This is a guest post by Mark Spacey – Read the guest post guidelines if you wish to contribute.
Today, computers play a large role in music production.
Old techniques of splicing recordings by hand have faded in popularity, and most levels of audio engineering are now done digitally. The MIDI specifications have lead to standardised sounds and techniques, and the use of the format is now ubiquitous.
Here are some of the reasons why you should use MIDI samples.
MIDI Files are Easier to Work With
The MIDI specification does not contain data about exactly how the end file should sound; it instead tells the computer how to make the sound. Dealing with WAV files is comparable to combining analogue sounds by hand, and making small changes is prohibitively difficult.
WAV is an appropriate format for files that will be compressed or put on a CD, but the entire process from creation to editing is best done with MIDI.
Better Industry Support
Nearly all music production programs are designed to support the MIDI specification.
Many music creators use multiple tools to create the final product, and being able to load the same file in any music program without having to convert it is a great advantage.
By using accepted tools, music creators can work with whatever tools they need to complete the job without having to worry that technical issues will get in their way.
Smaller File Sizes
WAV files are very big. They contain thousands of samples per each second of sound; lossless compression utilities can only reduce their size by half, and lossy compression formats will lead to poor sound quality and sound artefacts.
MIDI, on the other hand, was developed in the early 1980s when hard drives were considerably smaller than they are today. As a result, MIDI files take up little hard disk space and can be stored, sent and loaded quickly. Managing WAV files requires substantial amounts of RAM and processing power to work at a reasonable rate of speed.
The “MIDI” Sound
Studies have shown that people enjoy sounds that they are used to hearing. Because of its ubiquity within the music industry, familiar electronic sounds are entrenched within the minds of listeners, and its familiarity makes it enjoyable to listeners.
By sticking with familiar sounds, music creators can tap into the sound that listeners have become accustomed to in the over 30 years that MIDI has been around.
Advanced Tweaking With Your Music Production
Sound engineers deal with every aspect of music production. Small, subtle changes make a big difference once the final result is released. MIDI allows nuanced control over every aspect of the song, and those who use MIDI tools can take advantage of this to make their songs perfect in their minds. Tiny tweaks to tempo, rhythm and timbre can make the difference between a forgotten song and a big hit.
MIDI’s dominance appears to be secure, and it will likely be decades before a competitor challenges it. By taking advantage of the ecosystem that has developed around MIDI, music creators can be assured that they are using the right tools for the job.
Mark works as a music sample producer at Dance Midi Samples, After producing many music sample packs, Mark now shares is years of experience with others through guides and tutorials for the next generation of producers.
Image by: Alejandro Amador