Tap-Tap-Tap-Redux

In a previous post, I discussed how use the Export/Import features of Style Master in combination with a MIDI editor to remove unwanted content of Yamaha-format style sections (like the downbeat that occurs in most IntroA sections). At that time, I recommended Speedy MIDI as the editor, largely because it had an attractive interface. With further testing, I found that the program had severe faults for the application:

  • It added spurious content in text commands to the modified MIDI file specific to the program (like the display color of tracks)
  • It did inexplicable things, like changing the value of pulses/quarter note.

The second item was a fatal flaw. Unfortunately, it was difficult to find a MIDI editor (free or commercial) that didn’t have at least one serious problem. I have tried ten different editors to perform what should be a simple task. Each one had its own way of corrupting the MIDI file and making unwanted modifications. Finally, I found one that worked, MIDI Editor. Besides preserving the structure of MIDI files, it has full functionality, good online instructions and an attractive interface. Accordingly, I am rewriting the article to feature MIDI Editor.

Most Yamaha-format accompaniment styles for keyboards include multiple introductory sections (IntroA, IntroB, IntroC). The loose convention is that IntroA is relatively simple and starts with a measure of downbeats. This presents a problem if you want to use the introduction in a performance. Furthermore, the downbeat is unnecessary in the Accompaniment Machine — the program includes a visual beat indicator. Here’s a quick way to silence the taps when you’re in the AutoSequence mode of the Accompaniment Machine:

 -4 0 IntroA
 -4 0 StyleVolume 0.00
 -4 0 G
 -3 0 StyleVolume 1.00
  1 0 MainA

The command sequence drops the volume to zero through one measure of the five measure introduction. In performance, you need to remember that there will be a measure of silence after you start the accompaniment.

A alternate solution is to modify the style to eliminate the measure. I’ll go through the steps in this article. We’ll see how to use the Export and Import functions of Style Master.

 

Step 1. Use MIDI File Organizer (or another file management program) to set up a work environment. Figure 1 shows an example. The working directory, C:\TEMP, contains a subdirectory to hold individual sections of the style.

Set up a directory to hold the individual style sections.

Figure 1. Set up a directory to hold the individual style sections.

 

Step 2. Run Style Master and load the style (Figure 2). If you preview IntroA, here’s what it sounds like:

It’s a nice introduction to the song if we can eliminate the downbeat. Click the Export button, navigate to the directory C:\TEMP\SmallHotel and click OK. Style Master breaks the style into the individual MIDI sections (right-hand window of Fig. 1).

Style Master with the sample style loaded

Figure 2. Style Master with the sample style loaded.

Step 3. Run MIDI editor and load and load IntroA.mid. As shown in Fig. 3, the downbeat notes in the percussion channel are easy to identify. Use the mouse to select the first note. Full information on the MIDI message appears at bottom right. Press the Delete key to remove the note and repeat the operation for the other notes in the downbeat. Then save the modified file.

IntroA in MIDI Editor

Figure 3. IntroA in MIDI Editor.

Step 4. Click the Import button in Style Master, choose the directory C:\TEMP\SMALLHOTEL\ and click OK. The section files are reloaded, reformatted if necessary and organized. Now when you preview IntroA, the downbeat is gone. The final step is to save the modified style.

 

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