#1
I consider myself an intelligent guy, but I can't figure out MIDI for the life of me. I've been reading up on it for a few hours now and haven't gotten anywhere. I've owned quite a few amps that had "MIDI" and have never used it... wtf is it and how do I set it up?

I've always been a guitar straight into an amp kinda guy, but anyone who sees the MIDI inputs on my amps rave about how awesome that is to have... apparently. All I know is that somehow you can turn a handful of effects on/off and switch channels with a single push of a button. How? What crap do I need for all this trickery? What button am I pushing to do this? I rarely, if ever, use effects but I want to figure this out for shits and giggles.

Example. I currently have a Blackstar Series One head that has MIDI crap. Say I wanted to use a Midiverb 4 with it and have it all set up for... whatever the hell MIDI does. What do I need to do this, and how do I hook everything up? I'm completely clueless on this if you can't tell
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#2
I understand MIDI guitars and keyboards to be direct input for things like guitar pro or forms of recording. As for MIDI amps I really don't know. Maybe the same thing if I'm not off track myself?
#3
MIDI on amps is just another way to switch things. It can change channels, turn reverb on, or engage boost, and other things that footswitches normally do. But it can also control other things such as effects processors at the same time. MIDI is useful when you're using rack effects or have something with multiple loops like a G-System. You can do complex things such as turning on the effects loop, changing to the clean channel, and turning reverb off on the amp while activating chorus and delay while engaging one of the loops with external effects on the G-System but pressing one button. A lot of multi-fx units have MIDI too. While using MIDI with them, you can create patches that not only change settings on the unit but on the amp itself.

You should only care about MIDI if your rig is already really complicated and you want to make it easier to control or if you already have a something that can act as a MIDI footswitch in your rig.
Last edited by JELIFISH19 at Nov 28, 2013,
#4
MIDI is a protocol for communication. You can think of it as an interaction scripting some action and an interpreter actually doing the action (most protocols work this way). For keyboards for example, each key stroke scripts some notes and time in what people know as MIDI format (again MIDI is just a protocol and so has no sound). Then for the purpose of recording you can use software to take the MIDI format and make it sound like a piano, synth or more, which is up to the software. The software just interprets the MIDI and does something. In the terms of Amps, the idea is probably similar. The amps may switch channels and trigger certain features by interacting with a midi controller.
#5
The only reason you'd care is if you are using MIDI capable effects units (like you midiverb) and want to quickly switch between patches and change amp channels at the same time. So you'd also need a MIDI controller to send the program change data to everything.
That is how I will be running my RM100. Roland GP-8 as the controller and "front of amp" effects and my Quadraverb in the loop (series loop).
Think about this scenario (how I do it). Variable output MIDI controllable boost in front, variable output midi device in the loop. Now you can control the boost/cut level AND the master volume on a patch by patch basis, and switch amp channels at the same time. You've got complete control over the gain structure of your amp. Plus of course whatever effects you want all changing at the same time from one button push on the controller.
Want it real clean? Attenuate the input and boost in the loop. Or you can boost the bejeebus outa the input but keep the volume down by attenuating the unit in the loop to get filthy distortion. The possibilities are endless. You've basically turned your amp into a 128 channel amp.
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#6
MIDI is essentially a language for communication between instruments/effects/amps/anything that can read or send MIDI signals.

Say, you have a MIDI keyboard. It looks like a keyboard, but it doesn't make any sound, it only sends MIDI signals to another MIDI device that reads it, and sends an audio signal to a speaker or amp.

Say, you hit a C on that keyboard. The MIDI signal goes to a MIDI synth unit set up with a patch of your choice. You hear a C from the speaker.

Midi can also be used to change effects or settings. Say you have an Axe Fx and a badass footboard with more switches than colors. You can set up switches 1-3 to switch between 3 different amps. Switch 4 can be a clean boost, 5 can switch on/off chorus and verb simultaneously, switch 5 can be a tap tempo delay.

With an amp, you can connect a MIDI footboard and use it to change channels, activate boosts etc. IIRC the Marshall JVM does it nicely.

If you have a full rig a la Petrucci with amp head, digital effects, analogue effects, and a whole load of other shizz I do not understand, then you can route the lot through a MIDI system, and use footswitches to control the lot.

