If you're not interested in the technicals, skip down to the bottom of the page to the
links. But I strongly suggest you spend a minute and read what's below. If you want to
have better sounding MIDIs, want better sounding backing tracks, it's worth the read!
Before you head over to the Timbres Of Heaven (TOH) site, here's some info about
TOH, and why you will want it! And some "with TOH and without" samples.
After you hear the samples, you'll be anxious to join MidKar! And you'll be willing to jump
through a bunch of hoops to get TOH! Fortunately, you don't have to jump through any hoop! LOL
A MIDI file is not music in itself. Technically, and legally it's Digital Sheet Music.
And nothing more. It makes no sound. Contains no music. No notes. No chords. No drums,
no bass, and so on, and so forth.
A MIDI file is nothing more than a bunch of data. Numbers. Letters. With Controls,
something we call EVENTS. MIDI files are TINY!
A MIDI player interprets those numbers and letter, and the commands and EVENTS.
Then it applies a soundfont to those commands. Think about a piano. It contains no music.
You need to press down on the keys to make sound. The MIDI player, along with the
soundfont that's used produces musical sounds. The data tells the player things like . . .
What note to play, what octave, what instrument should play the note? How hard should
the note be played? Or how softly? How long should the note be held or played? Are any
effects supposed to be used? Like Reverb, Chorus, etc. How much effect should be used?
Each soundfont (and there are MANY of them out there!) has its own values for all the
parameters you could imagine. Most freebie, low end soundfonts sound, well, low end!
Thin, sometimes very harsh on high notes. Non-distinct, no sound separation. The notes
tend to all run into each other. And many instruments step all over, and bury other
instruments. It's a nightmare for a seasoned sequencer to try to make a good sounding
MIDI using these standard, all too common soundfonts.
I think most people who play MIDIs use free players. The quality of the soundfont is
what determines how the MIDIs will sound. Not the player itself.
Expensive MIDI editors come with much better soundfonts. So MIDIs sound a LOT better
using those editors. So a sequencer produces a killer MIDI. It sounds GREAT! He posts it to
his forum. And most of the forum members think the MIDI sounds . . . OK. Kinda thin. And
they can't hear the melody! (A common problem!) The drums aren't loud enough. The
bass guitar is pounding loud! And you literally cannot hear the bass drum at all!
BUT . . . if you're in a MIDI forum like MidKar, you have access to the best soundfont out there!
And it's FREE!
There are MIDI players out there that allow you to use any soundfont you like. Most of the
MidKar members use the same few MIDI players, with Timbres Of Heaven soundfont. So we all
hear the same thing when we play a MIDI file! Same mix, same quality. We have several
professional musicians who are Pro sequencers. And they share their MIDIs with the group
for free. Usually 5 to 10 MIDIs are posted to the group every week. And thanks to Don Allen,
we have TOH! So everyone hears the same sound!
So the question is . . . Is there REALLY much difference between most of the MIDI soundfonts
out there and TOH?
Judge for yourself! We've spent many hours creating a way for you all to hear for yourself
how different soundfonts can sound from each other.
Here's how it works . . .
We took a few MIDIs and played them using a few different soundfonts. Recorded them,
and converted them to MP3.
Then I made a bunch of "snips". I took a small section of a song from each MP3. Maybe a
few measures. And using an Audio Editor, I put the sections side by side. Like this . . .
Measures 1 to 4: soundfont 1 soundfont 2 soundfont 3 soundfont 4 (TOH) So you'll
hear the 1st 4 measures 4 times, once each with each soundfont.
Then I did the same thing with the next section, then the next, etc.
Most of the examples will only be the intro, a verse, maybe a chorus, and the outro.
Have a listen for yourself. There's a brief description above each player link below.
3 things . . .
1). To really hear the difference, it would be best if you used a headset, or if you use
PC speakers, use a set with a subwoofer and 2 speakers. But you'll hear a difference
regardless of what you use. I can hear the difference on my cell phone!
2). There is a difference in the volume, section to section, because different soundfonts
produce a different amount of output.
3). There was NO FUNNY BUSINESS! We took a MIDI file, and played it using different
soundfonts. NO adjustments or editing was done! ZIP! The differences you hear are the
results of the different soundfonts! One sample might have a soft melody. Some almost
none in some sections. (The strings covered up the melody!) And one is . . . Just right!
Make sure you understand #3! Because when you hear TOH, you're gonna say . . .
"No Way! They edited the MIDI!" But . . . we did not. We have absolutely no reason
to cheat. We're not trying to get you to buy TOH! We're GIVING IT AWAY! FREE!
As to why some sections (the TOH sections) are so much louder, here's a snapshot
showing the actual imported MP3s and the exact snips. No trick-foolery! It is what it is!
Here's an example of a poorly sequenced MIDI.
Even a poor MIDI sounds better with TOH!
Same as #2 above. Just 2 soundfonts used.
Here is one verse and chorus of my backing track of Africa.
There is no melody. Obviously, it's a BT! We add 2 voices, guitar,
Congas and Timbales in performance.
OK, ready for a new MIDI experience! Do 2 things right now! Click the MidKar link
below and join our MIDI Community! Get free MIDIs, over 40,000 already on our site!
Get help installing TOH if you need it. Learn from Pro members about MIDI, sequencing,
making Pro backing tracks for your live performances, learn about music theory if you like!
And then click here to go to the Timbres Of Heaven site!
Hope to meet you soon in our community.Wayne (Reed) Knazek, MidKar Group Owner/Moderator Team member,