MIDI's Founders Recall its Beginnings
By Yoshihiko Kawai and Stephen Fortner
Fri, 15 Nov 2013

MIDI is three decades old this year. Today, we take for granted that any synth in our studio can talk to and be layered with any other, that our DAWs and iPad apps can sequence our hardware synths, and that barriers between hardware and software, between this company’s instrument and that one’s, are virtually non-existent. It’s all owed to the Musical Instrument Digital Interface, whose specification is still unchanged and going strong these last 30 years. 


In turn, we owe MIDI chiefly to two Keyboard Hall of Fame members: Roland founder Ikutaro Kakehashi (left) and synth designer Dave Smith of Prophet-5 fame (right). This year, they co-won a Technical Grammy Award for their achievement. In this two-part interview, we speak first to Mr. Kakehashi, then to Mr. Smith, about the once unthinkable agreement between competitors that forever changed the way we make music.

Next: Roland Founder Ikutaro Kakehasi's exclusive interview with Keyboard.
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