TiMidity++ Installation Guide
Midi to Wav/Mp3 Conversion Instructions

by Tim Brechbill

To ask a question, please visit the TiMidity++ Forum

TiMidity doesn't work by itself. TiMidity needs soundfonts or a GUS/patch set to emulate real instruments. There is no WAVE information in *.mid file, so TiMidity uses a GUS/patch or sf2 soundfont to play/convert MIDI to WAV or MP3.

FREE Soundfonts
Many GUS/patches and soundfonts are available from the internet.
Here are my Recommended Free Soundfonts

If you have downloaded my timidity_setup.exe self-extracting setup file, locate it in the directory where you downloaded it, and run it (double-click on it).

Please accept the default directory (C:\) when prompted for simplicity.
The TiMidity software will be installed in the directory 'c:\timidity'.
Timidity.cfg is the default configuration for the Timidity GUI program (timw32g.exe), but my installation changes it to TimGM6mb.cfg. Launch timw32g.exe and File, Open midi files or playlists of your choice.

If you change soundfonts regularly, you may create a different .cfg file for each soundfont file and "load" it from the GUI program. You can Test Drive the NEW TiMidity++ Soundfont Configurator to help you configure your own soundfonts to use with TiMidity or:
1) Copy the TimGM6mb.cfg file and rename so you can recognize it
2) Edit the new cfg file with WordPad and change the path and soundfont

Be sure to enclose path and filename in "double quotes" if there are any spaces in them
3) Save this file
4) Launch the GUI program
5) On the Menu, Click on the "Config, Load ini file"
6) In the Config File box, Browse and select your new .cfg file
7) Click "Force Reload of Config File" button
8) The last cfg file loaded will now become the default.
I prefer this method, since you only have to setup a file one time for each soundfont.

If you rarely use a different soundfont then you can

  • Open the c:\timidity\soundfnt.cfg file with WordPad
  • Add the path to your SF2 file(s)
    Be sure to enclose the path in "double quotes" if there are any spaces in the path
  • Comment out the current soundfount with a "#"
  • Add a line for your soundfont.
    Be sure to enclose it in "double quotes" if there are any spaces in the sf2 filename
  • Save this file
  • Launch the GUI program
  • On the Menu, Click on the "Config, Load ini file"
  • In the Config File box, Browse and select the soundfnt.cfg file
  • Click "Force Reload of Config File" button

    Launch the GUI program (timw32g.exe). Open files you want in your Playlist. Select File, Save Playlist As, and enter your PlaylistName.pls. You must use the .pls extension for Timidity to recognize playlist files.

    TiMidity Midi to Wave Instructions
    I Can't Hear Any Sound
    Before you try to convert a midi file, please make sure you can hear the .mid file first when it is played with TiMidity. I answer a lot of questions about why TiMidity creates .wav/.mp3 files without any sound. Well, the short answer is the output file will have nothing in it if TiMidity is configured incorrectly somehow and the simplest way to confirm that everyting is OK is to simply Play the .mid first. If you hear the .mid, then the .wav/.mp3 should work fine. (Jump to the Midi2Wav Instructions) If you can't hear the .mid, then there will be nothing in the .wav/.mp3 file when you convert it.

    The most common problems are from people who do not accept the default installation directory (c:\). When you change the installation directory, you must also manually edit the .cfg files TiMidity uses. Here is how to see
    Which .cfg file am I using?

  • Open the GUI program (timw32g.exe)
  • Select Config, Preferences
  • Verify that the filename and path are correct
    (the default with my installation is 'c:\timidity\TimGM6mb.cfg').
  • If it is not correct, then Browse and select the correct cfg file.
  • Press OK, then File Exit.
  • Open TiMidity again and check it again just to be sure.

