Tracks Summary

This dialog shows you a summary of the tracks that make up the piece of music currently loaded into the player. It can also be a piece you are in the process of recording.

This dialog looks something like this:

As you can see above, it displays the track number of each track (which is usually not the same as a MIDI channel number), the name of the track, the MIDI channel(s) the track uses, and the number of MIDI events in the track. It also shows (in the title-bar, and in the “Name” field) the name of the piece, which comes either from the file name, or from the name of the first track.

There can be any number of tracks in a MIDI file, and any track can make use of any (or all) of the 16 MIDI channels.

If the MIDI file has only one track, it is a type-0 MIDI file, and all of the events of the piece are in that one track. If you record a piece with only one track, it will be saved as a type-0 MIDI file. Remember that each track can use up to 16 MIDI channels.

More commonly, the first track (track 1) is usually (but not always) reserved for time-signature and tempo setting events, and the rest of the tracks contain the actual music. MIDI files with this structure are type-1 MIDI files, which are most commonly used.

Most of the MIDI files you play, or record, will be type-1 MIDI files. There is another type of MIDI file (type-2), which is not currently supported by the MIDI player/recorder. In type-2 files, each track is an independent piece of music, and the tracks are played one after the other.

Type-1 MIDI files, on the other hand, have all of the tracks played together, at the same time.

If there are more tracks than can be shown in the window, you can use the scroll-bar (at the right) to scroll through all of the tracks.

At the top of the dialog, just below the title-bar, are several fields containing important information about the piece.

The first of these is the “Name” field. This is the name of the composition, and is supposed to come from the name of the first track. If no name is specified for the first track, the file-name is used instead. It is good to name the piece by specifying a name for the first track, because such names can contain characters that are not legal for file-names.

When you record a new track, the application asks you for the name of the new track.

The next field to the right, is the “Time” field. This is the initial (1st) time-signature of the piece. The time-signature is shown as a fraction, where the top (first) number is the number of beats per measure, and the bottom (second) number is the type of note that gets one beat. A bottom-number of 2, means half-note, a bottom-number of 4 means quarter-note, and a bottom-number of 8 means eighth-note.

If there are multiple time-signatures in the piece, only the first of them is shown here.

The next field (the “Key” field) is the initial (first) key-signature of the piece.

In the MIDI files I have seen (downloaded from the Internet), this information is rarely filled-in, so it is seldom useful. In pieces you create by recording them with the MIDI player/recorder, It will get this information from the key-signature of the current performance pane.

The right-most field just under the title-bar, is the “Tempo” field. It specifies the initial (first) tempo of the piece, in beats per minute.

This value is a bit confusing, because to musicians, a tempo is seen as quarter-notes per minute – regardless if the time-signature says an eighth-note gets one beat, or a half-note gets one beat. For the tempo setting, in x/8 time, it is a dotted-quarter-note (one-and-a-half quarter-notes) that gets one tempo beat, and in x/4 time, it is an actual quarter-note that gets one tempo beat.

The next part of the dialog is a scroll-pane, with headings for “Track #”, “Name”, “Channels”, and “Events”.

The track # is a sequential number, starting with 1. There can be any number of tracks in a piece.

The “Name” field contains the name of the track. It can also include the instrument intended to be used for the track.

The “Channels” field shows all of the MIDI channels used in the track. Often it is just one channel, but a track can use all 16 MIDI channels.

The “Events” field shows how many MIDI events are contained in the track. A MIDI event is usually a note-on, or note-off event, but it can be changes of MIDI controls (such a pitch-bend, volume, and modulation). Time-signature, tempo, and track-name values are also MIDI events.

At the bottom of the dialog, is the “Help” button, which brings-up this information if you click it.

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