In the first installment in our short series, “Working with MIDI”, we focused on the basic concept of MIDI. This time round, we discuss how to prepare for recording. To do this, you need to make sure your MIDI connections correspond with certain settings.
If you’ve stumbled across this article and the term MIDI isn’t part of your repertoire of musical terms, check out our “What is MIDI?” article now!
Recording and editing MIDI data is possible with any standard DAW, for instance MAGIX Music Maker or Samplitude Music Studio. If you’re going to operate the software synths included in these programs using MIDI commands, you don’t have to take any further steps.
Things are different if you want to use MIDI hardware, e.g. a MIDI keyboard, to play something. Have a look at the information that comes with your MIDI hardware to find out how to configure it. Usually, you connect a MIDI keyboard to your computer or an external sound card by running a MIDI cable from the keyboard MIDI output port to the MIDI input port on the MIDI interface.
If the keyboard has an internal sound source, it’s important to prevent it from generating sounds directly from its own keyboard. Instead, the sounds generated should come from within the program via the MIDI cable. This function is generally referred to as “Local OFF” and can be directly adjusted on your keyboard. Have a look at the manual for your keyboard for further help.
Using Music Maker as a example, here’s how you open the MIDI options. This applies to other DAWs too, since their logical setup is usually very similar.
Select “Program settings” in the “File” menu and then the “Audio/MIDI” tab. In the top right area you’ll see “Input device’ and “Output device”.
- If your keyboard is already connected it should be listed under “Input device”.
- Under “Output device”, you can control a connected external synthesizer.
If you’re using Samplitude Music Studio, there are a range of additional options for MIDI configuration under “MIDI” in the “System options” (shortcut key Y).
You should also have a read of our more detailed article on “Audio devices, settings and buffers in “Music Maker“. Check it out now to get a more in-depth overview!
In the upcoming third segment in our MIDI series, we’ll focus on recording with MIDI.