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What can you tell me about MIDI?


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I've heard of it, know what the acronym stands for (Musical Instrument Direct Interface), and know that there's a lot of products out there that make use of it, but what exactly is MIDI?

 

Also, I know that my computer is MIDI capable, but how do I use it? Is there a MIDI for Dummies book out there somewhere? :)

BlueStrat

a.k.a. "El Guapo" ;)

 

...Better fuzz through science...

 

http://geocities.com/teleman28056/index.html

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Originally posted by bluestrat:

I was just reading a little about it, sounds like I'd need to buy a lot of special equipment. :(

Not neccessarily. If you tell us what you already have, we can help you learn how to make use of it.
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Originally posted by bluestrat:

I was just reading a little about it, sounds like I'd need to buy a lot of special equipment. :(

Well, that depends on what ya wanna do.

 

If you want to turn a guitar into a midi controller, you might have to buy some stuff.

 

If you just wanna connect some midi gear you already have, you probably just need midi cables, since your 'puter's already midified.

 

Midi's just a serial data protocol, and not a particularly fast one. Although it uses a 5-pin DIN connector, there's only two conductors and a shield connected to anything. In fact the shield's only connected to one of the plugs. (ground loop inhibition.)

band link: bluepearlband.com

music, lessons, gig schedules at dennyf.com

 

STURGEON'S LAW --98% of everything is bullshit.

 

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: The Jackhammer of Love and Mercy.

Get yours.

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So now you know what MIDI is.

 

Here is what it does:

 

If I have two MIDI keyboards (and they are pretty much ALL MIDI these days), I can connect the MIDI 'out' of one keyboard to the MIDI 'in' of another keyboard. Once I have made the connection, I can control the other keyboard from the first keyboard. Convenient. I don't have to physically be at the other keyboard to play it.

 

It I want, I can connect my keyboard to my computer and -using a program called a sequencer- I can play a song, and my computer will remember everything I played. Now I can hit the 'Play' button on my sequencer program and my computer will play back what I just played through my keyboard.....or, I can hook up a different keyboard, and it will play it all back using the sounds on that keyboard.

 

If I screwed up a part in my song, I can go into the sequencer program and alter it -just the way you would with a Word Processor.

 

It's basically just like recording, except you aren't actually recording anything.

 

People often think MIDI transmits actual sound. It doesn't. It is simply a way of networking musical computers (i.e. synths, drum machines, sound processors, PC's)

 

As mentioned above, you can get a MIDI pickup for your guitar. With that, you can use your guitar as a controller, and play keyboards from your fretboard.

 

If I had created a bunch of cool sounds on my keyboard and I wanted to back them up on the harddrive on my computer, I could use MIDI for that. In fact, I could use an Editor/Librarian program on my computer, and via MIDI, program my keyboard, sound processor, or any other MIDI gear. Very convenient!

 

It has a TON of uses! Which is why it has survived unchanged for the past 20 years. How many other technologies have done that??? I first started learning about MIDI in 1986, in a booklette that Roland included with the TR-505 I just bought.

 

MIDI was the way a lot of music was being made in the 80's.

 

Today, MIDI is still used a lot, but now that we all have these super fast computers, with tons of RAM and huge harddrives, people just use actual recorded sound loops and software synths to make music. Back when MIDI came out, that would have not been possible to do.

 

Hope this helped.

Super 8

 

Hear my stuff here

 

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Originally posted by Super 8:

You can use the Joystick port on your sound card. You can by a cable that will attach to it and has MIDI 'In' and 'Out' jacks on the other end.

 

Or

 

You can get a cable that will use your USB port.

Unfortunately I don't have anything to connect to the other end, and I can't afford any new equipment. I thought that you could take the signal straight from the guitar or something and then use a program to change the sound.

BlueStrat

a.k.a. "El Guapo" ;)

 

...Better fuzz through science...

 

http://geocities.com/teleman28056/index.html

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Oh. Yeah.

 

No.

 

You need a "pitch-to-midi" converter. The de facto standard for guitar is the Roland GK2A hexaphonic pickup and one of their guitar synths.

 

Then you could capture your performance as midi data and do all the things that midi allows you to do, but you're looking at some sheckles to get started.

 

I remember an old GP interview with Todd Rundgren asking if he ever considered using guitar synthesis. His reply was that if you wanted to play a synthesizer, it was easier just to learn to play the keys. ;) ('Course he had the advantage of already knowing how . . .)

band link: bluepearlband.com

music, lessons, gig schedules at dennyf.com

 

STURGEON'S LAW --98% of everything is bullshit.

 

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: The Jackhammer of Love and Mercy.

Get yours.

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Pretty much everything you need to know, in a clear, well written and easily understood book:

 

MIDI For Musicians

 

By Craig Anderton.

 

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0825610508/103-0263973-9582275?v=glance

 

When it comes to learning the basics about MIDI it just doesn't get any better than this book. It's the bible.

 

:wave:

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