Sweet Music
Accompanied by The Band Played On MIDi only with Internet Explorer

Many different types of Sound files have been produced over the years as the modern PC has evolved. You will probably be fully aware of WAV files, which produce the introductory sound as Windows starts up, along with other warning sounds such as when we make mistakes etc. I find it amusing how some PC users. (especially may I say some of the older generation) refuse to switch on PC speakers or even plug them. They seem to be unaware of the presence of audible warnings we get when using Windows, and it is little wonder some folk find computers difficult to use. The wav sounds made by Windows can be easily changed using the SOUNDS option found in the CONTROL PANEL. But some wav files often take up considerable more Disk space compared with other types like equivalent MP3 / WMA files.

Another popular sound is the MIDI file, I have uploaded over 700 that can be played online or downloaded from http://www.sigord.co.uk/MIDiMenu.htm and there is a vast selection to from MIDIS Their popularity stems largely from their small size, and the fact, they can be easily created using a fairly inexpensive synthesizer keyboard. There is ample shareware software available capable of both playing, and editing and also producing a printout of the Sheet Music such as to download from Procyon or use the Tune Players to play music files among http://www.sigord.co.uk/Submits/Software.htm. This appears to make something of a mockery of the laws on music copyright, although it might be argued, that such a printout is not necessarily of the original score, but of the pianist's interpretation often with multiple tracking. The audio spectrum of a MIDi file is limited by the capabilities of the synthesizer used. One of the more popular music files of course is the MP3 because there appears no limit to their audio quality, even although it is about a tenth of the size of an equivalent WAV file, and the WMA files are often even smaller. There is plenty of shareware capable of producing a MP3 from tracks of a music CD or tape or vinyl records, and even some HI-FI players now this and burn a CD of MP3s.The latest Windows Media Players can produce MP3 or WMA files ripped from CD tacks, if you do this online it may even provide names for the files. VOC sound files also tend to be quite small of only a few Kb, and mainly of use for short sounds. There are many other sound files to be found such as MOD, CMF, SND, ROL, SP3m etc, which are also capable of producing high quality sound, but favoured more in Europe. Players for these are also included among the Tune Players above and also at MODMIDS3M Use ExeMenu in the Music Plat folder to run the players. Windows Media Player will not play many of these files.

It should be possible to create WAV, MP3, or WMA files from ANY sound coming from your stereo speakers, even while online. If you double click on the little grey speaker icon on the bottom right toolbar, and then the Options it will allow you to access the Recording sections such as input. Make sure the box such as Line Volume is ticked and active. I would avoid allowing the Mic Volume to be active unless you need it, such as with using a Mic to record from say the TV, you may pick up unwanted sounds. If you later need the Mic active such as for Skype, you may need to activate it again. It is best to also ensure such as the Stereo Box is also active. Next you need to use such as the free Goldwave or Audacity sound editors available over the internet to record while playing any sound such as connected to the Line or Mic Input.

Depending on the software used, you can then save the file as a WAV or MP3 etc, or convert files to another format anytime. It should be possible to create MP3 / WAV etc files from any Analogue signals fed direct into the line input to your Sound Board, such as Tape, etc and provide a much better quality than using a Mic near speakers. But you may always need to set the Sound Editor to record at 44100 Hz Stereo sampling rate and PCM 16 bit. The simple sound recorder provided with Windows has severe limitations, such as the length of the recordings.

Unfortunately the majority of modern radios and Hi Fi now are not now fitted with say Din output sockets for connecting to the sound card Line input of a PC, so you may have to search for suitable earlier second hand equipment. Also I have found that unfortunately some Hi-fi equipment is incapable of producing a strong enough signal for this, so I was obliged to build the simple pre-amp shown below. It is worth testing the signals on all the pins of the usual 180-degree DIN plugs used for audio equipment for the strongest signal. Many mono cassette tape recorders, such as the type use for Computer Data, produce a very strong signal from pin 3 of a 7 pin DIN plug In the pre-amp below the values of the capacitors are not too critical, and the components should fit into a 4 x 3 inch approx. tobacco tin. The 100K gain controls are not essential, and could be replaced by fixed 100K resistors, but are intended to correct any unbalance of gain between the two channels. This could also be corrected with the left / right balance controls in the software or Hi-fi, remembering to return them to a central position afterwards. I would suggest you run the pre-amp from say two 9 volt batteries or 12 volt nicads, avoiding any risk of damage to the PC, by using a Power Supply. It is best to record the same as the original sound such as mono as mono etc. Your software should then have options to save otherwise, such as creating an artificial stereo file from a mono recording. It is very difficult to start and stop a recording exactly when the sound starts and finish such as between tracks, thus the need to edit out any unwanted silence. You can avoid the need to record each track separately, by recording the whole side of an LP or Tape as one large file. Some software will stop after a short period of silence and save to separate files. Otherwise use CUT to remove each track, and create a NEW file by Pasting in the data always stored in the hidden Windows Clipboard. It should be easy to identify the position of each track by the short silence spots between tracks showing on the spectrograph display. Although some ROCK musicians etc delight in never keeping silent between tracks. Editor software should allow you to maximise the volume such as with a Normaliser. You can insert Fade in or outs such as at the beginning or end of a recording, insert silence and a lot more. It could also allow you to eliminate some unwanted noise during the silent passages by filtering. You can of course store many more MP3s on a data CD than tracks on a music CD, and modern DVD players will often recognise and play these MP3s both from a CD or DVD disk, though some may not cope with WMAs. They should also be able to display clipart / photos in JPG format.

HOMEPAGE    Comments and suggestions always welcome gordonsweet2000@yahoo.co.uk