Black MIDI

When you spend a lot of time on the internet, you end up seeing a lot of strange things. Very occasionally, if enough time is spent, you will find strange combined with pure genius. In this case I am referring to Black MIDI.

Psychedelic music can be said to be influenced by psychotropic chemicals and the music reflects it, Black MIDI on the other hand sounds like it is influenced by Ritalin. Copious amounts of Ritalin.

So what is it? Well imagine you are on your computer, making some music. You have a nice chord progression going, maybe add a bit of melody, and start adding a bit of harmony. Now imagine every amphetamine in the planet has just been metabolised in your brain, you realise that harmony would go nice with another nine million notes and there you have it.

for those of you who don't read music, this is not normal.

Black MIDI essentially crams as many notes in as possible while trying to maintain a good sound. This is very difficult to do as you can imagine and so it is a real skill to make such music sound good.

As a genre, it is very much now a nerd-off of the most insane proportions. Each song maker wants to make the song with the most notes as well as the prettiest aesthetics with regards to the MIDI sequencing panel. I'll show you what I mean in the video below.


Now this was a very basic example, comprising of "only" 50,000 notes. Many are in the millions of notes and a quick search of the largest songs demonstrate a complete lifetime guarantee of virginity. Like seriously, how do these people have time?


The video below demonstrates that it is certainly not just about the notes, the visual aspect is almost more important. 

Out of interest, a few years back, I made a "very light grey MIDI" song. It really put into perspective the amount of work that goes into making a song like this. I practically eroded the copy and paste buttons on my computer and still scraped a few thousand notes.

To put into perspective, a symphony playing Beethoven's 9th may be around 50,000 notes, and that's counting every note that every person plays. When you think how small that is compared to what the virtual piano has to play, it is simply mind blowing.

As time has progressed, Black MIDI has peeked more and more into the mainstream and you will find many popular remixes often dubbed "impossible" on youtube. So as I finish this post, have a listen to the wonderful Miley Cyrus's song "Wrecking Ball" with a couple more notes...