    Now that you have the right cfg file,

  • Open the GUI program (timw32g.exe)
  • Select Config, Preference, Output
  • Verify "Windows audio driver" is the Output
  • Press OK
  • File Open a .mid file and Play it.
    You should be able to hear the midi. If you can't hear it then there is a problem in your .cfg file, and most likely it is a path or filename mistake. Find your .cfg file and edit it with WordPad. The 1st line should point to the directory where you installed TiMidity. For example, if accepted the default (c:\) installation directory, this line will be:
    dir c:\timidity

    If you decided to install to c:\Another Directory, then this line must be:

    dir "c:\Another Directory\timidity"

    The "double quotes" are required since there is a space in the directory name. The 2nd line should point to the directory where your .sf2 file is located. Again, put "double quotes" around any directory name that has a space in it like:

    dir "c:\Music\My Soundfounts"

    Finally, the 3rd line has the name of the soundfont file you want to use. It must be in the directory you have in line 2. Once again, put "double quotes" around any filename that has a space in it like:

    soundfont "Best Ever.sf2"

    If these 3 lines are correct, you used "double quotes" where needed, and you didn't fat finger anything, your .cfg file should be good.

    How can I be sure the .cfg file is correct and my soundfont is loaded?
    For this example, I installed TiMidity in c:\Program Files and I want to use the c:\Music\My Soundfonts\Best Ever.sf2, so I created c:\Program Files\timidity\BestEver.cfg with these 3 lines in it:

    dir "c:\Program Files\timidity"
    dir "c:\Music\My Soundfonts"
    soundfont Best Ever.sf2

    There is a mistake in line 3 of the .cfg file above. The sf2 filename has a space in it but I forgot to enclose it in "double quotes". Here's what I did to figure it out:

  • Launch the GUI program (timw32g.exe)
  • Press the "CON" (Console) button
  • It said:
    Init soundfonts 'Best'
    Best: No such file or directory
    Can't open soundfont file Best

    I knew the soundfont I wanted was not named 'Best', so my cfg file must have an error in it. I launched WordPad, Opened c:\Program Files\timidity\BestEver.cfg, and added the "double quotes" to line 3, soundfont "Best Ever.sf2", then did the following:

  • Launch the GUI program (timw32g.exe)
  • Press the "CON" (Console) button
  • It said:
    Init soundfonts 'Best Ever.sf2'
    There were no other error messages so I
  • Close the Console Window
  • File Open, select a midi file and Play it. I hear the midi playing.

    Once you have confirmed that you can hear the .mid file, follow the instructions below.
    GUI: Launch the GUI program (timw32g.exe).

    1) Select Config, Preference, Output.
    2) Change the Config, Preference, Output from "Windows audio driver" to RIFF WAV file"
    If you are going to burn to CD change the Sample rate (Hz) to 44100.
    3) Change the Dropdown directly below the Output to Auto Filename
    4) If anything is in the Output File, Delete it.
    5) Press OK, or Apply.
    6) Load the files, or playlist of your choice and when you "Play" them, a .wav file will be created in the same directory as the .mid file with the same name.
    7) Be sure to change the Output back to "Windows audio driver" when you want to Play without converting to WAV.

    You can use the GUI version, or the MidiWav.bat file

    By default it will create a file in the same directory as the midi and use the same filename with the .wav extension.

    You can convert multiple midi files by dropping a playlist file with all of the midis you want to convert. You can create the playlist file with the GUI version or use Wordpad to create/edit a text file with the full path and filenames of the midis you want to play/convert and save it with a ".pls" extension.

    Simply select your midi file or playlist file, drag & drop it on the MidiWav.bat file and wait until it is complete.

    I actually prefer the DOS version to play midi as well. Just drag and drop your midi or playlist to MidiPlay.bat

    TiMidity Midi to MP3 Instructions
    Make sure you can hear the midi file when you play it before you try to convert it to MP3. You cannot convert to MP3 with the .bat program so you must use the GUI Version.
    Launch the GUI program (timw32g.exe).
    1) Select Config, Preference, Output.
    2) Change the Output from "Windows audio driver" to "MP3 GOGO"
    3) Follow steps 3-7 above.