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How to turn a midi file into a quality mp3 ?

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,473
Location
Surrey, UK
I've got several midi files from various sources such as Sibelius, Band In a Box etc that I want to turn into good audio recordings to play over hi-fi. Mainly these are backing tracks for me to play sax with.

At the moment I do this using the soundcard on my PC laptop and the results are OK but not great. Presumably the quality depends on the samples built into the midi player.

I have found various services on line that do this and downloadable software, but what would you recommend ?

Rhys
 

stefank

Member
Messages
368
Location
Hobart, Tasmania
I usually render them with Edirol Virtual Sound Canvas, although if I'm working in Finale I can save straight to an audio (.wav) file - I would be surprised if Sibelius doesn't offer the same feature.
 
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rudjarl

Senile Member. Scandinavian Ambassadour of CaSLM
Messages
657
Location
Løten, Norway
Hi Rhys
Midi files are not files containing sound like mp3 or wav. They are files with instructions about how a computer should create the sound... sort of... In other words, it is not a saxophone creating saxophone sound in a midi file, it is the computer trying to sound like a saxophone.

If you are not happy with how midi files sound, you would need to get a decent sound bank (sound fonts) to go with your midi player. Midi files are rendered (through the sound bank) usually with the built in Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth if your PC has a Windows operating system. It is the same with Linux distros, only a different soft synth. A Mac is way better equipped to start with, but there are room for improvements there too.

On a laptop your only option is getting a 'soft synths' to render your midi files. Soft Synths are software used with a midi player. Some composer software are bundling soft synths, and some are not. You could also look for midi players (renderers) which allows you to select individual sound fonts (one for each instrument).

I know there are free soundfonts to get at places like:
http://www.hammersound.com/
http://www.soundfonts.it/?a=soundfonts
which may give you a whole lot better sound from your midi files. But if you are quite picky about how it sounds, you will need to buy some quality sondfonts (and they are not necessarily cheap).

I use SynthFont's midiplayer : http://www.synthfont.com/ for selecting individual soundfonts and rendring to wav.

Hope this helps more than confuses :)
Happy playing
Rune
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,623
Location
Rugby UK
If you just want to convert midi to mp3, you can upload the midi to Audacity and then export it as an mp3.
 
OP
rhysonsax

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,473
Location
Surrey, UK
Thanks everyone, especially Rune. I have got to investigate those Soundfonts.

Apparently my current midi set is "Roland Sound Canvas digital samples" with a copyright date of 1996. It seems like there are many, many alternative Soundfonts out there and I will have to look for the best value quality ones. Mainly interested in acoustic instruments such as grand piano, drum kits, saxes etc.

Rhys
 

gypsy

Member
Messages
40
Hello Rhys,

Seeing as you are looking for acoustic instruments from sound fonts and samples, you might want to look at Garritan Jazz and Big Band at www.Garritan.com.

Here is a link to an mp3 file - http://www.box.net/shared/xjc8nqtac1

The backing track was generated with Band in a Box, and then exported as a midi file to Cakewalk Home Studio where the Garritan instruments were applied to the file. The melody and the solo instruments were played using an EWI and the Garritan samples.

See what you think.

Best Wishes,

Albert
 

Mikec

Member
Messages
201
Location
Buckinghamshire, UK
Many people use the software sound module "Bandstand" as a sound source for rendering MIDI files with good results. Another point to make is that if you save your MIDI file as a type 1 you get each instrument (and each drum) saved as a separate track. If you load these into sequencer software such as Cubase, Sonar or Reaper you can then process each instrument separately and get some really good results.
 

Bari251

Member
Messages
71
Location
Norwich
Hi Rhys
I use band in a box and convert to mp3 using a hardware synth, the Ketron SD2. If you send me one of your files by Private Message, I will return a sample. The BIAB independent user group has discussed the problem frequently, and gives the Ketron a thumbs up.
Malcolm
 
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