Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
chk071
KVRAF
23219 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:35 am

anomandaris1 wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:07 am
Here are some prices, taking in account inflation:

Korg M1
Released: 1988
Original price: $2166
$4,709.32 in 2019

Yamaha DX7
Released: 1983
Original price: $2000
5,164.82 in 2019

PPG Wave
Released: 1981
Original price: $7,000
$19,807.00 in 2019

Fairlight CMI
Released: 1979
Original price: $27,500
$97,427.27 in 2019

Sequential Circuits Prophet-5
Released: 1978
Original price: $4495
$20,318.98 in 2019

Yamaha CS-80
Released: 1976
Original price: $6900
$6,900 in 1976 → $31,190.43 in 2019
Oldtimer fans are completely nuts. :o

himalaya
KVRAF
5195 posts since 23 Mar, 2006 from pendeLondonmonium

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:36 am

ehdyn wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:15 am
I've got a seaboard here and it's ok.. fun to noodle around on sometimes. Better for sound design stuff than actual performance.. hard to imagine someone actually using it in a live setting with any kind of predictability.
The Seaboard technology is used live all over.
AR Rahman has used the Seaboard GRAND in his live concerts and live TV appearances. Jordan Rudess has used the GRAND and the RISE during a Dream Theatre tour. Marco Parisi is using it live. Bill Laurence (of Snarky Puppy) has used the Seaboard GRAND live (most notably at the Union Chapel in London), young guys like Flume use loads of BLOCKS live (was it 16 Blocks he uses at the same time?)...the list goes on. You might not see any Seaboards on a dark stage as they are black and melt into the background! :D
http://www.electric-himalaya.com
VSTi and hardware synth sound design

anomandaris1
KVRist
403 posts since 26 Nov, 2009

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:37 am

DJ Warmonger wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:30 am
So, you are ready to drop 150 on generic midi controller, but not around 200 on cheapest Roli (or something similar) when there is a sale?
Cheapest roli has 2 octaves, for the same price you can get quite a piece of MIDI controller with knobs, faders or pads.
Unless you are some kind of octopus (and find a way to use these knobs, faders and pads per voice polyphonically), it's not a competition to MPE...

chk071
KVRAF
23219 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:40 am

Depends what you're aiming for, I guess. Sometimes you just want to play notes, sometimes you just want to tweak parameters. Or use drum pads. Or, move faders. It's no competition, that's true, because it isn't in the same ballpark.

You definitely have a lot more hardware elements on a controller like the one Warmonger described though. Which makes me wonder what's so damn expensive about MPE that such a low tier controller already costs that much.

Wonder what's the cheapest Roli anyway. The cheapest I see is 250 € for the Seaboard Block. You can get a pretty good 49 key MIDI controller for that price. Something comparable, a 2 octave keyboard controller with no additional controls would be about 90 € for a Arturia, which has pretty good keys. So, yeah, pretty massive difference. I get that MPE is more expensive, but, those are quite premium prices, for something which looks like as if my mother baked a cake, and let the oven on too long.
Last edited by chk071 on Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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aMUSEd
KVRAF
31214 posts since 14 Sep, 2002 from In teh net

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:49 am

himalaya wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:12 am
dellboy wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:35 am

I own Cubase Pro 10 and Tracktion Waveform 10 so I am already good to go.
Traction has the best MPE midi data editing tools. Cubase is not behind either with its per note expression. Two of the best for MPE editing.
Better than Bitwig?

anomandaris1
KVRist
403 posts since 26 Nov, 2009

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:52 am

There are quite expensive regular midi keyboards, too.
I have used some cheap ones over the years and they definitely feel like playing plastic garbage (and let's not ignore the usual "The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment warning about chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm "), but even some (not that cheap) guitars I have bought come with this warning...

chk071
KVRAF
23219 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:54 am

As long as you don't chew on your guitar and controller, you'll be alright, I guess. ;)

Ploki
KVRAF
1712 posts since 17 Dec, 2009

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:54 am

DJ Warmonger wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:30 am

I think that NI with NKS perceives MPE as competition. Now they have their own keyboards and plugins with extra level of integration, without using MPE. MPE would give more potential to competing controllers and plugins, while NI would need to adjust all their products for MPE to stay in game.
i really don't see how these two compete.
u-he updated for both, and its a completely unrelated set of functionality.
MPE is geared towards playability and expression at controller level, and NKS is geared towards better software integration.
And in any case, MPE is just a band-aid for MIDI limitations, as someone else already mentioned.

MIDI 2.0 might be rivalling NKS with its mythical "automating" reconfiguration, but this again has nothing to do with MPE.

