I have no idea man, I just connect this funny looking cable to my computer and it works. Well my friend, that may be true, but its time to understand some basic facts about MIDI so you can use it to help you do crazy stuff like my custom VCI-100 midi mod.
Most of you may own a midi controller but few people actually know what MIDI really is. Lets boil away the excess technical fat and get down the meat of the matter. MIDI is a communication format sort of like an email. Each midi message has diffrent parts just like every email message has sender, receiver, Subject and body. So, each time you hit a key on your VCI-100, your sending a midi email to your computer. The VCI is the sender and the computer is the receiver.
Each midi email contains the following info:
What Channel is this message on
This helps keep the messages from getting mixed up, kind of like folders in your gmail account. If 2 buttons both have the same value (like note E5) then they will both trigger the same things in your software. BUT, if you put them on different midi channels then they will never conflict. Very helpful, I use this a lot when i want a button to send out 5 different messages.
What is my message number
This the actual type of the message and its unique identifier. That could include any note including A,B,C,D,E,F,G (octaves 1-5) or Control Changes 1-120. A midi button can be any of these messages, you just happen to have a lot so you wont run out of choices.
What is my message value
This is basically how hard is a button pushed, and is the button or knob ON or OFF.
The range is 0-127
For instance, when you first hit a button really hard it sends out 127. That tells the computer that the button was pushed and with the highest pressure. Then when you release the button the VCI sends out a 0 value telling the computer that it was just released. Knobs work the same way. All the way to the left is 0 and all the way to the right is 127. As I said all midi buttons can be programmed to send out midi mail as a CC number or a NOTE. If they are a CC number then they send data just like the example above. If they are notes they also send out note on and note off info. That is usually reserved for keyboards but the VCI-100 is using note on/off data for its buttons.
Want to make a midi knob only turn up an effect’s virtual knob half way but you want the full range of the knob? Then change the way its programmed so it only sends out values 0-63. This way, when the knob is turned all the way to the right , the virtual knob in the computer will only be turned up half way.