MIDI's Founders Recall its Beginnings
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
Next: Roland Founder Ikutaro Kakehasi's exclusive interview with Keyboard.