New MIDI API Will Make Your Android Phone or Tablet Better for Making Music

The new MIDI API for Android 6.0 (known as Marshmallow) is promising to make life easier for music app developers and provide a better experience for Android device wielding musicians and producers.  

I’m not here to start any wars or scuffles, but until now iOS has been the mobile platform of choice for musicians, DJs and producers. The included APIs have made it easier for developers to create kick-ass music apps. But that’s about to change.

According to a blog post on the Android Developers Blog on 15th September 2015, Google have released three new Marshmallow sample apps. So why should you care? Because two of these apps are relevant for music makers and use the new MIDI API in Andorra 6.0.

With new APIs which developers can use in their apps, it should now be easier than before to create MIDI controllable apps, and apps which can process received MIDI data of the Android platform.

Android MidiSynth

With new support for MIDI coming to Android 6.0, Google appear excited to show how their new MIDI API can be used to receive and play MIDI messages from an attached MIDI input device. This could be a MIDI Keyboard, a MIDI pad controller, a MIDI Guitar, glove, light… basically anything that spits out MIDI note or CC data.

Google tell us the sample app, Android MidiSynth, demonstrates some basic features of the MIDI API, such as:

  • Enumeration of currently available devices (including name, vendor, capabilities, etc)
  • Notification when MIDI devices are plugged in or unplugged
  • Receiving and processing MIDI messages

Sample code for Android MidiSynth can downloaded HERE.

Android MidiScope

Receiving and processing MIDI signals from a synth or controller attached to an Android device is what this sample app is all about. MidiScope shows the “name, vendor, capabilities, etc, notification when MIDI devices are plugged in or unplugged, and receiving MIDI signals. This sample simply shows all the received MIDI signals to the screen log and does not play any sound for them.”

In short, this MIDI API can be used to more easily create an app which uses MIDI data to trigger sound, visuals or affect the app in a related way. and be aware of when a MIDI controller or synth is plugged into the device and when it isn’t/ Handy stuff.

Sample code for Android MidiScope can be downloaded HERE.

[Via: Android Developers Blog

Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & macProVideo. He's built a crack team of professional musicians and writers to create one of the most visited online resources for news, review, tutorials and interviews for modern musician and producer. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic Pro Rounik has taught teachers, professional... Read More


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