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Understanding midi-files

MIDI means Musical Instrument Device Interface.

On the first hearing it is possible to form the opinion that midi-files are uninteresting as the quality is mediocre. It might be true; however it depends on the possibility of listening to the midi-files with excellent quality thanks to modern technology.

Midi-files contain only the instructions for an electronic musical instrument. A midi is, in practice, a score. The instruction is, for example: "Quietly play for two seconds and use the piano." That instruction is immediately transferred to a sound card. If your sound card is standard, the sound will also be standard.

A method of considerably increasing the listening quality of midi-files is to use a software named SurReal by Software Seer music, with the dedicated sound fonts. With good configuration material, such as recent computer, sound cards, and enclosures of good quality, I challenge anyone to tell the difference between a midi-file for piano and a MP3.

Midi-files also have the following advantages:

1) They are light on telephone bills, and are generally free of rights;

2) If one person possesses a sequencer, they are able to view and print the score;

3) Thanks to sequencers, it is possible to create sound files of recordings which do not exist, or to reconstruct works. There are a number of researches and composers using midi-files.

Midi-files are not the best, but neither are they worse than MP3 files,
they are simply different.

Armando and Dominique

Many thanks to Melanie PIDDOCKE for her translation of this page from French into English
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