A brief history of Electronic Music

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A brief history of Electronic Music. Leon Theramin invents the Aetherophone in 1930 Synthesizers began in the 1940s They were initially as big as a house and cost about as much or more Evolved alongside recording technology Early adopters are scientists and engineers as much as musicians - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • A brief history of Electronic MusicLeon Theramin invents the Aetherophone in 1930Synthesizers began in the 1940sThey were initially as big as a house and cost about as much or moreEvolved alongside recording technologyEarly adopters are scientists and engineers as much as musiciansMusic created has narrow appeal

  • A brief history of Electronic MusicApmex in the US replicates Germanys tape technology captured in WW2Artists begin making tape based art, or Musique Concrete, incorporating found sounds (sampling) in live performances (DJ) around 1948Pierre Schaeffer (1910-1995)

  • A brief history of Electronic MusicComposers begin to use electronics to create both prepared (recorded) and performance-based classical music

    Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007)

  • Early Analogue SynthsARP, Bob Moog (Mogue)Modular (VCO, VCA, VCF, LFO, envelope, etc.)Based on CVMonophonicNo way to save sounds (patches)Hard to keep in tuneNo interoperability

  • Early Analogue Synths cont.Oberheim invents polyphony (polyphonic) four simultaneous notes!Streamlined designPortablePatch MemoryBrand specific inter-communicationStacking

  • The need for standardizationLike computers, synths needed a standard(list standards)1982 proposal of UMI at NAMM by SCMany international revisions MIDI: Musical Instruments Digital Interface1983 first MIDI keyboards (Roland, SC)

  • What is MIDI?MIDI is a communications protocol.MIDI is also a hardware specification.

  • MIDI Communication Protocol.Universal. Everyones gear works together. Expandable. New features can be added.Transport control information.Transport timing information.Transport files.The protocol is hardware independent.

  • MIDI HardwareUniversal mixing and matching of gearMaster controller + keyboardless synth modules: conserve space, layering possibilitiesAutomation & synchronization of gear for mixdown or performanceSequencing: timing correction, step based entryArchiving of information

  • Typical MIDI messagesTurning on and off notes Expressing the velocity of each note Sending program changes Use of the sustain pedal and other controller, such as pitch bend or modulation wheel Timing relationships of all MIDI notes and events

  • MIDI is a serial transmission.Each bit is sent one at a time.Parallel is faster, more costly, shorter cable runs (printer)Serial is slower, cheaper, longer cable runs (modem)

  • Cables

  • Common MIDI Controller messages - (7 bit)3 byte message.Status bit.1st data byte = 7 bit controller number.2nd data byte = 7 bit controller value.

  • The protocol is based on two types of bytes.Status bytes.Data bytes.

  • Status bytes determine what kind of message is being sent and where its going.Channel Voice.Channel Mode.System Common.System Real Time.System Exclusive.

  • Data bytes contain information.Note or controller number.Note or controller values.Attack Velocity.Pitch bend values.File data.

  • Example of a note on message.(Channel Voice Message)

  • MIDI Controllers(14 bit)Implemented as two 7 bit controllers.3 byte message to send 7 MSB.Another 3 byte message to send 7 LSB.If fine adjustments dont exceed 127, only the 7 LSB are sent.If MSB is sent, LSB must also be sent.

  • MIDI time code (MTC)(Systems Common Message)MTC is the MIDI equivalent of SMPTE.Sent as eight 2 byte messages.1 msg per each quarter frame of SMPTE.8 X frame = 2 frames.MTC updates SMPTE once every 2 frames.At 30 frames per sec, 120 messages are sent.Thats 1 update every 66.6 ms.

  • MIDI running statusDoes not send redundant status bytes.This reduces the amount of time it takes to transmit a MIDI message by 320 us. Running status only works as long as you are sending data that has the same status byte.Changing the MIDI channel requires a new status byte.

  • Before I can connect a computer to a MIDI device, I have to connect it to a: MIDI interfaces

  • What are my connection choices?Internal interface. (rare)Com port. (obsolete)Parallel port (aka printer port - obsolete).USB. (most common currently)FireWire. (quite common as part of an audio interface)Ethernet. (available - future?)Wireless. (niche but available)

  • What are my MIDI interface choices?1 MIDI in, and 1 MIDI out.Multiple MIDI in, and Multiple MIDI out.As part of an audio interface.Direct USB to USBTime code connectivity.SMPTELTCVITC

  • MIDI ConnectionsMax cable length is 50 feet.Chaining more than 3 devices may cause timing issuesY cords are not allowed. Driving more than one input requires too much current. ( spec is 5 ma.)Multiple outputs to one input creates data collisions.

  • MIDI ControllersA MIDI enabled device capable of registering and transmitting gestural informationExamples: note on / off, velocity, knobs, sliders, wheels, pitch bend, breath, control changes, patch dumps, MIDI Time Code (MTC), MIDI Machine Control (MMC), etc.Originally keyboards, but today take on a wide variety of shapes, sizes and applicationsSome MIDI controllers are also sound generators some are not

  • MIDI Controllers (cont.)This Akai MPK61 does not make any sound by itself - it has no audio jacks. It is used for controlling other MIDI enabled devices including software synths (Reason, etc.) and hardware tone generators.

  • MIDI Controllers (cont.)Some keyboards such as this Korg Triton Studio are synthesizers, samplers, sequencers and record digital audio all in one unit! And with the included MIDI outputs on the back, can control other devices as well, making them very capable MIDI controllers on top of everything else.

  • MIDI Controllers (cont.)This device, known as a sound module, does not have a keyboard, but has sound generating / synthesizing electronics and audio jacks. It requires a MIDI controller to tell it what notes to play.

  • MIDI Controllers (cont.)But not all MIDI controllers are keyboards, per se: This one is called the Terpstra.

  • MIDI Controllers (cont.)

  • MIDI Controllers (cont.)and dont forget MIDI uses for:Theatrical lighting Show controlPyrotechnicsVideo playback / manipulationRingtonesVideo GamesWebsitesKaraokeEtc.