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Creating a mixed sysex + midi .mid file

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:37 am
by farvardin
Hello,

I've made a few MT32 tracks in the past, using the default setup. Then I've discovered the MT32 was a bit like the Roland D110 and D50, and you could program most aspects of it.

On this page, there are some mixed midi + sysex, and they work great in the Munt MT32 emulator: http://www.midimusicadventures.com/ques ... undtracks/

I'd like to create similar midi files for my tracks!

I've found many great tools on http://www.midimusicadventures.com/ques ... utilities/, so I've created / adapted some sounds with LA-Synth. I've "cleaned" the resulting sysex with the M32 to Syx utility, so I can also add a message on the front board. I can send my sysex into Munt, and create some music with my midi DAW. But i'd like the know how to make only one midi file. Could you help please? It looks like you've embeded the sysex messages into the first mesures of the midi files, but what tool have you used? It is possible in every midi DAW? Have you used Cakewalk Pro v3.01 for this purpose?

Re: Creating a mixed sysex + midi .mid file

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:47 pm
by jaffa225man
farvardin wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:37 am
Hello,

I've made a few MT32 tracks in the past, using the default setup. Then I've discovered the MT32 was a bit like the Roland D110 and D50, and you could program most aspects of it.

On this page, there are some mixed midi + sysex, and they work great in the Munt MT32 emulator: http://www.midimusicadventures.com/ques ... undtracks/

I'd like to create similar midi files for my tracks!

I've found many great tools on http://www.midimusicadventures.com/ques ... utilities/, so I've created / adapted some sounds with LA-Synth. I've "cleaned" the resulting sysex with the M32 to Syx utility, so I can also add a message on the front board. I can send my sysex into Munt, and create some music with my midi DAW. But i'd like the know how to make only one midi file. Could you help please? It looks like you've embeded the sysex messages into the first mesures of the midi files, but what tool have you used? It is possible in every midi DAW? Have you used Cakewalk Pro v3.01 for this purpose?
It's been possible in every DAW I've tried it with, but since you asked specifically about Cakewalk Pro v3.01, I'll outline what I found to work with it through testing just now. You have raw hexidecimal System Exclusive files (.syx) from the output of either "M32 to Syx" or LA-Synth, which you can use for this purpose. In cakewalk, choose View->Sysx, there click "Load Bank" and choose your .syx file. More can be added by clicking other bank numbers there and then clicking "Load Bank". Next, to actually attach the SysEx to any standard midi files you will be saving to, select the track you want the SysEx on, and choose View->New->"Event List". There, type the "Insert" key on your keyboard to insert a new event. By default it will be a standard "Note On" message, so double click under the "Kind" heading, where it says "Note" and change it to "System Exclusive". Then double-click the "0" under the "Values" column, and make that number, the number of the bank that you imported your SysEx into earlier (see the View->Sysx window for that). Of course, if you imported more .syx files earlier, just press the "Insert" key again and repeat that, changing the values as necessary to set each "Bank". When you export the file as a .mid, it will contain your now embedded SysEx, with whatever other song data you have in the cakewalk session.

Rosegarden (on GNU/Linux) also has an Event List Editor, that you can use to insert "systemexclusive" events and "Load data" to select the .syx files.

That's all there is to it, so good luck,

Lucas

Re: Creating a mixed sysex + midi .mid file

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:02 pm
by farvardin
Hello Lucas,

thank you very much for your detailed informations: it worked! 8-)

I'm a bit disappointed because I didn't manage to make it work with my Linux DAWs: on Rosegarden, I can read your MT32+midi files and they replay as expected in Munt. Yet, when I try to insert a sysex, only 256 bytes (I suppose), are imported. Unlike Cakewalk, it won't cut the whole sysex data into smaller chunks. With another DAW (Muse sequencer), it doesn't understand your midi files (it does display the sysex correctly, but I didn't manage to make it send the correct changes to Munt). The same for Ardour.

