About MIDI & MIDI Programming

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Author : flykantech.com
Update time : 2023-04-03 17:54:11

Introduction to Music Programming

Music Programming refers to the process of creating and generating music using computer programming languages. It involves writing code on a computer to control audio generation software or hardware devices to create various types of music. This approach can help musicians and producers better control various aspects of music such as pitch, rhythm, harmony, etc., while also automating some of the music creation processes. Music programming has a wide range of applications, from electronic music to experimental music. It can not only help musicians and producers create music faster and more efficiently, but also create unique and unusual music works.

For example, creating a program using a programming language to automatically generate a piece of music. This program can use mathematical models, random number generators, or other algorithms to generate notes, rhythms, and harmonies. The program can also specify parameters such as the speed, tempo, and pitch of the generated music. Once completed, the program can save the generated music as an audio or MIDI file for further processing or playback.

Another example is using a programming language to control a MIDI controller. Programmers can use programming languages to write controller scripts to better control audio software and hardware devices. For example, programmers can map the knobs on the MIDI controller to specific controls in the audio software, making it easier to adjust parameters in the software. These are just two examples of music programming; in fact, music programming can accomplish many different tasks and goals, such as automatic music generation, real-time music processing, music data analysis, and more.

The Importance of Music Programming

Music programming is an emerging field that combines programming and music, and it has many applications and economic value. Firstly, music programming can be used to create music software and applications, such as digital sequencers, music games, and music education apps, which can help musicians, music enthusiasts, and students learn, create, and enjoy music better. These applications can be sold in app stores or provided as subscription services, creating revenue.

Secondly, music programming can be used to automate music creation, creating soundtracks for media such as movies, TV shows, and advertisements. This automation can improve production efficiency and reduce costs, thus bringing more commercial opportunities and economic value to the music and entertainment industry.In addition, music programming can be used for digital art and interactive media exhibitions, creating music and sound for museums, art galleries, and media art exhibitions. These digital art pieces and interactive exhibitions can attract more visitors and increase cultural and art tourism revenue.

Overall, music programming has important implications in music creation, education, and commercial applications. With the continuous development of technology, it will become increasingly important. Music programming involves knowledge from multiple fields, including computer science, signal processing, digital audio technology, etc., which can promote the development and progress of music technology. Music programming can also provide new avenues for music education and learning, allowing students to gain a deeper understanding of music production and technology knowledge, as well as more flexibility in expressing their music creativity. As the digital music market continues to expand, music programming has become a new business opportunity. By creating unique music works and software, music programming can provide more business opportunities and income sources for musicians and entrepreneurs.

The Current Situation and Development of Music Programming

Currently, the market for music production and composition equipment is very active. With the development and popularization of digital music technology, more and more people are becoming interested in music production and composition, and market demand is gradually increasing.

Music programming has become an indispensable part of digital music production, and many digital sequencers and music software have programming functions. Music programming has also been widely used in fields such as digital art, game design, and virtual reality. The music programming community is growing worldwide, and developers and musicians can share their programming and music works, promoting the development of the field.

In terms of software, there are many popular digital audio workstation software on the market (such as Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Cubase, Pro Tools, etc.), as well as various audio effect plugins and virtual instruments. These software can usually be run on personal computers and provide various audio recording, editing, mixing, and production functions. The price of the software varies depending on brand, version, function, etc., and there are many free or low-priced options.The continuous emergence of open-source music programming languages and software, such as SuperCollider, TidalCycles, ChucK, etc., provides developers and musicians with more choices and tools.

MIDI DAW is a type of digital audio workstation (DAW) software used for recording, editing, mixing, and producing music. The price of the software varies depending on brand, version, function, region, etc.

The cross-demand for musicians and programming talent will become more and more, and the music programming field needs comprehensive talents with music production and computer programming skills. Music programming will become more popular, and many music software and digital sequencers will add programming functions to allow musicians to be more flexible in music production and expression. The application of music programming in fields such as virtual reality, augmented reality, game design, and digital art will become more extensive. Music programming technology will become more advanced and complex, and the application of technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence will bring more innovation and possibilities to music programming.

