Playing MIDI on PC with same quality as on keyboard.


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I always like listen MIDI files / songs on my computer. I remember about 15 years ago or maybe even more, I had SB AWE 32 with 8MB of RAM and computer has been connected to HiFi equipment.
Recently, I don't have a good sound / music card, and believe I can find some player / software allows me to play MIDI files with the same quality as I can listen on my keyboard, I mean my other keyboard PSR E443.
Obviously, playing any MIDI files on my 443 is not a problem, as it's supporting USB stick connector, but as I mentioned in my another post - each of my keyboards is located in different house, many miles from each other.
I found some software, like SynthFont and MidiPlayer5 but... what is most interesting for me, despite the fact using different soundbanks, some of MIDI files have reasonably nice quality of song (not sound), but some of them... are terrible. I tested all of those music MIDI files on my 443 and all of them playing properly.
As a conclusion, my final question - is there any player + Yamaha soundbank allowing to play MIDI files with same or similar quality as keyboard?
 
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The answer is not only Yes, but it is possible to totally blow away the keyboard sound of any Arranger with inbuilt Amp and Speakers.

There is always a downside and it is the cost involved.

Most PC’s on sale in the last 15 years have had integrated soundcards, prior we, who build our own, used to select and install a separate soundcard which simply plugs into the Motherboard in much the same way as a Graphics Card does.

So that is way 1, buy and install a seperate soundcard.

Way 2, is to buy a USB plug in MIDI module which includes a soundcard and a Focusrite or Behringer spring to mind.

Then you need to have a pair of good quality powered speakers and you are good to go.

If you want the best if all worlds then include a Parametric Graphic Equaliser and Sub Woofer in the audio circuit.

Now a very quick search and I found this


Do note I have not read the content but do know of the products since I use the Behringer 204 that is listed, what the link should show you is the options,
 
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I really appreciate your answer and suggestion, however...
I'm looking for something cheap and most preferable free (as software) to play MIDI on my computer with reasonable quality.
I don't need it for work, just for my amusement.

Maybe my post wasn't clear enough, so I will try to write it down once more. As I got two different, separated keyboards E323 and E443 - the last one, working as "MIDI player" is completely satisfying. I had a hope, I can turn my E323 into MIDI player, but it's not as easy as I thought.
I'm not planning to buy any additional sound card, and I thought what I planned could be done is easy way.
What is more interesting - MidiPlayer5 - some of my MIDI files plays relatively good (comparing to E443) and some of them, played fine on E443 sounds terrible on MidiPlayer5 using the same computer, the same soundbank.

As I don't have much experience - I consider myself as an amateur, I asked for a help and advice, believing some of you may have similar needs like I do.

Thank you so much.
 
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Go to the BandLab website, register then download and install Cakewalk which is a DAW that will play your MIDI files.

Do remember this is an international forum with many members in USA, Canada and Australasia so replies can take a day.

You will need full two way MIDI compliance to have the system working satisfactory but my own knowledge of Yamaha keyboards is limited others hear know far more than I
 

SeaGtGruff

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If you're just looking for a MIDI soft synth or soundfont that sounds better than the computer's built-in player, you might check out CoolSoft's VirtualMIDISynth (for the player) and Timbres of Heaven (for the soundfont):


The advantage of using a DAW, or perhaps a MIDI editor/sequencer such as SynthFont (which I see you already know about), is that you can select a different soundfont, or virtual instrument plugin, or external keyboard voice (if you're outputting a MIDI track to an external keyboard), for each individual MIDI track, not to mention being able to apply different effects or equalization settings to each individual track, so you can end up with a result that will be vastly superior to using a simple MIDI player.

But the disadvantage of doing that is having to set up each MIDI track the way you want it, which takes time-- and you may just want to play back a MIDI file without having to go through any "muss and fuss." That would be where using a MIDI player such as CoolSoft VirtualMIDISynth and a soundfont such as Timbres of Heaven would be good.
 
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@Biggles thanks for your answer. As you suggested, I downloaded and installed Cakewalk and had no chance for more thorough tests, however I played one of my MIDI files on default Cakewalk settings / soundfont and it sounds... so poor. As I mentioned, I had no chance to test more of this software, so this is not even close to my final conclusion and I will test it more and I will have more to say in the future.

@SeaGtGruff thank you for answering.
I had tested VirtualMIDISynth in my other home, but not clearly remember results. I must admit, I never heard about "Timbres of Heaven" but I tested several soundfonts, like: "Yamaha XG sound.sf2", "Roland Sound Canvas Bank.sf2", "OmegaGMGS2.sf2", "just t4.sf2", "CrisisGeneralMidi1.8.sf2", "[SoundFont] General Midi Super Bank.sf2", "(SOUNDFONTS GM-GS) Roland 55mb.sf2", "(SOUNDFONTS GM-GS) Fluid Release II Bank.sf2" and I never been satisfied with the results (using those fonts for playing MIDI).

