Modern Controller Interface To Replace MIDI

The creators of VST and ASIO are the right people to create a fundamental IO layer for controllers with low latency and much more throughput than MIDI and CV, not to mention all of the subprotocols like sysex and mackie.

The physical layer should move up to the latest ethernet standard. Not because we need it, because we want this technology to be relevant for the next 50 years. It would also be nice to no longer depend on the host/device schemes forced by USB. If you don’t believe it can be done, consider DANTE from Audinate. They are moving real audio samples at ridiculously low latencies and high throughputs in real-time, and they do it with the IP protocol. A single unmanaged switch could set up an entire small studio.

Mapping MIDI, CV, and anything else would be easier than it was to map them to USB, so all those people clutching their chest at the thought of losing their legacy investments can breathe.

Then the innovators don’t have to stop at MPE, Mackie, Sysex, or even MIDI 2.0.

Roger Linn, Softube, SSL, Roli, the Nuendo and Yamaha DM7 teams, the geniuses over at Expressive, can you imaging what they could do if they had this kind of infrastructure that they could use instead of MIDI?!?

With ProTools fading fast, now is the time for Steinberg/Cubase to cement the top spot for the next fifty years. One of the newer guys will do it if you don’t.


Sorry … I just had to laugh a bit at that one.

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Yeah, laugh away. We are still using MIDI 37 years later, and that is nowhere near as powerful. Based on the look of things, its going to be here for another 37 years if we don’t do something about it.

Version two of midi has still barely been taken on board yet. This probably has the power you want. What we don’t want is a proprietary protocol that may not be taken up by all.

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Yesterday, a friend pointed me the annoucement of next Linux version with its kernel implementing midi 2.0.
But what is the level of adoption of midi 2 today, I am using midi controllers for my mix guitar-synth pedalboard (including hosted VST instruments) and none is working with midi 2, just midi 1, even mpe is rarely implmented ?
Who is using midi out of the lab ?

Operating system support for MIDI 2.0 is coming - see, for example, Pete Brown’s blog about MIDI 2.0 in Windows 11.


The mentioned protocol exists. EuCon.
It was developed by Steinberg and the adoption didn’t happen.


EuCon protocol has not been developed by Steinberg. It was originally made by Euphonix company, later (in 2010) acquired by Avid.


I’m afraid MIDI 2.0 is not going to fix anything. It has been out for over three years and everybody is slow rolling it, really slow. It is going to be really hard to supplant a 40 year old technology if you don’t have some big game changer moves. Again, look at DANTE. They took some big disruptive steps and suddenly nobody is talking about CobraNet or AVB. It is ok to be disruptive. MIDI over USB was disruptive and it was adopted overnight. Now we don’t need separate in and out cables. Like I said in my earlier post, just layer MIDI or MIDI 2 on the new infrastructure during the transition.

It took 15 years for Steinberg to ween everybody off of VST2, but with help from the Apple Silicon disruption, it’s now done for all intents and purposes. It is a no-brainer. Everybody writes for VST first, and if they don’t (AVID, NI, and Apple) they should, or they are just going to stay in their own niches forever.

Steinberg, with its mega parent Yamaha, can make this happen, and not have to sell out like Euphonix and ultimately AVID did. But Euphonix did have some good ideas, especially the Ethernet. Maybe Yamaha/Steinberg could acquire EUCON at the up coming fire sale and get a running start. It would be a good way to gather all of the license locked ProTools zombies looking for a new home.

Steinberg already has a good licensing strategy. VST3 has two licenses, the Proprietary Steinberg VST3 and the Open-source GPLv3. If you want free, you got it. If you want to protect your own trade secrets, you can pay for it.

Pull the trigger Steinberg. Add this new protocol to your ASIO and VST protocols. Don’t get greedy with licensing fees. Just be satisfied that you control it and will be the best at it. We are loyal customers and we talk your products up every chance we get.

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