New Standard, MIDI Capability Inquiry (MIDI-CI), Paves The Way For The Future Of MIDI

At the 2018 NAMM Show, the MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA) announced the ratification of a new extension to MIDI, MIDI Capability Inquiry.

MIDI Capability Inquiry (MIDI-CI) is designed to provide your devices and software with a standard way to ‘talk’ with each other, to find out each other’s capabilities and to configure themselves automatically for the best compatibility. It does this in three main ways: Protocol Negotiation, Profile Configuration & Property Exchange.

The new standard should allow devices and software to automatically configure themselves for maximum compatibility. For example, a MIDI controller could use MIDI-CI to ‘ask’ a synth if it supports the new MPE specification, and if so, automatically configure it. Or you could load a track in your DAW, and it could automatically configure your studio hardware the way you want it for that song.

The standard also is designed to allow for future enhancements and to provide a “fall back” mechanism. So, if a device or application does not support a new feature or a future standard, it will continue to work as defined by MIDI 1.0.

MIDI-CI paves the way for the future of MIDI, because it provides a standard way for devices and apps to ‘talk’ to each other, share information about their capabilities, and negotiate how they work together. For example, if MMA members agree to a “MIDI 2.0′ standard in the future, MIDI-CI would allow devices and apps to ask “Do you support MIDI 2.0?” and, if so, they could default to using it, rather than MIDI 1.0.

For more information on MIDI-CI, see the MMA site.