Using MIDI

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How can MIDI fit into your music, and how does it benefit the home recorder with limited resources?

MIDI can be a huge asset to a band with limited recording resources. If you use MIDI in your music, and, are using a 4 or 8 track recorder, work at putting all the MIDI tracks to one track, or one stereo pair of tracks, on the tape, MIDI can be mixed and have the effects applied to it all onboard with most MIDI units, this will give you the advantage of having several instruments playing on one or two tracks of your deck, making the band sound much bigger than it actually is.

With the MIDI all recorded on processed onto one or two tracks, they can then be forgotten about until mixdown, and, just used as a "click-track" to record the rest of your music to.

MIDI is usually all produced by keyboards and sound modules, or, what is called a "workstation" which has the keyboard controller to enter musical data, such as the notes to play, how hard or soft to play them, how much sustain they have and the like, they also have the sounds built in, usually it is "MultiTimbral" which means it can playback many instruments at a time on differnet MIDI channels, and they also have the sequencer, which records and plays back all the musical data you record in it, much like your multitracking tape deck, only it isn't sound, it's just binary data that tells the sound module and keyboard which notes to play, which sound sample to use, and how loud to play it. There are many great wrokstations available, they are not cheap, but considering the amount of work they can do for you, they are worth every penny.

Arguably, Roland has led the world in MIDI technology, one of their workstations, the "Blem B-Stock G-1000, is one of the finest avaiable, Kurzweil also leads the cutting edge of MIDI technology with the K2000VP Reissue.

Also, if you already have a MIDI keyboard you like, you can add more sounds to your arsenal by simply adding a sound module, like the EMU Proteus 2000, the Korg X5DR, or the Yamaha MU100R. These modules run significantly cheaper than a whole workstation, and you can add all their great sound to your recording via MIDI signals.

MIDI keeps perfect time, all the time, so, if you don't get into the electronic music idea, it is still great for a metronome, or, "click-track".

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