Musical Instrument Digital Interface

Standard for computers to send messages to and control synthesizers, DrumMachines and other music hardware.

See also : TechnologyAndMusic

Quora Answer : For over 40 years we have had a standard way of encoding digital sound with MIDI 2.0 being the first upgrade. Could it start a revolution in new genres and ways of experiencing sound?

May 13, 2020

That seems like hyperbole to me.

Yes MIDI 2.0 looks like it will be useful.

Particularly what it will be useful for is allowing more "expression" and variation in how individual notes are played.

You might have seen something like the Roli Seaboard, which looks like a standard piano / organ / synth layout keyboard, but where sliding your fingers up and down the keys modifies extra parameters of a note individually. Eg. allowing you to pitch bend different notes differently (unlike the typical "mod wheel").

The Seaboard is non standard. It only works with its own special software. But MIDI 2.0 brings this kind of extra information-per-note to the MIDI standard. So I would expect an explosion, soon, where many MIDI controllers start to add this kind of extra expressivity. And most DAWs and synth plugins know how to handle it and do something useful with it.

That's basically what MIDI 2.0 will give us. I think.

Cheap, generic Seaboard-like knockoffs. And some funky extra pitchbending.

And maybe a range of new MIDI Controllers based on other principles, gloves with accelerometers etc. These already exist, but currently always need extra software. MIDI 2.0 will allow companies to commoditize them.

What I DON'T think ... is that it will change the sound of music much.

We aren't all going to start wanting to listen to microtonal music. Any more than most people want to listen to 12-tone or "advanced" harmonies. Most listeners want very familiar, simple tunes in very familiar, simple harmonic contexts. And the fact that MIDI can now express far more complexity isn't going to change that taste.

But gizmos and a little bit of extra expression? Yes, MIDI 2.0 is going to take that away from the committed experimentalists like Imogen Heap and put it in the hands of the kids.

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