The MIDI Association, Music Hackspace, and NAMM held the first MIDI Innovation Awards online. The event showcased the Top 10 entries, as innovators from nine countries competed for a share of $20,000 worth of prizes in a fast-paced, livestreamed show, which also featured live and recorded performances. The show's climax was announcing the three Grand Prize winners as decided by an expert panel of judges, as well as the winner of the popular vote.
The number of entries, the high standards they represented, and the sheer number of votes exceeded even our most optimistic expectations. Innovation in MIDI is thriving.by Craig Anderton, President of The MIDI Association
The awards realized our shared dream: give makers and innovators around the world an opportunity to connect with the NAMM community despite the pandemic, spotlight their work to the public, and celebrate the spirit of creativity."by MusicHackspace.com and MIDI Innovations Award founder Jean-Baptiste Thiebaut
The judges awarded 1st place to Krishna Chetan from India for his entry Fluid Pitch, which also won the popular vote. Noted technologist and judge Dr. Kate Stone stated "This novel plug-in re-imagines pitch bending, in a way that enhances and simplifies how keyboard players react with MIDI instruments." Krishna won over $12,500 in prizes, including a booth at the 2022 NAMM show, 2-year corporate membership in the MIDI Association, consulting from MK2 Audio and MIDI2Marketing, and a full Max 8 license.
Khrisna has worked for A R Rahman. Mr Rhaman's work on Slumdog Millionaire (2008) earned him Best Original Score and Best Original Song at the 81st Academy Awards. In 2009, he was named by Time Magazine as one of the world's 100 most influential people. When A R covered Fluid Pitch on his weekly show it got over 150,000 views. He calls it out as the very first MIDI plugin from India.
2nd place went to Kevin Chang from North Carolina, USA for his entry Sonoclast Plastic Pitch Pro. Judge and YouTube sensationShawn Wasabi said "Plastic Pitch Pro's innovative approach to microtonality makes formerly obscure tuning techniques easy to use and understand." Kevin's prize package, worth over $3,000, includes hardware from Expert Sleepers, a 1-year corporate membership in the MIDI Association, consulting from MK2 Audio and MIDI2Marketing, and a full Max 8 license.
Leigh Davies from Wales, UK won 3rd place for his entry Playces. Judge Helen Leigh, creative technologist said : "This art installation, made from corrugated cardboard and electronics, offers sonic exploration opportunities for children of all ages—and enthralled the judges with its creative use of MIDI and technology." Watch Leigh's 3-minute pitch.