Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

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whyterabbyt
Beware the Quoth
28177 posts since 4 Sep, 2001 from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Post Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:43 am

lfm wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:17 am
And that does not fill exception of 'almost certainly all', or whatever quote was?
No, it doesnt.
"The bearer of this signature is a genuine and authorised pope."

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whyterabbyt
Beware the Quoth
28177 posts since 4 Sep, 2001 from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:48 am

lfm wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:17 am
What else but sequencer that can do step and live?
I think we are below "almost certainly all" still and everything is keyboards.
Full arrangements are much more.
Well, you can think that all you want, but you're sadly lacking in any reasonable, well-supported, logical evidence that would support you there.

As for 'full arrangements', on that one single device I mentioned (out of several classes of alternative), there have been full albums done.
"The bearer of this signature is a genuine and authorised pope."

dellboy
KVRian
1232 posts since 28 Mar, 2007

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:03 am

cron wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:24 am


Well, any instrument or interface is going to suck if you can't play it, and I'd hazard a guess most music tech video content is made immediately on receipt of said tech. Nobody is going to be Clara Rockmore right out of the box.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5cOdZh4zK8

Yeah, I watched that video a few months back and was amazed at her incredible skill on the theremin.

Mind you, she was already very gifted on the violin which also requires developing pitch perfect intonation which she displays here.

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
9769 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:08 pm

whyterabbyt wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:43 am
That's a false dichotomy.
No, that's just you, as usual, failing to see/understand context. In this instance, the sequencers Vince Clark would have used would have been just as restrictive as the keyboards in question - CV+Gate, zero expression - so it actually reinforces my point.

Oh, and BTW, that MPC 60 you showed wasn't manufactured until 7 years after Just Can't Get Enough was released, 6 years after Only You.
Ploki wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:38 am
its f**king 2020, why are you citing music from 1980? That's 40 years ago.
Its the same argument as "hurr durr who needs synths beatles only had guitars" or something like that
Context. Read the thread, understand what my point was relating to. And Killing Joke's last album was released in 2015, not 40 years ago.
DJ Warmonger wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:23 am
The point of this thread is "Do MPE controller have future", not "How did people make music 20, 50 or 200 years ago" :roll: Some grandpas can't notice that things are changing over time.
Actually, the point he was responding to was basically saying that they don't really change that much over time, that there have been plenty of opportunities for things to change but they haven't really. I used the example of the CS-80 having polyphonic after-touch in 1976, yet it is still a rarity on keyboards today, as an indication that MPE will likely never be more than a niche because most people seem not to value that level of expressivity enough to pay extra for it.
lfm wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 6:08 am
And on sequencers being a daw or a hardware standalone - you cannot record live in realtime?
No, this guy wasn't able to think beyond the very obvious, which is that those early sequencers would have been CV+Gate controlled, offering no more options than playing a keyboard with no velocity sensitivity, thus reinforcing my point that plenty of great music has been made without MPE. You couldn't record a part into them in realtime, you had to program it in or record one step at a time. It was tedious but great for people like me who couldn't play at all.
Tj Shredder wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 6:34 am
Of course its also a matter of taste, but the only expressive instrument in that piece is the guitar! You could easily replace all others by a robot and would not recognize a difference. Programming is the opposite of expression...
Ignoring the fact that you are now changing the goalposts, I'd have no trouble at all replacing those guitars with a $99 sample library and a bit of creative programming in Cubase. Of course, I could replicate Billy's synth part, too, as well as Warren Cann's drums and (obviously) Chris's basslines. None of it is sacred or special, it's all there to be copied perfectly.
vurt wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:02 am
bones said all synth music used regular keyboards. that is not true.
Not literally but are you guys really so f**king stupid that you can't discern intent? The post you should all be getting hot under the collar about is the one I was responding to, although lastmessiah has since stated that he meant it as a joke, but clearly you are all too dumb to see that. Honestly, you fail to meet even my lowest expectations.
no matter if you believe a kb is the most natural or not. it doesn't change the fact, that many non traditional keyboard layout input devices exist. and have been used for decades! (often alongside kbs for sure, but to suggest all synth music used them, well, its idiocy.)
Except I made no such suggestion. Look up the meaning of "almost" some time and you'll see what I mean. Then read the post I had quoted in that response and spend a minute thinking about the intent of my reply.
lfm wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:17 am
And that does not fill exception of 'almost certainly all', or whatever quote was?
Oh, look! Someone with a brain, finally.
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whyterabbyt
Beware the Quoth
28177 posts since 4 Sep, 2001 from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Thu Feb 27, 2020 7:58 am

