What is the MIDI Innovation Awards

Are you exploring new ways for musicians to interact with digital musical instruments? Have an idea for an original electronic instrument or controller? Trying to raise investment or attract attention for a new product? If you're looking to make waves in music technology, you need to know about The MIDI Innovation Awards.

In 2023, MIDI celebrates its 40th birthday. The universal language of synths, controllers, and electronic instruments, MIDI 1.0 revolutionised music in the 1980s. Now, MIDI 2.0 is poised to unleash a second revolution. Massively extended and reimagined for the computer age, yet fully backwards compatible, MIDI 2.0 opens up endless possibilities for creative developers. 

A joint initiative created by Music Hackspace, The MIDI Association, and NAMM, The MIDI Innovation Awards are now in their third year. The Awards showcase products and projects that are using MIDI 1.0 and 2.0 in fresh and original ways, highlighting the role that MIDI technology has to play in enabling musical creativity.

For 2023, The MIDI Innovation Awards are proud to welcome new partners including Sound On Sound, the world's leading music technology magazine, and Music China, who will provide exhibition space to the winners at their Autumn 2023 trade fair in Shanghai.

Musicians and inventors around the world will have a unique opportunity to present their ideas on a global stage, and the winners will gain invaluable help in bringing their products to market. Prizes include an exhibition booth at the 2023 NAMM Show, coverage in Sound On Sound, an opportunity to exhibit at Music China, and significant support from The MIDI Association and Music Hackspace for the development of MIDI 2.0 prototypes.

The MIDI Innovation awards are open to individuals, artists, and companies who work with MIDI to build innovative products or interactive experiences. 

The 2023 MIDI Innovation Awards categories are:

  • Commercial Hardware Products

  • Commercial Software Products

  • Prototypes and non-commercial hardware products

  • Prototypes and non-commercial software products

  • Artistic/Visual Project or Installation

The MIDI Innovation Awards  welcomes entries from, but not limited to: MIDI instruments, controllers, software, art installation, MIDI peripherals, I/O boxes, lighting systems, automated systems, and more. 

The jury has been assembled to represent the wider music industry and its many facets, including artists, engineers, and innovators. Entries will be judged on four attributes: innovation, inspiring and novel qualities, interoperability, and practical / commercial viability.

Here is the detailed MIA 2023 schedule. 

  • May 23rd: Registrations close

  • May 30th: Voting starts

  • July 21st: Voting closes, jury deliberation starts

  • August 16th: Finalists announced

  • September 16th: Live show online – winners revealed

  • October: Finalists are invited to participate in the Sound On Sound SynthFest UK in the UK and also in Music China including the User Choice Awards competition

MIDI Innovation Awards 2022 Winners

 The 2022 MIDI Innovation Awards featured five distinct categories listed below. The winners were selected by the jury and are displayed in order. 

Meet The MIDI Innovation Award 2023 Judges

Jean-Michel Jarre

Jean-Michel Jarre

Jean-Michel Jarre is a pioneering French composer and performer in electronic music, renowned for his innovative use of synthesizers and spectacular live performances.

Nina Richards

Nina Richards is both an electronic musician and synth hardware designer based in the UK. Nina's been making electronic music for most of her life, in recent years with modular synths.

Roger Linn

Roger Linn is an American engineer, musician, and inventor, celebrated for his pioneering work in electronic music instruments, including the LM-1 Drum Computer and the LinnStrument. 

Michele Darling

Michele Darling is a distinguished sound designer, composer, and educator, currently serving as the assistant chair of Electronic Production and Design at Berklee College of Music.

Bian Liunian

Bian Liunian is a Chinese composer and multi-instrumentalist, pioneering new Chinese folk music through his innovative fusion of traditional instruments and modern technology.

Pedro Eustache

Pedro Eustache is a Venezuelan-born multi-directional soloist and composer, renowned for his expertise in flutes, reeds, and world winds, with a distinguished career in electronic music.

The MIDI Innovation Awards Founders

The Music Hackspace’s mission is to become the largest platform for learning music technologies. We are passionate about helping musicians develop their programming skills, host workshops led by world experts and enable the community to share knowledge and practices.

Founded in 1901, NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry and promote the pleasures and benefits of making music.

The MIDI Association is the non-profit community for both the companies who develop new MIDI specifications and products and the people that create music and art with MIDI. The MIDI.org website is the central repository of information about anything related to MIDI technology, from classic legacy gear to the next- gen MIDI protocols coming soon.

Commercial hardware products


FP-E50 Entertainment Piano

Grand piano tone and touch meet Roland's legendary synthesizer sounds and advanced vocal effects with interactive accompaniment backing, expandability, and one-step recording with vocals.


