How To Connect Your Synthesizer To
Excerpt from the Pizzicato manual
stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It
is a language enabling synthesizers and computers to exchange
this system, the computer can record the notes you play on
your musical keyboard and take control of a musical
synthesizer to play your scores and compositions.
this communication is established by one or two cables
connected between the computer and your musical instrument.
Note that low quality synthesizers do not always have a Midi
interface, which makes them unable to communicate with a
computer. To be certain of a MIDI compatibility, look at the
back panel of the instrument. There must be at least one or
two connectors of the following type:
with a label
In, Out or Thru
or a PC does not natively contain a MIDI connector. This
adaptation is done using a Midi interface.
a Midi interface is a small external box. It comprises
connectors necessary for Midi cables and it has a cable which
can be connected on the back panel of the Macintosh (Modem or
Printer port, or USB port).
the more common Midi interface is a USB MIDI interface that
connects to the USB port of the computer and have two or more
MIDI cables to connect to your musical instrument.
have one or more Midi connectors. A Midi cable only allows a
one way communication. If you have for example a Midi
synthesizer with a keyboard, it must at least have 2 Midi
connectors. The first should be labeled Midi In
(Midi input) and enables the synthesizer to receive musical
data from your computer. The second Midi connector should be
labeled Midi Out (Midi output) and lets the
synthesizer send the notes you play on the musical keyboard
to the computer. A third Midi connector is often present,
labeled Midi Thru. It is a Midi output sending a
copy of the data coming from the Midi In connector
of the instrument. It is a Midi echo which can be used to
connect another Midi devices that needs to receive the same
connect Midi devices together, it is necessary to keep that
information in mind. A connector is either an input (Midi In)
or an output (Midi Out or Midi Thru). A Midi cable
must ALWAYS be connected between an output of a device and
the input of another device. Any other
combination will not work.
diagrams of most current connection setups between a MIDI
device and a computer.
your Midi interface correctly, read the installation manual.
Also take care to install the driver software of the
interface (MIDI and sound card drivers for Windows). This
installation should normally be explained in the MIDI
interface user manual. More and more, the interfaces are Plug
& Play, which means that there is no specific action
needed to install the driver.
A Midi cable
does not transport sounds but only information concerning the
notes which are played on the keyboard as well as other
information used to configure a synthesizer. The connections
explained above relate only to the Midi aspect. If your
synthesizer does not have an internal speaker, you need to
connect its audio output to an amplification system connected
to loudspeakers, such as a Hi-Fi system. If you have a sound
card, its audio output must be connected either to an
external loudspeaker provided with the card or to your Hi-Fi
system. Consult your card or synthesizer manual.
important remark applies if you have a MIDI cable for
a sound card (Windows). On one side, it is a large plug
adapted to a sound card connector, also called Joystick port
(sometimes this cable has a similar "female" domino
plug, enabling the connection of a joystick at the same
connectors can be found on the other side of this cable. One
is called MIDI IN and the other MIDI OUT. These names
correspond respectively to the MIDI input and the MIDI output
of the computer. Considering
the preceding diagrams, it is thus necessary to connect the
MIDI IN plug into the MIDI OUT connector of the synthesizer
and vice versa. The inversion of this connection is a very
frequent cause of MIDI failure. To connect it wrong
fortunately does not destroy anything, but MIDI communication
is not established.
additional information, refer to the Pizzicato manual!