Midi versus Audio
Free Beat Production Tips: does size matter ? Here we go again with some more free beat production tips that focus on the difference between Midi and audio.
Knowing how to use Midi is as important as audio processing for rap and hip hop productions.
A short reminder: MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. A midi file contains commands that control an electronic musical instrument. You connect your midi keyboard to your computer and record the notes you play with a midi sequencer. When you push the play button, the midi sequencer plays the notes and triggers a soundgenerator, mostly a soft synth.
MIDI versus AUDIO file size
- An advantage of midi files is that they are very small. Only data is stored in the file.
- If played back with a good softsynth and soundcard, the quality of a midi file is superiour to an average MP3.
- So make no mistake: a midi file is a much smaller file that an mp3 or a wav file but this does not mean the reproduced sound is of lesser quality.
- With an audio file, the quality of the result will of course depend on the quality of the recording, but it is clear that the file format is very determinating for the sound quality: an 192-mp3 is inferior to an 320-mp3. A wav file contains about ten times more audio info than an mp3, and thus sounds better.
As a general rule for audio: the bigger the filesize, the better the audio quality.
- Working with very high audio quality is very demanding for even the most powerful computer. Hip Hop producers that work with wav files at 32 bit and a sample rate or 192khz will gather tons of audio data and huge files and the memory of the computer may explode at a certain moment. For your information, in professional studios we work at 24 bit and 44.1khz because it gives the best balance beween audio sound quality and manageablity of the files and the computer memory.
- A bigger midi file only means that is contains more note information that a smaller one: there may be more different instruments on more different tracks, more notes are played at the same time, the song is longer,…
- All these things have an important influence on the size of the midi file, although is will still be relatively small. The size of the file doesn’t tell anything about the expected sound quality. The sound quality will be determined in the next step in the chain: the soundgenerator you use for your hip hop sounds and beats.
Again we see that audio and midi are very different beasts. They are both extremely powerful but have completely different qualities. In future posts we’ll go in detail on what is the best to use in your hip hop productions and i will give you some more free beat production tips.
In the meanwhile,