Meet your cyber matrix controller. Cybery is a compact but versatile pedal manager that helps you keep everything in order.

The Glide

The Glide can play highly expressive melodies, chords, and drum beats with ease by using two simple handheld controllers and basic arm movements.

BOSS EV-1-WL Wireless MIDI Expression Pedal

The BOSS EV-1-WL provides wireless foot control for anything that can receive CC messages via Bluetooth® MIDI. In addition, USB and MIDI TRS connectivity are offered for wired control of computer music software and standard MIDI devices.


Innovative Eurorack instrument/sequencer that utilizes a unique, interval-based approach to playing and creating melodies. Make sounds via MIDI, control voltage, or outputting waveforms via audio jack
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ODD Ball

Create, mix and play music by simply bouncing, catching and spinning a ball


The expressive MPE controller and intuitive software to produce, perform and learn music
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Anyma Omega

Anyma Omega, a powerful hybrid polyphonic and multitimbral synthesizer based on physical modelling synthesis, allowing to create new sound universes inspired from the real world.


MIDI Instruments and Wireless Networking for People with Disabilities - PWD

MIDI To DMX Controller

Let your MIDI not only play music, but also control DMX live lighting effects!

J-6 Chord Synthesizer

The J-6 is a pocket-sized chord synthesizer packed with an array of building blocks for creating compelling chord changes, dynamic musical patterns, and song ideas.

Ploytec Boom Kick

Automatic Stomp Box with MIDI Start / Stop / Clock Output for syncing MIDI enabled loopers and software applications
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Percussive Harmonic Instrument (P.H.I.) V2

The Percussive Harmonic Instrument (P.H.I.) Version 2 is an exquisite, ergonomic and aesthetically pleasing digital incarnation of the Caribbean steelpan.

Orba 2

Orba is a handheld music device that invites users to play any sound in the world. Its size, sound, and design perfectly combine approachability with possibility.

AE-30 Aerophone Pro

Roland's world-class sounds in a high-performance wind instrument that responds to the dynamics and expression worthy of professional woodwind and brasswind players.
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Jamstik Classic MIDI Guitar

An electric guitar with a digital heart—the Jamstik Classic MIDI guitar is a versatile, 22-fret electric guitar with precise MIDI control.

DigitAize Smart Violin

DigitAize smart violin is the first digital violin of its kind, a fully integrated solution allowing real-time capture of playing gestures.

InstaChord IC-31

InstaChord is a strummable MIDI chord instrument/controller. By assigning the Nashville Number method to each buttons, even beginners can play right away.

Commercial software products



Riffler, the AI guitar riff generator, allows you to customize and create unique riffs instantly using AI. It outputs MIDI and responds to MIDI control.


SuperConductor is the premier online real-time MIDI performance and collaboration tool offering a fully synchronized and lag-free experience
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Ivory 3 German D

Breakthrough technology combines the realism of digital sampling with the expressivity of modeling. Limitless tone color featuring all new recordings of a German Steinway D.
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Beat Scholar

Innovative MIDI sequencer that uses a "Pizza"-like circular interface to give you granular control over any beat division.

X-FX + X-Translate

A Suite of MIDI-Playable Audio Effects + Real-Time Audio-to-MIDI Conversion

Chord Board


1ON1 Piano

1on1 Piano is an app that sends MIDI, Video, and audio through a call, enabling users to play each other’s digital instrument with perfect sound.
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Audiomovers has added live MIDI streaming to the capabilities of the renowned Audiomovers LISTENTO software suite, opening a new phase of remote collaboration.


Meet Qithesizer, a powerful multi-engine hybrid software synthesizer. Designed with wind controller in mind, it combines virtual analog, wavetable, and physical modeling in one.
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SmartPitch unleash new forms of expression by enabling the pitch-wheel to target any notes monophonically and polyphonically, combined with innovative scale features and visualization.


Vogum is a tool for Music Teachers, Influencers, Students and Performers to create engaging lessons and music theory visuals, from 2D to VR.

SkyDust 3D

SkyDust 3D is a revolutionary spatial synthesizer, which integrates a 3D sound engine with the synth mechanism, allowing musicians to create fantastic spatial music.


Visibox represents a new category of software which lets performers create immersive shows and control audiovisual elements on-stage using MIDI pedals, pads, or keyboards.

MoveMusic Control

MoveMusic is a XR MIDI controller that lets you wirelessly control music software with body movement. Build and interact with a 3D instrument you create.


The Ultimate MPE Chord Machine. Chordjams is a creative real-time compositional assistant for Windows, Mac and iPad
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Ekwe™, a unique app for music making, brings a new level of ease and accessibility to digital music creation.

