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The MIDI Forum

  Sunday, 03 January 2021
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Hi Guys and Gals,
I'm a performer who uses Midi.
I use VanBascos Midi player, and play it through a Soundblaster Live card which adds reverb and equalization. It sounds pretty decent. I've also tried VanBascos with various different soundfonts, but tend to stick to the GM voices as all my songs are now mixed to that!
My Midi knowledge only goes as far as using Anvil Studio and One Man Band software to produce, arrange, and edit any Midis.
I can do most things using those softwares.
However, I've got a few Midis in my vast collection which resist any kind of editing.
If I try to change a voice it reverts to Piano. If I try to add effects - like modulation - it either doesn't work - or damages the file!!
I've recently gone through all my Rock Files and added modulation to the Overdrive and Distortion Guitar tracks.
It really makes those songs sound way better. Modulation brings the guitar tracks to life.
I find it's not so much that the guitar sounds on midi don't sound realistic, it;s just that they sound "dead" and don't decay!!
I normally add about 60 or 70 level (out of 127) modulation, and it makes a huge difference.
There is a decay edit on Anvil Studio, but it doesn't seem to work! So modulation is the next best thing, although I have manually decayed some guitar tracks using One Man Band.
So, my questions are:
1. Why do some Midis resist editing using Anvil Studio and One Man Band, and how do I get around this?
2. Is there a simple "decay" edit that I can apply to guitar tracks?

Please keep any replies as non-technical as you can.
Finally, if I don't understand the replies, is there someone out there who would be willing to edit some songs for me.
It is only a handful of songs. I just need a couple of tracks copied, and some modulation added to guitar sounds.
I'd be willing to pay or trade or come to some other arrangement.
Or, If you could remove the "coding" or whatever stops these songs being edited then I could do the editing myself.
Regards
Mike.
10 months ago
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#7474
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Hello,

I take it that you're saying that some MIDI files can be edited fine, but some cannot. I don't know what could be causing such a problem, but if you could attach one of the MIDI files that you cannot edit, I may be able to spot the problem. Also, or maybe instead, attach a file that you've tried to edit but the edit has not worked. This may be because your edit IS there, but the false setting comes afterwards and so your edit is immed cancelled. Maybe the false setting is there more than once?

Once I've seen this, we may be able to help more.

Geoff
10 months ago
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#7489
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Hi Geoff, thanks for replying.
I've attached 2 midis in zip files.
John Mellencamp - Lonely old night 2 is the original.
John Mellencamp - Lonely old night 3, I've tried to edit using Anvil Studio. I have copied track 3 to track 5 and voiced it as Steel Guitar.
Then I have added modulation to track 3 - value 60 out of 127, and modulation to track 4 - value 70 out of 127.
On Anvil the edits are there working perfectly, but playing back on Van Bascos track 5 is voiced as piano, and there is no modulation at all on tracks 3 and 4.
The original file was bought from Hit Trax, and this problem of not being able to edit is common to almost every file I buy from them.
So I figure they are locking their files somehow to make them resistant to editing?
Most files I download free I can edit easily, although some have similar problems.
Oh, and in this case Anvil plays the track perfectly with the edits, sometimes with other songs the edits are not there either. ie no modulation effect!
Sometimes I can successfully edit these files using "One Man Band", but sometimes that doesn't work either.

Hey, I wouldn't want you to spend too much time on this problem.
Maybe you know a similar simple program to Anvil Studio which edits easily and makes the edits work properly.
Or maybe there is a simple fix I can do myself to make these files work properly?
I'll leave it with you, and let me know how you go in due course.
Regards
Mike.
10 months ago
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#7498
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In the file "John Mellencamp - Lonely old night 3.mid", the Channel 3 modulation, Channel 4 modulation, and Channel 5 Program Change are getting reset by a System Exclusive message that comes after them.

Take a look at the attached Sekaiju event list view of "John Mellencamp - Lonely old night 3.mid" which is filtered to show only messages for System Exclusive, Program Change, Controller 0 (Bank MSB), Controller 1 (Modulation) and Controller 32 (Bank LSB).

View: event-list.png

The first System Exclusive message (F0 7E 7F 09 01 F7) is a message to reset to General MIDI Level 1.

The second System Exclusive message (F0 41 10 42 12 40 00 7F 00 41 F7) is a message to reset to Roland GS Standard.

The Channel 3 modulation of 60, Channel 4 modulation of 70, and the Channel 5 Program Change to steel string guitar are reset by the System Exclusive message to reset to Roland GS Standard. The other Program Change messages happen after that reset message so they're not affected.


