Visionaries including Dave Smith from Sequential Circuits, and Ikutaru Kakehashi from Roland began to worry that this lack of compatibility between manufacturers would restrict people's use of synthesizers, which would ultimately inhibit sales growth. Talk of a 'universal' digital communication system thus began circulating in 1981. Dave Smith and ...
By Daderot (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons The golden age of mechanical music machines really came in the late 19th century and early 20th century with player pianos and orchestrions.  A player piano is defined as any actual acoustic piano that is played by a pneumatic or electro-mechanical mechanism that operates the piano action via pre-programmed music. 
An explanation of music synthesis technology and how MIDI is used to generate and control sounds. This document was originally published in 1995 at a time when MIDI had been used in electronic musical instruments for more than a decade, but was still a relatively new technology in the computer industry. All these years later, the PC industry has ch...
MICROTUNING VIRTUAL AND ELECTRONIC HARDWARE INSTRUMENTS: AN OVERVIEW OF FORMATS AND METHODS FOR USING ALTERNATIVE INTONATION SYSTEMS For those electronic hardware synthesis enthusiasts, as well as computer based musicians and composers who wish to explore the vast expressive possibilities, new harmonies and melodic potentials of using alternative i...
Here are links to some of the best MIDI film scoring resources. Any text in blue is a link.  Of course, we have some great resources right on our site from Nonlinear Educating. Peter Schwartz has put together not only the core DeMystifying MIDI course, but advanced video courses in MIDI Orchestration. The MIDI Orchestra Music These courses are...
Hand-Held Controllers Electronic MIDI controllers that you hold in your hands and shake or move about to make music date back to 1986. That was the year Palmtree Instruments introduced Airdrums, a tabletop MIDI controller wired to two tubes that contain sensors for detecting motion in any of six directions. The control box transmits six triggers pe...
The MIDI specification first saw the light of day at the 1981 AES, when Dave Smith of Sequential Circuits presented a paper on the "Universal Synthesizer Interface." It was co-developed with other companies (an effort driven principally by Roland's Ikutaro Kakehashi, a true visionary of this industry), and made its prime time debut at the 1983 Los ...
This is an article that was originally posted on the Cakewalk blog and they kindly gave us permission to excerpt it here on MIDI.org and link to the full article. The cover photo is courtesy of Pete Brown from Microsoft.  There are dozens of wireless data standards today. So why is Bluetooth so popular?Wireless standards may be grouped into a ...
 How MIDI changed music Note on, note off: How MIDI changed music - ABC Melbourne - Australian Broadcasting Corporation In the early 1980s five synthesizer manufacturers agree on a common standard for sharing musical information digitally. That standard, known as Musical Instrument Digital Interface, changes music forever. http://www.abc.net.a...
The original MIDI protocol specified a five-pin DIN connector (DIN stands for Deutsche Institut für Normung, a German standards organization), which is what you'll find on older legacy MIDI gear (anything made before 1999).  5-pin MIDI out and MIDI in jacks were the original MIDI connectors, and are still in use. However, today most MIDI gear ...
Google Creative Lab, Use All Five, and Yotam Mann launched a new browser-based music sequencer called Song Maker.  It's a classic grid style sequencer and allows anyone to easily create simple grooves on the web.  You can even connect your MIDI keyboard or other controllers to input notes via Web MIDI.  When you're fin...
Companies and products listed here do not imply any recommendation or endorsement by the MIDI Manufacturers Association. MIDI Processing, Programming, and Do It Yourself (DIY) Components These are just examples of such products -- we make no warranty re: suitability (or anything else, for that matter) -- use at your own risk. If you are a manu...
WHEN DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH MIDI? That was so long ago. One of my first exposures to MIDI was the Hybrid Arts sequencer with an Atari computer, I have very fond memories of those days and somehow that older software seemed more stable then some software these days, maybe because today every program is trying to do so mu...
Google's Duet AI (with Web MIDI)  Google Creative Lab recently released A.I. Duet, an interactive AI Music experiment that lets you use your laptop keyboard or a MIDI keyboard (using Chrome's Web MIDI feature) to make music and experiment with artificial intelligence .  Duet was built by Yotam Mann and t...
Best New MIDI Products of Winter NAMM 2018   The Washington Post coverage of NAMM was all about MIDI controllers (you can skip the ad after 15 seconds) Here is The MIDI Association's list of must-see MIDI products at Winter NAMM 2018. MINDMusic Labs Elk-THE MUSIC OPERATING SYSTEM and Sensus, the world first real smartguitar. Boo...
Dubler Studio Kit is a real-time vocal recognition MIDI controller.  Vochlea Music recently launched a Kickstarter for Dubler Studio Kit and have raised over double their goal of $53,000 and still have 29 days left in their campaign.  The Kit consists of both hardware and software.  The Dubler software — a virtual MIDI...
Recently Pete Brown from Microsoft posted a very informative blog post about MIDI Enhancements in Windows 10.  The blog post covers a number of topics including  UWP MIDI Basics – using MIDI in Windows Store apps New Bluetooth LE MIDI support in Windows 10 Anniversary Update The Win32 wrapper for UWP MIDI (making the API accessible t...
To really understand the origins of MIDI, you need to go all the way back to before there were digitally controlled synthesizers and computers, In fact you need to go back before there was even electricity to the very first mechanical music machines. The very first mechanical musical instruments were documented in the Book of Ingenious Devices...
 Brockett Parsons is a keyboard player from Summit, New Jersey.  Brockett studied at Bucknell University and played both piano and trumpet. He went on to study further at Berkelee College of Music in Boston.  In 2009 Brockett then became a winner of the MTV reality show "Making His Band" featuring P Diddy. The show was an intens...
What is Telemidi? A system of connecting two DAW environments over the internet, to achieve real-time musical `jamming'.The product of Masters research by Matt Bray. "...a musician's behaviour at one location will be occurring at the other location in a near synchronous manner, and vice versa, thus allowing for a `jam' like atmosphere to ...
Ikutaro Kakehashi, founder of Roland and co-inventor of MIDI passes away Ikutaro Kakehashi was certainly one of the most influential figures in electronic music in the 20th century.  He influenced music and technology throughout his lifetime.  He overcame many challenges in his early life to become the head of one of the most influen...
Animusic produces innovative music animation by leveraging MIDI data in creating "virtual concerts". The animation of graphical instrument elements is generated using proprietary software called MIDImotionTM. The technique is analytical, note-based, and involves a pre-process (as opposed to being reactive, sound-based, and real-time). Feature: Inte...
Controllerism In 2005, Matt Moldover and Dj Shakey (Julie Covello) coined the term "Controllerism"  to describe  Moldover's performance style.  Ean Golden from Remix Magazine (now running djtechtools) wrote an article "Music Maneuvers: Discover the Digital Turntablism Concept, Controllerism, Compliments of Moldove...
Touch Controllers (continued) If you'd prefer a surface that's stretched much further, consider the Haken Continuum Fingerboard (http://www.hakenaudio.com/Continuum). Its control surface feels like silk and looks like a wide ribbon with alternating scarlet and maroon stripes. Designed by Lippold Haken, the Continuum goes beyond two dimensions. Its ...