The long-awaited specifications for the new MIDI 2.0 have now been made available to the general public.


Since the introduction of the first MIDI back in 1983, the standard has been fundamental in new generation of digital music technology. And now, nearly 40 years on, (probably a testament to just how good version 1 was), the software has had a major re-work.

The main improvements on the table include 2-way MIDI conversations (from monologue to dialogue), so that devices can communicate to each other, including the inclusion of backward compatibility and, a higher resolution which should result in easier to use controllers and an improved sound and increased expression.

Companies that would like to access the MIDI 2.0 software and development tools can apply for membership of the MIDI Manufacturers Association.

The five core documents adopted were as follows:

  • MIDI Capability Inquiry (Update)
  • Specification for Universal MIDI Packet (UMP) Format and MIDI 2.0 Protocol
  • Common Rules for MIDI CI Profiles
  • Common Rules for MIDI-CI Property Exchange
  • Property Exchange Foundational Resources and Basic Resources

Roland were one of the early adopters of MIDI 1.0 and the same will be true of the new generation. The A-88MKII 88-key keyboard is now available for pre-order at around £900/$1,000 and will no doubt be a big seller.

More information on the new MIDI 2.0 standard can be found here: