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MIDI Innovation Awards

Watch the livestream event on 21st January
12pm PST / 3pm EST / 8pm GMT / 9pm CET

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Meet the finalists

Enhancia - Neova MIDI Ring Controller

Category: MIDI Controller
Damien Le Boulaire, Grenoble, France

At Enhancia, we don’t believe in moderation. During 3 years of intense R&D, we have been aiming to create the shortest path between musical intention and raw emotion. By constantly pushing our breakthrough technology to exceed its furthest limits, Enhancia has been able to fuel life into Neova, the most expressive MIDI Ring Controller. Neova is a multi-award winning MIDI ring controller made to deliver expressivity at its most natural form. The high-end wearable enables you to control sound effects with natural and intuitive hand gestures to enhance your musical experience.

https://www.enhancia-music.com/neova/

Tablix

Category: MIDI Controller
Gurpreet Chana, Toronto, Canada

TABLIX is a conversation between the Tabla language, music technology & MIDI. TABLIX is a digitally augmented Tabla; it MIDI pitch shifts the Purra (Tabla treble drum) in real time and expresses Digital Tabla Tarang = Tabla rhythms + melodically programmed MIDI TABLIX is evolving and aims to develop creative technological ideas to support musical expression in relationship to the artistic process, technique & ergonomics of the Tabla artist; inviting them to ideate, compose, edit, perform, explore, and collaborate with MIDI based artists and processes in new, unique, and synergistic ways within the digital canvas through the Tabla artform.

http://thetablaguy.com/

Jammy E - Portable MIDI guitar

Category: MIDI Controller
Marko Nykoliuk, Kyiv, Ukraine

Jammy E is a portable guitar MIDI controller with steel strings and 15 frets. Jammy E allows playing any instrument using guitar skills. It’s a perfect creative tool for guitarists who dives into music production and don't want to struggle with keyboards. It’s compatible with any DAW and connects to a mobile device or laptop via Bluetooth or USB-C. Jammy E is backpack-sized due to its detachable neck and foldable frame. It features two assignable buttons and a volume knob and accelerometer allowing to add more music expressiveness. Jammy E raised over $210K on Kickstarter in spring 2020. The start of shipping and sales launch is planned for spring 2021.

https://playjammy.com/jammy-e/

Playces

Category: Installation
Leigh Davies, Wales, UK

Playces is a series of illustrative interactive instrument-sculptures that promotes curiosity, exploration, and play. The project explores the notion of ‘what makes a place, a place?’ and presents ideas and observations relating to that theme through a series of interactive kinetic structures for audiences to not only view, but play with and enjoy. Through the use of recycled cardboard, reactive sound design, low-cost embeddable sensors, and MIDI messaging protocol - Playces ultimately establishes a ludic environment that provides (self-identifying) "non-musical" audiences with new opportunities for the performance and experience of sound and music.

https://www.leighdaviescreative.com/playces

GranuRise

Category: Software
Andrej Kobal, Slovenia

GranuRise is a granular software synth based on a non-conventional synthesis and sample modules that enable immersive sonic interaction and lets you create complex morphing sound structures intuitively. The main concept is built on a creative gestural interaction that involves an instrument like experience, with the advance of the real-time software generative alternation. GranuRise offers several dedicated MPE/MIDI implementations. Another important aspect is that it also develops a way to make music outside of the grid-based environment. By Combining and morphing multiple GranuRise modules, a whole composition or sound design can be made from a simple sound source.

https://granurise.com/

The Glide

Category: MIDI Controller
Keith Groover, South Carolina, USA

The Glide is a melody-focused MIDI controller and instrument based upon the accelerometer. Using two hand controllers, users can play 48 different notes, gliding to any of these notes from any other note with simple arm motions and simple button combinations. Vibrato, volume, tone changes, key changes, octave changes, and more are easily and instantly manipulated as well. It is designed to be as expressive as a human voice, as easy to learn as a piano, and as rhythmically intuitive as a drum, while being physically and financially accessible to all.

https://www.theglide.cc/

Stretchi

Category: Prototype
Hugh Aynsley, London, UK

Stretchi is an electronic stringed instrument which offers ‘acoustic’ interaction with digital control. It is a five stringed instrument which can control different MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) parameters by the player stretching, pushing and pulling the strings through intuitive and playful movements. There are multiple ways to control sound attributes through each of Stretchi’s strings through four gestures; Pluck, Hold, Bend and Slide. These four modes combine to create a multi-dimensional playing surface where the user can creatively control different MIDI parameters such as note triggering, pitch bend, effects, note duration, note velocity - all through the touch of a string.

