Creating new sounds, to be controlled by MIDI


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So, this seems like it should be info that's fairly easy to find, but I've been doing quite a bit of googling, and keep coming up empty. So I turn to the experts for help:

I'm thinking about writing some software to create interesting new synth sounds. Generating math, sampling the equations at the necessary rates to get all the pitches I need, and generating wave files is easy. Not that I've done it, as of yet, but it's eminently solvable. The thing I CAN'T find is what format is standardly used for a midi sound.

Obviously, midi information is what defines what notes will be played, how long, etc. But on the final end, that information is played using a patch of some sort. And that patch needs to be looked up from a file on the computer, or in the keyboard's memory banks. I want to generate a new patch from scratch, and then use it in any midi program that allows new patches to be imported. Does anybody know of open source software that allows you to turn samples into patches, or anywhere I can find enough information on the file format to write them from scratch? Thanks a bunch!
-cullam
 
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I think I can give you a few pointers but I need more info from you - and a few pointers as to your currrent knowledge.

Have you used SynthEdit: http://www.synthedit.com/

Or coded in Csound: http://www.csounds.com/

If what you are talking about is rendering audio as a .wav files and triggering it - you just need a sampler that'll load your .wav files and map them where you want across a keyboard for triggering.
 
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I haven't used either of those. I just gave them a quick look-over, and I don't think they'll do what I had in mind.

However, it is possible that just a sampler would work. Essentially, the wave files are going to be VERY short (approximately 40ms or less), and I'll want they played repeatedly. So by holding down a note, you'll get it's wave file repeated in a loop, giving you the assigned pitch, with no effect from the file looping. I'm assuming that this is how digital synth sounds are stored, although I welcome being corrected of any incorrect assumptions I may have.
-cullam
 
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I have no idea what you're doing. If it's "granular" synthesis do a web search - not my performing/composition bag but I'm interested in it and from the stuff I read quite a number of people code their own stuff - to get software that meets their needs.

Good luck.
 
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hmmm... that one's definitely got some potential, although it's still not exactly what I need. I'll do some more research into it though.

Let me re-phrase my question: Assume that I have the means of creating a separate wave file for each note on the keyboard. These samples are similar to synths or organs in that they have no decay. In fact, they have no attack either - just a steady timbre. So, 88 separate wave files that will each play a different steady pitch, if the small file is continually repeated over and over. The details aren't very important.

Now, I want to go from that, to a standard format to be used by midi players. I've made my own sound, and now I want to install it in a player that allows you to import sounds, rather than only using the ones provided. What do I need to do? Specifically, what is the type of file I need to make, and are there standard tools for going from a set of sound samples, to a standard, midi-controllable patch?

Hopefully that's a little clearer...
-cullam
 
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If it's just note on / note off you want - go to the KVR forum and get someone to talk you through what you need to make them into a "soundfont" - an sf2 file. It'll be large but that's fine now. One sound mapped to each midi note (I think there are 128 midi predefined pitches - the range extends above and below the 88 note limit on a normal piano).

Post back if you get no help (or you want more explanation).

A free soundfont player - sfz - is all people will need to access your new "instrument."
 
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