MIDI and synthetic audio control
MIDI is the Music Instrument Digital Interface, a control protocol and interface standard for electronic musical instruments that has also been used widely in other music and audio products. Although it is relatively dated by modern standards it is still used extensively, which is something of a testament to its success. Even if the MIDI hardware interface is used less these days, either because more synthesis, sampling and processing takes place using software within the workstation, or because other data interfaces such as USB and Firewire are becoming popular, the protocol for communicating events and other control information is still widely encountered. A lot of software that runs on computers uses MIDI as a basis for controlling the generation of sounds and external devices.