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The MIDI Association Announces MIDI 2.0 Over A2B™

Los Angeles, CA – June 1, 2022.

The MIDI Association announced today the addition of MIDI 2.0 capabilities to the Automotive Audio Bus (A2B®) from Analog Devices, Inc. The technology was showcased at the MIDI Association booth #10300 at the NAMM show in Anaheim, California on June 3-5, 2022.

 A2B® is a high bandwidth, bidirectional, digital audio bus capable of distributing 32 channels of audio and MIDI control data together with clock and power over a single, unshielded twisted-pair wire. The technology enables the development of advanced, feature-rich and cost-effective audio and MIDI LAN systems in a variety of musical instrument and pro audio applications.

“We see many opportunities for the extension of Analog Device’s A2B® into musical instrument and pro audio applications, particularly for guitar effects, electronic drums, digital keyboards and small format audio mixers,” said David Dashefsky, Director for Strategic Marketing and Systems in the Consumer Business Unit at Analog Devices. “MIDI 2.0 and ADI’s A2B® digital audio bus now allow your whole band to connect together with multi-channel digital audio over low-cost cables, or inexpensively connect modular systems like guitar pedals or electronic drum kits”

MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is the industry standard developed to connect digital musical instruments to each other, as well as to computers, tablets and smartphones. MIDI 2.0 is a significant upgrade to the original MIDI 1.0 specification adopted in 1983 and makes MIDI more expressive and easier to use by changing MIDI from a monolog to a dialog and allowing MIDI devices to discover shared capabilities and auto configure themselves. A2B® will support both MIDI 1.0 and MIDI 2.0 devices and provide backward compatibility/translation where necessary.

“Combining the multi-channel audio networking capabilities of the Analog Devices A2B® with MIDI’s expressive musical control creates a brand-new technology platform for the musical instrument and pro audio industry,” said Athan Billias, President of the MIDI Association. “This inexpensive platform to connect multiple digital instruments together is a big boon to designers of musical instrument and pro audio applications.”

At the June 2022 NAMM show in Anaheim, the MIDI Association showcased the A2B technology using the ProtoZOA USB MIDI 2.0 prototyping and testing tool developed by Amenote Inc.

The Amenote ProtoZOA USB MIDI 2.0 Prototyping Board connected to an Analog Devices A2B module at June NAMM 2022

A lot of FX pedals are digital these days, yet each pedal has an analog to digital convertor on one side that converts the analog signal in to digital, the signal gets processed and then on the other side of the pedal is a digital to analog converter that converts the signal back to analog again.  Digital keyboards, electronic drums and almost all digital musical instruments work the same way.  A2B® with MIDI 2.0 eliminates the need for all that A/D and D/A conversion by providing a low cost digital audio network with MIDI control protocol.  It solves a fundamental problem that has existed since the early 1980s when digital musical instruments and FX first became possible. 

by Athan Billias, President of the MIDI Association

Athan Billias, Pat Scandalis, Mike Kent and Pravin Angolkar discuss MIDI 2.0 over A2B at A3E

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