Denote is a MIDI file demake tool for PICO-8.  It converts MIDI files into SFX data that can be pasted into PICO-8.


  1. Drag and drop a MIDI file onto the folder icon or click the folder icon to open the file dialog. 
  2. Wait for the embedded PICO-8 console to boot up and download the data.
  3. Adjust settings as desired.  
    1. Set the note resolution at the top of each section.  The optimum value depends on the music.  It should  be at least as long as the duration of the shortest note in the piece.  It should be set slightly higher than the shortest note if a staccato effect is desired.  Caveats: If it is set too low, short notes will become distorted.  If set too high, you may not have enough SFX slots to accommodate the piece.  Depending on the tempo of the section, too high a resolution may cause the section to play faster than desired due to rounding errors for PICO-8 speed calculations. 
    2. Select the sections and tracks to include by checking the boxes.  PICO-8 accommodates up to four tracks for each section. 
    3. Select an instrument for each track.
    4. Each note has a beginning, middle, and end, labeled here as "attack," "sustain," and "release." The beginning and end of the note lasts for duration set by the resolution.   For a staccato effect, set sustain and release to none.  
    5. Change the filter effects as desired by pressing the toggle buttons.  
  4. When you see "TXF COMPLETE" in the console, press play to hear the composition.
  5. Press copy to copy the SFX data and music patterns to the clipboard.
  6. Paste the SFX data  and music patterns into PICO-8
    1. Open your cartridge in PICO-8.  
    2. If you are using custom instruments, make sure they are already loaded in the first 8 SFX slots.
    3. Go to an empty music pattern and press Ctrl-V.  SFX data and music patterns will be pasted in.
    4. MIDI files are often much longer and contain more simultaneous tracks than PICO-8 can accommodate.  Denote will truncate the file to fit PICO-8 's limitations.
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(3 total ratings)
AuthorJenny Schmidt (bikibird)

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Hey! You have a pretty cool and useful tool right here 🌟Thank you so much!!

One thing I'd request tho: being able to transpose octaves in each track
Cause I'm using bass notes that go below C2 (Pico-8's C0), and they underflow back to the top (so there are high notes instead of the low ones!).
So it'd be pretty useful, if it isn't too hard, to make it possible to transpose the tracks 1 or 2 octaves up/down (just so I can adjust it properly in the p8 editor later~)

Cheers :3 🌻

That's an excellent idea.  I'll keep it mind for the next time I update Denote. 


holy crap, this exists? amazing. by the way, everyone, musescore scores can be downloaded as midi

When importing the MIDI file, I encountered some problems.

On the webpage, after I imported the MIDI file, it sounded normally.

But I copy SFX and paste it to Pico-8, it will be completely chaotic.

How to adjust it?

(1 edit)

Not sure what's going on. I would need the MIDI file to test it out.  What version of PICO-8 are you running.

If you can hear it through the PICO 8 player embedded in the web page, then the music data generated correctly and should be a simple copy and paste into the music tab in PICO-8.

If you post the MIDI file to the PICO-8 discord server, I could take a look at it. My screen name is bikibird.

Thank you.

I already send message to you on discord.

My ID is Sixtoes_yuan.

Denote has been fixed.  Thanks for reporting the problem.