Mojodojo Media



Birth of MIDI


In 1980, a group of musicians and music merchants met to standardize an interface that new instruments could use to communicate control instructions with other instruments and computers. This standard was dubbed Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) and resulted from a collaboration between leading manufacturers initially Sequential Circuits,Oberheim, Roland—and later, other participants that included Yamaha, Korg, and Kawai. A paper was authored byDave Smith of Sequential Circuits and proposed to the Audio Engineering Society in 1981. Then, in August 1983, the MIDI Specification 1.0 was finalized.

MIDI technology allows a single keystroke, control wheel motion, pedal movement, or command from a microcomputer to activate every device in the studio remotely and in synchrony, with each device responding according to conditions predetermined by the composer.

MIDI instruments and software made powerful control of sophisticated instruments easily affordable by many studios and individuals. Acoustic sounds became reintegrated into studios via sampling and sampled-ROM-based instruments.

Miller Puckette developed graphic signal-processing software for 4X called Max (after Max Mathews) and later ported it toMacintosh (with Dave Zicarelli extending it for Opcode) for real-time MIDI control, bringing algorithmic composition availability to most composers with modest computer programming background.