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How well do you understand MIDI?


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Pick up an old Roland midi implementation chart, like for a sound canvas or something around that era. They all included a pretty good explanation and tutorial.

 

Good luck finding that level of detail for anything modern.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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I've got probably a simplistic grasp of MIDI, enough to get my Nord Stage 2 Compact working seamlessly with my Kronos. Kronos controls patch changes, and as the lower keyboard with piano action, I play a good amount of the Nord from the Kronos keyboard. Using other keyboards as controllers for the Nord or an old module is really as far as I've taken it.
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I was a certified MIDIOT back in the 80s and the back pages of my Roland manuals were dog-eared and coffee-stained. I programmed sysex into my midi sequences on my Atari ST I even remember manually calculating a checksum or two! I think it's because I got into this game before DAWs and VIs - midi was the cutting edge and I had the desire to learn as much as I could. I used GFA Basic on the Atari to write a bunch of useful tools (for myself, lol I'm not sure anyone would need or want a graphic editor for Akai S900 programs!). Anyone remember SDS? :)

 

I also enjoyed using midi in a live environment. Back in the 90s I had a Roland XP50 with a Peavey PC1600 controller box velcroed to it, sysex strings programmed to change efx parameters or routings and lots of other stuff too. I also used a Yamaha MEP-4 processor, a unique 1R unit that could transform midi data. I do a lot of the same kinds of stuff today with my Roland A800 Pro and Bidule except now I can use midi controllers to work things in-the-box.

 

Brad, it's curious that you find the older players less midi-literate, since midi is all we had until the late 90s (Ok I guess I'm really old, lol). Maybe it has to do with music styles? Older players just into blues & rock probably didn't have the need to get too deep into midi.

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I even remember manually calculating a checksum or two!

I used to use my HP48 calculator - you could change the mode to hexadecimal, and I wrote a little program to calculate checksums.

 

I also enjoyed using midi in a live environment. Back in the 90s I had a Roland XP50 with a Peavey PC1600 controller box velcroed to it, sysex strings programmed to change efx parameters or routings and lots of other stuff too.

I had a couple of s PC1600's as well - pretty powerful box for the time. I had programs set up for my JV30, XP50, S3000XL, Line6 POD, but they never seemed to last. I went through 2 of them that both eventually crapped out by booting wi either a blank screen or a garbled mess. I also made use of the MIDI Solutions event processor plus a few times.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Probably like most keyboardists on this forum, I started out using MIDI as a synth-connecting, layering tool (probably what got everybody excited about it in the first place). Then I learned you can send program/patch changes through MIDI... cool. But it wasn't until the early 90s that I really started getting my MIDI education, working with software sequencers. Then I learned Sysex code and CC's to externally control a synth's parameters. Working with external controllers like the Behringer BC2000 and Peavey PC-1600 really helped out.
Kurzweil PC3, Yamaha MOX8, Alesis Ion, Kawai K3M
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I've been pretty well versed in MIDI since the early 1980s, using a Commodore SX-64 and a Sequential Circuits Model 64 interface, running a program I think was called Sonic(?). The only part of MIDI I never delved into was MIDI Machine Control.

 

Brad, it's good to see you here - we've interacted on Twitter.

 

 

Wow! SX64 (the first full color "portable" PC) and Sequential Circuits Model 64. The good old days.

Another certified midiot here. Before there was midi there were joystick ports and cartridge slots.

Now there is midi into iOS. Oh happy day! At least four of my "vintage" boards are now virtual. Schlepp factor reduced by several orders of magnitude.

 

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I bet more folks would understand MIDI if there was some kind of commonly-used "MIDI sniffer", like Wireshark. Maybe a virtual pass-through device for the popular OSes.

 

I wrote one with OpCode's MAX back in the 90s and found it a very fast and effective way to learn what was going on.

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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I bet more folks would understand MIDI if there was some kind of commonly-used "MIDI sniffer", like Wireshark. Maybe a virtual pass-through device for the popular OSes.

 

I wrote one with OpCode's MAX back in the 90s and found it a very fast and effective way to learn what was going on.

 

Isn't that what MIDIOx does?

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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I bet more folks would understand MIDI if there was some kind of commonly-used "MIDI sniffer" ...

 

Well, there were MIDI monitor applications for ATARI ST, old MAC OS as also OS X running on MAC PPC.

 

And there was MIDIA for ATARI ST,- a MIDI educational / technical analysis program made by C-Lab, the ancestor company of Emagic.

You were able editing sysex strings or create your own and transmit and/or load any dumps and analyze.

 

One day I found out how to change the Yamaha KX88´s factory controller codes which were normally set in stone and printed on the panel.

Not enough, it was storable in the KX and in MIDIA there was the backup stored to disk.

It made the KX88 much more flexible.

 

I´ve never seen a similar program elsewhere again, but can be others existed and I didn´t know.

 

A.C.

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I think I know MIDI pretty OK.

 

In the early 90's I had Opcode Vision and the first version of Max, the MIDI programming language. I wrote a live editor for my DX-7 in Max by creating a MIDI monitor, selecting every parameter sequentially and moving the single programming fader, and then writing down the hexadecimal sysex code from the monitor, then assigning that code to a screen controller. It was tedious, but it worked. I never seem to have the time or energy to do those kind of projects these days,

Turn up the speaker

Hop, flop, squawk

It's a keeper

-Captain Beefheart, Ice Cream for Crow

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Pick up an old Roland midi implementation chart, like for a sound canvas or something around that era. They all included a pretty good explanation and tutorial.

 

Good luck finding that level of detail for anything modern.

