Thursday, December 28, 2006

Difference between Midi and Sound stored in a Musical Instrument

Most people are confused about MIDI and keep asking me that how can the sound of one music synthesizer/Keyboard be loaded into another synthesizer/keyboard.

First of all let me explain that MIDI means Musical Instruments Digital Interface. It is a digital code or language for storing musical information in digital format (Music Data) or communicating between two or more digital music workstation/instrument (i.e. sending or receiving musical data from one digital musical instrument/computer to any other digital musical instrument/computer).

It was initially designed to carry or store only the basic Musical Note information with controller messages such as velocity, after touch, pitch bender etc. along with tempo and channel information.

But later it was enhanced with other messages such as system exclusive and Midi time code (MTC) etc.

But it does not contain any audio data.

In a keyboard there are two sections viz:

1. Midi section
2. Sound generator section.

1. When you play a keyboard and press a key/Note, the Midi section generates and sends a digitally encoded musical information (called MIDI DATA) containing the note information and other parameters (such as velocity, expression etc.) to the sound generator section, which decodes the information and generates the sound as per the instructions in MIDI DATA.

2. The sound generator section is the sound module which can either synthesize or trigger a wave sample (pre-stored sound in ROM chip in wave format) to generate a sound upon receiving instruction in digital format (MIDI DATA) from midi section.

Now it is clear that if you have a midi port on you instrument, it can only send or receive midi data and not the audio/sound as it is not present in the midi data.

Hence you can transfer midi information between instruments to play a sound from another instrument or so, but you cannot transmit or load the sound through midi port to other instrument.

Please note that this article is not a complete description of midi - it is just to clarify that sounds of one keyboard cannot be loaded into another keyboard using MIDI.

Note: Patch parameters are MIDI information regarding how the sound will be played (attack, decay, sustain, filter etc.). Hence you can transfer or exchange patches using Midi from one instrument to another of same genre (i.e. different models having same sound generator module inside them although having different features, such as Roland JV880, JV80, JV90; XP60, XP80; etc.).

So don't think that you are copying sound from one instrument to another when you copy a patch as it is only the Midi information and can only be used with the identical sound generator section of different models of same genre.

Hope this article will be able to reflect some light on differentiation between midi and sound stored in a keyboard or musical instrument.

I am quite busy these days so keep patient as I will keep posting accordingly.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

TIPS: Enable audio click in Nuendo 3.2

Lot of people have been calling me and complaining that they cannot hear the Audio Click after upgrading to Nuendo 3.2.

This is because a new studio console feature has been incorporated in this version which prevents the Audio Click to route to main out directly.

But the Click can be routed to main out by simply changing setting in connections.


  • Press F4 or go to devices to open "VST Connections" window as shown above.


  • Select the output Tab and click with the mouse on the box in the right top corner column just where it is written Click so that the column also shows click indicating that the click is now enabled and routed to this output. You can choose any other output also instead of Main 1/2.

Hope I will keep posting tips which will help to solve problem of many musician and sound engineers around.

I will be back with some new tips soon.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

TIPS: Synchronise Audio Loop to project Tempo without Time Stretching/Editing in Nuendo 3

There is a new feature in Nuendo 3 which lets you play the audio loop in the project without editing or time stretching explained hereumder in ten steps.


STEP:011. Open a new project in Nuendo and Import a audio file as shown above.


STEP:022. Select a audio LOOP file as shown in the picture above. The file is " DEHBISAR1" in my case.


STEP:033. You can see the project Tempo is 120 BPM amd the size of the LOOP event is more than one measure/bar. Now highlight the loop and open "Beat Calculator" from Project Menu to find the actual tempo of the loop as shown above.


STEP:044. Now in the Beat Calculator enter the number of beats loop is actually playing. 4 in my case as shown above.


