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  • The Official MIDI Specifications

    The Official MIDI Specifications

GM 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.
  • 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.

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
1-8 Piano
9-16 Chromatic Percussion
17-24 Organ
25-32 Guitar
33-40 Bass
41-48 Strings
49-56 Ensemble
57-64 Brass
65-72 Reed
73-80 Pipe
81-88 Synth Lead
89-96 Synth Pad
97-104 Synth Effects
105-112 Ethnic
113-120 Percussive
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 Name
1. Acoustic Grand Piano
2. Bright Acoustic Piano
3. Electric Grand Piano
4. Honky-tonk Piano
5. Electric Piano 1
6. Electric Piano 2
7. Harpsichord
8. Clavi
9. Celesta
10. Glockenspiel
11. Music Box
12. Vibraphone
13. Marimba
14. Xylophone
15. Tubular Bells
16. Dulcimer
17. Drawbar Organ
18. Percussive Organ
19. Rock Organ
20. Church Organ
21. Reed Organ
22. Accordion
23. Harmonica
24. Tango Accordion
25. Acoustic Guitar (nylon)
26. Acoustic Guitar (steel)
27. Electric Guitar (jazz)
28. Electric Guitar (clean)
29. Electric Guitar (muted)
30. Overdriven Guitar
31. Distortion Guitar
32. Guitar harmonics
33. Acoustic Bass
34. Electric Bass (finger)
35. Electric Bass (pick)
36. Fretless Bass
37. Slap Bass 1
38. Slap Bass 2
39. Synth Bass 1
40. Synth Bass 2
41. Violin
42. Viola
43. Cello
44. Contrabass
45. Tremolo Strings
46. Pizzicato Strings
47. Orchestral Harp
48. Timpani
49. String Ensemble 1
50. String Ensemble 2
51. SynthStrings 1
52. SynthStrings 2
53. Choir Aahs
54. Voice Oohs
55. Synth Voice
56. Orchestra Hit
57. Trumpet
58. Trombone
59. Tuba
60. Muted Trumpet
61. French Horn
62. Brass Section
63. SynthBrass 1
64. SynthBrass 2
65. Soprano Sax
66. Alto Sax
67. Tenor Sax
68. Baritone Sax
69. Oboe
70. English Horn
71. Bassoon
72. Clarinet
73. Piccolo
74. Flute
75. Recorder
76. Pan Flute
77. Blown Bottle
78. Shakuhachi
79. Whistle
80. Ocarina
81. Lead 1 (square)
82. Lead 2 (sawtooth)
83. Lead 3 (calliope)
84. Lead 4 (chiff)
85. Lead 5 (charang)
86. Lead 6 (voice)
87. Lead 7 (fifths)
88. Lead 8 (bass + lead)
89. Pad 1 (new age)
90. Pad 2 (warm)
91. Pad 3 (polysynth)
92. Pad 4 (choir)
93. Pad 5 (bowed)
94. Pad 6 (metallic)
95. Pad 7 (halo)
96. Pad 8 (sweep)
97. FX 1 (rain)
98. FX 2 (soundtrack)
99. FX 3 (crystal)
100. FX 4 (atmosphere)
101. FX 5 (brightness)
102. FX 6 (goblins)
103. FX 7 (echoes)
104. FX 8 (sci-fi)
105. Sitar
106. Banjo
107. Shamisen
108. Koto
109. Kalimba
110. Bag pipe
111. Fiddle
112. Shanai
113. Tinkle Bell
114. Agogo
115. Steel Drums
116. Woodblock
117. Taiko Drum
118. Melodic Tom
119. Synth Drum
120. Reverse Cymbal
121. Guitar Fret Noise
122. Breath Noise
123. Seashore
124. Bird Tweet
125. Telephone Ring
126. Helicopter
127. Applause
128. 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

35

Acoustic Bass Drum

36

Bass Drum 1

37

Side Stick

38

Acoustic Snare

39

Hand Clap

40

Electric Snare

41

Low Floor Tom

42

Closed Hi Hat

43

High Floor Tom

44

Pedal Hi-Hat

45

Low Tom

46

Open Hi-Hat

47

Low-Mid Tom

48

Hi-Mid Tom

49

Crash Cymbal 1

50

High Tom

51

Ride Cymbal 1

52

Chinese Cymbal

53

Ride Bell

54

Tambourine

55

Splash Cymbal

56

Cowbell

57

Crash Cymbal 2

58

Vibraslap

59

Ride Cymbal 2

60

Hi Bongo

61

Low Bongo

62

Mute Hi Conga

63

Open Hi Conga

64

Low Conga

65

High Timbale

66

Low Timbale

67

High Agogo

68

Low Agogo

69

Cabasa

70

Maracas

71

Short Whistle

72

Long Whistle

73

Short Guiro

74

Long Guiro

75

Claves

76

Hi Wood Block

77

Low Wood Block

78

Mute Cuica

79

Open Cuica

80

Mute Triangle

81

Open Triangle