MIDI File Converter

MIDI File Converter is a utility designed to convert the MIDI file library included with Toontrack's EZdrummer virtual instrument from MIDI type 0 to MIDI type 1, with a customisable name as the track 1 name. This has the advantage that users of Cakewalk's SONAR will find that the MIDI clips created when they drag and drop into the track pane are given a meaningful default name. It also supports the option to leave the files as type 0 and simply change the track name, which is supported by SONAR 6 and above.

This utility has now been expanded to alter other MIDI files that you might be using with EZD to adjust their end time markers so that they loop correctly with EZdrummer's built in loop browser. (EZD version 1.0.3 introduced some problems in this area).

Download

A link to the latest version of MIDI File converter can be found here.

Installation and Requirements

MIDI File Converter requires the .NET framework version 2.0 or later to be installed. You can download this here. Once you have done this, run the installer.

Settings


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Input Folder

Normally you would choose the EZdrummer MIDI folder as the input folder. This is typically located at C:\Program Files\Toontrack\EZDrummer\Midi. However, if you want to specifically choose which MIDI files will be processed, you can select a subfolder or a new folder into which you have copied in the exact files you want to be processed.

Output Folder

MIDI File Converter will not modify any existing files or folders on your PC. What it does is recreates all the contents of the input folder into an empty output folder you have specified. This folder must be initially blank, and its contents can be copied into the Toontrack MIDI folder when you have finished the conversion (you must do this part yourself).

Clip Naming

These settings govern the clip name you will see when dragging into your host sequencer. Please note that in certain circumstances, EZD will generate its own clip name instead of the one in the file. You will need to experiment with your own host sequencer to see how it behaves.

If the Apply XML Naming Rules to Toontrack EZD Patterns option is selected, then whenever a MIDI file that was supplied with EZdrummer is processed, it will be given a MIDI clip name that is calculated according to the rules in the NamingRules.xml file (see "Advanced Customisation" below for more details). This setting is turned on by default.

If the Use filename for other MIDI patterns option is selected, then all other MIDI files in the input folder will have their clip name set to the name of the file (minus the .mid extension). This setting is on by default. If you turn it off, MIDI files will retain whatever clip names they already had (which may be blank).

MIDI Note Channel

You will normally want to leave MIDI notes on whatever channel they were already on. However, you can move them all to track 1 to be just like the ones in the included EZD libraries. Or you can move them all to track 10, so that when you play them in Windows Media Player, or through a GM module, it will play drum sounds instead of piano sounds.

Output File Type

MIDI File Converter was written to convert Toontrack's type 0 files into type 1, so that their clip names would display correctly in SONAR 5. However, users of different hosts may find that they can use type 0 without problems. Choose type 1 to force all MIDI files to type 1, type 0 to force them all to type 0, and leave unchanged if you want them to stay as they are.

Verbose Output

Select this option if you want a detailed run-down of everything that EZdrummer MIDI Converter is doing. If it is turned off, you will still be informed of any errors encountered.

