karaKB is a non-academic tool that will allow you to have an incredible fun with your MIDI files and MIDI instrument! Rather than listening passively to your music or having a hard time training on your keyboard, you can readily play/record one or more tracks of your choice with your own feel! The funny thing is that you don't need to be able to play piano at all: at the time you press a key (any key) on your MIDI keyboard, karaKB will play the right note(s) from the appropriate track(s), as specified in the currently loaded MIDI file.
Now if you are more ambitious and want to practice in order to be able one day to play piano and improvise, karaKB can still help you thanks to its extensive set of options. karaKB will alleviate your interpretation task in the exact way and to the right extent you want.
You can choose either to let the computer render specific elements contained in the MIDI file, or to play them yourself instead .
Such elements include:
- duration of notes;
- velocity of notes, that is the speed at which the keys are hit, wich is closely related to the sound volume of each note;
- MIDI controller effects (reverb, vibrato, etc);
- aftertouch and pressure events (polyphonic or global);
Once you are ready to do the fingering, just configure the program so that it will only show you the notes to play, and expect you to play all of them, not just trigger them with a single keystroke as before.
Another important parameter you'll want to act upon is the choice of tracks. Some tracks will be left to the program, and some to you or your fellows musicians (karaKB transforms everyone in a spontaneous and infaillible interpreter). Most of the MIDI files are made up of several tracks, which will allow for optimal flexibility in your learning curve.
You further have the possibility to improvise and add/remove/merge tracks as you would with any MIDI sequencer. In that case you could for example play the accompaniment chords with single keystrokes of the left hand, letting karaKB retrieve the notes just in time from the MIDI file. At the same time you could play an improvisation, on the same keyboard if you split it, or on another MIDI instrument of any kind connected to your PC. You could actually be a band playing together, while you all have different skills and levels! Each player would customize his/her track(s) to have more or less help from the computer.
Of course you can sing at the same time since karaKB will highlight in time any lyrics included in your MIDI file (i.e. Karaoke files).
So finally you need absolutely no musical knowledge to come up with your own interpretation of ANY music you can find in a MIDI format. There are loads of them on the web, and karaKB comes with an extensive set of demo data to begin with!
Download karaKB demo 100% fonctional except external files opening, instructions in README file
karaKB 0.40 demo - zipped executable - To install in /usr/local/bin directory, type 'sudo unzip -d /usr/local/bin karakb_0.40_amd64.zip'
karaKB 0.40 demo - Debian/Ubuntu package - To install, type 'sudo dpkg -i karakb_0.40_amd64.deb'
Here is a minimal sampling of web addresses where you can find MIDI files by the score.
|Search engines for MIDI files:|
|MIDIsite - MIDI Files Search Engine|
|vanBasco's MIDI Search|
|Searching the Internet for a Certain MIDI File|