Musicians have been connecting equipment together using MIDI since 1983, and the great thing about it is that it just works. The less great thing is that it’s still limited by what was possible in 1983.
From Resolution Magazine: Brett Porter explains why the new MIDI spec is important: greater expressivity, better timing, better data. At NAMM 2020 Roland introduced a new high-end keyboard with weighted action and lots of extras. The most dramatic revelation was that this is the first ‘MIDI 2.0’ instrument from Roland. The A-88MKII has three configurable zones, an advanced arpeggiator, chord memory, and multipurpose pads that can trigger commands and events.
At the recent Winter NAMM convention in Anaheim California, the MIDI Manufacturers Association voted to formally adopt the MIDI 2.0 specification that’s been in development for over a decade. Art+Logic has been involved with this effort for the past several years as part of the group of companies working to validate MIDI 2.0 during its development and refinement by creating prototype implementations of it and connecting those prototypes together to make sure that things perform as well in reality as they do on paper.
We chat to Art+Logic’s Brett Porter to find out what makes this new interfacing spec tick.
It’s been an essential building block of how music is made for about 35 years now, but would you be surprised to learn that the MIDI standard – the protocol we use every day to play and program music on computers, synths and other electronic gear – is still at version 1.0?
If you’ve ever created music on a computer, it is likely that you have used the MIDI specification. Created in the early 80s as a protocol for synchronizing musical events in electronic instruments and computers, MIDI has been a staple for musicians around the world.
MIDI’s wide usage can also present various challenges – how can the protocol be improved without breaking the functionality of instruments and software utilizing the MIDI 1.0 specification, and how can a consensus be reached on the best way to improve MIDI? We spoke about these questions and more with some of the key contributors to MIDI 2.0. (Interview by Joshua Hodge)