MIDI is a great tool that has opened up a new range of possibilities for studios since its introduction about three decades ago. Still, it sometimes remains a bit misunderstood, so we put together this intro to MIDI to offer a simple explanation of this digital technology.
This technology came along just as studios were beginning to experiment with digital recording, and while both MIDI and digital recording have now become acceptable practices in almost every studio, many found the technology a little scary when it was new. But, like most studio equipment, MIDI was refined over the years, and is now so versatile it can sound great alongside most any analog instrument out there.
And it’s this mix of analog and digital that seems to be the happy medium of most recording studios today. Here at Sage, we use a perfected mix of digital and analog equipment to make sure you get the best CD mastering services available.
What is MIDI?
Let’s start with the basics: MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface, and was developed in 1983. Essentially what this means is that a MIDI device provides a digital communication which uses the 1s and 0s of digital technology – no actual audio information is transferred.
MIDI caught on nearly immediately after being introduced, but the number of companies working with MIDI were so numerous that MIDI devices quickly began to be incompatible with each other. To solve this problem, General MIDI was established in the early 1990s as a standard MIDI protocol. This established a common set of specifications between all MIDI equipment.
How Does MIDI Work?
A MIDI signal contains a large amount of information, but there are four main pieces of information that controls how a device functions.
- Note On – as you would expect, this piece of information tells when the equipment should begin the note.
- Note Off – the note has to be told when to stop playing, as well.
- Note Number – every note a MIDI device is capable of playing is assigned a number, and the device must instruct which number is to be played.
- Note Velocity – finally, velocity tells how loud the note should be played. The volume also is assigned a number: 0 is the quietest and 127 is the loudest.
What Can MIDI Devices Do For Your Studio?
MIDI devices are most often seen in studios as keyboards or drum machines, though additional types also exist. The options for MIDI devices are nearly endless, and are constantly expanding in the audio industry.
Similarly, there was a time when audio mastering engineers might have scoffed at anything digital, but these days we’re producing some of the best sounding masters to ever be released by combining analog and digital technology.
Make Pro Songs
Welcome to Sage Audio — where we’ve been providing top-tier studio mastering services and audio education for over two decades now. We understand the challenges of achieving that elusive "professional" sound and are committed to helping you attain it in your own mixes and masters.
That’s why we created the Sage Audio Membership™.
Just for signing up, you receive 10 free mastered songs per month with your own dedicated mastering engineer, unlimited mixing feedback, and access to Sage Audio University™ mixing and mastering courses - which include start-to-finish walkthrough sessions for various genres and 35 multitrack sessions for hands-on practice.
This platform is supported by our thriving community and tight-knit network of audio engineers. Every day, we see and hear great wins in the membership from both new and seasoned engineers, noticing a huge improvement in their mixes and masters after joining.
There are 6 unique value-points inside the Sage Audio membership, so let’s go over each one so you can decide if it’s the right fit for you.
1. 10 Free Mastered Songs Per Month
- Get 10 free mastered songs per month with your own dedicated professional mastering engineer so you can get all your mixes sounding like professional songs.
- All 10 free mastered songs per month will accumulate in your account and will not expire as for as long as you remain a member.
- You’ll get your own dedicated Sage Audio mastering engineer to discuss all your project needs 1:1 so they can create custom masters that are specific to you and sound exactly how you want.
- Unlimited revisions with your dedicated Sage Audio mastering engineer. As a standard of our service, we are not happy until you are happy with the sound of your masters.
- All masters are delivered as commercial, industry-standard high-resolution 24-bit HD WAV masters so they will sound clean and clear on every platform.
2. Unlimited Mixing Feedback
- Get unlimited mixing feedback from Sage Audio engineers and community members so you can quickly improve your mixes.
- This is highly valuable - giving you access to a thriving community of mixing engineers who can provide you with feedback about what you can improve first before sending your mix to be professionally mastered.
3. Sage Audio University™ (SAU) — (Mixing and Mastering Education Platform)
- SAU is a modern audio engineering education platform that includes in-depth mixing and mastering course curriculums that match the new music industry.
- SAU is designed for every experience level, ranging from first-time mixing engineers to advanced engineers. The techniques and concepts taught can be applied to any DAW to create industry-leading mixes without expensive software or plugins - and free plugin alternatives are suggested throughout every course curriculum.
- SAU course curriculums include Start-to-Finish session walkthrough lessons for multiple genres so you can follow along with your preferred genre.
- SAU Membership Degree Certification, which can be downloaded and showcased on your website, social channels, and portfolio for as long as you remain a member.
- Get first access to all future SAU course curriculums to continually build and refine your mixing and mastering skills as the industry evolves.
4. Sage Audio Community
- The Sage Audio community is a tight-knit community of passionate audio engineers that can provide you with real-world mixing feedback, discussions, mix competitions, networking, collaborations, and more.
5. 700+ In-depth Sage Audio Mixing and Mastering Videos
- Access 700+ in-depth Sage Audio mixing and mastering videos - curated and organized into playlists so you can take a deep-dive into all aspects of audio engineering with thousands of hours of concise, expertly crafted Sage Audio videos to continually improve your mixing and mastering skills at your own pace.
6. 70+ GB of Curated Sage Audio Downloadable Content, Including:
- 36 multitrack sessions spanning multiple genres for mixing practice.
- 57 un-mastered mixes spanning multiple genres for mastering practice.
- 62 Recommended Free Plugins List (vetted, tested, and approved, so you don’t have to).
- 39 Recommended Paid Plugins List (vetted, tested, and approved, so you don’t have to).
- 58 Sage Audio custom plugin presets to improve your mixes and masters.
- Sage Audio Membership Badge to showcase on your website, social channels, and portfolio.