[LAU] Looking for Resource Help with using Midi in a Church and School

Dave Phillips dlphillips at woh.rr.com
Thu Aug 14 11:14:30 EDT 2008

mowestusa wrote:
> Before the church invests tons of money in a new keyboard or midi software that only runs under Windows. I was wondering if:
> 1. What are some good resources on the web to understand what midi can do for us and what it can't do? (Basically, where can I learn about midi as a technology.)
Check out the material at Harmony Central (www.harmony-central.com). You 
could also try Google, use "what is midi" for your search and you'll get 
plenty of resource hits.

I wrote a series of articles on Linux and MIDI for the Linux Journal 
on-line site. The series is listed here:


> 2. We would like to use midi for (School Music, accompaniment for the children to learn new music. Choir Music, accompaniment for the choir director so she does not have to play the piece and direct at the same time, might be nice here to be able to play just the bass line then all four parts at once. Church Music, accompaniment for congregation for services when we don't have a live organist or when we have a small group worship setting. Church Music, to add variety of instrument sounds that we can't get from an organ or a piano.)
Many people in my area have done some or all of those things in their 
churches. However, each of your scenarios has its own set of technical 
(and musical) difficulties, so it's wise to expect a big chunk of 
learning on your way to MIDI mastery.

> 3. Finally, can midi under Linux handle the above tasks.
See above. :)

>  What would be a wise investment in equipment to get started with the goals above? I don't want to spend $2000 on a new keyboard when instead something like the Yamaha QY100 would be a better investment.
Your needs can be met with the right keyboard synthesizer, laptop, and 
software. As I said, it's do-able, but if you're starting from scratch 
you have much to learn and it'll take some time and experimentation to 
get it all right.

>  I have asked others if I can have their midi files and many have said that they are in Qbase so I imagine a Windows Program format will not work with Linux software.
A standard MIDI file (with the .mid extension) should be usable across 
harwdare platforms, and virtually all modern sequencing software 
supports loading or importing  standard MIDI files.

>  We do have a keyboard with Midi in...
No MIDI Out and/or Thru ? Is there only one connection port ?

>  and we do have a Pentium 1Ghz with 512megs of ram, would that be enough to get us started if we buy an midi interface, and I have no idea which one?
More memory would be good, and you can probably use one of a MidiSport 
or similar USB interface. Be sure to check here before you spend your 
money ! This list includes people who can tell you whether your choice 
is good or not, you would be wise to hear them. :)

> Even if you just point me to some reading materials, it would be appreciated, because we are in the dark right now.
I hope that information gets you going in the right direction. Ask 
whatever questions you might have, the members here will help as much as 
they can.

Best regards,

Dave Phillips

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