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D1001 - What is the difference between MIDI and WAVE files?

by - Joseph Ganci

Can anyone tell me why I should NOT use MIDI files for my A3W voice audio? They're so much smaller! But maybe there's a good reason to stick to .wav files? 

Yep, you've discovered the big difference between MIDI files and WAV files.  They are very different kinds of files. While wave files are basically wave forms, which means any sound can be recorded, MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is very analogous to a music score - it contains information on instruments, notes, tempo, etc. and is not a wave form.  In addition, each sound card will define a set of MIDI instruments in such a way that your music may not sound the same on different sound cards.

Obviously, wave form files are much bigger!  But human voice can not be defined in music terms, that is, notes, tempo, etc., so I'm afraid you're stuck with wave or aiff files.  Only thing you can do is to make sure you record at the lowest sample rate tolerable (sometimes you can get away with 11 Khz for a male voice, for instance), and of course if you record stereo your file will be twice as large as when you record mono.  Play with these values to find the optimal point for your files.  

Consider using Shockwave audio files in Authorware 4.0 or later, which tend to be much smaller with little loss of quality.  In addition, there are external functions available on the market to play other types of compressed audio as well. 

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