What IS MIDI and DVI? List out the components of MIDI interface. 

Subject Computer Graphics and Multimedia
NU Year Set: 5.(d) Marks: 6 Year: 2011

MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a protocol designed for recording and playing back music on digital synthesizers that is supported by many makes of personal computer sound cards. Originally intended to control one keyboard from another, it was quickly adopted for the personal computer.

Short for Digital Visual InterfaceDVI is a video display interface. It was developed to be an industry standard for transmitting digital video content to display devices at resolutions as high as 2560 x 1600. Common devices that utilize the DVI connection are computer monitors and projectors. DVI can even be used with some TVs, although HDMI is more common as only some DVI cables can transmit audio signals. The DVI connector (shown below) may have one of three names depending on the signals it supports: DVI-A (analog only), DVI-D (digital only), or DVI-I (both digital and analog).

Components of a MIDI System




  • It is a sound generator (various pitch, loudness, tone colour).
  • A good (musician's) synthesizer often has a microprocessor, keyboard, control panels, memory, etc.


  • It can be a stand-alone unit or a software program for a personal computer. (It used to be a storage server for MIDI data. Nowadays it is more a software music editor on the computer.
  • It has one or more MIDI INs and MIDI OUTs.


  • Track in sequencer is used to organize the recordings.
  • Tracks can be turned on or off on recording or playing back.


  • MIDI channels are used to separate information in a MIDI system.
  • There are 16 MIDI channels in one cable.
  • Channel numbers are coded into each MIDI message.


  • The quality of the sound, e.g., flute sound, cello sound, etc.
  • Multitimbral - capable of playing many different sounds at the same time (e.g., piano, brass, drums, etc.)


  • musical note that the instrument plays


  • Voice is the portion of the synthesizer that produces sound.
  • Synthesizers can have many (12, 20, 24, 36, etc.) voices.
  • Each voice works independently and simultaneously to produce sounds of different timbre and pitch.


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