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Midi Power! by Robert Guérin

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Chapter 11. Deeper into MIDI: System Exclusive and Synchronization

System Exclusive (SysEx) messages and synchronization are probably two of the most misunderstood aspects of the MIDI protocol. Synchronization locks multiple devices together using time code or MIDI clock, while SysEx lets users control and automate MIDI device parameters in real time.

SysEx defines and records MIDI events and parameters that are not defined or recorded in other MIDI messages, such as an envelope for a specific sound or a cutoff frequency in a device’s filter. SysEx is supposed to be transparent to the user. But even when you notice these messages, you may not see the values, such as a note number that corresponds to a key on your keyboard or a velocity value for ...

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