MIDI

MIDI output


Changing MIDI output to one channel per voice

When outputting MIDI, the default behavior is for each staff to represent one MIDI channel, with all the voices on a staff amalgamated. This minimizes the risk of running out of MIDI channels, since there are only 16 available per track.

However, by moving the Staff_performer to the Voice context, each voice on a staff can have its own MIDI channel, as is demonstrated by the following example: despite being on the same staff, two MIDI channels are created, each with a different midiInstrument.

\score {
  \new Staff <<
    \new Voice \relative c''' {
      \set midiInstrument = #"flute"
      \voiceOne
      \key g \major
      \time 2/2
      r2 g-"Flute" ~
      g fis ~
      fis4 g8 fis e2 ~
      e4 d8 cis d2
    }
    \new Voice \relative c'' {
      \set midiInstrument = #"clarinet"
      \voiceTwo
      b1-"Clarinet"
      a2. b8 a
      g2. fis8 e
      fis2 r
    }
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi {
    \context {
      \Staff
      \remove "Staff_performer"
    }
    \context {
      \Voice
      \consists "Staff_performer"
    }
    \tempo 2 = 72
  }
}

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Changing the tempo without a metronome mark

To change the tempo in MIDI output without printing anything, make the metronome mark invisible.

\score {
  \new Staff \relative c' {
    \tempo 4 = 160
    c4 e g b
    c4 b d c
    \set Score.tempoHideNote = ##t
    \tempo 4 = 96
    d,4 fis a cis
    d4 cis e d
  }
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}

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Creating custom dynamics in MIDI output

The following example shows how to create a dynamic marking, not included in the default list, and assign it a specific value so that it can be used to affect MIDI output.

The dynamic mark \rfz (rinforzando) is assigned a value of 0.9.

#(define (myDynamics dynamic)
    (if (equal? dynamic "rfz")
      0.9
      (default-dynamic-absolute-volume dynamic)))

\score {
  \new Staff {
    \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"cello"
    \set Score.dynamicAbsoluteVolumeFunction = #myDynamics
    \new Voice {
      \relative c'' {
        a4\pp b c-\rfz
      }
    }
  }
  \layout {}
  \midi {}
}

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Demo MidiInstruments

Problem: How to know which midiInstrument would be best for your composition? Solution: A LilyPond demo file.

\header {
  title = "Demo of all midi sounds"
  arranger = "Myself "
}

baseMelody = \relative c' {
  c4.\mf g c16 b' c d
  e16 d e f g4 g'4 r
  R1
}
melody = {
  \tempo 4 = 150
  \baseMelody
}

\score {
  \new Staff <<
    \new Voice \melody
  >>
  \layout { }
}

\score {
  \new Staff <<
    \new Voice {
      r\mf
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"acoustic grand" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"bright acoustic" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"electric grand" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"honky-tonk" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"electric piano 1" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"electric piano 2" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"harpsichord" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"clav" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"celesta" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"glockenspiel" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"music box" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"vibraphone" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"marimba" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"xylophone" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"tubular bells" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"dulcimer" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"drawbar organ" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"percussive organ" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"rock organ" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"church organ" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"reed organ" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"accordion" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"harmonica" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"concertina" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"acoustic guitar (nylon)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"acoustic guitar (steel)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"electric guitar (jazz)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"electric guitar (clean)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"electric guitar (muted)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"overdriven guitar" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"distorted guitar" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"acoustic bass" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"electric bass (finger)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"electric bass (pick)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"fretless bass" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"slap bass 1" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"slap bass 2" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"synth bass 1" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"synth bass 2" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"violin" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"viola" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"cello" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"contrabass" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"tremolo strings" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"pizzicato strings" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"orchestral harp" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"timpani" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"string ensemble 1" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"string ensemble 2" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"synthstrings 1" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"synthstrings 2" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"choir aahs" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"voice oohs" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"synth voice" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"orchestra hit" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"trumpet" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"trombone" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"tuba" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"muted trumpet" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"french horn" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"brass section" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"synthbrass 1" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"synthbrass 2" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"soprano sax" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"alto sax" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"tenor sax" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"baritone sax" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"oboe" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"english horn" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"bassoon" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"clarinet" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"piccolo" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"flute" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"recorder" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"pan flute" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"blown bottle" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"shakuhachi" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"whistle" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"ocarina" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"lead 1 (square)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"lead 2 (sawtooth)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"lead 3 (calliope)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"lead 4 (chiff)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"lead 5 (charang)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"lead 6 (voice)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"lead 7 (fifths)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"lead 8 (bass+lead)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"pad 1 (new age)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"pad 2 (warm)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"pad 3 (polysynth)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"pad 4 (choir)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"pad 5 (bowed)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"pad 6 (metallic)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"pad 7 (halo)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"pad 8 (sweep)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"fx 1 (rain)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"fx 2 (soundtrack)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"fx 3 (crystal)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"fx 4 (atmosphere)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"fx 5 (brightness)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"fx 6 (goblins)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"fx 7 (echoes)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"fx 8 (sci-fi)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"sitar" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"banjo" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"shamisen" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"koto" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"kalimba" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"bagpipe" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"fiddle" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"shanai" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"tinkle bell" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"agogo" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"steel drums" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"woodblock" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"taiko drum" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"melodic tom" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"synth drum" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"reverse cymbal" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"guitar fret noise" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"breath noise" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"seashore" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"bird tweet" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"telephone ring" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"helicopter" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"applause" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"gunshot" \melody
    }
  >>
  \midi { }
}

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Replacing default MIDI instrument equalization

The default MIDI instrument equalizer can be replaced by setting the instrumentEqualizer property in the Score context to a user-defined Scheme procedure that uses a MIDI instrument name as its argument along with a pair of fractions indicating the minimum and maximum volumes respectively to be applied to that specific instrument.

The following example sets the minimum and maximum volumes for flute and clarinet respectively.

#(define my-instrument-equalizer-alist '())

#(set! my-instrument-equalizer-alist
  (append
    '(
      ("flute" . (0.7 . 0.9))
      ("clarinet" . (0.3 . 0.6)))
    my-instrument-equalizer-alist))

#(define (my-instrument-equalizer s)
  (let ((entry (assoc s my-instrument-equalizer-alist)))
    (if entry
      (cdr entry))))

\score {
  <<
    \new Staff {
      \key g \major
      \time 2/2
      \set Score.instrumentEqualizer = #my-instrument-equalizer
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"flute"
      \new Voice \relative c''' {
        r2 g\mp g fis~
        4 g8 fis e2~
        4 d8 cis d2
      }
    }
    \new Staff {
      \key g \major
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"clarinet"
      \new Voice \relative c'' {
        b1\p a2. b8 a
        g2. fis8 e
        fis2 r
      }
    }
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi {  }
}

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