What are the uses of MIDI in music technology?


Musical Instrument Digital Interface also abbreviated as MIDI, can be described as a protocol that’s designed for recording as well as playing back music on the synthesizers that are supported by many computer sound cards. One MIDI link can carry about 16 channels of information, and each of them can get routed to another separate device.

Using a sequencer, you can use MIDI to play, record, and even edit numerous music tracks, and since MIDI is basically a universal standard, you can play back the recorded tracks on any MIDI enabled device.

MIDIMIDI came about in the year 1983 as an easy way for an artist to control numerous electronic instruments at a go. MIDI was invented to enable musical instruments to communicate with one another and also so that one musical instrument can be used to control another.

An artist can use a single MIDI enabled keyboard to play audio on 3 synthesizers, a sampler and a drum machine. When the artist presses the keyboard, the keyboard generates MIDI data regarding the key that was pressed, the duration the key was pressed, and the pressure applied on the key. This tells the other devices what notes need to be played and exactly how they should be played.

MIDI controllersThere are 2 basic types of devices which generate MIDI data, they include; MIDI controllers and MIDI musical instruments. MIDI musical instruments (which are also known as synthesizers), come in a number of sizes and shapes. The main difference between the synthesizers and the MIDI controllers, is that synthesizers generate both the sound and the MIDI data.

When a note gets played on a MIDI musical instrument (that is, a synthesizer), it generates digital signals which in turn triggers notes on other instruments.

There are many devices which use MIDI, some of which include; personal computers, cell phones and music keyboards. All MIDI devices speak the MIDI language; this language basically describes the procedure of playing music similar to sheet music; there are MIDI messages which describe which instruments to play, which notes to play and at what volume, what tempo and for how long.

MIDI also allows other musical instrument parameters to get controlled remotely. The remote control capability allows full sized musical instruments to get replaced with much smaller sound modules, and also allows artists to combine various instruments in order to create better combinations and/or achieve a much better sound.