Why is MIDI import sooooo hard???

Please see my attached midi import test file.
It should have been quite simple, actually: I wanted to import a melody from GarageBand. I turned it into a .aif, then converted it into a .mid file. So far so good. Then I opened this midi test file, created a soprano voice player (because the melody will eventually be sung by a soprano voice). Then I went to file > import > midi and filled out the “questionnaire” on how to import (basically yes to everything so that I wouldn’t get in the program’s way) and, guess what? It turned my melody into a single-line drum notation! The GM sound it picked was fine. But why would Dorico create a single-line/single-note drum notation for an obvious melody???
Curious to see what you folks have to say about this.
MIDI test project.dorico.zip (661 KB)
I’m also not happy that even with a project that has zero other notation input, it still must create a flow #2… rather than try and import into the desired player’s hands.

That part is standard fare for any import, be it MIDI or XML.

It sounds like something amiss in the .aif to MIDI export process. You might also try UN-checking all the extra options for MIDI.

There is no “standard” way to identify instruments in MIDI files, so Dorico has to make a guess based on whatever clues it can find.

Presumably, Dorico decided it was a drum because it was on MIDI channel 10, which is the General Midi standard for percussion.

If you want your music to be in the first (or only) flow in a project, don’t import the midi file into a project which already contains a flow (even if that flow has no music in it). Do File / Open, not File / Import / MIDI.

Are you sure that’s what you did? .aif files only contain audio data, so converting one into MIDI would be (cough) challenging!

Disclaimer: I don’t use Mac, so I very rarely get to deal with .aif files in WIndows, and I don’t have Garageband either.

I know about MIDI channel 10. Don’t see a MIDI channel 10 selection anywhere. Where did you see it?
Posting another file, this time as suggested: File > Open (the .mid file).
This time, under Play, it’s port 1, channel 1. Shouldn’t be percussion notation (with flute sound) but it is…
MIDI import test 2.dorico.zip (412 KB)

Ya, I used this online converter: https://larkob.github.io/GB2MIDI/index.html
And it worked with the guitar chords and bass line for the chart.
Just having problems importing the melody and the drum track.
Of course, the drum track I expected to give me problems, what with all the various sounds in one track.
But I never dreamed that importing this simple melody line would give me such grief.

Rob Tuley wrote:
“Are you sure that’s what you did? .aif files only contain audio data, so converting one into MIDI would be (cough) challenging!
Disclaimer: I don’t use Mac, so I very rarely get to deal with .aif files in WIndows, and I don’t have Garageband either.”

It might be a peculiarity of the way GarageBand handles .aif files, but midi data is ‘hidden’ in the exported audio loop data that GarageBand exports. My guess is that if one had access to Logic Pro midi could be exported directly.

You didn’t post the MIDI file you imported, so I have no idea what channels it used. Dorico will assign the channels it uses itself independent of what you imported.

There must be some reason Dorico decided it was a drum part, and “channel 10” was the most obvious guess.

In another thread this user tried to import a drum pattern and ended up with a flute part. I begin to wonder whether the OP switched the MIDI files by accident.

No. That’s not it. If I could attach the .mid file here I would. Even in GarageBand it wasn’t channel 10. And in Dorico it was channel 1.

You can attach it if you zip it first.

Here it is.
Whistler BOTW.mid.zip (3.45 KB)

I’ve had a look at your project and I can see what’s going on now. This MIDI file doesn’t have anything in it that Dorico can use to work out what instrument it is. It’s not GM, and there’s no program changes in it. The track name is ‘Whistler’. Dorico goes through a number of heuristics to work out what it could be, but the absence of GM program changes and a matching instrument name, it falls back to finding the best match it can from the name, and that happens to be ‘Whistle’, which is a single line percussion instrument.

There’s a couple of things you can do though to improve the import. One is to rename the MIDI track to the name of the instrument, eg ‘Guitar’ would mean that Dorico can choose a better default instrument for it. Or if you have a single track MIDI file like this, then you can import it into an existing project. Create the Player you want, if you don’t already have it. Switch to Play Mode and then drag the MIDI file into the track.

Thanks, Paul. I think I’m getting the hang of the midi import now. I just had to keep it more simple with the naming and sticking to General Midi.

Still having problems with drum track imports, though.