How do I create or edit MIDI? What software can be used?

This topic helps identify software that can edit MIDI notes and files, create new beats, record MIDI from MIDI instruments, and match songs with MIDI beats. Many people have asked these questions, so I put it in a topic that might be easy to find by subject title or search.

You need a MIDI editor to create or edit MIDI files. MIDI files are saved typically with a “.mid” file extension. The current version of Beat Buddy Manager (v.1.3.2) does not edit MIDI files, but rather helps arrange them into songs (with “.bbs” extension) and projects (with “.bbz” extension).

Wikipedia has a List of MIDI editors article that names many programs can edit MIDI files or record them from a MIDI instrument (for example a MIDI keyboard or drum pad). Rather than copy the list, I say read the list, and if you have any preference or dislike list them below.

Thanks, Dan

Thanks, Dan

My goto editor is Reaper from Cockos. The software is free to use and not cripple-ware when free. The MIDI songs can edited on a piano scroller or recorded from instruments. Notes can be moved, lengthened, aligned, etc.

A very good idea this topic.

After trying several software and apps (iPad), I tried the software used by Charles Spencer (very active member of this forum): Anvil Studio. It’s the best solution I’ve found so far, free and not too complex to use.

A short video that explains how to create a midi drum track with Anvil Studio:


Great Idea. I confess that I´m not getting many advances in my midi songs :frowning: . I´d like ask something: Is it possible to do a tutorial showing how to create a entire BB song using a free midi song? I think it would be so usefull, because I see the songs for e.g. the songs of charlespancer ( who already send me a lot of tips how to create a song :frowning: ) and I´d like to create my own because I play acoustic guitar and singn brazilian songs, than I need to creat my own beats and realy I´ve been have problems to create and I´m a little bit frustrated.



I LOVE Reaper, but I can’t import the MIDI files it creates directly into BB Manager. they have to go through an intermediary program. Any idea what I’m doing wrong?

FWIW, I set the output to GS MIDI Wav driver (or something like that).

Your help is appreciated!


Hey Joe,
When I use Reaper, I either record a MIDI track or I import a MIDI file via “Insert > Media file…”. Once I have the MIDI file on a track, I double click on it to get the piano scroll editor. From that editor I click “File > Export to a new MIDI file”

I have found I am able to add these to BB songs. Let me know if this works. Thanks, Dan

Hey Dan,

Yes, that’s exactly what I do – import the file or even drag and drop it, but the resulting MIDI won’t open in BB Manager. No idea why not.


I use Mixcraft 7. It’s a little expensive but its a full audio software as well. Mixcraft 6 is less expensive. With either one, creating midi files is pretty easy and saving midi files and .wav samples is even easier. I just started using it a few weeks ago off and on and I’m already creating my own beats to some of the songs I play.

Hey Joel, I have found a bug with BBManager, reported in another thread, where certain Reaper MIDI exported files cannot be read by BBManager. The work-around for me was to read and write the file using a different editor such as MidiEditor ( The MidiEditor saved MIDI files are about 3 bytes larger than the Reaper MIDIs, so they must have a slightly different content. No word on whether this is a BBManager bug with a fix yet.

3 bytes larges may mean that some necessary extra information is missing in your Reaper MIDIs like tempo, time signature or key signature. This may be causing problems with BBManager.

Just to add I used Cubase SX for my first BB song, but using a program to import and export the midi was a pain so when I realised all my toms were the wrong midi note I used “midi editor” to quickly move them - open, save. The next BB song I did was from a commercial midi track and I used Reaper, made the changes to the midi file and chopped it up into different bits - but still have to export the midi but at least no further editing was required, I had no such issues that have been reported here. I have now dumped both for Prosonus studio live which has a similar workflow to Cubase (written by the same people), is cheaper than Cubase has an OSX version and has a free version as well which I hope I will be able to recommend to users of the forum.

I use Cakewalk Sonar X3, and I write midi directly onto a stave. The software has many other options for creating midi tracks, but as a classically trained muso I find staves are best for me.

yes pls let us know if presonus pro one works

yes pls let us know if presonus pro one works

Yes Presonus Studio free works, you can use its Presence VST to hear the drums or now, thanks to the Soundfont created by @CharlesSpencer you can load that into it and get an idea of what the BB will sound like. Groovemonkee are also including the Beatbuddy pitch list with there Beatbuddy demo midi loops. Unfortunately getting to this stage is not that intuitive and you will need to read the manual to figure out how to do various things. Also currently you can’t just select all the notes at the same pitch by a simple command so you will need to highlight each note or “lasso” them.

I have followed the posts for creating midi loops with Reaper which didn’t seem to work even after inserting events on the same “notes” that the BB sample loops used.
After some head scratching I found that in Reaper I had to make sure that all the beats/notes were set to Midi Channel 10 on the event list view to enable BB to play them. As a result I have been able to produce counts in’s in front of BB samples with no problems.

Ok, I read someone using midieditor. I used it on a free midi song “Country Roads”. I took the first portion of it up to measure 3, deleted everything else but the drum sounds, copied it to a different file and save it as a midi file.

Midieditor plays it just fine and so does Windows 7 media player. But when I created a new song in BB Manager and put it into the main area, it will play but no sound. I can see it playing from the Beat Buddy virtual window, but no sound. What am I doing wrong. I tried it in other areas as well and still no sound. ie: into, outro … etc. Here it is below.

Hi All, got the same issue as Kauaiguy. Everything seems to be properly uploaded, it plays but NO sound. Any clue?

@ Xavier: I don’t know what midi editor you’re using but I am using a free editor called Midieditor. As a test, I loaded it with an existing midi file that works with beatbuddy. Didn’t edit it at all but just saved it under a different name.

When I re-loaded it into the beatbuddy, most of the sounds dissapeared and it doesn’t sound anything like the original. So I figured that the software I’m using doesn’t save the files (sounds) as it should. Or if it does, it loses the volume on some of the tracks? when played back on beatbuddy.

Below are the original midi file and the unchanged file but saved with the midieditor. Note how much has changed. Even the file sizes have changed.

Looking at the midi itself, it has 10 tracks, 9 of which are mostly blank and some stuff on track 10 (which is the standard midi drum file). All the different editors export in different ways. I use Reaper, which has a setting on export that says whether or not to make it one track, or multi tracks. The reason you hear nothing is that the BB only loads the first track it sees, which in this case is blank.

A guy on this forum created a midi editor that is pretty easy, called Beatbuilder. You can search on here and check it out!