What In The MIDI Is This?

By Yoshi Bradley

I bought a Korg Triton and was sequencing on the internal sequencer. I could not for the life of me get the timing perfect nor the tracks in sync. Even with the internal metronome, the human ear is just not as perfect as a computer and it drove me up a wall trying to sequence these songs I was writing. The Triton I owned was only MIDI out and not MIDI IN. Meaning, I could use it as a MIDI controller but could not use MIDI within. When my neighbor introduced me to MIDI, let me tell you, it made my life a lot easier! I was writing songs like that! *snaps fingers* It had been around before I was even born and I had no idea about it. I should have done my research. Hopefully if you’re reading this now, then you’re in search of an easier method to create electronic music with. There are articles out there that breakdown what MIDI is in intricate details, I am going to explain in lame man terms for you.

MIDI stands for musical instrument digital interface and has taken over the industry in the past 20 years and is increasingly growing and growing. It is now a staple in the music production industry and enables electronic instruments known as controllers (because they enable you to control everything about the music) such as MIDI keyboards, drum machines, synthesizers, MPCs, etc. to communicate with computer software programs and hardware by signal. Unlike analog instruments, MIDI does not send audio signals. I repeat, MIDI DOES NOT send audio signals! If you go down to your local music store and play a MIDI keyboard or instrument, it will not make any sounds, unless connected to a computer software program. MIDI sends event messages to other devices that indicate things such as tempo, pitch, note length, volume, etc. etc.. To put it simply, you are now in full control of the music. You can control everything about the song all from your keyboard, drum machine or whatever controller you are using. It makes life a hell of a lot easier for you, trust me!

To get started all you will need is a MIDI controller (most people go with a keyboard/I use the Akai MPK49), a compatible music software program (I personally use Reason, it’s super simple to learn and has a massive sound library) like Reason, Logic, or even Fruity Loops if you’re just starting out. Also, if you’re still not quite sure what MIDI is or want to learn more, watch video tutorials online. There are tons! Thank you for reading and I hope you learned a little something from this article and you’re ready to go out and make some serious music!

Yoshi Bradley


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