MIDI 101: Understanding the MIDI PC Interface
MIDI is the short term for Musical Instrument Digital Interface developed in the early 1980′s, and understanding the MIDI PC interface is to know how to use MIDI with your PC. Understand that MIDI is not a form of music, it does not contain musical notes, and it is not like the digital music files like WAV or MP3. It contains a series of sequence that can be called data which contains instructions on how the music should play. It sends messages to a cell phone or a computer to generate the sound needed to play the music. It would be better called as the MIDI sequencer.
With the help of the MIDI system, professionals like keyboardists need not set up an array of piano, synthesizers, organ and other electronic instruments to get the desired music especially if they are performing for a live audience. Now, these instruments can be just connected to a master keyboard to achieve the needed music. Aside from music, MIDI is also available for use in lights used in stages through the control of a compatible computer.
Not only is MIDI available for music lovers but is also available to almost everybody. Students, teachers, hobbyists, arrangers, composer, producer, and performers can utilize the MIDI. The files produced by MIDI can now be used in compatible cell phones, websites or even game since it is small and cheap to produce. However, the quality of sound produced in each gadget or instrument mentioned varies. It is because the gadgets or instruments have different kinds of speakers.
When it was produced in 1983, the makers of MIDI thought of a way to synchronize the “MIDI clocks” so that whenever a song is played, the clock speeds up in tune with the tempo of the music being played. Moreover, the clocks are designed to be useful even when the machine is turned off. It is designed to be ready so that when it receives instructions to play, the music would be in the right tune and tempo. So the player would not need to wait for the messages to be transmitted before it would play the music requested. It is also beneficial in the stop, continue and start modes. With the help of the “slave device” inside the MIDI clock data, the music can be stopped, continued or restarted from the beginning. In short, the MIDI can both be the master (external sync) and the slave (internal sync).
The International MIDI Association (IMA) has been discussing ways on how to expand MIDI. However, there are issues that concern MIDI expansion, if it would be expanded, the MIDI design should be entirely changed. So a new design should be used. If the new design would be used, it may not be compatible to other users in the present environment. The system of the current MIDI would not suit the upcoming new environment and thus, the architects of the system are at a loss. But, since different environments like the home which has its own MIDI systems used by every member of the household, MIDI could still strive in the condition where it is presently used. The MIDI PCinterface is here to stay so get acclimated to it to sky boost your music.
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