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Topic: Time for a change! Let's end MIDIocrity!

  1. #1

    Re: Time for a change! Let\'s end MIDIocrity!

    You may want to go here ::: http://www.midi.org/

    One of my former teachers was one of the \'inventors\' of the MIDI protocal. Three years ago i asked him if he sees this ever changing ... He said ... \"If it ain\'t broke, don\'t fix it.\"

    MIDI XML will be the next big leap ... good luck getting all midi devices to adhere to this new spec!

  2. #2

    Re: Time for a change! Let\'s end MIDIocrity!

    The good thing about a spec change which maintains retrospective compatability is that manufacturers only have to adopt the spec if they want to take advantage of it. If they don\'t, their gear will still be \'midi\' compliant - just not able to take advantage of the enhanced features. Adoption of an enhanced spec then becomes a marketing decision.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: Time for a change! Let\'s end MIDIocrity!

    Hey Crispin...you\'re in luck. At least some of these parameters have already been \"smoothed\" in Giga3. Don\'t know exactly what, but there are a LOT of things that are not particularly \"bullet point features\" that have not been announced, but have been implemented.


  4. #4

    Re: Time for a change! Let\'s end MIDIocrity!

    I would like to see more active development of MIDI plugins along the lines of the kind of feverish innovation that has swept Audio plugins in the past few years. There were a few attempts here and there in the past to create MIDi plugins that output complex expression envolopes for different instrumentations but the efforts sorta died out.

    As far as I\'m concerned I really don\'t need new types of MIDI controllers or higher resolutions on existing ones but rather smarter ways via software to create more realistic expression envelopes. It\'s incredible how something as simple as a wind controller can make even an old sample sound amazing.

  5. #5

    Re: Time for a change! Let\'s end MIDIocrity!

    I thought that this is what Yamaha\'s mLAN wants to be.... the successor to MIDI that is also backwards compatible at the dta level (i.e. it will transport MIDI too).

    Am I mistaken about that??

    Whether mLAN will ever be widely adopted is another story completely.... MIDI adoption was something of a fluke, because it required cooperation between so many different manufacturers. Given that we already have MIDI, it would seem to be harder to get consensus on a follow-on, even if it is clearly needed (and I think it is).

  6. #6

    Re: Time for a change! Let\'s end MIDIocrity!

    Sound great to me.

    Only thing though;
    Because we still only have 8 bit resolution for dynamics via midi.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">8 bit = 256

    Any midi parameter I play with (and I\'m NO midi expert by any means) is 0 - 127 (4 bits)

    So unless I misunderstand the midi spec I think 8 bits would be an up move. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  7. #7

    Time for a change! Let\'s end MIDIocrity!

    A big hello to my favourite peers, [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    I\'m really excited about GS3.

    I\'m really excited about convolution processing.

    I\'m really excited about the libraries that developers have graced us with in the the last couple years and the ones that are on the way.

    I\'m not that excited about is 24 bit samples. [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]


    Because we still only have 8 bit resolution for dynamics via midi. [img]images/icons/mad.gif[/img]

    Yes it\'s great that we have long, smooth tails on release notes and better stereo imaging etc. but really, we can only get so much in the way of dynamic expression out of each instrument.

    It\'s time for a change and now is the perfect opportunity!

    Midi over LAN has made life a great deal more efficient for many composers. Gigabit LAN, Firewire and USB2 are fast becoming staples of PC and Mac hardware. Controller interfaces and paradigms are sprouting up like weeds. (really cool weeds) [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]

    In my opinion, this is a perfect time for the industry to make a serious move towards a new midi spec. Here\'s a couple of immediate goals that I\'d like to see met:

    - Universal data protocol, compatible with MIDI 1 and not manufacturer specific.

    - Automatically detects and deals with MIDI 1 data

    - Well defined spec for transmission across USB, Firewire and Ethernet and cross-conduit compatibility.

    - A universal driver spec for PC\'s, Mac\'s and Linux that allows for cross platform use.

    - More CC\'s at higher resolution. Possibly a universal spec for combining CC\'s (not unlike LSB, HSB) to achieve even higher resolutions.

    I\'d love to hear everyone thinks of this, what you\'d like to add, subtract.

    Northern Sounds is a serious force as far as representing a large number of composers and industry people being in one place. I think manufacturer input is essential to moving this forward but the most important feature definition should be spearheaded by us, the composers who work with it everyday.

    If we can come up with a fairly concrete and well thought out feature list and make some serious noise about it, we might be able to get a new spec defined an, even better, get hardware and software folks to jump on board.

    Audio and sample playback technology continues to move ahead in leaps and bounds but midi is 20 years old now. Time for a change!


