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The MIDI Protocol

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It's easy to use MIDI as one would use an appliance - pop in the disk, set a channel, and play. In fact, one of the reasons for MIDI's growing popularity is the fact that it is possible to use MIDI without really understanding the bits and bytes behind the MIDI protocol. However, a new generation of MIDI data analysis programs and sequencers offer access to MIDI on a byte-by-byte basis. For example, commands can be inserted in a sequence that allow for all kinds of parameter changes in the middle of a sequence. It's even possible to insert messages that will spell out words on the display of some synths (such as -Go to bridge- or whatever).: To make the best use of MIDI, it's important to understand the range and depth of the MIDI vocabulary. First we well cover some general aspects of MIDI, then describe the various elements of the MIDI vocabulary.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society