Fun with MIDI
Somebody here has got to have a clue about doing music with a computer, I sure don't. If you know of any "quick start" type guide or can recommend software or websites, that would be just spiffy.
I just got me an M-Audio Keystation 49e MIDI controller / keyboard, proly not the best in the world, but it's good enough for fooling around, plus it also works with Linux in case I want to hook it up to my laptop or the other computer. This is for father-daughter time, she spends a lot of time playing my ancient Yamaha. I'm guessing for starters we'll probably get a lot of mileage out of just downloading and playing free MIDI files, then progress to loading weird sound fonts and playing random stuff, maybe try tracking some of the stuff that she makes up spontaneously and see where it goes from there.
Previously, we spent a lot of time playing with [URL=http://www.sseyo.com/products/koanx/index.html]SSEYO Koan X[/URL] the [URL=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generative_music]Generative Music[/URL] platform popularized by [URL=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_eno]Brian Eno[/URL]. Too bad it's not really being developed anymore, it was mostly targeted to SoundBlaster AWE 32/64. The cool thing about it is you can make some not unpleasant and even interesting "compositions" while having no idea what you are doing.
Ultimate goal is to maybe do some [URL=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tracker]Tracker[/URL] type stuff, and maybe get real ambitious and try some MIDI-driven animation. I've been shopping around looking at gaming engines like [URL=http://www.ogre3d.org/wiki/index.php/PyOgre]PyOgre[/URL] but I have a lot of shit to learn to make much out of it. We're both big fans of [URL=http://www.animusic.com/]Animusic[/URL], just got Animusic 2 for Christmas.
This is a really good idea.