MIDI Playground

Inspiration and Philosophy

The MIDI Playground series is inspired by the early days of MIDI, and some of the wonderful applications that emerged in the mid-1980s for Commodore and Atari computers. MIDI Playground hopes to recapture some of that era’s sense of fun exploration and of limitless possibility.

Another inspiration comes from modular synthesis, where imaginative users put together unique environments by combining modules for different functions. MIDI Playground aspires to a similar approach to software infrastructure. Rather than providing a single deep but complex environment to approach many aspects of MIDI composition and performance, MIDI Playground comprises a number of single-purpose modules, each one simple and intuitive in its use.

The intention of the design is to have as much as possible of a module’s functionality obvious and accessible at a glance. That is, any available action should be represented by a visible and intuitive control. As the MIDI Playground ecosystem continues to grow and mature, more functions will become available. The modules will also become more interactive, working together as components of a larger and more capable system.

Finally, at a time when much of the focus in computer-based music creation is on combining and looping audio clips, the MIDI Playground applications focus on fundamental musical elements, starting with individual notes and building from there within a framework that includes basic concepts such as key signature and time signature. The intention is not at all to require any background or training in music theory to use and enjoy the MIDI Playground applications, but to combine those concepts with some intuition and automation into an environment that can be productive and broadening, and most of all, fun.