Opening a MIDI or Karaoke File Already on Your System
Composer not only helps you compose music, but one of the most powerful features of Composer is that it can open MIDI and Karaoke files and transcribe them into music notation with amazing accuracy.
A MIDI file usually has a .mid or .midi file name extension.
A Karaoke file is a special type of MIDI file, which has a lyrics staff normally intended to be displayed as text without notes. A Karaoke file usually has a .kar file name extension. Most Karaoke playing programs display only the lyrics; but Composer displays both the lyrics and the notes. Since a Karaoke is technically only a special type of MIDI file, this Composer documentation will sometimes use the terminology MIDI file to refer to both MIDI and Karaoke files.
When Composer opens the MIDI or Karaoke file, it preserves all of the fine details of the musical performance. Even though Composer nicely rounds off notes to readable note durations, the underlying exact timings of the notes are preserved and accurately performed by Composer during playback. If Composer does not perfectly transcribe the note locations, durations, and rests, you can edit them without changing the underlying performance. However, you can also fully edit the underlying performance, including note locations, durations, rests, loudness, along with fancier details such as pitch bends.
After you open a MIDI or Karaoke file, you may want to rearrange the parts to match those in your ensemble. If you are a pianist or keyboardist, you might want to condense several instrument parts into a keyboard arrangement. Composer is particularly well-designed for such purposes.
If you do compose music, Composer is an ideal tool for quickly recording your musical ideas from a music keyboard or from the mouse and computer keyboard. However, you may have already composed your music using another MIDI software program. In that case, you can easily open the MIDI file that you originally created with another program. Thereafter, you can use Composer to continue your work using tools that are particularly intended for composers who enjoy working with music notation.
To open a MIDI or Karaoke file on your system using "Drag and drop":
2. With a Windows Explorer window open to your file location, or from the desktop if that's where the file is, click and hold the file, and then drag it over to the open Composer window and "drop" it there.
To open a MIDI or Karaoke file on your system using the File Open dialog:
|1.||Choose the Open command from the File menu.|
-- OR --
Type CTRL+O, the standard Windows shortcut for the File Open command.
-- OR --
Type ALT+F to open the File menu, followed by "O", for the File Open command.
Composer will display the File Open dialog box,. By default, Composer will show you files in the C:\Users\Public\Documents\Notation_3\Songs directory, as illustrated here:
|2.||If the MIDI file you want to open is in another directory, navigate to that directory in the File Open dialog box.|
|3.||If your MIDI files are usually located in a particular directory, then you may find it convenient to specify that one as the default directory in the File Open dialog box. After navigating to your directory of choice, add a check mark to the box labeled "Set as default directory".|
|4.||Optionally click the Transcription Options to specify how Composer should transcribe the MIDI data into music notation. Otherwise, Composer will use the transcription options you have most recently specified.|
The transcription options determine whether:
|Standard versus jazz (swing) rhythm notation will be used.|
|Single voices or split (upper and lower) voices will be detected and notated.|
|Grace notes, trills, and tremolos will be detected and notated.|
|Overlaps of notes will be removed to reduce the number of ties in the score.|
|Rests smaller than a specified size (quarter, eighth, or sixteenth) will be removed.|
|Certain types of adjustments to the staves will be recommended, such whether single-track keyboard parts are automatically split into right- and left-hand staves.|
|Lyrics greater than a certain length (default 12 characters) are hidden, which is what you'll typically want to do for lyrics that really are MIDI file author comments and copyright notices.|
For details about the above options, see Transcription Options.
|5.||If the file is a Karaoke file, then after transcribing the file Composer will immediately present you with Step 1 of the Prepare Part Wizard. In Step 1, you will usually want to accept the default option for "Sing-Along" part. The Sing-Along part will display the Karaoke lyrics in a large font size, for easy reading from the screen.|
If, after displaying the Karaoke lyrics part, you find that Composer chose the wrong staff for melody notes, then you can redo the preparation of the Karaoke part by using the Prepare Sing-Along Part command in the Staff menu. The dialog box for the Prepare Sing-Along Part is very similar to the above Prepare Karaoke Part dialog.
If you would like to view all of the accompaniment staves, as well as the lyrics staff, of the Karaoke file, then hit the Cancel button in the Prepare Part Wizard.
If you initially choose to display just the Karaoke part but then decide you would like to view the entire score, use the Undo command in the Edit menu to undo the operation "Prepare Karaoke Part."
For details about using the Prepare Part Wizard, see Preparing Parts.
To open a MIDI file from the Windows desktop Explorer or File Manager:
|If during the Composer installation you chose to associate the Composer program with MIDI files (*.mid or *.kar file name extension), then in the Windows desktop explorer or File Manager you can double-click a MIDI file name to automatically start Composer and open the file.|
If you want to change the association of Composer with MIDI files (.mid or .kar extension), you can remove or add the file association using the Associate Composer with .MID Files command in the Setup menu.