import midifile created with Sibelius


I’ve exported from Sibelius a midifile type 0 ( and type 1 ( in GM format, and when i import this in dorico :

  • with type 0 : Dorico detects only a single track of piano and put all the instruments inside
  • with type 1 : Dorico detects all tracks but dont detect instruments (program change are in the begining of each track)

Perhaps from Sibelius, use MusicXml is much better …
But i have many midifile (i began to write scores since 1985 !!!) sometime i need return to work on this old score !!!
Perhaps there is a workaround, transform midifile in cubase for having the best midi structure to importing this on Dorico

Dorico doesn’t currently import type 0 files. For type 1 files, Dorico has no way of knowing what actual instruments were used in it. It can’t assume it’s a General MIDI file because in many cases it won’t be. It tries to guess the instruments from the track names, but in this MIDI file there are no track names so you end up with lots of default instruments (which happens to be a flute).

There are two things you can do - either open the MIDI file in a sequencer and add track names, or in Setup mode use Change Instrument to change it the instrument you want.

Hello Paul, thant for your very quick answer …

To look at the track name of midifile can be very ambiguous, what is the used languages ? What spelling ? Etc…
Sibelius dont put track name in exported midifile …

Since 1991 (date of creation of the standard GM) sharing midifile became more easy !!! before it was almost impossible ! All shared midifile inevitably containing standard GM or GS or less often in XG.
It’s rarely otherwise … Many synthesizers use the standard GM, and almost all the software as Sibelius, Cubase, etc …

If you don’t have track name, why not choose instrument with Program Change ?
99,99% of midifile are in GM standard …

It’s really not the case that the MIDI files used by many Dorico users are all GM. A very common workflow is transferring MIDI files from a sequencer, and it’s very rare that these will be GM. And if the file isn’t GM then you can’t map the program change to a proper instrument because you need to know which VST it was assigned to and which patch was loaded. GM was a common interchange format in the 1990s, but not used very much by professional users.

In the future it’s likely that we’ll offer an import dialog that will give more control over MIDI file import to specify whether a file is GM or not.

Thank you Paul …

My last point :

Dorico is a very recent software. Most of the dorico users will come from Sibelius or Finale or cubase, all these software, except Cubase, export in standard GM or use GM standard (cubase use GM to get instruments)

These users will need to import midifiles from their old software

It will be very good that Dorico will ask in a dialog box, if the midifile is in GM format, but in my opinion, it’s the general case.
I remember difficulties exchanging midifile when this standard did not exist before 1991 !!!

but not used very much by professional users.

i’m not agree !!!
when you have specific sounds not listed in GM i’m agree, otherwise when you want to export a trumpet in a midifile you use the program change 57, trombone 58, tuba 59, saxophone alto 66, tenor 67 etc … it’s more simple. So after if you import this midifile with this instrument, most of sequencer using GM get the correct sound (Cubase, Sibelius, Finale, Logic, musescore etc …)

Users coming from Sibelius or Finale will export in Music XML rather than MIDI - MIDI loses a lot of data. Most users coming from Cubase or Pro Tools will not be using GM.

Yes Paul, now musicXml is the best way to import/export score.

But the first basic version 1.0 of musicXml was in 2004, I was subscribed to the musicXml mailing list.
I’ve tried to use this standard with Cubase in 2007, but this was too difficult because the standard was not adopted in the same way by all the sequencers. I had discussed about this problem on Mailing list…

But now, since 2011 the Version 3.0 working much well !!

I Began to use sequencer since 1986, and i became professionnel in 2000. I think that most futurs users of Dorico have begun to work with software notation before 2011 (date of Version 3.0 of musicXML).
From 1989 till 2003 I worked on old cubase version with the LPT port doogle, but today LPT port is very rare on PC, and i can’t open anymore my old cubase file.
Luckily :bulb: i have exported all my score in midifile because I thought that it was the standard which will last for a long time. And when i saved all this project in midifile. I knew that i would loose many information but I saved the main part of my work: the Music …

Do you think it’s the end of GM files ?

GM was almost dead on arrival in 1991. Roland launched GS the same year, and Yamaha launched XG in 1994.

Even the GM2 standard hasn’t been updated since 1999.

The proposed new HD-MIDI standard has taken 10 years to develop (from 2005 to 2015) but there are no products using it AFAIK.

