If you are playing MIDI files on your PC, Windows is running software in the background that can interrupt the time line of MIDI files and make them skip like an old vinyl record. You also may not have enough RAM to load large MIDI files completely before you begin playback. The file may skip while your PC loads the rest of the file from RAM. You can temporarily disable your virus protection, as this can also interrupt the time line. Play the MIDI file on your professional equipment and you will see that it plays perfectly. Macs will not interrupt MIDI files because they use a different operating system. Also, Windows Media Player will only play back 10 of the available 16 MIDI tracks, so if there is music on tracks 11-16, you will not hear it.
I recently uninstalled “Norton Antivirus” on my newer PC with Windows XP and replaced it with “Avast Antivirus”, and now, the files no longer skip on my PC using Cakewalk (Media Player skips much less). At the same time, I have to disable “PC Doctor” that I use to guard against “malware”. Running the defrag software, that comes with Windows, on a regular basis, also seems to help with MIDI file playback.
I have always sequenced MIDI files on my old PC using the DOS operating system, (not Windows) to avoid all the problems that the Windows operating system causes, and to guarantee that my files have absolutely no timing issues!
64 voice polyphony (the number of notes that your gear can playback simultaneously) has been the industry standard for years now, and newer gear now offer 128 voice polyphony. All files in my catalog will playback correctly with 64 voice gear. PCs and older gear that only process 32 voices or less, may not be able to correctly playback more complicated MIDI files, that require more than 32 voices to be processed at one time. Several GM samples are double voice samples, which means if the instrument is playing a four note chord, 8 voices are being used, just for that one instrument. Add in all the remaining tracks and you can see how easily you can go over 32 voices total. The total number of voices you have available can be found under “specifications” in your owners manual.
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