by Ross MacIver
Interested in making your own music? Writing songs, instrumental music, even symphonies? You can do it with your computer thanks to the wonderful technology known as MIDI - Musical Instrument Digital Interface. No need to know how to read music, MIDI can be edited using easy-to-read graphs.
MIDI allows you to connect musical keyboards and other devices to your computer and each other. They communicate to each other with MIDI - the language specific for musical applications. With a MIDI keyboard connected to your computer, you can record music, edit it, orchestrate it and polish it into a professional product.
There is a MIDI connection built into most personal computers. The joystick port doubles as a MIDI interface and you can connect a standard MIDI cable to it. The MIDI cable has two connections - MIDI out and MIDI in. Connect the computer's MIDI out to the keyboard's MIDI in and the computer's MIDI in to the keyboard's MIDI out.
Next, you need some MIDI software try out the connection. You can try a freeware product like JAZZ++ or a commercial product like Cubase. Many companies have demo products of their MIDI software, allowing you to try before you buy.
With the MIDI software installed and running, play a few notes on your MIDI keyboard. They should be recorded into the software and available for playback and editing. If nothing happens, you may need to make some changes in your BIOS setup. Reboot the computer and check the BIOS to make sure that the MIDI port is activated. Check the documentation of your motherboard for details.
Now that everything is up and running, you can start making music! When building a song, it's usually easiest to lay down each instrument at a time. Start with a pre-recorded drum track and add a bass line to it. You can loop the music so that only a section of it plays. For now, loop an 4-bar introduction and add a bass line to the drums. You do this by selecting a bass sound on the MIDI keyboard and playing some notes. Everything you play will be recorded into the computer and you can continue to loop and add new notes.
Follow the same procedure for each instrument until you have a nice sound. You can change the instruments at any time and use any of the presets that are available on your MIDI keyboard.
Everything that is recorded into the MIDI software can be edited and manipulated in many ways. It is easy to fix wrong notes and drag notes to a new position. They can be made softer or louder, notes can be deleted or drawn in by hand, and individual notes or groups of notes can be played by any instrument. You are well on your way to polishing off your first MIDI song!
About the Author
Ross is an enthusiast audio professional take advantage of his knowledge about
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