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The MIDI Forum

  Tuesday, 12 March 2019
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Hello all,

Not a NOOB, but not an expert either. I first cut my MIDI teeth writing music way back with a Mac Plus and Vision a number of years back (no need to count...wink). My musical career took me more towards live performance, and my use of MIDI was mainly to have my keyboards control/play each other. I'm now getting into performing with backing tracks. Since I have a keyboard that I love (Yamaha Montage), I wanted to use the internal sounds for different instruments in the backing tracks. Polyphony won't be an issue with the Montage - it's a monster.

My intention is to use Apple's Logic to create and edit MIDI files, export them to my iPad, and have my iPad play the MIDI files live for performances. I would play along and sing. I've tested the whole setup and it works great, actually. I'm using OnSong on the iPad for charts/music, but it also can play MIDI files on an external MIDI device.

My question is MIDI file channels and patch layout. I can't seem to find a convention or anything in the specifications that states what GM patches normally are on a specific track/channel other than Percussion is always channel 10. Even if there isn't an official specification, if there are common best practices for people working with multi-channel MIDI files, I would love to follow them. For example,

1 Bass
2 Piano
3 Organ/Pad
4 Guitar
5 Strings
6 Woodwinds
7 Brass
8 Backing VOX/Pad
9 Synth Lead
10 Drums
11
etc...

I understand this shouldn't be "forced" on the community since instrumentation varies greatly, but I'm just wondering if this topic has been visited before and what became of it. Any advice would be greatly appreciate. It amazes me how MIDI has stood the test of time, and still has an amazing future ahead of it!

Thank you!

Greg Johnson
3 years ago
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if there are common best practices for people working with multi-channel MIDI files, I would love to follow them.

Not to my knowledge. I would advise you to create your own standard and follow it.
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