Dang General MIDI

Can’t hear it.

I DLed and imported a couple of MIDI files just to fiddle with them and see if I could do anything with reassigning instruments. First question is: What’s the difference between importing a MIDI file and Using the Open dialog to open it? I’m curious about that.

The real problem, though, is that I can’t hear anything from my soundcard’s MIDI section. When I play the keyboard controller through any of the VSTIs it works fine. If I reassign the drum tracks to the drum plugin and the piano to the piano plugin they work fine. But no-go on the General MIDI. Tracks have VU action going on like crazy, but they’re not in the playback.

I’ve spent the morning searching for an answer in older posts and found nothing, so I decided to come here. Anybody got a clue they can give me?

Some guesses for you, others may have some better info:

Difference between open/import is that import would bring tracks into an existing songfile with your existing tracks, whereas open is likely to try to close the current songfile and create a new one.

You probably don’t have a default MIDI playback engine set up. If your soundcard has a synth on it, it could be that, or you could use the Microsoft wave table synth. That synth would then use a standard GM soundfont and play back the file. Don’t know what you’re working on but IMO the standard GM sets like the one that comes with Windows sound lousy. Even the larger 8Mb ones I don’t care for, though some instruments are better than others.

You’d be better off downloading SFZ (a free soundfont player) and then downloading some sound fonts of the instruments you want to hear, assigning each MIDI track output to an instance of SFZ with the soundfont loaded. I think there’s a video demo over on audiominds.com on using sfz and plenty of free soundfonts around. Hammersound is a good place to start though there are plenty more places.

What’s default MIDI out device selected in the n-Track Prefs? My guess is that it’s the MIDI Out on your soundcard. That will require an external MIDI Synth module. We’ll be able to tell more one we know that name of the selected device.

Yep. What Phoo said.

with a VSTi instrument a note from the midi track or keyboard, triggers an audio sample or audio sound generator, this you hear through your soundcard -

a MIDI track without an instrument plugged in needs a synth to playback the notes - in MIDI prefs set MIDI out to M-Soft wavetable synth - this will play the general MIDI set of sounds -

the M-Soft synth will then playback through the selected soundcard -

to play live from a keyboard you first have to add a blank MIDI track - with the M-Soft synth selected as MIDI out device your kbd will play the GM MIDI set of sounds through the selected soundcard -

to play a VSTi instrument - right click in the blank MIDI track and select output to new instrument - select instrument from menu - to hear some instruments when you play you have to click on the live button -

if you close a VSTi DO NOT re open it by trying to load it in again (CERTTAIN CRASH) click on its name at the bottom ot track meters –

Dr J

(phoo @ Jun. 06 2007,12:56)
What's default MIDI out device selected in the n-Track Prefs? My guess is that it's the MIDI Out on your soundcard. That will require an external MIDI Synth module. We'll be able to tell more one we know that name of the selected device.

It's the MS GS Wavetable SW Synth.

Hi , just a thought, it isn’t muted or has the fader turned down in the windows mixer.

Here is the link to the tutorial on the audiominds site. This pretty much what opened the door for me to use MIDI.
Playback MIDI Tutorial

For me the key to using MIDI was that you need two channels on your mixer: 1 is the first track, 2 is the soundfont player (many use SFZ)

Right click on your MIDI track and output it to the SFZ channel. Make the SFZ channel output to your soundcard. On your mixer you will have two channels…MIDI = trk 1, SF = player trk 2

Whatever instrument your soundfont player is setup to emulate is what you will hear.

I’m far from being an expert, but I think that is the basic setup. From there you can do all sorts of things. You just have to output your MIDI tracks to a player channel (it will show up on your mixer) which in turn outputs to the soundcard

good luck


The MS Synth will make sound, without an external module, thought it will be out of sync with wave tracks since it’s a software synth (that’s an unfortunate issue with its design). Since you are hearing nothing I think the suggestion to see if it’s muted or its volume is down in the windows mixer is the thing to do. It may show up as a separate slider depending on the soundcard. (it’s been a while for me in that department :) )

I got it working, but haven’t figured out how to send its output through the Lexicon Omega’s monitors. I hear soundcard midi through my soundcard’s output, and VST midi through the Omega. I’ve downloaded sfz and when I get it working I guess I can ditch general midi anyway.