MIDI Software Foreword
Using the MIDI protocol in the musical environment is essential. However, the fact of just having a computer does not give us the control to manage the MIDI port of our computer nor handling MIDI files. For this task, we must have MIDI software installed into our system that fit to our needs.
There is a wide range of MIDI applications going from recording to format conversion. Nevertheless, the main function of MIDI software is to handle the MIDI messages as well as interpret them and send them either to the sound card of our computer or to a pre-process. Nonetheless, most of MIDI software applications in the market have a single purpose. Let me explain.
The most popular applications of MIDI software are listed below:
- MIDI notation software: This software uses the MIDI system to generate a real time playback of what we are writing as a form of score sheets. This midi composition software is very useful for musical composers.
- MP3 to MIDI converter and backwards: These kinds of programs are very popular because they are capable of performing a conversion between formats such as MP3 to MIDI or MIDI to MP3. For example, Timidity++ can perform a conversion from MIDI to MP3.
- MIDI recording software: This is ideal for recording our musical ideas. The engine captures all data from the MIDI port (hardware) via MIDI keyboard or any other device, and passes it to the software for edition.
- MIDI controller software: This software is ideal to have certain control of automated tasks on our musical instruments. For example, Realstrat guitar software uses midi controller software to add additional effects as a guitarist would do.
- MIDI file editor: A simple file MIDI file editor.
- MIDI sequencer software and playback devices: These act as playback programs for MIDI. Most music reproduction programs can handle this task. For example, Windows Media Player, WinAMP and Timidity++. Sequencers have more tasks than simple reproduction. They can play a sequence of notes by step. Loop a track between patterns and more. Most digital audio workstations (DAW) have this feature.
- MIDI software synthesizer:Synthesizers use MIDI data to perform their playbacks. They use this data as a MIDI render would. However, the synthesizer creates music using real time processing of wave forms and effects.
Choosing MIDI software to fit our needs
In order to determine what kind of software is necessary, we must analyze our needs. For example, if you are a talented musical compositor you may need Score sheet software. Alternatively, if you only want to perform a conversion from MP3 to MIDI you will need a MIDI render. Perhaps you need the whole software package. There are packages that include all listed above or at least the most necessary.
For example, Cakewalk sonar Producer edition has all those features except conversion from MP3 to MIDI. However, that can be implemented via plug-ins.