MIDI is the communication method by which musical instruments and computers speak with one another. Before MIDI, each musical instrument manufacturer had their own methods of communicating with their own gear. MIDI gave the industry a universal standard that allowed instruments (synthesizers, drum machines, and digital samplers) from any manufacturer to talk with another. It stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface.
MIDI works by sending your performance data to your computer or musical instrument. When you play a note, every aspect of your performance (including which note you pressed, how hard you pressed it, and for how long) is sent to your computer, musical instrument, or both. This happens in a fraction of a second, making MIDI ideal for capturing every nuance of your playing ability. Remember, MIDI does not send audio to your instrument or computer. That task is handled by the sound chip on your computer or your musical instrument.
Just about every professional musician in the world uses MIDI! It is truly a global standard for musical composition, recording, and playback
Contrary to popular belief, keyboards are not the only instruments which utilize the power of MIDI. You can find MIDI on guitars, acoustic pianos, and wind instruments too. Of course, almost all computers built today have a built-in MIDI interface.
Does The SoundBlaster Live! and Audigy Sound Card Series Have MIDI? What About E-MU's Digital Audio Systems?
Just about every PCI-based SoundBlaster Live! and Audigy series sound cards, as well as E-MU's Digital Audio Systems, comes equipped with a built-in MIDI interface.
Purchasing musical instruments and computer hardware with MIDI ports allows your studio setup to function together. Imagine if all of your gear had a competing proprietary method of communicating with one another. How would you know what to choose? MIDI allows the instrument manufacturers to concentrate on making great gear, rather than worry about communication standards.
General MIDI is a standard set of 128 instruments and one percussion kit. Having a standard set of sounds to work with, composers were ensured that their composition would sound like they intended on any musical instrument or computer that was General MIDI compliant. This opened the door for sharing compositions, learning songs, and delivering music over the internet.