Mr. MIDI, Mouse Ears, and a Disklavier
For those of you who don't know me: I grew up at Walt Disney World. Literally.
While most families took annual or even bi-annual trips to the resort, my family moved there when I was 9. I can sing every long-forgotten attraction song (even the ones played in the queues), tell you who arranged and orchestrated every firework show, and have grown to become friends and colleagues with my heros of that musical legacy.
For four months in the summer of 1995, my favorite attraction at Walt Disney World wasn't a ride, or a show, or even The Voices of Liberty. It was a little corner of EPCOT's Innoventions, a Disney-fied technological inventions museum celebrating the impending millenium change, called Mr. MIDI. Probably only coincidentally based on Simon Lehmayr's open source project, Mr. MIDI was a little stage area where a young tech-saavy musician demonstrated the promise of MIDI on several keyboards and even a MIDI Talk Box. Around the corner was an area where different manufacturers had installed their latest and greatest and where I would encounter the first accoustic piano that you could switch into "silent mode" by engaging and locking the middle pedal. The MX-100A was already seven years on the market at that point, but it was brand new to me, the coolest thing that I'd ever seen, and was entranced; while my mom would venture over to ABC's area (where you could see your "Stories" before they were aired), I sat for hours playing on a REAL piano that only I could hear. (A mid-afternoon air-conditioned repreive from the Central Florida sun is a must.)
Years later, the silent feature is only the tip of the iceberg of the Disklavier features I use. Over the next couple of months I'll be profiling other features, tips, tools, and tricks that have allowed me to turn my DC7APro into one of the strongest studio/stage tools to be found. I hope you'll come back and check them out.