Forget about Walsergate – the Grammys are honouring the founders of the single most important interface system in the history of electronic music. 

In a press release, the Recording Academy have announced that Dave Smith and Roland’s Ikutaro Kakehashi will receive the 2013 Technical Grammy for their pivotal role in the development of MIDI.

Smith made his name as boss of instrument manufacturer Sequential Circuits, with whom he subsequently developed MIDI technology in the early 1980s with the help of synth-builders Roland. The first ever MIDI-ready synthesiser, the Prophet 600, was unveiled in 1982, and the first public demonstration of MIDI communication between instruments from different companies took place the following year. MIDI, of course, remains the industry standard for communication between digital musical instruments and computer systems.

Royal Labs are also being honoured with a Technical Grammy for their work producing ribbon microphones. In addition, the Academy have announced the list of Lifetime Achievement Award recipients. Ravi Shankar, who passed away earlier this week, is honoured, as are Carole King, The Temptations, Patti Page and bass legend Charlie Haden. Pianist Glenn Gould and Lightin’ Hopkins both receive posthumous nods.



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