Is it time for MIDI 2.0 (or osc)?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Is MIDI adequate for your needs?

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Is it time for MIDI 2.0 (or osc)?

Post by SLEEarts » Tue May 13, 2014 2:39 pm

I find it to be a small miracle that we're still using MIDI version 1.0 from 1983. I find it to be even more miraculous that it works out just fine for most applications in the modern day.

But I think it's not up to the task for some important production techniques, especially for hardware control. For example, when executing a filter sweep I find that breaking the entire audio spectrum into a mere 127 points makes for a less than smooth sweep. I like to use resonant filters and sweep the resonance to be in tune with my track's prevailing tonality, and MIDI just isn't up to the task. More resolution is needed for tasks like this.

I think MIDI 2.0 would be a great step forward, especially if it provided backward compatibility. Osc has some great features too, but seems to lack MIDI compatibility (?) and doesn't have much hardware support.

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Re: Is it time for MIDI 2.0 (or osc)?

Post by nightscope » Tue May 13, 2014 9:47 pm

I recently found out my Scope Modular system can be controlled with Midi>CV. 16.7 million step resolution anyone? Sweeps, etc, are smooth and silky. Pads and some elements are OK with MIDI but even tho it takes a little time to set things up percussive elements and basses do benefit from using CV. Just a bit. This is probably old news to many but to me it's been a real eye opener.

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Re: Is it time for MIDI 2.0 (or osc)?

Post by Analog4Science » Wed May 14, 2014 2:14 pm

Some instruments use NRPN's which have 16384 steps instead of 128. That is enough resolution for me. My Moog and my Elektron A4 both can use NRPN's

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Re: Is it time for MIDI 2.0 (or osc)?

Post by Semuta » Wed May 14, 2014 11:08 pm

I think Midi has generally turned out to be a fantastic protocol, and through the use of things like nrpn's continues to be a really solid solution to what is a very straightforward problem. I mean really, it's straight up RS-232 serial data (has a funny baud rate though). Arduino's can read it natively...

At the end of the day we're still listening to cd's at 16/44.1 and while there is certainly room for improvement as audio standards go, there isn't enough room to actually justify the expense and trouble of introducing a new format (how many DVD-Audio listeners here?)... I think there is a similar phenomena with midi.

Could midi be improved? Yes.
Is it worth it? Not so far...

I think Dave Smith is a genius, really and truly (he invented teh midi!! -and some awesome Synths!)

Ableton Suite 9 : Push : Maschine : Komplete 8 Ultimate : Sugar Bundle : Diva

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Re: Is it time for MIDI 2.0 (or osc)?

Post by mrdelurk » Thu May 15, 2014 12:14 am

Eventually it might be useful to add an audio patch standard to MIDI, so we can recreate not only what was played, by also with what sound. (Useful as synths die after 25 or so years on average.)

But it should not be implemented as a marketing gimmick, forcing people to go out to buy new gear to be "MIDI 2.0 compliant." We know that scam already.

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Re: Is it time for MIDI 2.0 (or osc)?

Post by crumhorn » Thu May 15, 2014 7:32 am

The MIDI spec allows for controller numbers to be used in pairs to provide a combined 14 bit value (I found this article that explains it -> ... tllist.htm). But it's up to manufacturers to support the standard. As long as you select a controller and software that supports 14 bit values you are already good to go. I'm pretty sure that Ableton Live understands this type of controller and I know for a fact the BCR2000 can send 14 bit values - but it feels like you have to keep turning the knob for ever. There must be many more controllers out there that implement this better than behringer though.

I spent some time playing around with OSC last year and was totally shocked to hear that there are no standard messages for doing standard things like turning a knob, or pressing a key. In fact there are no standard messages at all! It's entirely up to you to define your own message types and content, every manufacturer can do there own thing, I don't get how this is a protocol for music at all.

The great thing about MIDI is that it knows about music. Connect any MIDI keyboard to any MIDI synth from any manufacturer and it will just work.
"The banjo is the perfect instrument for the antisocial."

(Allow me to plug my guitar scale visualiser thingy -

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