A MIDI Sequencer can record your performances for listening at a later time, and even save your performance in Standard MIDI File format for playback on other MIDI systems. A MIDI Sequencer is a great way to evaluate your own progress, or even to study how someone else plays.
Better yet, because all MIDI data is editable, you can edit out any imperfections! If you play a wrong note, you can just change it using the Sequencer’s editing tools. And if you find you just can’t play fast enough to keep up with the tempo, you can slow it down for recording and speed it back up for playback — without the «Mickey Mouse» effect that normally comes from speeding up a song.
How to Add MIDI to Your Computer by Ross MacIver
Interested in making your own music? Writing songs, instrumental music, even symphonies? You can do it with your computer thanks to the wonderful technology known as MIDI – Musical Instrument Digital Interface. No need to know how to read music, MIDI can be edited using easy-to-read graphs.
There is a MIDI connection built into most personal computers. The joystick port doubles as a MIDI interface and you can connect a standard MIDI cable to it. The MIDI cable has two connections – MIDI out and MIDI in. Connect the computer’s MIDI out to the keyboard’s MIDI in and the computer’s MIDI in to the keyboard’s MIDI out.
With the MIDI software installed and running, play a few notes on your MIDI keyboard. They should be recorded into the software and available for playback and editing. If nothing happens, you may need to make some changes in your BIOS setup. Reboot the computer and check the BIOS to make sure that the MIDI port is activated. Check the documentation of your motherboard for details.
Now that everything is up and running, you can start making music! When building a song, it’s usually easiest to lay down each instrument at a time. Start with a pre-recorded drum track and add a bass line to it. You can loop the music so that only a section of it plays. For now, loop an 4-bar introduction and add a bass line to the drums. You do this by selecting a bass sound on the MIDI keyboard and playing some notes. Everything you play will be recorded into the computer and you can continue to loop and add new notes.
Everything that is recorded into the MIDI software can be edited and manipulated in many ways. It is easy to fix wrong notes and drag notes to a new position. They can be made softer or louder, notes can be deleted or drawn in by hand, and individual notes or groups of notes can be played by any instrument. You are well on your way to polishing off your first MIDI song!
MIDI recordings are edited in an entirely different manner than conventional recording; for example, the rhythm can be changed by editing the timing codes in the MIDI messages. In addition, the computer can easily transpose a performance from B major into D major. Such editing would be virtually impossible with recorded sound waves.
Much in the same method that two machines communicate via modems, two synthesizers communicate via MIDI. The circumstances exchanged between two MIDI devices is musical in nature. MIDI facts tells a synthesizer, in its most basic mode, when to commence and stop playing a specific notice. Other data shared includes the volume and modulation of the notice, if any. MIDI data can also be more hardware specific. It can tell a synthesizer to convert sounds, master volume, modulation devices, and much how to receive facts. In more advanced uses, MIDI facts can to indicate the starting and stopping points of a song or the metric position within a song. More recent applications comprehend using the interface between pcs and synthesizers to edit and store sound facts for the synthesizer on the pc.
The basis for MIDI communication is the byte. Through a combination of bytes a vast amount of data can be transferred. Each MIDI command has a specific byte sequence. The first byte is the status byte, which tells the MIDI device what function to perform. Encoded in the status byte is the MIDI channel. MIDI operates on 16 different channels, numbered 0 through 15. MIDI units will accept or ignore a status byte depending on what channel the machine is establish to receive. Only the status byte has the MIDI channel number encoded. All other bytes are assumed to be on the channel indicated by the status byte until another status byte is received.