What is MIDI and what does it do in FL Studio
MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a music sequencer that records and reproduces electronic audio signals. It provides a way for electronic keyboards and other instruments from different MIDI manufacturers to record, edit, and play back music tracks composed of notes. Also, the MIDI standard contains a large number of commands that can produce many different effects on synthesizers or samplers (e.g., creating bass lines or playing drum patterns). It is a standard that is well-established, accepted by most music software producers, and continues to be improved by new technologies.
In this article you will read about MIDI, what it does, its history and how to set it up on FL Studio. We will also see a demo of audio effects achieved with MIDI in FL Studio. Make sure you keep reading down the page to find out why it’s useful to add MIDI capabilities to your studio!
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MIDI before FL Studio: A Quick Recap: new version of “Open Source Synthesizer” working on Linux and Windows.
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How to record MIDI in FL Studio
During the recording process there are many options available, but most of them can be enabled and switched on the toolbar. Let’s take a look at those buttons.
1. MAXTIME: This is a timer showing how much time has passed.
2. RECORD: This button starts and stops recording at will
3. STOP: This button stops the recording process
4. FORMAT: Right now the choice for format is PCM WAV, but in an upcoming update more formats will be available to choose from
5. POSITION MARKER (1): When clicked this marker will create a point in the song where you can jump back to later on
6. POSITION MARKER (2): When clicked this marker will create a point in the song where you can jump forward to later on
7. STEREO: This button switches between mono and stereo recordings.
8. BPM: This button sets the BPM of the song to be recorded
9. PLAY: Brings up a small window where you can start, pause, stop or resume recording in that specific moment when the Play button is pressed
Different ways to use MIDI in your music productions
Before you record, plan the track. Create a basic melody and turn it into a loop (1). After that, add effects and instruments. Also, if you are using multiple MIDI channels, you should group certain sounds together for easier control. Don’t forget to record a few piano parts.
You can also use multiple MIDI channels for the same sound instead of recording one track. Enable “Track Splitter” in your DAW’s Track properties (2). To do this, look for it under Preferences > Audio Options > MIDI. Or, enable it in the MIDI tab of Track/Session settings (3) in your DAW.
Tips for getting the most out of MIDI recording in FL Studio
Use MIDI keyboards, samplers and drum machines to play the melody (2). Edit the sound to create interesting timbres and harmonics. Use effects like filters, EQs, reverb and others to make the sound warmer. Also, use some automation on your track (3). This will give it more movement.
This is a good way to go about it:
1) Play the melody, at a comfortable tempo. Adjust the tempo of your MIDI keyboard or sampler so it’s in time with your beat. Then turn on any notes that are not being hit on the bass line (4). This will create interesting harmonies and new timbres. The additional notes may even turn out to be useful later, when you need a different sound for something else.
2) Select the region where the melody is playing. You can do this easily by holding down a Ctrl button and clicking in your mouse. This will create an “I/O” window, which also allows you to automate events. In that region, edit the MIDI notes on your keyboard or sampler to play other parts of the melody (5).
3) Play back your MIDI keyboard or sampler, to check what you have created. It’s all about the feel, so turn on reverb (6). It will give the sound a warmer and more interesting feel, as well as improve the timbre.