Multichannel Audio Digital Interface (MADI) or AES10 is an Audio Engineering Society (AES) standard that defines the data format and electrical characteristics of an interface that carries multiple channels of digital audio. The AES first documented the MADI standard in AES10-1991 and updated it in AES10-2003 and AES10-2008. The MADI standard includes a bit-level description and has features in common with the two-channel AES3 interface.
MADI supports serial digital transmission over coaxial cable or fiber-optic lines of 28, 56, or 32, 64 channels; and sampling rates to 962 kHz and beyond:5.1 with an audio bit depth of up to 24 bits per channel. Like AES3 and ADAT Lightpipe, it is a unidirectional interface from one sender to one receiver.
MADI was developed by AMS Neve, Solid State Logic, Sony, and Mitsubishi and is widely used in the audio industry, especially in the professional audio sector. It provides advantages over other audio digital interface protocols and standards such as AES3, ADAT Lightpipe, TDIF (Tascam Digital Interface), and S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface). These advantages include:
The original specification (AES10-1991) defined the MADI link as a 56 channel transport for linking large-format mixing consoles to digital multitrack recording devices. Large broadcast studios also adopted it for routing multi-channel audio throughout their facilities. The 2003 revision (AES10-2003) adds a 64 channel capability by removing vari-speed operation and supports 96 kHz sampling frequency with reduced channel capacity. The latest AES10-2008 standard includes minor clarifications and updates to correspond to the current AES3 standard.
Audio over Ethernet of various types is the primary alternative to MADI for the transport of many channels of professional digital audio.