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Re: MIDI problems ???

At 8:30 AM -0500 4/1/98, Sean T Barrett wrote:
>>Now realize: modern synthesizers are quite capable of providing
>>huge and subtle varieties over the timbre of a sound.
>You mean opening and closing a low-pass filter?


>Multi-samples are still the most-widely used audio
>rendering technology around, and that seems to be the
>only significant timbral change supported.

That would be an example of an old synth technology. (can you say proteus?)
Ordinary sample playback is quite lacking in timbral variety. (although
that in itself has been exploited to musically useful ends in many genres.)

I was referring to more "modern" synthesis techniques which are starting to
show up now that the necessary processing power is reasonably affordable.
These would be the more algorithmic approaches like physical modelling,
additive, resynthesis, granular, etc. These offer much more sophisticated
timbral control opportunities, more like you would expect from traditional

>And I've
>complained before about the fact that neither the GR-30 nor
>the super-filter-centric Morpheus synth actually
>bothers having their filters track dynamic pitch
>changes (their filters follow triggered pitches,
>not pitch bent pitches, which is a poor match for
>how guitar controllers transmit things like hammer-ons--
>and the GR-30 is a guitar synth!).

Both of those synths are using technology that is 15-20 years old,
repackaged in a new container. In both cases they were tossed together out
of existing products from those companies, without requireing any new R&D.
Both Roland and Emu have much more sophisticated synthesis products,
although neither can hardly be considered the technical leaders in the
field. In both cases, their meat&potatoes is the sampling technology they
started decades ago and neither has made much effort to move beyond that.

>I'd much prefer to see them get what they've got
>now working better than worry about transmitting new

I would encourage you to try some more sophisticated synths, to get a
better idea of what is out there.

>As you say, simply speeding up MIDI will be
>a useful first step.  If someone can multiplex MIDI
>channels somehow so every note gets its own channel,
>I think that (the two together) would solve the vast
>majority of the problems.

People have tried that, several times actually. The industry refused to
adopt the idea. It wouldn't really solve the problem anyway, since
bandwidth is only a minor part of the problem. What you are talking about
is the ability to individually address and control each note event, which
midi simply doesn't allow. If you wanted to do it right, you would have to
fully scrap the architecture of midi and start over. I was part of one
effort to do that already, and despite substantial funding, we didn't get
very far.


Kim Flint                   | Looper's Delight
kflint@annihilist.com       | http://www.annihilist.com/loop/loop.html
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