Course 9: MIDI

MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a major part of the modern music production process. Its flexibility and options allow users to create and manipulate sounds in a manner that could never be done with physical instruments. With proper manipulation, MIDI can be the whole show or a great compliment to a killer instrumental performance.

You’ll learn that MIDI isn’t audio but a protocol, what that means, and what’s going on at a technical level. You’ll learn to set up your MIDI so it interacts with your computer, how to write notes within your digital audio workstation (DAW), bring in virtual instruments, and so much more.

Course objectives include defining what MIDI is, interpreting the MIDI protocols, troubleshooting when working with midi, and overall operation of MIDI (correctly using ports and channels). You’ll also learn when to use MIDI liberally or as an accouterment to give your song that final piece of the hit-making puzzle.

Your assignment for course 9 will be to write a 4-chord progression in MIDI with block chords that should take up one measure. You’ll also create a second MIDI track using a drum-related instrument and add an arpeggiator MIDI FX to both tracks. You’ll also experiment with a single hi-hat with different rhythms, creating five 4-bar loops. There will also be a quiz, blog entry, and course review.


  • Be able to define what is MIDI.
  • Be able to interpret what is the MIDI protocol.
  • Be able to solve problems that arise when using MIDI.
  • Be able to select the correct MIDI port by the end of the course.
  • Be able to explain the difference between MIDI channels.
  • Be able to describe in what situation you would effectively use MIDI.