MIDI Index



     MIDI   musician's manifesto  

      I'm going to take a different approach to the apologetics here than what I ordinarily read about MIDI in other places on the net.
Instead of discussing strategy for bigger, heavier Sound Fonts, or my hopes for the new extended MIDI which will have the power to
include the samples from which it is made within the midi file, thus making MIDI files a LOT bigger, I'll just acknowledge that I'm
playing around with a limited musical instrument that has no ability to sound like an expensive oboe in the hands of an expert, and no
resemblance to the best Steinway you ever heard, with Van Cliburn or Glenn Gould at the keys.  Just because these instrumnts, along
with all the Stradivari and Amati stringed instruments happen to exist, does not make it true that a $150 clarinet is not a musical instrument.
      No trainload of fine Hauser and Ramirez and Torres guitars can prevent a Hohner Marine Band harmonica, a pair of simple castanets, 
a no-frills Russian balalaika, or even an Arthur Godfrey ukulele from being a musical instrument.  If you get your expectations in line with
what your instrument can actually do, you can make pretty good music on almost anything; even pop bottles with water in them.
      So I won't be kowtowing to the snobbery that lets people distance themselves from MIDI by comparing it with more traditional
instruments and claiming that "real" instruments played by humans are "superior."  Baloney.  They are in no way comparable.
MIDI simply has different sounds and different rules, so why not take advantage of them?  When I pick up a ukulele, I play ukulele,
and I don't blame the poor puppy for not being a Lloyd Loar Mandolin.  If I happen to get my hands on an Appalachian dulcimer, I'm
stuck in one key with only the major scale, so the instrument isn't very versatile, but I can still get music out of it that sounds pretty good.
     This means I have devoted all the misery I am going to devote to the failure of my General MIDI violins to sound like real violins,
and instead take the best advantage I can of the way they actually do sound.  I am going to just claim the  EMU  8mbgmsfx.sf2 Sound Font
as my instrument of choice and go on from there to see what I can do to make the best music possible with that instrument.
      I think we do need to remember that we can go to the Philharmonic practically every day of our lives, then have some band of
South American mountain men come along with fretless lutes and six-hole flutes and ocarinas and just tear our heads off with absolutely 
superb music that has great harmony, great melodies, and great rhythm.   That is, unless we're snobs, it's always possible.

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