what do u need to make midi's?

Discussion in 'General Sequencing' started by jasyn, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. jasyn

    jasyn New Member

    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    are there specifics that you need? or do u just use software like cakewalk & cubase and from that software you can make midi's? or do you need specific hardware like keyboards or something .. i'd like to make my own midi's from songs that i hear so as a noobert .. i'd like some advice on how to start off :p
  2. Graeme

    Graeme New Member

    Messages:
    980
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    At the very basic level, you will need a midi sequencer software - there are many of these around, from free to very expensive. The big names are Cakewalk/Sonar, Cubase and Logic (Mac only in the latest version, but earlier versions for Windows as well). These guys also produce 'cut-down' versions of the headline products which are a lot cheaper and will prove more than adequate in their feature set for a beginner. You can download trial versions, which will allow you to a get a feel for how each one works. Find one you like and then stick with it.

    Given the software, you can enter notes, individually, using a process called 'step edit' - but it's a desparate way to make music and does nothing to enhance the creative process. Much better to use a hardware midi controller. Of these, the cheapest are the master keyboards. They have no sounds of their own, but will produce the information needed by the sequencer. At the cheap end of the range, look at products by Evolution and Roland. There are other midi controllers (guitar, wind, etc.) so, if you play an alternative instrument to a keyboard, you might care to investigate these - although they are not such a cheap option as a keyboard can be.

    The sounds can be produced by a number of different ways. Most soundcards have some sort of syntesiser included in them, but many are pretty dire. The Creative Labs SoundBlaster, Audigy, etc., have a feature called 'soundfont' which means you can load different soundsets into them to expand the range of sounds available - you can find soundfonts all over the net. Again they range from free to expensive. Using the right software, you can even make your own, but this is probably too far to go for a beginner.

    Alternatively, there are plenty of software synths. These use a great deal of computer processing power, so they might not be a good solution if you have an older machine. They also suffer from something called 'latency', which simply means there is a delay between triggering a note and hearing it. Modern systems can be made to perform with a latency low enough for it not to matter, but older systems will suffer to the point of software synth generation to be practically unusable.

    By far the better means is to use hardware midi modules to produce the sounds. These give the best of all worlds but are more expensive than their software counterparts.

    One important thing, you must understand, is that a midi file is not a music file. It merely contains instructions to the rest of the system as to how to play the notes - how long, what pitch, etc., etc. Since the actual sound generation is highly dependent on the rest of the system, any midi you produce might well sound totally different if you give it to someone else to play on their system.

    Since you (presumably) want other people to hear your midi files the way you do, then you need to convert your midi file into an audio one (.wav, MP3 or whatever) - this process is known as 'rendering' and you can do this without adding any more to the above list of needs.
  3. melissat

    melissat New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I recommend shopping around online for finding a keyboard...you can find some excellent deals, especially if you're a beginner and don't want to begin with something big and intimidating. I got a new one along with software (though they're all pretty basic) for around $30, whereas the ones in stores are hundreds and the stores I went to didn't even know you could hook up a keyboard to a computer. *Sigh*

    I haven't turned into a decent sequencer yet, but I've enjoyed trying a little bit using Fake Books. If nothing else it has given me a true appreciation for how much work sequencers go to in order to make such great files.
  4. rdeol

    rdeol New Member

    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    thanks...makes sense now
  5. melissat

    melissat New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    By the way, my keyboard is "MusicStar" by Reveal if you want to search around a cheap toy-quality keyboard. Also, make sure you have a good sound system (sorry I don't know all the technical words!). My keyboard didn't work well with my old soundcard (very delayed response time). Now I have a new soundcard and the note plays immediately when depressed. Good luck!
  6. gdroad

    gdroad New Member

    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Try cubasis you should be able to get it free. Then all you really need is a cable to connect to your soundcard joyport. The cable has a midi in and midi out socket on the other end. You simply connect it to a drum machine (if you don't have a drum sequencer - again these are available free on the net) or a keyboard to programme in the other instruments. Doesn't get much easier I'm afraid. If you don't have a great soundcard...no problem there either. Look for some free software synths to download which imporve the sound dramatically. You could look on the Computer Music website for all the prgrammes and other advice as well. A google seach by 'CM' should get you the website quick enough. Good luck and have fun!
  7. nienie

    nienie New Member

    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  8. linkin1

    linkin1 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    good software, try sheetmusic plus.
  9. muhunk

    muhunk New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    a lot of creativity and feeling for the music
  10. songer

    songer New Member

    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    my keyboardist uses a Roland midi-controller when he programs songs, but he somtimes uses his Roland RS5 keyboard. then he has Powertracks to record whatever he's programming.
  11. carbonmade

    carbonmade New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    well i compose my own music, and arrange some midi's for friends and stuff sometimes, and i use noteworthy composer.

    nothing fancy, but it gets the job done.
  12. newguy

    newguy New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Also, if it apply to you, there are I think midi guitars you can purchase. Or if you want you can write or find a sequencer of sorts that can convert your guitar's input to midi notes, though I don't know if there is anything like that off hand right now.
  13. carbonmade

    carbonmade New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I use a midi keyboard (which through an adapater it plugs into the USB port) to 'compose' them and such.

    Much easier than doing it note-by-note.
  14. Graeme

    Graeme New Member

    Messages:
    980
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    There are pitch to midi guitar units around, most would say the Axon is the best although the Roland GI-20 is a cheaper option. You'll also need a guitar with a hexaphonic pickup fitted. However, they can be a bit of a handful in a studio environment, since they produce lots of little glitches and other problems - which you would get away with 'live' - and you'll spend a lot of time editing these out later.

    For a guitar player, the only practical solution is a Ztar - but they're expensive!

    Better to buy a cheap controller only keyboard (Roland, Evolution, Fatar, etc) and learn to play that.

Share This Page