MIDI Basics With Steve Porcaro

In this 1986 instructional video, Toto keyboardist & composer Steve Porcaro talks about MIDI basics.

While the video is dated, it offers a vintage demonstration of a 80s MIDI electronic music production set up that was state-of-the-art for its time.

Porcaro’s setup includes a KX88 masterkeyboard, Yamaha TX modules , an Oberheim expander, DSX and DMX, LINN9000 , Minimoog, EMU II, Polyfusion modular & more.

In the second part, Porcaro covers routing to various destinations:

In the third part, Porcaro looks at ‘organizing the madness’ with a sequencer;

19 thoughts on “MIDI Basics With Steve Porcaro

    1. Yes I was thinking the same thing – he’s a little too animated. Plus there is direct evidence for our claims at the 6:00 minute mark in the first vid. 🙂

  1. It’s rather shocking and sobering how much of this is still relevant today. How many other bus standards are in use and unchanged from 20 years ago? not many…

  2. yea I have to +1 on jeff. I pretty much always buy records when I see his name on them. Love his groove and touch. I think Im going to go make all my employees listen to loud steely dan cuts all afternoon.

    1. Good call on the Steely Dan. They’ll hate you now, but will come to appreciate it when they are at their new job and have to hear Top 40 all day.

  3. I ended up watching the whole thing on You Tube. Steve is a brilliant musician and a great programmer.

    Watch the parts where he built up his patented trumpet sound (e.g. his lead in “Rosanna”) and programming his string sound (used in many Toto songs) on the Obie. And don’t miss his great run through of creating a 3-oscillator bass from the Mini Moog.

    This is great stuff and still applies today!

  4. 80’s technology. And, one might say, planned by engineers to delight and torture musicians. Isn’t about time to reinvent the whole danm thing with 21th century technology, connectivity, interface know-how?.

  5. This guy sounds just like Cory Feldman (it’s a helluva drug) however the sad fact of the matter is MIDI has hardly progressed since this video but at least ecstasy and LSD have progressed electronic music since then.

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