Humbling musical software

20+ years ago I started sporadically trying various MIDI software, even considered trying to write my own. I assumed for so long that MIDI would be superseded by something different. I was so wrong.

MIDI became ensconced in Windows at least by 3.1, so unlikely to disappear. (Though even today Microsoft does seem to try to leave behind standards it once championed, e.g., seemingly trying to leave H.323, H.324 and T.120 conferencing standards out of Vista.)

Zenph Studios and partners such as Yamaha are working with what they call High Resolution MIDI. The concept is well described by “high resolution” — conventional MIDI with finer granularity, but otherwise, not the “something different” I had assumed.

What Zenph does with their software seems like science fiction: analyzing great piano recordings, converting them to high-resolution MIDI, feeding the data stream to a suitable piano and creating “re-performances” without the sonic limitations of the original recordings but with the artistic feel of the original.

A Pragmatic Project: Live In Concert descibes Zenph’s appealing software development approach.

Zenph (and, to a lesser but still notable extent, Cubase) are inspiring but also humbling. On the other hand, other software for compression and pitch-correction, though technically impressive, is not “The Future of Music” that I want to think about.

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