One of the component that plays an important role in the music industry is the MIDI, also
known as Musical Instrument Digital Interface. Before MIDI took over, music synthesizer was
what started it all. Music synthesizers are electronic musical instruments that produce music.
However, it was not until 1982 when MIDI was born and revolutionized the music
industry(MIDI Manufacturers Association, 1). According to Jeffrey Hass, “The development of
the MIDI system has been a major catalyst in the recent unprecedented explosion of music
technology” (Introduction to Computer Music: Volume One, 1). MIDI has been called “a major
catalyst” because it has made life easier for computer musicians such that it provides a “powerful
computer instrument networks and software” with universal “hardware connectors” and “digital
codes” in all designs involving a musical instrument (Hass, 1). Popular companies known today
as Yamaha, Korg, Kawai, and many more, came out with MIDI-capable instruments in 1983. As
can be seen, the musical instrument digital interface became a popular system among amateurs
and professionals alike to share a common digital music language.
The power of MIDI is its ability to control different instruments simultaneously. As stated
by Hass, “The original goal was to connect or interface instruments of different manufacture to
control common functions, such as note events, timing events, pitch bends, pedal information,
etc” (Introduction to Computer Music: Volume One, 1). In other words, if a sound was altered in
an instrument to something other than its original form, all other instruments of different
manufactured products would have the same exact effect when connected through MIDI cables
(Hass, 1). However, in order for this to work instruments needs to be MIDI-capable with
common hardware (Hass, 2). A transmitter and receiver are equipped with an operation of “31.25
Kbaud asynchronous (serial) transmission rate” (Hass, 2). Kbaud is German for kilobits per
second (Websters-online-dictionary). Hass states, “Each byte consists of a start bit, eight data
bits, and a stop bit, for a total duration of 320 microseconds per byte” (Introduction to Computer
Music: Volume One, 2). There are three jacks in an instrument: MIDI IN, MIDI OUT, MIDI
THRU. MIDI IN is where incoming messages are received as MIDI OUT sends out messages
from the instrument or computer (Hass, 2). MIDI THRU on the other hand, provides a direct
copy of data coming into the MIDI IN jack, providing the ability to ‘"daisy chain"’ several
instruments and devices together (Hass, 2). As can be seen, the this is the basic setup of a MIDI
interface in a nutshell. The setup of the MIDI is not complex, but rather a simple one. For this
reason, one can see why the MIDI is very to utilize in the music industry in today’s society.
Digital audio has many advantages over analogue audio.