Thursday, November 10, 2005

Midi Muzak

OK guys, kind of a weird idea here, but I'm gonna roll with it anyway cuz I dig it and think it's fun. Hope a few of you do, too. Just ignore me if not. :)

I'm assuming everyone out there knows what Midi music is (computerized music) and more importantly for our purposes, what it sounds like -- which is usually, (the majority of it anyway), amazingly and utterly CHEESY, with a capital Cheese!

So recently, I happened to hear some random midi song playing on a website I was visiting, and just laughed out loud at the outrageously bland and silly version of a popular song I was suddenly hearing! Sounded like a dying calf in a snowstorm.

But it got me to thinking about how much most midi tunes actually mirror, and even sound like, the stereotypical "mall muzak" you hear at malls, shopping centers, department stores and whatnot. I came to the sudden realization that Midi Music, is the web's Mall Music! It really is. It's even used in much the same way -- banal, watered-down, generic Lawrence Welk-isized versions of popular songs, used in the background of websites to put you in a certain mood while you slowly browse around! See how it all fits together now?

Well anyway, I've hand-picked some choice "Midi Muzak" examples for you today (whether you like it or not, hehehe), to listen to for yourself. Heck, cue them all up, play at a soft "background" level, and maybe it will help to set the mood as you gaze at the wonderful pictures here on this blog! Or maybe not. I don't know. But I just couldn't resist doing it. The zip file is below and it's really tiny, cuz all the 15 tracks it contains are just midi files. Most computers play midi sounds by default, but if these don't work for you for some weird Twilight Zone reason, you're on your own on that one. I can't help you.

And now, behold the power of Cheese!

Download Midi Muzak Vol. 1 (180kb) via RapidShare (choose the "free" option for your download-type).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, are you living in the past. Are you still using Windows 95 too? With the introduction of wavetable synthesis support in sound cards, most notably the SB Live and Audigy series cards, the days of "cheesy" midi songs are long gone. It is now possible to create midi songs that sound darn near mp3 quality. If you have a newer SoundBlaster card go to and download their free 57MB General Midi wavetable. Install it on your PC using SB's Soundfont Manager and be prepared for an amazing midi experience!

Mon Nov 14, 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

Ha, no I'm running WinXP on a still relatively new rig, with an excellent, modern sound card. But I have no real use for / and don't use, the wavetable synthesis options.

Don't kid yourself, midi stuff still sounds cheesy for the majority of people out there -- UNLESS you have the wavetable stuff installed (and not everybody does).

I'm sure a lot of typical people are also like me, and generally have no use for midi on a regular basis (unless you do), so they never look into getting that wavetable stuff going. I know I don't care about it and I so rarely even play midi files (just hear 'em on the occasional personal homepage site), that when I do hear one, they still sound cheesy as ever to me. But in a good way! :)

But yeah, I'm aware I could hear them with better quality, I'm just not that interested. I pop a CD in when I want good music, I don't usually reach for midi files.

Maybe next time, I should record the midi's in wav format, as I'm actually hearing them, and convert those to mp3's to better get across what I'm talking about. Hmmm.

Anyway, thanks for the tips, though! I know what you're getting at, but I still prefer the cheese. ;)

Mon Nov 14, 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Is the top picture of Honey Creek Mall in Terre Haute, IN?

Wed Aug 08, 07:25:00 PM  
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