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MIDI Channel

Analogous to a television or radio channel. MIDI communication is digital, and the MIDI signals contain several types of information, often including the MIDI channel. Most MIDI messages are intended to be “picked up” by only one of perhaps many available devices that can be connected together. The channel provides an easy way to differentiate these devices. A message intended for the device on channel one, for example, will have that MIDI channel number present in its data. Only devices assigned to listen on channel one will respond to any messages with this encoding. The current MIDI specification calls for 16 MIDI channels. These 16 channels provide a way to transmit and receive 16 different musical parts all on one MIDI cable creating a convenient way to play sequences back through several keyboards, or one multitimbral keyboard.

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