2006/04/06

Keyboards & MIDI--Buying Guide

A keyboard is a musical instrument with a set of depressible levers, which makes the instrument produce sound. The layout of the keyboards is usually common with white and black keys set according to a pattern, which repeats at the interval of an octave. All the keys in the keyboard are uniformly distributed; if the width of an octave is 12 units then the white key width is 12/7 units and the center of each of these keys are separated by a single unit.

The appearance of Clavichord and Harpsichord in the fourteenth century, led to the widespread adpotion of piano, which continued over the 18th century. Piano helped the player to play with the dynamics of the sound by varying vigor. This again gave vent to the electronic keyboard instruments that used oscillators and frequency dividers to produce waveform.

Among the early efforts include the invention of electronic pianos which were found useful in their own rights. The development of Synthesizers happened in 1960s with the Moog Synthesizer being the most notable one. In the 1960s and 70s there were monophonic synthesisers which could play only one note at a time. in the 1970s polyphonic synthesisers were developed along with digital sequencers.

In 1982, National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) convention discussed a proposal for standardization of the reception of musical performance information digitally between all types of electronic musical instruments. Thus in 1983, MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) was born.

Why should I go for MIDI

  • MIDI represents music in digital form.
  • With MIDI, it is easy to change one note in a song.
  • Each instrument in a MIDI performance is placed different from the rest. So listening to individual instruments is possible.
  • MIDI Sequencer helps record performances and can listen to it at a later time.
  • Editing data is possible with MIDI.
  • MIDI instruments come with different sounds so as to make fully orchestrated music.

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