MIDI Software Introduction - The Basic Interfaces...
Musical Instrument Digital Interface is a technology which allows you to record, play back and manipulate stored sounds from a module or synth with the use of a controller instrument such as a keyboard.
Recorded MIDI is not actual sound, simply a series of instructions which tells a synth or MIDI sound module which sound to play, at which pitch to play the sound and at which velocity.
Obviously the technology and programming side of MIDI is much more complicated than the above explanation may make it sound. Luckily, you don't need to know MIDI technology and programming in depth to make your own music. Why not?
MIDI Sequencing Software Steps Onstage...
The modern software MIDI sequencer is in essence a program which allows you to record and play back MIDI tracks on your computer, and the good news is you don't have to know the complexities of the raw programming in MIDI.
Here are some elements you'll find in most modern MIDI software sequencers...
The main interface you'll find in most MIDI sequencers is called the Arrange Page. The Arrange Page displays MIDI tracks as strips, with each track's main parameter controls to the left of the track itself, and all tracks stacked one on top of the other, from top to bottom.
Each of these tracks can be assigned to a MIDI channel which can play back a range of sounds provided by a MIDI module or synth.
When you play back or record a time-line will move from left to right over the screen and will either play back already recorded MIDI, or record MIDI being played in via the controller instrument.
You'll see colored blocks appear where MIDI information sent from the controller is recorded on a MIDI track and you can edit the content of these blocks.
You now know the basics of the Arrange Page, which handles most of your recording, editing and arranging duties.
You'll also find other interfaces such as the piano roll which allows for MIDI notes to be dotted in and edited with a mouse and the transport controls which mimics the Play, Record, Stop, Forward, Back controls of good ol' tape machines.
So there you have it! The quick and easy Renegade lowdown on the basics of the software MIDI sequencer interfaces you'll use to make your own music.