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Test Midi File Player & Sound card / synth

Test my Midi File Player - Test my sound card / synth - Why do I hear no sound at all

You may also be interested to read: the Sound Quality Tips

Test my Midi File Player

You may want to test your Midi File Player, to make sure it plays the example audio clips on this web site correctly, and any midi files you make yourself. Nowadays it is very unlikely to fail the test, but just in case, here it is.

If Windows Media Player plays the tune, this pitch bend test will test your soundcard as well, similarly if the tune plays on any other midi file player that uses your soundcard to play the notes. If you are using the likes of Quicktime as your Midi File Player for web pages, it only tests the way your web page plug in plays the notes - because it has its own onboard sounds.

First, to test pitch bends. Listen to this midi clip c_twice.mid. Do you hear the same pitch (middle c) twice? If so your Midi File Player is playing pitch bends okay.

If you hear two separate pitches, it means your Midi File Player ignores pitch bends (probably because your soundcard does). See the Tips for better sound quality

Next, test the resets. Play: B flat then C . Then play Two notes . In the Two notes clip, do you hear the same pitch (middle c) twice? If so your player is doing the pitch bend resets okay. It is very rare nowadays to find one that doesn't.

If you hear two pitches, you can probably upgrade your player to one with automatic resets. Get a more up to date version of your player.

If you have a very old player without the pitch bend resets , you need to click Reset after listening to the clips on this site - otherwise any subsequent clips you listen to may be strangely tuned.


Test my sound card / synth

Fractal Tune Smithy now has its own wizard to test your sound card, so after you download it you can just go to Out | Test Pitch Bend Range.

Also - even if your sound card doesn't support pitch bend retuning (very rare nowadays) then you can use the inbuilt Wave Shape Player and CSound. To get the orchestral sounds of General Midi, you can install additional soft synths or samplers.

Quicktime users: see: special note for Quicktime users at this point.

Anyway perhaps you want to test your existing sound card before the download. If so, here is a setup program to test it:

TPBR_Setup.exe. Windows only!

Right click to save it to disk, then run it once it is downloaded. It will install a small test program on your computer complete with desktop shortcut.

Just run it, follow the instructions, and see what happens - then uninstall it when finished.

If your soundcard fails the test, see the Sound Quality Tips

Note. Check to see if your synth or soundcard has a way of varying the pitch bend range at the synth. Sometimes this can be varied. It may be preset to a range of +-0 instead of +-2 semitones - meaning that it doesn't respond to pitch bends at all, but can do if you just change the pitch bend range accordingly.

This happens with Giga for instance, for many of its instruments. The same applies to some soft synths. The pitch bend range may need to be set at the synth. Sometimes the synth for instance has an option to set the downwards pitch bend range separately from the upwards pitch bend range (the FM7 soft synth is a case in point).

Note. If you wish to use a midi keyboard with FTS then your soundcard will need to have Midi In as well. Some laptop soundcards or other computers with on-board sound may have no midi in device. In the case of a PC you can add an extra soundcard. Otherwise, and anyway often the easiest solution is probably to install an external USB soundcard with Midi In.


Why do I hear no sound at all

Check your volume settings for Midi. If you have FTS already installed, you can check this from Bs | Play Control - Volume.

You may also have a little speaker icon on your desktop which brings it up.

If not, then in Windows you go to to Start | Programs | Accessories | Entertainment | Volume Control.

If you don't find it there, have a look at the other Accessories categories. If you don't see it anywhere there, you may need to install it from Start | Settings | Add / Remove Programs | Windows Setup | Multimedia | Volume Control. You can also do a search of your files for Sndvol32.exe - (Sndvol.exe in Vista) - that's the program you want.

Then, check to see if you have the fader for Midi muted or at zero volume - which can happen. If you don't see a fader for Midi, try Volume Control.| Options | Properties which lets you select which faders to show, show them all or any likely candidates, and choose whichever seems most likely. If unsure just set each in turn to max volume until you find the one that works.

It's rare - but another possibility is that your sound card mightn't have any support for Midi at all - this is true for instance of the Audiophile - a musician's specialist card. You will then need to install a soft synth to hear the clips, and will also need to do this in order to play tunes in FTS. See Sound Quality Tips



Test Midi File Player & Sound card / Synth

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