- Organ midi file translation
Organ midi file translation
By David Back, January 2019
How to translate organ MIDI files to play on another organNearly all organs have their own unique midi format. There is no standardisation for midi channels, stops or expression controls. Thus an organ midi file will seldom if ever play properly on another organ and there is never any chance of it playing properly on any normal midi player.
Version 3 and later of eplayOrgan has solved this problem by enabling you to automatically and in real time translate and play an organ midi file on another organ. No other organ can do this.
Translation is a two stage process, first the file is translated to an intermediate, Universal organ format and then translated again to play on the target organ. You can either record the intermediate file and play it later on the target organ or you can route it to the target organ via a real or virtual midi cable for immediate playing.
Translation Method using eplayOrganThe midi file for translation must be playable on eplayOrgan by choosing the correct organ. Use Options/Setup.. to select the correct organ and tick the translate output box. This will make eplayOrgan translate the Current file format to the Universal file format when the file is played. This Universal format may be routed to another instance of eplayOrgan, by selecting the midi output port, and connecting a midi cable for immediate playing or recorded for playing later.
To perform the second stage of translation start up a second instance of eplayOrgan and use Options/Setup.. to select the target organ and tick the translate input box. If connected by midi cable, select the midi input port or if not play the Universal midi file recorded above. This instance of eplayOrgan will then translate the incoming midi from the Universal file format to the Current organ's file format, play it and allow you to record the resulting midi in the format of the Current organ.
A "Virtual Organist" will select the best alternative stops when the target organ does not have the exact stops required. This works well and is very versatile.
If you want to silence one of the organs, tick the mute box.
Possible ProblemsThere is no claim that the translation will be perfect. The Universal organ will be able to play the translated midi from almost any one, two or three manual organ. However the target organ must be selected so that it has at least as many manuals as the source organ and has a similar selection of stops. For example, translating a theatre organ file to a church organ file will likely lose all percussion stops.
Also when translating a two manual organ to three manuals it is sometimes better to move the swell manual to great and the great manual to accomp. This could be done automatically but there is no way to detect when it is needed so it can currently be done only by using a midi editor to change the midi channels on the intermediate file before playing it on the target organ. The organ's stops will still be correctly translated when the file is played. A bit of experimentation will quickly find the best option for any situation.