Years ago I was excited to get a sound card for my computer at the time that had a joystick port. This wasn’t because I wanted to play games but because, back in the dim and distant era around the turn of the century, you could hook the joystick port up to a MIDI (musical instrument digital interface) cable and connect your MIDI keyboard. I had a suitable keyboard but, it has to be admitted, lacked on the keyboard skills side so didn’t do a huge amount with it before time moved on and joystick ports became a memory rather than an available feature.
As you’ll have picked up from recent posts I have been getting back into using my computer as a music production machine, installing Logic Pro X to give me a fully featured digital audio workstation and so I decided to splash out for a MIDI to USB connector (and, at the bottom end of the available product, a relatively small splash at that). I’ve now got a box which plugs into the MIDI in and out ports on the keyboard (still the same one and my keyboard skills are still quite paltry) and also into the USB port on my computer and allows me to play in parts either in real time or step by step.
One point worth noting is that, although the device truly is plug and play, it turns out you have to plug the lead labelled in to the port labelled out on the keyboard and vice versa. I suppose there is a certain logic, since what goes out of the keyboard goes into the lead, but I had to do some surfing round the web to come up with that idea; initially I’d assumed that I’d got a dud or that maybe the MIDI function of the keyboard had died in the intervening 15+ years.
I wonder if this kind of thing makes us smarter, since vast amounts of information are only a search away, dumber, since we tend to look for answers rather than figuring them out for ourselves, or just about the same, since we’re still human?