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Here are some byte sized tips and tricks to nibble on. 

May 17 Non-Rigid Quantization

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One of the complaints about "MIDI music" is that quantizing everything to the beat sucks the life out of a song by eliminating the kind of timing variations humans make. But that's not the fault of MIDI— the problem is the person doing the quantization. So, here are three ways to make quantization more human-sounding. Quantization strength. Instead...

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May 19-Programming Synths for MIDI Guitar

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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...

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May 21-Leading and Lagging the Beat for Feel

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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...

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May 27-Polyrhythmic MIDI Echoes

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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...

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May 28-Manual Vibrato for Keyboards

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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...

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May 29-Rendering MIDI to Audio

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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...

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May 31-And the Tips Keep Coming!

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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...

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