How to make MIDI clip names appear in SONAR

Note: these are for users of SONAR 5 or previous versions. SONAR 6 can display EZdrummer's own clip names. You may still be able to use this utility with SONAR 6 though if you want to customise what those clip names will be.
  • First, make sure you have no running instances of EZdrummer.
  • MIDI File Converter will not modify, delete or rename any files on your computer. It will only create new ones. So now, create an empty folder somewhere to contain the created library. A good example would be on your desktop, in a subfolder called Midi.
  • Make sure that the EZdrummer MIDI folder is pointing at EZdrummer's own MIDI folder.
  • Point the output folder at your desired output path. MIDI File Converter will insist that this is a blank folder, to avoid confusion.
  • You want to select type 1 as the ouput file type.
  • If you have user MIDI files you would like to be given clip names as well then select the Use filename for other MIDI patterns option.
  • By default Apply XML Naming Rules is enabled. If you turn this off, the track name for converted EZdrummer MIDI files will simply be the filename minus the .mid extension. It is possible to extensively customise the naming rules, but this is for advanced users only. See the next section for more details. If you just have the EZdrummer included MIDI files, and no expansion packs, the default naming rules will probably be just fine for you.
  • When you are ready, click Convert. The process will take a few minutes, depending on the speed of your computer.
  • When it has finished, you will be informed of how many files were processed, as well as the number of errors encountered. If you have any errors at all, it is recommended that you report them here.
  • If you are happy that the output folder contains the MIDI files you want, you are ready to replace EZdrummer's MIDI files with the converted ones. Please make a backup first. One way would simply be to rename the existing MIDI folder to something else (e.g. Original MIDI).
  • Now copy the entire contents of the output directory into the Toontrack MIDI folder (by default this will be C:\Program Files\Toontrack\EZDrummer\Midi.

How to make user MIDI files loop correctly in EZD 1.0.3

  • First, copy all the folders of MIDI files that have the looping problem into an empty folder. This will be your input folder.
  • Create another blank folder to use as your output folder.
  • If you would like them to be given MIDI clip names based on their filename at the same time, ensure that "Use filename for other MIDI patterns" is selected.
  • You can also take the opportunity to modify the MIDI file type or the channel number for the notes. This may be helpful depending on your host.
  • You may also wish to turn on some options in the advanced options screen, available on the Tools menu.
  • When you are ready click <b>Convert</b>. If the process completes without errors, you can replace your user MIDI files with those in the output folder.

Advanced Customisation

MIDI File Converter allows extensive customisation of the filenames it creates. If you are comfortable with editing XML files and using regular expressions, you will be able to customise these settings. This allows the flexibility to support any EZX expansion pack MIDI files you may purchase. The settings are all stored in NamingRules.xml, which should be in the same folder as the MIDI File Converter application. Please be careful modifying these settings and always check that the output is what you wanted before replacing your EZdrummer MIDI files.
  • General Settings - This section contains some global settings. Do not change the order of the keys in this section.
  • FilenameRegex - This pattern is matched against all the filenames. If a match is found, then MIDI File Converter considers this to be an EZdrummer MIDI file, and will attempt to apply naming rules. The default setting looks for a filename that starts with one uppercase letter followed by an @ symbol. You only need to change this setting if files you wanted naming rules applied on are being missed out, or files you didn't want the naming rules applied on were being included.
  • ContextDepth - This is the number of components (folders and filename) that will be used to formulate the track 1 name. This is normally set to 3 (4 is the maximum), but can be set lower if desired.
  • ContextSeparator - This string will be inserted between the converted name of each item in the context hierarchy. If the naming rules have caused the length of a section to be set to zero, then the context separator is not added. The default will be just fine for most people.
  • Rules - The rules section allows you to specify a number of string substitutions to be applied to each part of the name. This consists of two parts - the SearchString and the Replacement (see below). Each rule is applied in turn on each folder name or filename used to form the track name. The order is very important in this section - the rules will be applied in the order they appear in the NamingRules.xml file.
  • SearchString - this is a regular expression that defines a string to look for within the file or folder name.
  • Replacement - this is a literal string that will replace all occurences of the search string in the file or folder name being processed.


Some example rules from the default NamingRules.xml file:
<Rule>
   <SearchString>^[0-9A-Z]+\@[0-9][0-9]\.</SearchString>
   <Replacement></Replacement>
</Rule>


This rule looks for all file or folder names that start with one or more digits or upper case letters followed by an @ sign, followed by exactly two digits and then a full stop. It replaces it with a blank string. This effectively strips off the start of EZdrummer folder and filenames.

<Rule>
   <SearchString>POP/ROCK</SearchString>
   <Replacement>P/R</Replacement>
</Rule>

This rule abbreviates any instances of the upper case string "POP/ROCK" to "P/R". Note that this will only operate if it follows the rule that converts the '#' character to a '/' character.