Fortunately, I could run Cakewalk and do as you advised. Thank you again...

Re: Creating a mixed sysex + midi .mid file

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:56 pm
by jaffa225man
farvardin wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:02 pm
Hello Lucas,

thank you very much for your detailed informations: it worked! 8-)

I'm a bit disappointed because I didn't manage to make it work with my Linux DAWs: on Rosegarden, I can read your MT32+midi files and they replay as expected in Munt. Yet, when I try to insert a sysex, only 256 bytes (I suppose), are imported. Unlike Cakewalk, it won't cut the whole sysex data into smaller chunks. With another DAW (Muse sequencer), it doesn't understand your midi files (it does display the sysex correctly, but I didn't manage to make it send the correct changes to Munt). The same for Ardour.

Fortunately, I could run Cakewalk and do as you advised. Thank you again...
I'm glad you got it working in cakewalk, and yes Rosegarden and the other GNU/Linux tools seem a little lacking when it comes to SysEx. With Rosegarden, I actually create and paste just one SysEx message (F0 - F7, including those two bytes) per systemexclusive event to make it work. Then there's the consideration of timing delays by separating the events for the MT-32 (old), but with MUNT I don't think that's needed. For playback, I've used simply aplaymidi in a shell, but mostly use a custom-built (since it seems deprecated in debian) audacious 3.4.3 with the AMIDI-Plug Input plugin (using the ALSA backend, real and virtual MIDI ports are selectable). MUNT also contains its own player, if you go to Tools->"Play MIDI file...". It even allows playlist creation there. I've not tried using MIDI in Ardour, and it's been a long time since I've played with Muse. SysEx can't even be examined reliably with aseqdump, though I have used it for that purpose. For some reason it seems to skip some entire messages. Luckily, my patched qmidiroute logs full SysEx, but I regularly have to pause audacious so the scrollback buffer doesn't roll off the oldest messages. Maybe someday I'll modify it to log to a real file, instead of just that event log window to avoid the pausing.

Sorry for my rambling... Anyway, you're very welcome. :)

Re: Creating a mixed sysex + midi .mid file

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:18 am
by farvardin
it's always interesting to learn how people are using their DAW and tools ;)

For Munt, the midi player is working well.

If you're interested to participate (if you compose music), there is a MT-32 competition on Battle of the Bits (among other things, such as Tracker music): http://battleofthebits.org/arena/Battle/4431/Submit/

Re: Creating a mixed sysex + midi .mid file

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:28 am
by jaffa225man
farvardin wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:18 am
it's always interesting to learn how people are using their DAW and tools ;)

For Munt, the midi player is working well.

If you're interested to participate (if you compose music), there is a MT-32 competition on Battle of the Bits (among other things, such as Tracker music): http://battleofthebits.org/arena/Battle/4431/Submit/
Yeah, it's great that MUNT has a built-in MIDI player. I've probably tried everything with these synthesizers, aside composing anything real, but it does sound like a lot of fun. Someday I hope to compose something entirely original, but I haven't devoted the time yet. I don't consider myself a musician, just a tinkerer.

As you probably know, MUNT has the ability to call up sounds from different "banks", just like the real hardware, including a user-programmed memory bank, and some internal instruments not normally mapped (but you'd probably have to be really into the MT-32 to recognize those as sounding different). Battle of the Bits seems to be daring us to try using the memory bank, as if it can't be done. There also must exist SysEx to change the partial reserve so that certain channels' partials have less chance of being dropped when all 32 are used up. At least Dr. T's MT-32 Editor/Librarian has a place to set that, if I'm remembering correctly. I think those two tricks could be employed throughout a song to make the MT-32's limitations seem almost nonexistent. Neat though their use would be, I think a good tune would probably go further in a contest, and you can get quite a lot out of the simplest MT-32 use. For example, this isn't an original composition, but it seems to be just using the standard sounds without tricks, and I think it's quite good: Roland MT-32 plays Popcorn https://youtu.be/c7T6XiUsITc. It also just occurred to me that those unfamiliar with the MT-32 may not know its pan control is backwards from that of GM, although it would be easily heard.

