music

Programming and Music – The Perfect Match

Yes, music can be programmed   using code, and its fun to create! Do you know terms such as controller, MIDI, sequencing, sound synthesis, sampling, pre- and post-Processing? If not, don’t worry. Few people know of such terms, even though we are all dealing with them on a daily basis via radio, television, Internet, games, concerts, and films. This blog will show you how your computer and music can be combined to create something totally new.

Over the last few years, technology, development and coding have taken over virtually every industry, including music. This has enabled the realization that sound is a wave movement, and that these waves can be produced in other non-traditional ways outside of instruments. When initially created, the waves are born based on the electronic components of editing and generation tools (analog synthesis). In the end, the sound wave was invented to slice into digital form, which allowed for the creation of sound processing software (digital synthesis). And thus, Analog and digital synthesizers were born.

Musical instruments took a user-friendly giant leap in the early 1990s with the release of the first version of the General Midi (GM, 1991). As a result, a new technological revolution occurred that changed the way people produce music for generations to come. Today, the majority of music on the radio is MIDI-produced. The listener may not even know about generating “code” because code generation is (now) hidden from the user.

MIDI is a common language for computers, musical instruments and sound processing performing hardware. In practice, MIDI is a way to encode and transmit messages between systems. A good example is the piano playing a key – The MIDI messages data to include the fact that the piano key was pressed, how hard it was pressed, and when it was released. Currently, the GM standard is going to Version 2 and some device manufacturers have defined MIDI extension features to complement the music musicians need to be able to play well.

Today, synthesizers and software are virtually all MIDI compatible, so by using a MIDI interface, it is possible to save the played track code or write code by hand, and the synthesizer can play the music. This means that once-played piano track can be played via guitar, flute, or even the ukulele. Played tracks (= code) make it possible to modify the editor, so it is possible to manually fix afterwards for track errors. Previously, this was all done in a text editor, but today, many MIDI sequencer graphical tools for code editing are available.

Humans are adverse to change, and many still believe that MIDI and synthesizers are mere editing tools. But today’s reality is much different. Classical and film music producers are doing all their work via MIDI and sound synthesis activities. The best modern sound libraries are unbelievably realistic. A normal human ear can no longer distinguish synthesis and produced samples with genuine classical music.

You can probably imagine how much cost is incurred for composing, symphony orchestra training, musical instruments, equipment rentals, and recording studios etc. The end result is, at best, in many ways uncertain and susceptible to errors. Alternatively, all of this can be done in by a few human sources including using software and coding. The composer makes his composition in finished MIDI code, the producer and mixer edit the sound and its nuances, as well as record a musical composition, say in mp3 format.

Today, it is even possible to revers engineer music. Current sound processing programs are able to best distinguish between the voice sample contained in the notes of chords. After this, sheet music can be edited one by one including new chords, to produce the correct single note / language undertone or notes to be programmed. You can view a short video on the functioning of the MIDI program here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFCjv4_jqAY.

If you’re interested in learning more about development and coding innovation, or would like to discuss a product you want to develop and launch, download our Symbio Overview Data Sheet or contact us at contact@symbio.com. We’d love to learn what new innovation you’re bringing to market and how we can help keep them secure and running strong for your customers.