MIDI Visualisation Techniques

I am currently casting the net wide to examine what techniques are being used to visualise MIDI data in the modern world of motion graphics.

At the simplest level the relevant MIDI data will be note on/off (ie determinant of note length, note value (ie pitch), note velocity (usually linked to individual note volume), plus a subset of controller channels being used to modulate the sound and control pan/fade.

Maxime Beauchemin writes in his blog about one approach to using pitch data – rather than simply interpreting note values as different colours, for example, he uses the ‘circle of fifths’ as a device for colouring graphic objects based on harmonisation – so notes that are a fifth apart (ie the most harmonious) are similarly coloured.

This a simple but effective idea – you can see the results below.

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