A couple of quick points.
The number of notes is still set at 128 just as before.
A missed opportunity in my view too.
Really, someone please tell me they’ve expanded the number of available notes (not talking about polyphony, but expanding beyond 128 for microtonal scales) and channels
Groups are actually not the same as Ports. A MIDI Endpoint can have 16 Groups with 16 Channels and each Channel has 128 notes. Each Note can have Per Note Pitch Bend and direct control of Pitch in the Note On. Doing the math says that is 124928 possible Notes with unique pitch properties. Ways to "Group Groups" into functional blocks that have more than 16 Channels will be included in the updates to the core MIDI 2.0 specs we are releasing soon. We already know that all the Plug In formats (VST3 , AU, CLAP , etc.) support this kind of Per Note Pitch Control.
Latency is, in most cases, more a function of how efficiently the MIDI data is turned into audio data, less that of note latency due to MIDI transmission.
But there is little that can be done to improve MIDI note latency given that the physical interface is serial.
With USB and most modern protocols it is packet based and therefore subject to jitter due to the way a polled protocol works.
The packet then has to processed and that's a serial decoding process.
The MIDI 2.0 specification includes Jitter Reduction Time Stamps which can be used to reduce Jitter on Universal MIDI Packet transports like USB MIDI 2.0 for both MIDI 1.0 and MIDI 2.0 Voice Channel Messages. There is also improvements in timing in the USB MIDI 2.0 specification. This is pretty low level stuff so it is much more of interest to the people developing USB MIDI 2.0 drivers and the operating systems than to end users.
And we still, 2 years after the protocol specs came out, don't have a MIDI 2 SMF spec.
John, that's a good point. We have been working since 2020 on prototyping MIDI 2.0 and also major updates to all the core MIDI 2.0 specifications. We are sending nine MIDI 2.0 specification updates to our MIDI Association members for 30 day review. A number specs have already been sent to our members.
One of the specifications that will go out soon is a new SMF2 MIDI Clip File Format which has been completed.
We are planning on a number of articles about these new updates that will be available before the Audio Developers Conference in November including an explanation of the basic design of the SMF2 MIDI Clip file.