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This mini-project will develop your ability to interpret the binary file listing of a standard MIDI file. You will first parse the file into its component elements (headers, MIDI messages, meta-events, and delta-times), and then analyze your results.


MIDI files consist of three types of data: (1) MIDI events, (2) timing information, and (3) file structure information (file header and track headers). Your task in this mini-project is to parse a MIDI file by hand by examining the individual bytes of the file. Once you can successfully parse a file, you will be well-positioned to write your own software applications that can create standard MIDI files directly, or even to read the file directly (a challenge!).

If you have not done so already, please study the pre-requisite modules, MIDI Messages and Standard MIDI Files . You will need to refer to both of these modules in order to complete this activity.

Part 1: parse the file

The file to be parsed is available here: parse_me.mid (MIDI files are binary files, so right-click and choose “Save As” to download the file). If you wish, you can use a hexadecimal editor such as XVI32 to display the bytes, otherwise you can refer to the XVI32 screenshot below:

Hexadecimal listing of the 'parse_me.mid' file

The byte position (address) is shown on the far left panel, the hexadecimal representation of each byte in the file is shown in the central panel, and the ASCII representation of each byte is shown in the right panel. Most of the ASCII characters look like gibberish, but important landmarks such as the track chunk ID ( MTrk ) are easily visible.

Interpret each part of the file, and list your results in tabular format, like this (use hexadecimal notation for the “Starting Address” column):

Remember, a byte value of 0xFF signifies the beginning of a meta-event. Also, remember the concept of running status , so be on the lookout for MIDI messages whose first byte is NOT a status byte, i.e., whose MSB is clear. Take a look at the following video if you need some assistance:

[video] Walk through the MIDI file "parse_me.mid" at a high level, then show some parsing examples at the beginning of the file.

Part 2: analyze your results

Determine the following information for the MIDI file:

  • File format (Type 0, 1, or 2)
  • Number of tracks
  • Number of distinct channels used
  • Number of distinct voices (instruments) used (look for Program Change messages)
  • Number of ticks per quarter note
  • Shortest two non-zero delta times, reported both in ticks and in microseconds (hint: the timing information you need here is derived from information in two distinct places)
  • Top two longest delta times, both in ticks and in microseconds
  • Minimum non-zero note-on velocity, and its channel and note number
  • Maximum note-on velocity, and its channel and note number
  • Total number of meta-events

If you have not done so already, listen to parse_me.mid (click the link to launch your default music player application). How do your parsing and analysis results compare to what you hear?

Questions & Answers

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
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
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.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
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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