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Why MIDI?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by thefish, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. thefish

    thefish Guest

    So I have been trying to get into recording scene for a while and have been somewhat successful so far. I do, however, have a very small budget (maybe 100 bucks evey few months and $200-300 once or twice a year) so my resources are limited and I have to choose things carefully.
    I hear about MIDI all the time and have a very basic idea of what it is. What I don't know is why it is so great and what it can be used for. I have been considering getting a MIDI keyboard but I have also wanted to get a synth for a while too (a microkorg is what I've been leaning towards). I have a Yamaha PSR-217 and that has a MIDI output, but I don't know if that would work the same as a keyboard designed for MIDI.
    If someone could just explain how midi is used and why it is so useful, it would be greatly appreciated. Also, some tips on what kind of keyboard/controller is best would be good. I have been leaning towards an Alesis, but I haven't heard too much about that company, but they do have some fairly cheap choices. Thanks for any help.
     
  2. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    hello!

    first of all you should read this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midi to understand the basics of midi.

    if you already own a midi-capable keyboard (nowadays you almost can't get one without midi in-out) you won't need an extra midi-keyboard. the only difference is, that midi-master-keyboards don't make any sound by themselves.

    but you also need a midi interface for your computer. most audio interfaces come with a built-in midi interface. if you don't have one, there are a lot of affordable usb-midi interfaces.

    you will need midi, if you want to record keyboard players. you could record them directly through the line outputs of their keyboard, but it's much more convenient to record them via midi. this way you can delete or adjust wrong notes, you can change the velocity of notes, you can adjust timing issues...
    then you can either send the midi signal back to the keyboard and record it through your audio interface to audio, or you can use the midi tracks to play other sounds through vst instruments ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Studio_Technology )

    you will also need midi if you program drums.

    in electronic music midi is a must. but also in acoustic/electric music
    midi can make things much easier.

    i hope this helps!
     
  3. thefish

    thefish Guest

    Thanks, that really helped a lot. The links were extremely useful as well.
     
  4. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    my pleasure! ;-)
     
  5. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    You definitely don't NEED to record MIDI. If you are recording a band who has a keyboard player, and the keyboard player can play, and he likes the sounds he is using from his keyboard, there no reason to also record his MIDI data. You've recorded his performance.

    On the other hand, like ouzo77 says, once you have the MIDI data, it does allow you to "fix" timing, velocitys, etc. But be warned. One can easily get lost in the world of MIDI perfection and you can really kill a good performance by trying to "Fix" the MIDI data and then re-recording.

    MIDI data is small and recording it is easy and for the most part, when I can I'll record the MIDI data. But it's mostly for backup purposes.
     
  6. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    of course you don't need midi necessarily to record a keyboard player, but when do you get a keyboard player who's playing really good AND has good sounds?!? ;-)

    anyway, i did happen to record keyboard players who were really good and had decent sounds and i did record 'em audio, but i was glad, that i also recorded the midi data, cause one of them came back one day because he didn't like the sound of one track anymore. since i had the midi data he didn't have to play it again, which he shouldn't have anyway, cause the performance was really great. so we just went through different sounds in some vstis and picked the one he liked best. he was happy and i was happy.

    so even if recording direct audio, you should always record the midi signal. even with great players (which don't come very often!)
     
  7. ecc83

    ecc83 Active Member

    Hi Fish, I am dave in limeyland. I too am trying to get to grips with midi but Im perhaps a bit further along than you. You dont say if or what pc software you have but I can readily reccomend MAGIX STUDIO 6 /7...
    I picked up M6 for £10.00 new and it is very good,my son who is the family muso, spent hours writing songs with the mouse! I next bought an Evolution Ekeys49 usb keyboard. This gives you 49 full size keys and some very good bundled software. Tip: if you are handy get a solder iron and make up your own DIN -DIN midi leads. i dont know about USA but they rip you off here for them. Forgot to say Ek49 £70.00 over here.
    I shall now go and download the user manual for your key board and let you know if any ideas gestate! MIDI is fun.
     

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