Make quantization work for you, not against you  Quantization is the process of moving MIDI data (usually notes, but also potentially other data) that's out of time to a rhythmic "grid." For example, if a kick drum is slightly behind the beat, quantization can move it right on the beat. Quantization was controversial enough when it was limited...
 How MIDI changed music Note on, note off: How MIDI changed music - ABC Melbourne - Australian Broadcasting Corporation In the early 1980s five synthesizer manufacturers agree on a common standard for sharing musical information digitally. That standard, known as Musical Instrument Digital Interface, changes music forever. http://www.abc.net.a...
If you want to use MIDI with either pre-MIDI analog synths or with modular Euro rack analog synth systems, you need to convert digital MIDI signals into analog voltages.  Fortunately, there are lots of options.  We've selected the top 5 MIDI to CV convertors, but there are tons of choices.  The first three are Eur...
By Daderot (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons The golden age of mechanical music machines really came in the late 19th century and early 20th century with player pianos and orchestrions.  A player piano is defined as any actual acoustic piano that is played by a pneumatic or electro-mechanical mechanism that operates the piano action via pre-programmed music. 
Hand-Held Controllers Electronic MIDI controllers that you hold in your hands and shake or move about to make music date back to 1986. That was the year Palmtree Instruments introduced Airdrums, a tabletop MIDI controller wired to two tubes that contain sensors for detecting motion in any of six directions. The control box transmits six triggers pe...
The MIDI specification first saw the light of day at the 1981 AES, when Dave Smith of Sequential Circuits presented a paper on the "Universal Synthesizer Interface." It was co-developed with other companies (an effort driven principally by Roland's Ikutaro Kakehashi, a true visionary of this industry), and made its prime time debut at the 1983 Los ...
Best New MIDI Products of Winter NAMM 2018   The Washington Post coverage of NAMM was all about MIDI controllers (you can skip the ad after 15 seconds) Here is The MIDI Association's list of must-see MIDI products at Winter NAMM 2018. MINDMusic Labs  Elk- THE MUSIC OPERATING SYSTEM and Sensus, the world first real smartguitar . ...
MICROTUNING VIRTUAL AND ELECTRONIC HARDWARE INSTRUMENTS: AN OVERVIEW OF FORMATS AND METHODS FOR USING ALTERNATIVE INTONATION SYSTEMS For those electronic hardware synthesis enthusiasts, as well as computer based musicians and composers who wish to explore the vast expressive possibilities, new harmonies and melodic potentials of using alternative i...
Companies and products listed here do not imply any recommendation or endorsement by the MIDI Manufacturers Association. MIDI Processing, Programming, and Do It Yourself (DIY) Components These are just examples of such products -- we make no warranty re: suitability (or anything else, for that matter) -- use at your own risk. If you are a manu...
Google Creative Lab, Use All Five, and Yotam Mann  launched a new browser-based music sequencer  c alled Song Maker.  It's a classic grid style sequencer and allows anyone to easily create simple grooves on the web.  You can even connect your MIDI keyboard or other controllers to input notes via Web MIDI.  When you're ...
WHEN DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH MIDI? That was so long ago. One of my first exposures to MIDI was the Hybrid Arts sequencer with an Atari computer, I have very fond memories of those days and somehow that older software seemed more stable then some software these days, maybe because today every program is trying to do so mu...
 Brockett Parsons is a keyboard player from Summit, New Jersey.  Brockett studied at Bucknell University and played both piano and trumpet. He went on to study further at Berkelee College of Music in Boston.  In 2009 Brockett then became a winner of the MTV reality show "Making His Band" featuring P Diddy. The show was an intens...
To really understand the origins of MIDI, you need to go all the way back to before there were digitally controlled synthesizers and computers, In fact you need to go back before there was even electricity to the very first mechanical music machines. The very first mechanical musical instruments were documented in the Book of Ingenious Devices...
Ikutaro Kakehashi, founder of Roland and co-inventor of MIDI passes away Ikutaro Kakehashi was certainly one of the most influential figures in electronic music in the 20th century.  He influenced music and technology throughout his lifetime.  He overcame many challenges in his early life to become the head of one of the most influen...
Here are links to some of the best MIDI film scoring resources. Any text in blue is a link.  Of course, we have some great resources right on our site from Nonlinear Educating. Peter Schwartz has put together not only the core DeMystifying MIDI course , but advanced video courses in MIDI Orchestration. The MIDI Orchestra Music These courses ar...
​One of the most interesting types of MIDI controllers are ones that you can wear.  From pants to jackets to rings and watches, get your MIDI fashions here in a roundup of wearable technology.  The iRING from IK Multimedia IK Multimedia | iRing - Motion controller for music apps and more iRing is the first motion controller for all y...
Touch Controllers (continued) Another beautiful and powerful touch controller, this one featuring 150 rectangular walnut keys arranged in a five-row by 30-column matrix laid within a 29" by 8" by 1-1/4" block of Washington alder and weighing 4.6 pounds, is the Madrona Labs Soundplane Model A ( http://madronalabs.com ). Each key senses velocity, pos...
The word 'Synthesizer' didn't arrive on the scene until the 1950s with the RCA Synthesizer I and II, but it wasn't long before these room-sized pieces of engineering had been, themselves, 'synthesized' down into more acceptable components and 'modules' thanks to the pioneering work of visionaries like Dr. Robert Moog, Don Buchla, Harold Bode, ...
Touch Controllers (continued) Although it isn't a dedicated controller, Teenage Engineering's OP-1 — a tiny (11.1" x 4.02" x 0.53", 1 lb. 4.4 oz.), battery-powered workstation packed with a variety of digital synthesis engines, effects processors, filters, audio recording and sampling, sequencing, and other capabilities — becomes a unique MIDI...
Google's Duet AI (with Web MIDI)   Google Creative Lab  recently released A.I. Duet , an interactive AI Music experiment that lets you use your laptop keyboard or a MIDI keyboard (using Chrome's Web MIDI feature) to make music and experiment with artificial intelligence .  Duet was built by Yotam Mann and&nbs...
Touch Controllers (continued) If you'd prefer a surface that's stretched much further, consider the Haken Continuum Fingerboard ( http://www.hakenaudio.com/Continuum ). Its control surface feels like silk and looks like a wide ribbon with alternating scarlet and maroon stripes. Designed by Lippold Haken, the Continuum goes beyond two dimensions. It...
Recently Pete Brown from Microsoft posted a very informative blog post about  MIDI Enhancements in Windows 10.  The blog post covers a number of topics including  UWP MIDI Basics – using MIDI in Windows Store apps New Bluetooth LE MIDI support in Windows 10 Anniversary Update The Win32 wrapper for UWP MIDI (making the API accessible ...
Conlon Nancarrow and impossible music In an earlier MIDI history blog, we talked about the strange symbiotic relationship between player pianos and MIDI. But one of the things we didn't talk about was Conlon Nancarrow, the 20th century American composer who lived most of his life in Mexico and wrote most of his pieces for player pianos because...
5 Different Sites and 5 different views of the same song, but they are all driven by MIDI.  Multimedia artist Andy Fillebrown creates visualizations of classical, public domain musical compositions. His YouTube channel, audiosculptures, is filled with 100+ spellbinding journeys through a tunnel of glowing, pulsing notes. by The ...