In summary, music programming is a constantly developing and innovative field with high potential and development prospects.

Tools needed for Music Programming

The following tools are necessary to complete music programming:

  • Programming language: Many programming languages can be used for music programming, including Csound, Max/MSP, SuperCollider, ChucK, and more. These programming languages have their unique advantages and applications, and music programmers can choose the appropriate programming language according to their needs.
  • Audio software: Audio software is required for music programming to generate, process, and play audio. These software include DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), software synthesizers, samplers, and more. Common audio software includes Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Pro Tools, and more.
  • MIDI controller: A MIDI controller is a hardware device used to control audio software and hardware devices, enabling better control over the music production process. Common MIDI controllers include keyboards, control panels, drum pads, and more.
  • Audio interface: An audio interface is a device that connects the computer to audio equipment. They can send audio signals from the computer to audio devices or send audio signals from audio devices back to the computer. Common audio interfaces include USB audio interfaces and Firewire audio interfaces.
  • Computer hardware: Music programming requires a computer equipped with sufficient processing power and memory to handle complex audio signals. It is best to use a specialized music production computer or high-performance workstation.

Remote transmission of MIDI via the internet

Ethernet MIDI is a technology that uses Ethernet networks to transmit MIDI audio and control signals. MIDI messages are packed into Ethernet data packets and transmitted over the network to other Ethernet MIDI devices, allowing multiple audio devices to connect and communicate with each other. Compared to traditional MIDI connections, Ethernet MIDI offers higher data transfer rates and more stable transmission performance, supporting more devices and more complex audio signal transmission needs. Ethernet MIDI devices typically require compatible software for configuration and management, such as MIDI Network Setup (Bonjour MIDI configuration tool in Mac OS X) and Dante Controller (Dante network configuration and management tool).

The following are the technologies, patents, and software involved in currently popular Ethernet MIDI products:

  • RTP-MIDI (Real-Time Protocol MIDI) - A real-time MIDI transmission protocol based on User Datagram Protocol (UDP), one of the main standards for Ethernet MIDI. Common software includes rtpMIDI and MIDI Network Setup in Apple's CoreMIDI framework.
  • Apple Bonjour - A network service protocol developed by Apple that is used for automatic discovery and configuration of services and devices on the network, including Ethernet MIDI devices. It includes MIDI Network Setup (Bonjour MIDI configuration tool in Mac OS X) and Bonjour Print Services.
  • Internet Protocol Audio Protocol (IP Audio) - A protocol for transmitting audio data over the network, which can be used for audio transmission in Ethernet MIDI products. Common software includes Audinate Dante Controller, QSC Q-SYS Designer, and Waves SoundGrid Studio.
  • Dante (Digital Audio Network Through Ethernet) - A technology specifically designed for audio networks that can transmit multiple audio signals via Ethernet, supporting high-quality audio transmission. It includes Audinate Dante Controller and Dante Virtual Soundcard. It also includes the AVB testing and validation suite of Avnu Alliance and the Luminex AVB network switch.
  • Audio Video Bridging (AVB) - A standardized Ethernet protocol that supports real-time transmission of audio and video, used for the development of audio networks and Ethernet MIDI devices. Common software includes TouchOSC, MaxMSP, and Pure Data.
  • Open Sound Control (OSC) - A network-based control protocol used for controlling and interacting between audio devices, commonly used for controlling Ethernet MIDI devices.
  • Although Ethernet MIDI products have many advantages in audio transmission, they still have some drawbacks. The following are some common disadvantages of Ethernet MIDI products:
  • Higher price: Compared to traditional MIDI interfaces, Ethernet MIDI products are usually more expensive, which may limit their use by some users.
  • High network requirements: Ethernet MIDI requires a network connection, thus requiring network infrastructure support. Unstable or unreliable networks may cause audio transmission interruptions or delays.
  • Complex configuration and setup: Ethernet MIDI products usually require configuration and setup, which may be difficult for some users. In addition, Ethernet MIDI devices may require special software for configuration and management.
  • Compatibility issues: Different brands of Ethernet MIDI products may have compatibility issues, requiring special settings or pairing to achieve normal audio transmission.
  • Potential security issues: Since Ethernet MIDI products communicate over the network, there are some security risks. Attackers may exploit network security vulnerabilities to invade the network and obtain audio data or control audio devices.Although Ethernet MIDI products have these drawbacks, with the continuous development and improvement of technology, these issues may be resolved.

