30 Years of MIDI

It’s already 30 years ago that the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) was created.
MIDI technology is now being used by more than 700 companies in a wide range of devices ranging from electronic keyboards and drum sets to video game consoles and cell phones.

To commemorate its birthday, the MIDI Manufacturers Association have displayed perhaps the most fitting demonstration of its technology at the NAMM 2013 show (the same event where the technology was first demonstrated in 1983) by combining the computer that spearheaded the home computer revolution and that boasts one of the most versatile sound chips ever, the Commodore C64 with a Sequential Circuits Model 64 sequencer cartridge, an IK Multimedia iRig MIDI, an iPad and finally feeding data into the Animoog app from the household name in synthesizers, Moog.


If you remember from my article on “30 years of Commodore 64”, the engineer that was responsible for the design of this infamous sound chip in the C64, the SID chip, was a musician as well, who wanted to see his creation not just being used in the Commodore, but see it in use in music studios as well.
It would take 20 years or so for companies to pick up on this idea, like Elektron with their SID station (which got used by world famous artists like Depeche Mode and Robyn) and use the SID chip outside of the breadbox’ case.

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4 Responses to 30 Years of MIDI

  1. Pingback: The MIDIbox SID project | MOS 6502


  3. Do you miss the old days when you use to be able to walk into any electronic store and find these amazing computers? Even Sears/Target had them which is where we got our Commodore machine. Sears had C64 demos for display back when they were into computers.

    Sears actually did computers up to the late 90s and now just do TVs and sound systems.

  4. It would be nice if Bill Gates had continued to use *Rom* chips for computers like the C64 did then we wouldn’t have had the viruses we do today.

    Even Apple computers and IBM were prone to viruses because they used RAM which means the memory is changable especially if a dork messes with it when he shouldn’t or it can easily be overwritten if you have too much junk.

    That is why it was bad to turn them off outright. With a C64 it’s like a game console where if you DO get a rare virus you just turn them off then walla the virus is gone! You may lose what you were doing that moment but at least you didn’t have to worry about your machine being rendered unusable.

    A ROM based computer would actually be a revolution to the PC industry and speaking about PC’s we need to actually dump that name and just call any revivals micro computers.

    If anybody has the balls to ever attempt a new kind of home computer it needs to be called a Micro Computer because one it would sound catchy and two it would not be linked to the Microsoft disasters.

    I hope a new market ensures the computer industry will always have a place because Microsoft has decided they want to be a smart phone company and have even bought out Nokia phones replacing computer people with smart phone people.

    Windows 10 is essentially going to be paying for Windows 7 all over again if they decide to charge subscription rates!

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