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The MIDI Association at Winter NAMM 2016

We had a great NAMM show  in 2016.  The MMA booth was really busy with constant demos by Quicco, Bome and Kagura from Shikumi Designs.

All of the Tec Track panels we hosted were well attended.  The  Executive Roundtable: Keyboards and Virtual Instruments — with Craig Anderton, Jordan RudessMike Martin, Jimmy Landry, Roger Linn, Ralph Goldheim, Athan Billias and Stephen Fortner featured a lot of people who were instrumental (pun intended) in moving MIDI forward. 

There were several demonstrations at the Annual General Meeting of the MIDI Manufacturers Association. Here are a few of the highlights. Jordan Rudess of Dream Theatre showed how expressive MPE could be in the right hands at the MIDI Manufacturers Association afternoon sessions on Sunday. 

The MMA has established an MPE working group and is planning on moving forward quickly to define the specification. MPE is also featured in the GEOShred, the OS application developed by Jordan and MoForte. We also got a quick private demo of that from Jordan at the show. 

Unique MIDI Controllers at NAMM 2016

There were a lot of very unique MIDI controllers at NAMM this year.  One of the trends was products using the new Bluetooth Low Energy MIDI specification that the MIDI Manufacturers Association finalized this year. 

Korg’s nanoKONTROL is a light-weight and compact mobile MIDI controller and the nanoKEY a keyboard that both feature BTLE MIDI and are  battery operated and can connect wirelessly with your iPhone/iPad or Mac/Windows. 

Yamaha showed two products that let you add BTLE MIDI to your current MIDI products. 

  • The UD-BT01 adapter lets you connect devices with a USB TO HOST terminal to iOS devices and Mac.
  • The MD-BT01 adapter lets you connect instruments with MIDI IN/OUT terminals to iOS devices and Macs
These should also work with Android Marshmallow devices as Marshmallow supports BTLE MIDI. At the MIDI Matters panel at 2016, Pete Brown from Microsoft also mentioned that it is on the roadmap for Windows 10. 

There were some really unique MIDI Controllers at the show.  Here is one that got a lot of attention, Tribal Tools’ Kadabra..

“KADABRA Is a smart innovative wireless musical instrument that makes the impossible – intuitive. There are 24 capacitive copper pipe keys carved into the lower part of the body, flanked by smart multicolored LED lighting. The upper section is home to 12 control buttons, three thumb buttons and three pressure sensors, six utility buttons and a wheel encoder. Up to 16 different sounds can play simultaneously and motion sensors allow the player to control different parameters or produce specific sounds/effects with sharp or flowing movements. Kadabra has A long range wireless technology with zero latency, Dedicated software for computers which can sync with stand-alone VST instruments, MIDI devices or digital audio workstations over MIDI.
Tribal Tools aims to release the Kadabra in the second half of 2016″

Zoom showed the ARQ Sequencer, Drum Machine & Synthesizer.  ARQ is a drum machine, sequencer, synthesizer, looper, and MIDI controller with a built-in accelerometer. It’s wireless Bluetooth Ring Controller let’s you control the internal sounds and sequences as well as other MIDI devices. 

We’d like to thank all our media partners including Sonic State, Harmony Central, Synthtopia, New Bay Media and Sound on Sound for all the great coverage of The MIDI Association launch.