Athan Billias
President at MIDI2 Marketing LLC

I have known Mike for many years in his position on the Technical Standards Board of the MIDI Manufacturers Association. His work for Roland is well respected, and his contributions to the musical instrument industry industry as a whole are impressive. Every company that makes a USB-MIDI device owe a debt to Mike for his work on the USB MIDI specification.

Recently Mike has been doing consulting work for Yamaha and we have had a chance to work directly together. Mike is one of those rare people who can handle detailed specification work without losing sight of strategic business objectives. His technical knowledge is first rate, but what I most value is his business acumen and his ability to develop long term strategies for success.

Niel Warren
Audio Plumber at Google

I worked shoulder to shoulder with Mike on several projects across a couple of companies. Mike was extremely easy to work with and kept his company’s priorities at the forefront while making sure that the efforts of all the companies involved resulted in a win for the end customers. I look forward to working with Mike again. 

Paul McCabe
Vice President of Global Customer Experience at Roland Corporation

I have known Mike for nearly 30 years, and have always recognized him as a clear communicator with deep understanding of the technologies (core and product-centric) that support the music and professional audio visual industries. Within Roland Mike was charged with building and maintaining industry partnerships both for musical instruments and pro a/v, and bridging across to consumer electronics and IT. From my perspective, Mike’s knowledge combined with his friendly, clear, and patient communicating style have made him very effective in this role. Mike is one of the more knowledgeable people when it comes to industry technology trends that I know. Beyond being “tapped in”, my experience is that Mike has an ability to discern relevance and propose responses in a unique way; it is one of his gifts. I am very happy to know him!

Matthew Xavier Mora
Audio Engineering Manager at Apple

I have known Mike Kent for more than 15 years working on audio products and in standards organization like IEEE-1394, USB audio and the MIDI Manufactures association. I have found Mike to be an excellent communicator, well versed in all aspects of product design and has a great technical understanding of digital audio concepts and engineering knowledge required to get great products to market. It’s been a pleasure working with Mike over these many years on a great number of projects that we worked on together. I can not recommend Mike highly enough. I look forward to working with him again in the future.

Michael Smith
Goldsmith Sales & Marketing, Inc.

I am happy to be able to give Mike Kent a glowing recommendation, as I find him to be one of the most knowledgeable people I know in this industry. Mike stays on the cutting edge of technology and indeed has had a hand in shaping the future of industry standards such as USB. It seems that his long stint working closely with Mr. Kakehashi (founder of Roland) imbued him with a great understanding of developing new technologies and cementing strategic business relationships. As if that is not enough, Mike is a great guy to both work and hang out with.

Gary E Johnson
Business Development & Licensing Strategy at Veritas Technologies LLC

I have known Mike for longer than we both want to admit. We have worked together on multiple projects at different companies and organizations. Mike was instrumental in many standards. Mike is professional, caring and a hell of a good guy. I highly recommend him for any company who needs a true leader. Feel free to contact me directly for more information.

Nick Thompson
Principal Software Engineering Manager at Microsoft

I worked with Mike while I was working at Apple, on a number of industry initiatives that both Apple and Roland were mutually involved in. I had the opportunity to work with Mike over a period of nearly seven years on audio standardization programs. These included standardization efforts for high-speed serial audio devices using transports such as USB and IEEE 1394 (FireWire). Mike is a technology leader with a vision for interconnection via open standards, and has had a great impact on the state of both consumer and professional applications of digital audio and MIDI.

Mike participated in, and helped to drive, standardization of USB Audio class and IEEE 61883-5 through worldwide standards bodies such as the Audio Engineering Society (AES) and the USB-IF (USB Implementers Forum). These standards were widely used in the industry to allow the creation of class compliant audio devices that could be plugged into computers with no custom drivers and deliver a good level of functionality. If device specific features were later required the end user could install device drivers for the device to enable this over and above the basic level of functionality provided by the default operating system device driver.

I really enjoyed working with Mike. He is amazingly diplomatic, and understands how to negotiate effectively on behalf of the interests he represents whilst bringing together divergent viewpoints for the benefit of everyone. Mike is superb at engineering a win-win solution in potentially highly divisive situations.

I believe the world of computer audio has been greatly enhanced by Mike’s tireless efforts over a long period of time. His standardization efforts for USB Audio Class (UAC) specifications, both for the initial version and for the UAC 2 spec have made a huge difference both for consumer audio and for pro-sumer applications of the technology. This has made a significant difference in the home studio world and also for end users who just want higher quality audio through a USB DAC. He worked really hard to make connections between Apple’s audio teams and Roland, and allowed Apple to test with early versions of new Roland hardware so that we could be sure that the class drivers we were working on were of excellent quality. Mike has been a true leader in the industry, helping to drive forward the implementation of both USB Audio and USB MIDI, and his input in standardizing audio for IEEE 1394 (FireWire) and by implication for 802.1 AVB cannot be underestimated (since many of the things that were hashed out for both USB and FireWire were reused for the AVB work).

I would gladly work with Mike again.

Tom White
MI & Pro Audio Technology and Strategy Consultant

I’ve worked with Mike on many projects in the past 20 years, where I have observed his impressive technical, communication, and consensus-building skills. He is especially good at bridging cultures to enable collaboration between engineers in different countries (Japan and North America) and different industries (music, pro audio, video, and computers), and has a deep knowledge of products and applications in all of those market areas. He’s well-liked and respected by everyone I know, and as their technical liaison in North America he has absolutely helped cement Roland’s position as a technology leader.

Tony Williams
Adjunct Faculty at George Fox University

I have known and worked with Mike for about 20 years. He is a consummate collaborator, communicator, negotiator, teacher, ambassador, and technical guru of industry standards. All that and he’s a nice guy, too!