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Song Resources

Song (MIDI) Import Help

SingingCoach 5 allows you to learn to sing any song you want in tune. The way it does this is by using MIDI files (and not MP3s or other “sound recording formats”). MIDI files are actually sets of computer instructions that “play” a song on your computer’s music synthesizer. For more information on MIDI files see the FAQ section below.

MIDI files are easy to find on the internet at both pay and free sites. The pay MIDI files tend to be better quality because they are intended primarily for use by professional musicians as backing tracks when they perform without a band.

Free MIDIs vary widely in quality, and we give you some tips below on how to look for the better quality free MIDIs. Keep in mind when searching for free files on the web, some unscrupulous providers of “free stuff” will download unwanted adware, spyware, and viruses onto your computer. So BE CAREFUL!  ELP is not responsible for any damage or harm that is done to your computer or data by any third party site.

After deciding what song you want to learn, do a search for “(Song Title) standard MIDI file” or use similar search terms. If possible, choose MIDIs with embedded song lyrics. Be aware, many MIDI files do not have the lyrics included.  (If you want to embed the lyrics you will probably need a MIDI editing program like Cakewalk or a number of other MIDI editors. Here is a good article on this topic www.HitTraxMIDI.com.)

So remember, find the song you want to sing in “standard MIDI format,” also called “SMF,” with embedded lyrics specifically on channel/track 4. Below we provide links to several pay sites that have MIDI files that conform to these requirements. It’s much harder to find free MIDIs that include lyrics. As we find these sites we plan to let our users know through our Facebook page and occasional emails. Have fun!

 

 


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a MIDI file?

MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. A MIDI file is a set of computer instructions that are executed in the music synthesizer chip of your computer’s CPU such that a musical performance is “recreated.” A MIDI file is fundamentally different from an MP3 file which is a recording of a sound performance. Most of us think of the songs we play on our computers, iPods, etc., and don’t realize that the files are sound recordings.

 

2. What are the advantages of MIDI files?

The advantages of MIDI files are:

    • Since they are computer instructions, these files are TINY in comparison to a sound recording (MP3).
    • A MIDI file can easily be transposed to any key, thereby allowing us all to sing any song in a key that is perfect for our particular vocal ranges.
    • The tempo of a MIDI file can be slowed down or sped up, which greatly simplifies learning a fast song.
    • MIDI files are widely available on the internet, both free and paid.

 

3. What are the disadvantages of MIDI files?

The disadvantages of MIDI files are:

    • Since they are not sound recordings, they do not include the vocal track that we are used to hearing with our favorite songs.
    • The quality of the sound is dependent on several factors in our computer that we are not used to adjusting or improving like:
      • The quality of our computer’s sound card
      • The quality of the “sound fonts” that are installed on our hard drives. (Think of this as the quality of the synthesized instruments: does my computer’s guitar sound font sound like a beautiful rich guitar or a toy instrument?)
      • The quality of our computer audio speakers.

 

4. What is a standard MIDI file?

According to the MIDI Manufacturers Association, “Standard MIDI Files … contain all the MIDI instructions for notes, volumes, sounds, and even effects. … MIDI files are very much smaller than digital audio files, and the events are also editable, allowing the music to be rearranged, edited, even composed interactively, if desired.” Additional information can be found in the article Introduction to Computer Music: Volume One from Indiana’s University Center for Electronic and Computer Music.

 

5. How do I know if a free MIDI file is in the proper format (SMF) and contains “embedded” lyrics?

The easiest way to determine this is to try to import the MIDI into SingingCoach. If the MIDI does not play, the MIDI is likely not a standard MIDI file.

 

6. How do I know if a MIDI file meets the criteria to be a “standard” MIDI before I buy it?

Reputable sites that sell MIDI files will include information on the MIDI file format, and whether or not their files include embedded lyrics. If you can’t tell from the information on the site, do not purchase until you’ve emailed the site’s administrator and received a positive response.

 

7. How do I import a MIDI into SingingCoach 5?

From the Internet:

  1. Find and Save a MIDI file to an easy to find folder on your computer.

From SingingCoach:

  1. Click Import Songs in the toolbar at the top of the SingingCoach window, or at the bottom of the Song Selection box.
  2. A window will open titled Select Song to Import that will allow you to browse to the file you want to import. Find the MIDI file that you saved to your computer, and click it once to import. The file name will populate in the File Name field. Click Import.
  3. An Import Status window will pop up saying the import was successful, and asking if you would like to import another song.
    • Yes opens a Select Song to Import window
    • No opens the Imports tab of the Song Selection box
  4. Double click the song name in the Song Selection box to play or sing the song.

 

8. I imported a song. The melody plays but no lyrics are displayed. What’s wrong?

The MIDI you imported either has no lyrics in it, or the lyrics are not on the correct “channel” to be displayed in SingingCoach.

 

9. Where are my imported songs?

The Song Selection box has multiple tabs. Imported songs are in the Imports tab.

 

 10. How can I find music on my own?

Go to a search engine (such as Google) and type in a search term like “standard MIDI files with lyrics” or “professional quality MIDIs.”

 

11. What if I want to embed my own lyrics?

Hittrax.com has instructions here.

12. I want to practice singing harmony.  How can I specify that I want to hear one channel or melody line but sing another?

SingingCoach does not have the built-in capability to do this; however, you can alter a MIDI file using a MIDI editor to accomplish the same goal. Instructions to do so in Musescore (http://musescore.org/en) follow, thanks to our user Jonathan Feldschuh:

  1. Download and install Musescore: http://musescore.org/en, which is free software that will enable you to edit MIDI files (and print out and edit full scores if you want).
  2. Download any MIDI file.
  3. Open your MIDI file in Musescore. Decide which track you would like to sing in SingingCoach. If this is not obvious from the sheet music, you can play the tracks individually using the Mixer (hit F10). Check the "solo" box for each track in turn.
  4. If this track is not currently track #4, then:
    • Use the command "Create Instruments" (Keyboard shortcut: "I"). In the right-hand panel, highlight the desired track, and click the up or down buttons until you have moved it into the fourth position.
    • Save the MIDI file.
  5. Import the MIDI file into SingingCoach and you are ready to go!
  6. If there is more than one voice that you would like to sing (e.g. a song with a melody and harmony vocal on different MIDI tracks), you will need to create two versions of the MIDI, one for each voice, by repeating step 4.

 



Searching for Songs (MIDI Files)

We sell a limited number of MIDI files of hit songs guaranteed to be
SINGINGCoach–compatible. Learn more here.

If you want a broader selection, here are a few of our favorite MIDI sites.* All of these sites allow you to determine before purchase if the MIDI file includes lyrics.

Recommended
MIDI websites

Price Range

Estimated number of songs

Discount for
SingingCoach Users

Hit Trax MIDI Files
http://www.HitTraxMIDI.com

$5.99 Per Song  US
£2.99  Per Song  GBP
€3.50  Per Song  EUR

40,000+ Songs

15% off 3 or more

Midi King.com
http://www.MidiKing.com

$8.00 Per Midi     US

30,000+ Songs

-

Midi-Hits.com
http://www.Midi-Hits.com

$8.99 Per Midi     US

12,000+ Songs

-

Hit Bit
http://www.HitBit.de

€15.00 Per Song  EUR

2,000+ Songs

-

*Disclaimer: These are third party sites. We are not responsible for their content, nor are we responsible for any viruses, spyware, or malware you may encounter at these sites.

Have a favorite MIDI site? E-mail us and we’ll take a look!

 

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