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This mini-project will develop your ability to interpret the binary file listing of a standard MIDI file. You will first parse the file into its component elements (headers, MIDI messages, meta-events, and delta-times), and then analyze your results.


MIDI files consist of three types of data: (1) MIDI events, (2) timing information, and (3) file structure information (file header and track headers). Your task in this mini-project is to parse a MIDI file by hand by examining the individual bytes of the file. Once you can successfully parse a file, you will be well-positioned to write your own software applications that can create standard MIDI files directly, or even to read the file directly (a challenge!).

If you have not done so already, please study the pre-requisite modules, MIDI Messages and Standard MIDI Files . You will need to refer to both of these modules in order to complete this activity.

Part 1: parse the file

The file to be parsed is available here: parse_me.mid (MIDI files are binary files, so right-click and choose “Save As” to download the file). If you wish, you can use a hexadecimal editor such as XVI32 to display the bytes, otherwise you can refer to the XVI32 screenshot below:

Hexadecimal listing of the 'parse_me.mid' file

The byte position (address) is shown on the far left panel, the hexadecimal representation of each byte in the file is shown in the central panel, and the ASCII representation of each byte is shown in the right panel. Most of the ASCII characters look like gibberish, but important landmarks such as the track chunk ID ( MTrk ) are easily visible.

Interpret each part of the file, and list your results in tabular format, like this (use hexadecimal notation for the “Starting Address” column):

Remember, a byte value of 0xFF signifies the beginning of a meta-event. Also, remember the concept of running status , so be on the lookout for MIDI messages whose first byte is NOT a status byte, i.e., whose MSB is clear. Take a look at the following video if you need some assistance:

[video] Walk through the MIDI file "parse_me.mid" at a high level, then show some parsing examples at the beginning of the file.

Part 2: analyze your results

Determine the following information for the MIDI file:

  • File format (Type 0, 1, or 2)
  • Number of tracks
  • Number of distinct channels used
  • Number of distinct voices (instruments) used (look for Program Change messages)
  • Number of ticks per quarter note
  • Shortest two non-zero delta times, reported both in ticks and in microseconds (hint: the timing information you need here is derived from information in two distinct places)
  • Top two longest delta times, both in ticks and in microseconds
  • Minimum non-zero note-on velocity, and its channel and note number
  • Maximum note-on velocity, and its channel and note number
  • Total number of meta-events

If you have not done so already, listen to parse_me.mid (click the link to launch your default music player application). How do your parsing and analysis results compare to what you hear?

Questions & Answers

do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Musical signal processing with labview -- midi for synthesis and algorithm control. OpenStax CNX. Nov 09, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10487/1.2
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