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General MIDI Instrument List

1 Acoustic Grand Piano
2 Bright Acoustic Piano
3 Electric Grand Piano
4 Honky-tonk Piano
5 Electric Piano 1
6 Electric Piano 2
7 Harpsichord
8 Clavinet
9 Celesta
10 Glockenspiel
11 Music Box
12 Vibraphone
13 Marimba
14 Xylophone
15 Tubular Bells
16 Dulcimer
17 Drawbar Organ
18 Percussive Organ
19 Rock Organ
20 Church Organ
21 Reed Organ
22 Accordion
23 Harmonica
24 Tango Accordion
25 Guitar (nylon)
26 Acoustic Guitar (steel)
27 Electric Guitar (jazz)
28 Electric Guitar (clean)
29 Electric Guitar (muted)
30 Overdriven Guitar
31 Distortion Guitar
32 Guitar Harmonics
33 Acoustic Bass
34 Electric Bass (finger)
35 Electric Bass (pick)
36 Fretless Bass
37 Slap Bass 1
38 Slap Bass 2
39 Synth Bass 1
40 Synth Bass 2
41 Violin
42 Viola
43 Cello
44 Contrabass
45 Tremolo Strings
46 Pizzicato Strings
47 Orchestral Harp
48 Timpani
49 String Ensemble 1
50 String Ensemble 2
51 SynthStrings 1
52 SynthStrings 2
53 Choir Aahs
54 Voice Oohs
55 Synth Voice
56 Orchestra Hit
57 Trumpet
58 Trombone
59 Tuba
60 Muted Trumpet
61 French Horn
62 Brass Section
63 SynthBrass 1
64 SynthBrass 2
65 Soprano Sax
66 Alto Sax
67 Tenor Sax
68 Baritone Sax
69 Oboe
70 English Horn
71 Bassoon
72 Clarinet
73 Piccolo
74 Flute
75 Recorder
76 Pan Flute
77 Blown Bottle
78 Shakuhachi
79 Whistle
80 Ocarina
81 Lead 1(square)
82 Lead 2 (sawtooth)
83 Lead 3 (calliope)
84 Lead 4 (chiff)
85 Lead 5 (charang)
86 Lead 6 (voice)
87 Lead 7 (fifths)
88 Lead 8 (bass+lead)
89 Pad 1 (new age)
90 Pad 2 (warm)
91 Pad 3 (polysynth)
92 Pad 4 (choir)
93 Pad 5 (bowed)
94 Pad 6 (metallic)
95 Pad 7 (halo)
96 Pad 8 (sweep)
97 FX 1 (rain)
98 FX 2 (soundtrack)
99 FX 3 (crystal)
100 FX 4 (atmosphere)
101 FX 5 (brightness)
102 FX 6 (goblins)
103 FX 7 (echoes)
104 FX 8 (sci-fi)
105 Sitar
106 Banjo
107 Shamisen
108 Koto
109 Kalimba
110 Bag Pipe
111 Fiddle
112 Shanai
113 Tinkle Bell
114 Agogo
115 Steel Drums
116 Woodblock
117 Taiko Drum
118 Melodic Tom
119 Synth Drum
120 Reverse Cymbal
121 Guitar Fret Noise
122 Breath Noise
123 Seashore
124 Bird Tweet
125 Telephone Ring
126 Helicopter
127 Applause
128 Gunshot

Midi Recording

MIDI - Musical Instrument Digital Interface
by Ron Tongue

MIDI is an acronym that stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface.

A basic MIDI setup generally consists of a computer, software, interface, and MIDI instrument. The computer and MIDI instrument (usually a keyboard instrument of some type) are connected together by a special type of MIDI cable.

When a MIDI file is played on a computer, the music is played through the MIDI instrument. It is easy for someone new to MIDI to confuse a standard music recording such as a CD with an actual MIDI file.

NOTE!! The computer is not sending actual audio data to the MIDI instrument to be sounded. In actuality, the computer and MIDI instrument communicate by sending strings of numbers to each other very quickly.

These numbers tell the MIDI instrument which note to play, how loud to play it, how long to play it (when to release), and several other commands. The MIDI instrument responds to the MIDI messages coming from the computer by playing the instructed notes.

When you play a MIDI instrument into a computer with MIDI recording software, the software records the MIDI number commands, not the actual audio. Once the MIDI has been recorded into the computer, it is fully editable.

For example, if you played a wrong note you can easily find that note in your software and fix it with the click of a mouse!

OK, now for the longer definition.

As technology was advancing, many people became interested in making computers communicate. This desire for communication soon spread into the music technology world. It was in the year 1983 when MIDI (musical instrument digital interface) was first adopted by the MIDI manufacturers Association.

At first, the use of MIDI was a bit chaotic. Every company that manufactured MIDI instruments and equipment had their own codes and standards. Because of this, most MIDI gear was not able to communicate very well or at all with other manufacturers equipment. If they could communicate, it was often a nightmare because you would have to spend lots of time configuring your software so you could do things like select the proper instrument sounds or use the designated controller.

For example, if patch 15 was a flute on one keyboard, it may have been a trombone on another.

Eventually, MIDI developers put their heads together and came up with a solution. This solution was named "General MIDI" (GM). Once General MIDI was established, manufactures could design their instruments to follow the same minimum guidelines.

That way, patches (instruments sounds in a MIDI instrument), drums maps on the keyboard, number of channels, and controller data (volume = 7, pan = 10, sustain = 64, etc.) could all be standardized.

This now made it possible for someone to write a song on one machine using MIDI, bring it over to another machine and play it back using the same instrument sounds and musical expression.

To this day, General MIDI standards continue to be developed and improved.

To determine if your MIDI instrument is General MIDI compatible, look to see if somewhere on the instrument is the General MIDI logo.


If it is General MIDI compatible, which most are, you should have a sound bank with the following instrument sounds in the left column of this page.

So how exactly does MIDI work?

When you press a key on a MIDI keyboard, two signals are produced.

1.) The sounds you hear from your speakers.
2.) The MIDI data (numbers).

When a computer using MIDI software records a song you played into it using a MIDI keyboard, it is not recording the actual audio, but the numbers being sent down the MIDI cables. These numbers, when played back through a MIDI instrument tell the instrument information such as which note to play, how loud to play it, and how long to play it (note off).

When you play "middle c" on a MIDI keyboard, the following data is sent to the MIDI output of the keyboard:

Key down 128 60 64
Key up 144 60 00
128 = note on for Ch. 1
144 = note off
60 = MIDI pitch "C"
60 = MIDI pitch "C"
64 = velocity
(volume range of 0 - 127)
00 = velocity

Much more information than just note on, off and volume can be sent with MIDI. You can send other commands such as pan (fade left or right between stereo speakers), sustain (sustain pedal on a piano), patch change (change instrument sound), and just about any musical expression technique you can think of.

One great aspect to MIDI is the ability to combine instrument sounds together as you would with a traditional instrument ensemble. The biggest advantage is that you don’t need several musicians to form your ensemble, just you!

In order to use MIDI effectively for this purpose, you need to understand the difference between channels, tracks, and polyphony.

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