MIDI 2.0, the next-generation music and arts specification designed to enhance virtually all aspects of 1983’s original MIDI 1.0 spec, made its worldwide debut at the 2020 Winter NAMM Show in January in Anaheim.
The suite of MIDI 2.0 specifications adopted at the 2020 NAMM meeting of the MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA) is designed to deliver more nuanced expressiveness, higher resolution, increased ease of use, and also provide backward compatibility with the billions of existing MIDI 1.0 devices. Related, Roland introduced the A-88 MK, the first MIDI 2.0-ready controller keyboard designed to realize the advantages of MIDI 2.0’s higher controller, velocity resolution, and access to an extended range of controllers.
MIDI 2.0 educational sessions that were part of the A3E (Advanced Audio + Applications Exchange) underscored the interest in these significant advances. The MMA also had a booth presence on the show floor to provide MIDI device manufacturers with the opportunity to demonstrate their latest products to dealers, musicians, and the media.
In addition, the MIDI Association now has more than 23,000 members in 113 countries. The midi.org website is devoted to “everything relating to MIDI,” including news, applications, articles and tutorials, downloads of the MIDI specification, discussion forums, and more.
“MIDI 2.0 has been a long time in the making, because the industry wanted to make sure we created something that would be viable for decades, be ready for new technologies, and retain backward compatibility with existing MIDI gear,” states current MMA president Gene Joly. “And once again, the music industry has proven it can do what few other industries have done: set aside competitive differences, and join together for the good of creative artists around the world.”