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 Post subject: Importing MIDI song files to Ableton Live
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:51 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 1:03 am
Posts: 81
Location: Stockton-on-Tees, UK
A few years ago, shortly before I sold the synth workstation I had at the time (a Yamaha QS300), I saved some of my song sequences in Standard MIDI File format so that I could reconstruct some of the arrangements on another sequencer.

I hadn't got around to that until today, when I tried importing a few of the SMFs to Ableton Live 8.

Oh dear. The original songs were 16-channel arrangements (though not always making use of all 16 channels) but the MIDI data appears all to have been saved to a single MIDI track. Play them back in Live and I get a cacophonous racket comprising every single one of the instrumental parts, including drum patterns, trying to play at the same time using whatever VST instrument I have assigned to the track.

Could it be that I saved these songs in the wrong way when I originally exported them to SMF? There didn't appear to be a choice of methods available.

The QS300 manual described the SMF export function as follows: "This comprises a single specified song in the Standard MIDI File format. The Standard MIDI File format is widely used by computer music software, sequencers, and synthesizers with built-in sequencers. This option provides data compatibility with such devices. Voice, output select, and play effect data is not saved with an SMF file. The tempo data is saved."

Or have I missed some obvious step in the process when trying to import them to a new sequencer?

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 Post subject: Re: Importing MIDI song files to Ableton Live
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:12 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:25 pm
Posts: 1245
Location: New Jersey, USA
comradec wrote:
Could it be that I saved these songs in the wrong way when I originally exported them to SMF? There didn't appear to be a choice of methods available.

The QS300 manual described the SMF export function as follows: "This comprises a single specified song in the Standard MIDI File format. The Standard MIDI File format is widely used by computer music software, sequencers, and synthesizers with built-in sequencers. This option provides data compatibility with such devices. Voice, output select, and play effect data is not saved with an SMF file.

I would think that "voice ... data is not saved with an SMF file" means that all of the MIDI channels are scrunched down to one, but I'm not sure about how your sequencer works.

What I do know is that I have successfully written MIDI files with Finale and imported them to Live with each MIDI channel going to a separate Live track. I also know that Live will not export a single MIDI file with more than one channel. Grrr.


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 Post subject: Re: Importing MIDI song files to Ableton Live
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:55 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 1:03 am
Posts: 81
Location: Stockton-on-Tees, UK
ark wrote:
I would think that "voice ... data is not saved with an SMF file" means that all of the MIDI channels are scrunched down to one, but I'm not sure about how your sequencer works.

What I do know is that I have successfully written MIDI files with Finale and imported them to Live with each MIDI channel going to a separate Live track. I also know that Live will not export a single MIDI file with more than one channel. Grrr.



Thanks for replying. I wasn't expecting the instruments to be sorted out for each channel because the original synth patches didn't conform to the 128-instrument MIDI standard. I knew they'd all be 001-pianos when I imported them to another sequencer and I'd have to allocate new sounds and drum kits for them.

What I didn't expect though was that they'd all be on the same track within Live. If Live exports MIDI in that single-channel file format, is it also able to re-separate such data when importing it?

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Live 8 Suite; NI Kontakt 3.5; Sony Sound Forge 9; MS Win7; Intel E6600 @ 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM; Akai APC40, LPK25; Roland SonicCell, Gaia SH-01, Fantom-G6; Alesis Fusion 6HD; A&H Zed-12FX; Tascam 2488neo


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 Post subject: Re: Importing MIDI song files to Ableton Live
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:07 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:14 am
Posts: 72
Location: Karlsruhe, Germany
Hi,

I export Midifiles from a Yamaha QY70-Workstation to my PC.
Wenn I drag them in Live all midi-tracks are in one Live-Track. :evil:
My workaround is to open it in another midi-sequencer (I use an old Cakewalk-Version) and save it again in midi-Format 1.
This new file dragged on Live creates a new live-Track for each midi-Track in the file! :lol:

I hope this works for you!

Regards,
roxxx303


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 Post subject: Re: Importing MIDI song files to Ableton Live
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:13 pm 

Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 3:41 pm
Posts: 663
Location: UK
Don't panic, this is a very common problem. Your files sound like they are type 0 smf files, you need type 1.

If you are on a Mac this strangely named free program 'Dent du Midi' http://homepage.mac.com/beryrinaldo/ddm/ will convert your midi type 0 file into separate midi type 1 files for each instrument. Sorry I don't know of a PC equivalent, google may help.


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 Post subject: Re: Importing MIDI song files to Ableton Live
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:38 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 1:03 am
Posts: 81
Location: Stockton-on-Tees, UK
vicz wrote:
Don't panic, this is a very common problem. Your files sound like they are type 0 smf files, you need type 1.

If you are on a Mac this strangely named free program 'Dent du Midi' http://homepage.mac.com/beryrinaldo/ddm/ will convert your midi type 0 file into separate midi type 1 files for each instrument. Sorry I don't know of a PC equivalent, google may help.



I use the even less helpfully named GNMIDFMT, a program for Windows: http://www.gnmidi.com/gnmidfmten.htm.

The website looks like a 1990s job and the software hasn't been updated in many years, but I've found that it works fine in Windows XP, Vista and 7.

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Steve Cooke
http://soundcloud.com/stevecooke
Live 8 Suite; NI Kontakt 3.5; Sony Sound Forge 9; MS Win7; Intel E6600 @ 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM; Akai APC40, LPK25; Roland SonicCell, Gaia SH-01, Fantom-G6; Alesis Fusion 6HD; A&H Zed-12FX; Tascam 2488neo


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