If you are new to MIDI or want to go over some basics, this is the best place to start.  

Here is where you'll find guides to understanding what MIDI is, what it's not and general information everyone who uses MIDI should know.

There are Categories for MIDI 1.0, MIDI 2.0 and MIDI History. 

Tom Oberheim and Oberheim Electronics

Oberheim-System-2 The Oberheim System (a precursor to MIDI)

 Tom Oberheim was born in Manhattan, Kansas in 1936.  In junior high school, he started building HiFi amplifiers for friends probably based on the same articles in Popular Mechanics that his contemporaries Bob Moog (1934) and Don Buchla (1937) were reading.   He was also listening to a lot of Jazz music ...

Continue reading
2116 Hits

Roger Linn and Roger Linn Design

Dave-and-Roger Dave Smith and Roger Linn

Roger Linn was born in Whittier, California in 1955.  Roger learn to play guitar growing up in the 1960s and when he was in high school, he started messing around with electronics.  While in high school I modified a fuzz tone product called the Foxx Tone Machine with some simple filters to make it s...

Continue reading
2243 Hits

MIDI History Chapter 6-MIDI Begins 1981-1983

MIDI History Chapter 6-MIDI Begins 1981-1983 Sequential Circuits Universal Synthesizer Interface Proposal

Acknowledgement of the people who made these articles possible Before we dive into the history of the creation of MIDI,  we wanted to acknowledge the key people who made this official history of the birth of MIDI possible.  These are people who were directly involved with the creation of MIDI in its early days.  Some of these pe...

Continue reading
4217 Hits

The History of MIDI -Chapter 5-Precursors to MIDI

ralphssynthesizerstudioinvancouver11977copy-0 Ralph Dyck's Studio with the Roland System 100 and MC8

Analog Synths, Drum Machines, and Sequencers In the last chapter of the history of MIDI, we covered the early history of electronic musical instruments, the period from 1900 to 1963.   By the mid 1960's thanks to the work of Bob Moog, Alan Pearlman and Don Buchla, the concept of electronic Synthesizers, Drum Machines and Mu...

Continue reading
43008 Hits

MIDI History:Chapter 4-Synths Come of Age 1900-1963


The first electronic musical instruments As electricity became more widely available, the early 20th century saw the invention of electronic musical instruments including the Telharmonium, Trautonium, Ondes Martenot, the Theremin and the Hammond organ. What is interesting in looking at these early devices is how much they foreshadow the future...

Continue reading
21870 Hits

MIDI History:Chapter 3-Orchestrions

MIDI History:Chapter 3-Orchestrions

From mechanical to digital to virtual....and back! The relationship between mechanical musical machines and MIDI gets even more intriguing with orchestrions and "fairground organs".  Orchestrions have multiple mechanical instruments in them and are designed to sound like a complete orchestra (hence the name). Orchestrions a...

Continue reading
14654 Hits

MIDI History:Chapter 1- 850 AD to 1850 AD

MIDI History:Chapter 1- 850 AD to 1850 AD

To really understand the origins of MIDI, you need to go all the way back to before there were digitally controlled synthesizers and computers, In fact you need to go back before there was even electricity to the very first mechanical music machines. The very first mechanical musical instruments were documented in the Book of Ingenious Devices...

Continue reading
24999 Hits

MIDI History:Chapter 2-Player Pianos 1850-1930


The golden age of mechanical music machines really came in the late 19th century and early 20th century with player pianos and orchestrions.  A player piano is defined as any actual acoustic piano that is played by a pneumatic or electro-mechanical mechanism that operates the piano action via pre-programmed music.  Between 1910 and 1...

Continue reading
38117 Hits

Bob Moog- The Father of Modern Synthesis

1986-1-Bob-MIDI-article Bob Moog's Article for AES about MIDI

If you were forced to pick one single person who is responsible for the creation of the modern music production environment, Bob Moog would be a good choice.    He spans the era from the early days of synths to the post MIDI world and is arguably the most influential figure in synth history.    In researching...

Continue reading
2227 Hits

The Computer Chronicles: MIDI Music (1986)

This 30 minute TV show from 1986 is a window into the state of the art in MIDI music technology back then.  Guests: Chris French, Music Software; Bob Moore, Hybrid Arts; David Schwartz, Compusonics; Chris Potter, Mimetics; Curtis Sasaki, Apple; Gary Kildall, Digital Research; Gary Leuenberger, Midi RevolutionProducts/Demos: Casi...

Continue reading
6039 Hits