Why MIDI should be part of every budding musicians' gear

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Want to be an independent music artist? There’s no better time than now. The music industry is changing. Long back, people didn’t know you unless you did a show in their hometown and you had a label that took care of you. The glorified kingpins of the music industry who made an artist capable of producing music are now being replaced by the artists themselves.

One of the reasons for this is the advancement of technology. New equipment and software allow you to make music and publish it, all on your own. We have come a long way from pianos and guitars. Pianos were amazing. They were grand and heavy. Then keyboards entered the scene. They were lighter to carry around and they could reproduce sounds of a variety of instruments. But what we have now beats them all. Plus, it’s not that expensive. MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) has changed how music is made forever.

What can you do with MIDI?

With MIDI, you can attach any sound to the notes you play. All you need is an interface that allows you to tell the software what notes you are playing and how you play them. This data will include how soft or harsh you want the note to be, the pitch of the note and a lot of other data that has to do with how you want that note to be expressed. The interface can be the keyboard of your computer or a MIDI instrument like a MIDI keyboard.

What do you need to use MIDI?

If you have a laptop that's good enough, with a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software that allows you to record and produce music, and a MIDI instrument, you have joined thousands of bedroom music composers worldwide. Many of them make a living out of what they do.

When you are working with MIDI, every parameter of the sound is under your control. Along with the parameters the MIDI instrument allows you to control, your software also provides you with a lot of ways to tweak the sounds you create. There are too many knobs to count. Not only can you reproduce the sound of almost any instrument, but you can also sample the sounds around you. You can record anything from the sound of a running tap to that of a honking car behind you in a traffic jam. You can then tweak the sound you recorded using miscellaneous parameters, and make an entire song with that sound. The possibilities are endless. It is exciting to have such creative limitlessness.

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Who uses MIDI?

MIDI keyboards are a part of every music producer's gear these days. EDM or Electronic Dance Music is one genre where MIDI keyboards are used a lot. MIDI keyboards are also used to make beats in genres like rap. But nowadays, MIDI keyboards are becoming ubiquitous. It is very possible that their affordability and flexibility will make them a huge part of music in the future.

Affordability

MIDI keyboards come in various sizes and with varying features. The cheaper models are very affordable to a lot of budding artists. Most MIDI keyboards have small square pads that can be used to make beats. They also come with pitch and modulation wheels. Their size depends on the number of keys, pads, and knobs they have.

DAWs and other software are usually expensive but compared to the money that you would spend at studios, they are a huge save. Often when you buy a MIDI keyboard, you get a software bundle with it that will get you going. There are also many affordable alternatives.

If you are a musician and you like composing, a MIDI keyboard or a similar instrument is probably a great way to expand your horizons. It will give you more opportunities and better your workflow. Even if you think it’s not something that is going to fit into the genre of music you are interested in, it's still a great way to understand a different way of making music at a reasonable price.

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