Be aware that in vanBasco's Karaoke Player MIDI OUTPUT window, if an instrument sound name appears in a bright color, that indicates a Program Change message has been sent to that channel. If an instrument sound name appears in a dim color, that means no Program Change message has been sent to that channel since the beginning of the MIDI file or since the last reset message. In a case like that, the instrument sound will default to "Piano 1", or for Channel 10, the "STANDARD" percussion set.

View: midi-output-window.png

Also, vanBasco's Karaoke Player by default skips past the silence at the beginning of the MIDI file (while still processing all the messages in the silent section) so that when you press the Play you will immediately hear the first note. If you disable this setting as described in the following steps, you can actually see the Program Change on Channel 5 appear and then get reset.

1. Open "John Mellencamp - Lonely old night 3.mid" in vanBasco's Karaoke Player and stop playback if it started automatically.

2. Click on the music note icon in the top left corner and go to Setup. In the MIDI page, uncheck "Start from first note". Click OK.

3. Click the CONTROL button, then in the CONTROL window, drag the TEMPO slider to the minimum value.

4. Click Play.

In the MIDI OUTPUT window, you can see Channel 5 get set to "Steel-str.Gt", then reset to the dim default "Piano 1".
10 months ago
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#7503
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Thanks Bavi_H, for that answer!
OK, I've had a quick look at Sekaiju and I'm wondering if I download the software, how easy it will be - for me - to fix those issues?
I'm also not sure without you pointing out the issues, whether I'd even recognise them.
I suppose the software comes with some tutorials or help pages, and I'd get there eventually?
So,
1. How easy is it to fix those issues?
2. Looking at any song before I try to edit it, is there some simple quick fix I can do to cancel those "System Exclusive messages?"
3. Could you fix the file simply?

Regards
Mike
10 months ago
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#7505
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Hello,

I've just got to this, and I've not had chance to look into this further yet. Bavi has beaten me to it!

Before going any further, as the SysEx messages seem to be causing a lot of the problems, it would be worth trying to determine WHY they are there. They might be needed. Maybe they WERE needed, but now are not, in which case they could be removed without causing further problems.

Geoff
10 months ago
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#7511
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Thanks Geoff,
Yes, well I still need help in getting to the bottom of this problem.
I'm probably going to download the Sekaiju software and see what else I can learn, but any help in the meantime would be much appreciated.
See what you can do with the files, and whether the sysex messages can be deleted, because tht may be all that is needed?
Mike
10 months ago
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#7512
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Hello Michael,

Presently just trying to establish the problem.

I agree with the comments made by Bavi. I would suggest that the problem with the file is that the second SysEx instruction at tick offset 240 should be moved to offset 0, i.e. at the start of the file, and before the various 'mod' settings so that there's nothing to turn off.

Hopefully, there will be a new version of your file attached (I've used a shorter file name) which contains this change.

As far as I can see, the two SysEx settings in fact do nothing, but this may depend on the GM or GS setting on your playback, and the SysEx might be needed if the GS is not set already?

The settings should prepare for the later Patch/Instrument settings, regarding the Bank Select option, however, this file does not in fact use any Bank settings, the Bank Select commands are all 00 (zero) which will leave the Program Change only to do anything which will default to the GM sound, not any GS 'alternative'. This would suggest that both SysEx commands, and the various Bank Select commands, could all be removed? I have not done this as yet, as this is not part of the immed problem.

Could you try this file, and see if this now does what you want?

Geoff
10 months ago
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#7514
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Thanks Geoff,
jm33 works perfectly - although the karaoke lyrics were out of whack.
That's no problem. I just did the lyrics again using "One Man Band's" Serenade program.
The modulation is there on both guitar tracks, and the track I cloned now plays as steel guitar.
I even cloned track 3 again and voiced it "Guitar Harmonics" at volume 27, and that worked too.
So my question now is whether that fix you applied is something I could learn and do fairly simply myself?

