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Who Is MIDI Marvels?

MIDI Marvels, Inc. was founded in 1997 by Steven and Jayne May. Our vision is to provide high-quality accompaniment music to churches and individuals.

Steven W. May  graduated from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979 and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas, with a Master of Divinity degree in 1983.  In addition to being an accomplished musician, Steve pastored Baptist Churches in Arizona, Wyoming, Nevada, and Oklahoma. Like many pastors, Steve experienced struggles in the music program at a few of the churches he pastored: either unreliable instrumentalists, or none at all. In 1994, Steve began using MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) technology to enhance the music program at his church. And, in 1997, he founded MIDI Marvels, Inc., bringing together three passions: ministry, music, and technology.

MIDI Marvels produces both MIDI format and compact disc digital audio accompaniment, (CDs). We are the official producers of MIDI and CD accompaniment editions of The 1991 Baptist Hymnal, using the orchestrations of Lifeway Christian Resources. In addition, we produce selections from The Celebration Hymnal and, in cooperation with the United Methodist Publishing House, produce the MIDI and CD accompaniment editions of The Faith We Sing.


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What is MIDI?

MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It consists of a computer "language" that allows electronic musical instruments to "talk" or communicate with each other. MIDI is recorded in such a way that there is enormous flexibilty for the user to change things such as tempo, key, instruments used, and many other options.

To use your MIDI files, you will need to have one of the following hardware set-ups connected to your sound system or to speakers:

A Synthesizer with a MIDI Data Player (this can be in the form of a built-in floppy disk drive and sequencing, or it can simply have the capability to play MIDI disks--most electronic keyboards come with MIDI capabilities);

A stand-alone MIDI Data Player or sequencer (this can have a built-in sound module or it can be connected to a synthesizer or sound module via a MIDI cable);

A personal computer (either Mac or PC-compatible) that has MIDI capabilities and is connected to an internal sound card or an external sound module or synthesizer (via a MIDI cable).

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What Are GM, GS, and XG?

All of the disks we carry conform to GM Standard and are compatible with all MIDI performance equipment. General MIDI (GM) is an agreed-upon standard that was developed so that MIDI music productions play with the correct instruments, volumes, and other performance information, regardless of the manufacturer of the general MIDI synthesizer. Be sure to consult your hardware and/or software's manuals to get the full benefit of the MIDI files you play.

In addition, as an extension of the GM format, Roland (major MIDI equipment manufacturer) developed the GS Format. GS is compatible with GM and it enhances GM for a greater level of expressiveness. GS produces amplified results, adding more highly-defined instruments/voices.

XG is similar to GS, but it is Yamaha Corporation's enhancement of General MIDI. These enhancements are only available if you are using Yamaha's equipment.

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What Are The Pros Saying?

"MIDI is perhaps the most pervasive technological development in the contemporary music scene today. It is being used on Broadway and at theme parks to orchestrate critical multimedia and staging effects, and in boardrooms to run sophisticated audio-visual presentations. And, as my experience demonstrates, churches, too, are putting MIDI to good use. MIDI shines in live-performance situations. We have become accustomed to rich musical textures that would be difficult to reproduce in a live setting without a great number of highly-skilled musicians charging equally high fees. MIDI allows...that full sound at much less cost."

—Dennis Clements, Harvest Bible Chapel, Carol Stream, IL

"For a lot of churches, MIDI may conquer the problem of how to get a technically sharp, full-band sound with a small worship band or orchestra. MIDI offers sound with flexibility. Unlike tape or CD tracks, MIDI files allow you to change the key, the tempo, and the number of components played. No drummer? MIDI’s got it covered. But if you have a drummer, you can play the file minus the drum sound. It’s like hiring your own specialized support."

—Rob Hewitt, Christianity Today Magazine

"We can never change the gospel of Christ. It is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. However, we always have to look at our methods of portraying the gospel message to an ever-changing world."

—Bill Gaither, Singer/Composer

"We don’t need to fear technology in worship. If we can use technology to raise the level of our music and our proclamation, then we’re improving our methods to reach the world."

—Doug Prewitt, Music Minister, Kansas City, MO

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