MIDI 2.0? Next Steps and MIDI Alternatives for Musicians

30 years on and MIDI is alive and kicking. But what about the next 30 years? What about current and future alternatives? G. W. Childs investigates the emerging technology for musicians.  

It's been a long time since 1983, the year MIDI was announced as a new communication system, between different musical instruments, regardless of their manufacturer. And, if you've looked at your MIDI editors lately, and have gone into the SysEx areas of control functionality, you'll note that everything still pretty much reads like it did back in 1983, as well. 

Though, before you get the idea that I'm criticizing the ancient system of musical instrument telepathy, let me set the record straight - I'm actually stunned that it's been allowed to continue on in the state that it's in and still work as well as it does. Seriously, if you think about it, nobody has done anything to update MIDI itself. It's this old pipeline of music information that has been working wonderfully for years, and that is a testament to the original creators. 

But, as we continue farther down the rabbit hole of technology, it begs the question - Is this it? 


The Official '

Sound Designer, Musician, Author... G.W. Childs has worn many hats. Beginning in the U.S. Army back in 1991, at the age of 18, G.W. began learning electronics, communications and then ultimately audio and video editing from the Department of Defense. Upon leaving the military G.W. went on to work for many exciting companies like Lu... Read More


As a part Arab electronic musician I would like to see any future forms of midi come with native microtonal capabilities! It's such a hassle using pitch-shifting / pitch wheel controlling cumbersome external software to play quarter-tones. My goal is to one day have an oud (lute) controlling synths via midi with quarter tones being recognised and tracked properly. I feel that the day where i can just open up my DAW and do it natively is very far off though.

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