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An in-depth analysis of real-time MIDI performance

By Belinda Thom and Mark Nelson


Although MIDI is often used for computer-based interactive music applications, its real-time performance is difficult to generally quantify because of its dependence on the characteristics of the given application and the system on which it is running. We extend existing proposals for MIDI performance benchmarking so that they are useful in more realistic interactive scenarios, including those with high MIDI traffic and heavy CPU load. Our work has resulted in a cross-platform freely-available testing suite that requires minimal effort to use. We use this suite to survey the interactive performance of several commonly-used computer/MIDI setups, and extend the typical data analysis with an in-depth discussion of the benefits and downsides of various performance metrics.

Year: 2004
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