MIDI Qualities as compared to Digital Audio

Performance Event Data

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Sound Quality Depends on External Sources

Flexible Data Structure

Parts can be individually altered

small storage demands

playback requires synthesizer

limited reproduction of nuances

Digital Audio Qualities (as compared to MIDI)
Sampled-sound data Sound Quality inherent in data inflexible data structure parts not easily separated large storage demands playback requires D/A hardware perfect reproduction of nuances
Simple Project Studio Setup
Computer goes to MIDI Interface and Audio Interface
Audio goes to mixer (which is connected to the sound module)
MIDI Interface goes to MIDI Controller and to Sound Module
Typical Production Process
MIDI sequencing
Record MIDI sequences to digital tracks
add live performance tracks
Order of History of Music Tech
Edison Phonograph
Player Piano
Magnetic Tape Recording
Moog Commercial Synthesizer
Switched on Back
Memory Help Music History
Every Pianist There Made Me Switch Back
Edidson Phonograph
Player Piano
Magnetic Tape Recording
Moog Commercial Synthesizer
Switched on Bach
Direct to Disk Recording***
Higher Quality with no degradation
random access, more efficient production
virtually unlimited tracks
inexpensive, reusable, portable media
Digital Audio Workstation!
Direct to Disk Recording***
Graphical Editing Interface
Digital Signal Processing
Share sessions over digital networks
affordable, cost effective recording solution
facilitates integration of visual elements
easy export/ conversion to alternate digital formats
ProTools Specs
Audio ProTools Spec
Digital Samples from 16bit 44kHz up to 24 bit 192 kHz
up to 192 playback tracks, unlimited virtual tracks
digital real editing
MIDI protools spec
256 midi tracks
event performance data
external sound modules or internal sound synths
Recording mixing protools spec
complete mix control over signal routing, effects processing, dynamic faders, and automation control
store entire session for instant recall
share sessions with other users
ProTools Edit Modes
Shuffle Slip Spot Grid
Shuffle Mode
changes you make effect other regions on the track
Slip Mode
changes you make do not effect other regions on the track
Spot Mode
places regions at precise locations
Grid Mode
Regions Snap to nearest time increment specified by Grid
ProTools Track Types
Auxiliary Input
Master Fader
Audio Track
import/ record/ edit of digital audio
MIDI track
import/ record/ edit of MIDI data
Auxiliary Input
used for audio routing, such as effects send or a sub-mix
Instrument track
combines function of MIDI and aux input into single track
master fader
controls overall level of the audio tracks
Sound Fundamentals
Series of compressions and rarefactions
shape of the sound; from simple sine wave to jagged and complex
height of wave; larger = higher volume
cycles completed per second (hz); higher it is the higher the pitch!

Children hear between 20Hz and 20kHz

Nyquist Theorem
2x the samples per cycle

20 kHz frequency= 40kHz sample rate

higher frequencies require higher sample rates for accurate reproduction (avoids aliasing)

Sample Rate
discrete snapshots
higher the sample rate= better approximation of original sample
Bit Depth
useful dynamic range of music/speech is 40- 105 db = 65 db.
each sample assigned it’s closest amplitude value
4 bit= 16 different numeric amplitude values
Dynamic Range
8 bit = 48 db
16 bit= 96 db
24 bit = 144 db
Sampling and Bit Depth Tradeoffs
Higher sample rate and greater bit depth improve audio quality but at a cost:
Larger sample rate = more data
Higher bit depth = more bits
What does higher sample rates and bit depths equate to
larger files and session sizes
greater storage requirements
higher system performance requirements
1 min of audio storage sizes:
16bit/48kHz stereo : 11.4 MB

