MIDI Interfaces Buying Guide - What is a MIDI Interface
MIDI Interface Topics
MIDI interface is a device that can accept MIDI plugs (the old fashioned hardware type) and send and receive MIDI signal. MIDI stands for ‘Musical Instrument Digital Interface’ and is a protocol, or an agreed standard adopted to ensure certain ground rules are met when software and hardware are designed. This ensures compatibility with other electronic instruments and devices.
For as long as computers have been working with MIDI, musicians have needed a way to get MIDI signal from an input device – typically a keyboard – to the software that is generating the sound.
In the early days, MIDI sequencing software like Cubase and Notator, which would later become Logic, were simply MIDI programmers and transmitters. They were connected to external hardware like keyboards, samplers and drum machines that would generate sound. This was then routed into a mixing desks and the results recorded. Nowadays a great deal of MIDI transmission happens from MIDI controllers to computers, much of it over USB connections, but there’s still a need for more traditional MIDI-capable devices. The MIDI interface is the device that bridges electronic instruments and increasingly, computers and DAWs. There’s also a new generation of portable devices like iPads and iPhones that can deal with MIDI, and they also need some sort of interface in order to be able to talk to external hardware.
DAW if you want to use any MIDI tracks to generate sound. Playing a drum machine or a synth from its own controls is great but sometimes you might want to take advantage of the MIDI programming tools in your DAW. Tools like quantized parts, arpeggiators or chord plug-ins to generate parts that are more complex than those achieved simply playing by hand.
A MIDI interface lets you send MIDI signal out from your computer sequencer to your music hardware, or indeed in from a controller like a keyboard or drum pad to a virtual software instrument. If you have any hardware instruments in your setup, a MIDI interface is a must. Some devices have both USB MIDI and conventional MIDI ports, which represents the ultimate in flexibility. Devices like this can bridge the gap between your software and hardware while at the same time providing control over both kinds of devices. Since MIDI interfacing is quite straightforward in technical terms, interfaces can be quite inexpensive.
MIDI interface are readily available and provide 1x1 or 2x2 MIDI capability. When you only want to connect a single instrument to your computer, they are the way to go. In fact some MIDI instruments not only have MIDI in and out ports but also MIDI thru, which enables you to daisy chain more devices. There are 16 MIDI channels on every port, so even on a single MIDI port you can configure up to 16 devices by daisy chaining them where possible, and assigning each one a unique channel number.
Small MIDI interfaces are great because they are extremely portable and draw only a small amount of power. The vast majority power off the same USB connection that they use to interface with your Mac or PC, and the protocol is so well established that they rarely require drivers. Most MIDI communication in Mac OS X and Windows is handled at a low level by the operating system itself.
MIDI interface is in the number of simultaneous connections available to you.
MIDI interface. You’ll also need one to connect the device to your hardware or virtual instruments for triggering them from your phone, These connect either directly to the Dock connector on your device, or via USB through Apple’s Camera Connection Kit. They use Core MIDI, so no setup is generally needed. Once connected, the device should appear as a MIDI source and destination option on your computer or in your DAW.
built-in audio and MIDI effects.
1. A basic system where you want to connect your DAW to a vintage drum machine or keyboard with MIDI capability.
2. A more complex setup where your computer needs to connect to several MIDI hardware devices.
3. Someone using an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad for MIDI sequencing.