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Designing Web Audio & CD-ROM by Dylan Thede, Josh Beggs

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Creating your own MIDI files

Although it’s easy to select your favorite MIDI files from the Internet and post them on your site without the use of a MIDI editor or a sequencer, there are situations where editing is needed. Downloaded MIDI files often are too large (50 KB to 90 KB or more) or are crammed with too many instrument sounds, making the music sound cluttered on poorer-quality computer systems. For example, you may download a file that tries to replicate an exact MIDI version of a Top 40 hit down to the ear-numbing MIDI guitar riff. MIDI files also are uploaded to the Internet by music aficionados who include every note and subtle phrase of a piece. This is overkill if you just want 30 seconds of classical music on your welcome page. Such MIDI files are candidates for a MIDI editor.

MIDI editors

A MIDI editor allows you to remove unnecessary sections or notes and tone down certain instrument sounds. MIDI editors also let you build your own MIDI file from scratch with your own musical ideas or with sections borrowed from another MIDI file. The first step is to select a MIDI file via the Web or from other music-related sources, and build from there.

Once you have selected a MIDI file, you can alter the sound to fit your needs or tastes. Most MIDI files are called standard MIDI files, or SMFs. SMFs come in two basic formats: single-track (type 0) and multitrack (type 1). In a single-track SMF, all the musical parts are merged into one track. In a multitrack file, each part ...

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