I do thank you for the time you've spent investigating this issue for me, and from this point I'd like to make things easy for you as possible.
It may be a waste of your time trying to explain to me what I need to do - given my fairly basic knowledge level.
I don't think I'd recognise - even looking at the event list and seeing the sysex instruction at 2:40 that that is the problem!
Since I only have a few files with this "uneditable" problem it may take you less time to fix the issue than it would to explain to me how to do it?
If however the issue will always be something like "SysEx instruction at tick offset 240 should be moved to offset 0, i.e. at the start of the file, and before the various 'mod' settings so that there's nothing to turn off." - Then perhaps I could learn and recognise that?
Is Sekaiju something you'd recommend for me?
Let me know what you think would be the best way to proceed to fix these issues with the few files I can't edit.
Regards
Mike.
10 months ago
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#7522
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Hello Michael,

Sorry I messed up your Lyric data, I was not looking at that. Maybe something regarding that data was linked to the tick 240 item I moved (incl changing the tick value of that line from 240 to 0 (zero). I'll look for that specifically and see what has done the damage.

Anyway, once I had noted (with reference to Bavi's comments) where the problem was being caused, and that there were no other problems regarding the Program Change data, then the change to that one line/item was all that was required.

If you have such problems in any other files, then look to see if there are any SysEx commands NOT at the beginning of the file, and note what commands are before. If any of the previous commands seem to have been disabled, then you need to move the SysEx to be BEFORE the commands being damaged. Probably to the beginning of the file. I.e. tick 0 (zero) This may be slightly more complex if any of the commands damaged are ALSO set to tick 0, then it will depend on what Track the items are on (for any given tick point, the commands are implemented in Track order).

I am not familiar with the Midi editor that Bavi uses, I use various other pieces of software, some of which are old DOS systems. Maybe that system will allow to select a specific line, and edit the tick/timing point (i.e. in the present case from 240 to 0) and this will in effect move the item. Maybe SAVE the file, then reLOAD it, to be sure.

I have a version of the Van Basco player, I'll have a look at that and see what that does.

Geoff
10 months ago
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#7523
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Michael,

I've found the version of Van Basco's that I have on my system. I've not used it for some time, so it was hidden away. I suspect that the version I have is not the most recent, but the screen images still seem to be the same as I have.

The version here does NOT seem to allow any editing for midi EVENTS, although you can change timing/tempt things connected with playback. I would expect that you CAN do what you'd need to do within Anvil, and maybe even within One Man Band as well, it's just that these are both more complex systems and you may have to search to find the right screen. Usually, you would need something called an Events List, which would show all the midi events as a list or table. Sometimes, the Piano Roll screen would also allow event editing, even if it does not show ALL the events initially, you might need to click something to add them to the display.

Geoff
10 months ago
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#7524
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A bit late to the party, but here goes.

Previous posts have outlined exactly what the problem is. The two sysex resets nullify the commands that come before them.
It's quite important, especially if you're using hardware sound modules, to allow the resets to take effect.

So the GS reset coming 240 ticks after the GM 1 reset is good programming, but then the 'voice' assignments should come a little while after that.
The best bet is often to place them sequentially beginning on the next beat in measure one.
Sekaiju or Anvil Studio are both good for this as long as you use List View.

If you take a look at the attached file, you'll see I've edited each track to do just that.
It should work fine now?

JohnG.
10 months ago
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#7525
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Michael,

When you say 'the lyrics were out of whack' - what did you mean. Were they coming too early, or late, and by how much.

I'd like to work out what happened there. To make sure it doesn't happen again.

But I think that the Lyrics were part of the info on one of the tracks, and I can't think how the Lyrics could be wrong if everything else on that track are OK?

Geoff
10 months ago
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#7526
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Thanks guys, all of you for your input.
I've looked at Anvil Studio and it's actually pretty easy to bring up an events list, and from my initial look it seems pretty easy to edit the events list too..
I'm going to have a look at it more deeply this weekend. Got to go to work soon..........
JohnG I'll check your file this weekend.
Geoff, the lyrics lagged in starting, then weren't there at all, then occasionally were correct.
But it's not something I'm concerned about as my main issue was to edit the songs with added tracks, voices, and modulation.
The lyrics I can fix up after with One Man Band Serenade once I've got the song how I want it.
I'll let you guys know how I go after having a more in depth look at Anvil's Events list.
i'm pretty hopeful that you have all given me enough extra knowledge to do what I need.
Stay tuned...................
Thanks and regards
Mike
10 months ago
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#7570
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OK, John G - the file worked, but the lyrics were out of whack - but I had already fixed that in Geoff's version, so no probs there.
After looking in Anvil Studio and bringing up the "Events list", and looking at what the events were, and deleting anything that didn't look like it was needed, I was able to add modulation to almost every file.
Some required more playing around than others.
I've got a few still resisting editing, but i'll keep trying different things and read some more stuff on here and I'll probably get there eventually?
If not I'll attach the files on here, and maybe some "Good Samaritan" can fix them for me? ???
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