About Kenton

John PriceFor more than 30 years, Kenton Electronics has designed and built ingenious, easy-to-use MIDI interfaces that enable keyboard players and electronic musicians to keep their synths, sequencers and controllers communicating with each other, regardless of their type or vintage. Widely acknowledged as the MIDI experts, Kenton has a device for almost every conceivable application, and our products are often considered to be the ‘glue’ that holds our customers’ electronic music systems together. In addition, broadcasters and theatres rely on Kenton products in mission-critical applications where MIDI is used as a switching and control protocol.

Kenton Electronics was formed in 1986 by UK musician John Price. “I was a professional keyboard player with a background in electronics and a keen interest in computing. I owned an Oberheim OBX synth, which I very much wanted to get MIDIed. Unfortunately, the only interface on offer cost a fortune, and did very little, so I decided to do make my own. This was not quite the big step it might seem, as I had already built my own digital interface to enable me to play the OBX from the keyboard of my Hammond Organ.

The new MIDI interface was a success, and I soon had several of my keyboard-playing colleagues asking if I could do something similar for their keyboards, so I decided to build a small batch of 12 interfaces and things just progressed from there. From the moment I bought a fax machine, I started to get enquiries for kits from overseas. I was working from my flat in Kingston at that time, but I was rapidly running out of space. In 1990 I found premises in Hook Road Surbiton, an upstairs office with 4 rooms behind a parade of shops.

A singer friend of mine, Karen, offered to help me to prepare the place and make it a bit more welcoming, but as things turned out, Karen stayed on and worked part-time for Kenton for a couple of years.

Quite a few customers had asked if Kenton would make a MIDI to CV converter, and so around April 1992 the PRO-2 was born. I originally thought we might sell 100 – 200 units, but by the time it was replaced by the PRO-2000 in 1997, we had sold well over 2000 units.

People often ask where the name Kenton came from. My father Wylie Price was a bandleader in the 40s & 50s and was a big fan of Stan Kenton, so when I was born, I was given Kenton as my middle name.”

Chronological history

1986 OctoberFormed Kenton Electronics
1986 October Produced first batch of printed circuit boards
1989 JulyMarillion gloves
1990 JuneMoved to business premises in Hook Road, Surbiton
1992 May Introduced PRO-2
1992 May Introduced Socket upgrades to support PRO-2
1994 May Introduced PRO-4
1994 Dec Introduced GS-8
1994 July Moved to larger premises at Tolworth Rise South
1995 JuneIntroduced PRO-SOLO
1996 May Kenton’s first website
1996 OctoberIntroduced PRO-DCB
1996 OctoberIntroduced PRO-KADI
1997 March Introduced PRO-2000
1998 JulyIntroduced Control Freak Original
1999 MarchIntroduced Control Freak Studio
1999 AugustMoved to current premises in South Wimbledon
2001 JuneIntroduced Plugstation
2001 SeptemberIntroduced Control Freak Live
2002 MayIntroduced stretched version of Live
2002 DecemberIntroduced Spin Doctor
2003 OctoberIntroduced LD2 MIDI level display
2003 DecemberIntroduced UK/EU version of MidiStream wireless MIDI
2004 April Introduced US version of MidiStream wireless MID
2004 JulyTR-808 kit redesigned
2004 OctoberIntroduced AN16 module
2005 JanuaryIntroduced Pro-DCB mk2
2005 March to 2006 DecemberMIDI kits redesigned
2005 FebruaryIntroduced Pro-Solo mkII
2005 March Introduced Pro-2000 mkII
2006 MayIntroduced SW16 module
2006 MayIntroduced GPIM-16 GPI to MIDI unit
2006 JulyIntroduced Pro-KADI mk2
2006 SeptemberIntroduced Thru-5 MIDI thru box
2006 OctoberIntroduced LD3 variable pedal to MIDI
2006 DecemberIntroduced Killamix Mini controller
2007 FebruaryIntroduced Pro-DCB mk3
2007 JulyIntroduced LD4 variable pedal to MIDI
2007 DecemberIntroduced Merge-4 MIDI merge unit
2009 MayIntroduced LNDR MIDI line driver
2009 JuneIntroduced USB-Solo CV converter
2011 JuneIntroduced MIDI USB Host
2011 JulyIntroduced Modular Solo
2012 OctoberIntroduced Sync-5
2014 MayIntroduced GPMX-16
2015 MarchIntroduced Thru-25
2016 JuneIntroduced D-Sync
2017 MarchIntroduced Merge-8
2017 JulyIntroduced Pro-CV to MIDI
2018 JulyIntroduced Thru-12