Making MIDI Sound Real

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by annannienann, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. annannienann

    annannienann Guest

    I am in the middle of creating "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" for my grandparents birthday (wish they just liked socks). I have copied the sheet music into my sequencer (Cakewalk Music Creator Pro V2). I know there are a few steps that should be taken to humanize a MIDI map, for example, Altering Velocity, Altering Note On Time and Altering Note Off Time. But the problem is I have no idea how the numbers 0 to 127 relate the real life playing has anyone get any pointers. Its a piano part if that helps anyone.

    Thanks. Peter.
  2. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    If this is your first time doing this, then you're probably not going to get a realistic sound out of it. It takes a lot of practice and an even bigger portion of it is in the sound used. If I were you, I'd search the internet for a midi file of that song and use it. It will most likely have all velocities and timings already done.

    At any rate, to answer your question, Everything midi falls within the range of 0 to 127. For velocity, 0 is the lightest and 127 is the hardest. So the closer to 127 a note is, the louder it will sound (in the case of a piano). There is also midi volume with 0 being silent, and 127 being the loudest.

    Good luck.
  3. annannienann

    annannienann Guest

    I have started doing a few things to humanize the MIDI map:

    1) Vary tempo: I have come up with rule of thumb, if it where played by a very good pianist they would vary +/- 4 bpm with a maximum gradient of 0.5 bpm per bar. With that rule in mind i used the draw tool and quick tried to follow the straight set tempo of the song, this gave me the effect I wanted.

    2) Altering start and end times: Another rule of thumb, a good pianist would vary their note time to a maximum of +/- 64th.

    3) Altering Velocities: given the 0 in off and 127 is full on then 64 must be normal playing with 96 been loud and 32 been quiet and values outside this are extreme dynamics. Notes should be divided into normal, loud and quiet and the random velocities, form they dynamic area (eg 32, 64 or 96) assigned to them.

    All this is what I have made up no one has told me this. Just wondering if I have right idea because its all just trail and error at the moment. Only got about an hour to work on it today because of stupid maths course work. Thanks everyone
  4. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    A little simplified but the idea is ok

    +/-64 is a little big for a general error

    Groove is a little more complicated than that
    .. and the desired shuffle may be on the off beat and sometimes only each second quater note.
    Even that statement is wrong and musicians will use various methods for getting the groove they want on the midi grid.

    Good software has much of this built in as templates ... or as templates with a slider to vary the drift.

    A little randomness in the velocity does break the mechanicam feel of step recorded melodies and some may also use gentle expression pedal to make things feel less boxed.

    Good use of reverb can also get the sound out of the box.
    Not the sort of cheesy reverb that is built into the sound or synth but a real sounding room reverb.

    Sometimes I over use the velocity and then use an Analog Audio Compressor to bring it back.

    lots of tricks
    but there is nothing like using a good sound and a well played part to start with.
  5. annannienann

    annannienann Guest

    Good advice. I know the importance of a good sound. Sadly I cant afford anything good, spent a good 30mins to drooling at The Grand 2. At the moment I am using the Virtual Sound Canvas synth sounds rubbish. And as for reverb I have to use free plug-ins off the net.
  6. vhollund

    vhollund Guest

    Yes templates,
    Most advanced sequensers kan make a midicopy of a real drumloop.
    And nothing grooves like a real rummer

    Then you can program new sounds on the groovetemplate and even a new Beat
  7. MadTiger3000

    MadTiger3000 Active Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Hammersound has some decent soundfonts to try. Free.
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