hello midi

i haven't used midi to do anything other than play an outboard hardware synth with a keyboard since 2006.

that being said, it certainly has its advantages as a protocol. actually, it only has one that i can think of: that everyone uses it. so far a few clients have asked me to make them things that use midi, so they can interface with other music software. the above track is a proof of concept working toward that project; yet another example of how projects i do for other people push me out of my comfort zone.

the code in supercollider is embarrassingly simple. like i said, it's a proof of concept. all it does is randomly plays midi notes. the timing is scaled so that lower notes last longer. that's it.

slightly more complex was the process of setting up an IAC bus in OSX, and getting logic to listen to that bus.

in "audio midi setup," select the "midi devices," pane. from there, you should see your "IAC driver". double click it and turn it on by checking the "device is online" box. you can add ports in the menu on the bottom left. each port has 16 channels. i have never been able to get the bottom right number boxes to say anything other than "1" and it doesn't seem like this matters much at all. that's it for setting up the IAC; supercollider and whatever other audio software you might want to use will now recognize these ports and treat them as physical midi connections.

in "logic," go to the "environment" window. from the top left of that window, you should select "all objects," and under the "view" menu, de-select "by text". then make a new "physical input" object and connect the little triangle next to your IAC port to the "sequencer input" box.

(an aside, do you see why i hate graphical interfaces?? this could have all been done with a few lines of code and there would be way fewer opportunities for error. i spent most of my night tooling around ambiguously titled menus and windows... rawr)

anyhoo, i used a bass sound from garage band-- the only instrument from garage band i have on my computer. also, the only software synth on my computer. while i was in logic, i decided to practice my spectral compression chops, and give the sound some depth. there is also a touch of reverb.

so there! you don't need max for live, you can just do this and use a free program like pd or supercollider to check your email with your daw. because that's so useful.

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