In computing terms, I would call that “dead.” It’s still being used for phone ringtones, though.


  • you have more than 1 000 000 GM midifiles on the net … OK There is many waste :wink:, but sometime you have some good like this old one that you can listen with a very basic sound card ( you have to know the original and listen them both in a same time , good for working on Charlie Parker and Gillespie solo in every tone !!)

  • Almost all the music software integrated GM.

  • almost electronic devices have a midi controller ! and when it’s for music use (like ringtone) that include GM.

This standard was dead from its arrival but only for you :sunglasses:

the HD-MIDI never lived as a standard. I didn’t beleive in this because the main advantage of midi standard is its simplicity and its lightness. The use of Midi standard is so wide-spread that it doesn’t need to evolve, quite the opposite … basic midi standard is even going to stay for a long time …

I Think musicXML is going to replace soon the use of midifile with notation software

… and there are more than 30 000 000 audio files on Spotify alone, not counting all the other audio streaming websites.

How many new GM files are being uploaded in 2017, I wonder?

To give you an idea of how popular GM files are - this is the first request to support the import of it in the 9 months since the release of Dorico 1.0.

We will probably add the ability to import it specifically in the future, but it’s not the highest priority item.

Rob wrote :

How many new GM files are being uploaded in 2017, I wonder?

you wrote : “GM was almost dead on arrival in 1991”

The standard MP3 has nothing to do with the standard GM, Why you compare these two standards ?

Ok Paul, if i’m the only one, i’m bowing !!!

i know You have a lot of work to develop this great innovative software that is Dorico !!

I have time to repatch my midifile !!

I’m not comparing the two standards - of course audio and MIDI are different.

I was trying to make the point that “one million files” is actually a small number, compared with the total size of the web.

To make another comparison: about 400 hours of new material is uploaded to YouTube every minute. How many new GM MIDI files are being uploaded somewhere every minute, compared with the amount of new music (in audio or video format) being uploaded to YouTube?

Of course there are some large and useful collections of MIDI files (for example but most of them are not strictly in GM MIDI format - they used to recommend making the files compatible with Roland’s proprietary GS format instead, for better quality playback. And most of the content on classicalarchives is now audio files of live performances, not MIDI.

Ok Rob, i could say also, how many people are using sequencers or notation software or software for assisting musical composition ? compared to the general public who’s only listen music with VLC, quicktime or iTune … ?
You compare the average users who post on YouTube with the much less number of users who use musical notation or sequencer software …

Midi standard (and GM) is for a very specific use, only by people who used musical notation, sequencer or composer software, and also midi instrument hardware … The general public does not use midifiles … only few of them using midi for rings of phone … So it’s why you do not have to compare MP3 and midi …

GS is an extension of GM standardization (xg idem), you have more instruments but it’s only with roland materials, idem with XG and Yamaha materials
You can read with GM standardization GS or XG midifile, you loose some instruments but in most case you have the main part …
Midi standardization must stay very simple, all basics standardizations like GM are more expended than all others complex such as GS or XG.
So you can exchange midi information with all material and software, complex extensions of this standard are allways reserved for a single trademark

All musical software are using midi and GM, almost ALL !!!
And Paul will include GM in dorico … :stuck_out_tongue:

Not in the professional sector. Cubase will load a GM file and will pick GM sounds in HALion, but there is no option to export in GM. There can’t be, as a sequencer has no knowledge of the sounds that are played by each VST. I will be amazed if loading a GM file into Pro Tools does anything apart from creating raw midi tracks.

GM has had virtually no role in professional products for about 15 to 20 years. It is very poor as an exchange format, as that is not what it was designed for. It was designed in the era before mp3 playback on the desktop as a compact way of representing musical content that could be played in games and other applications.

I’ve been begging for the metaverse domains to incorporate MIDI support and a sync signal for over a decade so we could build a VST Host into the viewer (or at least support the simple GM players that ship with most OSes). They all laughed in my face and said, “MIDI is DEAD…NO ONE uses that anymore.” So…there went my plans to buy up sims and create virtual music composition, audio engineering, and interactive drill/dance/choreography schools and studios. All we needed was server support for uploading and streaming MIDI files, and a sync signal for working out live performances or locking to animations…and we could be having virtual jam sessions with musicians from around the world in a virtual 3d metaverse…and scripting up virtual music courses, simple studios, etc. We could be doing virtual demos of marching drills, color guard routines, and ballets…But no, they decided the standards needed to do all that are ‘obsolete’ and ‘no one uses them anymore’.