BONES wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:08 pm
whyterabbyt wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:43 am
That's a false dichotomy.
No, that's just you, as usual, failing to see/understand context.
No, that's just you, as usual, trying desperately to kylie yourself out it by pretending the context is entirely different from what it was.

Here's the context
Yes, exactly. Even as a mere note input device, a keyboard is woefully inadequate for controlling a synth.
No it isn't and that's an absurd thig to say, given that every piece of electronic music any one of us here likes has almost certainly been played on a piano style keyboard.
In this instance, the sequencers Vince Clark would have used would have been just as restrictive as the keyboards in question - CV+Gate, zero expression - so it actually reinforces my point.
Moved goalposts, as usual. And shite logic. You cant reinforce the alleged point that something 'has almost certainly been played on a piano style keyboard' just because 1980 sequencers had the same restrictions as 1980 keyboards, that's risible.
Oh, and BTW, that MPC 60 you showed wasn't manufactured until 7 years after Just Can't Get Enough was released, 6 years after Only You.
Moved goalposts. The MPC60 was manufactured before a significant amount of 'every piece of electronic music any one of us here likes.'
"The bearer of this signature is a genuine and authorised pope."

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whyterabbyt
Beware the Quoth
28177 posts since 4 Sep, 2001 from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Thu Feb 27, 2020 7:59 am

BONES wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:08 pm
Ignoring the fact that you are now changing the goalposts
ironic.
"The bearer of this signature is a genuine and authorised pope."

Cinebient
KVRAF
4765 posts since 16 Nov, 2014

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:31 pm

No, but i prefer some cheap apps over my Seaboard Rise now for MPE because they does it even better in some ways :D

Noumena
KVRist
122 posts since 4 May, 2019

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Fri May 22, 2020 1:31 pm

Hey Bones, you know what else Vince Clarke didn't do when he worked with DM? Use a computer (which I feel he surely would have seen the proper use for in making music) to endlessly bloviate utter nonsense at people that are trying to advance their art.

On another thread Bones indicated that when people were using the poly expressiveness of MPE controllers they were always "just moving their fingers in the same direction." I've been thinking about it all day. It reminds me of trying to explain typing to my 4 year old. He just sees me "moving all my fingers in the same direction" I'm sure. It makes me think of what it would be like for him to see an orchestra play... all those bows just moving in the same direction.

Here's my take, when people are talking about something and seem really interested in it and it looks like "their fingers are just all moving in the same direction" maybe you should spend some time checking it out. Subtlety is (for many if not all) the essence of art.

Now I'm thinking about art. It's "just a bunch of paint on canvas," I'm sure. If you're not interested you're not interested, if you don't want to be bothered you don't want to be bothered. I'm dead sure someone in Vince Clarke's life was telling him to stop spending the money on synths and just "play some real music on a piano." Just like people used to make fun of Bernard Sumner for making his own sequencers. These people had a vision of something that wasn't real yet --- music that hadn't been made and that *couldn't* be made... and they figured out how to make it and that was one of the things that made them great. If you're not interested in leading the way, Bones, at least get out of the way. You're such a downer. It really bums me out to read a thread full of people trying to figure something out that is hard to figure out and you just shit all over it.

