MIDI-CI – the new MIDI specification we’ve all been waiting for?
Recently the MIDI Manufacturers Association announced MIDI Polyphonic Expression, now they’re taking it a step further with MIDI-CI.
MIDI-CI is short for MIDI Capability Inquiry, and essentially what it means is that developers are working on a standardization process that should bring a world of dissident MIDI devices much closer together. MIDI-CI focuses on three main functions – Profile Configuration, Property Exchange and Protocol Negotiation. Let’s talk a little bit about what each function is doing.
Profile Configuration is the defined set of rules that devices send to and from one another to govern how they interact. Say for example you have two devices that are designed to handle drums on different channels, Profile Configuration would tell each device how to understand the incoming messages from the other device.
Property Exchange govern the actual properties within MIDI devices – from the name of the product, to specific channel names, settings, values, patch names and any other meta-data. This will make the standardization of DAW controllers much more fluid! Hopefully you will no longer HAVE to purchase proprietary controllers just to get full-functionality out of a DAW controller.
The icing on the cake is Protocol Negotiation..
Protocol Negotiation is a method for two devices to use future developments in MIDI standardization. The MIDI Manufacturers Association say they are planning the release of the MMA/AMEI protocol, which will be an extension to the MIDI 1.0 standard. The new standard promises more channels, higher resolution controllers and per-note or polyphonic controllers amongst others.
With the technology in the audio industry evolving at such stellar rates, we start seeing bottlenecks in the protocols used to transfer data between machines. When these start to open, one can only imagine the type of developments we will start seeing – in software, hardware and they way they all work together.
To find out more, visit the MIDI Manufacturers Association website.