https://stretchi.org/

Symphony of the human body

Category: Installation
Martin Rivera, Mexico

“Symphony of the Human Body" is an immersive installation that uses music to teach young people about the different systems that make up the human body. Visitors use ten MIDI controllers to interact, allowing them to trigger a musical sequence and perform along these musical layers, also they trigger an interactive animation in a ten meter LED screen. Custom software integrates a DAW session with generative animation software using the MIDI protocol for real time interaction. This is a custom project developed for the “Explora” museum in the city of Leon, Mexico.

https://youtu.be/2SWnFmwlOf8

Sonoclast Plastic Pitch Pro

Category: MIDI Controller
Kevin Chang, North Carolina, USA

The Sonoclast Plastic Pitch Pro (Patent Pending) is a high-resolution MIDI microtuner particularly well suited for live experimentation with alternate tunings while using familiar playing techniques on a standard keyboard layout. Twelve real-time tuning knobs correspond to an octave of keys and tune the respective note sharp or flat across an entire keyboard. The cents-width of an octave of keys is tunable from 600 to 2400 cents. Scales can be modulated to a new key on the fly using a controller on another MIDI channel. Presets are saved in the Scala file format for interoperability

https://sonoclast.com/products/plastic-pitch-pro/

Fluid Pitch

Category: Software
Krishna Chetan, India

Fluid pitch is an innovative next-generation Pitch bend system, which is not only free of existing limitations but a Revolutionary Leap Forward in Music expressions for all Musicians. Fluid pitch introduces the World's First Monophonic and Polyphonic Scale-Locked-Pitch-Bend System powered by Midi to MPE upscale engine, which gives the power of MPE (MIDI Polyphonic expression ) to any standard MIDI keyboard. Play any style of music with unparalleled ease, get the Micro tuning edge and introduce chord bending into your music. Fluid pitch is being called as an innovative plugin by many industry experts and amazing musicians like Jordan Rudess, AR Rahman, BT and many more around the world.

https://youtu.be/zhb1Z24d9XQ

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What are the MIDI Innovation Awards?

The MIDI Innovation awards give a platform to MIDI innovation. This enables winners to accelerate their product ideas through connections to the industry, as well as increase their visibility among musicians and the NAMM community of trade professionals. The MIDI Innovation Awards rewards products, prototypes, installations or concepts that are thought-provoking and inspire new, creative use cases.

Over $20,000 worth of prizes to be shared

Who is it for?

This competition is for companies, individuals, and artists who work with MIDI and build innovative products or interactive experiences with MIDI.

The MIDI Innovation Awards 2021 are open to residents worldwide who are at least 18 years of age on the 21st January 2021.

Key dates:

  • Submissions open: 2nd December 2020
  • Closing date for entries: 4th January 2021
  • Finalists will be notified on: 8th January 2021
  • Public voting starts 11th January 2021
  • Live pitches and awards event - Thursday 21st January 2021: 12 midday PST time / 3pm EST / 8pm GMT / 9pm CET

Live streamed awards event:

  • 2-hour event
  • Pitches by the finalists
  • Entertainment and sponsor presentations
  • Announcement of the winners

Prizes

1st Prize: Sponsored by NAMM

  • Booth size 5 ‘ x 10’ at The 2022 NAMM Show, worth $2,195
  • Bronze level TEC Awards – estimated value $4,000
  • Full page placement in Digital Voter’s Guide – estimated value $3,375
  • Two year corporate membership in the MIDI Association - Value $1,200
  • Consulting with MIDI experts MK2 Audio and MIDI2Marketing - value $1,000

2nd Prize

  • Expert Sleepers modules worth $750: FH-2, General CV and disting mk4
  • One year corporate membership in the MIDI Association - Value $600
  • Consulting with MIDI experts MK2 Audio and MIDI2Marketing - value $500

3rd prize

Details to be announced soon

Honorable Mentions

Details to be announced soon

What is needed to enter?

Registration to the competition has now closed. 78 entries have been reviewed.

See the reviewers list

What are the selection criteria?

The jury will score entries on a scale of 1-10 in the following categories:

  • Innovation
  • Inspiring / surprising
  • Interoperability
  • Practical / commercial viability

About the hosts

Music Hackspace

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.

The MIDI Association

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.

NAMM

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry. NAMM is comprised of approximately 10,300 members located in 104 countries and regions. NAMM events and members fund The NAMM Foundation's efforts to promote the pleasures and benefits of music, and advance active participation in music making across the lifespan. For more information about NAMM, please visit www.namm.org, call 800.767.NAMM (6266) or follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.