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12.3 MIDI Terms

MIDI- Musical Instrument Digital Interface. Originally a hardware device that allowed a computer and a synthesizer to communicate, now a generally accepted term for hardware or software that operate according to General MIDI standards.

Standard MIDI File (SMF) - The file protocol or format for music files saved as MIDI (.MID extension). Includes Type 1 (multiple track / multiple channel) and Type 0 (single track / multiple channel) formats.

Sound Device- A MIDI driven tone generator. Sound cards, synthesizers, and MIDI mod- ules all fall under this category.

MIDI Event - Each piece of information contained within a MIDI file is an event. This includes Notes (attack and release), Control Changes, System Exclusive, Meta Events, Program Changes, etc.

Velocity - The speed at which the note was struck, measured with a number from 0-127.

Channel -A MIDI device sends and receives MIDI information along separate and dis- tinct Channels. Each channel contains note and non-note event data. Most MIDI devices can support up to 16 MIDI Channels at one time.

Patch - Every MIDI channel has a MIDI patch assigned to it. A Patch is the instrument sound selected for a particular channel when playing back.

Program Change - Same as a patch. Indicates a change of patch within a given channel or track.

Bank - MIDI devices divide patches into groups of 128. One Bank of patches from a MIDI device can be accessed at a time by a MIDI computer program or another MIDI device.

Port - A computer can run several MIDI devices at a time with the proper hardware. Each device is connected to a unique Port.