Take a look at the Korg Kronos Parameter Guide (PDF). This doc is 1,150 pages long and contains 2,848 references to MIDI.

 

Is that enough detail? :)

Casio PX-5S, Korg Kronos 61, Omnisphere 2, Ableton Live, LaunchKey 25, 2M cables
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No. The MIDI implementation begins on page 1142 and it sucks.

 

A reference to midi is not the same as midi implementation. References telling you how to set the midis channel for a part don't count.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Dan, I didn't think that I'd have to point out to you that a MIDI Implementation chart is a concise specification of the MIDI behavior of the device in a specific tabular format. I dug up the Sound Canvas Pro MIDI Implementation tonight and see that Roland put various bits of tutorial material into it. I guess this is OK, but is it really needed within the Implementation Chart? And if a chart doesn't have embedded tutorial material (such as an explanation of NRPN), does it suck?

 

Personally, I like the Kronos MIDI Implementation Chart because it is concise. If I want explanation, I go to the parameter guide material. Did you not notice the 50 pages of very detailed MIDI explanation just before the MIDI Implementation chart?

 

Perhaps you can describe why you think the Kronos MIDI Implementation sucks.

Casio PX-5S, Korg Kronos 61, Omnisphere 2, Ableton Live, LaunchKey 25, 2M cables
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Pick up an old Roland midi implementation chart, like for a sound canvas or something around that era. They all included a pretty good explanation and tutorial.

 

Good luck finding that level of detail for anything modern.

 

Thanks Dan I'll give that a try

Remember - you can make a record without an organ on it, but it won't be as good

 

www.robpoyton.co.uk

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Pick up an old Roland midi implementation chart, like for a sound canvas or something around that era. They all included a pretty good explanation and tutorial.

 

Good luck finding that level of detail for anything modern.

I have the Roland Fantom X6 and the manual (download from https://www.roland.com/us/support/by_product/fantom-x6/owners_manuals/) pages 298-330 describes every stinkin' byte of every stinkin' MIDI message the Fantom can send. Most MIDI Implementations now-a-days are like the ones on pages 331 & 332, just a bunch of Ex's and Oh's. :P

 

Being a tech-head I wish all manufacturers would include that level of detail in their documentation.

 

EDIT: I do see that the KronosX manual that Murman referenced also goes into the MIDI message byte-level detail from pg. 1129 on.

 

~ vonnor

Gear:

Hardware: Nord Stage4, Korg Kronos 2, Novation Summit

Software: Cantabile 3, Halion Sonic 3 and assorted VST plug-ins.

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Having grown up with it, I MIDI pretty good. :laugh:

 

These days I mainly use MIDI to transfer sounds between my DX7II and computer. It works like a charm with FM-Alive.

 

The funniest thing is both my older DX7II and newer SV-1 have limited MIDI capability. Thankfully, I only need for them to communicate at the most basic level. :D:cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Take a look at the Korg Kronos Parameter Guide (PDF). This doc is 1,150 pages long and contains 2,848 references to MIDI.

 

Is that enough detail? :)

Thanks, but not really what I'm looking for

OK, I think we got a little sideways here.

 

RobP2:

I was responding to Dan's comment that modern MIDI gear didn't have decent documentation. Since Dan didn't quote your earlier post for a MIDI tutorial, I didn't realize that he was responding to you. Yes, the Korg docs are not tutorial and wouldn't be useful to you.

 

Dan:

As one that has used the Korg docs a lot, I do think that they are well-written and don't suck. Just my opinion. :wave:

 

 

Casio PX-5S, Korg Kronos 61, Omnisphere 2, Ableton Live, LaunchKey 25, 2M cables
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We're having 2 different conversations here. I don't like the Korg implementation. The document documents it's implementation, which I don't like. The Roland documentation has a good tutorial and implementation, which has nothing to do with Korg.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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I use MIDI for live performance mostly. I still haven't been able to wrap my head around program/bank changes yet.

Hardware

Yamaha DX7, PSR-530, MX61/Korg Karma/Ensoniq ESQ-1/Roland VR-760/Hydrasynth Deluxe/

Behringer DeepMind12, Model D, Odyssey, 2600/Arturia Keylab MKII 61

 

Software

Studio One/V Collection 9/Korg Collection 5/Cherry Audio/UVI SonicPass/EW Composer Cloud/Omnisphere, Stylus RMX, Trilian/IK Total Studio 3.5 MAX

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OK, i am a special case; i worked ten years in Ircam, working on one of the Max language implementation initially with Miller Puckette; so yes, i know MIDI, i wrote a MIDI parser at the time, and recently i wrote another one for my iOS applications. I spent time reading the MIDI specifications going to bed.

All this in my IT side of life, not musical life. But of course, all this helps when you need to configurate

your MIDI system, even if i never had very complex setup at home :->

 

Maurizio

Nord Wave 2, Nord Electro 6D 61,, Rameau upright,  Hammond Pro44H Melodica.

Too many Arturia, NI and AAS plugins

http://www.barbogio.org/

https://barbogio.bandcamp.com/follow_me

 

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I had a full triple keyboard plus module rack complete with programmable MIDI patch bay back in the day. I know CCs and midi routing well, NRPN not so much.

 

:thu: Exactly this. Moe and I are twin sons of different MIDI mothers.

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How well do I know midi? Well enough that I usually finally get it to do what I want,but not well enough if it takes way too much time to figure out how.

"It is a danger to create something and risk rejection. It is a greater danger to create nothing and allow mediocrity to rule."

"You owe it to us all to get on with what you're good at." W.H. Auden

 

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