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How does MIDI work?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Skettalee, Nov 26, 2004.

  1. Skettalee

    Skettalee Guest

    I know this might be a stupid question but while im waiting for my M AUDIO MIDI to USB hook up I am wondering these things.

    I got a cheap Radio Shack keyboard. Its not super cheap but still its not much. It does have a bender to bend the notes though, only the one way. ( I know I see the ones now with 2 of them (?))

    But anyway, if im using MIDI and recording with only sounds from "REASON 2.5" or "CUBASE SX 3" then whats the use of getting a better keyboard if im just using the keys.

    When I plug it in to MIDI, does the keyboards speakers stop working as far as playing the notes that the keyboard has set to and does it start playing whatever instruments I have setup in the program im using? That confuses me cause I dont understand it.

    Any quick guide of how many works and what it does when using it with a keyboard on the computer? Thanks alot. Sorry for the dumb question, just, I dont know!
     
  2. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    MIDI is just a lnaguage used for communicating music ideas, just like sheet music. A MIDI note consists of a number that suggests which note is to played, a number for how loud that note is to be, and a number for how long the note is to be held. This is exactly what sheet music does. There are also many other numbers in the MIDI message that relate to what it to happen to the note while it is playing like where it is panned, if it changes volume, etc.

    WHen you hook up your MIDI keyboard to the computer, you can simply turn the volume of your keyboard all the way down. This will stop it from playing through the built in speakers. It will always play from both the computer's and the keyboard's sounds, but you won't have to listen to the keyboard's. Think of it this way. The keyboad generates the MIDI code (the sheet music). This code is sent to two (or more) instruments, the sampler built into your keyboard and the sampler or virtual synthesizer on your computer.

    So, did that help? I hope so :)
     
  3. Skettalee

    Skettalee Guest

    Great help... But...

    If you are using MIDI, whats the difference between a cheap radio shack $100 keyboard and a yamahaa (or whatever) keyboard for over $400.00 or more?

    Im not planning on using a keyboard feature cause im doing all my recording through cubase and reason with synth sounds and drum machines in there. So isn't there no difference if im using it like that?
     
  4. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    There is no reason to get another keyboard if the one you have it doing what you need it to. A more expensive keyboard can give you several things, including more controllers (buttons, faders, wheels), a better feeling keyboard (weighted piano action), and perhaps easier access to things like switching MIDI channels.
     
  5. Skettalee

    Skettalee Guest

    Well i dont have the MIDI to USB device yet, its in the mail so I hope my keyboard works good enough for me. It should!
     
  6. Skettalee

    Skettalee Guest

    Another quick question about this. I opened and played with Cubase and opened up an instrument that had the keyboard on it that I can press with my mouse, when pressing keys though, it took a second for each sound to come up. Is that normal when pressing it with your mouse? And if I have the MIDI keyboard hooked up, will the keyboard keys make the computer make those sounds instead but will they be on sync with the pressing of them?

    Help!
     
  7. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    You are experiencing something called latency. Latency is the time it takes the coumputer to process your request and ouput the sound. You need to first select the M-Audio ASIO driver in Cubase by going to Devices > Device Setup > VST Multitrack and selecting the driver. Then, read this whole thread and use my buffer setting algorithm.
     
  8. Skettalee

    Skettalee Guest

    I have a crappy onboard sound, i dont have a sound card much less an m audio one. This is only happening when clicking the piano things in the instruments, this will still happen when i use the keyboard through midi when i get that?
     
  9. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Oh, I misread your first post. I thought it said you had an M-Audio card but now I see you were just talking about your MIDI interface that you will be getting soon. Unfortunately, you will not be able to get very low latency out of your onboard soundcard; there will very likely always be a noticeable delay. You will need to buy another soundcard if you want to be able to play keys and hear the results instantly. Also, ignore my reply in the other thread.
     
  10. Skettalee

    Skettalee Guest

    DAMN!!!!!!!! I hate my life. Its always something else I have to buy. So you dont think I can get it to close to instant when I press the keys with this soundcard? Im not using the onboard for midi now, remember i got the maudio midi thing coming in (TOMORROW!!!!!)

    I dont want to have to buy a soundcard now, i use the MBOX to record my vocals and whatever other sounds. DAMN LIFE!
     
  11. Skettalee

    Skettalee Guest

    Well, is this a good buy?

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=home/search/detail/base_pid/701376/

    If it comes down to it, I need to have fast action in order to let my creativity out fully. What do you think about getting that?


    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3765989816&fromMakeTrack=true

    ???????????????/
     
  12. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Wait... You hve an M-Box? If so, this IS your soundcard.
     
  13. Skettalee

    Skettalee Guest

    Damn you DAVE. Too late. I splurrged!@!!!!!!!!


    Hehe. I just bought that card from Musicians Friend, based on you saying I need something better for no latency. So that will do me fine right? I got it coming tomorrow with the USB thing that I will now no longer need. LOL. I can always use it on my mac laptop!
     
  14. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

  15. Skettalee

    Skettalee Guest

    So your saying that the card I got isn't a good buy? I was thinking of doing this anyway, using the PC to make my beats and using the MAC to record the vocals. Or I could use the PC to record the vocals. Id like to keep the MBOX.

    Can all of M Audios card line work with PRO TOOLS? It obviously should since its a part of Avid which Digidesigns also is a part of them too. So Pro Tools should work right? With the card im getting...

    Im gonna start a new thread about things about that card in a section i feel appropriate cause now I have tons of questions about the card!
     
  16. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

  17. Skettalee

    Skettalee Guest

    Oh alright, didn't know that. Hey, Just got the m audio MIDI to USB and i got crappy latency. Getting the card tomorrow.

    Anything you can help me to do to get rid of alot of latency till i get that card? Please help!
     
  18. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Sorry, there's not a lot you can do. Patience...
     
  19. Skettalee

    Skettalee Guest

    Damn seriously? Well why does it have like almost a 2 second latency with cubase but the redrum on reason plays almost instantly? Also i cant seem to get anything else to work and play on reason. Im confused. Well anyone know alot about reason? What do you do after you right click and add a synthesizer or whatever to reason and then pick the patch you want to use. What do you do to turn up the volume on it?
     
  20. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I don't know Reason.

    p.s. - check your email.
     

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