When it comes to mixing, a lot of engineers will tell you there's nothing quite like a good piece of hardware with real faders. Some synthesizers nclude faders for real-time control over the sound you're playing, however you may be able to program these to control the faders in a recording program's mixer. Several keyboards, such as Nektar's Panora...
One of the main differences between music recorded in the past and today's recordings is the use of click tracks to maintain a constant tempo. We can debate whether this is a good idea or not, but here's an easy-to-do tempo track tweak that can add a lot of impact to a song. Short, subliminal pauses can create a fleeting sensation of tension and an...
If you're a keyboard player using chords to define a chord progression, it's easy enough to have chords hit on, for example, the beginning of a measure. But "strumming" the chord can add interest and a more guitar-like quality (note that the intention here isn't to replicate a program that emulates strummed rhythm guitar parts, but to add interest ...
A macro lets you string together multiple keyboard shortcuts into a single keyboard shortcut. For example, suppose you often quantize to 1/16th notes, with 50% strength, and like to add a swing factor of 52%. You can set up a macro so that after selecting your data, you do a single keyboard command and voilà—all three editing operations occur. Keyb...
Despite rumors to the contrary, Congress did not pass a law saying that mod wheels could be used only to add vibrato. Granted, the periodic vibrato a mod wheel adds is something only a synth can do, but try adding vibrato with the pitch wheel instead—it will sound more human, and more like the vibrato guitarists use. Now that you've freed up your m...
A company asked me to do a video for a reverb plug-in they were introducing, and I wanted to demo it with a variety of instruments. Drums? It's easy to find good acoustic drum loops. Guitar? I play guitar. Vocals? The company provided me with a vocal I could use. But I really wanted an acoustic piano piece, like something from Debussy, to demo the ...
Jamstik+ from Zivix is an interesting solution for guitarists who want to play MIDI instruments. While it's not a guitar, it feels mostly like a guitar because it has real strings, a neck, and frets—but it doesn't make any sound. On the plus side, you don't have to change or tune the strings. Also, the basic version has only five notes, so it's mor...
Don't Let Notes Overlap. Most bass lines are single notes, and because bassists lift fingers, mute strings, and pick, there's going to be a space between notes. Go through your MIDI sequence note by note, and make sure that no note extends over another note's attack. The orange notes have overhanging decays and attacks. The gray notes to the left a...
Audio compression can give more consistent levels, but it doesn't give a more consistent touch; that has to happen at the source, when the instrument plays. Some recording software programs have either MIDI FX or editing commands to compress data by raising low-level notes and/or or reducing high-level notes. But if your program doesn't have veloci...
The original MIDI protocol specified a five-pin DIN connector (DIN stands for Deutsche Institut für Normung, a German standards organization), which is what you'll find on older legacy MIDI gear (anything made before 1999).  5-pin MIDI out and MIDI in jacks were the original MIDI connectors, and are still in use. However, today most MIDI gear ...
Celemony Melodyne has one foot in audio, but the other in MIDI because the analysis that it runs on audio ends up being easily converted to MIDI data. If you can sing with consistent tone and level, Melodyne can convert your singing into MIDI. The same functionality for monophonic tracks exists in many DAWs. MIDI data has been extracted from the gu...
We make Live, Push and Link — unique software and hardware for music creation and performance. With these products, our community of users creates amazing things.  Ableton was founded in 1999 and released the first version of Live in 2001. Our products are used by a community of dedicated musicians, sound designers, and artists from across the...
Way back in 1996 — around the time electricity was discovered and cell phones were the size of your average 4-slot toaster — two Italian engineers got together to solve a problem in a recording studio. Could you get the sound of classic analog gear from a computer? One of them said (in Italian, of course) "Could we emulate electronic circuits using...
Since Nektar Technology, Inc was founded in 2009, we have been passionate about our mission to bridge the gap between powerful music software and controller hardware. With software continuously evolving, a plethora of instruments and effects have become available. Able to run even on modest computers, music creation has become more accessible to th...
Yamaha has been intimately involved with the development of MIDI since the very beginning. We pioneered groundbreaking technology by making the first all digital FM synthesizer, the epoch making DX7. Yamaha synths like the Motif and the Montage have been the standard for touring and studio professionals for the past 2 decades.  ...
​Established in 2009, ROLI is creating the future of musical instruments. From next-generation keyboards like the Seaboard to the modular music-making devices of BLOCKS , ROLI instruments are deeply expressive and intuitive to play. They are so versatile that they can sound like anything and be played anywhere.  Technologically advanced t...
Since 1979, we've helped music makers all across the world build their dreams. We are a team of gear heads who are committed to doing the right thing for our customers. ​ We are musicians, engineers, producers, Julliard grads, Grammy winners, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. We are diverse in our backgrounds and beliefs, but we're all bound by...
Moog Music is the leading producer of analog synthesizers in the world. The employee-owned company and its customers carry on the legacy of its founder, electronic musical instrument pioneer, Dr. Bob Moog. All of Moog's instruments are hand built in its factory on the edge of downtown Asheville, NC ​ Moog DFAM (Drummer From Another Mother) DFAM DFA...
Bome Software creates software and hardware for music production on stage and studio. Our main focus is on MIDI control catering to customers like musicians, performers, lighting engineers, electronic DJ's and many more. Each of our products is designed to be as powerful as it is intuitive. With applications including MIDI Translator, Mouse Keyboar...
At SXSW, we got a chance to check out the Cabor MIDI cahon.  Cabot is a project of UTSUWA, Inc., a Kyoto, Japan based tech start-up.  The Cabot percussion robot was conceived by Hideaki Iio, Director of the Cabot development team and guitar player/singer. "I wanted to create a product that would rev up my solo performance." &nbs...
Air DJ displays new MIDI Controller at SXSW There were some interesting new MIDI products introduced at SXSW.  One of them was the wireless BTLE MIDI controller for DMET Product Corporation.  It can control sound, DJ Video software, and lights. Of course, it is all done by mapping MIDI signals and in some cases translating them ...
MIDI Bling with wireless rings There are a number of MIDI rings on the market. IK Multimedia makes one and so does Enhancia . Here are links to articles on those.  The Enhancia Ring MIDI Controller at CES 2018 -   For the past several years a MIDI product has always been in the Best of CES product list including the Roli Seaboard and the ...
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 ...
It's a pure delight to attend the Winter NAMM Show. You get to bask in the warm Southern California sun, in the middle of winter, next to Disneyland, while your family enjoys a mini-vacation. The annual Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim California puts you at the global crossroads of the music products industry. This year's event, which to...