Mono MPE? (I know it sounds dumb)

Official support for: u-he.com
KVRAF
2734 posts since 3 Mar, 2006

Post Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:13 pm

Any chance of being able to set u-he plugins to respect the "mono" setting when controlling it via MPE? I love being able to play bass with repro-1 from my MPE controller (with slides) but I can't get my controller to work with polyphonic u-he synths the same way (since it seems to ignore the mono/legato setting and I can't manually set voices to 1 on most of them - there is a minimum of 2)

unfortunately the controller I'm using (the built in bitwig MPE keyboard with a multitouch screen) does not allow me to set it to "mono" in order to force the issue on bitwig's end so if I don't check the "use mpe" box in bitwig I don't get pitch bends sent from the MPE keyboard at all.

On that topic using an MPE controller with per note bend in duophonic mode is amazing (something I currently wire up in bitwig's grid)

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KVRAF
18486 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:21 pm

+1

KVRAF
8939 posts since 12 May, 2008

Post Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:37 pm

+2. I'm always trying to get devs to implement mono mode properly with MPE, so that you still have independent note tracking while being able to cut off notes. It's extremely useful and Roli/fxpansion make great use of mono presets in mpe mode, but some devs just don't get it.

I think it would be harder for U-He because they didn't really do MPE, they originally did multi-channel midi, which was a bit different.

Also +1 to your comment about MPE with duophonic sounds, especially sounds that use ring mod and fm etc. Some amazing possibilities there when you can independently bend the two notes that are modulating each other. Unfortunately not possible with U-He synths because you get everything duplicated for each note. Would be amazing for Bazille and Diva. Cypher is the only one that I can do that with (and I guess Bitwig grid I'm sure would be possible but haven't figured that out).
System: Windows 10, Dell XPS 2-in-1, Bitwig 3, Steinberg UR44.

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Urs
u-he
25476 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Post Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:13 am

Gosh... I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry: "Mono MPE" sounds like a band aid for a conceptual issue of the hardware devices that expect support for it :-/

(Note that the official definition of MIDI Mode 4 (“Mono Mode”) in the MPE specs is "per Channel" - as we do -, not per receiver. Afaik there is no word on "Mono MPE" in the official spec available from the MMA)

I honestly get frustrated by these conceptual twists because voice management is a big thing. Each time we change things in voice management we have weeks of testing and we often experience dozens of side effects, sometimes *after* official releases, urging us to react. We have a very big release of "everything" ahead (Apple Silicon), and I do not wish to stall it for weeks, so the timing for such a request isn't good :oops:

Anyhow. I had recently come up with the concept of the final "full MPE" module to add to our engine. All it does is, it adds anything from MIDI channel 1 to all other channels, available as an option through a toggle on the UI. I can make this a three-way toggle which optionally "sucks everything onto MIDI channel 1" and call that option "Mono MPE".

Question: Would that do it?

Also: Do you still need anything from Channel 1 added to every other channel in this mode? I.e. does the "suck everything onto MIDI channel 1" need to exists *after* "full MPE" or does it need to sit *next* to it, as in alternative?

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KVRAF
18486 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Wed Mar 31, 2021 6:24 am

Urs wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:13 am
Anyhow. I had recently come up with the concept of the final "full MPE" module to add to our engine. All it does is, it adds anything from MIDI channel 1 to all other channels, available as an option through a toggle on the UI.
My apologies in advance... does the "full MPE" also add release velocity? I don't particularly care myself, but it will get brought up since it is part of the MPE spec.

That is good news on the Master channel option! It is useful to be able to use a Modwheel or Expression pedal along with MPE. Your efforts are appreciated!

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Urs
u-he
25476 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Post Wed Mar 31, 2021 6:58 am

No, Release Velocity isn't a mandatory spec of MPE, but MPE papers outline that it is a "good to have".

I'm also coming to terms with it, in form of a "Release Gate" concept which would be scaled by Release Velocity if the host/controller supports that. It is however not anything that'll be tried / tested / happen in the upcoming release cycle, it'll apply to later releases...

(My reluctance to support Release Velocity is based on the same fear of week long refactoring as above, plus the problem that I wouldn't like to add a feature that a vast majority of our users can't use. It would feel like dangling it in front of their noses. Hence the idea to merge it with a concept that could benefit anyone, much like we merged PolyAT and Channel Pressure in a meaningful manner)

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KVRAF
18486 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:50 am

Urs wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 6:58 am
(My reluctance to support Release Velocity is based on the same fear of week long refactoring as above, plus the problem that I wouldn't like to add a feature that a vast majority of our users can't use. It would feel like dangling it in front of their noses. Hence the idea to merge it with a concept that could benefit anyone, much like we merged PolyAT and Channel Pressure in a meaningful manner)
Bitwig has a modulator 'AHD on Release'... the Env triggers on note off... I use that fairly often... of course it is not per voice on Hive or other VST's, so then I use it with multiple instances for per note. I find that more useful and flexible than simple release velocity.

Some non MPE keyboards have release velocity, but I have no idea how many do, or if they do, whether it is usable.

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KVRAF
21411 posts since 7 Jan, 2009 from Croatia

Post Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:04 am

DAWs actually started introducing release velocity editing in a meaningful manner (Reaper has it, Live 11 as well IIRC, and I believe Cubase, Cakewalk and Logic also have means of editing this data), so having a controller that has release velocity is not exactly mandatory...

