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.
Updated 17 days ago
AuthorJenny Schmidt


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