NAMM 2013: 30th Anniversary of MIDI™

This year at NAMM, MIDI celebrates 30 years!
MIDI was first introduced at the NAMM show in January 1983

MIDI is a GRAMMY®-winning technology that allows electronic musical instruments and computers to communicate with each other. It sounds simple, but MIDI is so profoundly significant that even after 30 years it continues to enable new and innovative products and applications.

MIDI enables:

• Digital music creation/editing/production for film/TV/radio.
• Digital musical instruments and related products
(sequencers, drum machines, electronic drums, guitar
controllers, effects processors, etc.)
• Songwriting and recording software
• Music education software
• Interactive (aka adaptive) music playback in console and
computer games
• Programmed control of stage lighting, animatronics, and
sound in live shows and amusement parks
• Home automation (lights, security systems)

Photo by eTseven7

 This video demonstrates the timeless abilities of MIDI as a Commodore 64 relays notes to the Animoog polyphonic synthesizer on the iPad

Photo by eTseven7

 MIDI™ Turns 30 at the 2013 NAMM Show  
LA HABRA, CALIF., November 23, 2012—30 years ago at the 1983 Winter National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) trade show, a Roland Jupiter 6 talked to a Sequential Circuits Prophet 600 and Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDITM) went mainstream. The MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA) will kick off a yearlong “MIDI Makes Music” 30th Anniversary celebration at this year’s NAMM Show, with an exhibit (Booth #1000) showcasing the past, present and future of MIDI technology and an extensive traditional and social media presence showing how famous artists and musicians everywhere use MIDI to create and produce music.  
The “MIDI Makes Music” campaign, sponsored by a coalition of leading industry companies and organizations including, Roland, Yamaha, Gibson, Fishman, Dave Smith Instruments, Korg, Dream, Mediamation, NAMM, AES, Keyboard Magazine, Electronic Musician Magazine and Robertson Communications is designed to educate consumers about the benefits of MIDI technology. Resources, videos, company links and more can be found at  
“The story of MIDI is very important to tell because it’s not just a proven technology, but one that has widespread industry support and will remain valuable long into the future,” said Tom White, president, MMA. “We are grateful to all of our sponsors and MMA Members to help us celebrate this significant milestone.”  
The MMA also presented a H.O.T Zone session titled "MIDI Creators and Innovators Panel" which  entertained discussion of the past, present and future of MIDI technology. For more information on the MMA’s 2013 NAMM Show activities, please visit  
The MIDI Creators and Innovators included: 
Alan Parsons, Tom Oberheim, Dave Smith, Jordan Rudess, George Duke and Craig Anderton who discussed the past, present and future of MIDI at the 2013 NAMM Show H.O.T Zone Session  
  • Alan Parsons is British-born audio engineer, musician, and record producer. Parsons has been involved with some of the biggest recordings of all time, including The Beatles Abbey Road and Let It Be, in addition to Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon. He has been involved in all aspects of the music business and is well known for his own work, The Alan Parson's Project. When not engineering and producing, Mr. Parson's is a highly sought after guest lecturer, product and technology consultant and is the co-creator of the highlyacclaimed educational DVD series called The Art & Science of Sound Recording.  
  • Tom Oberheim is a synthesizer pioneer having created several legendary synths, effects processors, and drum machines as the founder of Oberheim Electronics, Marion Systems, and SeaSound. Oberheim was a key contributor to the original MIDI specification and was an early evangelist of the technology.  
  • Dave Smith was the co-author of the original MIDI specification with Roland's CEO and founder Ikutaro Kakehashi. Mr. Smith was the founder of Sequential Circuits while developing the MIDI specification, and has since developed dozens of synthesizers, drum machines, and effects processors. His current company, Dave Smith Instruments, continues to develop cutting edge MIDI-based instruments that enjoy a worldwide following.  
  • Jordan Rudess, is an American keyboardist, clinician, composer and software entrepreneur best known as the keyboardist in the band Dream Theater and the progressive rock supergroup Liquid Tension Experiment. Rudess is a graduate of the Julliard School of Music and is an extremely well respected consultant to many music instrument companies, and has his own music software company called Wizdom Music, which designs innovative tabletbased musical instruments.  
  • George Duke is a legendary musician, keyboard pioneer, composer, singer and producer in both jazz and popular mainstream musical genres. Duke has composed, produced, and played on dozens of gold and platinum records, received numerous GRAMMY awards, and has toured extensively as a band member, music director, and as a solo artist.  
  • Craig Anderton, is a musician, author and music magazine editor/writer who is well known to anyone who has ever picked up a music technology magazine. As the editor of Electronic Musician and author of hundreds of articles on music technology, Anderton is an esteemed journalist and expert in all aspects of MIDI and MIDI technology. • 
  • Tom White, (MC) is the President of the MIDI Manufacturers Association, and a highlyregarded contributor and consultant to several industry trade and technology groups including but not limited to CES, USB, IEEE, AES, IASIG, and as long-standing president of the MMA. White has had a long career in the music industry, including a lengthy period in marketing and business development for Roland Corporation.

About the MMA The MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA) is a non-profit organization formed in 1985 to encourage companies implementing MIDI to make their products interoperable through compliance with MMA Recommended Practices. MMA publishes the official MIDI Specification, provides education about MIDI, licenses MIDI trademarks, and promotes the use of MIDI technology for new applications and in various industries. For more information, please visit 
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