    Best and most respectful regards to all of you.

    ps: if I\'ve missed anything or I\'ve got my facts wrong (very likely) please don\'t hesitate to throw a mud pie or two...

  8. #8

    Re: Time for a change! Let\'s end MIDIocrity!

    Thanks for all the replies guys.


    In regards to most controllers you\'re right about only having 0-127, (7 bits) I was saying 8 bits since it generally shunts data around in byte sized chunks.


    Thanks for the link to midi.org. I tend to check in there from time to time but the main problem I have is that it\'s manufacturer driven. Any new suggestions or movements risk being subject to corporate and political manouvering and posturing which will end up obfuscating the end result for us users.

    I think we\'d be better off determining the core functionality we want on our own turf and then approaching the manufacturers en masse. When companies see demonstrably large groups of customers wanting something, they tend to take notice. If we can get some of the major composer societies on board then we\'ll have an even stronger collective voice.

    By the way, your old teacher\'s name wasn\'t Ralph Dyck was it? I know his son Jeff quite well - great composer in his own right.

    Green Red:

    mLAN shows some real promise but it still doesn\'t provide any enhancements to the midi spec. It merely sends and recieves large amounts of midi and audio. The spec itself is still the same. Plus, one of the major drawbacks is that you still need to have intermediary hardware.

    My major point here is that we should simply be able to send MIDI from PC to Mac to hardware over a firewire, USB or ethernet cable with extra hardware. Simply a driver specific to each transport type. The folks at MusicLab have already proven the possibility with MidiOverLan and mLAN further proves the point. Wouldn\'t it be great to have a G5 controlling 4 GigaPC\'s without any extra midi hardware required? Except of course your keyboard or other controller of choice... [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]


    Couldn\'t agree more with you! In order to gain momentum, it wants to be a win-win situation for us and the manufacturers.


    Funny you should mention breath control! That\'s my main gripe. I use it extensively as do several of my colleagues. The problem is, we struggle to get the dynamic range we need out of it. When playing instruments that have upwards of 80db dynamic range, you really need more than 7 bits to play with. Only then does having 24bit sample libraries begin to mean something from an expression standpoint (aside from the obvious imaging and reverb tails etc.).

    However, what you said about forward movement in midi plugins is a great point. Something I\'d like to see as well. In fact I would hazard a guess that there are several situations where having a wider data path (which also means higher res controller data) will give birth to all sorts of new possibilities for plugins.


    I read about the smoothing as well and I\'m definitely thankful for it. I still don\'t think 7 bits cuts it - no matter how smooth the built-in interpolation is. Especially if we\'re trying to crossfade gracefully through 8 samples etc.

    The other major gripe I have with midi is that it\'s SLOW. These days, I\'m slinging huge amounts of data down the pipe since I sometimes use MW, Breath Control, expression pedal and a foot switch simultaneously. Add a control surface to that mix and things start getting boggy. Whether it\'s with the timing or lost data or whatever, I find I\'m having to find work arounds just to get everything to play nicely.

    I\'ve worked on PC\'s and Mac\'s with many different programs. Currently I use Logic, Cubase and Nuendo - all for different purposes as required. Point being is that i know I\'m not having sequencer specific problems.

    I just think that everything else is moving ahead beautifully so it\'s time for MIDI to catch up. Once it does we\'ll be able to get even more out of our libraries and controllers and sequencing software.

    Best regards and thanks again for jumping in to throw some ideas around - keep em coming!

  9. #9

    Re: Time for a change! Let\'s end MIDIocrity!

    7 bits I think. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
    Originally posted by Gulliver:
    As far as I\'m concerned I really don\'t need new types of MIDI controllers or higher resolutions on existing ones but rather smarter ways via software to create more realistic expression envelopes. It\'s incredible how something as simple as a wind controller can make even an old sample sound amazing.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I agree with Gulliver and I\'ll go one further; I think the midi has enough capabilities as it is.

    It\'s the development of techniques like MW crossfades and performance tools like those found in VSL and GOS that are needed. These features are designed to take advantage of some of the functionality midi already has to offer. There are many more possibilities where these came from.

  10. #10

    Re: Time for a change! Let\'s end MIDIocrity!


    As I mentioned in my response to Gulliver, I actually value the crossfades and programming just as much as you guys!

    I program crossfades for all my libraries. I\'ve been using a breath controller for several years. The trouble is, a crossfade needs to sound smooth and in order to sound smooth it needs decent resolution.

    A simple 2 way crossfade from piano to forte sounds fine with 7 bits.

    However, try getting an 8 way crossfade to sound good with fast dynamic changes using 7 bits. Remember, you\'re now dividing 128 by 8, which means you only get 16 steps (or 4 bits of resolution) per crossfade.

    You guys want what I want, I just want it bigger and better [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]


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