MIDI 2.0 & MPE The world of music production is quickly evolving – and it’s recently experienced two game-changing introductions: MIDI 2.0 & MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE). This article covers what these changes imply, an overview of the technicalities involved, and how they will change the face of music forever. What Is MIDI? MIDI (or Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a communication protocol that was created in the early ‘80s that enables digital music equipment to communicate with one another. Its invention allowed a MIDI instrument to generate a digital MIDI message that could then trigger a note on another instrument (such as a synthesizer). Dave Smith (the founder of Sequential) & Ikutaro Kakehashi (the founder of Roland) are attributed as the founders of MIDI. Hear Smith tell the tale of how MIDI was born in this 6-minute clip below. Fast forward to today – and MIDI is at the …Read More
5 Great Drum Machines for Beatmakers We live in a world where anyone can be a musician. The technology and innovations of the digital age have made music more accessible. It used to be a significant investment, as you would need to purchase an instrument and invest in lessons to learn how to play it. This simply isn’t the case anymore. As we’ve already discussed in our article on getting into music production, you can start making music with just an iPhone. You can even sign up for online lessons to learn how to manipulate digital audio workstation software such as Ableton. Doing all of that should give you enough to cover the basics and start making tracks of your own. However, we know you continually want to improve upon your craft. So how do you go about doing this? Well, try to recall any great song and they’ll have one thing …Read More
MIDI technology has remained one of the most influential advancements made to music production ever. MIDI keyboards are a staple in the producer's toolkit, letting us communicate between our machines since the 1980's. The one-man-band was hardly realized before the ability to control multiple devices at one time from one place happened, thanks to MIDI. While it's been nearly 40 years since the invention of the Musical Instrument Digital Interface protocol, and while other facets of music tech have moved forward we have seen few significant improvements made to MIDI in this century... until MPE.
MPE is an abbreviation for Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression, which transforms the way to express your playing on MIDI instruments. Normal MIDI messages are limited in that they are applied on a channel-wide basis, messages apply to every note at the same time; if you throw your pitch bend up on that sweet Diminished chord then each note you are pressing is going to bend. MPE utilizes MIDI in a way that allows control over multiple parameters of every note, on each note individually. New controllers have emerged in conjunction with MPE communication to best utilize the expanded capabilities of the technology, i.e. the ROLI Seaboard:
Roli Seaboard-Future of Keyboards MIDI Keyboards have been one of the most effective controllers a producer can wield in their arsenal of equipment, though regardless of the dozens of evolutions keyboards have encountered, they never strayed too far from the centuries old counterpart: the piano. The ROLI Seaboard takes a dramatic step in the realm of MIDI Keyboards towards greater musical expression and a large leap in musical inventiveness. The Seaboard aims to transform the traditional keyboard/piano, (characterized by single tone keys and fixed velocities,) into a unified expressional tool, using the power of five different parameter controls: Strike Press Slide Glide Lift The strike parameter is essentially a more advanced velocity control, measuring the force of contact you make with ‘key waves,’ while press is controlled by the pressure applied, maintained, or reduced after you have struck. Glide is a horizontal pitch control which you can influence by gliding through the …Read More