NI could make an MPE controller that would take absolute advantage of NKS system, it's just added functionality, nothing overlaps.

himalaya
KVRAF
5195 posts since 23 Mar, 2006 from pendeLondonmonium

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:55 am

@aMused,
To be honest, I haven't used Bitwig for ages, so my conclusion may not be accurate and it could include Bitwig as well, as I know they have worked on MPE a lot.
http://www.electric-himalaya.com
VSTi and hardware synth sound design

Ploki
KVRAF
1712 posts since 17 Dec, 2009

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:00 am

chk071 wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:40 am
You definitely have a lot more hardware elements on a controller like the one Warmonger described though. Which makes me wonder what's so damn expensive about MPE that such a low tier controller already costs that much.

Wonder what's the cheapest Roli anyway. The cheapest I see is 250 € for the Seaboard Block. You can get a pretty good 49 key MIDI controller for that price. Something comparable, a 2 octave keyboard controller with no additional controls would be about 90 € for a Arturia, which has pretty good keys. So, yeah, pretty massive difference. I get that MPE is more expensive, but, those are quite premium prices, for something which looks like as if my mother baked a cake, and let the oven on too long.
I don't want hardware controllers on a midi keyboard tho, i have 50$ fidgets for that (novation launch control, behringer xtouch mini)

Cheapest blocks went for like 150€ a couple of weeks ago on thomann, but it was one off.
It looks great in person tho, its solid AF and fun to play. My gf has the block, i have the rise25 and two Lightpads.
I love my lightpad for sketching down ideas, because it fits two octaves in a tiny block its easy to carry around or just have on the desk on all times and you have access to two octaves with it, flip the mode and you have 3 faders, flip it again and you have an X/Y pad - all with visual feedback and a nice feeling smooshy surface.
If you look at DIY midi kits, couple of faders and knobs is generally cheap AF even if you wanna do DIY. A grid of sensors and a silicone mould is not as cheap.
DJ Warmonger wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:30 am
Cheapest roli has 2 octaves, for the same price you can get quite a piece of MIDI controller with knobs, faders or pads.
Apples to oranges tho.
Knobs faders and pads are not a multitouch interface, and are not similar in one bit.

And one doesn't replace the other at all. I still use knobs and faders for some things, but i use roli for others, mostly playing stuff. :D

chk071
KVRAF
23219 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:16 am

Ploki wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:00 am
I don't want hardware controllers on a midi keyboard tho, i have 50$ fidgets for that (novation launch control, behringer xtouch mini)
Fair enough. :) TBH, I was considering the Arturia Microlab keyboard a couple of weeks ago for the same reason.

dellboy
KVRian
1200 posts since 28 Mar, 2007

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:22 am

himalaya wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:15 am
. What would be the final seal of approval is if we were to see the big guns like Korg, Roland, Yamaha, Native Instruments, make MPE controllers of some kind.
This :tu:

lastmessiah
KVRist
110 posts since 23 Aug, 2017

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:24 am

himalaya wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:15 am
What would be the final seal of approval is if we were to see the big guns like Korg, Roland, Yamaha, Native Instruments, make MPE controllers of some kind.
Not really. MPE has already been "approved", whatever that means.

Companies like Korg and Roland are not "big guns" when it comes to forward-thinking electronic music creation. They mostly cater to gigging musicians who are stubborn and resistant to change. I mean, they are still pumping out workstation keyboards like it is 1999.

Ploki
KVRAF
1712 posts since 17 Dec, 2009

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:27 am

I agree. Some big names such as Flume already rely heavily on ROLI, so i guess that is a seal of approval.

himalaya
KVRAF
5195 posts since 23 Mar, 2006 from pendeLondonmonium

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:39 am

lastmessiah wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:24 am
himalaya wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:15 am
What would be the final seal of approval is if we were to see the big guns like Korg, Roland, Yamaha, Native Instruments, make MPE controllers of some kind.
Not really. MPE has already been "approved", whatever that means.
Which is what I wrote in the same post this quote is from. It is 'approved' by the MIDI Manufacturers Association, and has been accepted by the public at large as a new thing to keep an eye for, but I think if the big corporations were to release MPE controllers too, it would tell a lot of doubters that this no longer the domain of some 'fringe', boutique companies and that it is worthwhile to spend their hard earned money on this tech.

lastmessiah wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:24 am
Companies like Korg and Roland are not "big guns" when it comes to forward-thinking electronic music creation. They mostly cater to gigging musicians who are stubborn and resistant to change. I mean, they are still pumping out workstation keyboards like it is 1999.
By 'big guns', I meant large, long standing, successful companies with a synth/instrument making heritage, and those that have the finance and resources to create anything they want. And the reason they are here is because of the fact that they cater to the needs of the masses. My hope is that the masses will see the benefit of these expressive instruments and keep buying them, and that in turn the 'big guns' will see it worthwhile to take a punt and create their own take on the MPE controller. Whatever the shape or form.
http://www.electric-himalaya.com
VSTi and hardware synth sound design

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