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MIDI division – index page

Philip Rees manufactured accessories for electronic musical instruments from 1986 to April 2005, when we discontinued the manufacture of MIDI accessories.

For archive purposes, this site includes descriptions of these MIDI products. It also carries technical information about MIDI-related topics.

MIDI Accessories (discontinued)

Contents:MIDI product information - our range of handy utility boxes.

MIDI controllerC16 MIDI Control Unit
Product description:Little MCV MIDI to CV Converter
Product description:CSF MIDI Processor
Product description:TS1 MIDI Tape Sync Unit
Product description:2S, 5S, 9S and 3B MIDI Selectors
Product description:MLD and MTR MIDI Line Drivers
Product description:MDS MIDI to DIN Sync (Sync24) Converter
Product description:V3, V4, V8, V10 and W5 MIDI Thru Units
Product description:Little 2M, 2M, 3M, 5M and 9M MIDI Merge Units
Product description:MM5 Advanced MIDI Foot Controller

Other info on our MIDI products and MIDI

Contents:Miscellaneous articles - technical writings by Philip Rees.

Technical article:About MIDI channels, voices, timbres and Modes
Quick MIDI info:MIDI Non-registered parameters (NRPNs).

midi interfaceMIDI accesssory Service and Support section
C16 post-sales support, including Target lists and free downloads.
guaranteeOur MIDI accessories carry a five-year parts and labour guarantee.

MIDI - an industry standard

The acronym `MIDI' stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. Computers, computer sound cards, synthesizers, home keyboards, sampling instruments, drum machines, sequencers and a wide range of related equipment are fitted with this industry standard interface.

The main use of the MIDI interface is as the electronic pathway through which information flows from the performer's actions, by the agency of a MIDI controller instrument, to the MIDI-equipped sound generating devices which render the performance. The information transferred by MIDI primarily relates to musical events - such as the start and end of notes played and movement of the pitchbend wheel. The events are described by MIDI messages, which are a sequence (serial datastream) of digital electronic switching states or bits. These bits are conceptually organised into groups of eight, which are called bytes. A MIDI message may consist of one or more bytes. Important MIDI messages such as note-on and note-off are tagged with MIDI channel numbers; these messages are made up of three bytes each.

The MIDI specification has two elements that provide for device-specific or application-specific extensions. One of these elements is the apparatus of Non-Registered Parameters; the other is the system of System Exclusive.

The MIDI standard also incorporates two systems for synchronisation. The first system is tempo-relative and is called System Real Time. The second system is based on absolute timing in hours, minutes, seconds and frames; this system is called MIDI Time Code, and is related to the SMPTE timecode standard as used with audio and video tape recorders.

Those familiar with computer interface standards may like to know the following. MIDI is an asynchronous, byte-oriented, serial interface running at 31.25 kbaud. It uses a 5mA current loop, which is in the off state for a mark and uses one start bit, one stop bit and no parity. All drivers are active and all inputs are passive and floating (opto-isolated).

serial as MIDI interface

The MIDI hardware standard specifies MIDI input and output connections, called MIDI ports. The MIDI ports use five-pin 180° DIN sockets. The MIDI standard also describes the MIDI cable, using five-pin 180° DIN plugs, to suit the MIDI ports. There are three types of MIDI ports called MIDI In, MIDI Out, and MIDI Thru. A MIDI device receives MIDI messages via its MIDI In port. It may provide a duplicate of the MIDI datastream arriving at its MIDI In port via a MIDI Thru port; This means that the received MIDI messages can be passed on to the MIDI In port of another MIDI device. MIDI messages generated by the device itself are transmitted via a MIDI Out port.

MIDI also defines a standard format for musical computer files, where sequences of musical events are encoded in a format related to the MIDI interface communications protocol.

The MIDI standard is managed by the MIDI Manufacturers Association.

Summary of Phil Rees MIDI products (discontinued)

Our range of MIDI accessories was discontinued in May 2005. For more detailed descriptions of our MIDI accessories, follow the links.

The C16 is a MIDI controller with sixteen sliders. It can send MIDI control change (MIDI controller), MIDI registered parameters, MIDI non-registered parameters and MIDI system exclusive messages. Thus, it provides hands-on control of many popular MIDI devices.

The MIDI merge units merge MIDI datastreams, several MIDI inputs are combined into a MIDI output, certain of our MIDI merge units also have MIDI thru ports. Our MIDI merge units can handle all types of MIDI message and they provide the best MIDI merge function available anywhere.

The MIDI thru units provide MIDI thru ports, they are sometimes called MIDI splitters, We make MIDI thru units with three MIDI outputs We also make MIDI thru units with four MIDI outputs Furthermore, we make dual MIDI input MIDI thru units with five MIDI outputs. We make MIDI thru units with two MIDI inputs and two banks each of four MIDI outputs. Finally, we make MIDI thru units with one MIDI input and ten MIDI outputs,

The SMPTE/FSKplus MIDI tape sync unit, TS1, will synchronize a MIDI sequencer to a tape recorder audio track via SMPTE timecode and MTC (MIDI timecode, the MIDI relation of SMPTE) or via FSKplus (our proprietary version of SmartSync or Smart FSK or similar) and MIDI Song Position Pointer plus MIDI clocks.

The MIDI line drivers enable MIDI signals to be sent down long distance cable runs.

The MIDI Selectors are MIDI switch-in-a-box products, which will route your MIDI connections, and sort out many MIDI routing problems.

The MIDI sync interface or convertor, MDS converts MIDI clocks to Sync 24 (Sync24 or Roland type DIN sync) pulse train and control signals.

The MIDI to CV converter, Little MCV converts MIDI note-on and MIDI note-off messages to CV and gate analog (analogue) control signals. This will let a MIDI system control old-fashioned monophonic synths (monosynths or synthesizers). This MIDI to CV converter also responds to MIDI pitchbend, MIDI mod wheel (modulation, LFO), MIDI portamento, MIDI hold and MIDI sustain messages.

The CSF MIDI Channel Shifter and Filter is an easy to setup MIDI processor unit which can help you get round many MIDI obstacles. It is particularly useful for manipulating MIDI channel assignments.

Our knowledge of computer audio systems and our MIDI hardware can help you make electronic or computer music and use MIDI. This site contains product descriptions of our MIDI electronic and computer music devices.This site also has some useful supporting articles.

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Author: Philip Rees, not Reef, Reece, or Reese.
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©1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 Philip Rees.
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