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MIDI Interpretation Experiment / Some Results

After making two very different versions of the same midi track (Adagio vs MikroMuzik thread) I had the thought it could be fun if someone offered up a midi track and forum members could make their individualistic interpretations of the same track. Then we could be awed by how different we each imagine music.

Anyone else think this might be worth doing? Maybe two different midi tracks to interpret. Not a contest or anything, just a communal exploration. Anyone have a good midi track to offer?



  • Count me in! I would love to interpret one of your "ideas"!!! And would love to see interpretation of some "constructs" i do!

    But please describe the sort of midi track you're thinking of!?! Just melody, a theme? Chord progressions, Arpeggios, Beats?

    What about length? (Please limit it, i tend to "overdo")

    Anyway, very interesting!

  • That's great @PartOfPayn. Let's wait a bit and see if some other members are interested. I would think a fully fleshed out piece. These days my tracks are totally derived from a piano midi track. But it could be an assemblage of individual tracks as well. Changing instruments, mix, effects, adding, changing of removing percussion. Like that,

    i guess a piece of five minutes more or less would be about right, or one might choose to lengthen or shorten a piece if they chose to. Total freedom. Your thoughts?

  • I'll play if it's closer to 3 minutes. Listening time is limited for me and 6-8 times 5 minutes wouldn't get done without just sampling snippets which is what I usually do.

  • edited February 2019

    I have a midi piece I could contribute. Something I played around with and never found the right sounds for. I am not sure I would say it is fully fleshed out, but it has 3 parts, like melody, drone, and tuned percussion. It is based on a classical indian form, granted in a very excerpted and more repetitive westernized way. I would expect most people would find it too sparse as is and add tracks, but maybe not with the right voices.

  • Ok, glad there is some interest! So let's see how this might work.

    1. perhaps it should be that it is ongoing (at least for a while). I say this because there could be a few folks who are curious as to what their tracks might sound like in the hands of others. For me the interesting thing would be to focus on one piece a week (longer?) to see the different interpretations as opposed to an inventory of midi one can choose from. For me the challenge is often "how do I take this not so great track and make it good", so it actually doesn't matter the quality of the midi track. One might even purposely put up something average or sparse (as @Multicellular suggests). But just one or maybe two at a time IMO. We could post in order of submission.
    2. I assume anything would go. No rules or guidelines (my preference in all things).
    3. How do we share the midi track? Perhaps one can post on Dropbox and all can access it. How is that done, if so?
    4. @mcd, I assume if a piece is longer than three minutes you could edit it down? I personally prefer not to be limited in time. Certainly not longer than six minutes in any case ( more or less). Of course if we limited to three than someone could just repeat for a six minute track.

    so, please add and comment. @PartOfPayn just to keep all participants in the loop, I will try to make sure anyone who wants to participate is noted in my updates. Unless someone else wants to govern this... quoting a famous line in history... I will take on the mantle. It would please me personally to see this thread ongoing, but let us try it and see what happens.

  • @McD, damn, case sensitive monikers!

  • @LinearLineman - I don't think you play to the MIDI clock (i.e. use any kind of metronome with "beats per minute" so your playing is free form. That's fine for me but makes it rather tricky to add drums using DAW tools. Adding drums by ear using pads might work for some. So, adding your music is tricky and will probably break some workflows and general "MIDI" techniques.

    So, start with something short so it doesn't take us hours to sort out a reaction. A 6-8 minute MIDI recording without reface to any clock timing will be an exercise is frustration. I've seen this movie before and I didn't like the ending.

    Like it or hate it MIDI has a click... you can ignore it but it means the collaborator has to as well. I wish we could add a flexible click track after the fact that allowed someone to declare the occurrence of the next "One" for each bar and interpolate the other beats based upon the timing between "ones". That would solve the problem and allow this type of MIDI teamwork.

    I've never seen a tool that does that... we cannot even get most DAW makers too allow occasional odd meters or slight variations in the clock. Music just isn't really like MIDI's clock driven rules but MIDI music has so many other attributes worth investing in beside these damn timing issues.

  • edited February 2019

    @McD, I do use a click track sometimes. But we don't have to use one of my tracks. That was not my intention. Besides, I would like to work on someone else's. So let the first one be another's

  • I would like to experiment on a thing such as this. I'll try to keep checking back to see if any development has been made; I don't seem to be getting quote notifications since the board switched.

  • Looks fine to me, would love to start with some kind of a „test flight“. So „sparse“ seems to be perfect, leaves spaces for experimentation (hopefully).

    @LinearLineman No rules or guidelines +1

    But I fear that 1 week may be a little sparse esp. for the first attempt, let’s see.

    looking forward to this

  • edited February 2019

    I'll just throw this out there then. At the link below you'll find 3 midi files. Melody, drone, and percussion (which is tuned). This is pretty sparse.

    Trying to balance part of the intent of this to be experimental with things I am afraid might just wildly throw people off, here are a few notes about this.