If you do submit one, I hope you do well, as you're digging in more than I imagine others to be! :)

Thanks for sharing, good luck and have fun,

Lucas

Re: Creating a mixed sysex + midi .mid file

Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2020 9:39 pm
by Spikey
For what it's worth, I've always used Voyetra Windows sequencers (Tom who made the MIDI files at QuestStudios used Voyetra DOS sequencers). They are easily the best for basic MIDI editing I've found.

Very easy to deal with SysEx, you can do what Tom did and embed them into the file, or you can even just attach them to autoplay when the file loads (SysEx will load, then MIDI will play).

Re: Creating a mixed sysex + midi .mid file

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2020 3:34 am
by farvardin
I'll have a look at Voyetra Sequencer, it's available on your website. I'm not used to DOS sequencers, but it looks powerful...

It seems some people can do amazing things with it!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGsIa1Q9Luk

Thank you for the tips!

Re: Creating a mixed sysex + midi .mid file

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:38 pm
by farvardin
I've tried the Voyetra DOS seq, but it's a bit complicated for me :oops: :oops:
I've downloaded the manual, but I think it's better I stick with Cakewalk, it works perfectly for what I need to do.

I've made a page for explaning the whole process of creating sounds on the MT-32: http://garvalf.online.fr/index.php?page ... es_mt32.en
If you don't mind, I've copied your tutorial for using Cakewalk (I've linked to this forum as well).

The bonus is even if I don't how a real MT-32, I have a Roland D-110 at home, and I can send it sounds I've designed for the MT-32, it's almost similar in the end!

I've finished my composition at last, it's not the best I've made (the intro theme is somehow getting on my nerves after a while), but I've quite satisfied of the general sounds and mixing, I'll reuse those tricks in new material for sure. Thanks again for all the help, I wouldn't have achieved this without you! http://battleofthebits.org/arena/Entry/ ... ory/34204/

Re: Creating a mixed sysex + midi .mid file

Posted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 7:44 pm
by jaffa225man
farvardin wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:38 pm
I've tried the Voyetra DOS seq, but it's a bit complicated for me :oops: :oops:
I've downloaded the manual, but I think it's better I stick with Cakewalk, it works perfectly for what I need to do.

I've made a page for explaning the whole process of creating sounds on the MT-32: http://garvalf.online.fr/index.php?page ... es_mt32.en
If you don't mind, I've copied your tutorial for using Cakewalk (I've linked to this forum as well).

The bonus is even if I don't how a real MT-32, I have a Roland D-110 at home, and I can send it sounds I've designed for the MT-32, it's almost similar in the end!

I've finished my composition at last, it's not the best I've made (the intro theme is somehow getting on my nerves after a while), but I've quite satisfied of the general sounds and mixing, I'll reuse those tricks in new material for sure. Thanks again for all the help, I wouldn't have achieved this without you! http://battleofthebits.org/arena/Entry/ ... ory/34204/
That's a great page on how to do it all, thanks! I never got LA/Synth to work for me, but I guess that could be because I've got Dr. T's MT-32 Librarian. In the last week I also adapted a rudimentary D-110 BCR2000 profile for the MT-32. You're right, they are similar, but I did have to change a fair amount with my detailed approach. It's pretty fun, but I haven't set sane default values for every parameter yet, so it's not really public-ready. I've captured the SysEx of various desired settings while turning the knobs, but I need more time to work out why I haven't been able to export an entire part from the MT-32's temporary area. Once I figure out how to export the whole part, I plan on assigning one of the BCR2000's unused buttons to the export function.

Your composition turned out great and I really like your originality in sound design! The MT-32 doesn't get much of that treatment nowadays, and it's wonderful to hear. :)