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Help please: MIDI 101

 
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permanent hearing damage
suffering 'studio suck'


Joined: 09 Oct 2003
Posts: 491
Location: philly

PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:12 pm    Post subject: Help please: MIDI 101 Reply with quote

So after 17 years of making rock records of some form, I have a client booked who works primarily with MIDI and is not terribly knowledgeable in terms of recording. I have been clear that this is new territory for me and am charging with that in mind. I know how to set it up in my DAW (Cubase 6), so my questions are these:

1) I know I need to get a MIDI interface for my computer. I'm assuming any old USB one will do the trick, but I'm curious if this is going to wreak any havoc on my current setup of a BLA modded MOTU 24io. Additionally does it really matter which MIDI interface I buy, especially if I don't need any bells and whistles right now?

2) What are some good places to start for VST Instruments? I know Cubase comes with a selection, but I know that may not cut it for some tunes. What are some good starting points?
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Nick Sevilla
speech impediment


Joined: 03 Mar 2008
Posts: 4453
Location: Los Angeles California USA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:17 am    Post subject: Re: Help please: MIDI 101 Reply with quote

Hi,

MIDI is extremely simple. It is, basically, a notebook of a performance.

Like when you make a draft of an essay, for example, in pencil. It is not the actual audio, but only a way of telling an instrument WHAT to play (notes) and HOW to play it,(other MIDI parameters such as volume, etc).

As to MIDI interfaces, get a Motu one, it should play nice with what you already have.

Whenever I use MIDI in my own productions or in other people's, I always, in the end, record the finalized MIDI performance as an audio output from the synthesizer. Always. That makes it a permanent and correct record of the right sound and performance, and it makes it easier to then mix afterwards.

This final instrument print is usually kept right under or above the original MIDI, and edited together, in a group, in case it needs to be edited.

During mixing I usually turn off the virtual instrument, giving me back the CPU from the computer for other processing duties such as compressors and EQ.

I hope this helps you a bit.

PS as to what instruments to get, well, what is your client using? He should bring all of that into the studio with him or her. What are they using currently? What doe they need, and are they willing to buy whatever V.I. they need? Those things would be their instruments, not yours... unless you want to be generous.
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The Song. Nothing else really matters.
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