MIDI is an accessible, easy interface to use at home. Short for Musical Instrument Digital Interface, it’s compatible with a variety of instruments, music notation software and applications. MIDI is an electronic code that allows computers, instruments and hardware to communicate. MIDI is the instructions that tell electronic devices the parameters of notes, i.e. what, where and when they should occur.
One of the most useful apps that converts sheet music to MIDI is PlayScore 2. With PlayScore 2, you can play any music straight from a photo, a PDF or an image. If you don’t read music, you can hear what it sounds like, or you can have PlayScore 2 accompany you at home as you sing or play your instrument – and in any key. If you sing in a choir, you can isolate your part on its own or with the others in the background.
Not only that, PlayScore 2 exports your MIDI to DAWs and music notation software like Dorico and MuseScore. This is helpful if you’re a music director because you can use MIDI at home to make a track with part-separated playback and help your musicians learn their parts.
Converting sheet music to MIDI used to be a long, manual task that required the manual input every note of a piece into music software. With PlayScore 2, it’s possible to convert PDF to MIDI and convert paper music scores into MIDI accurately in a matter of minutes.
Many music programs allow musicians to plug MIDI keyboards into their computers for instant playback. You simply play the notes on your keyboard and the software will instantly show what you’ve played. You can then arrange the music in your chosen program or score editor.
MIDI keyboards are also ideal for home use because you can access a whole range of different sounds and effects, simply at the touch of a few knobs and buttons. For instance, you can pitch bend, modulate, connect VST plugins and even replicate the sound of drum machines for that funky 80s vibe. This is an effective way to use MIDI technology for composing music, all from the comfort of your own home.
However, MIDI keyboards do start at relatively inexpensive pricings. Also, they are often portable and lightweight, making them a must for any gigging keyboardist in a band.
As mentioned earlier, there are a variety of programs that are compatible with MIDI technology, including major score editors (e.g., Notion 6), and industry standard DAWs such as Cubase, Pro Tools, Logic and Ableton. PlayScore 2’s Music Software Reviews gives you further information about many of these brilliant tools and how they can help you to compose and arrange music at home.
It’s worth mentioning that there are some differences between MIDI and its counterpart MusicXML. When using MIDI, it is worth considering whether MusicXML might be better. This is because MusicXML contains more vital information about the music (e.g., graphical notation) because it’s designed for software programs compatible with digital sheet music. However, MIDI is still helpful because it’s instant and doesn’t require tonnes of setting up time. With PlayScore 2, for example, you can export sheet music to MIDI all from the touch of your screen.
Photo by Cedrik Malabanan on Unsplash