May 5th, 2023Tech Talk

Making Music Together with MIDI

My name is Nicholas Laroche, aka Nicky Diamondz, Co-founder and CTO of BeatConnect, and today I’m going to talk about the wonderful world of collaboration and MIDI.

A large part of the experience of BC up to date has revolved around our multiplayer sequencer being a sort-of middleman between DAWs, allowing users to make music in the environment they’re most comfortable in and allowing them to use their own tools. There’s been various tech that’s achieved this in the past, notably ReWire, but our strategy revolves around a Relay plugin that we’ve designed that could capture the audio from your DAW and transfer it to the sequencer, making it simple to set up and easy to get your sounds across the barrier.

This is all well and good, but it can still get frustrating when you’re trying to work quickly or try a few things with your collaborator. Imagine, if in your favourite video game, you needed to switch windows every time you wanted to control your character. Clunky, right? Now not only can this take time, but because things are baked into audio, it’s impossible to make changes..

image (67).png

Enter MIDI.

The dynamic nature of MIDI makes it particularly suited for collaboration. Changes can be done on a whim and previewed in seconds, and the sounds can be tinkered and honed by decoupling the notes (MIDI) and the sounds (Plugins). While this has been a staple in DAWs for many years, nobody has done this properly in a real-time environment.

Now here’s the fun stuff: Due to the nature of our ecosystem, we can create an incredibly compelling music creation experience by offering the following:

  • Full MIDI support: Step sequencers, timelines, automation, quantize, legato, arpeggiators, chord generators - everything you need to compose
  • Every plugin is multiplayer: ALL of the plugins we offer AND your own plugins will work in multiplayer in real time multiplayer sessions  and sync’d live with your collaborator, it’s as if you were in the same room tweaking the EQ together. 
  • Infinite presets: By offering users the ability to publish presets to the community at a click of a button, and to have these presets automatically downloaded and synced, means that every time you open BC you have access to an ever-expanding sound empire.
  • Infinite custom plugins: Inside the Lab you can create your own instruments and effects - without needing to code. Deep customization and modularity opens up a world of sound design, and every aspect can be swapped, traded, and expanded upon.

It’s a pet-peeve of mine to end lists with “and much more”, but it is the truth. The key reason why this is such a big deal is because for once, finally, the closed ecosystems of music making are being unlocked and opened to the community - by allowing everyone to participate and share, we all benefit.

We are not building a music making app. We are creating a framework for the next generation of music creators to get connected, feel empowered, and to create together.

I look forward to diving into the specifics of each section as we roll out this next version in Summer 2023.


Nicky Diamondz