A Tutorial on How to Create, Edit and Record Midi Files


in Resources, Software Tools

With the rise in popularity of electronic music in recently music production software companies are offering their products at much cheaper prices. Just about anyone can produce music in their home now with ease and just a little bit of knowledge of how it works.

MIDI Files

Midi FIles

Midi Files

One of the main components of producing electronic music or really any kind of music that you want are MIDI files. MIDI is an acronym that stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It is a language that helps your computer or music programming device connect with the digital instrument that you choose to use.

It was first invented in the early 1980s and has been used since then it creating synth, drum and other tracks for music ever since. It allows a composer to create all the music themselves and have it reproduced perfectly every time.

Using a Piano Roll

One thing that you will have to know in order to use MIDI files successfully is how to use a piano roll. The piano roll is essential for creating MIDI files because it is how the instrument knows which note to play and how long to play it.

First you choose what instrument you want the piano roll to trigger on a given track in the song and then you can program a sequence that is however long or short that you would like.

Once it is played back you can then edit it to your exact specifications to fit whatever it is that you are doing for that particular piece of music. This is great for drum tracks because you can program kicks, snares, hi hats, and whatever other percussion instruments you want to be played and they will be in perfect time every time.

This is why so many hip hop producers use MIDI files when they are producing their beats.

Record MIDI

You can also record MIDI files instead of tediously inputting the notes that you want to be played into the piano roll. This can be done with any kind of MIDI controller whether it be a drum machine, keyboard, even a wind synthesizer.

The great thing about modern technology is how much easier and cheaper it is to do this now. Because MIDI is such a complex language you can experience some latency when attempting to record it. Today’s music software is great at reducing this without having to purchase the myriad of outboard gear that was needed 10 years ago to utilize MIDI in a studio.

You can get any sound that you want to play whatever music that you want by simply recording the part via MIDI. After that you can move on to edit what you have played to your heart’s content.

Editing MIDI files

MIDI Editing Screen

MIDI Editing

Editing MIDI files is much easier than editing audio files. Especially with the advanced music software that is used to day.

Let’s say that you recorded a keyboard part using MIDI. It will take whatever you have just played and put it into the piano roll so that you can view it. It can be pretty interesting to see what you just played laid out in a piano roll.

You can take this and chop it up however you like or even edit out little mistakes that you made so that you don’t have to redo the recording over and over again to have it sound just how you would like. This is really helps curb the human element that some people want to avoid in their music and have it sound perfect.

The ease of editing is one of the reasons the MIDI remains so popular today as a means to produce and recreate music at home or even in the big time studios. Just about every producer in the world uses MIDI files of some kind in their work.

Adding MIDI to Your Tool Kit

If you are producer that has only worked with audio files in the past it may be a good idea to also add MIDI files to your arsenal. Everyone from rock producers to hip hop producers to live DJs are using them all the time to help improve the sound of their music and make it more full and complex.

MIDI is one of the keys to getting a good, rich sound out of your music. There are many different software programs out there that use MIDI. Many of them offer some kind of free demo on their website that you can try out before you decide which one to buy. This may be a good option for a budding producer that is looking to learn more about MIDI and how it works.

Author Bio: Mark works as a music sample reseller at Dance Midi Samples, After producing many music sample packs, Mark now shares is years of experience with other through guides and tutorials while offering free midi samples for the next generation of producers. . Check them out here.

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