The literal Mastermind behind the high-functioning communication between these effects is at lower left.

It may be 40-year-old technology, but a slew of affordable high-quality controllers and stellar MIDI-enabled effects—as well as an ever-flattening learning curve—make this a great time to consider bringing your board into the future.

MIDI is a technical standard developed in the early '80s to allow equipment of a variety of types and functions to communicate as interconnected music production tools. The term Musical Instrument Digital Interface describes both the protocol and the hardware necessary for manufacturers to build compatible systems, and the standard quickly replaced most manufacturers' proprietary communication methods—making the world of synths and effects modules much more universal. Not many digital standards have remained relevant for 40 years, but MIDI is still kicking around and growing in users and market segments.

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