MIDI Tutorial

MIDI Explained®

  4.8   (33)  - log in to review
20 Videos | Length: 1hr 41min 21sec
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    What is MIDI?

    Learn what MIDi is and how it’s basic DNA works.

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    Status Bytes & Data Bytes

    Learn about the different types of data contained within the two main types of MIDI messages, channel messages and system messages.

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    Note Messages

    Discover how the most basic channel voice messages, note messages, behave and look within a modern digital audio workstation; see how the status and data bytes are displayed, and how note off messages are created when releasing one’s finger’s from a MIDI keyboard controller.

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    Understanding MIDI Note Numbers

    MIDI note messages contain note numbers as identifiers. Learn how these numbers correspond to the pitches on a piano keyboard, and how various octave numbering conventions correlate with MIDI note numbers.

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    Aftertouch Messages

    Learn about the two different types of aftertouch messages, polyphonic aftertouch and channel aftertouch, and hear how they are used to modulate the filter cutoff, and the LFO rate on a synthesizer sound.

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    Pitch Bend Messages

    See how these unique fourteen bit MIDI messages generate up to 16,383 steps of resolution and are used to modulate pitch on the receiving device or instrument in either positive or negative ranges.

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    Program Change & Bank Select Messages

    Discover how these two messages are used, either alone or together, to change the sound on a MIDI device.

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    MIDI CC Messages

    Continuous controller messages, also called Control Change messages, transmit a range of values and are used to control various aspects of sound generation on a per MIDI channel basis. Learn about some the commonly assigned CC messages.

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    CC Messages in Action

    See and hear a few examples of how various continuous controller messages are used to alter sound parameters separately from note data.

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    Channel Mode Messages

    Learn how poly, mono, and legato modes influence the number of MIDI voices that can be triggered simultaneously, and how portamento is used in conjunction with them.

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    Multitimbral Mode

    Discover how multitimbral synths are used to either split or layer sounds across multiple MIDI channels assigned to unique “Parts”, and how Omni mode is used to allow incoming MIDI messages to be transmitted to Parts set to the corresponding MIDI channel.

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    System Common Messages

    Learn about this special category of non channel specific MIDI messages that pertain to the entire receiving device.

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    System Real Time Messages

    Learn about how these messages are used to synchronize clock based MIDI devices like sequencers and drum machines so that they playback in sync with each other.

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    MIDI Time Code

    Explore this alternate form of syncing MIDI clock based devices, and see how it can be used virtually to sync two DAWs together.

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    System Exclusive Messages

    See how the freeware app SysEx Librarian is used to record and store the patch, setup, and device data from an external MIDI sound module.

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    General MIDI

    Learn about the General MIDI instrument and drum mapping conventions that insure sequences played back on devices from different manufacturers trigger the correct sounds.

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    Standard MIDI Files

    See how MIDI data can be exported and imported in this standard format from one proprietary platform to another.

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    MIDI Timing

    Learn about absolute and relative timing. See how MIDI messages are recorded at specific locations relative to bars and beats based on the resolution of clock pulses or “ticks” in the sequencer. And discover how quantizing is used to move the location of note on messages so that they fall on the clock pulses, or ticks, that correspond with even musical subdivisions.

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    Routing to External MIDI Devices

    Learn how to set up MIDI interfaces and external MIDI devices in the OS X Audio MIDI Setup utility, and how to route MIDI signal externally from within Logic Pro X.

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    IAC Signal Flow

    Discover how the OS X Audio MIDI Setup utility is used to route MIDI between different applications on the same computer.

Product Overview


Are you new to MIDI or have you been using it but don’t really understand what it is and how it works? Learn how MIDI works in this series of 20 tutorial videos that will give you an understanding of MIDI and what you need to know in order to connect, program and control all of your MIDI-capable software and hardware.

Beginning with a general overview of what MIDI is, Eli explores the different types of data contained within MIDI messages. That leads into Note Messages, perhaps the most important MIDI message, and a video on understanding MIDI Note Numbers.

Eli then covers the rest of the most common and important MIDI messages such as Aftertouch, Pitch Bend, Program Change, Bank Select, MIDI Continuous Controller, and Channel Mode messages.

Once you've learned about the MIDI messages, Eli dives deeper with Multitimbral Mode, explaining how to layer sound across MIDI channels and parts. After that, he covers some of the more esoteric MIDI features such as System Common and System Real Time messages, MIDI Time Code, and System Exclusive messages.

Finally, Eli explains the General MIDI convention and Standard MIDI Files, along with the difference between Absolute and Relative Midi Timing. If you have external MIDI devices, you'll learn how to route MIDI to them, and if you are an OS X user needing to do complex routings, Eli explores the OS X MIDI Setup Utility for even more control and customization.

If you're just getting into computer music and are confused by MIDI, or you're a longtime musician who really wants to understand it all, check out "MIDI Explained" today!