Pretty awesome if you ask me.
#7


troof.

it's always confused me too, and i even have an idea of how it works. i usually use the keyboard style midi devices to control software. i haven't ventured into too much external midi controller amp stuff yet, but i need to.

Quote by Flux'D
I consider myself an intelligent guy, but I can't figure out MIDI for the life of me. I've been reading up on it for a few hours now and haven't gotten anywhere. I've owned quite a few amps that had "MIDI" and have never used it... wtf is it and how do I set it up?


it's a protocol, a standard for encoding... stuff.

Quote by Flux'D
I've always been a guitar straight into an amp kinda guy, but anyone who sees the MIDI inputs on my amps rave about how awesome that is to have... apparently. All I know is that somehow you can turn a handful of effects on/off and switch channels with a single push of a button. How? What crap do I need for all this trickery? What button am I pushing to do this? I rarely, if ever, use effects but I want to figure this out for shits and giggles.


first you'll need to find out what can be controlled on your amp with midi. usually it is just some channel switching, but certain amps (like modelers for example) can be completely controlled with midi.

after you figure out what you can control then you'll need something that can send a midi signal to control it. you can have something as simple as a single switch or something with tons of buttons and pedals on it, but either way it is capable of sending a digital signal in a midi format.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Behringer-FCB1010-MIDI-Footcontroller-101586097-i1125206.gc

once you have the controller, you'll then need to make sure the controller will send the properly encoded signal for the desired effect. you can also program a single button to perform multiple actions with one click, like switch you amp's channel and turn on/off an effect.

Quote by Flux'D
Example. I currently have a Blackstar Series One head that has MIDI crap. Say I wanted to use a Midiverb 4 with it and have it all set up for... whatever the hell MIDI does. What do I need to do this, and how do I hook everything up? I'm completely clueless on this if you can't tell


you'll need to get a midi controller and hook it to the two devices and figure out what signals you need to send to the devices.
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Last edited by gumbilicious at Dec 2, 2013,
#8
Damn, learned a lot.

Are there other things on a midi that fhat keyboards and synths can do?
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#9
Get yourself a cheap controller like the one gumbi posted. Then read the manuals for all your gear and play. It is good, man.
I am going back to MIDI now because I am playing a much larger range of music. When I was just playing pub rock and punk there isn't a great advantage. All you need is a few boosts for that. Now what I'll be doing is programming songs, not just types of sound. Some songs will share programs of course but you can arrange it logically and just write the patch numbers next to the song in the setlist.
That's where it comes into its own - gigging. No more pedal tap dancing. Much more professional way to run a show.

I use my GP-8 to control how the front end of the amp is pushed but a MIDI 32 band EQ sitting in front of the amp would be magic.
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Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#10
MIDI isn't that hard to understand. It's just a data signal.

MIDI is not audio. It's purely just a signal for a MIDI device to read and interpret depending on what the device is programmed to do on those MIDI signals.

It's basically like a language, or alphabet. If I send you letter A, do whatever I programmed you to do on letter A. If I send you letter B, do whatever I programmed you to do on letter B.

Instead, it's in the form of either values or note values.
This is why MIDI is used heavily to control synthesizers and keyboards, because MIDI can be sent as note data.

Remember, it TELLS the note you want to play, not actually makes the audio. The thing that makes the audio is the synth when it gets the signal to make the note from a MIDI signal.
#11
Quote by trashedlostfdup
Damn, learned a lot.

Are there other things on a midi that fhat keyboards and synths can do?

Keyboards are sending note information (ie. on/off), all sorts of control info (key velocity, aftertouch) plus other controller info (pitch wheel, mod wheel, etc) plus of course the part we guitarists use mostly - program change.

There is also a subset called sysex. That is manufacturer specific. If the package has a sysex header it steps outside of normal midi and can be used for say, configuring the machine, loading a sample, updating software, etc. Screen editors rely on sysex, for example.

This isn't a bad read:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIDI
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#12
Quote by Cathbard
Keyboards are sending note information (ie. on/off), all sorts of control info (key velocity, aftertouch) plus other controller info (pitch wheel, mod wheel, etc) plus of course the part we guitarists use mostly - program change.

There is also a subset called sysex. That is manufacturer specific. If the package has a sysex header it steps outside of normal midi and can be used for say, configuring the machine, loading a sample, updating software, etc. Screen editors rely on sysex, for example.

This isn't a bad read:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIDI


Thanks thanks for the link too.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/