AMEI Developing Open Source MIDI 2.0 Driver For Windows

The Association of Musical Electronics Industries (AMEI), the organization that oversees the MIDI specification in Japan, has announced that it is committed to funding the development of an open-source USB MIDI 2.0 Host Driver for Windows Operating Systems, under a memorandum of understanding between AMEI, AmeNote Inc, and Microsoft.

AMEI is underwriting the cost and has engaged AmeNote Inc. to develop the driver, because of AmeNote’s experience in MIDI 2.0 and USB development.

In addition, Microsoft has agreed to start development of a Windows standard open-source MIDI 2.0 API. The driver and API will be managed as a permissively-licensed (MIT license) Microsoft open-source project. Anyone will be able to participate in the development, as an open-source contributor in the future, or to use the code in their own devices or operating systems.

Because of this open source arrangement, continuous and timely improvements and enhancements to the USB MIDI 2.0 Host driver and MIDI 2.0 API are expected. Development is currently underway with the goal of completing the development in 2023.

MIDI 2.0 is a global industry-wide effort. The MIDI Association (TMA), is the organization that oversees the MIDI specification, in all other areas of the world besides Japan.

TMA recently funded AmeNote’s development of the ProtoZOA, a USB MIDI 2.0 prototyping board that software developers can use to test with their MIDI 2.0 applications. AmeNote plans to release large parts of the ProtoZOA firmware as open-source code, so all hardware developers can use that code and incorporate it in their own MIDI 2.0 devices.

TMA members Apple and Google have already announced and released their support for MIDI 2.0. AMEI and TMA have also recently engaged with members of the ALSA community about the development of open-source drivers and APIs for the Linux platform.

5 thoughts on “AMEI Developing Open Source MIDI 2.0 Driver For Windows

  1. Thanks for following this closely. OS support is probably very meaningful in terms of getting developers involved. Not sure it’s the last hurdle before any meaningful implementation as communication between tools.
    The MIDI 2.0 rollout, close to three years after adoption, isn’t for the impatient. Guess there will eventually be a day when we’ll be able to leverage the protocol to do some useful things. I choose not to lose hope.

    1. This will be driven by mainstream adoption of keyboards like the Osmose.

      Until there’s lots of people using keyboards that spew reams of MIDI 2.0 data, what’s the impetus for companies to implement it?

      1. When we develop a MIDI controller and a software application to edit it’s parameters, we use SysEx as the main communication method. Most messages are binary structures that mean nothing to anyone unless you know our methodology.

        MIDI 2.0 offers new methods (Property Exchange and Profiles) for standardizing how devices can list/get/set/subscribe to these parameters. There are even experimental methods to define the user interface within property exchange. From a development standpoint this has long term benefits for us, we can even imagine a scenario where we don’t have to create a standalone editor/application to configure out hardware, we can instead have the hardware present all of the needed information for a single “MIDI Property Exchange” librarian/app to be able to configure all of our devices, and devices from other manufacturers.

        Property exchange can also provide Program, Channel and Controller lists to better describe the full MIDI implementation of the device. Imagine you plug in a synth and Ableton automatically lists all of the preset/patch names, controllers, and voice/channel assignments. And you could edit all of these names using Ableton’s UI.

        We (KMI) see the benefit of using these capabilities now even if just between our own hardware and software. MacOS and iOS already have MIDI 2.0 support, so does Android, and Windows is on the way. Our controllers (keyboards, drum pads, mixer controllers) already have more than 7 bits of information in their controls/keys/pads, so having the larger MIDI resolution is a no brainer.

  2. actually it will be driven by DAW support, if Ableton doesn’t enable Midi 2.0 then people cant use the features when recording midi.

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