MIDI Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary, Thanks To Dave Smith & Ikutaro Kakehashi

Roland today released this video celebrating the 30th Anniversary of MIDI, which has become a massively important industry standard, due to the vision of Sequential Circuit’s Dave Smith, Roland’s Ikutaro Kakehashi and others.

For a 30 year-old standard, MIDI is going strong. In just the last few weeks, we’ve seen the standard show up in MIDI Tesla Coils, an iPad MIDI sequencer, new MIDI instruments and your Web browser.

In addition to noting the wide range of vendor support for MIDI, it highlights some of the standard’s more unusual applications, like musical fountains. And then there’s the MIDI-controlled skull.

Pretty amazing for something that started with connecting a couple of synths together, back in 1983……


10 thoughts on “MIDI Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary, Thanks To Dave Smith & Ikutaro Kakehashi

  1. What an odd, amateurish video. It looks like someone just went to Google Images to find a bunch of photos, and slapped them together in iMovie. Also, weird stat alert: “MIDI products are a $4 billion industry” – um yeah, because every musical product -has- MIDI connectivity…

    Next up: Roland releases a 30th Anniversary Special Edition MIDI interface, complete with a retro casing and a pricetag of $1000.

  2. Now if GarageBand (featured in the video) were really an actual MIDI sequencer with MIDI out capability… it would be nice. 😉

    Though one can kind of fake it with a MIDI output Audio Unit I suppose.

  3. Its easy to casually praise the industry giants; they’ve more than earned it. What still amazes me the most is that at a time when people were especially protective of their technical secrets, the standard was devised at all. MIDI follows the nature of electronic music making similar to the way our hands conform to strings, winds or keys. MIDI was going to happen at some point; its as natural to synth playing as a Jeff Beck hammer-on to a guitar.

    1. MIDI seems inevitable now – but what would have happened without Kakehashi and Smith agreeing to a standard? It could have been another 10 years for something like MIDI to arrive.

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