After what feels like an eternity of speculation and rumours, MIDI 2.0 is finally upon us. At this year’s NAMM Show, members of the MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA) attended their Annual Meeting to finalise the specifications of MIDI 2.0. According to the MMA’s report, “the complete suite of MIDI 2.0 specifications were adopted unanimously by the MMA members in attendance”.
The specifications for the new protocol included:
- MIDI Capability Inquiry (update)
- Universal MIDI Packet & MIDI 2.0 protocol
- Common Rules for MIDI-CI Profiles
- Common Rules for MIDI-CI Property Exchange
- Property Exchange Foundational Resources and Basic Resources
MIDI 2.0 will open up the conversation both ways; whilst MIDI has been a one-way monologue, with a transmitter and receiver, MIDI 2.0 is bi-directional. MIDI 2.0 enabled devices will be able to communicate and auto-configure themselves to work in tandem. The new protocol will also offer higher resolution at 32-bit and will be able to recognise human performance gestures for more intricate musical expression. Profiles can be set on new MIDI gear that will adapt to a particular use case, be it mixing, performance, lighting and so on. To find out what else this will mean for musicians, we recently spoke with one of the developers, Brett Porter. You can read our full interview here.
We should be able to get our hands on the full, confirmed documents soon. The specs are currently being edited by the MMA to their final format, which will then be signed by the AMEI, the Japanese MIDI standards organisation. After this, they will be available as a public download.