MIDI [Musical Instrument Digital Interface]
- David Burnand
[Musical Instrument Digital Interface]
A hardware and software standard established in 1983 for the communication of musical data between devices such as synthesizers, drum machines and computers. It has virtually replaced earlier methods of playing one synthesizer from the keyboard of another, or of synchronizing the performance of one drum machine or sequencer to that of another. The information exchanged may include notes, program changes, volumes and other elements. The basic MIDI protocol provides up to 16 independent channels of information. However, some interfaces can provide multiples of 16, enabling many independent channels of information to flow between devices.
MIDI has various applications. It can be used to connect several synthesizers in order to thicken sound; to emulate multi-track recording, with the difference that tracks contain editable data rather than recorded sound; to control program changes and effects automatically or remotely; to edit synthesizer voices or samples, using MIDI connections to computers; to create effects such as delays using different instruments; to synchronize devices such as sequencers, drum machines and video, using MIDI time code; to automate mixing processes, such as fades and mutes; and to transmit notes and other musical events generated from computer algorithms....