To open a MIDI file, you can use the file menu and select "Load...", or you can click on the toolbar button that looks like a file folder with an arrow indicating that the folder is being opened. You will use a normal looking file selection dialogue box to find a MIDI file on your computer. Go to the directory and file that you want to edit and select it. For this "How To" I am going to use umh057.mid, the HymnSite.com file for "O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing."
When you open the midi file, you will see something like this:
The display shows that the tempo is set at 120. There are five tracks called "Conduct," "Melody," "Alto," "Tenor," and "Bass." All of the tracks are playing through MIDI channel 1, and all of them have no voice or instrument setting (that's what "0" under the "Prg" button means). No notes appear in the "Conduct" track. It was inserted by some other software that I use. The Melody, Alto, Tenor, and Bass parts are recorded on separate tracks. This was done to help with instrumental part arranging. You will also find that it is very useful in preparing MIDI sequencing arrangements, since you can make each part sound like a different instrument.
The grid in the lower right portion of the screen shows where there are MIDI events in each track. The first measure appears blank because this hymn starts on a pick-up note, and I inserted space in the MIDI file for the rests.
The rest of the tracks appear to be solid, black bars. This is because I prepared the parts in a "legato mode" which extends every note to the very edge of the next one. That works fine for percussive sounds such as piano or vibraphone. Unfortunately, these legato notes are blurred into the next note for sustained instruments such as organ or strings. If you would like to know how to create some space between the notes, go to the next page: Putting space between the notes. Otherwise, you might want to go back to the Table of Contents.