Help for Tune Smithy
From Tune Smithy
Musicians often make midi clips to be played on a particular synth with particular choice of instruments - just as an intermediate step towards realising it as an audio file. If you play the midi clip on another synth, the voices might be completely different - the original piano may now be an oboe and so forth. To deal with this issue so that midi clips could be easy to share the General Midi format was developed.
In a GM synth, the first voice is always going to be some variety of acoustic piano for instance, so even if your piece maybe mightn't get played with the exact timbre of acoustic piano you heard when you created it, it will be played on a piano voice of some description.
General Midi Voices
You can select any of these voices into a part using the Partsmenu, - see
For an overview of General Midi, have a look at this on-line page General Midi (GM) and the Roland GS standard from the Midi Musical Interface manuals at the Computer Lab for Image and Sound web site.
If you use the Roland GS sound set - as you have with QuickTime or the Roland Sound Canvas then you have a wider range of standard instruments, which you can select from by changing the bank number in the Parts window in FTS.
See The Roland GS Compatible Instrument List (on-line).
Clavinet - modern electric version of clavichord. Clavinet home page
Koto - Japanese plucked instrument in the zither family.
Shakuhachi - Japanese end blown bamboo flute.
Shamizen - Japanese banjo like lute.
Taiko drum - Japanese drum.
Kalimba - African thumb piano, Same instrument as the Mbira of the Shona people of Zimbabwe.
This page has some information about it: Kalimbas - African thumb piano.
You can find a virtual Mbira here - Tuning your Mbira.
Shanai - Indian shawm, oboe family. This page has a picture of one
The standard musicians reference on music is the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians which you will find in most libraries - it is now on-line as well, on a subscription basis.
This site has many pictures of the various instruments with information about them: Lark in the Morning on-line Catalog.
The English horn is the same as the Cor anglais , which you may know it as instead - a member of the oboe family.
. .. to be continued...
General Midi voice numbers
Acoustic Grand Piano 0
Bright Acoustic Piano 1
Electric Grand Piano 2
Honky-tonk Piano 3
Rhodes Piano 4
Chorused Piano 5
Music Box 10
Tubular Bells 14
Hammond Organ 16
Percussive Organ 17
Rock Organ 18
Church Organ 19
Reed Organ 20
Tango Accordian 23
Acoustic Guitar (nylon) 24
Acoustic Guitar (steel) 25
Electric Guitar (jazz) 26
Electric Guitar (clean) 27
Electric Guitar (muted) 28
Overdriven Guitar 29
Distortion Guitar 30
Guitar Harmonics 31
Acoustic Bass 32
Electric Bass (finger) 33
Electric Bass (pick) 34
Fretless Bass 35
Slap Bass 1 36
Slap Bass 2 37
Synth Bass 1 38
Synth Bass 2 39
Strings / Orchestral
Tremolo Strings 44
Pizzicato Strings 45
Orchestral Harp 46
String Ensemble 1 48
String Ensemble 2 49
Synth Strings 1 50
Synth Strings 2 51
Choir Aahs 52
Voice Oohs 53
Synth Voice 54
Orchestra Hit 55
Muted Trumpet 59
French Horn 60
Brass Section 61
Synth Brass 1 62
Synth Brass 2 63
Soprano Sax 64
Alto Sax 65
Tenor Sax 66
Baritone Sax 67
English Horn 69
Pan Flute 75
Bottle Blow 76
Lead 1 (square) 80
Lead 2 (sawtooth) 81
Lead 3 (caliope lead) 82
Lead 4 (chiff lead) 83
Lead 5 (charang) 84
Lead 6 (voice) 85
Lead 7 (fifths) 86
Lead 8 (brass + lead) 87
Pad 1 (new age) 88
Pad 2 (warm) 89
Pad 3 (polysynth) 90
Pad 4 (choir) 91
Pad 5 (bowed) 92
Pad 6 (metallic) 93
Pad 7 (halo) 94
Pad 8 (sweep) 95
FX 1 (rain) 96
FX 2 (soundtrack) 97
FX 3 (crystal) 98
FX 4 (atmosphere) 99
FX 5 (brightness) 100
FX 6 (goblins) 101
FX 7 (echoes) 102
FX 8 (sci-fi) 103
Tinkle Bell 112
Steel Drums 114
Taiko Drum 116
Melodic Tom 117
Synth Drum 118
Reverse Cymbal 119
Guitar Fret Noise 120
Breath Noise 121
Bird Tweet 123
Telephone Ring 124
GM Non melodic percussion
For a brief description of some of the less known instruments such as Agogo, Timbale, Cuica, Cabasa etc, try
For a description of the modern drum set, and its history:
Off-line, see the New Groves Dictionary of Musical Instruments.
You can select any of these instruments into a part using the Non melodic percussion menumenu, - see
Some of the instruments
Many of the instruments are frequently played in pairs, one pitched higher than the other, which is why there are often two entries. For instance, High Agogo, and Low Agogo.
Agogo - struck clapperless bell (Yoruba tribe, Africa).
Bongos - paired small Afro Carribean drums in two pitches, made from hollow tree trunks.
Chinese cymbal - has high cup shaped centre and distinctive hollow sound.
Claves - 2 cylindrical hardwood sticks, one hit with the other, L. Am.
Conga - Afro Cuban drum - long tapered or barrel shaped, played with fingers or palm of hand.
Cabasa - gourd with handle, covered with beads, and sometimes with pieces inside. L. Am. and 20th c., sounded by twisting in air, moving beads, striking with palm or rotating bowl in palm.
Cuica - Brazilian friction drum with remarkable pitch range.
Guiro - elongated gourd with marks and frets on sides, switch is rubbed against frets to make sound. Afro Cuban and 20th c. music.
Hi Hat - pedal operated double cymbal, also played by striking with a stick.
Maracas - pair of gourd rattles.
Ride cymbal - large cymbal used for "ride" rhythms.
Snare drum - military / orchestral side drum tensioned with strings (these are the "snares")
Timbale = tuned pair of single headed cylindrical drums important in L. Am. and 20th c. music.
Tom - small drum, Chinese, skin attached to sides by brass nails.
Complete list with MIDI note numbers
|35||Acoustic Bass Drum||59||Ride Cymbal 2|
|36||Bass Drum 1||60||High Bongo|
|37||Side Stick||61||Low Bongo|
|38||Acoustic Snare||62||Mute High Conga|
|39||Hand Clap||63||Open High Conga|
|40||Electric Snare||64||Low Conga|
|41||Low Floor Tom||65||High Timbale|
|42||Closed Hi-Hat||66||Low Timbale|
|43||High Floor Tom||67||High Agogo|
|44||Pedal Hi-Hat||68||Low Agogo|
|47||Low-Mid Tom||71||Short Whistle|
|48||High Mid Tom||72||Long Whistle|
|49||Crash Cymbal 1||73||Short Guiro|
|50||High Tom||74||Long Guiro|
|51||Ride Cymbal 1||75||Claves|
|52||Chinese Cymbal||76||High Wood Block|
|53||Ride Bell||77||Low Wood Block|
|55||Splash Cymbal||79||Open Cuica|
|57||Crash Cymbal 2||81||Open Triangle|
The instrument is played by playing the note number shown on channel 10.