What is MIDI?How is a MIDI file different from an audio or MP3 file?
What is MIDI, and what are MIDI files?
The answer to the above question is that you can convert only MIDI files, not audio or
So, if I can convert audio or MP3 files to notation, but only MIDI files, what
MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is an industry standard for passing musical
Most audio equipment that we are familiar with-- such as CD players and radios--
In contrast, MIDI instruments receive and send music data as specific actions to be
When Notation Composer (or any MIDI program) records a performance on a MIDI keyboard,
The following diagram illustrates MIDI note performance data. Each rectangle
A diagram of a MIDI performance, such as shown above, is commonly called "Piano Roll Notation" because it looks quite similar to piano rolls that were used in mechanical player pianos that were popular in the early 1900's. Each rectangle in the above diagram is like a hole in a piano roll. As the piano roll is scrolled during the performance, the player piano plays a key on the piano when it detects the hole, and releases the key when it detects the end of the hole.
Piano Roll Notation is an ideal way to visualize the performance of notes. Composer offers you the option to see (and edit) both the Piano Roll Notation and standard music notation, at the same time, as illustrated here:
For further information about Piano Roll Notation in Composer, see the topic Displaying Piano Roll Notation.
A MIDI file is a saved recording of a MIDI performance. For a given song, a MIDI file is much smaller (as measured in bytes) than an equivalent audio recording of the song, saved in a .WAV or .MP3 file format or CD audio format. This is because only a few numbers are needed in the MIDI format to describe a note: its starting and ending times, pitch, loudness, and instrument sound. In contrast, tens of thousands of numbers are needed to describe the audio sound waves for just one second of music. The small file size makes the MIDI format an easy-to-store and exchange format, as well as being flexible for changing the sound the file makes by changing the instruments and other parameters easily.