"What the hell is MIDI Rexx?", you may ask. It is a combination of the REXX computer language and MIDI. Ok, before you reply "I don't care about that. I'm not a computer programmer.", I should explain something. REXX is not your typical computer language. It is intended to be used by non-professional programmers. You don't have study computer science in college in order to use REXX. REXX is simple enough to be understood and used by "power users". And if you've been able to get a MIDI studio up and running, then you're probably a clever-and-technically-savvy-enough power user to be able to create your own software using REXX.

In fact, using MIDI Rexx, you can now try writing your own MIDI software that you always wanted, but were afraid to try because you're not a real computer programmer.

"Ok, how much is this going to cost me?", I hear you ask. After all, you may realize that if you want to write a MIDI program using Visual BASIC, for example, you have to buy a development system.

MIDI Rexx is free.

"Yeah, but what if I want to let others use the MIDI software I create? I'll bet that I need to pay some sort of licensing fee -- maybe even for a special runtime module or something like that." Nope. There are no "special versions" of MIDI Rexx, licensing fees, or other rabidly capitalistic sleight-of-hand.

"But I still need to buy some development tools, or something, before I can write my own software?" Nope. Everything you need is free, and you're going to download it from this site right now.

"I've seen free MIDI development systems before. They're really hard to install, and use. And they're made by computer science students/teachers who think that providing a couple of barely-commented example programs constitutes a tutorial. But it's unusable by anyone who isn't already a computer science major or system administrator." Tsk, tsk, tsk. You've seen the rest of this site. Does it look like I'm the sort of person who isn't anal-retentive about easy-to-understand tutorials? And when you install MIDI Rexx, you get desktop icons for the tools and documentation. (And it cleanly uninstalls from Control Panel's "Add/Remove Programs" if you no longer want it).

"Aha! It's got to be spyware or adware. When I install it on my computer, it will secretly email back to you information about which naughty web sites I've visited, and which brand of black lingerie I've ordered." Look, I'm a programmer, not some sleezy marketeer. I don't care what you wear -- not even if you're sitting there in your underwear right now, reading this web site. (I mean, everyone surfs the web nude from their homes, right? You want to be comfortable, right? Hey! Do not look at me like that!)

Ok, you've run out of pitiful excuses for why you can't download, install, and try your hand at using MIDI Rexx to write your own MIDI software. So, let's get going. If you haven't yet downloaded and installed MIDI Rexx, then click the link below.

Download and install MIDI Rexx.

So what kind of software can you create with MIDI Rexx? You can create software that manipulates MIDI files. For example, I know that many of you have used my MIDI File Disassembler utility on this web site. Well, MIDI Rexx includes the "source code" to a simple REXX version of that. DISASM.REX turns a MIDI file into a text file that is formatted identically to the way MIDI File Disassembler does it. And ASM.REX turns that same text file back into a MIDI file (although ASM.REX omits features for filtering events, changing channels, altering velocity, remapping note numbers, etc -- the global editing features of MIDI File Disassembler, as well as the user interface. That's not to say that you can't add these features with MIDI Rexx. You can, but I didn't bother for the sake of simplicity in the REXX examples).

The current documentation refers to MIDI playback and recording support. That is not yet finished in MIDI Rexx. (ie, Right now, it is limited to manipulating MIDI files). But such support is planned, and when implemented, you'll be able to create your own patch editors and System Exclusive dump utilities for those MIDI devices for which you could never find such support. In essense, you'll be able to create your own equivalent to Cakewalk "Studioware Panels", but without needing to buy/run CakeWalk. You'll also be able to create simple MIDI recorders/players. (MIDI REXX isn't quite suitable for developing your own version of a sequencer program as complex as Cakewalk itself, but for smaller MIDI projects, it should prove useful). In the meantime, there is an additional package called MIDI IO from the above download page that lets you do simple MIDI input and output (without time-stamping, nor multiple MIDI ports).

Future enhancements will include a dialog editor to help you more easily create a user interface for your REXX software.

And of course, REXX software available here will be updated periodically, so check back.