MIDI Connections


   There are many different types of MIDI connections. The MIDI Out sends digital messages from one MIDI device and into the MIDI In of another MIDI device.

The MIDI Thru connector receives a copy of any digital message coming into the MIDI In connection and sends a duplicate of this information out of the MIDI Thru port into the MIDI In of a third MIDI device. This allows the user to have more than two MIDI devices connected as a studio. The MIDI Out port from the second or third device in the diagram below would not work because it is sending MIDI information from that particular synthesizer. The MIDI Thru port is receiving the MIDI In information and passing it on to the next device.

When MIDI devices are linked together by a series of MIDI In and MIDI Thru connections, it is referred to as a Daisy-Chain Network.
Copies of MIDI In information may be sent to numerous devices by using MIDI Thru Boxes, known as Star Networks.

 A MIDI interface may only have two connections, a MIDI In and a MIDI Out. This gives the user the ability to send information to a computer, while the computer sends MIDI information out from a software program. Some music software programs will have a MIDI Echo device that allows a copy of the information to be merged with the information that is leaving the computer from the MIDI Out ports. This enables the sequencing software to simultaneously record the information that it is receiving at the MIDI In port, while sending a copy of that information out of the MIDI Out port along with previously recorded tracks of MIDI events.

 Example of a MIDI Echo / MIDI Merger

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Connecting MIDI Studios

Now it is time to try connecting a few different MIDI studios. Listed below are four different MIDI studios that are Java-enabled. Start with Studio A, which has two MIDI keyboards, and then go to Studio B, which consists of three MIDI keyboards. Studio C continues the concept of a daisy-chain, but the studio is more sophisticated and contains a computer, interface, keyboard, and three tone generators. Studio D is the last studio in the series. It resembles Studio C but a MIDI star network is added to the system.

When you click on one of the studios listed below you will go to a separate page that explains the program and uploads the Java applet. Wait for the Java applet to load before preceding. The studio diagram picture will flash until the applet is completely loaded. If the applet is not working properly, press the reload button on your browser and try again.

 Studio A

 Studio C

 Studio B

 Studio D

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MIDI Interfaces
 The pictures below are MIDI interfaces for the Macintosh computer. Interfaces may be purchased in many different styles and varying degrees of complexity.  

pictures from Opcode and Apple Computer

   The pictures below are MIDI interfaces for Windows based computers. Possible interfaces may be an external device or inserted into the computer as an add-on card.  

pictures from Music Quest Inc. and Dell Computer Corporation

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Exploring MIDI Home
What is MIDI?
MIDI Connections Java Enabled
MIDI Connections Non-Java
Understanding Decimal Binary & Hexadecimal
The MIDI Language
Types of Data Transmitted through MIDI
MIDI Channels and Modes
MIDI Controllers
General MIDI
Standard MIDI Files
Using MIDI on a Web Site
Applications that use MIDI
Audio vs. MIDI Files
MIDI Timing Concepts
Author Info and Comments