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MIDI Explained® is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 33 .
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Nice in depth explanation of MIDI technology MIDI Explained is the most in depth discussion of MIDI technology I've found. Will be referring back to this instruction series numerous times as I attempt to get a deeper understanding of MIDI. It's apparent a solid understanding of MIDI will be critical to achieving proficiency with my DAW and all of the incredible MIDI Plugins that are available.
Date published: 2021-05-10
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from The lessons were clear and easy to follow. Short concise lessons The lessons were clear and easy to follow. Short concise lessons right off the page and small enough bites to remember where to look up the answers to your project questions. I especially like 'following the bouncing cursor' when the instructor read the lessons.(No, Really, I DID like it.) It actually saved the distraction of hunting down a moving cursor while you still don't know where all of the 'INTUITIVE TOGGLES' are. It is worth the download and handy as a constant reference document as one works to master MIDI. Thanks.
Date published: 2021-03-15
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very clear expanation. I was not aware of many things I've just discover on the videos.
Date published: 2021-01-26
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Great and in depth explanation of midi Was always mystefied by midi and now far less so! Thank you :)
Date published: 2020-12-24
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very informative This was a great course that answered many questions I had about MIDI. The pace is quite fast, but it is easy to replay or pause to digest or try what you have learned. I wish there was a course this good on AUV 3 or iOS music apps. Thanks for the info.
Date published: 2020-09-28
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Great I know nothing,but one many midi devices
Date published: 2020-09-01
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very helpful with clear explanations Very happy to have found this tutorial. The process of adding this review OTOH has been a bit annoying.
Date published: 2020-07-14
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very detailedGood information Helped basic details about midi
Date published: 2020-01-13
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very Helpful Yes, this was a great way to know about Midi. Very Clear Explained with good examples.
Date published: 2019-07-29
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from A Wealth of MIDI info. I'll be going over this again to soak up more of the voluminous info in these vids. Lots of terminology, but it's very clearly explained. Thanks!
Date published: 2019-04-07
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from So good Very helpful
Date published: 2018-12-25
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Extremely Helpful Well thought out and presented. Simple, easy to understand segments. I really appreciated the different acronyms being spelled out for me like IAC etc. Much, much appreciated. I will be going through this course many times. :)
Date published: 2018-10-27
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Excellent tutorial Typically I’m very dubious of paying for content that can be found for free from other sources like YouTube. However, this goes far beyond what is available on those services. Very impressed!
Date published: 2018-08-27
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Clearly explained! Have not completed every video but so far it has been easy to understand.
Date published: 2018-04-23
Rated 2.5 out of 5 by from Confusing i think its confusing, it can be easier but in the video explain a lot for nothing
Date published: 2018-03-27
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from A must have We all need to know midi as many Virtual Instruments are becoming an integral part of our production
Date published: 2018-02-23
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from very helpful Very useful as i have not understood how midi works.the tutor explains it very well
Date published: 2018-02-04
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from exactly what it teaches A little dry. Not because of the teacher. But it goes to the basic rudimentary fundamentals of MIDI. If you are looking for a quick songwriting class with shortcuts, this is not the class. But if you want a career and a well rounded knowledge, this is a must take course .
Date published: 2017-09-30
Rated 4.0 out of 5 by from Helpful I had learned a few things about midi. I wanted to create a controller map for my keyboard, so figured to make sure I understood everything. This helped a lot and there were even a couple items that I could really use. I skipped thru the chapters, but filled in a lot of holes. Glad I watch. Also, I've watched a number of video's with Eli and he is a great instructor and takes his time to explain everything. If you have any questions about midi, watch this course.
Date published: 2017-08-16
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from AAA AAA
Date published: 2017-07-27
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Great introduction! A super introduction to MIDI and the technical aspects. I knew a little, but this tutorial is helping to fill in the gaps. Super series!
Date published: 2017-07-23
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very informative Learned so much about MIDI. Goes into the history and all. Very well done.
Date published: 2017-06-15
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from I thought I knew MIDI... Most of us probably understand the basic concept of MIDI, but this course goes really deep into the many applications for it. Beginners through to experts will take something away for this!
Date published: 2017-05-12
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Great tool, I plan to always keep my subscription renewed.
Date published: 2017-04-08
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Cool! Nice to have a refresher on MIDI
Date published: 2017-03-17
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Informative A great introduction tutorial to MIDI. Good for both beginners and those that need a refresher on what MIDI can do. Eli is a great video instructor and keeps each video short and sweet allowing the student to absorb each concept. Definitely worth keeping around for quick review
Date published: 2017-03-16
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from beginner informative great course for my basic understanding of midi concepts.
Date published: 2017-03-05
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Songwriting Theory Explained Great Product and value for money packaged with other
Date published: 2017-02-20
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Bien Estructurado Ayuda a saber lo básico del MIDI para explotar al máximo un secuenciador de Audio/MIDI
Date published: 2017-02-03
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Eli Kranzberg This is mainly a review for Eli. He is the reason I subscribe to Groove3. Outstanding communicator! If he goes I go.
Date published: 2017-01-18
Rated 4.0 out of 5 by from MIDI explained I'm new to midi and this is a great introduction well done.
Date published: 2016-11-25
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from VERY good with details... Helped me alot... filling in pieces I was missing. Midi mapping tools on mac would have been more helpful if he covered the win 10 answer to the problems the audio midi setup tool in mac covered.
Date published: 2016-10-07
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Midi Basics This is another great video series by Eli. He explains the basic concepts of midi with clear and easy to understand points and examples. This is a must see for anyone new to midi that is truing to get a firm basic foundation of what midi is & what it has to offer by understanding it. I particularly like his examples with soft synth and hardware synth to better understand how midi is used.
Date published: 2016-07-15
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