Unable to edit or play midi file

I am running v2.0.4 under Windows 7 x64 sp1.
I have inported a midi file.
I can see it in the edit window but am unable to edit it or play it.
Do I require a special plugin?

You require a special program. Audacity doesn’t understand MIDI.

What you can do is play your song in a MIDI interpreter, module or device and then capture the music sound. That can be edited in Audacity.


Right… Audacity is an audio editor, and a MIDI file is not a “sound” file.

MIDI is basically “sheet music” for a computer. It’s notes, timing, and some other information to be played back on a MIDI instrument, or on the synthesizer built-into your soundcard & drivers.

There is software for creating & editing MIDI, as well as virtual instruments (software) if you want very-realistic sounding MIDI instruments for use in a movie soundtrack, or on a CD, etc.

Most DAW software (digital audio workstation) can create, capture, or edit MIDI, as well as record & edit audio.

Thank you guys,

What you say makes sense but why should you be able to import midi files into Audacity if the program is unable to manipulate them.

Maybe they’re not MIDI files? Do you have Windows set to show you file extensions? That’s sometimes valuable when you start having inexplicable problems.

Hidden File Extensions - Windows
– Start > My Computer > Tools > Folder Options > View > [ ] Hide Extensions for Known File Types (deselect)
– Apply (to this folder) or Apply to All Folders
– OK

You may find that your file is really MyMusic.midi.wav and Windows is hiding the “.wav” part. So it’s a sound file after all and yes, I would expect Audacity to be able to edit it.

When the song is on the timeline, press Stop. What happens if you press SpaceBar (Play). Do you get any error messages? does the cursor flicker at you, does anything happen at all?


Development of MIDI support in Audacity is at very early stages. Currently, MIDI files can be imported, cut-and-paste edited, then exported as MIDI, but even these features may still be a bit buggy. Audacity does not yet have MIDI recording or MIDI playback.

I understand now.

Interestingly I loaded the midi file into Musecore and was surprised at how quickly it translated the file into playable score.

I then saved it back into a .wav file for audacity to read.

I have not yet experimented with splitting the different voices to enable full editing.

Thanks for all your help