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MidiKare is collection of tools that include all that you need to convert your MIDI or KAR files to WAVE. You can use the resulting WAVE file to burn an Audio CD, that you can listen to in your Hi-Fi or car stereo or convert it to MP3 with one of the tools included in MidiKare, in order to obtain a compact file that you can mail to your friends, post on Usenet or put on a Web page.

This page shows how to use each of the tools included in MidiKare.

Lets suppose that you want to make a track of an Audio CD with the well-known Beatles song Yesterday. Lets also suppose that you want to add your own vocals and that you want to play the guitar part. Here are the steps you have to follow:

1 - Choose a KAR File

2 - Convert the KAR File to WAVE

3 - Record the Vocal Part

4 - Record the Guitar Part

5 - Apply Effects to the Recorded Parts

6 - Mix All the Parts Together

7 - Final Step

 


1 - Choose a KAR File

The first step is to find a suitable KAR file on the Internet. Using several search engines you will certainly find several different orchestrations. Now you have to choose the one that best suits your purpose. To that effect, you are going to hear each prospective candidate with the Payer:

You want to evaluate the quality of the orchestration as well as the quality of lyrics synchronization, so do not forget to enable the lyrics window.

The following steps assume that the KAR file selected is YESTERDAY.KAR.

 


2 - Convert the KAR File to WAVE

The next step is to convert your KAR file to WAVE. As you intend to play the guitar part yourself, you must mute the associated channel in the KAR file. For that you go to the MIDI mixer, look up the channel associated with the guitar and mute it

You have two ways of converting your KAR file to WAVE. One of them is using the embedded softsynth:

Set the Midi/Kar file to YESTERDAY.KAR, the WAVE file to CONVERT.WAV, select the conversion options and hit Convert.

This way of converting your KAR file to WAVE has several advantages like the ability to control the Tempo, to perform MIDI transposition and the normalization of the output file. You can get potentially better sound quality with this approach if you use the appropriate SoundFont and also have the ability to control the volume of each individual instrument using the MIDI mixer. The ability to transpose the output is particularly important to adjust the music to your own vocal range.

The drawback with this approach is that it is very demanding on the system computational resources and could take much time. On the other hand, if you have a fast machine, it could be actually faster than real time.

If your sound card has the ability to record a WAVE file while it is playing a MIDI or KAR file, you can use the Recorder to convert your KAR file to WAVE:

For that select the playback file as YESTERDAY.KAR, the output file to CONVERT.WAV, set the Show lyrics to None and hit Start. After the KAR file finishes playing, the CONVERT.WAV will contain the result of the conversion. For this to work you may need to set up the Windows Sound Mixer (thatís the small loudspeaker icon on your system tray) so that your sound card sees at its input what its synthesizer is playing.

If you use this latter approach to convert your KAR file to MIDI, be aware that, of all the settings in the Midi Mixer, only the Mute flag will work.

The output of this step is the file CONVERT.WAV.

 


3 - Record the Vocal Part

The next step is to record the vocal track. For that you use the Recorder:

Connect a microphone to your card Mic input, enable Mic input on the Windows Sound Mixer, and adjust the volume. Then set the playback file to CONVERT.WAV, the output file to VOCALS1.WAV, set the Show lyrics to Normal and, when you are ready, hit Start.

For this step you should use headphones to hear the playback file, as using the loudspeakers would cause interference with the microphone.

You can repeat this step as many times as necessary until you are satisfied with the result.

The output of this step is the file VOCALS1.WAV.

 


4 - Record the Guitar Part

To record the guitar track the procedure is identical to the vocal track, recorded in the preceding step. You can use a microphone connected to the Mic input of your sound card or, if you have a guitar amplifier, connect that to the line in of the sound card.

Then set the playback file to CONVERT.WAV, the output file to GUITAR1.WAV, set the Show lyrics to None and when you are ready hit Start.

Again, if you use a microphone you should use headphones to hear the playback file, so as not to cause interference with the microphone.

You can repeat this step as many times as necessary until you are satisfied with the result.

The output of this step is the file GUITAR1.WAV.

 


5 - Apply Effects to the Recorded Parts

You can use the file VOCALS1.WAV obtained in step 3 as it was recorded but the result would not be very interesting. To improve matters we are going to apply sound effects to it. That is done in the Audio Mixer:

Select VOCALS1.WAV as input 1 and VOCALS2.WAV as output. Check Apply effects and Normalize output file, uncheck Trim silence and hit Mix. After this terminates, you can listen to the result by hitting Play.

Repeat as many times as necessary, changing the effects parameters in the Sound Effects Dialog.

Similarly, the file GUITAR1.WAV obtained in step 4 also needs improving. Repeat the procedures applied to the file VOCALS1.WAV above and obtain the file GUITAR2.WAV.

The outputs of this step are the files VOCALS2.WAV and GUITAR2.WAV.

 


6 - Mix All the Parts Together

Now that you have all the individual parts you are going to put them together in the final WAVE file. For that you use the Audio Mixer again: Select VOCALS2.WAV as input 1, GUITAR2.WAV as input 2, CONVERT.WAV as input 3 and YESTERDAY.WAV as output. Check Trim silence and Normalize output file, uncheck Apply effects and hit Mix. After this terminates, you can listen to the result by hitting Play.

You can repeat the mixing process as many times as necessary, adjusting the Volume and Pan sliders, until you are satisfied with the final result.

The output of this step is the final WAVE file YESTERDAY.WAV.

 


7 - Final Step

The file YESTERDAY.WAV is now ready to be written to a CD. For that you go to your CD-burning software, set it up to create an Audio-CD and add the YESTERDAY.WAV file to the list of tracks. You might as well add other WAVE files; each file will originate one track on the CD.

Now if you want to mail your masterpiece to your friends, the wave file wont probably fit in your friendís mailbox, as it is some 25 Mb in length. One way to overcome that is to convert it to MP3. For that you use the MP3 converter:

The resulting MP3 file will have just about 2.5 Mb, one tenth of the original size. The sound quality should be perfectly acceptable as well.

 


Feedback

Comments, suggestions and bug reports are welcome and should be sent to fadevelop@clix.pt

 

 


This page last modified 2003-03-20 - Copyright © 2000-2003 ACE

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