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The MIDI Forum

  Thursday, 03 March 2022
  13 Replies
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I recently purchased 3 downloads of .mid and WAV files from a source in the UK that I've used before without any issues. The files download directly from the vendor's website as a zipped download with MIDI in a separate folder and WAV files for MACOSX or PC in separate folders in the download.
For DAW's I'm using Music Maker 2021 Premium and Acid Pro 10 Suite. After I drag and drop these files into the track composer of either DAW, the .mid files have 20-40 blank bars before any playable music data. The file properties show 02min 34s 500ms (for example), while the actual play time is only 3-8 seconds (3-4 bars). There are a number of solid white files with prefix name of ._ and .DS_Store, which are for MACOSX and I’m not sure if these are causing any problems. I don’t load the MACOSX file into my music folder, just the WAV and .mid files.

I’ve contacted the company where I purchased the files, they are standard (SMF) files and no problems have been reported by other customers similar to mine. I have purchased several product downloads from this company and all previous purchases are working fine in both DAW's. The vendor didn't find any file errors on the 3 recent downloads that I'm having problems with.

My PC (HP desktop) was purchased new last year: Intel Core i7, 64-bit, Quad Processor, 32GB RAM, 1.5TB Storage, 2.90GHz. I've completely reloaded Windows 10 with updates/drivers and ran every diagnostic, update and repair tool available with HP Support. I've been trying to get this issue fixed for several weeks and have tried everything I know. I've considered loading a Midi File repair program, but I don't know and unsure which one is best to fix my specific issue, or which are safe.

I can send screenshots of what I'm seeing or a few actual files. If anyone can help, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thanks
2 months ago
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#13999
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Welcome to the forum, Daniel!
You should better post all related stuff in one thread.
All ._ and .DS_Store files are not needed and you can safely delete them.
You can attach one of your MIDI files here for we could see what's inside.
2 months ago
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#14000
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Yes, by all means attach one (or all) of the problem files, there are a few people here who will check them out.

Even if the file cannot be 'fixed', you'll find out exactly what the problem is, and maybe some ideas as to what has caused it.

Not sure if this has been fixed yet, but believe it or not the forum did not allow .mid files as attachments, you may need to put the files into a .zip first.

The problem is unlikely to be your software, but we'll use a range of systems on them, and maybe the files will work better on something else?

Geoff
2 months ago
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#14014
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Another thought.

Do you still have the .zip file that you downloaded?

You should use the verification options within the 'zip' software to check the integrity of the .zip file, also more specifically check the file details (esp file size) of the file within the archive, and the file as unpacked.

The .zip file could have been damaged in the download. I would have thought though there would have been errors reported during the unpack process? You didn't refer to anything like that. You might try the UnZip option again?

Geoff
2 months ago
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#14024
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I've traced the download you've got to something called 'Producer Loops'.

I note that these seem to be supplied as components, i.e. they could well be small midi files, and could well have peculiar data in them, i.e. they may not be like 'normal' midi files. I assume that you would load such components into your DAW, into an existing project, and use cut/paste to fit them in as required.

If you're trying to look at one as a normal midi file, it may well behave in a strange way. Maybe even as you describe.

I hope you're taking this into account when you make your original enquiry?

I note that these are commercial/copyright items, but you might be OK submitting a single midi file without any of the associated items, if a specific file seems to have a problem. One file might shed some light on the problem, if there is a problem?

Geoff
1 month ago
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#14388
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Hi All,
Thank you for your replies. My apologies for the delay, NEW AGE-BALLAD-POP--NIKO KOTOULAS.jpg I had to attend to some family matters and was away for a while. I've attached a screenshot of the problem MIDI Files. The first 3 Midi Files are problematic ones, the fourth one showing by Niko Kotoulas works just fine. I'm not sure how to submit an actual .mid file to this forum.
DanM. NEW AGE-BALLAD-POP--NIKO KOTOULAS.jpg
1 month ago
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#14389
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You can attach one of the files using the "Attachments" link just under the part where you type. You can not submit a MIDI file as is, you must first zip it, then it will let you attach the zip file. In Windows, right click on the MIDI file, select "Send To" -> "Compressed (zipped) folder", then attach that file to a reply. Any of the three you show should let us try to figure out what's up.
1 month ago
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#14390
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I've attached a .mid file from each collection shown in the screenshot. Next, I'll try to attach and send the full download of all files.
Note: I previously tried erasing all ._ and .DS_Store files with no results. I've been using 7zip to unpack with no errors indicated in the download process.
1 month ago
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#14391
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I tried attaching the entire zip file and the sub files separately. Both were to large
1 month ago
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#14394
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OK, I've downloaded one of the files, and after a fight with the long file names I've got into it.

