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2 midi files with same settings have different output


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i have two different choir pieces which came from finale. i saved them as midi files and then put them in logic as two separate projects. i thought i did them the same, but today i was listening to them and one sounds a lot better than the other one on playback. It's kind of hard to explain, but one sounds clear and open and the other one sounds closed, far away, and like in a bottle. i can't figure out what i did differently. i checked the left panel of each project and everything lines up identically. thing is, when i play my keyboard, it has the cheap sound, not the good sound. could it have something to do with how i exported the midi file from finale? does anyone know what is going on here?



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Hi rjawad001. Have you checked the velocity values on your midi notes in the Piano Roll window?


  • Open your piano roll window by double clicking the midi region that contains the midi notes
  • Look at the color of the midi notes in the piano roll window. Are they different colors? If they are, this means those notes are played at different velocities.


Depending on which instruments you are feeding the midi notes into, velocity may control different things. For example, a plugin may read velocity values to make an instrument play louder or softer. If your velocity settings on some notes are low, this would explain why they may sound more distant or at a lower volume.


If your midi notes all have a similar velocity, then your issue is likely with your instruments or channel strip. Let's start with the velocity first and see where that gets us.


Report back with your findings if you get a chance.

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they are different colors, but ... i don't know if that would matter.

they both have a choir sound. one is singing 'oh's and the other 'ahh's. if i play a note loud or soft it always does 'ahh'.

what is weird to me is: usually if i play my keyboard on a selected track, it sounds just like the play back. but that is not the case here.

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Let's check one more thing before ruling velocity out of the equation. Check out the screenshots below:


Both of these screenshots show the same midi notes. However, the first screenshot contains notes that have higher velocity (you can tell because the colors are more warm, and you can read the numerical value for the velocities just below it).




The second screenshot shows the exact same notes, but the velocities have lower values (you can tell because the colors are more cool, and again you can check the numerical values just below it).




If I play the first project file in logic, the notes will sound loud (again, this is assuming that I am using an instrument or plug-in that reads these velocities). If I play the second project file, the notes will sound quiet.


It's possibly that you exported the midi notes from Finale with different velocities, or accidentally altered one projects velocity after you imported it. Even though they contain the same notes, they will sound different.


This also explains why it sounds ok when you play the notes on your keyboard. Your keyboard is probably set up to output a fixed velocity value every time you press a key (e.g., If you press a key softly, it outputs 100. If you press a key hard, it still outputs 100). Therefore, everytime you play your keyboard with the track selected, the audio rings loud and clear.


I would recommend comparing the velocity values of the midi notes of both projects. If they are identical, then you can probably rule out velocity as the culprit, in which case it's likely an instrument or channel strip setting that is making one project sound way different.

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well, i get what you're saying. the velocities are slightly different in each project (think pale green and yellow green). the velocities during the song change which is kind of weird since that information is not contained in a score. however, i think finale does something with the velocities before output to make it sound more "natural".


my piano does not output a fixed velocity. i am able to play loud and soft on it.


the keyboard is outputting the same sound as one of the midi files regardless of which project i am in. actually it is the bad sound, not the good one.

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ok, i fixed it somehow.

in finale, i chose "play finale through audio units" instead of "play finale through midi". then in the score manager, garritan instruments comes up instead of makemusic synth. when i export to a midi file and put in logic, it sounds good after i select the correct library sample. so it has something to do with how finale exports the midi file.

my keyboard is still giving the bad sound. it would be nice if my keyboard would reproduce the sound on the given track. but, i guess for now it is not important. still would like to know what's going on here, though.

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