MIDI 2.0 comes a step closer

After three years of intensive prototyping and many virtual and face to face meetings, the Association of Music Electronics Industry and the MIDI Association have just published four significantly updated MIDI 2.0 core specifications and a brand new specification for a MIDI 2.0 SMF Clip File.
These are the result of years of volunteer work by members of AMEI and the MIDI Association and consist of over 350 pages of detailed specifications.
These core specifications define the architectural foundations for MIDI 2.0 and define minimum requirements for devices to claim MIDI 2.0 compatibility and to apply to use the MIDI Association’s MIDI 2.0 logo.
According to its creators, MIDI 2.0 is part of a plan to share tools and source code under a permissive MIT license to all developers.
The new protocols are already in use, with Roland and Synthogy teaming up at the recent NAMM Show to demonstrate MIDI 2.0 High Resolution Velocity using an Apple computer and the publicly available version of Logic. There were working prototypes of both Microsoft and Linux MIDI 2.0 drivers. Korg, Bome Box and Analog Devices were all showing prototype products that implemented MIDI 2.0.
“MIDI 2.0 product development is continuing rapidly and it’s an exciting time, but our work is not done,” says a MIDI Association communique.
The MIDI 2.0 project builds on the advent of MIDI, the first universal Musical Instrument Digital Interface, launched in 1983.
“Nearly four decades on, it’s clear that MIDI was crafted so well that it has remained viable and relevant. Its ability to join computers, music, and the arts has become an essential part of live performance, recording, smartphones, and even stage lighting,” the association notes.
It adds that MIDI 2.0 takes the specification even further, while retaining backward compatibility with the MIDI 1.0 gear and software already in use.
“MIDI 2.0 is the biggest advance in music technology in four decades. It offers many new features and improvements over MIDI 1.0, such as higher resolution, bidirectional communication, dynamic configuration, and enhanced expressiveness,” the association claims.
The MIDI 2.0 protocol boasts expanded features including:
· Extended data resolution for all Channel Voice Messages.
· Makes some messages easier to use by aggregating combination messages into one atomic message.
· Adds new properties for several Channel Voice Messages.
· Adds several new Channel Voice Messages to provide increased Per-Note control and musical expression.
· Adds new data messages including System Exclusive 8 and Mixed Data Set. The System Exclusive 8 message is very similar to MIDI 1.0 System Exclusive but with 8-bit data format. The Mixed Data Set Message is used to transfer large data sets, including non-MIDI data.
· Keeps all System messages the same as in MIDI 1.0.