Whether you're a classically trained pianist or a hobbyist who thinks synths sound really cool, the allure of DIY MIDI projects are incredibly tempting. It can be hard to know how to get started though. What board should you use? How does the code work? What even is MIDI?
This guide will tell you everything you need to know to get started with your own MIDI projects so that you can focus on building rather than searching everywhere on the internet.
Music Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) is a 7-bit communication protocol that dates back to the 1980's. It may sound antiquated, but it is the standard digital communication method for all things music. If you've ever had a piano keyboard control a piece of software or digital audio workstation (DAW) on a computer, then you were using MIDI.
MIDI is dependable, predictable, reliable and at this point is usually plug and play without too much fuss. This also means that it's approachable for folks to build their own MIDI devices.
There are a lot of aftermarket MIDI devices available, so why would you want to build your own? When you build your own MIDI controller, you can design it specifically for what you need. If you aren't quite sure what you want to do with MIDI, you can experiment and test things before committing to a full build. Additionally, you can share your MIDI project's details with the community for other musicians to benefit from.