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Topic: Using MIDI files that lack Key and/or Time Signatures (Read 24014 times) previous topic - next topic

Using MIDI files that lack Key and/or Time Signatures

MIDI files can store Key and Time Signatures but they are ignored during MIDI playback. Often they are wrong or omitted. If omitted, NoteWorthy Composer (NWC) assumes Key of C major and 4/4 time. This is often incorrect. MIDI also has no concept of barlines which can be a problem if there are pick-up notes.

There are several ways to solve these problems. I have found that the easiest is to open the MIDI file in NWC, make a few changes and save it back as a new MIDI file. When this new MIDI file is opened in NWC, many of the problems are fixed.

I cannot attach a MIDI file here, so I attached: Carol_00.nwc
Load this file into NWC and save it as a Type 1 Midi File named: Carol_01.mid

This is, of course, the opening line of It Came Upon the Midnight Clear.

If you open Carol_01.mid in NWC it will look like the hideous mess in the first pane of the png attachment, but a few changes will work wonders. These changes are shown in the Carol_02 pane.

On the top staff:
  • Delete the incorrect 4/4 Time Signature
  • Insert the correct Time Signature (in this case 6/8) where the first downbeat is supposed to be
  • Force Accidentals
  • Insert the correct Key Signature (in this case B flat major)
  • Audit Accidentals (optional)
In all staves with playing notes:
  • Make the Playing Style: Tenuto
It will now look like the Carol_02 pane.

Save the song as a Type 1 Midi File and open it in NWC.
Key, time signature, tie, and barline problems are all corrected! See the Carol_03 pane.
Most of the beaming is also corrected.

A bit of tyding remains:
  • The time signatures need to be moved.
  • The G flat needs to be an F sharp (Then run Audit Accidentals)
  • The first B flat in the top staff needs to be 'Lyric Syllable: Never' and have its beaming changed
  • The E flat in the prior chord needs to become a quarter note
  • The tempo needs to be moved and changed to 'Base: Dotted Quarter'
  • The lyrics need to be copied to the top staff

Delete unneeded staves. The Carol_04 pane shows the final result.

Setting Playing Style: Tenuto is not always needed. It keeps whole and half notes intact.
If there are multiple Key/TimeSig changes, they need only be entered on the top staff prior to MIDI save. NWC will add them where needed when the MIDI file is opened.
Related posts:
Help File Error (Tenuto works like Legato)
Re: midi file import (Too many Key and Time Signatures)
Registered user since 1996

Re: Using MIDI files that lack Key and/or Time Signatures

Reply #1
Rick, thanks so much for posting this. I do a lot of my arrangements starting from a midi download, and this trick will save me a lot of clean-up time.