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  1. gerard
  2. MIDI Specifications
  3. Thursday, 08 March 2018
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Where can i find a chart showing the appropriate midi event number values for each note eg: 1\4 note = ?? ticks
thanks
g man
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I don't think there's any such thing., or it will be an impossible chart to use. Or you'll need a computer program to calculate the values.

A midi file has a global setting which defines the resolution of that file, i.e. the number of midi ticks per quarter note. So, depending on that setting, the number of ticks for each note length will vary. I'm not sure that it would be usual to do so, but this setting COULD be changed within a piece of music, which would increase the problems.

Geoff
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. MIDI Specifications
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This question has only sense speaking about Standard MIDI Files (SMF), or any other way to store music on files, but not if we talk about the real time MIDI protocol, the one used to communicate one instrument with another, because in this case the MIDI events traveling by a cable have no time attribute attached. They happen instantly, and take effect as soon as they are received.

On the other hand, the events in a SMF have a "delta time" attribute, meaning the time difference since the previous event on a track. This delta time is NOT expressed in hours, minutes, seconds, milliseconds, etc. but in units called "ticks". These ticks are the same units expressed by the time resolution of the file (in the header), and can be understood as the subdivisions of a quarter note, or alternatively subdivisions of a frame (in SMPTE). The resolution does not change along the file (the former answer to this question is wrong in this point) but we need another variable called the musical tempo to calculate the time from ticks to milliseconds, etc. This tempo is expressed by a meta-event (FF 51 03 tttttt) in microseconds per quarter note, and there can be many tempo events in a file, changing the music speed.

With this information, you can calculate your table easily. For instance, if the resolution is 120 ticks per quarter note, then a half note is 240 ticks, a whole note is 480 ticks, an eighth note is 60 and a sixteenth note 30 ticks, and so on.

Regards,
Pedro
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  1. more than a month ago
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I've looked at some of the midi files I have, and 120 seems to be a popular value for ticks per quarter note. However, I do have files with other values, say 192 or even 384. I'd assume that the setting may depend on the size of the smallest notes in the piece?

Anyway, you'd make some headway to just pick a specific setting, i.e. 120, and work from that.

Do remember, however, that this should not mean that ALL notes in the piece will stick rigidly to the values. If they do, the music will sound mechanical, inhuman. Do expect, and allow for, some variation. Even if only for a couple of percent. Music theory would suggest that the first note of the bar would be more on the 'count' than the other notes in the bar. There should also be some slight variation in the length of the notes. And, prob, very few of the notes would be as long as they might be.

So, your table would be a guide ONLY??

Geoff
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  1. more than a month ago
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