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The MIDI and the Music

MIDI ports connexion
MIDI transfert
General MIDI instruments
MIDI keyboards
MIDI format
MIDI files examples
MIDI web integration

MIDI mean "Musical Instrument Digital Interface" and appeared in 1982 by the International MIDI association commity. This protocol of communication is able to transfert date by electronical musical instruments and computers.

Like the data exchange from the midi protocol is a one-way, the greatest advantage of the MIDI is his capacity of in/out data transfert used for the command and recording. It only need to connect a midi keyboard to exchange data with a computer and a treatment or recording software or even a midi keyboard.

MIDI ports connexions

The MIDI use 2 or 3 DIN ports with 5 connexions; MIDI-IN, MIDI-OUT and MIDI-THRU. This last can send the same signal than MIDI-IN and make able to control many MIDI interfaces. From our days, some interfaces can use their own midi engine by an USB connexion like the MIDI HUB from Phonic.

MIDI transfert

The MIDI datas are numericly tranfered at a 31'250 bauds speed (around 3,8 kbs). For each pack of data sent, informations like NOTE-ON, NOTE-OFF, volume, pitch-bend and others coded things, make step by step a sound track. It can have to 16 signals per pack.

General MIDI instruments

The norm is not really define at each MIDI interfaces conceptors. Here a list of the most used instruments of the General MIDI.

Piano
0. Acoustic Grand Piano
1. Bright Acoustic Piano
2. Electric grand Piano
3. Honky Tonk Piano
4. Electric Piano 1
5. Electric Piano 2
6. Harpsichord
7. Clavinet
8. Celesra

Chromatic percussion
9. Glockenspiel
10. Music Box
11. Vibraphone
12. Marimba
13. Xylophone
14. Tubular bells
15. Dulcimer

Organ
16. Drawbar Organ
17. Percussive Organ
18. Rock Organ
19. Church Organ
20. Reed Organ
21. Accordion
22. Harmonica
23. Tango Accordion

Guitar
24. Nylon Accustic Guitar
25. Steel Acoustic Guitar
26. Jazz Electric Guitar
27. Ciean Electric Guitar
28. Muted Electric Guitar
29. Overdrive Guitar
30. Distorted Guitar
31. Guitar Harmonics

Bass
32. Acoustic Bass
33. Electric Fingered Bass
34. Electric Picked Bass
35. Fretless Bass
36. Slap Bass 1
37. Slap Bass 2
38. Syn Bass 1
39. Syn Bass 2

Strings/Orchestra
40. Violin
41. Viola
42. Cello
43. Contrabass
44. Tremolo Strings
45. Pizzicato Strings
46. Orchestral Harp
47. Timpani

Ensemble
48. String Ensemble 1
49. String Ensemble 2 (Slow)
50. Syn Strings 1
51. Syn Strings 2
52. Choir Aahs
53. Voice Oohs
54. Syn Choir
55. Orchestral Hit

Brass
56. Trumpet
57. Trombone
58. Tuba
59. Muted Trumpet
60. French Horn
61. Brass Section
62. Syn Brass 1
63. Syn Brass 2

Reed
64. Soprano Sax
65. Alto Sax
66. Tenor Sax
67. Baritone Sax
68. Oboe
69. English Horn
70. Bassoon
71. Clarinet

Pipe
72. Piccolo
73. Flute
74. Recorder
75. Pan Flute
76. Bottle Blow
77. Shakuhachi
78. Whistle
79. Ocarina

Synth Lead
80. Syn Square Wave
81. Syn Sawtooth Wave
82. Syn Calliope
83. Syn Chiff
84. Syn Charang
85. Syn Voice
86. Syn Fifths Sawtooth Wave
87. Syn Brass & Lead

Synth Pad
88. New Age Syn Pad
89. Warm Syn Pad
90. Polysynth Syn Pad
91. Choir Syn Pad
92. Bowed Syn Pad
93. Metal Syn Pad
94. Halo Syn Pad
95. Sweep Syn Pad

Synth Eftects
96. SFX Rain
97. SFX Soundtrack
98. SFX Crystal
99. SFX Atmosphere
100. SFX Brightness
101. SFX Goblins
102. SFX Echoes
103. SFX Sci-fi

Ethnic
104. Sitar
105. Banjo
106. Shamisen
107. Koto
108. Kalimba
109. Bag Pipe
110. Fiddle
111. Shanai

Percussive
112. Tinkle Bell
113. Agogo
114. Steel Drums
115. Woodblock
116. Taiko Drum
117. Melodic Tom
118. Syn Drum
119. Reverse Cymbal

Sound Effects
120. Guitar Fret Noise
121. Breath Noise
122. Seashore
123. Bird Tweet
124. Telephone Ring
125. Helicopter
126. Applause
127. Gun Shot

MIDI keyboards

When you buy a midi keyboard, make sur that it own the General MIDI extension. Depending of the quality and the configuration of the midi keyboard, this last can produce midi sequence from those differents variations:

0. One track with 16 canals.
1. Many sound tracks with differents instruments at the same times.
2. Many tracks at the same time.

Some midi keyboard have a floppy disk support, even a cd-writer capacity. This can save a lot of time if you do not have a MIDI HUB or midi cables connexions.

MIDI format

Know as the .mid, .midi or .kar extensions, this file format had been choose in 1988 and have been used to contain temporary informations. From our days the midi file is used for musical creation, karaoke and sometime in video games.

MIDI files examples

To heard some examples of midi files, here some free downloads:

MIDI web integration

At this day, more and more websites use midi as music background, music ambiance and others assets to make the visits more enjoyable, this is a great revolution for the MIDI.

Here a typic HTML code to insert a MIDI files on your website, blog or MySpace:

<EMBED type=application/x-mplayer2
id=mediaPlayer name=mediaPlayer src="music.mid" autostart="true"></EMBED>

(Modify "music.mid" by the MIDI wished)

This is all about the MIDI from Midipedia!


* Some of those informations have been take from Wikipedia, the book The MIDI Manual : A Practical Guide to MIDI in the Project Studio and others websites about MIDI.

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