Convert a MIDI file to a style.

If you still think it is difficult to make a style from a midi file, then I am sure you didn't try this feature in One Man Band yet. The "midi to style" feature is very easy to use. Most midi files that sound good on them selfs are very suitable to convert to styles with this tool. If you paste a part of the midifile that contains all kind of different chords, then all the notes will be transposed to the right chord automatically. That is if you choose transposition type "chord" when you paste it into the style part.

First some general guidelines for style making.


If you do want to keep the original melody in an intro then it must have transposition type "melody" or "bypass". You must ensure that the specified source chord matches the key that the intro is played in. In OMB you can specify this key when you paste a part of the MIDI file. One way of finding this key is to play along with the style and count the number of flats (black keys used instead of a higher white key) and sharps (black keys used instead of a lower white key). The number of flats or sharps determines the key. Another way is to try what would be the best first note after the intro, and regard that as the key. And still another way is to forget about all this, always choose key C and then just see with what chords it will sound right when you play the style.

More easy ways to make useful intro's and ending are: take a part that you used for a "Main", maybe add a fade-in or fade-out, or delete all tracks except the drums, or delete events so that you start with just bass, then drums then the rest, or record an additional melody yourself or take a part that you used for a Fill In. In all these cases the transposition type should be "chord" (except for the track with a recorded melody).


Main variations should have transposition type "chord" (except for drums and bass tracks). When you play them they must always sound in key with the chords you play. Therefore all the notes contained in the tracks must fit in the source chord. So in the usual source chord of CMaj7 only C, E ,G and B are allowed. For bass notes the rules are even more rigid: the base notes must emphasise the rootnote C. A bass track with just E and G notes sounds off! Other base notes besides C are allowed but the C should be emphasised (e.g. be the first ore more plentiful as the other notes). OMB will automatically fit the notes of the selected part of the MIDI file into a CMaj7 chord and provide the emhasis on the C for the bass (with transposition type "chord"). If it still sounds off then repaste the part with the "single note bass" option.

Only include the accompaniment tracks in a Main, exclude the tracks that play solo's.

Main A is supposed to be the most quiet one and Main D the most noisy (the bridge). B and C are in between. Search for a stretch of several bars in the MIDI file that has the same level and is without "fill in's". You can try to find a suitable stretch of bars for each level. You can also find one just for the Main D and then delete a track to get the Main C, and so on.


A Fill In usually is one bar (measure) with some extra drum beats. Sometimes it ends with a cymbal crash. Because the cymbal crash is at the first beat of the next bar, you will loose this when you copy the bar with the Fill In. Add the cymbal crash at the at end (and delete it from the start of a Main). Sometimes there is a short 1 bar long melodic Fill In. If you select this one then use transpostion type "melody" and find out what key it introduces as decribed in "Intro and Ending". Typically G-G-G-A-G-F-E-D introduces a C. In all other cases use transposition type "chord".


The patches (instrument voice definitions) and control changes (volume etc.) to setup the synthesizer are in the control area of a style. In MIDI files these are often in bar 1. But sometimes they are further on and some times different patches (instruments) are used on the same channel. In OMB you can select the area where you want to read the patches and controllers. It may be necessary to edit this data. Remember to uncheck the option "include control data" after editing or it will be overwrited at the next paste.

If the MIDI file uses different instrument on the same channel, then it may be tempting to include the patches and so at the start of the part where they are used. If you do so for one part you must do it in all other parts too. You don't want the sound of the instruments in a part being dependend of the previous played part. There are consequences for doing this. Synthesizers need some time to process all the patches and controllers and you might hear this as a delay.


First of all the MIDI file must be synchronised to the MIDI time scale in bars/beats/ticks. When you are auditioning the MIDI file (in the paste tool in OMB) you will see a value counting the bars. If you count 1-2-3-4 with the playing MIDI file then the bar counter should increase one each time you are back at 1. If this is not the case then you can't use the MIDI file. Actually you can use the menu parts/synchronise function to fix this but that is an advanced function.

Styles in Yamaha keyboards will only play style channels 9-16 but some MIDI files contain more then 8 different instruments/channels. You can exclude the channels where the melody plays but you may need to exclude more channels. Channels 1 thru 8 in styles can only be heard when using OMB as style player, they will be ignored in Yamaha keyboards.

Pitchbending in the MIDI files may or may not cause the style to sound off. If it does exclude the channel.

Some MIDI files switch to different time signatures while playing. This may cause the resul to sound out of pace.


Below is a short workshop. Download this midi file (right click and select save) so that you can load it in One Man Band. Always load one of the styles that come with One Man Band before creating a new one. Just to be sure eveything is initialised properly.

  1. Select "File/New style". A dialog box appears.  
  2. Select partname: Main A.
  3. Press OK. The Style window appears
  4. Press Load. A file selection box appears
  5. Open a hard days night. The midi file is loaded
  6. Press Paste. A Dialog box appears.
  7. Press Audition. The midi file is played and the measures are displayed.
  8. Press Stop. The music stops.
  9. Type From = 3 and Thru = 4. This will do nicely for Main A.
  10. Press OK. The tracks of the midi file will become visible in the style window.
  11. Click in the grid on track 1. Track 1 is activated (red light indicators).
  12. Press Play. Track 1 is played. You will hear this is the melody track. We don't want that in the accompaniment.
  13. Select "Track/Wipe". The events in track 1 are removed.
  14. Select menu Windows=>PC Keyboard1 and press a chord on your keyboard. The style will start to play. You can try all kinds of chords to audition this part. In fact this style is ready to use now, but it contains only one part. So we will add some more.
  15. Select menu Windows=>stylemaker, the accompaniment stops and the style window appears again.
  16. Select "Part/New". The "new part" dialog box appears.
  17. Select partname Fill In AA and press OK. The grid in the style window is emptied
  18. Press Paste. The paste dialog box appears again.
  19. Deselect channel 1 (the melody channel).
  20. Type From = 5 and thru = 100. Press Audition. The rest of the midi file is played. There is a suitable fill in on measure 6.
  21. Press Stop. The Music stops
  22. Type from = 6, thru = 6 and press OK. The Fill In is ready.
  23. Select "Part/New". The "new part" dialog box appears.
  24. Select partname = Intro A and press OK. The style window is emptied.
  25. Press Paste. The paste dialog box appears again.
  26. Type from = 1, thru = 5 and press Audition. The start of the midi file is played. There is a suitable intro on measure 2.
  27. Type from = 2, thru = 2 and press OK. The intro is ready.
  28. Select "Part/New". The "new part" dialog box appears.
  29. Select partname = Ending A and press OK. The style window is emptied.
  30. Press Paste. Type from = 80, thru = 100 and press Audition. The end of the midi file is played.
  31. Type from = 82, thru = 89 and press OK. The ending is ready.
  32. Select "File/Save style as" and give it a name.

This style only has level A parts. You can add extra parts by searching the rest of the midi file or by copying the level A parts and record extra instruments.

Back to the One Man Band main page.