Midisoft for Windows 7, Window 8

February 1, 2014 1:02 am Published by 20 Comments

I remember getting my Midisoft3 in two floppy disks back in 1991.  Midisoft Session/Midisoft Studio was a notation-based sequencer package that was hugely popular in the 90’s.


It worked fine in Windows 3.1 and when Midisoft4 came out, I upgraded the software and it worked in Windows XP as well.  (I needed to run it in compatibility mode, however.)

When my XP machine finally died few years ago, I had to get a new PC with Windows 7 pre-installed and Windows 7 being 64bit, I was no longer able to run Midisoft4.  By this time, the company behind Midisoft had long gone belly up.

I’ve searched all over the internet but I simply couldn’t find any software as good as Midisoft.  Anyone who has ever used the software would know how good this program was.

Just doing a brief search on the internet, you can find countless people lamenting that they can no longer use Midisoft and how they can’t seem to find anything that even comes close to Midisoft.


Even though using musical notation to compose music is still the most elegant way to create music in my opinion, it has become a rather obscure art.  It seems that vast majority of young musicians are focused on mixing in special sound effects and electro beats, and the delicate art of editing notation or sheet music reading seems to have been forgotten.

Not surprisingly, almost all modern software reflects the trend and none seems to offer workable notation editing anymore.

I’ve tried no less than half dozen software, free & premium.  Ableton, Anvil, Aria, FL, Cakewalk, etc.  (Notation Composer from Notation Software came pretty close to the real thing. However Notation Composer simply wasn’t as versatile or powerful as Midisoft.)

Some simply did not have enough functions while others were too complicated/bloated.

Recently, I had to create a background music for one of my projects (the video needed to be uploaded to youtube and due to copyright issue, I had to create my own music) and trying to work with software (they were more of a mixed rather than an editor) was just so much pain.

After finishing the project, I began to wonder, ‘What the hell happened to Midisoft anyway?’

It turns out that after Midisoft went belly up, (Studio v6 was the last version before the company went out of business) the software was resurrected briefly by a company called RecordLab.

Unfortunately, this company also went belly up.  However, the software was subsequently  picked up by Lugert Verlag, a German company, and the software was renamed Forte 4.

I’ve found out that Forte 4 is available in four different versions, from Free to Premium.  I’ve just installed Forte 4 and YES!!

Midisoft has been resurrected!!!!!!

After many frustrating years, my search for Midisoft is finally over.

I hope this post helps others who are still looking for that holy grail called Midisoft.

Categorized in:

This post was written by hackya


  • Fred says:

    I used the Forte as you suggested HackYa, but I find it is NOT the same as you have put up…More please? Back tomorrow,cheers Fred.

  • Fred says:

    Hi again Hack Ya,I still cannot run Midisoft (1995 disc) on my Win7 X32…Any other ideas? Forte won’t either…I’d love to get it back and up and running..Top prog.
    cheers(if you’re still there….)

    • Matthew Park says:

      Fred, I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned that I was able to run Midisoft on Win7. Forte does run on Win7 & 8 (64 bit) however.

      I think your situation is that Midisoft won’t run on your PC since you have Win7 & Forte won’t run because your Win7 is 32 bit. sigh.

  • Andrey Razuvaev says:

    I resolved issue with MIDI driver by copying mmsystem.dll from
    c:windowssystem32 (windows 7 x86 host) to c:windowsSysWOW64. Also in
    the setup->MIDI dreivers dialog i selected Do not use MIDI mapper and Disable MIDI input.

    Checked on windows 7 x64 and windows 8.1 x64.

    • Matthew Park says:

      Windows 8.1 now makes it easy for everyone to run XP OS on VM.

      If anyone has a VM installed on Windows 8.1 already, running Midisoft on XP inside a VM is another quick & easy way to run Midisoft.

  • Chuck Cartia says:

    I have to tell you the whole story. First, I am not a musician, no ear, no talent, but a love of music. Midi software was my only means of making music. Before the PC, there was a program for the Atari ST called Music Studio 88. (No relation to Midisoft for the PC) That’s how I got started with Midi. Then I purchased Midisoft Studio 3 along with Midsoft Recording Session back in 1992 when I got my first PC with Windows 3.1. Recording Session included the cable to connect your midi devices through the joystick port on the sound card. Then I went nuts looking for midi cables. Turned out, a midi cable is the same as an old style keyboard extension cable (this was before Internet, so how would I know this?).

    When I upgraded to Windows 95, MS3 no longer worked so I bought MS4. (We didn’t have emulators for this yet.) There was something about it that I didn’t like, and I had no time for midi anyway, so that was the end of it for me.

    Until about a month ago (May 2016). I dug out all my old sheet music (about a 4 foot stack of books, sheets and misc.) I began looking for up-to-date midi software and like you guys, found nothing quite as good as I remember Midisoft. I did find a program by Aspire Software called Music Masterworks 3.94. It was once commercial and is now free if you can find it. About 3 weeks after I downloaded it, I went back to the site and it was gone, replaced by an crappy unfinished beta of Music Masterworks vr.4.

    Anyway it occurred to me that Win3.1 will run under DosBox, so I got MS3 running that way. Unfortunately, midi I/O dosn’t seem to work, but you can load and save files. Then I got the idea here from Andrey Razuvaev (thank you, Andrey), I installed MS4 on my old XP computer, copied the installed files to my Windows 10 64 bit Machine and Voila, it works. Didn’t even have a compatibility issue. In fact, when I try to troubleshoot compatibility, I get an error. It did quit working after running another midi program, but a reboot fixed it and it seems to be working fine.

