Sequencing and MIDI

Sequencing & Midi #

This chapter only goes over the basics of MIDI. Because MIDI is so important to music production I’ll dive much deeper into the details of MIDI in Chapter 6½ - MIDI in Detail

Sequencing #

The definition of a sequence is pretty obvious, but don’t be misled by the name- a “sequence” is not always just a list of notes to be played one after the other. Sometimes there’s overlap, gaps (rests), bends from one note to another (legato) and almost always information about how hard a note is pressed and how long it should be held for are saved. Probably the most common way of entering a sequence is using a piano roll

Piano Rolls #

Piano rolls get their name from player pianos, as they had actual rolls of paper with holes cut in them that represented the notes to be played. The gaps allowed for little pins of metal to push though and make contact, completing a circuit and driving electronics to hit the note, making it play on a real piano.

Clearly, we don’t want to be taking a hole punch to paper to make our music- we want to use a computer! But, despite how much everything has changed…

The idea is still pretty much the same:

Timeline #


Breaking The Loop (

random, sample/hold, probability, piano rolls, trackers, AI based, euclidian, trigger/gate/len, humanization

Creating Melodies [Music Guides from Ableton]

Melody Guide []

Ways to turn tiny ideas into bigger tracks (YouTube, Andrew Huang)

Song structure ABAB, ABBA, ABAC, etc.

bpm changes, key changes, hooks, drops, ‘flavor’ with added samples

MIDI effects #

Arp, velocity, pitch bend, mod, sustain, generative, legatto

Multitracking #

Multitracking Synthesizers for Fun and Profit (YouTube, RedMeansRecording)

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