MIDI Sample

Here is a sample midi file taken from last year’s 7/8th Bass Clef Opus program, “Journeyman’s Song"  There are four tracks in this sequence.  Track 1 is Piano, Track 2 is Tenor 1, Track 3 is Tenor 2, and Track 4 is Bass.  In general, when using a midi file for the first time, you will start your sequencing program first, then open the midi file.  Once you import the file and have things running the way you like it, use the Save As command to preserve it.  From then on, you can start by double clicking on the file name itself.  


As an example, here are instructions for opening this file using Finale 2009.

  1. Download the midi file “Journeyman’s Song" by control clicking, or right clicking on it (choose “Save Link As”.., or the equivalent command).  Save it to your desktop.  Make sure it retains the .mid suffix.
  2. Open your Finale program.
  3. To open the file choose File/Open, then navigate to the file, or from the Launch Window, under “Open Existing Music” select Open.  It will ask you to make several choices along the way to help it format the way it looks on the page, but that’s not so important. Click OK.  Finale will open the file.
  4. From the Window menu, select Mixer.  You will see tracks for Piano, Tenor 1, Tenor 2, and Bass.  In each track you can select the pan setting (the knob), Mute, Solo, Record, Volume, Playback Instrument (click and hold to see all the options), and Channel.
  5. Make instrument and pan choices in each track.
  6. If the Playback Controls window is not visible, select it from the Window menu.  Locate the Play and Stop buttons.  
  7. Press play and make adjustments to the playback as you see fit.  Try muting or soloing tracks.  
  8. To adjust the tempo, from the menu bar choose Document/Playback-Record Options, and uncheck Tempo Changes. Then in the Playback Controls window, click the little triangle in the bottom left to open the window farther. There you will see where you can adjust the tempo up or down, which may come in handy with this selection!

Now let’s open the same midi file using Sweet Midi Player.

  1. Download the midi file “Journeyman’s Song" by control clicking or right clicking on it (choose “Save Link As”.., or the equivalent command).  Save it to your desktop.  Make sure it retains the .mid suffix. (If you’ve already downloaded it, you don’t need to do it again.)
  2. Open the Sweet Midi Player.
  3. From the File menu, select Open.
  4. Navigate to the file on your desktop and click Open.
  5. You might get a warning dialog box regarding volume information.  Nothing to worry about.  Click OK.
  6. Familiarize yourself with the locations of the volume slider for each track, solo and mute buttons, instrument select boxes (click and drag to see your many choices) and play/stop controls.  You even have easy Pan controls at the top!
  7. To adjust tempo, click and hold in the Tempo Change box, then drag your mouse up or down.
  8. If necessary, visit Midi Setup under the MIDI menu and make adjustments.  You will only need to adjust these settings once.  From then on, the program will remember your “preferences”.
  9. Press play and make adjustments to the playback as you see fit.  Try slowing it down and changing the volume of several tracks.

If you are using a Digital Piano with an onboard sequencer, you will still need to start by downloading the above file onto the desktop of your computer.  The method to use for transferring the file from the  computer to your keyboard depends upon the keyboard you have.  Some use floppy disks, some have CD drives, some use SmartMedia cards (like in a digital camera), or flash drives, or connect to a computer via a USB cable.  You will have to discover the correct method from your owners manual or a call to the company’s support line.  Once the midi file is imported to your keyboard, you will need to experiment and read the manual to discover how you can play the file, mute and solo tracks, change the tempo, etc.


© Michael Blair 2017