MidiSyn is a very easy to use Windows program that lets you convert your MIDI or .KAR karaoke files to WAVE. You can listen to the generated WAVE files directly or you can convert them to MP3 or even burn them into an audio CD. You can listen to the resulting CD as is or use it for accompaniment while you sing live, in karaoke style. Welcome to the MidiSyn home page.

MidiSyn is a release of Future Algorithms.

 

 

This is a software only process that uses your PC standard resources. You don't need any dedicated hardware to successfully perform the rendering of the MIDI files into WAVE.

If you are looking for a more advanced solution to the problem of MIDI/KAR to WAVE conversion you should take a look at our alternative product MidiKare. This program does everything that MidiSyn does but in addition it lets you record yourself singing or playing an instrument and mix that with the result of the conversion. It has a KAR file player that shows the lyrics of the song being played and also has a WAVE to MP3 converter.

As MIDI files do not carry any sound information (they just include commands to be executed by sound generating equipment) the rendering (also called synthesis) process must be supplied with sound information and articulation data. For this, MidiSyn uses standard SoundFont files (*.sf2) as defined by Creative/EMU, and freely available at several Internet sites. If you have an AWE or Live! Soundcard, you probably have several of these in your hard disk already. From version 1.9 on, MidiSyn will also work with Compressed SoundFont files. If you want to know more about SoundFonts both normal and compressed take a look at the SoundFont tutorial.

The main advantages of using MidiSyn are:

         Converts standard MIDI files as well as .KAR Karaoke files.

         Good sound quality - You can use really big SoundFonts, even bigger than the available memory on your PC.

         Low noise - There is no D/A and A/D conversion involved.

         The conversion is faster than real time, provided that you have a powerful machine.

         A batch facility to convert several files without user intervention.

         External control of Reverberation, Chorus, Tempo, Transposition, Master Volume and Compressor Level parameters.

         A MIDI mixer that you can use to adjust the volume of each instrument in a MIDI file. You can even completely remove one instrument or, conversely, single out one instrument.

         A Delay effects unit that you can use to implement not only the classical Delay unit, but also Echo, Phaser, Flanger and even Chorus.

         It automatically rescales the output file to the maximum volume, giving a consistent loudness across a set of files

Karaoke is a form of entertainment in which a live person sings a song with a pre-recorded accompaniment. The word "karaoke" is Japanese for "empty orchestra". This great form of entertainment originated in Japan and is spread throughout the world. A typical place to see karaoke is a bar, restaurant, or a club where people come to have fun by singing pop songs. MidiSyn will help you create your own Karaoke CDs so you can have as much fun in your own home.

If you want to have an idea of the sound quality that you can obtain by using this program please listen to: travels.mp3 (2.64 Mb). If this site is down, try this alternative site. This file is a rendering of Travels.mid, which is part of the distribution package, using the 53.9 Mb Gm Alive! SoundFont. By using MidiSyn and the indicated SoundFont, you will be able to duplicate exactly that sound.

If you want to have a better idea of how MidiSyn works, please take a look at the Operation Manual.

If you are interested in a more detailed technical explanation of the program's inner workings please refer to the MidiSyn technical page.

If what you intend to do is to convert a MIDI or Karaoke file to WAVE, this is the right page for you. However, if you want to perform other types of conversions between audio files or manipulation of CD-Audio formats please refer to the Audio File Processing page.

 


How to buy MidiSyn

MidiSyn is shareware. The registration fee of US$ 29.00 (including p&p) will get you two CDs: An Installation CD and a Demonstration CD. To take a look at pictures of the MidiSyn CDs click here.

The Installation CD contains all that you need to start using MidiSyn (including the default SoundFont), plus a set of alternative SoundFonts for you to experiment with, together with some examples and a bunch of MIDI files.

The Demonstration CD is in CD-Audio format (you can play it in your Hi-Fi or car stereo), and contains a sample of songs rendered with MidiSyn.

To order MidiSyn, please go to the MidiSyn order page. Upon registration, you will receive by mail the two MidiSyn Cds.

If you already know the program and you just want to know what is new in this version you can take a look at the MidiSyn history.

 


Download trial version

There is a trial version of MidiSyn that is identical to the registered version except that it will only generate one minute of WAVE sound for each MIDI file. The batch facility will also render only one MIDI file.

To get the trial version of MidiSyn including the executable, auxiliary files and documentation, go to:

The MidiSyn download page

At the download page you will also find instructions for installing and uninstalling the program on your system.

