Proposal: Render MIDI tracks to audio

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Proposal pages help us get from feature requests into actual plans. This page is a proposal to Render Note Tracks to Audio Tracks
Proposal pages are used on an ongoing basis by the Audacity development team and are open to edits from visitors to the wiki. They are a good way to get community feedback on a proposal.

  • Note: Proposals for Google Summer of Code projects are significantly different in structure, are submitted via Google's web app and may or may not have a corresponding proposal page.

The Problem

What users can do with MIDI files imported into Note Tracks is extremely limited. Audacity is not a MIDI editor.

What Audacity is is an audio editor. Thus it would be extremely useful if Audacity could Mix & Render Note Tacks to Audio tracks, then users could at least edit the audio and mix the rendered MIDI tracks with their normal audio tracks.

There have been calls for this on the Forum over the years this being the latest one.

Proposed Feature

Provide commands for Mixing and Rendering selected Note Tracks to an audio track.

Developer/QA Backing

  • Peter

Use Cases

  1. This Forum post.


Provide commands for Mixing and Rendering selected Note Tracks to an audio track.

Complicated - mixed track types

Most complicated would be to allow selected Note Tracks and Audio Tracks to be mixed and rendered into

  1. a single replacement audio track as with Tracks > Mix > Mix and Render
  2. a single new audio track as with Tracks > Mix > Mix and Render to New Track

Simpler - without mixed track types

Perhaps simpler would be to add two new commands to the Tracks menu that just act only on Note Tracks/MIDI.

  • Tracks > Mix > Mix and Render MIDI to Audio Track
  • Tracks > Mix > Mix and Render MIDI to New Audio Track

Where the former command removes the MIDI tracks as part of the process but the latter leaves them in place.

In this "simpler" scenario any selection that mixed Audio Tracks and Note Tracks would be rejected by any of the Mix&Render commands.

GUI Examples


Previous Feature Requests relating to this proposal

  • Allow direct import of MIDI files into Projects as sampled audio waveforms, which are then editable and exportable as WAV, MP3 etc. (14 votes)
  • Render a MIDI file using free-to-obtain samples such that the eventual file was also 'free'. (1 votes) - some kind of 'tracker' would allow a user to convert a MIDI or other forms of tracker file (i.e. Protracker) into RAW audio. Old PD Music can be scored and performed without the need for actual musicians. I want conversion of sound-like files without having to payout for commercial tools. ShakespeareFan00 10:15, 30 January 2007 (PST)