Advantages and disadvantages of transmitting MIDI via Ethernet


  • Long-distance transmission: Ethernet enables high-speed and long-distance data transmission, making it possible to connect music equipment in large venues such as concert halls without sacrificing data quality.
  • Convenient network connection: Ethernet can easily connect to different music devices through a network connection, simplifying the connection between MIDI devices.
  • Simultaneous transmission of multiple MIDI signals: Ethernet can transmit multiple MIDI signals at the same time, enabling more complex music control and transmission between multiple devices.


  • High cost: Ethernet requires special network equipment and cables, resulting in higher costs.
  • Complex configuration: Using Ethernet to transmit MIDI data requires some configuration and settings, which may require professional knowledge and skills.

Local USB Extension for MIDI Transmission

In music production, performance, and recording, long-distance USB cables may be needed for the following situations:
  • Remote control of audio equipment: Some audio equipment may need to be controlled from a distance away from the performance or recording venue, such as remotely controlling a microphone preamplifier or digital mixer. Using a long-distance USB cable can connect the computer and the equipment for control.
  • Long-distance transmission of audio data: Some audio equipment, such as a digital audio interface or sound card, needs to be connected to a computer via USB for the transmission of audio data. If the equipment is far away from the computer, a long-distance USB cable is required.
  • Music performance requiring a computer: Many music performances nowadays require the use of a computer for playing background music, playing electronic instruments, etc. If the stage and the computer are far apart, a long-distance USB cable is needed.It should be noted that using a long-distance USB cable may cause signal attenuation or interference, affecting the transmission of audio data. Therefore, it is necessary to choose a high-quality and appropriately sized USB cable and avoid placing it near other electronic devices.

Advantages and Disadvantages of USB Extension for MIDI Transmission


  • Simple and easy to use: USB extension cables are very easy to use, just plug them into the device.
  • Low cost: Compared to Ethernet, USB extension cables are cheaper because they do not require special equipment and cables.
  • Suitable for small-scale MIDI transmission: USB extension cables are suitable for small-scale MIDI transmission, such as connecting keyboards, synthesizers, and other devices in a home music studio.


  • Limited transmission distance: The transmission distance of USB extension cables is limited by the length and quality of the cable and typically cannot exceed 5-10 meters.
  • Unable to simultaneously transmit multiple MIDI signals: USB connections can generally only transmit one MIDI signal at a time, so multiple USB extension cables may be needed when controlling and transmitting multiple devices.

Extending MIDI-USB signals through a single Ethernet cable

DigitalLife MIDI-USB Extender over Ethernet Kit up to 100m


  • The cost is based on a comparison between USB MIDI extenders and Ethernet MIDI extenders.
  • Strong compatibility and simple operation - no software installation required. No complex software configuration needed.
  • It converts MIDI signals into USB signals and transmits them up to 100 meters through a single Ethernet cable.
  • It can simultaneously connect up to four USB protocol MIDI devices, audio interfaces, or USB-DMX devices.

In summary, using Ethernet to transmit MIDI data is suitable for large music venues and situations that require transmitting multiple MIDI signals. Using USB extenders to transmit MIDI data is suitable for small-scale MIDI transmission and simple home music studios.

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