COMPOSITIONS BY JAMES P. HAWKINS
These sequences will sound best if played on a Proteus/1 sound module or digital piano. All but the fourth
selection will sound OK on a Sound Blaster or Sound Spectrum.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MIDI AND WAV FILES?
With WAV (or Real Audio) files, you are actually taking
the sound waveform and plotting its points as digital numbers in memory or disk. The number of points is the "sampling
rate", that is to say, "samples" are taken at a certain rate (11KHZ, 22KHZ and 44KHZ)*. The higher
the rate, the better the quality and the more bits per number, the more accurately it is sampled (16 bits as opposed
to 8 bits). Real Audio is some compressed form of WAV file which makes Real Audio files more compact. (Admittedly,
I don't know alot about Real Audio). Recently Real Audio has gone to a new version and improved quite a bit. Real
Audio has made it possible for radio stations to be heard on the web. Anyway, with those files you are actually
making a digital recording on your disk as if it were an audio CD.
is a trademark of Progressive Networks.
MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a whole different can of worms. With MIDI, the sounds are "pre-recorded"
on your sound board. You could hook up a MIDI keyboard to your sound card and play the sounds out of it. A MIDI
file contains no sound data at all. It contains messages as to which sound on your board to play, how long to play
it and how loud to play it. There are also MIDI messages that play NOTHING (rests). That's why MIDI files are so
compact. MIDI is analogous to a player piano. The MIDI file is like a piano role with holes in it. In fact you
can buy a real piano (YAMAHA, for instance) that is controlled by a MIDI, hook it up to your computer and with
the right kind of messages, the computer would play your piano.
If you go to a musical instrument store, you can buy MIDI sound modules and keyboards which you can hook together.
Some MIDI boxes or boards can also sample sounds in which case you can actually sample the sound into the box and
then play it. So, you could record a thunder noise into a midi board or box, but instead you are storing it in
such a way that it is actuated by a MIDI message. You could actually record thunder or other sound into a MIDI
sampling box, then play "Mary Had a Little Lamb" in thunder notes, dog barks, sneazes or whatever.
So, MIDI files are very compact because they are using sounds that are already stored and simply activating them.
It's been awhile since I worked with MIDI, so it's probably gotten even more sophisticated. This is a simplified
explanation of MIDI which may suffice for most people, but I have found a page called Introduction
into MIDI By Eric Lipscomb if more detail is desired.
* Why were the sampling rates 11KHZ, 22KHZ and 44KHZ chosen for WAV files? Because the very limit of human hearing
is about 18-20KHZ in pure sin wave, so they pushed it to 22KHZ, then considering that a wave has a positive and
negative swing, double the sampling rate to 44KHZ to sample both positive and negative swings and that is what
is optimal. 22KHZ and 11KHZ are compromises to save space, but quality is lost. The other factor is MONO or STEREO.
Stereo files would be twice as large.
|times since January 1, 1996.
OTHER MIDI PAGE
My compositions are registered with the United States Copyright office and are provided here for your own personal
enjoyment. Use of this music for commercial purposes including its distribution on CD-ROM or any other media without
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Music is protected by Copyright laws. Composers and artists make their living writing songs and creating
the art that you enjoy. Most of them are NOT millionaires, but small business people who love what they do make
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ASK FIRST before using. - Jim Hawkins
- ASCAP - AMERICAN SOCIETY OF COMPOSERS, AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS
Music is protected by Copyright also!
Hear Songwriter Mac Davis testifies at Music Licensing Hearing
BMI composers Alan Menken and Steve Cropper speak out against proposed legislation
If the property of Songwriters and Artists is unprotected, there will be little or no incentive for songwriters
to persue a career for a living.