STEP:055. You can now see the actual tempo which is 85.19 BPM in my case. Insert the tempo at the begining in the project - You can choose the option "At Tempo Track Start" to insert the tempo at the begining of the project as shown above. Now you can see that the project tempo has changed to 85.19 BPM amd the LOOP is also adjusted exactly within one measure.


STEP:066.Toggle the timebase of the Track to "Musical" as shown above.


STEP:077. Double Click the LOOP event to open the wave editor. On right top you need to enable Musical Mode button as shown above.


STEP:088. When you press "Musical Mode" button a pop up will come up as shown above Asking you to enter the BPM value for the LOOP.


STEP:099. Now its done.You can copy the LOOP to following Bars.


STEP:1010. Now you can change the tempo of the Project to desired value. The loop will always play synchronised with the project tempo nomatter what as shown above. Hope this will help a lot of people. Just try out this, while I come up with something new....

Friday, December 22, 2006

Edirol FA-66 24Bit/192kHz FireWire Audio Capture Interface

Here is some good news:-  Edirol FireWire audio interface FA-66 supports upto 192Khz sampling rate. Further the Edirol FA-66 24Bit/192kHz FireWire Audio Capture comes with a FREE copy of SONAR LE.
Edirol FA-66  24Bit/192kHz FireWire Audio CaptureFA-66 is a economical alternate to FA-101 with almost all features identical except the number of inputs and outputs (FA-66 is a 6in 6 out Card). It has 4 analogue inputs and 4 analogue outputs only along with digital stereo in and out (optical).
  • The only limitation in FA-66 is that you will not be able to use digital i/o with 192Khz setting.
  • There is one extra feature in this card as compared to FA-101. It has a switchable analogue limiter at input 1 which is very useful while recording vocal and other live instruments.
  • There is a input level adjustment control in the rear for inputs 3 and 4.
  • The inputs 3 and 4 are unbalanced RCA type.

Edirol FA-66  24Bit/192kHz FireWire Audio CaptureYou get the same high sound quality as FA-101 at a lower price , only the number of I/O's has been reduced in FA-66. Nice card at a decent price.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Edirol FA-101 Firewire Audio Interface

I have heard the sound of many soundcards including those expensive ones. But to be honest I liked the Analog warmth and clear rounded Highs of this soundcard without any sign of harshness.
Edirol FA-101 Firewire Audio InterfaceThis 24 bit card is easy to connect to PC or Laptop through Firewire port. Supports upto 192Khz sampling frequency. The best part is that the clock is selected and locked through clock selector knob on the interface and not through software. So you get more stability and no auto change of clock occurs during different projects.Edirol FA-101 Firewire Audio InterfaceIt has a Balanced analogue stereo master monitor out apart from 6 other analogue Balanced outs. The Input 1 and 2 supports balanced Mic/Line with gain control and switchable phantom power. The other 6 analogue inputs (3 through 8) are line inputs with attenuation Knob on the rear for gain control of input 7 and 8.

Input 2 can also be used as high impedance guitar input by pressing the seletor switch provided in the front beside the gain control.

The card has a pair of digital (optical) ins and outs labeled 9 and 10 in the front. The card supports direct monitoring with a balance controller knob in the front for adjusting the main out and monitoring out levels. It has a stereo headphone out in the front with independent level control.

It has a midi in and out also in the rear. You can provide the power to the unit from your pc/Laptop or external adaptor provided with the unit. It has a two way on/off switch to select the power source either from computer or power adaptor.

There is no latency problem in the unit and works fine up to 2ms "ASIO Drivers provided". More stable with VIA firewire card ..... my experience...... although the company recommends Texas Instruments. You can try PYRO PCI 64 but why to put extra money when ordinary VIA card works fine.

If you believe your ears then you can tell the difference of sound quality yourself after hearing the sound of this card.

Soon I will review some other cards too. Till then just make some new tracks!!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Today at last I have started my weblog for audio recording and music making guys..

Planning since very long..

Although solving technical problems over phone..

see you tommorrow

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