1. Explain the historical background of the MIDI protocol. When was it established, and what type of “performance gesture” was it first designed to capture?

The MIDI protocol was established in 1984. It was first design to be a master keyboard that could communicate the sounds a many different keyboards in a a single board in order to making performing the music in a live setting less strenous.
2. Explain MIDI as an 8 bit system. How do Status Byte and Data Bytes differ as regards the MSB (most significant bit). What is the lowest possible status byte (expressed as base 10 number?) What is the highest possible data byte (expressed as a base 10 number?).

MIDI is an 8 bit system because their are eight binary choices available when creating yes and no switches. A data byte must have a 0 in its left most digit as opposed to a status byte which has a 1. This means that a note numbers max out at 127 because they are data bytes. The lowest statues byte would be 10000000 and the highest data byte would be 01111111.
3. Explain the configuration of a Note On message. What does the status byte represent, and how many data bytes are necessary for a complete Note On message?

A note on creates a status byte between 144 and 159, a data byte between 0 and 127 for a note and another data byte between 0 and 127 from the loudness. Therefore a note on must have two data bytes and one status byte. The status byte represents the channel used.
4. Similarly, explain the configuration of a Controller message (messages from sliders, joysticks, buttons, food pedals, wind controllers, etc.) What does the status byte represent, and how many data bytes are necessary for a complete Controller message.

A controller allows the user to modulate the sounds volume and pitch to create other effects for a performance. The status byte represents the channel used, which is between 176 and 191. There are two data bytes needed to complete a controller message.
5. Why is the status byte of a patch change message followed by only one data byte?

Their is only one data byte needed to tell the system which synth sound to patch with a new sound.
6. How are MIDI notes turned off? Is there a separate note off message, or is this managed in a different (and somewhat musically unintuitive!) way?

A MIDI note is turned off by changing the velocity to 0 on the data byte in the most convenient way.  their is another way by using two status byte but it is almost never used because of how much simpler a concept to just create a new note on message.
7. Explain how MIDI channels work in relationship to Note on and Controller messages.

The status bytes used by note on and controller message are similar but not quite the same values. The values of the channels are higher for controller channels as the range goes from 176-191.
8. How is a midi file structured in relationship to a millisecond time stamp?

A MIDI message travels a the speed of 1 message a millisecond therfore it is important to to relate each note on and off to a millisecond.
9. Imagine a drum pad trigger, where each pad triggers a different MIDI note. How would you set up a patch that would play different instruments on a drum kit? What would the velocities represent?

You would enter a statue byte that correlates to a patch channel and use different data bytes to put the patch drum ounds onto the MIDI. The velocites would represent the force applied to the pad triggers as you hit them.


10. The Mathematics of the Sine Wave. Read through this page and try to explain what this is saying in your own words. Those of you working regularly with mathematical concepts will likely find this relatively simple. If your major or area of study is not so mathematical, it has maybe been awhile since you’ve done trigonometry! Do your best to either explain what you read here, or write down questions for Tuesday’s class. You will not yet be able to run the Max demos, be we will look at these on Tuesday.

The key mathematics of a sin wave is the fact that its is a pattern of distplacements from zero that cycle between the value of pi to 0 to -pi to 0. The cycle is exponential sloped to make time go slower as the values approach pi and -pi. When this occurs at a high speed the maximun and minimun value can be clearly heard and distinguished to an overall sum frequency.


11. Similarly, read through the page on Harmonics and Additive Synthesis. Explain this page as best you can in your own words.

Harmonics are created by adding together frequencies that create number ratios. A harmonic series is created by multiply a low frequency by 2 every time you increase an octave. You can create any wave shape sin waves in a harmonic series for a pitch. The pitches of two notes can also sound good together if the ratio is two, small whole numbers.
12. Conclude with describing the spectral content of a sine, triangle, square and sawtooth wave. How much energy (or amplitude) is present for each integer multiple of a fundamental tone, and how would you succinctly summarize that?

Their are four basic waveforms in computer synthesis and they are sin, triangle, sawtooth, and square waves.  A sin wave has a single fundamental frequency. A triangle wave had additional partials at odd frequencies  and the amplitude is equal to the inverse square of the harmonic number. A sawtooth wave has its amplitudes as the inverse of the harmonic number. A square wave had odd partials at the inverse of the harmonic number but not even partials.


This is assignment 4.

1 I think that the Williams Mix defies and combines a lot of elements within modern music. It definitely utilizes sounds that are used today,but it is hard to determine if their is any significant pattern to the music. I think the composer intentions were to create a landscape of various sounds that could slightly coexist together. I think it communicates through sounds I might hear around a special occasion.

2 The Voices of Children clearly has some child hymnal influences which makes it relate to a form of music. However, it mixes the voices with electronic sounds to create something very unique. I see the intention as mimicking a child singing a song to a fish in water. The music communicates through its water like electronic sounds on top of the vocals.

3 Thema is very clearly just vocals that are electronically overdub with effects, which is something within pop music that is still done today. It is very fascinating to hear it done over spoken word. I can see how the intention is to interpret the sirens in Ulysses. The music communicates through the smooth and jagged sound changes that occur every so often.

4 Ensembles of melody sounds like various improvised thoughts that are strung together at seemingly random. The communication through various sound changes gives a sort of randomized thought processing feel. It feels like very childish excitement that isn’t well contained but just randomly at issue with what might come next.

5 Silver apples of the moon sounds similar to different modern effects, but the sounds created use vary unusual pitch manipulations that would not be found in most popular forms of music. It sounds to me like the intention was to create sounds that are found by flying over the moon at incredibly fast speeds. The music communicates to me through switching the pitch manipulation even though their is not a clear melody.

6 I am Sitting in a Room is a very unusual piece that definitely feels unique. I is just an experiment to create the natural frequencies of the room. The intention is to morph the speech slowly to created new speech sounds. I communicates to how sound can be effected by just sitting in a room.

7 A rainbow in curved Air combines quite a few polyphonic sounds together in various layers. Their are multiple melodies playing at various time throughout the piece. I believe the title of the track perfectly describes how what I envision the sound replicating. It definitely communicates excitement through the bouncing synthesizer sounds.

8 Come out is defnitely music that use some elements that are very prevelent within hip hop but twists they into a new direction. The vocal effects start create a melody within the rhythm of parts of the vocals. This definitely feels like an exciting ambient track. It communicates melody through the distortion of different layers of the vocals to create new mixes of sound.

9 This piece definitely fits the definition of music because of its abilty to just feel as though the sound fills your ears, but within an less melodic forms. It feels as though it was inspired just by watching the moonlight shine itself over an exciting place, which could be the composers intention. It communicates through it ability to stretch out its sounds to fill my ears.

10 Tomorrow Never Knows is obviously a classic piece of experimental pop music. Its use of loop and playing in reverse helped created new sounds that had not been very popular at the time. The song is based on the ideas within the Tibetan book of dead. The part that really communicates well to me are the sitar and guitar playing that have a very soothing mix of sounds.

11 Looking for the perfect beat uses many sounds that can definitely be compared to modern music. Its use of synthesizer and vocals give is a classic pop song appeal. It feels like its was a to be a fun dance track that anyone can enjoy. The rhythms of the synthesizer have a very dance able sound that is complement by the drums.