    Now if I cab get a USB Midi cable working and I’ll be set.

    • Matthew says:

      Wow. What an adventure!!

      Your story is fascinating.

      In span of 20 years or so, digital music creation process has moved on from midi based.

      These days, midi/ traditional score sheet only serves an auxiliary role during the music creation process.

      Digital songs are created primarily by manipulating pre-generated bits & pieces.

      So if you are a midi purist, you won’t really find any software out there that will tailor to your music creation process.

      I DO miss the old midisoft days. Sigh..

      Thanks for sharing your story.

      • Chuck Cartia says:

        There’s nothing serious going on here, just a fun pastime for an old retiree. Creating music this way is sort of like Paint by Numbers. Very little skill involved and mediocre results, but still a fun thing to do.

        • Matthew says:

          Hey, no creation is “mediocre”!! Every creation is unique is its own way & I view nothing as mediocre.

          Just as you are special in your own way, your musical notes are special.

          Hope you are enjoying your retirement & hope you are enjoying your summer.

  • Alan Saunders says:

    For a brief period IDD (Interactive Digital Design) had midisoft as well – it was called Studio Session XP and ran on Windows XP (duh) and worked great, then when windows 10 came out it broke – something with the font file wasn’t working. I was able to install Oracle VirtualBox running windows XP and still run Studio Session XP in that virtual terminal. Still works fantastic and Windows 10 gives the Midi resources to it.

    It’s great for note-entry, however, when you export the midi files, I cannot seem to get them to line up in a DAW, so I’m hunting a solution that can handle timing of midi files with wav files.

  • Rory Rorabaugh says:

    I got Midisoft 4 to work in Windows 7 Pro! I set up a Windows XP virtual machine using the Win7 Pro XP mode, then copied the entire Studio 4 sub directory in my Windows 7 Program files directory. If you have a regular XP machine you could copy the sub directory into your Win7 plus machine. It was working in the XP mode but not well, choppy from time to time and I could not access the files from the main, regular drive.

    If you do not have Studio 4, I can zip it up and email it to you. It is about 4 MB in size.

    To make MidiSoft4 work in Win7 +

    Copy the whole directory into a Studio4 directory on a
    new Windows machine.

    Right mouse click on Studio.exe to run Properties set ups.

    Set up to run in XP compatible mode.

    Run as Administrator.


    Rory Rorabaugh
    the Audio Archaeologist

    • Matthew says:

      That’s awesome.

      I’ve moved away from Midisoft after all these years and I am using MuseScore2 now.

      When I first encountered MuseScore (ver. 1.x), I was not impressed at all. I was turned off by the UI (user interface) MuseScore offered and I did not like it at all.

      However, MuseScore2 offers UI very similar to Midisoft (there is virtually no learning curve if you already use Midisoft) and offers ton of functionalities Midisoft doesn’t have.

      It’s GNU GPLv2 license (aka free software) & definitely worth checking it out IMO.


  • Rory Rorabaugh says:

    Update from Rory Rorabaugh… with Windows 7 Pro updates, the drivers that allowed for Midisoft to work have stopped. I tried to reinstall again, but no love.
    Fortunately, a small computer store in my town had several Dell office computers and set me up with Windows XP Professional and I reinstalled Midisoft 4 on it and now I have joy!
    My XP machine will not be going on the Internet so I have a computer for my Midi and Synthesizer play time, and not bothered with updates or viruses.

    • Matthew says:

      Why did you update Windows 7? I think there is a way to prevent automatic update for Windows 7.

      Anyway, I am glad you were able to find a cheap PC with Win XP.

      Recently, my wife needed a simple software to view & hear notes from a midi file for her church music. (She is in a choir)

      Midisoft would have been my #1 choice but she needed it to run on her laptop. There are no laptop around that runs on XP. LOL

      I’ve installed Sekaiju (open source) and she is extremely happy with it. She even makes few note adjustments on it when she needs to. And I’ve noticed that editing notes on its sheet music works exactly the same as Midisoft.

      Still not as good as Midisoft but some may find Sekaiju very handy so I mention it here.

  • Kamel Dabbas says:

    I use MidiSoft Studio with win7 64bit its work fine but I copy the installed folder from another pc coz the install file wan’t run with 64 bit so its work cool with me
    another solution … you can use vmware to create a virtual pc and install Xp on it

  • Cameron says:

    My Midisoft 4.0 is suddenly and randomly working on Windows 10. It’s probably a flash in the pan thing so I’m not holding my breath. Whole installed version copied from xp box of 500 years ago. Will have to head for Forte next if not continued luck I guess..

  • Raymond Bily says:

    This was a fun post to read, and quite flattering (Midisoft was my baby). Thank you everybody! I do run into people frequently who remember using the product, which always gets me reminiscing. I have some long-term plans related to the next generation of Midisoft Studio — the product that I was never able to finish before the hostile takeover of my company. I’d love to hear from any of you who have ideas on that front. I’m at BrightArrow.com now.

  • Lou From CA says:

    Funny, this article references my post to gear slutz back in 2013 about getting midisoft to work in win 7 64b/andor finding an alternative. It has been working fine for quite sometime, now that I’ve built a new system and migrated to SSD’s it works but the mid driver is permanently set to no drivers. Not much of a priority as it was, I do miss the level of sophistication and ease of individual note editing that is lacking in most midi file editing tools, but am using other software mostly anyhow. If you’re good with piano roll as apposed to score view, give MidiEditor a shot. Pretty simple and easy to learn and will connect nicely with your external devices, should anyways.

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