That said, I know a number of HW synths out there send release velocity despite their MIDI implementation chart saying they aren't. :D

KVRAF
1596 posts since 5 Oct, 2003

Post Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:39 pm

Release velocity is really useful for MPE playing once you get used to what it can do. I'm starting to think more in terms of it for expression now that MPE has me playing and thinking about individual finger movement.

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KVRAF
18486 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:09 pm

killmaster wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:39 pm
Release velocity is really useful for MPE playing once you get used to what it can do.
What parameters do you modulate with it?

KVRAF
8939 posts since 12 May, 2008

Post Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:29 pm

Urs wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:13 am
Gosh... I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry: "Mono MPE" sounds like a band aid for a conceptual issue of the hardware devices that expect support for it :-/

(Note that the official definition of MIDI Mode 4 (“Mono Mode”) in the MPE specs is "per Channel" - as we do -, not per receiver. Afaik there is no word on "Mono MPE" in the official spec available from the MMA)
I think this is the problem, that it hasn't really been properly worked out. You can tell as a user because so many synths behave differently in mono mode with MPE, so there is really no guidance for anyone. I always point to the Roli/fxpansion synths as the most useful behavior of mono MPE, but I know that there isn't a "correct" way as per the spec and shouldn't say that. But when you use a synth that does not have it thought out vs something like a Bitwig synth or Equator or Cypher, the ddifferences are very obvious because you often get glitches and mixed signals in other synths. This is the effect of not tracking the modulations of notes independently while still only hearing one note at a time. In the case of U-He synths it's obviously a different issue in that it just isn't possible since all channels are played regardless of voice settings, so that's no better or worse, just simply something you haven't implemented and that's your choice.
Urs wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:13 am
I honestly get frustrated by these conceptual twists because voice management is a big thing. Each time we change things in voice management we have weeks of testing and we often experience dozens of side effects, sometimes *after* official releases, urging us to react. We have a very big release of "everything" ahead (Apple Silicon), and I do not wish to stall it for weeks, so the timing for such a request isn't good :oops:

Anyhow. I had recently come up with the concept of the final "full MPE" module to add to our engine. All it does is, it adds anything from MIDI channel 1 to all other channels, available as an option through a toggle on the UI. I can make this a three-way toggle which optionally "sucks everything onto MIDI channel 1" and call that option "Mono MPE".

Question: Would that do it?

Also: Do you still need anything from Channel 1 added to every other channel in this mode? I.e. does the "suck everything onto MIDI channel 1" need to exists *after* "full MPE" or does it need to sit *next* to it, as in alternative?
I'm really not sure if adding anything from channel 1 to all other channels would do the trick, it depends on whether the audible voice can smoothly adjust from a prior note modulation value to a new note modulation. Seems like it's important to track of the modulation of noets independently even when a single note is heard. For example you are holding a note and play another note over top while not letting go of the first. You begin sliding the Y axis of the first note while intermittently releasing and replaying the second note. The first should play at the current modulation of the first without affecting the modulation of the second. Same for pitch glides of one note while others cut it off. Just an example.
Here is an exampe where the pitches get messed up in mono in one instrument:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/5rkyzgue5pew5 ... e.m4v?dl=0
This is just one synth example, other behave totally different and have glitches and ugly behavior. This first example had a couple of issues of not being able to pitch bend after the first legato note, and then playing the wrong pitch on a legato note played after pitch bent note. But there are plenty of other issues from other synths.

And here is the same thing played on a synth where it behaves intuitively and in a manner that one would expect:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ftx52rfwguou6 ... t.m4v?dl=0
Last edited by Echoes in the Attic on Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
System: Windows 10, Dell XPS 2-in-1, Bitwig 3, Steinberg UR44.

KVRAF
8939 posts since 12 May, 2008

Post Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:35 pm

By the way I'm not sure it needs to be such a conceptual twist. Mono refers to the fact that only one voice is heard at a time. The polyphonic expression in this case can still refer to tracking modulations separately for any simultaneously held notes, which has very obvious benefits to anyone who plays these instruments and doesn't like to hear glitches and messed up modulation when playing mono and purposefully overlapping notes to play legato.

Just my 2 cent as a user. I'm sure it's a huge pain to actually implement and deal with as far as the voicing behavior.
System: Windows 10, Dell XPS 2-in-1, Bitwig 3, Steinberg UR44.

KVRAF
1596 posts since 5 Oct, 2003

Post Wed Mar 31, 2021 2:55 pm

pdxindy wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:09 pm
killmaster wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:39 pm
Release velocity is really useful for MPE playing once you get used to what it can do.
What parameters do you modulate with it?
lately I've been modulating Ring (ring modulation) in Warlock and it produces useful percussive feeling to the notes! I know it's not an MPE synth, but it has allowed me to understand how it could be usefully expressive. I'm mapping release velocity using the Expression modulator in Bitwig. I want to use it more now that I've had a taste of what it can do.

KVRAF

Topic Starter

2734 posts since 3 Mar, 2006

Post Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:52 pm

I think echoes in the attic had a good breakdown of how you expect monophonic patches to work with MPE controllers - I have since noticed glitches in repro-1 with MPE slides if I play legato (where it "remembers" my pitch bend from the previous note when moving to a new one until I wiggle it a little)

I do understand the frustration from Urs - this is a problem that could be solved on either end (the controller or the plugin) but there's no clear precedent for which side is "wrong" for not handling it gracefully (the options with the built in bitwig MPE functionality are either full multichannel MPE as I'm describing or it won't send pitch bend data at all...)

KVRAF
3544 posts since 17 Dec, 2009

Post Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:20 pm

isn't release velocity pretty standard on most modern midi controllers (but largely ignored by synths and DAWs)

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