[linux-audio-user] Newb MIDI questions here...

Tim Howard tdhoward at gmail.com
Mon Mar 26 15:37:21 EDT 2007

On 3/26/07, clinart <clinart at gmail.com> wrote:
> 1) Why use MIDI?  I have heard stuff that I recorded professionally
> sequenced with MIDI and must say that I can hear a difference. Is this
> because it's all perfectly synced up?  What are other advantages, if any, of
> MIDI over audio?

The way that I use MIDI and audio together is like the following example:

1. Play rhythm guitar track and record into Ardour (as audio)
2. Listen to track in Ardour while playing my keyboard along with it.
This keyboard is sending MIDI signals to Rosegarden, which is just
recording the MIDI data.
3. Using Rosegarden's MIDI score editor (or piano roll), clean up
minor mistakes, and adjust timing if necessary.
4. Play MIDI from Rosegarden into LinuxSampler to make it sound like a
real piano.  This resulting audio is then recorded in Ardour as
another track.

If I were just playing keyboard -> LinuxSampler -> Ardour, I would not
have the opportunity to do step 3.  Also, what if I later decide I
want to change the key or tempo I was playing in.  You cannot do this
very easily (if at all) with pure audio.  You would have to play the
piece over again.

> 2) Is there Linux software that can convert an audio signal/file to MIDI?

Most, if not all pitch-to-MIDI converters only work with monophonic
audio files.  In other words, one person singing, one trumpet playing,
etc.  This is because of the extreme difficulty in separating out the
timbres and timings of multiple notes.  It just gets really messy and
inaccurate.  As a result, not many people have taken pitch-to-MIDI
very seriously.

I would be happy for someone to show that I'm wrong in saying this,
but this is how I currently understand it.


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