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Burn MIDI to Audio CD, Convert MIDI to WAV

Because of their small size, MIDI files were especially popular in the early years of the Internet. With a slow connection you would need half an hour (sometimes even more) to download a single MP3 file, and small-sized MIDI were the only acceptable way to share music. Even computer games back those days came with MIDI soundtracks.

This popularity of MIDI has led to accumulating of uncountable numbers of MIDI compositions on the Internet. There are many original works available for free in the MIDI format, there are classical pieces in different variations, rock and pop songs, blues, jazz etc. Many nice compositions exist only in MIDI, as their authors never published other versions online.

Maybe this was one of the reasons why the popularity of MIDI never really faded.

Another reason, of course, is that MIDI is still the widely adopted and heavily used standard for musical instruments. MIDI files are the perfect means for storing all kinds of work for both professional and amateur musicians.

However, as MIDI are not readily supported by most of audio devices, you would need to do something with them in order to present them to wider audience. For example, to burn an Audio CD.

Due to their specifics MIDI files cannot be burned to create an Audio CD directly. They should be converted to real-music files first, as MIDI files themselves contain only instructions on how to create music, instructions that are meant to be fed into a musical synthesizer.

In short, if you want to burn MIDI to Audio CD, this can be accomplished in two steps. First, convert your MIDI to MP3 or other format that is recognized by your burning software. Second, just open your CD burning program, choose to burn an Audio CD, and add the converted MP3 (or whatever format you prefer) files.

MIDI Converter Studio can convert MIDI to MP3, but if you have in mind to create an Audio CD it may be a better idea to convert MIDI to WAV. Resulting files will be much larger than MP3 would be, but this doesn't matter if you intend to remove these files after burning. And there are a few advantages of using WAV as the intermediate format.

MP3 is perfect for storing music, as it reduces size of files up to ten times, sometimes even more, as compared to uncompressed WAV. However, it is also a 'lossy' format, which means that some quality will be inevitably lost if you decide to convert your files to MP3. In most cases this is not important, as the losses are mostly too subtle to perceive. But if you intend to burn an Audio CD, why should you accept those losses? You can go without them by converting MIDI to WAV.

Furthermore, MP3 is a compressed audio format. And if you choose to burn an Audio CD, your burning software will need uncompressed audio streams. Thus it will virtually need to convert your MP3 files to WAV before using them (mostly this occurs 'on fly'). From this viewpoint, it doesn't really matter what format you prefer, as they all will be reduced to a simple uncompressed audio stream in the process of burning Audio CD.

To convert MIDI to WAV, set WAV as output format in MIDI Converter Studio. You can also adjust the format's settings in the "Options" menu.

As the next step, choose the converting method. By default MIDI Converter Studio converts MIDI to WAV using SoundFonts. This method of converting is quick, and it offers a number of nice options. For example, by downloading different SoundFonts you can make your MIDI files sound differently. There are many quality SoundFonts, even among those that are offered for free. The general rule for SoundFonts is quite simple: the bigger their size the better their quality. Bigger size means that more sound samples are included for each instrument.

The other method is somewhat simpler. You can convert MIDI to WAV using sound recording, which means that the program records MIDI as it is being played on your system. With this method, the converted files will always sound like they do on your system. If your sound card allows using different SoundFonts, you can even change the way MIDI sounds, as you always do (of course, if you are aware of the feature). However, as MIDI Converter Studio can use SoundFonts directly, there's probably no reason to use sound recording, as you can convert your MIDI much quicker with the default method.

You may prefer recording MIDI if you have a quality sound card that produces really good output (when it comes to MIDI synthesis). In this case, you will need to switch to sound recording mode in the program.

MIDI Converter Studio automatically detects the right device in your system and prompts you to activate it, but if your card is not in its database, you may need to set the device manually and to activate it in your system's recording volume mixer. You may be completely out of lack with the sound recording method, if your sound card doesn't support recording of MIDI at all. In this case, just use the default method and convert MIDI to WAV with SoundFonts. You will be probably amazed to find out that some SoundFonts better your sound card's capabilities.

After the converting process is complete, find the converted WAV files in the output folder. Launch your favorite burning program. Choose to create an Audio CD. Add the converted WAVs to the burning list. Make sure that the total duration doesn't exceed the capacity of your blank CD. Burn the files.

The burning process will take several minutes, as usual (it depends on the burning speed). Don't cancel it somewhere in the middle, as this will make your CD unusable. Wait until your burning program confirms the successful completion.

Now your Audio CD should be readily played by all CD players. If the CD doesn't recognized at all, try to burn another one at a lower speed. Some cheap CDs become unreadable if burned at the full speed, which should be considered as the price for their 'cheapness'.

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I also use the MIDI converter software to create audio CDs for choir members to learn their parts. Some of them don't have computers and e-mail to use MIDI files, so with the converter I can give them a CD to play on standard audio equipment.

Earl Hughes


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