MIDI files

Finale can both import and export standard MIDI files. The MIDI file format can be understood by music programs from many different companies, including most sequencer programs, even on other operating systems. If you prefer to compose by improvising in your favorite sequencer, you could save your piece as a standard MIDI file and let Finale notate it for you.

When you save a MIDI file, Finale saves the instrument name (from the ScoreManager) as the track name. When you open a MIDI file, Finale uses the track name as the instrument name. Imported MIDI files use the settings in the default document specified in the Preferences - New dialog box.

To import a MIDI file

To create the MIDI file, follow the instructions from your sequencer. There’s no need to quantize the sequence; you’ll probably find Finale’s quantization powers to be more effective than your sequencer.

Noteman says: View the Importing music QuickStart Video for an overview.

  1. Choose File > Open. The Open dialog box appears.
  2. From the pop-up menu at the bottom, select Standard MIDI File.
  3. Double-click the desired document name. The Import MIDI File Options dialog box appears, listing various transcription options.
  4. Specify the way in which you want the MIDI file extracted onto Finale staves.
    • Choose Tracks Become Staves to convert each sequencer track into a Finale staff.
    • Choose Channels Become Staves to convert the contents of each MIDI channel (regardless of their track assignments) into a Finale staff.

    In either case, Finale chooses a clef for each resultant staff based on the range of notes in the track. If it discovers that the notes in a track have a very wide range, it automatically notates its contents on two staves. For even greater control over the track and channel extraction, click Set Track-to-Staff List; the Track/Channel Mapping to Staves dialog box appears, in which you can specify extremely sophisticated track and channel splitting.

  5. Click Quant Settings. The Quantization Settings dialog box appears.
  6. Click the icon representing your smallest note value.
  7. Choose your quantization type.
  8. Click More Settings. The More Quantization Settings dialog box appears.
  9. Select the quantization settings you desire. You can select options for grace notes and voice 2, as well as retain key velocities and note durations.
  10. Choose Key and Time Signature options. Most MIDI files contain key and time signature information already, so you usually won’t have to change the default selection (Use the File’s).
  11. If want to hear the sequence played back with its original tempo fluctuations and continuous data (controllers and wheels), make sure Tempo Changes and Continuous Data are selected. These options capture some of the MIDI performance data from your sequence.
  12. Click OK (or press RETURN). Finale transcribes the MIDI File into standard notation.

    If you discover that your settings weren’t quite right, you can close the new Finale document and try again—the original MIDI file is unaffected by Finale’s transcription efforts. Or, for smaller sectional changes, use the Retranscribe function.

To export a MIDI file

  1. Prepare your Finale file. Keep in mind that any playback data will be retained in the MIDI file. This includes tempo changes (for those sequencers that support a tempo, or conductor, track), dynamics, pitch wheel data, MIDI channel assignments, in addition to Human Playback settings configured in the Playback Controls. To export a specific region, in the Playback Controls, select Observe Playback Region when saving to MIDI or audio file, and the specify the region you would like to export in the options above.

    Be sure to specify other important playback options in the Playback/Record Options dialog box (choose Window > Playback Controls; click the expand arrow; click Playback/Record Options). Remember that you are exporting a MIDI file, text and layout will not be retained in this format.

  2. Make sure that you have assigned instruments correctly (one for each resultant sequencer track).

    When Finale creates a MIDI sequencer file, it places the music assigned to each instrument in the ScoreManager in a separate sequencer track. Therefore, make sure the instrument configuration is set up the same way you want the resultant tracks set up. See MIDI channels for further instructions.

  3. Choose File > Export > MIDI File. The Save MIDI File dialog box appears.
  4. Enter a title in the text box.
  5. Click Save (or press RETURN).
  6. Select a MIDI file format by clicking the appropriate button.
    • Select Format 1 for multiple tracks. This is by far the most common format.
    • Select Format 0 for a single multichannel track.
    • Select Tempo map to export a separate tempo map file which certain advanced sequencer programs can import to read the ritardandi, accelerandi, and other tempo fluctuations in your document.

    Also, choose whether you want to save any bookmarksA particular position on the Page (Page View), or a measure (Scroll View) that can be saved and recalled. you created in Finale as sequencer marks in your MIDI file.

  7. Click OK.

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