General MIDI/help -- BACHWARE @ BACHWARE.COM 
General MIDI

(patch table embedded here)
This is a system that was set up so that the different numbers (0 through 127) for “patches” (various timbres available on sound cards and synthesizers) would result in as similar an effect as possible. For example, 0 is “Acoustic Grand Piano,” so whenever patch 0 is selected, such a piano sound should be heard in music subsequently played on that track.

Unfortunately, in the early history of MIDI there was no system or coordination, so what was patch 73 on one instrument might be a flute sound, and on another, a ’cello — or even worse, a snare drum or gunshot!

So the industry eventually agreed on a fixed palette of sounds for the various numbers, thereby allowing for consistency and facilitating the marketing of MIDI music without having to use all sorts of conversions and “mappers” to get the music to sound reasonably good.  My device is not General MIDI.

Patches on some MIDI equipment are zero based, others are based on 1. For example, on a zero-based device Acoustic Grand Piano is patch 0, whereas it’s patch 1 on a 1-based machine.

Save the source for this page to a local file so you can look at it later, if you wish. To extract the patch number from the following table, multiply the row number times eight and add the column number. For example, Shakuhachi is in row 4, column 13, so 8 x 4 + 13 = 45 (0-based, or 46 for one-based).


General MIDI patches[Back] -- 1.5K .GIF
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0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
  Acoustic Grand Piano Bright Acoustic Piano Electric Grand Piano Honky-
tonk
Piano
Rhodes Piano Chorus
Piano
Harpsi-
chord
Clavinet Celesta Glock-
enspiel 
Music Box Vibra-
phone
Marimba Xylop-
hone
Tubular Bells Dulci-
mer
 1 Ham-
mond Organ
Percus-
sive Organ
Rock Organ Church
Organ
Reed Organ Accord-
ion
Harmon-
ica
Tango Accord-
ion
Nylon Guitar Steel String Guitar Jazz Guitar Clean Electric Guitar Muted Electic Guitar Over-
driven Guitar
Dis-
torted Guitar
Har-
monics
 2 Acoustic Bass Fingered Electric Bass Picked Electric Bass Fretless Bass Slap Bass 1 Slap   Bass 2 Synthe-
sized  Bass 1
Synthe-
sized  Bass 2
Violin Viola Cello Contra-
bass
Tremolo Strings Pizzi-
cato Strings
Or-
chest-
ral Harp
Timpani
  String Ensem-
ble 1
String Ensem-
ble 2
Synthe-
sized Strings
1
Synthe-
sized Strings
2
Choir Aahs Voice Oohs Synthe-
sized Voice
Orchestra Hit Trumpet Trombone Tuba Muted Trumpet French Horn Brass Section Synthe-
sized Brass 1
Synthe-
sized Brass 2
 4  Soprano Sax Alto Sax Tenor Sax Baritone Sax Oboe English Horn Bassoon Clarinet Piccolo Flute Recorder Pan Flute Bottle Blow Shaku-
hachi
Whistle Ocarina
 5 Square Wave Sawtooth Wave Calliope Chiff Lead Charang Solo Synth-
esized
Vox
Bright Sawtooth Brass & Lead Fantasa Pad Warm Pad Poly Synth Pad Space Vox Pad Bow Glass Pad Metal
Pad
Halo Pad Sweep Pad
  Ice Rains Sound Track Crystal Atmos-
phere
Bright-
ness
Goblin Echo Drops Star Theme Sitar Banjo Shami-
sen
Koto Kalimba Bag
Pipe
Fiddle Shanai
  Tinkle Bell Agogo Steel Drums Wood block Taiko Drum Melodic Tom-tom Synthe-
sized Drum
Reverse Cymbal Guitar Fret Noise Breath Noise Sea Shore Bird Tweet Tele-
phone Ring
Heli-
copter
Applause Gunshot

        If you have non-standard older equipment, use Windows 3.x’s MIDI Mapper applet to set up patch maps that’ll allow you to play General MIDI files and have them sound pretty much like what they were authored to sound like. You you may be able to use Windows 3.x’s MIDI Mapper under Windows 95 by replacing the latter’s MIDIMAP.DRV with the 3.x version and restarting, but Windows 95 will continually overwrite this unless you ATTRIB it readonly.

        Check with Microsoft for an Instrument Definition File editor and documentation; that’s supposed to supersede the MIDI Mapper for Windows 95.  There is one serious deficiency in this applet, however, that may prompt some users to stick with the 3.2 MidiMapper:

        You can also make transposing key maps and patch maps with the Win 3.x MIDI Mapper or IDFEDIT, but the IDF editor apparently has no capability to map channels like the MM does.  You’re on your own...

        I’m doing fine with the Win 3.1 MM running under ’95, readonly.

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