The midi import allows to… import MIDI files.
Note: Steph’ has written an article in French about this, with practical examples. Thanks a lot to him!
- Program Changes are converted into basic AY instruments.
- Drums are also converted.
- Note velocities can be converted.
- BPM changes are converted.
- Time signature are used to determine the height of the patterns.
All the tested files worked quite well, but there are some constraints inherent to this format: MIDI is not always structured into tracks, and is definitely not structured in patterns, as trackers are. AT2 tries, thanks to the time signature, to split the Midi events into patterns, and does a good job at it most of the time.
- Use MIDI 1 format (multi-track), not MIDI 0, as it has only one track.
- Have one note per track only.
- Have your notes well locked to bars and beats (avoid humanization).
- Time signature helps (4/4 is default), because it helps define the height of the patterns.
Parts per quarter (PPQ)
When importing, the software will ask for the PPQ (parts per quarter) to use. It defines how accurate the importing is done. Each MIDI song has its own PPQ (960 most of time). In order to have one “Tracker line” per quarter-beat (and thus, 4 lines per beat), the default import PPQ will be the song PPQ / 4 (so, 240 if the song PPQ is 960). This may be enough for most songs. If not, use a smaller value, but it should be a multiple of the song PPQ for a better result (240, 120, 60, 30, etc.).
As a result, the lower the chosen PPQ is, the more “lines” will be generated. The speed is also doubled accordingly, but remember that the speed is not as accurate as BPM!
Like any import, MIDI songs will have to be tweaked, but a good import should generate all the right notes, so tweak the PPQ if the result is not to your liking.