24bit/28kHz stereo : 17 MB

compilation of 16 bit words
8bit 11khz mono audio file
8 bit 22khz mono audio file
22 KB/sec
8 bit 11khz stereo file
16 bit 22khz mono audio file
44 KB/sec
16 bit 22kHz stereo file
16 bit, 44khz, stereo audio file,
176 KB/sec -> Redbook Audio CD
three types of microphones
dynamic condensor and ribbon
dynamic mike
rougher response
rugged and reliable
not sensitive to environment
handle high volume w/o distortion
good for guitars/drums/some live vocals
preferred for live events
condensor mike
wide, smooth frequency response
detailed sound, especially highs
great low frequency response
sensitive to transients (but you have to be careful)
good for acoustic instruments, studio vocals
can be mini
ribbon mike
warm, smooth quality
good alternative mike to complement condensor mike
Controls of the Mixer
master fader
aux sends
audio signal going in
audio signal going out
allows inserting of device directly into signal path
sends (aux send)
allows sending of signal to external device
returns (aux return)
allows return of signal from send to mixer
Why edit music?
conform to visuals, timing restraints
seamless looping or length extension
creates “alt- mixes” without having to go back to mix stage
goals of music editing
not an itunes sample!

capture essence of original
get to hook or melody quickly
timing is critical; no room for overshoot
natural beginning/natural ending
maintain energy and momentum to very end

generate signal, usually you can choose the wave type

in a synth

remove unwanted frequencies much like an equalizer (VDF filter in Korg)

in a synth

envelope generators
in a synth

create the attack and release of the sound (VDA- variable digital amplifier)

low frequency oscillator
creates vibrato
sound envelope
adsr curve
attack decay sustain release

sound envelope

multiple concurrent voices (notes)
single voice (note) at a time
receives unique data on each channel, allowing it to function as multiple instruments
MIDI stands for
musical instrument digital interface
What does midi do?
communicates performance data between computers, synthesizers, drum machines, controllers, digital mixers, processors, etc

even used for live performance control of multiple instrument settings, external devices, lighting, etc

Devices connected via midi cables
5 pin “DIN”
midi in
from controller
midi out
to sound module
midi thru
passes midi data to other devices w/o affecting it
How many channels per port?
16!!! interfaces can have multiple ports
MIDI Event Examples
note on- note off
key pressure (after touch)
program change
pitch bend
song position
Typical MIDI Set Up (begin with keyboard)
MIDI Out of piano to MIDI In of sequencer
Out of sequencer to midi in of sound module 1
midi thru of sound module 1 to midi in of sm 2
midi thru of sm 2 to midi in of sm 3
midi thru of sm 3 to midi in of drum machine!
General MIDI or GM is what?
specification for synthesizers which imposes several requirements beyond the more abstract MIDI standard. it attaches certain interpretations to many parameters and control messages which were left unspecified in MIDI, such as defining instrument sounds for each of the 128 program numbers
GM allows what?
allows portability of MIDI files across different platforms while retaining fundamental essence of the performance!!!
What else ab GM?
24 voices to be active at the same time
responds to note velocity
support all 16 channels simultaneously
supports polyphony!
LP Record
First DAW
MIDI specs in what year?
ProTools launched in
To Find how much data a time is in MB?
time * 60sec/min = seconds

seconds * 176 KB/sec (because of 16 44) = KB

1024 KB = 1 MB

KB * (1 MB/ 1024 KB) = Data in MB

How a dynamic mic works
coil of wire attached to a diaphragm suspended in a magnetic field

sound vibrates the diaphragm, coil vibrates, generates electric signal

how a ribbon mic works
thin metal foil/ribbon suspended in a magnetic field
sound waves vibrate ribbon and generate electric signal
how a condensor mic works
conductive diaphragm and metal back plate, charged with static electricity

sound waves vibrate diaphragm, varies space between plates, changing capacitance, which can be detected and translated into electric signal

Two types of condensor mic
true condensor


what if my condensor mic is not working?! *gasp*
requires battery of phantom power (48 volts DC)
what is synthesis?
a process which combines together two or more pre-existing elements resulting in the formation of something new
types of synthesis
physical modeling
additive synthesis
combines sine waves
subtractive synthesis
filter sawtooth waves
what if i want a basic midi/daw set up?
basic daw set up with a cord from the midi controller to audio mixer
GM Advantages
portability across multiple platforms
small file size
allows for real time control
allows for collaborative composition
facilitates production cycle during early “exploration” phase
MIDI setup picture
studio setup picture