Using standard MIDI files

The MX series combines Motif XS sounds, USB Audio/MIDI connectivity and advanced DAW/VST controller features at a ground breaking level of affordability.

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Airlane
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Using standard MIDI files

Unread post by Airlane » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:31 pm

I'm a new user of an MX49 and I want to play standard MIDI files from a USB flash drive.

1. I get an error message stating Illegal Format when I try to play them, although they are the correct file type of .mid

2. As this synth doesn't use the General MIDI or XG standard, how do I ensure the MIDI file plays the right kind of sounds on each channel?

I suspect the answer is "Don't bother, as the MX isn't designed for standard MIDI files", but I thought I'd ask.

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Re: Using standard MIDI files

Unread post by SeaGtGruff » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:43 am

I was under the impression that the MX can play standard MIDI files, and that it recognizes both GM and XG? I'll have to double-check the manual to see for sure, but in the meantime I suggest trying to play the file on your computer using a standard MIDI playback app-- e.g., in Windows you should be able to play it using the built-in Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth, or for better quality playback try the Coolsoft VirtualMIDISynth with the Sounds of Heaven GM1/GM2/GS/XG soundfont. I've seen MIDI song files that were "copy protected" by the simple method of replacing the standard "MThd" MIDI file header chunk ID with the characters "LOCK" or something like that, so that if you tried to open/play the file it wouldn't be recognized as a MIDI file. All that was necessary to "unlock" the file was to open it in a hex editor and change the first four characters back to "MThd."
Michael Rideout
Yamaha PSR-E433, PSR-E443, YPT-400

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Re: Using standard MIDI files

Unread post by Airlane » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:07 pm

Thanks, I'll try your suggestions.

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Re: Using standard MIDI files

Unread post by SeaGtGruff » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:10 pm

I checked the Owner's Manual, and it says that only type 0 standard MIDI files can be used. If you've got a type 1 file then it will probably play on the computer even though it can't play on the keyboard. Fortunately, if this turns out to be what the problem is, there are utility programs for converting a type 1 MIDI file to a type 0 file, such as the following one:

http://www.jososoft.dk/yamaha/software/ ... /index.htm
Michael Rideout
Yamaha PSR-E433, PSR-E443, YPT-400

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Re: Using standard MIDI files

Unread post by Airlane » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:22 pm

Well done, thank you. The MX now reads the MIDI files. However, because it doesn't support GM or XG - there's no mention of such in the Reference Guide and no GM/XG logo on the machine itself as would be required - the sounds that are selected on each MIDI channel are fairly random. There is no GM Performance preset with drums on ch10 etc as is standard so I'll have to set that up. Not a problem at all, and thanks to you I know it can be done.

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Re: Using standard MIDI files

Unread post by SeaGtGruff » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:11 am

I still think the MX should be able to play GM voices, as well as at least some of the XG voices. If I remember correctly from something I saw in the manual several months ago, there might be a setting in one of the MX's menus that indicates whether you want it to use the GM sound set versus the patches in the performance presets, or something like that. And I know from having looked at the MX voice list a while back that at least a few of the voices are the same as some of the voices on my PSR-E models-- although the PSR-E models are only XGlite compatible and are limited to only one element per voice, so I would imagine that those voices probably sound better on the MX.
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Re: Using standard MIDI files

Unread post by parametric » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:44 am

Yeah Mike,

I had a quick look at the Manual the other night and I THOUGHT I saw a mention of XG compatability, - certainly, I remember Midi Type 0 files too . .

Interesting about the "locked" midi files though - wasn't aware of that nice workaround (Y)

Nice one!

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Re: Using standard MIDI files

Unread post by SeaGtGruff » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:19 am

The MX definitely has GM voices and the ability to play type 0 GM-compatible standard MIDI files.

If you look in the Data List you will see that the GM voices have Bank Select MSB and LSB values of 0, which in the XG specification is the "capital tone bank." But since the GM standard doesn't use Bank Select messages, any GM-compatible MIDI files probably use Program Select messages without Bank Select messages to pick the voices. That means the Program Change messages will pick voices from whichever bank is already selected.

If you look on page 54 of the Reference Manual, it talks about the options for the Initialization procedure. If you choose the GM option, the MX will be initialized with the GM voices so you can play GM song files. I think you might want to back up your existing performance data before doing that, since I think the initialization procedure will overwrite it.

As for XG, the MX doesn't have XG voices per se, but recognizes at least some XG messages. It isn't "XG compatible" per se, but since it recognizes the XG message format you should be able to edit an XG song file to replace the XG voices with the MX's nearest equivalent voices. You may need to make other adjustments in other XG messages, such as making sure the Reverb Type messages are using correct parameter addresses and parameter values.

EDIT: I should probably mention that I'm looking at the newer versions of the MX manuals, which cover the MX-49, MX-61, and MX-88. I didn't look in the older manuals to see if the Initialization procedure is discussed on the same page number.
Michael Rideout
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