CAUTION The trial version does not include a SoundFont. The reason for this is to save bandwidth and download time (these files are usually very big), especially when you already have some of them. If this is not the case, to be able to use the trial version of the program, you need to get at least one SoundFont compatible with the MIDI files that you want to convert.

First of all you should look in your hard disk for SoundFont files. Go to the Windows Explorer, right-click over a folder name and choose Find. Then:

o        In the Named field type: *.sf2

o        In the Look in field select: Local hard drives

o        Hit the Find Now button

If this process can successfully locate some files, use the biggest one. If not, you have to download one from the Internet. If you are comfortable with the use of SoundFonts, you can go to one of these sites:

o        HammerSound

o        The Sound Site

o        SoundFont Central

If, on the contrary, you are not sure what to get, go to one of these sites:

o        Site 1

o        Site 2

And download the GMCSFont. Then activate MidiSyn, go to Options and set that as the default Sound Bank.

If you already know the program and you just want to know what is new in this version, you can take a look at the MidiSyn history.

 


Notes on Sound Quality

When the MIDI standard was created back in the eighties, it was not intended to be used as a music distribution system. That didnít prevent it from becoming a major one used firstly in Bulletin Board Systems and later on the Internet.

The popularity of MIDI files is due mainly to its compactness; a five-minute song, which takes about 50Mb in WAVE format, takes just a few Kb in MIDI format. The biggest strength of MIDI is also its biggest weakness: MIDI files achieve the compactness that is its main characteristic by leaving out most of the sound information. In fact, a MIDI file consists of a string of commands for synthesizers. These are supposed to reconstruct the audio information from the commands contained in the MIDI file. It is similar to musical scores: They are used for music interchange but it requires a musician to generate the sound that they represent.

So, MIDI files work on the assumption that both the author and the consumer have exactly the same synthesis engine. That, of course, is far from the truth in most cases; moreover, if the synthesis engine is based on user selected samples (e.g. SoundFonts), as is the case for many popular sound cards, for MIDI file interchange to work at its best, both author and consumer should use also the same set of samples.

Of course in the real world things are not that bad, otherwise MIDI files wouldnít be as popular as they currently are. The fact is that most of the MIDI files circulating around the Net are tweaked by their authors to sound correctly on the synthesizers included in the most popular sound cards. Even when this is not the case, a MIDI file could sound pleasantly although very differently from what the author had in mind.

In the case of MidiSyn, as it tries to emulate the synthesis engine included on the Creative Labs soundcards (AWE32, Sblive, Audigy), there is a good chance that you can obtain from average to good results without further involvement on your part.

However, to get the best possible sound you have to invest a lot of time and effort: You should be able to edit a given SoundFont using the Vienna editor and edit your MIDI files using a MIDI editor (usually called sequencer). This process can be very rewarding but it is certainly time consuming.

As a compromise, you can adjust some of the synthesis parameters using MidiSyn, without having to resort to SoundFont or MIDI file editing. In this case you can control Reverberation, Chorus, Tempo, Transposition, Master Volume and Compressor Level parameters.

The Master Volume parameter is especially important when you are making a CD-Audio from several MIDI files. All the songs should have the same sound level; otherwise you will have to adjust the volume for each song, each time you listen to the CD. Although MidiSyn includes a mechanism that automatically adjusts the output sound to the maximum level, in some cases this does not produce the best results, especially when there is a need to apply compression. In these cases you have to adjust the sound level manually.

From version 1.9 on, there is also a Delay unit. This is a very powerful unit that will let you implement many popular sound effects like Echo, Delay, Phaser, Flanger and Chorus.

From version 1.7 on there is also a MIDI mixer. One of the major concerns when experimenting with alternative SoundFonts is the fact that the overall balancing of the instruments (their relative loudness) varies wildly from one SoundFont to the next. With the Midi Mixer you will be able to get the best of your SoundFont, and adjust the mix to your personal taste.

With the MIDI mixer you can record a CD that you can use for accompaniment while you play live one of the instruments in a MIDI file. For that, you render the MIDI file and use the MIDI mixer to remove from the resulting WAVE the instrument that you intend to play live.

 


Feedback

Comments, suggestions and bug reports are welcome and should be sent to fadevelop@clix.pt

 

 


This page last modified 2003-03-21 - Copyright © 2000-2003 ACE