fbpx
​In 1986 Frank Zappa  released his final studio album  in his lifetime; for the remaining seven years of his life, he would only release live concert albums.Jazz from Hell is an instrumental album whose selections were all composed and recorded by Frank Zappa. It was released in 1986 by Barking Pumpkin Records on vinyl and by Rykodis...
This custom-built instrument is called Curve, and is named after the shape and contour of the interface itself. I wanted to create something that had a myriad of different sensors and ways of controlling different musical parameters, while also maintaining the functionality and traditional idioms of other controllers, interfaces, and instruments th...
We recently sent out a MIDI Message newsletter and asked people to describe their favorite MIDI project.  Harry Williamson from the Federation Bells in Melbourne, Australia sent us this message.  Favorite MIDI Project-The Federation Bells, Birrung Marr, Melbourne. 39 Bronze up-turned bells play compositions 3 times daily from a MAX/M...
Although arguably the smaller NAMM event of the two for MIDI related products, there's certainly no shortage of things to discover at Summer NAMM and this year was no exception. With stimulating keynotes on the future of music technology, courtesy of the MIDI Association Advisory Board's very own Craig Anderton, the latest in next year's product li...
What is Telemidi? A system of connecting two DAW environments over the internet, to achieve real-time musical `jamming'.The product of Masters research by Matt Bray. "...a musician's behaviour at one location will be occurring at the other location in a near synchronous manner, and vice versa, thus allowing for a `jam' like atmosphere to ...
The Glitch Mob has started touring with what may be one of the most complicated MIDI controllers every built.  The Blade 2 .0 was designed by Martin Phillips also who has done work for Deadmau5, Kanye and Daft Punk. Dell partnered with the Glitch Mob to provide Dell Alienware 15s computers that run Intel Core i7-7820HK quad-core processors. Th...
On May 26, we held the very first  MIDI Live! chat with a panel of MPE specialists.  We recorded the session and it is presented here as a podcast.  Listeners were not only able to send in questions via text but were able to actually join the discussion and interact directly with the panelists. Roger Linn demoed his Linnstr...
MIDI Stylophone Business Card Last Sunday we were looking at bookmarks we had made while searching the Internet for blog topics.  We had booked marked Mixtela.com a few months ago because of all the cool MIDI DIY projects.  But then we found WaitingForFriday's website and decided to do an article on the MIDI Stylophone...
The Original Dubreq Stylophone The Dubreq Stylophone was invented in 1968 by Brian Jarvis.  It was originally designed as a toy, but the fact that it was portable and easy to play and it's distinctive synth sound soon made it popular with some of the most iconic musicians of the late 60's. David Bowie used it on the track 'Space Oddity' a...
We hope you enjoyed these daily tips during MIDI Month—but that's not the end of it, because there will be plenty more tips to come when you join the The MIDI Association. TMA is an all-volunteer organization that believes in TMA's mission: to nurture an inclusive global community of people who create music and art with MIDI. Our strength is our co...
The Live Performance Challenge ​ The challenge for me as a performing musician has always been not being able to readily access desired sounds and sound layers during a live performance in an effective way. The tools given to us on modern stage keyboards are difficult to manage on the live stage, and even if you take the time and make the effort to...
In the tip for May 22, we covered how to control effects and virtual instrument parameters with a footpedal hooked into a synthesizer or other controller. But what if you don't have a synthesizer or other controller...and would rather use a 100 mm fader than a footpedal? No problem, if you're willing to do a little soldering. Take a 1/4" phone jack...
MIDI has lasted over 30 years, so the MIDI data you entered in a sequencer back in the 80s can still drive today's virtual instruments (which is pretty amazing, come to think about it). However virtual instruments, computers, and operating systems don't have, shall we say, quite the same kind of longevity. You'll be reminded of this when Steven Spi...
The way most keyboard players add vibrato is to turn up the mod wheel, and inject some LFO to change the oscillator pitch periodically. That's fine, but consider guitar players—they add vibrato by moving their fingers on strings, which gives a more human quality than using an LFO. So, try your hand (get it?) at doing vibrato with your fingers inste...
There's more to life than audio echo—like MIDI echo. Although the concept of MIDI echo has been around for years, early virtual instruments often didn't have enough voices to play back new echoes without stealing voices from previous echoes. With today's powerful computers and instruments, this is less of a problem so let's re-visit MIDI echo. It's...
ReWire is a software protocol that allows two (or sometimes more) software applications to work together as one integrated program. For example, suppose you wish your DAW of choice had Propellerhead Reason's roster of way cool virtual instruments, but you don't want to learn a different DAW. No problem: use ReWire with your DAW, and get Reason into...
Sometimes you hit notes you don't want to hit, particularly if you're playing MIDI guitar or some other alternate controller (although this tip is most relevant to MIDI guitar, even with keyboards you may end up brushing against some keys accidentally and creating notes you don't want). Here are some ways to clean up your data stream. Delete pressu...
In the days before click tracks, tempos varied because musicians are humans, not crystal-controlled clocks. However, these changes were far from random. While researching an article for Sweetwater's inSync web publication, I analyzed the tempo changes for several hits from the past that didn't use a click track and noticed a common element of most ...
Sometimes you don't need an external, dedicated MIDI controller—the one on your favorite synth may be all you need, and the synth even has built-in sounds. The keyboard usually feeds data to the synth's MIDI out, but also to its internal sounds (called "local control.") But if your sequencer echoes its interface's MIDI in to the interface's MIDI ou...
Some virtual instrument and effects parameters just cry out for footpedal control—too bad you don't have a pedal that outputs MIDI data…or do you? If you have a keyboard synthesizer or controller, it will probably have an expression pedal jack. The standard MIDI controller for expression is controller #11, and unless your keyboard or controller is ...
You can "humanize" sequences that have been quantized too rigidly by tweaking the start times for individual notes or phrases. Ignore any menu item called "humanization," because this usually just adds randomness—that's not what makes timing human (unless the human in question had too much to drink). Instead, alter note timings manually or use a "s...
REX files chop digital audio into "slices," each of which is associated with a MIDI note. Playing a MIDI note triggers its associated slice, which is why REX files can follow tempo variations—slices can trigger at a faster or slower rate as you speed up or slow down a MIDI sequence. However, what really makes this fun is that you can also re-arrang...
​Complimentary Summer NAMM registration for TMA members!Thanks to NAMM (the National Association of Music Merchants), we have complimentary registration through June 13 for MIDI Association members to the Summer NAMM show which happens this year in Nashville from June 28-30.  Summer NAMM is open to all NAMM members as well as professionals and...
Part of making MIDI guitar feel "right" when triggering synths has nothing to do with the guitar and its tracking, but with editing the synth presets so that they're guitar-friendly instead of being optimized with keyboards in mind. Separate channels. The guitar will most likely send data from each string over a different channel. So, use synths in...