My earlier comments about these files would seem to be correct. These files are 'components', and they are not intended to be 'played' as is.

For example, the one I've looked at...

The file is a perfectly valid midi file, my various utilities operate on it quite normally.

However, the very first midi events in the file are at tick 101760, which meant that you will need to wait quite some time before anything happens.

The first Note On event is at tick 190080, which is quite some time later.

The last midi note event is at tick 197878. The midi End of File is at 320640, so there is a LONG gap before the playing software would recognise that the music has ended.

The midi file shows 480 ticks per 1/4 note, so I think this means about 100 bars of silence. This is a VERY quick calc.

Anyway, the midi file is merely a packet of data that needs to be extracted and slotted into something else. At the moment of inserting, the tick timings would be adjusted to suit the destination. The tick timings given are probably intentionally extreme to reduct accidents with any music already inserted in the project?

I would guess that all the files you have are similar.

If you load the file into your software to play, you might get some 'result' if there is a facility to skip forwards to the first event. As per the file noted above, the initial events (controllers etc) are important and may be vital, even though there may be another gap between them and the first actual Notes.

I'll look at some of the systems I have for playing a midi file and see if any of those will allow such a 'skip' over the initial wait. But don't hold your breath!!

Update - I've just looked again at your original message.

You referred there to previous files having a gap of 20 or so bars at the beginning. Well, these may well have a LOT bigger gap. Maybe you just need to allow for this.

Geoff
1 month ago
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#14395
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As Geoff said, it unfortunately looks like the MIDI files you attached actually do contain many bars of silence at the beginning, a few bars of notes, and many bars of silence at the end. From this state, the only way to fix them is to manually edit them.

Could you have accidentally modified the original files somehow? Perhaps you can try re-downloading the zip files you purchased, if possible, to confirm what the files look like from the original downloads.


Information for other people looking at this: It looks like the zip files Daniel purchased from Producer Loops (New Age Piano 1, Acoustic Piano Ballad 1, and Pop Piano Library 1) are supposed to contain many short clips of a few bars, in various WAV files and MIDI files, as musical building blocks. The music sofware Daniel is using (Magix Music Maker and Magix Acid Pro) lets you combine and repeat small clips like these to build your own music. In the MIDI files Daniel attached, I suspect the many bars of silence at the beginning and end are unintended. It seems like the files are supposed to contain only the few bars of notes that were in the middle, without the many silent bars at the beginning or end.


I'll look at some of the systems I have for playing a midi file and see if any of those will allow such a 'skip' over the initial wait.

Geoff FYI: vanBasco's Karaoke Player will skip any silence at the beginning of the MIDI file by default (in Setup, the option "Start from first note" is checked by default), and always ignores any silence at the end of a MIDI file. However, the files Daniel purchased aren't really for standalone playback, they're meant to be dragged into music software as building blocks to make music.


For the MIDI nerds here that like to study various problems that can happen in MIDI files, I noticed the following problems:

Time Signature in the middle of a measure

In the file "1 Acoustic Piano 01_72 BPM.mid", at the position of measure 10, beat 4, 0 ticks [10:4:0], typical beginning events appear -- Time Signature, Key Signature, Tempo, and so on. However, a Time Signature event doesn't have a well-defined purpose at a position that isn't the beginning of a measure.

I like to use the MIDI editor software Sekaiju. While examining this file, I discovered when a Time Signature event occurs at a position that isn't the beginning of a measure -- in other words, a position that is not like measure x, beat 1, 0 ticks [x:1:0] -- then Sekaiju considers that position to be the same as the beginning of the next measure.

