What is MIDI?

from Wikipedia

MIDI (short for Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a technical standard that describes a protocol, digital interface and connectors and allows a wide variety of electronic musical instruments, computers and other related devices to connect and communicate with one another. A single MIDI link can carry up to sixteen channels of information, each of which can be routed to a separate device.

MIDI carries event messages that specify notation, pitch and velocity, control signals for parameters such as volume,vibrato, audio panning, cues, and clock signals that set and synchronize tempo between multiple devices. These messages are sent to other devices where they control sound generation and other features. This data can also be recorded into a hardware or software device called a sequencer, which can be used to edit the data and to play it back at a later time.

MIDI technology was standardized in 1983 by a panel of music industry representatives, and is maintained by the MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA). All official MIDI standards are jointly developed and published by the MMA in Los Angeles, California, US, and for Japan, the MIDI Committee of the Association of Musical Electronics Industry (AMEI) in Tokyo.

Advantages of MIDI include compactness (an entire song can be coded in a few hundred lines, i.e. in a few kilobytes), ease of modification and manipulation and choice of instruments.

This guide was first published on Jun 11, 2014. It was last updated on Jun 11, 2014.
This page (Learn More) was last updated on Jun 23, 2020.