[Coco] General Midi was Drivewire VHD's
ooogalapasooo at aol.com
Mon Apr 16 21:54:13 EDT 2012
If you could share this knowledge, either by making new DW filters for
hese keyboards, editing the existing ones to be more correct, or
ven as a simple list of "this instrument # should be changed to that
nstrument #", then we could really improve the automatic translation.
Failing that, I can just compare the results of your conversion to the
riginal if that's OK, but seems like doing it the hard way.
The whole reason General Midi was concieved was cross campatability on all Midi capable machines. Let's say I download a Ultimuse file composed on a Casio CZ-101 from a website, then I use Ulitmuse's "save to Midi" function (it dos have one) then I transfer this file to my PC then to a CD to give to a friend for him to use. Not being into Cocos, Drivewire or Ultimuse... he would know nothing of our "filters" and the song would sound completely wrong on his machine. Now if the file was in GM to start with... I could play it n ANY Midi player and it would be correct. The only difference would be the quality of sounds from machine to machine based on the quality of the soundcard and Midi sound engine. But the sounds would be the same. A piano would be a piano, a trumpet, a trumpet and so on.
As for making filters for drivewire... that would be easy, if I wanted to research about 19 or 20 vintage synth manuals and wade through the midi spec of each and HOPE they have an instrument list (some don't, it's not part of the old Midi spec, another reason GM is standard) then the filter would be the easy part. There are close to 2 million websites listing the General Midi spec INCLUDING the maltedmedia Ftp. I think it's in the newly recieved in one of the zip collections you love so much. I think it's called "GM Patches" or something like that. As for "sharing the knowledge", I plan to do exactly that. There has been a promise on my website to post a Midi tutorial since I made the site. Maybe now would be a good time to write one. I have noticed there are still a few people in the Coco community that are interested in Coco & Midi. I may even list a few of the more common "vintage" keyboard specs and the changes needed to make them work with GM.
There was actually a way to avoid all this in both Lyra and Ultimuse as they both have a saveable Instrument List. Had everyone stuck to a standard of sorts and listed thier instruments in the same order, then you could make a GM patch list in each, Lyra and Ultimuse then load the list after loading a song and the correct instruments would play... but, there was no standard as to the order of the instruments and everyone did thier own... hence another reason for the GM spec. As I said in the last post, I don't use the Drivewire Midi driver, I use the Coco Midi Pak, so the filters would be of no use to me anyway. I could do this within my Midi host on my PC... but why? It takes me less than 1 minute to reset the instruments and channels and maybe 5 more minutes if there's percussion (an animal of a diffrent breed on old synths). Then if I want to record the Midi to my PC for later use or to share with others, it's already in the international standard of GM. Had GM been concieved when Lester Hands or Mike Knudson wrote thier software, they would have surely used it. In fact, in the later versions of Ultimuse, Mike had provided the extended instrument list as well as the percussion list for just that reason. To deal with general Midi, As his last coco Ultimuse update was in 1991 before he moved on to the MM1 and then to Linux in which he stll produces a GM Linux version of Ultimuse today. Of course you can still put in the code for those "vintage" synths... but why? The average "cheap" builtin soundcard on a low-end PC has a better synth/midi engine than all of the low to upper mid priced synths made in the 80s & 90s. I have a software emulation of my Kawai MS-710 that sounds better than the synth did. And the emulation was modded to convert to GM lol
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Music from the Tandy/Radio Shack Color Computer 2 & 3
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