Hardware prototypes and non-commercial products



Portable device to micro tune any MIDI compatible device, could but extended for a full control

Zen Flute

A MIDI controller deriving pitch from mouth-shape, operating a bit like a mouth theremin

NOPIA - Semi-modular MIDI harmony generator

Nopia simplifies music theory and unleashes creativity by making tonal harmony accessible, helping you develop musical ideas with ease.


Abacusynth is a kinetic synthesizer inspired by an abacus. Its playful interface allows anyone to explore synthesis and timbre, regardless of their musical experience.

Cravat-o-matic Musical Necktie #C1

A stylish necktie with magical musical powers! It's a wearable musical instrument as well as a MIDI control surface and effect modulator!
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MusiMoto is a SW+HW system designed to empower anyone who likes playing MIDI musical instruments to do it while walking, jogging, riding, skating or dancing.

Optical Mouse Midi Cello

10 solder joints, two old optical mice, two resistors and Arduino UNO make a Cello type flexible Midi Controller.


The Eviola: A bow-operated MIDI controller conceived by Ben Glover. Until now there has never been a MIDI bow for playing a virtual violin.


GigWiz transforms your iPhone into a powerful MIDI workstation, expanding the versatility of your MIDI keyboard. Create layered/split sounds with ease, make quick adjustments, and enhance your mobile setup for live performance


The MVP is an intuitive and affordable MIDI-controlled hardware solution for time-synced video and lighting, catering to the 90% of performers who can’t afford the equipment and labor traditionally necessary.

omnikitty chromachord candy bar bass

the omnikitty chromachord candy bar bass is a MIDI chord based instrument that aims to make jazz theory interactable, intuitive, and most importantly - fun!

Software prototypes and non-commercial products



Pivotuner: automatic real-time pure intonation and microtonal modulation
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AudioCipher V3

AudioCipher is a MIDI Generator Plugin that turns words into melodies and chord progressions, in your key signature and rhythmic style of choice.
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GEP Contraption

GEP Contraption is a MIDI controller/synthesizer that enables people without any experience in music to create and manipulate sounds by bodily motions.
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Apres midi

Our smartphones could be used in so many creative ways. This prototype scratches the surface and makes your digital software sound more analog.
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Big Ear: Learn & Make Music

We gamify music learning and composition to make it fun, social and inclusive, with no need for music instrument ( MIDI instrument over USB - optional).


An augmented guitar for percussive fingerstyle, using AI to transform the body into an expressive MIDI controller for rich multi-dimensional control of drum synthesisers.


Discover Netz, an immersive mixed reality musical instrument and controller that provides a keyboard-like interface with expressive MIDI MPE and learns your gestures using AI.

Hot Licks

A MIDI enabled VST plugin to incorporate a multitude of audiovisual devices into a musical performance.

Music Tapestry

Music Tapestry is a new musical analysis technology that visualizes musical performances in real-time and produces a piece of art.

D1 / Gliders

Simulated environments with delightful interactions that produce MIDI imbibed with natural motion.

spArxx Genesys™

The spArxx Genesys™ Tuning Generation System is a SaaS platform that generates digital tuning output using our exclusive math-based Fractal Tuning algorithms.


JavaScript and TypeScript library helping develop MIDI solutions for web, Node.js and mobile devices. Great for both learning MIDI protocol and creating commercial products!

Artistic/Visual installations

Semi Automated Electric Guitar

A semi- automated mechanised guitar designed to be played simultaniously by an improvising musicians and a computer.

Sound Sculpture

Sound Sculpture is an interactive musical instrument, comprised of 25 location-aware cubes. It is a physical sound and light environment that facilitates cooperative sound composition.

RRR: Repurposing ReadyMades for (Re)Habilitation

Transdisciplinary bi-directional informing (from MoMA-to-Wellbeing-to-(re)habilitation) has resulted in creating bespoke adaptable interactive environments playfully motivating empowered creative expression as a supplement to traditional (re)habilitation.
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Genu is a first-of-a-kind audio-visual performance. The performer creates live music in VR which drives their environment.

Minecraft & MIDI Connections

Live performance projects that involve robust MIDI and data connections between Minecraft and Musical Software/Hardware

sononyms: Jazz Cerkno & Cerkno Museum archives sound installation 25 pitch

sononyms: an immersive sound installation based on the Jazz Cerkno archives and local objects from Cerkno Museum.
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Telemidi "SHOALZ"

Two musicians located continents apart, co-create a `comprovised’ Electro Dub piece that also generates an immersive, reactive visual feed that can be viewed through a VR headset or an online stream.
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the "Drankorgel" project

The "drankorgel" project is an artistic installation of a MIDI instrument that generates sounds by hitting bottles with spoons and by blowing air over bottles.