Connecting a MIDI keyboard to your Linux system


Article from Issue 88/2008

A MIDI keyboard is a useful extension to any audio workstation. Learn how to connect a MIDI instrument to your Linux sound studio through a MIDI interface device.

Linux is growing increasingly competitive as an environment for composing and playing electronic music. One important feature of the New Music scene is an electronic keyboard that outputs digital information in MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) format. The MIDI protocol supports communication between electronic musical instruments and computers. MIDI does not transfer sounds, but sound descriptions, such as “play a C-sharp on a grand piano as a quarter note at 80 beats per minute.” This approach makes it easier to encode sound events in a far more compact way than would be possible with real sound data streams. At the same time, you can use any suitable MIDI sequencer and a MIDI keyboard to load melodies directly into your computer, where you can then change the notes and beat, transpose the key, or use different instrument sounds for the arrangement.

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