General Midi Synth plugin

sorry if I make my own consideration, referring to midi and MP3 files:
I know en effect that I can create an MP3 from a midi file.
This way I can use or not use some of the tracks and then save this midi as MP3.
I don’t know if it is possible to do the opposite.
I go by heart because it is not a topic that is not a priority (indeed, I am ignorant !!), but it seems to me that it is possible to eliminate only the song, the voice.

MP3 and midi are files that I haven’t dealt with for a long time and I try to put together the procedures to make the changes (the mind is no longer as trained as when I was young (68 years …)

do you know (I turn to all of you) Audacity? It might be useful?


online there are converters from MP3 to midi: are they reliable?

Definitely no. You can’t re-obtain ingredients after you baked the cake.

… if the cake is good … I had the opportunity to see an mp3 in midi a little while ago but actually it is a bit worthless. It is definitely better to make a midi cake and convert it to MP3: it turns out a wonderful file

There are a number of approaches to “carve out” things from a finished audio mix - early “karaoke generators” simply killed everything that was panned center. These days, there are AI-based tools that attempt to split the finished cake into some of its ingredients - take a look at Splitter - it allows you to split a track up into 5 stems. Interesting approach, but not really ready for generating decent quality backing tracks.

Audacity is a free audio editor - helpful for cutting and slicing audio files, but won’t help you here…



Thank you for the information.
I tried Audacity, it’s very simple, but as you say it’s of little use.
I had said this morning that I had tried to make conversions but in both directions the “CAKE is not good …”.
It is better to edit a midi always from Cubase and then bring it to Mp3. You always keep the .mid origin as the basis for any corrections and reconvert, until you get a good base, without the track or tracks that you intend not to use live. Right?
I will try as you suggest Splitter, it may be useful.
Finally, I could not make the audio player play with a midi (with mp3 yes !!), but as said I would need more step-by-step information to understand how midi files work with Cantabile. It’s not a priority because I have a lot to learn from you, but sooner or later I’ll get there!!!

A quick question: I found in my archive Virtual Sound Canvas 3 (32 bit) can be useful for the audio player?


The Sound Canvas will work (although not without possible issues with it being 32-bit).
I have found that processing MIDI files in real time with a multi-part sound device can be less than desirable (IMHO).

I have had much more success by rendering the MIDI tracks to an Audio file (2-track stereo is best) in a DAW and playing the resulting file with a Media Player in Cantabile. Much easier on the CPU and your nerves.


Thanks Doug.
My nerves have to stay calm …
Meanwhile, I try the 32-bit, even if it will give some problems.
The important thing is that I finally start practicing with the audio player with midi files.
As soon as I can, I’ll tell if I “dug a spider out of the hole” (famous Italian saying …).
See you soon.

Hi Sergio, I bought Xpand! from - just checked the price - 4.25 euros

Hi Doug 2
I downloaded and installed Xpand2.
I opened it in Cantabile and took a first look.
Tomorrow I will try it calmly and I will let you know what I understand and what I do not.
Thanks to all of you (dsteinschneider, dhsherbert – Doug 1 and 2 - , Torsten, Cpaolo, Corky and how many others…)

Hi Sergio,

your problem with XPand will probably be that it is not 16 channel multitimbral - i.e. it won’t be able to play all tracks of a GM file with one instance of it. It also doesn’t react to the standard GM program changes, so overall, you won’t have a lot of success playing GM files out-of-the-box.

If you don’t want to spend money on the Roland Cloud (which contains the current version of Sound Canvas VA), there is a cool free VST plugin by a programmer from Hungary called Zoltán Bacskó. He built a plugin that can load GM soundfonts - you find it here. Plus, he provides a GM soundfont that sounds pretty decent - you can simply drag&drop it into the plugin, and you’re all set.

You need to copy the DLL files from the bassmidi_vsti archive (either the x64 or the x86 folder, depending on your Cantabile version) to your VST plugins folder, then Cantabile will find the plug. Now you put it into your song, route the MIDI output from your Media player (not the audio output!) to that plugin, route the stereo output from the plugin to your main speakers, load the soundfont into the plugin, then feed it with a nice and tasty MIDI file.

Give it a try - it’s free!



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If there are no objections I’m thinking of moving the General Midi stuff discussed the past 4 days here on the VST Organ Tips and Tweaks thread to it’s own thread titled “Using General Midi in Cantabile”. The topic deserves its own thread.

Time to hit the “Discourse” books (that’s the name of the software this forum runs on).


Dear @Sergio,

just for information, I use Yamaha syxg50 vst to play GM midi files. It’s a 32 bit vst, so I use it in jbridge on a 64bit machine. It’s free, as far as I know. It’s not the best sounding plugin, but it gets the job done.


P.S. Just a hint about how to use the forum: if you are going to ask many questions about something which is not on topic (with respect to the thread that you are responding to)…than it’s better to start a new thread. Moreover, it will be easier to retrieve the discussion in the future.

Thanks Gabriele.
I don’t know the rules yet, but I will follow what is asked of me.
Thanks anyway for the advice on midi.
When I have to ask some questions in particular, I will first see what topic it is about.
I’ve already answered for this, not knowing the rules, to both Brad and Doug.

Hy Torsten
I followed your advice to listen to midi files with the Audio Player
I downloaded BassMidi and its sf2. It works well, finally!!
The audio player with midi files is now working.
I also realized that it is possible to change sf2 to find sounds closer to reality.
If I may ask a question: I noticed on a website that there are sf2 that have single musical instruments inside them.
Can these single sounds be inserted into an sf2 already complete with its sounds? Is it possible to extract a single instrument and replace it?

Hi Sergio,

yes, you can edit a soundfont - but there is quite a bit of arcane knowledge about soundfonts involved, so unless you’re really prepared to go down that particular rabbit-hole (instead of spending your time making music), I’d suggest you stick to the soundfonts others have already invested significant time building.

The one GM soundfont that’s most frequently mentioned is Arachno - you can get it for free here.

Also, there is one that tries to get as close to the original Roland Sound Canvas SC-55 as possible - get it here. Not really focused on being “as close to reality” as possible - but a lot of GM midi files have been built to sound balanced on an SC-55.



Torsten, thanks for the advice.
Editing soundfonts, as you say, doesn’t have to be a priority.
You’re right. As I have said in previous posts I am trying to exploit this knowledge to create something positive for me (above all, I have chronic Hammondite…) and for my church.
Such as mute the tracks that I will play by me with the B5v3 type presets, etc.

Good morning everyone.
I would need some advice, before buying Sound Canvas va, from Roland.
If anyone who knows or uses it could give me some details about its quality and versatility.
Thanks in advance.

Hi Sergio,

If you need to play GM/GS midifiles, it’s more than OK, being a faithful simulation of the original hardware Sound Canvas family (it has the same samples). Anyway, it’s a 1990s sound generator, if you are looking for better sounds, try to consider something modern, like SampleTank, Kontakt, etc.