What is MIDI?


This video tries to answer the question “What is MIDI?”

via SynthGnosis:

Midi stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. Midi is not sound whatsoever, rather, it is a signal. That is one misconception about it. In this video I’ll explain the basics of it for those who don’t know what it is and what it can do for you.

Midi is simply sending a signal to your computer or some other musical device. Since it’s dealing with signals, just think of a midi controller being like a videogame console controller (SNES!) that sends a signal when you press a button on the pad, or being just like the keyboard (typing) that’s sitting right in front of you.

Midi is a little more advanced than the signaling that I talked of above because it deals with music, and with music there are a lot of variables. For example we have a velocity range which goes from 0 to 127, and velocity is how hard or soft you hit a key on your controller. It also tells whichever hardware or software that you’re sending the signal to exactly which note you’re playing and how long you hold it for. It can get a bit more advanced, but those are the basics.

Midi is a great way to record sort of a ‘DI’ and go back to replace or switch out the sounds of a synthesizer or piano performance. Learning the basics of midi is essential to any musician these days, and you don’t necessarily have to play keys to fool with it. Anyone can PROGRAM midi.

3 thoughts on “What is MIDI?

  1. The comment says "Midi is not sound whatsoever, rather, it is a signal." which is true, but you can send waves via Midi. Just because they're not a sound format, they can send and reproduce sound files. Look at the Elektron products. They even have a special midi accelerator, for sending audio into their wave shapes. I mean even audio is just a signal. Anyhow, That keyboard he has is a Studiologic. They look sweet as hell. Anyone ever use one of these? The joystick would go great with my Monomachine 😉 And i hear the key play is ambrosia.

  2. ^ Thx for the tip on that, I haven't historically associated Studiologic with such space-age-looking design, but the VMK line looks sweet!

    Also didn't know about that Elektron thing — have a link to more info?

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