<Rule>
   <SearchString>GROOVE </SearchString>
   <Replacement>G</Replacement>
</Rule>

This rule abbreviates any instances of the upper case string "GROOVE" followed by a trailing space to simply "G". Note that this only works because we have already converted all underscore characters to spaces with a previous rule.

<Rule>
   <SearchString>SAMBA</SearchString>
   <Replacement></Replacement>
</Rule>

The Samba MIDI files included with the Cocktail kit EZX will have the word Samba in their name twice by default. This rule strips out the fully capitalised folder name, so the mixed case "Samba" in the filename can be used on its own.

Advanced Options

There are some extra settings available that may be useful for some third party add-on MIDI libraries. These are accessed from the Tools menu. They are recommended for advanced users only. Messages will appear in the output window to inform you of these settings being modified from their default values.
  • Remove Sequencer Specific Events - The Toontrack EZD files each have a sequencer specific event in them. I don't know what it is for, but you can remove it if you want (maybe to trick EZD into thinking this is a user file instead). Default is False.
  • Recreate End Track Events - This is what will fix most looping issues in EZD v1.03. It deletes the existing end track markers and puts new ones in that fall exactly after the last note event. Default is True. If this is set to False, then end track markers are left exactly where they were.
  • Add Name Marker - In addition to naming the tracks, this will add a marker to track zero with the name of the clip. Any existing markers at position 0 on track 0 will be removed. Default is False
  • Trim Text Events - Trims the whitespace of Text events and removes them if
they are zero length. Default is False
  • Remove Empty Tracks - If the input file is type 1 and has tracks containing no note events, these tracks can be removed. The control track and the first track are never removed. Default is False.
  • Remove Extra Tempo Events - Most MIDI files have just one tempo event on
the first tick. This option removes any subsequent ones (this is sometimes needed to fix the looping issue in EZD v1.0.3). Default is False.
  • Remove Extra Markers - This will remove any markers that are not at the first tick. This is sometimes needed to fix the looping issue in EZD v1.0.3. Default is False.

Notes

  • This software is not affiliated in any way with Toontrack. It is not guaranteed to work on future versions of EZdrummer, or with EZX expansion packs (although I expect it will work just fine).
  • I recommend that if you are installing any patches or updates to EZdrummer, that you restore the original Midi directory before doing so, and then re-run the EZdrummer MIDI Converter afterwards.
  • If you have some user MIDI patterns that you do not want MIDI File Converter
to attempt to convert, simply remove them from the input directory before running the conversion process. You do not have to point it to the real EZdrummer MIDI directory if you don't want to. You could create your own folder with only the files you want converted in.
  • For the technically inclined, here is an explanation of what happens to your MIDI events when converting to type 1. All meta-events are placed on track 0. All note events are placed on track 1. In addition a track name (the one worked out by the naming rules) and a track end marker are added to track 1.

Version History

The latest version of MIDI File Converter can be found at http://www.codeplex.com/naudio.
  • v0.1 9 Oct 2006
    • First public beta release
  • v0.2 2 Nov 2006
    • Now processes all MIDI files in the input folder, rather than just copying type 1
    • Allow processing of non-EZD files (to move end track markers to work with EZD v1.03)
    • Ability to select output file type
    • Both tracks in a type 1 file will be given the same track name
    • An advanced options dialog added with extra options
    • Can optionally force all MIDI note events onto channel 1 or 10
    • Properly handles non-ASCII characters (such as copyright symbol)
    • Has an installer
    • Can save the conversion log
  • v0.3 16 Mar 2007
    • Name changed to MIDI File Converter to reflect its use for more general-purpose tasks
    • Fixed a bug where track 1 didn't have an end track marker if Recreate Track End Markers wasn't set, and converting from type 0 to type 1

Last edited Mar 16, 2007 at 4:18 PM by markheath, version 5

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