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  • The MIDI Messages Forum  Ask and you shall receive

    The MIDI Messages Forum
    Ask and you shall receive

  1. Igor Clark
  2. MIDI Specifications
  3. Monday, 25 April 2016
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Hi there,

From what I can find out online, most modern MIDI equipment (keyboards, controllers) sends Note On messages with a velocity of 0 to end a note, rather than Note Off messages as per the spec. IIUC this is to make it easier to send a complete sequence of notes using running status. Makes sense.

It'd be good to be able to use zero-velocity note-ons exclusively when writing MIDI code, as it means a bunch of cases don't come up, and there's less code to write. But are there disadvantages to doing that? Is there hardware or software that doesn't accept a zero-velocity Note On as an end-note message, and only sends/responds to Note Off messages? How common is it, if so?

For people writing software sending MIDI messages today, what's the recommended approach?

Thanks for any info,
Igor
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MMA Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Igor,

The MIDI Specification says:

"A receiver must be capable of recognizing either method of turning off a note, and should treat them identically."

Does that help you?

Regards,

Forum Admin (MMA)
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. MIDI Specifications
  3. # 1
Bob Lee Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Has that always been true? I'm writing for some late-80s synths (Roland U-110 and D-110).
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. MIDI Specifications
  3. # 2
Clemens Ladisch Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Running status has always been a required feature of MIDI, and many keyboards have been using it since the beginning.

In practice, almost everybody gets this right. The only two known exceptions are the first class-compliant version of the M-Audio MidiSport Uno (they quickly fixed it; you should not see one in the wild nowadays), and the the QinHeng/WinChipHead CH345 USB/MIDI chip, which is still being sold with this error (and other errors, like corrupted SysEx messages).
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. MIDI Specifications
  3. # 3
Igor Clark Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Thanks all, helpful. The software I'm working on receives and sends MIDI messages. So to make sure I have it 100% clear, if I listen out for note-offs, convert them internally to zero-velocity note-ons, and only ever send zero-velocity note-ons outwards, I should be OK, because there's basically no software or hardware in the wild that expects note-offs and will be left hanging. Do I have that right?

Thanks again!
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. MIDI Specifications
  3. # 4
Jim Young Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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My software is used as a controller and I've always sent note off messages. It's worked so far with all the DAW software and devices I've test with.
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. MIDI Specifications
  3. # 5
David Warman Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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IIRC, the velocity byte in a Note Off message was intended to be available for use in adding expression to the ending of a note, .e.g. perhaps modulating the release time, or filter release curve. Synths not implementing this ignore the velocity byte and just terminate the note the same way as a Note On with zero velocity. However I never came across anything that actually implemented Note Off Velocity (not that my experience is particularly encyplopedic).
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. MIDI Specifications
  3. # 6
Salvador Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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The meeting software has been implemented for the use of the hidden data for the future problems. The ramifications of the writing essays are made simple and original for the movement of the quite good and refined items for the public.
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