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Tech: Chord Splitter Utility

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John in Brisbane 11 Aug 04 - 05:54 AM
wysiwyg 11 Aug 04 - 11:18 AM
pavane 11 Aug 04 - 02:02 PM
John in Brisbane 12 Aug 04 - 01:18 AM
pavane 12 Aug 04 - 09:01 AM
pavane 15 Aug 04 - 02:34 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 16 Aug 04 - 12:54 AM
John in Brisbane 22 Aug 04 - 03:31 AM
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Subject: Tech: Chord Splitter Utility
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 05:54 AM

If, like me, you often come across a MIDI file with 3 or 4 musical voices all embedded in the one music staff (channel), it can be quite tedious to separate the dots into individual staves.

Why would I do this? A variety of reasons - perhaps to better hear the individual harmony/melody lines, to make it easier to edit the individual lines or simply to print out each musical part with its individual score.

Be still o beating heart, I've been pointed to a simple PC utility which removes most of the drudgery. It's available HERE. It is tiny in size (16Kb) and has full instructions in the Readme file.

The instructions presuppose using CHORD SPLITTER in conjunction with NoteWorthy Composer, but it could be used with other sequencing software as well, as long as you are able to save the original MIDI as a Type O MIDI file (All the music crammed into one MIDI channel.


Chord Splitter is a Visual BASIC program for Win9x by Drake Donahue, which allows you to split a staff containing chorded notes into several monotonic staves. Export the desired staff as a Type 0 midi named chordmid.mid and run the program; it will generate a new midi file called splitmid.mid which you can then re-import into NWC for further editing, etc. Also available are a Q-BASIC version, a Win3.x version (needs VBRUN300.DLL), as well as a stand-alone Self-executable DOS version, all compiled by Richard Woodroffe


I have no idea how to source the QBASIC, Win3.1 or DOS versions, but I'd expect that demand for these would be limited these days. (I guess that the QBASIC code may be of interest to programmers).

I've now used it on a couple of hymns under discussion here at Mudcat and from my perspective it works really well, particularly if the chords in the original melody consistently have the same number of notes throughout the piece. It's probably inevitable that some editing is required after splitting and that you'll need to review the finished product with a bit of care.

Hope that this is helpful.

Regards, John

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Subject: RE: Tech: Chord Splitter Utility
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 11:18 AM

I believe MidiNotate also allows "split hands."


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Subject: RE: Tech: Chord Splitter Utility
From: pavane
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 02:02 PM

I have often pondered this problem when importing MIDI into HARMONY.
Currently it just reports overlapping notes, and ignores some of them.

If a simple program like that can do it, I should be able to come up with something.

The tricky bit has been deciding which voice to put which note in, but I suppose I could work in order of pitch.

It might need a pre-process for the MIDI, to split out these notes first, before the import pass.

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Subject: RE: Tech: Chord Splitter Utility
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 01:18 AM

If you wish to see the QBASIC Code and logic, here's the link -

Regards, John

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Subject: RE: Tech: Chord Splitter Utility
From: pavane
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 09:01 AM

I will look at it asap (Cannot download at work!)

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Subject: RE: Tech: Chord Splitter Utility
From: pavane
Date: 15 Aug 04 - 02:34 AM

I have had a quick look at the QBASIC code, and can see that it is actually quite restricted.

It assumes that there is only one instrument (i.e. channel) in the input MIDI, and does not appear to implement running status.
(This is the trick in which a status byte, i.e. command, can be omitted if it is the same as the previous one)

It also only allows type 0 MIDI files.

If it finds an overlap, it just assigns the note to the next free channel, so notes can get splattered about over the other channels.
It has to use channels, not tracks, because a type 0 midi only has one track.

This is no doubt quite acceptable for the required purpose, which is to take its output from Noteworthy, but too limited for general use such as is needed in the HARMONY Import function.

HARMONY would need to create extra tracks of the appropriate channel (i.e instrument) for the splitting. MIDI has a limit of 16 channels, but no limit on the number of tracks, other than the polyphony limit of 28 notes. You can have several tracks each using the same channel.

(In actual fact, the 28 available notes may also be subject to polyphony limitations for each instrument - this can be controlled by some of those obscure functions and parameters)

However, some devices which DO allow Type 1 files, like my Roland SD35 file player, have a limit on the number of MUSIC tracks, although they may allow extra tracks for non-music data such as Sysex, control and lyrics.

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Subject: RE: Tech: Chord Splitter Utility
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 16 Aug 04 - 12:54 AM


Thank You.....this IS, useful.

Please, continue to post your observations and insights.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Chord Splitter Utility
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 22 Aug 04 - 03:31 AM

Glad to hear that it's of some use.

Regards, John

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