Will, I'd have to agree. The original logo had a very distinguished digital aesthetic and the new logo seems like a demotion. I don't think I'm exaggerating when that the loss of this very familiar logo marks the end of an era for the MIDI community.
I totally agree with you; their old logo, which they used for the entire existence of the midi company, looked much better. So people started to associate that logo with the brand. Hope this decision won't affect their popularity too much. There were many cases when people didn't recognize the new company after a logo rebranding and went to their competitors. At least if they choose other, but we can't change anything right now.
The logo is based on the visual representation of the 440 Hz A note (also known as Stuttgart Pitch), which is used as the tuning standard for musical instruments. I don't like it either, but given that this logo is tied to the bi-directional MIDI 2.0 certification, it does not, by definition, replace the vintage MIDI logo.
By the way, there is a video on YouTube in which experienced designers share their impressions of this logo.