Old 03-21-2007, 02:24 PM   #1
HAIjinks
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Default MIDI playback puzzle

I'm not a MIDI musician, and I am not familiar with MIDI devices. I decided to preview Reaper to see if I could import, record, and combine sound tracks for use with Windows Movie Maker. I have a MIDI file that I'd like to import and synch with my voice (singing with the MIDI file).

I followed the instructions in the manual, and after I imported the MIDI file, it wouldn't play back through my computer's speakers. I tried it BOTH ways: as all 6 instrument tracks, and all combined into 1 track. Nothing works. Reaper displays the file in both the timeline and the MIDI editing window, and the timeline moves through it as if it should be playing, but I hear nothing.

I've checked the FAQ's, read the manual pages pertaining to MIDI and Audio Playback, and followed the instructions by going to OPTIONS/preferences/MIDI Devices and enabling the one choice which appears: Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth. The MIDI file STILL doesn't play through my speakers. I just got through listening to the MIDI file on Windows Media Player, so the speakers are working fine.

The Reaper manual tells me that sending the sound to the soundcard and speakers is the default setting. If so, the MIDI track should play... but no.

I'm stumped and I'm frustrated. This should be EASY. All I want to do is import the MIDI music into one track and my recorded singing into the second track and synch them up together, then render them as one sound track for use with Windows Movie Maker.
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Old 03-21-2007, 02:52 PM   #2
Alistair S
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Midi on its own makes no sound (but I think you know that).

To make a sound, you have two choices. You can either

a) Place a VSTi on your track as an effect and effectively play the VSTi. There are a variety of VSTis out there, some of which will play a particular instrument and some of which will play a whole selection.

or

b) Open the I/O dialogue on your track. At the end you will see "Midi Output" which is probably set to "None". Choose MS GS Wavetable SW Synth.
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Old 03-21-2007, 07:47 PM   #3
HAIjinks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alistair S View Post
Midi on its own makes no sound (but I think you know that).
No, I didn't! I appreciate the info. I'm just beginning to learn to edit and combine sound tracks.

Quote:
To make a sound, you have two choices. You can either

a) Place a VSTi on your track as an effect and effectively play the VSTi. There are a variety of VSTis out there, some of which will play a particular instrument and some of which will play a whole selection.
After the second choice didn't work for me, I attempted to do this. I found 3 different Cockos VSTi files listed under FX and I attempted to add each of them one at a time, but nothing seemed to happen, no matter which one I added. Nothing ever appears in the drop down list:"VST program", even though I thought I had added the VSTi effect.

Quote:
or

b) Open the I/O dialogue on your track. At the end you will see "Midi Output" which is probably set to "None". Choose MS GS Wavetable SW Synth.
I did that choice first (it seemed to be the simplest) but still no sound... so I tried to impliment the VSTi efx, but to no avail.

This program is probably too difficult for a beginner like me.

The really frustrating thing is that I followed the directions in the manual LAST week, enabled the MS GS Wavetable SW Synth in Options/preferences/MIDI output, and the first MIDI I worked with (one that I created myself in Magic Score Maestro 4.0) played for me just fine! I synched it with my vocal wav file track, and I was very pleased!

But today I could't get the current MIDI to play. When this one (which I found on the Internet) did not play, I quit that project and I opened the project that had worked for me last week, thinking that the correct settings would load up with it. I was stunned when IT wouldn't play either today!!! I should think the program would maintain the correct settings with each project, and load them in the next time that project is opened.

The MS GS Wavetable SW Synth IS enabled under Options/preferences/MIDI Devices, and I chose MS GS Wavetable SW Synth under I/O for this MIDI track. STILL no sound. I am truly stumped.

I did expect a more intuitive interface. I thought that loading a MIDI file into a track and playing it through the attached speakers would be more obvious than all this. Windows Media Player certainly plays a MIDI file through the speakers automatically.

Maybe it all needs to be re-booted - both my computer and the Reaper program. I'll try that and see what happens. Sometimes Windows Movie Maker doesn't work properly either unless the system is completely rebooted and nothing else is running. I have a Pentium 4 at 3.06 GHz, with 496 MB RAM, and SoundMax Integrated Digital Audio.

It's too bad... I had hoped to enjoy using Reaper.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration in trying to help me, Alistair.
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Old 03-22-2007, 05:40 AM   #4
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Default IT GETS WORSE!!!

After becoming thoroughly frustrated trying to get Reaper to play a MIDI file through my computer's speakers (see above), I did a work-around. I played the MIDI file in Windows Media Player, and I placed my mic in between my two stereo speakers and recorded it in Reaper. I synched up the resulting wav file with my wav file vocals using Reaper. Then I had Reaper "render" the file. Of course Reaper saved it as another wav file. So far, so good... or so I thought.

Now... one might expect that a wav file would be standardized, right??? But NOOOOO!!! Windows Media Player gave me an ERROR MESSAGE when I tried to play the wav file that Reaper saved.

What was this error? It seems that the Reaper-generated wav file needed a codec identified as: InterVideo Audio Processor - a codec that was not already on my system and that did not already come with Windows Media Player 11. Windows Media Player 11 comes with about 20 freakin' codecs... but not THIS one!!!

Just for "fun" I tried loading the Reaper wav file into Windows Movie Maker to see if THAT program could play it... no dice. It appeared to load, but when I dragged the file onto the Audio portion of the timeline, it appeared w/o any sound waves, and when I played the project? You guess it! There was no sound.

I then proceeded to attempt to locate this freakin' wierd-ass codec on the net. By now it's 2:00AM in the morning... but I was too cranked up about all this to go to sleep. I just HAD to solve this problem! I found a site that offered a free download of a codec pack that included "InterVideo Audio Processor"... BUT when I tried to install that codec pack, I got an error message that the installer exe was "corrupted" and that I needed to download a new copy. By then I was so tired and frustrated that I had a glass of wine and went to bed.

I've spent HOURS trying to use Reaper to help me combine two ordinary little sound tracks - first, MIDI music and voice, and when that failed, then a wav file of the music and voice - and then save them out as a wav file that I could use with Windows Movie Maker to create a video with sound track. I've been frustrated at every turn.

Why does Reaper render out to a wav file that needs some strange codec that doesn't normally come with Windows XP??????????
&*$#@#$%&@!!!!!
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Old 03-22-2007, 06:39 AM   #5
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I was able to recreate your problem in MovieMaker. You need to render the wav at 16 bit WAV bit depth. 24 bit will preview when you import it, but I got no sound when I put the 24 bit file in the timeline and tried to preview the movie.

I was not able to recreate your problem with WMPlayer--the 24 bit file played just fine. It's a learning experience--don't get discouraged. This is a pretty complex program, but you're learning.
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Old 03-22-2007, 06:52 AM   #6
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MediaPlayer: http://www.cockos.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7126
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Old 03-22-2007, 06:57 AM   #7
HAIjinks
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Default Nothing like helpful users to make things better! :)

THANKS, Homebrew! You are very kind.
Your encouraging comment took me right back to the late 1980's when I had my first personal computer ever - a Commodore Amiga 1000! It was the user bulletin boards and the user group of helpful people that made my learning experience possible.

I'm going to impliment your suggestion about 16-bit right now... and I'll also try downloading that codec again.

News at 11 ....
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Old 03-22-2007, 07:04 AM   #8
HAIjinks
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Default You, too, Dandruff! So helpful and informative!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dandruff View Post
I so appreciate your linking that thread - very enlightening.

If I purchase this Reaper shareware, afterall, it'll be due to all of you loyal and helpful users and the availability of this forum!
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Old 03-22-2007, 07:24 AM   #9
HAIjinks
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Default SUCCESS with the wav render & Movie Maker 8-D

I'm listening to it right now... playing from within Windows Movie Maker! It played in MMP too. 16-bit was the answer!

I'll forget that stupid codec - Movie Maker won't use better than 16-bit anyway.

THANKS FOLKS!!!

CyberHUGS (((((((((Alistair;Homebrew;Dandruff))))))))))

My speakers and mic are high quality enough that I can live with playing my MIDI files through the speakers and recording them for editing in Reaper.
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Old 03-22-2007, 08:30 AM   #10
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hey haijinks, and welcome to Reaper.

Glad you're making some headway. MIDI can be a challenge, especially when you're using a file you found on the net.

A MIDI file doesn't make sound on its own, it only contains instructions that tell an instrument how/what to play. Kinda like a player piano roll.

To make things worse, not all MIDI files are standarized, and you can get unexpected results with many of them. Also, most of them don't have sounds for every key, so it's like having a piano where only a handful of keys are actually connected to notes. If you play a key that doesn't have a note attached, you get no sound.

They came up with the General MIDI Standard to try to fix this, but not all MIDI files follow the standard.

Anyway, there are free virtual instruments that allow you to load sounds that will play MIDI files. SFZ is a good one that works with soundfonts. Might be worth trying.


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Old 03-22-2007, 09:24 AM   #11
HAIjinks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teej813 View Post
hey haijinks, and welcome to Reaper.

Glad you're making some headway. MIDI can be a challenge, especially when you're using a file you found on the net.

(snip)

Anyway, there are free virtual instruments that allow you to load sounds that will play MIDI files. SFZ is a good one that works with soundfonts. Might be worth trying.


teej
Lovely info. Thanks SO much! (((((teej))))) I am ready to have some FUN!!!
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Old 03-22-2007, 12:51 PM   #12
Alistair S
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Hai (I feel I can call you Hai now you have hugged me!) - don't be discouraged. I am also new to all of this and was very new to midi.

Once it clicks, there is still more to know and learn (which is fun) but the initial frustration of trying to make things work will be gone.

This is a helpful link if you want to read up .. http://www.tweakheadz.com/how_to_get...with_midi.html

If you want to play with it, you could download a synth (such as Superwave from http://www.kvraudio.com/get/708.html).

Load that onto a new track as an effect.

Click on the meter on your track and select Midi input - Virtual Midi Keyboard - All channels.

Record Arm the track.

Make sure monitoring is on for the track.

If not already checked, click on the View menu and select Virtual Midi Keyboard.

Play it

Now, drop an empty midi item (or any midi file) on the track. Open it with the midi editor (right click on the track). Now you can get sounds from the midi editor piano roll.

If you hit record, you could play the midi keyboard and make your own midi file.

If you had a proper keyboard this would be easier of course.

.. but I just wanted to give you something to experiment with.

Try other VSTis. KVR, where I linked Superwave from is a good source. Some work better than others.

Another option is to use SFZ (or Terry's SFZ-X available somewhere on this forum) and use soundfonts. These can be found on the web.. try googling sf2. Soundfonts provide a way to make the SF Player VST into a different instrument.

Good luck!
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