midi for newbs - sound

Ok, you've just done a programchange on channel 1 and picked epiano That's a 4, remember?

How the heck does that 4 get you to an epiano sound??

SoundBanks:
Each sound module has a sound bank. Sounds are assigned numbers from 0 to the max # of sounds the sound module can do. 0..127 are reserved for standard sounds. But if you think you can live with only 128 sounds, you need help.

How many sounds?
My cp-33 has only 16. But I also use my drumkit's sounds and PianoCheetah's SYN.exe (software synthesizer) sounds.

But synthesizer sounds differ...
Some have only a handful like my cp-33.
Some have only the standard 128. (See below.)
Some have drum sounds, too.
Most sound modules have hundreds of sounds. Some thousands.
Some let you modify the sounds.
Some let you load in entirely new sounds.


Midi Standard Sound Map

  0 Piano\AcousticGrand       64 Reed\SaxSoprano
  1 Piano\AcousticBright      65 Reed\SaxAlto
  2 Piano\ElecGrand           66 Reed\SaxTenor
  3 Piano\HonkyTonk           67 Reed\SaxBaritone
  4 Piano\Elec1               68 Reed\Oboe
  5 Piano\Elec2               69 Reed\EnglishHorn
  6 Piano\Harpsichord         70 Reed\Bassoon
  7 Piano\Clavinet            71 Reed\Clarinet
  8 ChromPerc\Celesta         72 Pipe\Piccolo
  9 ChromPerc\Glockenspiel    73 Pipe\Flute
 10 ChromPerc\MusicBox        74 Pipe\Recorder
 11 ChromPerc\Vibraphone      75 Pipe\FlutePan
 12 ChromPerc\Marimba         76 Pipe\BlownBottle
 13 ChromPerc\Xylophone       77 Pipe\Skakuhachi
 14 ChromPerc\TubularBells    78 Pipe\Whistle
 15 ChromPerc\Dulcimer        79 Pipe\Ocarina
 16 Organ\Drawbar             80 SynLead\Square
 17 Organ\Perc                81 SynLead\Sawtooth
 18 Organ\Rock                82 SynLead\Calliope
 19 Organ\Church              83 SynLead\Chiff
 20 Organ\Reed                84 SynLead\Charang
 21 Organ\Accordian           85 SynLead\Voice
 22 Organ\Harmonica           86 SynLead\Fifths
 23 Organ\AccordianTango      87 SynLead\Bass+Lead
 24 Guitar\NylonStr           88 SynPad\NewAge
 25 Guitar\SteelStr           89 SynPad\Warm
 26 Guitar\ElecJazz           90 SynPad\PolySyn
 27 Guitar\ElecClean          91 SynPad\Choir
 28 Guitar\ElecMuted          92 SynPad\Bowed
 29 Guitar\Overdriven         93 SynPad\Metallic
 30 Guitar\Distortion         94 SynPad\Halo
 31 Guitar\Harmonics          95 SynPad\Sweep
 32 Bass\Acoustic             96 SynFX\Rain
 33 Bass\ElecFinger           97 SynFX\Soundtrack
 34 Bass\ElecPick             98 SynFX\Crystal
 35 Bass\Fretless             99 SynFX\Atmosphere
 36 Bass\Slap1               100 SynFX\Brightness
 37 Bass\Slap2               101 SynFX\Goblins
 38 Bass\Syn1                102 SynFX\Echoes
 39 Bass\Syn2                103 SynFX\SciFi
 40 SoloStr\Violin           104 Ethnic\Sitar
 41 SoloStr\Viola            105 Ethnic\Banjo
 42 SoloStr\Cello            106 Ethnic\Shamisen
 43 SoloStr\Contrabass       107 Ethnic\Koto
 44 SoloStr\Tremolo          108 Ethnic\Kalimba
 45 SoloStr\Pizzicato        109 Ethnic\Bagpipe
 46 SoloStr\Orchestral       110 Ethnic\Fiddle
 47 SoloStr\Timpani          111 Ethnic\Shanai
 48 Ensemble\Str1            112 Perc\TinkleBell
 49 Ensemble\Str2            113 Perc\Agogo
 50 Ensemble\SynStrs1        114 Perc\SteelDrums
 51 Ensemble\SynStrs2        115 Perc\WoodBlock
 52 Ensemble\ChoirAahs       116 Perc\TaikoDrum
 53 Ensemble\VoiceOohs       117 Perc\MelodicTom
 54 Ensemble\SynVoice        118 Perc\SynDrum
 55 Ensemble\OrchestraHit    119 Perc\RvrsCymbal
 56 Brass\Trumpet            120 SndFX\GuitarFret
 57 Brass\Trombone           121 SndFX\BreathNoise
 58 Brass\Tuba               122 SndFX\Seashore
 59 Brass\TrumpetMuted       123 SndFX\BirdTweet
 60 Brass\FrenchHorn         124 SndFX\TeleRing
 61 Brass\BrassSection       125 SndFX\Helicopter
 62 Brass\Syn1               126 SndFX\Applause
 63 Brass\Syn2               127 SndFX\Gunshot
 



presets


in midi, sounds go by several names: presets, patches, instruments, program changes, or just sound.

But the numbered slot for a sound is usually called a preset.

So that 4 for epiano means preset #4, slot #4 that stores what epiano "sounds like"...

When you pick a preset with a programChange control, the sound module gets ready:
the set of samples used to generate this sound Usually a sample per range of notes. (If you "stretch" a sample too much it starts sounding bad.)
Often a sample for each individual note. Sometimes a different sample per note per "velocity range". (Especially for piano. Low velocities use one sample, medium another, hi velocities another.)
"settings" that say what the defaults are for fx parameters, volume, pan, and other "user configurable" settings: envelopes, LFOs, filter cutoff, etc.
the set of control mappings that can change the sound. (Ex: modWheel causes vibrato, softer velocity increases filter cutoff)
drumkit settings: on channel 10, each note maps to a different drum sound. so each note could have all the things I just mentioned.

All of these "sound" parameters lead you to a whole new world. The world of sound synthesis. There's FM synthesis, additive synthesis, subtractive synthesis. Subtractive is the usual one. There are lots of good books on this topic. And it is a fascinating topic.

But, unfortunately for you, not for now.



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