the range show here, and may even have additional "kits" with variations of these sounds, only these sounds are supported by General MIDI Level 1 devices.

Key#

Drum Sound

Key#

Drum Sound

35

Acoustic Bass Drum

59

Ride Cymbal 2

36

Bass Drum 1

60

Hi Bongo

37

Side Stick

61

Low Bongo

38

Acoustic Snare

62

Mute Hi Conga

39

Hand Clap

63

Open Hi Conga

40

Electric Snare

64

Low Conga

41

Low Floor Tom

65

High Timbale

42

Closed Hi Hat

66

Low Timbale

43

High Floor Tom

67

High Agogo

44

Pedal Hi-Hat

68

Low Agogo

45

Low Tom

69

Cabasa

46

Open Hi-Hat

70

Maracas

47

Low-Mid Tom

71

Short Whistle

48

Hi-Mid Tom

72

Long Whistle

49

Crash Cymbal 1

73

Short Guiro

50

High Tom

74

Long Guiro

51

Ride Cymbal 1

75

Claves

52

Chinese Cymbal

76

Hi Wood Block

53

Ride Bell

77

Low Wood Block

54

Tambourine

78

Mute Cuica

55

Splash Cymbal

79

Open Cuica

56

Cowbell

80

Mute Triangle

57

Crash Cymbal 2

81

Open Triangle

58

Vibraslap

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