In January 2018, we covered Intel's Keynote pre-show which prominently featured Artificial Intelligence and MIDI.   But one of the leaders in the AI and Machine Learning field is Google.  Their Magenta project has been doing a lot of research and experimentation in using machine learning for both art and music. The gre...
​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 Rykod...
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 Stylopho...
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...
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...
​ Complimentary Summer NAMM registration for TMA members! Thanks to NAMM (the National Association of Music Merchants), we have complimentary registration thro ugh 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 ...
Super Booth has been growing rapidly over the past few years, but this year there will be a record 227 companies exhibiting at the synth extravaganza held at the Fez in Berlin.  May is MIDI Month Pl atinum sponsors Ableton, IK Multimedia, Moog, Roli and Yamaha will all be there.  Here are their booth locations in the F...
Tristan Shone A.K.A. Author and Punisher is a musician and mechanical engineer who makes heavy metal MIDI controllers, really heavy metal ! He has created a range of unique MIDI controllers he calls " dub machines" using his electronic and mechanical engineering expertise.  Tristan studied for a Master of Fine&nbs...
MIDI 1.0 Specification From August, 1983 Uncovered at Yamaha US offices in April, 2018.    Recently we uncovered some unique historical MIDI documents.  These were discovered in a file cabinet at Yamaha Corporation of America's headquarters in Buena Park, California.  These documents pre-date the formati...
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...
Nick Demopoulos started out as a jazz musician and played with legends like Chico Hamilton.  But then he began exploring the possibilities of using MIDI and that led him to a new path as a DIY maker and creator of some fascinating and unique MIDI devices.  HIs website ( Smomid.com )  is named after the first instrument he ever built....
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...
When we saw this YouTube video of  Daði Freyr using the Genki wave MIDI controller,  we knew we had to post it right away.  The Wave MIDI controller from Genki has been .... well making waves.   " Wave adds a new dimension to musical creativity... It's a cool tool for all creatives and I can definitely recommend adding...