The MIDI Association has announced that complete specifications for the MIDI 2.0 update are now available to the public.
The MIDI 2.0 specification now enables two-way communication between MIDI devices. This allows for features like automatic setup, based on one device querying another, obtaining a response, and configuring itself. This also ensures backward compatibility: if a MIDI 2.0 device can’t carry on a two-way conversation, it recognizes that it’s talking to a MIDI 1.0 device, and adjusts its communications accordingly.
Aside from improving ease of use and workflow, MIDI 2.0 delivers more nuanced expressiveness for electronic instruments. It’s now possible to convey the same kind of subtle expression normally associated with acoustic instruments, thanks to higher-resolution dynamics and control data, extended controller options (including per-note controllers for exceptional articulation), and simplified controller assignments.
The complete set of five core MIDI 2.0 specifications, as ratified at the MMA (MIDI Manufacturers Association) meeting during the Winter NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) convention in Anaheim, California, is now available for download to developers and the general public. To obtain the set of specifications, simply join The MIDI Association, a “global community of people who work, play, and create” with MIDI.
Individuals can sign up for a free membership on The MIDI Association website, and companies that would like to become MMA members to access the MMA’s software and tools for MIDI 2.0 development can now apply online here.
The following MIDI specifications are now available:
- M2-100-U v1.0 MIDI 2.0 Specification Overview
- M2-101-UM v1.1 MIDI-CI Specification
- M2-102-U v1.0 Common Rules for MIDI-CI Profiles
- M2-103-UM v1.0 Common Rules for MIDI-CI PE
- M2-104-UM v1.0 UMP and MIDI 2.0 Protocol Specification
Gene Joly, the MMA’s current President, states “We are happy to provide access to the complete MIDI 2.0 specifications to everyone, and believe MIDI 2.0 will unleash a level of innovation in music and the arts we haven’t seen since MIDI 1.0 changed the world. All of us are excited about what MIDI 2.0 will bring to music and the arts.”
Going to SxSW next month? One member of the group who developed MIDI 2.0, Brett Porter of Art + Logic, is leading a session on “MIDI 2.0 For Musicians,” March 19 during South by Southwest 2020. Porter says, “The new MIDI 2 spec brings everything into the 21st century, making MIDI faster and more expressive … [during this session] we’ll look at the new concepts and capabilities that are coming and the impact this will have on existing systems.”
For more information: You can find out more about MIDI 2.0 on The MIDI Association website.