HISTORY OF MIDI fr/ jim hortons blue notebook 374w

Dave Smith head of Sequential Circuits promoted first informal discussion of an industry standard synthesizer interface at a 1981 NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) meeting. Roland and Oberhiem sent representatives to talk with Chet Wood, one of Sequential's chief design engineers. In a few months there was a larger discussion group of Sequential, Oberheim, Roland, Kawai, Korg and Yamaha. ( any others ? jh ) A few weeks later Dave Smith and Chet Wood presented a paper at the Audio Engineering Society for an U.S.I. ( Universal Synthesizer Interface ).

At the next NAMM, Jan 1982, a more detailed proposal was made but there were objections put forth especially for the needs of controllers and ways to set up synths. In the summer of 82 the initiative passed to the Japanese with Sequential as the only American voice. In Sept 1982 a more detailed draft proposal was agreed on and given the name M.I.D.I. Bob Moog made the announcement in the Oct issue of Keyboard Magazine. His endorsement carried great prestige with the industry.

The first demo instruments with MIDI implemented were shown at the Jan 83 NAMM. Here many others were converted to get on the bandwagon. ( info fr pp.275-6 of Electronic and Computer Music 2nd edition. Peter Manning Clarendon Press Oxford 1993 ) ( p175 in blue march 1994 )


Oberheim had a parallel interface called "the system" to interconnect their components in 1980. It is what got Sequential to come up with an industry wide interface. Once they saw "the system" they began working on what became MIDI in a couple of months. ( conversation w/ Scott Gresham-Lancaster &jh march 20 1994 ) ( p177 blue notebook)


SEQUENTIAL had proprietary digital port on the Prophet several years before MIDI. ( conversation between David Doty &jh march 20 94 ) ( p177 blue notebook )


Sequential Circuits' Prophet 600 was the first midi instrument introduced in dec 1982. The Prophet 600 and Roland Jupiter-6 were connected by midi at jan 1983 NAMM show. ( p 132 An Introduction to the Creation of Electroacustic Music by Samuel Pellman Wadsworth Publishing 1994 blue nbook p198 April 20 94 )

( typed by jh sept 9 94 )