The MIDI Innovation awards give a platform to MIDI innovation. This enables winners to accelerate their product ideas through connections to the industry, as well as increase their visibility among musicians and the NAMM community of trade professionals. The MIDI Innovation Awards rewards products, prototypes, installations or concepts that are thought-provoking and inspire new, creative use cases.
In January 2021, in the middle of the pandemic and for the first time ever, the MIDI Association launched the MIDI Innovation Awards, a competition for innovators who work with MIDI.
The competition opened registrations in December 2020 and received 77 entries from nearly as many countries. A panel of 20 reviewers was given the difficult task to select the 10 finalists that would pitch to a live jury during NAMM 2021.
The final jury to select the winners was composed of Craig Anderton, Kate Stone, Yuri Suzuki, Shawn Wasabi, John Kao and Helen Leigh.
On the event’s day, artists Tim Exile, Dan Tepfer, Chagall and Shawn Wasabi showcased how MIDI contributes to creativity in music production and performance.
As the world hopes to return to in-person events, the founding partners of the event (MIDI Association, Music Hackspace and NAMM) are discussing the best way to continue this event and welcome the first generation of MIDI 2.0 products at the 2022 edition!
The Music Hackspace’s mission is to become the largest platform for learning music technologies. We are passionate about helping musicians develop their programming skills, host workshops led by world experts and enable the community to share knowledge and practices.
Founded in 1901, NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry and promote the pleasures and benefits of making music.
The MIDI Association is the non-profit community for both the companies who develop new MIDI specifications and products and the people that create music and art with MIDI. The MIDI.org website is the central repository of information about anything related to MIDI technology, from classic legacy gear to the next- gen MIDI protocols coming soon.
Discover Fluid Pitch, prize winner Krishna Chetan from India of the first MIDI Innovation Awards 2021.
Pitch Innovation says:
“Fluid pitch is an innovative next-generation Pitch bend system, which is not only free of existing limitations but a revolutionary leap forward in musical expression for all musicians.
Fluid pitch introduces the World's First Monophonic and Polyphonic Scale-Locked-Pitch-Bend System powered by MPE upscale engine and gives the power of MPE (MIDI Polyphonic expression ) to any standard MIDI keyboard.
Play any style of music with unparalleled ease, get the Micro tuning edge and introduce chord bending into your music. Fluid pitch is being called an innovative plugin by many industry experts and amazing musicians like Jordan Rudess, AR Rahman, BT and many more around the world.”
"The Sonoclast Plastic Pitch Pro (Patent Pending) is a high-resolution MIDI microtuner particularly well suited for live experimentation with alternate tunings while using familiar playing techniques on a standard keyboard layout. Twelve real-time tuning knobs correspond to an octave of keys and tune the respective note sharp or flat across an entire keyboard. The cents-width of an octave of keys is tunable from 600 to 2400 cents. Scales can be modulated to a new key on the fly using a controller on another MIDI channel. Presets are saved in the Scala file format for interoperability."
Leigh Davies Creative Systems says:
"Playces is a series of illustrative interactive instrument-sculptures that promotes curiosity, exploration, and play.
The project explores the notion of ‘what makes a place, a place?’ and presents ideas and observations relating to that theme through a series of interactive kinetic structures for audiences to not only view, but play with and enjoy.
Through the use of recycled cardboard, reactive sound design, low-cost embeddable sensors, and MIDI messaging protocol - Playces ultimately establishes a ludic environment that provides (self-identifying) "non-musical" audiences with new opportunities for the performance and experience of sound and music."
At Enhancia, we don’t believe in moderation. During 3 years of intense R&D, we have been aiming to create the shortest path between musical intention and raw emotion. By constantly pushing our breakthrough technology to exceed its furthest limits, Enhancia has been able to fuel life into Neova, the most expressive MIDI Ring Controller. Neova is a multi-award winning MIDI ring controller made to deliver expressivity at its most natural form. The high-end wearable enables you to control sound effects with natural and intuitive hand gestures to enhance your musical experience.
TABLIX is a conversation between the Tabla language, music technology & MIDI. TABLIX is a digitally augmented Tabla; it MIDI pitch shifts the Purra (Tabla treble drum) in real time and expresses Digital Tabla Tarang = Tabla rhythms + melodically programmed MIDI TABLIX is evolving and aims to develop creative technological ideas to support musical expression in relationship to the artistic process, technique & ergonomics of the Tabla artist; inviting them to ideate, compose, edit, perform, explore, and collaborate with MIDI based artists and processes in new, unique, and synergistic ways within the digital canvas through the Tabla artform.
Jammy E is a portable guitar MIDI controller with steel strings and 15 frets. Jammy E allows playing any instrument using guitar skills. It’s a perfect creative tool for guitarists who dives into music production and don't want to struggle with keyboards. It’s compatible with any DAW and connects to a mobile device or laptop via Bluetooth or USB-C. Jammy E is backpack-sized due to its detachable neck and foldable frame. It features two assignable buttons and a volume knob and accelerometer allowing to add more music expressiveness. Jammy E raised over $210K on Kickstarter in spring 2020. The start of shipping and sales launch is planned for spring 2021.https://playjammy.com/jammy-e/
GranuRise is a granular software synth based on a non-conventional synthesis and sample modules that enable immersive sonic interaction and lets you create complex morphing sound structures intuitively. The main concept is built on a creative gestural interaction that involves an instrument like experience, with the advance of the real-time software generative alternation. GranuRise offers several dedicated MPE/MIDI implementations. Another important aspect is that it also develops a way to make music outside of the grid-based environment. By Combining and morphing multiple GranuRise modules, a whole composition or sound design can be made from a simple sound source.
The Glide is a melody-focused MIDI controller and instrument based upon the accelerometer. Using two hand controllers, users can play 48 different notes, gliding to any of these notes from any other note with simple arm motions and simple button combinations. Vibrato, volume, tone changes, key changes, octave changes, and more are easily and instantly manipulated as well. It is designed to be as expressive as a human voice, as easy to learn as a piano, and as rhythmically intuitive as a drum, while being physically and financially accessible to all.
Stretchi is an electronic stringed instrument which offers ‘acoustic’ interaction with digital control. It is a five stringed instrument which can control different MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) parameters by the player stretching, pushing and pulling the strings through intuitive and playful movements. There are multiple ways to control sound attributes through each of Stretchi’s strings through four gestures; Pluck, Hold, Bend and Slide. These four modes combine to create a multi-dimensional playing surface where the user can creatively control different MIDI parameters such as note triggering, pitch bend, effects, note duration, note velocity - all through the touch of a string.https://stretchi.org/
“Symphony of the Human Body" is an immersive installation that uses music to teach young people about the different systems that make up the human body. Visitors use ten MIDI controllers to interact, allowing them to trigger a musical sequence and perform along these musical layers, also they trigger an interactive animation in a ten meter LED screen. Custom software integrates a DAW session with generative animation software using the MIDI protocol for real time interaction. This is a custom project developed for the “Explora” museum in the city of Leon, Mexico.