If everything is set up, you will need to get a program to record MIDI. There are many available, commercial and free, but I prefer to use Red Dot Forever.
This is my favorite program because:
- it is very simple to use
- it is free
- and I wrote it myself
This is what it looks like:
First, click the OPTIONS button to get the Options screen:
Here you choose which MIDI Input to use (for recording) and which MIDI Output (for playback). These fields show the MIDI hardware that is currently attached to your computer. If your instrument shows up here, everything is ready to go!
Choose your instrument’s MIDI devices for both Input and Output and click Close to return to the main screen.
Make sure your piano or keyboard is on and that the cables are connected, and press REC. Play some funky stuff. Press STOP to stop recording, and then PLAY to hear your piano (or the computer) play back what you just recorded. If you are not happy with your recording, press REC again.
If you are satisfied with your recording, press SAVE to write the recording as a MIDI file (also called “SMF file” or Standard MIDI File) to your computer.
NOTE: If your piano stops making sound when recording, you may have to enable “Local Control” on your instrument. On some instruments an active MIDI connection will turn off the sound, but Local Control will turn it back on again. There may be a switch at the back of your instrument or it may be an option somewhere. See your manual for details.
You can also enable Echo input while recording in the Options menu. This will send the notes you just played back to the device chosen for MIDI Output, but they may have a small delay, depending on your computer.
In its current form, Red Dot Forever cannot be used to edit your recordings. If you need to make changes to your MIDI files, I recommend the free Anvil Studio.
Most keyboards will let you configure MIDI output and input into the tiniest of details. If something doesn’t work like it should, check out the MIDI section of your manual.
If you enjoy using Red Dot Forever, you are welcome to make a donation to help me continue to develop and support this fine program. Thank you!
After you’ve recorded your masterpiece, it’s time to play it back.
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