Linden Labs decided for me that my entire industry is “Obsolete”. Their comments sounded quite similar to yours. Oh well, I guess they are happy with pole dancer sims…the metaverse could have been so much more…

Saying GM is ‘dead’ is like saying ASCII, PS/2, or ANSI are ‘dead in the water’.

  1. Millions of SMF files are out there in the wild world.
  2. Millions of devices and virtual devices can load and play them. Every synth, piano, organ, etc I’ve owned since the early 90s supports it.
  3. Thousands of devices and virtual devices can create them.
  4. The MMA still exists, and Yamaha is a big player there, and are now deeply connected with Stienberg. The only reason the standards have not been growing over the years is because its members seem content with where things are. There is no reason at all that Steinberg can’t propose additions and extensions to those standards if they see a need for them.
  5. The digital piano and organ markets are still pretty significant. They all still support GM. It’s a big deal in church music, and that’s a pretty big chunk of where pro audio gear and software is being sold the world over. Neglecting such markets is neglecting a potential cash cow.

Having said all that It’s not a huge deal to me that Dorico doesn’t currently use the PC events in an SMF import to choose instruments…but I do think it’d be nice to offer that ability in some future version. At some point Dorico will want to reach out to larger potential markets, and all those churches, schools, theaters, and auditoriums around the world outfitted with Yamaha (and other brand) digital pianos and organs are quite numerous. Some of them are old, but they can still record and playback a pianist/organist’s performance in GM format. Quite a few might like to entertain the idea of building scores from their rehearsals and performances, and Dorico could someday be the prime tool targeted to these digital piano users.

We have said that we hope to add the ability to import GM files (or specifically, identify instruments from their GM program changes), and we hope to add the ability to play back via GM devices, as this is an important user case for users who want an ultra-light playback preview.

However my point is that GM more generally is of little use an interchange format, and hasn’t been for 20 years. In the 4 years of development this thread has been the only request for GM file support.

If no request for GM support was made it is perhaps because it was obvious that Dorico would integrate it. Idem, nobody asked for writing septolet because it was obvious that Dorico would integrate it.

Did you know that musicXML uses partially GM standard ?
example for the standardization of percussion drum kit :
One of the standardization of GM was to put drum kit in channel 10 … (drum track is very complex, unpitched note have two pitch, one for the score one other for the sound … and musicXML use the GM standard with channel 10 and the two pitches for each instrument in drum kit)
And also for many other functionalities …

What is “Professional sector” ??? only classical musicians ? its the reason why actually you can’t edit drum track with Dorico ? (it’s a joke :wink: …)

I think that people who buy Dorico are all professional musicians. In the jobs of musics, there are many different activities and as publisher of notation software, you cannot allow to ignore certain occupations. I understands that you want to stand out as the best software of the profession, you deserve him very well. Dorico is the best musical notation software, At present it is still incomplete, but it is only a question of time !!

To shared files between various software of musical notations, musicXML (standard based on midi standard) is going to replace midi. But it still has a lot to do there. This standard is not still interpreted in the same way by all the publishers.
Even at Steinberg, cubase pro9 do not respect completely the standards of export in musicXML.
here in this topic Daniel wrote :

I use GM only for my old file, today, for my new musical arrangements i only use muscXML …

According to you, have I deserves him to be Professional ? :wink:

All I’m saying is that millions of Digital Pianos have been sold over the decades…there are untapped markets out there for people who might wish to move their decades worth of performances (stored up as SMF) into a proper score. It never was put into a ‘score’ for ‘interchange’ in the first place. Such people might be interested in making that jump. Of course they’d have to add all the human readable articulations, dynamics, etc. by hand…but being able to get as much of the initial performance loaded in and ready to go would be rather helpful. Yes, they CAN already do this if it’s a type 1 file…it’s not terribly difficult to assign instruments manually. Again, the point is that with millions of SMF devices out there…it’s a long way from being obsolete or dead.

It’s probably not the best time to push something like Dorico on the run of the mill Digital Piano owner, but at some point, getting ads in the right places, and product in the hands of the right sales people who are selling and servicing Digital Pianos and the like could lead to a spike in sales.