    This is based on a traditional Indian raga. Relevance of that, one thing in testing importing these files and throwing random synths for the melody, I feel like it sounds really strange without a lot of glide/portamento. Strange, like, wtf is this even? Again, I don't want to limit experimentation and would totally love to be wrong about that but it sounds really off without the glide.

    Second, the tuned percussion track, some notes are octaves apart because I was doing this with Ruismaker Noir and that is what works there. Again, don't want to limit ideas, but I was afraid people would open it up in some apps and not even see the lower or higher notes.

    If anyone wants access to upload to this folder direct message me your email and I'll add you. I'd say please make 1 folder per song to keep it from getting messy.

  • edited February 2019

    Perfect @PartOfPayn @McD , @oat_phipps Maybe each of us should post one?

    btw how does one post on DB to create a link @multicellular?

  • @LinearLineman Are you thinking fully-fleshed MIDI tracks, 5-6 minutes in length? Or are you talking bare bones, a few-bar loops of bass, chords, lead etc. as a starting point to work with? Either way's fine with me, just unsure which you had in mind.

  • @oat_phipps whatever suits you. @Multicellular ‘s is three tracks only. So far I have doubled the length and

    duplicated his three tracks. Now I am plugging in different instruments and ARPs. Anything goes here.

  • I’ll try and give this a blast....


  • Go for it @id_23! I guess we will post results on this thread? Any other thoughts about how to proceed?

  • wow!

    I like that a lot. I love how much the melody voices rotate at the end. And the more rapid beat you added.

  • On ipad, when you go to Dropbox, go to files view and there is a three little dot menu under each file. Share and then create a link.

  • Thanks @Multicellular the beats were just echoes applied with a bit of other trickery. I didn't change the MIDI data at all, apart from only using the drone track for the first half. I found that track interesting enough in its own right once I added some swirly stuff.

    Quite a fun game @LinearLineman mind if I upload a MIDI track at some point?

  • @Jocphone, great first interpretation. Like snoring Scots elves who suddenly wake up. Sure, Post away. No need to ask my permission. No rules!

  • More courtesy than permission @LinearLineman thanks.

    Well you can tell I'm up to my eyeballs in deadlines. Easily distracted!

    Here's another version, slightly more downtempo than the previous. Again in the 'Vox.

    Pulled the bass percussion to the fore and buried the melody for a different effect.

  • Well, this is great so far! Thanks

    @jocphone, This was super! It’s great to see such different approaches. Thanks! What apps? And, may I ask contributors to list apps and or thoughtflow.

    I had a ball taking my shot at @Multicellular‘s fecund material. Here is how I did mine. I doubled the length firstly. Second filled four drone tracks with Cubasis Micrologue... Beels ARP, Arpeggio ARP, Spring Machine, and Hazel ARP. For the Percussion track, BeatHawk Orchestral Pizzacato and SynthMaster1 and Sleep well. For the melody midi track a combo of ThumbJam Viola and SMPlayer Soft pad.

  • Ok, here is a track from me. I picked it for several reasons. It is synced to 110bpm. It’s a jazz track, but I would be interested in non jazz interpretation. Also, no one listened to it when I posted it!

    This may be a bit tough as it is all derived from a single midi track. I don’t know how easy it is to split off the bass line part from the midi track, but I guess it is possible. Actually I would like to know how to do that. With that caveat, good luck to anyone trying it out!

  • @Jocphone and @LinearLineman


    Very different of course, but these both sound so much more like theyd work for movie soundtracks than the various ways I had voiced it. My version is, I suppose, heavily influenced by how I learned this, growing up in Hindu temple hearing it on harmonium mostly, much slower, and more a focus for quiet meditation than something you might dance to or play at a party.

    Really have enjoyed this experiment! Ill see what I can do with yours Michael.

  • Haha! Yes, I imagine you were taken aback a little @Multicellular. I guess we can all expect the unexpected in this little experiment.

    i really hope others will participate. It seems a great way to collaborate in a very easy going way.

  • every positive way. Literally jaw dropping and smiling.

  • Cool track @LinearLineman. I think it’s funny that we have deviated such but it feels like we have both tried to be sensitive to the original track.

    I will try and get to your track but I couldn’t find a MIDI file. Seems to be an exported Cubasis project..

    oh yes, my two efforts were created in SunVox. I don’t often say its full name for fear of repercussions.

  • Ladies and Gentleman: Your fast!

    I would've spent days on mastering and polishing, but as an experiment, here we go. Raw and intense.

    I had to change the percussion track @Multicellular mentioned it, added some chords for the structure (i need), and some drums for the groooove (i need too ; )). Apps used: Cubasis and some of its beloved arps, Choirs from Beathawk, a little bit of Roli Noise, Drums by Drum Session.

    @Multicellular nice track btw, fell in love with it the longer i worked on, has some nice twists.

    Hope you like it, but please don't contain yourself with criticism, may help!

  •  @LinearLineman your next. Thinking of a metal interpretation (without having heard it)

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