MIDI is usually sent over cables with 5-pin DIN connectors, or over USB. MIDI cables only carry a signal in one direction, but USB cables can carry two or more channels of MIDI at once. Matt demonstrates how this comes into play when using a DAW's sequencer with keyboards that have built-in synthesizers, and how the Local Off control helps to avoid doubled notes. USB MIDI interfaces are how traditional 5-pin MIDI devices communicate with modern DAWs.
- If you plan to use MIDI…to capture musical performances…using a MIDI controller,…you'll want to be familiar…with the signal flow of MIDI data…to avoid issues like double-triggered notes.…Let's start with the basics.…Compared to modern, high bandwidth connections,…like USB 3, that can transmit millions of numbers…in fractions of a second,…MIDI is a low bandwidth connection…that carries only a few thousand numbers per second.…A standard MIDI cable has five pins,…each of which connects to a wire…inside the cable, and an outer, circular piece,…which connects to the cable's shield.…
This was a common type of connector…when MIDI was invented,…but it's fairly rare now.…Each MIDI cable only carries a signal…in one direction.…I like to think about it like plumbing.…The MIDI data flows out…of the MIDI out port on one device,…and in to the MIDI in port on another device.…Now, a MIDI controller doesn't actually make sound.…Instead, it transmits MIDI instructions…through its MIDI out port along the cable.…A synthesizer follows those instructions…
The course starts with explanations of what sound really is and how we hear it, including discussions on frequency, amplitude, phase, and psychoacoustics. Matt explores analog audio signal path, explaining connections, gain staging, and metering. Next, he brings the audio signal into the digital domain, discussing analog to digital conversion, digital gain staging, file formats and compression, and dither.
Then the course digs into digital audio workstations (DAWs), explaining the concepts and misconceptions involved in digital recording systems. Matt describes how memory, CPU speed, and storage affect your DAW's performance, as well as how to manage computer resources and understand the plethora of file formats associated with digital recording. He follows with an overview of MIDI: how to generate, store, process, and communicate MIDI data. He wraps up with the audio processors that are often used for mixing in a DAW—including EQ, compressors, reverb, delay, and many others.
- What is sound?
- The three domains of sound: acoustic, analog, and digital
- The analog vs. digital signal paths
- Converting analog audio to digital
- Digital formats and data compression
- Understanding the five types of DAWs
- Recording performances with MIDI
- Mixing and processing audio with EQ, compression, and other effects