Hello. My name is Jerry from northern CA, retired after working with computers, PC and mainframe, from the banking industry. I have been collecting MIDI files since the '80s and now have over 17,000 hand-picked files. I go by this standard: if I can whistle it, its probably a keeper.
I enjoy programming and creating solutions to manage my MIDI file (combined with MP3 files) collection. I started with an Excel VBA application, then a Python app, then VBScript, and now I am currently working on a DOS app. These allow me to list, search, create and manage playlists, play one or more files with a media player, display an image when a single file is played, and display sheet music from PDF files. I also research year-of-origin and display that in my programs. My latest DOS app lets me query all files by decade.
I use a simple MIDI editor to change some files more to my liking, for example, the original file's volume may have been low or too high, or the instrumentation sounds better to me if changed to piano.
I use a CASIO keyboard connected to my laptop for music playing and I think of it as almost like owing my own player piano.
My MIDI experience is limited to making simple edits to existing files: changes to volume, pitch, instruments, and copying and pasting.
I joined hoping to learn what makes the same piano sound different in MIDI files.
A warm welcome to the forum. You will probably notice a distinct time lag between you asking a question and me providing an answer (if I can), as I'm based in the UK. I'm not a late night surfer and, as I've just moved home, my time is well occupied with things to do around the house. I'm usually exhausted by the early evening! Especially as I'm now in my late 60's.
Nonetheless, I'll do what I can to answer your questions in my spare time.
My own background was in computers way back in the mid sixties, when a mainframe had 20k of memory (6 bit characters, not bytes) and we programmed in assembler language. I finished my career writing and teaching satellite data comms for a major provider, and delivering the courses all around the world.
Yup! Using a modern keyboard as your music output device is not a bad way of achieving quality sound these days. BUT ... often getting the best quality voices to playback requires a little more knowledge of MIDI and how that particular keyboard handles the MIDI standard.
If you haven't done so already, may I suggest reading through the tutorials I've provided on the site. Some go into quite a lot of detail about the set up measure in a MIDI file, as this is where the quality of the audio output will be selected. Most modern instruments use more than just a voice select, e.g. Acoustic Grand Piano, by using what are known as MIDI Bank Select commands prior to selecting the piano. Most well authored MIDI files will include the selection of some kind of reverberation to be used, and how much reverb to use. They may add chorus and/or other effects too.
So, one of the first things we need to know is exactly which one of the Casio keyboards do you use, i.e. which model? Hopefully then I can download a manual for it and look up the supported MIDI commands.
Looking forward to receiving the info. Kind regards, JohnG.