A NOTE ON THE PURPOSE AND USES OF MIDI CONTROLLERS

Midi controller

MIDI or Musical Instrument Digital Interface came into existence way back in the 1980s when manufacturers of digital musical gear felt the need of a unified language with the help of which various digital musical instruments could communicate with each other. The term MIDI controller can be explained with huge jargons, but for the sake of simplicity, it is better to be explained as a hardware device that lets you send input information about the music that you have produced directly to the computer.

An example of a popular Midi Controller is the Akai MPD 218

Understanding what MIDI is

The MIDI controllers are the most effective method that can be used in an environment that fosters computer based recordings. A huge misconception about MIDI controllers is that they are required to produce and transmit audio signals. The reality is that the MIDI controllers do not transmit any audio signal. All it does is it transmits information about the piece of music like the velocity, volume, panning and many more to the computer and other musical devices.

It is to be clearly understood here that no music audio is being produced with the help of this MIDI keyboard controller. Instead, the controller is used to create information about the music that is being transmitted to external sound modules like synthesizers or sequencers. By means of a MIDI controller one can play virtual musical instruments, as the controller with the transmission of the MIDI signals guides the instruments which note is to be played when, how, and with what velocity.

Purpose and types of MIDI controllers

There are many types of MIDI controllers that are being used by music producers. The most common type of MIDI controller is the keyboard controller. The standard MIDI keyboard controller has keys like the piano. The higher versions of this device has faders, knobs and buttons as well which helps in transmitting MIDI signals to the various musical instruments.

Watch the video to show the basics of making melody with a MIDI CONTROLLER

It is not only the keys of the MIDI controller that sends the MIDI information to the external sound devices. The faders and the knobs that are available on the higher versions of MIDI controllers also do the exact same thing as like the keys of the MIDI keyboard controller. Thus with the use of a MIDI controller, one can practically have a complete virtual symphony, rock band and many more options at the stroke of the fingertips. By using MIDI controllers, correction of timing errors, alteration of pitch or changing instruments becomes a fairly simple task for any music producer.

Various uses of MIDI controller

The various uses of a MIDI controller include the following:

  • Used by DJs and VJs in live performance
  • Composers and music producers use them to create tones and beats
  • Solo artists, bands and musicians use them in live performances

Audio and Video studio use the DAW control of MIDI controllers widely

While using a MIDI controller, one also needs to use a sequencer whose purpose is to store the MIDI data and transmit the same to MIDI enabled musical instruments for reproducing the same music performance time and again.

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