My MIDI Tips

Here are some of my tricks for making realistic sounding MIDI tracks:


  • Invest in a quality MIDI sequencing program (there are many)
  • Find a good source for instrument sounds (beyond just the standard GM set)
    • Some of my favorites include
      • Dimension Pro
      • Native Instruments
  • Layer certain instruments to fatten the sound
    • Two of my favorite instruments to double include
      • Bass guitar to make it fatter, warmer
      • Acoustic guitar to make it sound fuller
  • Volume versus Velocity
    • Volume controls the entire track
    • You can vary velocity for each note within a track
  • Transposing to match instrument ranges
    • Transpose to match the range of a given instrument
    • Make sure your bass guitar sounds like a bass guitar
  • Guitar strums – delaying successive notes of a chord (de-quantizing)
  • Finding the right instruments for your song
  • Using keyboard accompaniment sheet music to find instrument parts
  • Bringing lead instruments in and out during the song (i.e. arranging)
  • Doubling the melody line to make it stand out
  • Using tempo changes to match the song’s feel – make it more human
  • Doubling the bass / guitar / organ and other instruments
  • Quantizing the notes to improve the rhythm & match the sheet music, and then…
    • De-quantize (aka randomize) certain notes to humanize the track
  • Use MIDI plug-ins to enhance your final sound –
    • Sound effects include reverb, compression, noise gate
    • Other include DBX, surround, equalization, and many others


Here is a place you can go to get some actual training along these lines: ==>  Groove3 – MIDI Basics & Production Bundle

Give it a try!  Meanwhile, let me know if any questions.  Happy singing!