Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Technology Tuesday

This week’s Technology Tuesday is another exciting edition of “Chris’s Corner,” featuring a musical update from Chris Baumgart, Imagine!’s Assistive Technology Specialist. 

Chris’s Corner 
Another day in the corner. 

And again, welcome back, fellow corner-ians. This installment of the corner is a continuation of our exploration into the realm of MIDI technologies, and their uses. If you’re unfamiliar with MIDI technologies, and/or this is your first visit to the corner, fear not! Follow the links below to previous editions to get caught up. And don’t fret. We’ll be right here waiting for you when you get back.

Everyone here? Great! In this week’s Tech Tuesday, we’re following up on another application for MIDI over WiFi. As I mentioned in February’s edition, one of the challenges that we may run into when using MIDI over WiFi is something we call “latency.” Put simply, latency is the delay between the time a user sends a signal (by touching a button for example), and an outcome is produced (such as an instrument sound).

There are certainly methods that we can use to minimize latency, but it is very challenging to eliminate it entirely. This brings us to a different method: samples. Instead of using MIDI signals to trigger single notes, we can use these signals to start and stop any number of rhythm loops. This is exciting, because the loops will synchronize with the MIDI clock.

More on the MIDI clock: imagine that the software receiving any incoming signals has a built-in metronome, and will only allow loops to be triggered exactly when the metronome ticks another beat. Sound exciting? It is! In this way, even if a user triggers a loop that isn’t quite on the beat (or that trickster latency causes the signal to be a bit behind), you’d never know it, because the MIDI clock is on the case! Now by employing the skills and methods we’ve discussed in previous editions, anyone who wants to be a DJ can be.

Check out this video of DJ Scott in action!

Can’t see the video? Click here.

And, of course, stay tuned!

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