For example, if I insert a dummy test event like a Text event, and then use the little spinner to change its position one tick at a time, Seakiju will step between these two tick positions:

10:4:0 (considered the same as manually entering 11:1:0)
11:1:1

Another consequence this has is that the positions past this point are labeled with different measure:beat:tick values in Sekaiju and in Cakewalk. This means it could be confusing to discuss positions past this point in measure:beat:tick format across different MIDI software.


Overlapping notes

In the file "1 Piano Bridge 01_65 BPM.mid", at the position of measure 100, beat 1, 0 ticks [100:1:0], the beginning chord of four notes appears, but the notes are actually duplicated.

The notes appear with a normal duration, but also have overlapping duplicates that have small durations of 11 or 12 ticks.

When I play this file on Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth, the first chord stops sounding very quickly because of this.

  Position   Kind    Channel   Pitch   Velocity  Duration
--------- ------- ------- ------- -------- --------
100:1:0 Note On 1 43 G2 47 12
100:1:0 Note On 1 43 G2 47 1609

100:1:0 Note On 1 50 D3 64 12
100:1:0 Note On 1 50 D3 64 528

100:1:0 Note On 1 55 G3 89 11
100:1:0 Note On 1 55 G3 89 169

100:1:0 Note On 1 58 Bb3 72 12
100:1:0 Note On 1 58 Bb3 72 199
1 month ago
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#14396
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Sema's test-midi-files does not show any errors with any of the files.

Anvil Studio's "Repair Song" option does not find any errors either.

If I play them in Winamp/VirtualMIDISynth, they all play as percussion, even though there does not appear to be anything that should trigger this to happen. All of my other players seem to play them normally.

They do contain an SMPTE offset, which I have thus far never seen actually used for a valid reason in a MIDI file.

So it would appear that they are clearly not corrupt. They were either never saved correctly by the original "artist", or at some point before they made it here to look at, they were opened and re-saved using some software that inadvertently padded them with all the extra silence. Unless, by some small chance, all of the files in each collection can be pieced together as-is to for a complete song, thereby making the silence lengths required to place the notes in their proper position within the full piece?

As mentioned above, it appears you may need to manually edit the files to remove the silence.
1 month ago
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#14402
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Wow, that is some extensive research. I sincerely appreciate all the information from everyone looking at these files. To answer the question about file alteration, no, not by me. I simply downloaded from the vendor, then used 7zip to extract. When the files appeared as they still do, I sent them to the recycle bin and tried the download again, however, nothing ever changed. I found it odd that when right clicking on these files, the play/run time is far different than the actual playable data. I originally thought it might be a midi channel problem, but I haven't had any similar problems with other sources. Thanks again for looking into this for me, I hope it will help others who are experiencing this.

Dan
4 weeks ago
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#14420
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Dan,

Have you been able to 'fix' this problem?

I've just tried one of the midi utilities I have, a paid of small DOS programs called DECODE and ENCODE. The first converts a midi file into a text file, which can be viewed and edited, and the second turns the text file back into a midi file.

One of the things that can be easily edited is the tick count. So I tried this (I've never needed to do this before, so I was not sure it would work).

I inserted a -101760 before the first event in the file, and then a -88320 before the first item at 190080, and regenerated the midi file, which now starts at tick 0 (zero) and runs right through normally, no pauses.

Maybe your DAW software can implement something similar?

Regarding the duplicated notes referred to above, I would suspect that the results of this could vary with different hardware/VST. Most instruments do not recognise the same note being played at the same time. This is impossible on a piano for example. If it WAS possible, then what would happen if the notes needed to be different lengths (as in the example here), if two notes are started then the first Note Off might not necessarity affect the correct note started, or it might turn off ALL of the specified note.

Regarding the specific example file (here the '1 Piano Bridge 01_65 BPM) the problem with the timing might have some purpose and might be intentional (maybe there is a note about this in any docs supplied), but the duplicated notes MUST be a mistake unless these component files are supplied for use with specific hardware (or VST system) which IS capable of doing something with such notes.

Geoff
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