Just tested "Timbres of Heaven" and I'm so positively surprised. It looks like the best soundfont I ever had. Thank you for recommendation.

To clarify more my needs, I have to tell, there are some separate ways I'm following:

1. Just playing MIDI files using keyboard or computer.
2. Creating something, storing, saving - using keyboard + computer. (hopefully nearest future)
3. Using DAW / MIDI editor or sequencer.
 
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SeaGtGruff

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Well, no soundfont is going to sound like your keyboards do unless they're made using the same sound samples as the voices in your keyboards-- and then there are the keyboards' onboard effects, which would also need to be duplicated by the MIDI player. That's why DAWs have virtual instrument plugins as well as audio effects plugins and even MIDI effects plugins. :)
 
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It will be long way ahead of me, as I don't have experience with any DAW sofware. I udnerstand I will never be able to hear exactly the same, using software soundbanks comparing to real keyboard.
 

SeaGtGruff

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DAWs can seem very complicated and confusing, even a bit scary for the faint-of-heart.

True story: The first "DAW" I ever used was SynthFont, which I later realized isn't a DAW at all, just a MIDI sequencer and sample player. (At the time, I was just learning about MIDI and had only just discovered "piano roll editors," so when I saw that SynthFont has a piano roll editor, I thought that meant it's a DAW!) I was completely mystified by things like "MIDI ports," which I knew could let me use more than 16 channels of MIDI, but I didn't have a clue what I needed to do so I could load a MIDI file into SynthFont and send some of the MIDI channels to my brand new Yamaha PSR-E433 as well as my Casio CTK-710. When I figured out how easy it was, I felt both incredibly embarrassed at how clueless I'd been, plus incredibly elated at the possibilities that now lay before me.

Anyway, after tinkering with SynthFont for a while, I decided to buy an M-Audio Axiom 61-II keyboard controller in addition to my old Casio CTK-710 and my new Yamaha PSR-E433, so I could use all the fancy controls on the Axiom to control the many settings on software synthesizers. I got a free license for Ableton Live Lite with the Axiom, and by that time I understood that SynthFont isn't a DAW, whereas Ableton Live definitely is a DAW. So after I installed Ableton Live, I started it up, took one look at the screen, freaked out, closed Live, and ran back to SynthFont. Every so often I'd start up Live again, thinking "I really ought to learn how to use this," but the display was bewildering and too much for my poor brain, so I kept running back to SynthFont.

I eventually took a free online course about how to use Ableton Live, and was embarrassed to discover just how easy it is to use! But by then I'd also bought Acoustica Mixcraft, and was very much happy with it.
 
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Dear @SeaGtGruff I know it's not strictly related to the topic I started, but got to say, I finally have my new PSR-E423. As seller said, keyboard is in immaculate condition, perfectly working. I think it could be a little bit quiet than E443 but maybe it's just an impression, I'm not sure. Transferring MIDI is not a problem (finally!).

I have completely no experience with any DAW software. As suggested, yesterday I was downloaded and installed Cakewalk... and everything for me is just a magic. Don't get me wrong, I'm not asking about full tutorial but I have some questions, maybe some of them will be silly... so please, forgive my ignorance.

What I want to know? When I want just listen any MIDI file, just uploading into keyboard, and listening. Simple. No questions. But, I'm thinking... if it's possible... using Cakewalk or SynthFont it it possible to load MIDI file into software (on PC) and play it, but not using default output as Audio OUT, but on keyboard (without copying this song into keyboard memory). I'm not 100% if I was able to explain what I really want.
However, if you, or anyone reading this understood me, please help me understand. Maybe it's not possible or maybe requires advanced knowledge and it's not accessible for novice users.
Thank you in advance.
 

SeaGtGruff

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I can't help much with Cakewalk, because I don't have it installed-- and even though it's free, I already have several other DAWs installed; and what with all the Elder Scrolls games and software synthesizers that I've got installed, there isn't much free space left on my hard drive anymore. :(

But later on I can definitely help you with SynthFont.
 
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I can't help much with Cakewalk, because I don't have it installed-- and even though it's free, I already have several other DAWs installed; and what with all the Elder Scrolls games and software synthesizers that I've got installed, there isn't much free space left on my hard drive anymore. :(

But later on I can definitely help you with SynthFont.
I will be waiting then patiently. Thank you in advance.

Cakewalk is not only one possibility. I could consider any other option.
 

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