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MIDI 2.0 - Sounds good

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MIDI 2.0 - Sounds good

PostSat Feb 23, 2019 3:47 pm

More Details on MIDI 2.0
Sat, Feb 23, 2019 1:11 pm
The MIDI Association (
The MIDI Message
February 23, 2019

MIDI 2.0 prototyping session at
Winter NAMM 2019
At the MIDI 2.0 prototyping session at NAMM, a number of MIDI 2.0 features were demonstrated. There have been over 100,000 people who have visited the site in the past month viewing the information on MIDI 2.0.

We have been monitoring the comments on various websites and wanted to provide some more information about MIDI 2.0. to clarify several points.

Will MIDI 2.0 devices need to use a new connector or cable?

No, MIDI 2.0 is a transport agnostic protocol.

-Transport- To transfer or convey from one place to another

-Agnostic- designed to be compatible with different devices

-Protocol-a set of conventions governing the treatment and especially the formatting of data in an electronic communications system

That's engineering speak for MIDI 2.0 is a set of messages and those messages are not tied to any particular cable or connector.

When MIDI first started it could only run over the classic 5 Pin DIN cable and the definition of that connector and how it was built was described in the MIDI 1.0 spec.

However soon the MIDI Manufacturers Association and Association of Music Electronic Industries defined how to run MIDI over many different cables and connectors.

So for many years, MIDI 1.0 has been a transport agnostic protocol.

MIDI 1.0 messages currently run over 5 PIN Din, serial ports, Tip Ring Sleeve 1/8" cables, Firewire and Ethernet and all the different variations of USB cables.


Can MIDI 2.0 run over those different MIDI 1.0 transports now?

No, new specifications need to be written for each transport.

There is a new Universal Packet Format that will be common to all modern transports that will help make this work move quicker. The new Universal Packet contains both MIDI 1 .0 messages and MIDI 2.0 messages plus some messages that can be used with both.

The most popular MIDI transport today is USB. The vast majority of MIDI products are connected to computers or hosts via USB.

USB is the first target for MIDI 2.0.


Will MIDI 2.0 provide more reliable timing?

Yes, and not only that the timing for MIDI 1.0 can also be improved.

One of the new messages that can work with both MIDI 1.0 and MIDI 2.0 are Jitter Timestamps.

Goals of JR Timestamps:

-Capture a performance with accurate timing
-Transmit MIDI message with accurate timing over a system that is subject to jitter
-Does not depend on system-wide synchronization, master clock, or explicit clock synchronization between Sender and Receiver.

Note: There are two different sources of error for timing: Jitter (precision) and Latency (sync). The Jitter Reduction Timestamp mechanism only addresses the errors introduced by jitter. The problem of synchronization or time alignment across multiple devices in a system requires a measurement of latency. This is a complex problem and is not addressed by the JR Timestamping mechanism.


Can MIDI 2.0 provide more resolution?

Yes, MIDI 1.0 messages are usually 7 bit (14 bit is possible by not widely implemented because there are only 128 CC messages). In MIDI 2.0 velocity is 16 bit and the 128 control change messages, 16,384 Registered Controllers, 16,384 Assignable Controllers, Poly and channel pressure and Pitch Bend are 32 bit.


Can MIDI 2.0 make it easier to have microtonal control and different non-western scales?

Yes, MIDI 2.0 allows direct pitch control of individual notes ( see videos)


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