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A complete musical performance can be recorded by sequencing software, which saves individual MIDI messages generated by a synthesizer and measures the time interval between them. The messages and timing information is stored in a standard MIDI file, a binary-format file designed to maximize flexibility and minimize file size. In this module you will learn how to understand the structure of a standard MIDI file at the byte level.


In the 1970s, analog synthesizers were either played live by a keyboards musician or by a hardware device called a sequencer . The sequencer could be programmed with a pattern of notes and applied continuously as a loop to the keyboard. In 1983 the MIDI ( Musical Instrument Digital Interface ) standard was released, and MIDI-capable synthesizers could be connected to personal computers; the IBM PC and Apple Macintosh were among the first PCs to be connected to synthesizers. Software applications were developed to emulate the behavior of hardware sequencers, so naturally these programs were called“sequencers.”

A sequencer application records MIDI messages and measures the time intervals between each received message. When the song is played back, the sequencer transmits the MIDI messages to the synthesizer, with suitable delays to match the original measurements. Sequencers store related MIDI messages in tracks . For example, the musician can record a drum track, and then record a bass track while listening to the drum track, and continue in this fashion until a complete song is recorded with full instrumentation. The finished result is stored in a standard MIDI file ( SMF ), normally named with the .mid suffix. In recent years sequencing software has merged with audio recording software to create a digital audio workstation, or DAW . Audio and MIDI tracks may be easily recorded, edited, and produced in one seamless environment.

Standard MIDI files can be played by a number of non-sequencer applications such as Winamp and Windows Media Player. In the absence of a synthesizer, these applications send the MIDI messages directly to the MIDI synthesizer included on the computer’s soundcard. With a sufficiently high-quality soundcard, a software synthesizer application can be used instead of conventional synthesizer hardware to produce high-quality music; a USB piano-style keyboard is the only additional piece of gear needed.

After completing this module you will understand the structure of a standard MIDI file, including fundamental concepts such as files chunks , delta-times in variable-length format , running status , and meta-events . See MIDI Messages to learn more about the types of messages that can be contained in a standard MIDI file.

High-level structure

A standard MIDI file contains two high-level types of information called chunks : a single header chunk , and one or more track chunks . The header chunk defines which of three possible file types is in force, the number of track chunks in the file, and information related to timing. The track chunk contains pairs of delta times and events ; the delta time indicates the elapsed time between two Note-On messages, for example.

Questions & Answers

what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Musical signal processing with labview -- midi for synthesis and algorithm control. OpenStax CNX. Nov 09, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10487/1.2
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