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24 March 2011

"Natural" sound ?

Blason Dardel
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Ludwig van

Someone in a music newsgroup was asking on the Internet : "can I have MIDI files that sound like they are played by a human, not by a machine?"

A good question. What makes a music sound synthetic or natural ? It is essentially irregularities in tempo and dynamics. A music with constant, imperturbable speed where all notes have exactly the same length and loudness sounds utterly mechanical. Of course, the difference is more audible, I would even say spectacular, with Chopin or Schumann than with Bach or Vivaldi, but even those should not be played like a clockwork.

I have thus selected in my collection of classical MIDI files a few that sound natural. Some of them have been recorded "live", the sequencer playing the piece on the keyboard without a fixed measure. You see the details only when you open the MIDI file. But you don't need to open them, really. Just enjoy...

The creator of the MIDI file (or "sequencer") is shown in grey italics.


BACH
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Italienisches Konzert (First movement) (44 kB) Unknown
Toccata from BWV 830 (57 kB) Carlson
Partita N°6 in e minor.
Fugue from BWV 992 (12 kB) Abrams
From the "Capriccio sopra la lontanezza del suo fratello dilettissimo"
Gigue from BWV 808 (13 kB) Siu
Last movement from the English Suite N°3
BEETHOVEN
Romance Op.50 (31 kB) Moclin
Rondo a capriccio Op.129 (39 kB) Giulimondi
Capriccio über "Der verlorene Groschen"
CHOPIN
Valse posthume en mi mineur (13 kB) Valérie Tryon
Valse 3 Op.34 N°2 (28 kB) Moclin
Prélude Op.28 N° 15 (12 kB) Unknown
"Raindrops"
Nocturne N° 1 (12 kB) Unknown
Different
Fantaisie-Impromptu (21 kB) Unknown
Virtuoso
MOZART
Sonata in D major (152 kB !) Faren Raborn KV 284
Sonata in A minor (24 kB) Katsuhiro Oguri KV 310
Adagio in B minor (32 kB) T.L. Hubeart KV 540
SCHUBERT
Moment musical Op.94 Nr.3 (8 kB) Roland Corp
Supplied with my synthesizer as a demonstration.
TÁRREGA
Capricho árabe (36 kB) Tchiang
Capriccio for the guitar.

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