Musical Instrument Digital Interface

The MIDI protocol was created way back in 1983 as a way for musical instruments to communicate digitally. Still alive and well today, MIDI has been adapted to work with new hardware over the years, but the core language of MIDI remains unchanged - note on/off messages, controller values, etc.

5-pin DIN connector on the left, ubiquitous USB-A on the right

For years, the venerable 5-pin DIN connector was pretty much the only way to send MIDI messages between hardware devices, but that began to change when USB-MIDI was introduced in 1999. Today, USB-MIDI is by far the most common way to send MIDI messages (though DIN connectors have had a boutique resurgence of late). Beyond USB, MIDI has been adapted to other means of transport as well. Let’s take a look at two of them …

This guide was first published on Dec 04, 2018. It was last updated on Dec 04, 2018. This page (Overview) was last updated on Apr 14, 2019.