Now: MPE is new and it is hard to get working in a lot of cases, and even when it works it needs a lot of extra configuration and practice to make it work well. And it's only when it is working well that you can start to play and gain competency and feel, and it is then that what is really interesting starts to happen. I just spent four hours figuring out how to make a template in Bitwig that would allow me to quickly wire up instrument racks of mono Kontakt instances with pressure and timbre controlling dynamics and mic x-fades in Spitfire Audio sample libraries. I spent two hours working out how to smooth the pressure control releases using DC offset devices, envelope followers and math. And now it works remarkably well. It plays like an instrument would, like my viola does. It makes me want to learn to play better, to practice, it has shown me that over days and months my work slowly results in my being able to play better and more interesting music. I can't buy these sounds or results -- I have to really work for them. I can't demo them, I have to develop them myself. Its really exciting and deep and it feels like both the future and what Vangelis was working on figuring out his whole life. You'd better believe that HE would have all this figured out to the n-th degree if we had these tools in 1982. I can IMPROVISE string quartets, with the flowing dynamics.... fade up a chord one note at a time from silence in real time. This is all he ever wanted and so much more.

I would like to find myself in community with people that are working on the same thing: people smarter than me, people with different goals than mine... others that I can share understanding with so that I'm not just working on my own. There seem to be precious few that are doing this... and my feeling is that they are discouraged by the kind of argumentative thread trolling that is constant when discussing this tech here. Let's keep talking and working despite all that.

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ThomasHelzle
KVRAF
5441 posts since 9 Dec, 2008 from Berlin

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Fri May 22, 2020 1:47 pm

Just mute the idiot. He has nothing to contribute to anything.
"Don't feed the trolls"

Great post BTW :-)
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Noumena
KVRist
122 posts since 4 May, 2019

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Fri May 22, 2020 1:50 pm

BONES wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:08 pm
I used the example of the CS-80 having polyphonic after-touch in 1976, yet it is still a rarity on keyboards today, as an indication that MPE will likely never be more than a niche because most people seem not to value that level of expressivity enough to pay extra for it.
That synth was used on the most influential electronic music record of all time with it's pitch wobble and polyAT used to absolutely fantastic effect. It was also preferred by Brian Eno, the grand tastemaker of electronic music for decades. It is generally considered to be the most desirable synthesizer ever made. All that despite it's cost of something like $32k in today's money new and requiring upwards of $2000/year in maintenance. And it is still profoundly highly valued by pretty much everyone and is being successfully cloned by two manufacturers.

The reasons why polyAT were not in general use for a long time have little to do with precent or desire. Synths were really expensive and didn't have the power to process the density of MIDI data that polyAT generated for quite a while. PolyAT keybeds cost more to make and there were not synths that could use them. It's chicken and egg. I'm grateful that some manufacturers are pushing things forward with more expressive hardware and really excited about what is happening in software, with Bitwig, especially. Now the market is more oriented towards people that can't play keyboards well at all -- that are not performers... but that doesn't mean that there are not a lot of people with a lot of art to make that are not looking for more expressivity in performance. Just because one things exists doesn't mean that others do not.

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VariKusBrainZ
KVRAF
9015 posts since 16 Dec, 2002

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Fri May 22, 2020 2:20 pm

Its just an input device, with many control options.
So many you need to learn to play it.
Like any instrument.

So yes it will end up at the back of many cupboards, just like all those guitars people bought throughout history with good intentions but then discovered it wasnt as easy to learn as they thought. They learned some chords but realised theres more to it than that but never discovered what that "more" is.

Theres more to every instrument than learning "where the correct notes are".
Thats just the beginning, you start adding expression.

MPE helps take an electronic input device closer to a physical instrument than non MPE devices.

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
9769 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Sat May 23, 2020 6:38 am

Noumena wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 1:31 pm
Hey Bones, you know what else Vince Clarke didn't do when he worked with DM? Use a computer (which I feel he surely would have seen the proper use for in making music) to endlessly bloviate utter nonsense at people that are trying to advance their art.
Poor baby, doesn't want to face reality. Of course Vince Clark didn't use a computer in 1981, back then they took up entire rooms.
On another thread Bones indicated that when people were using the poly expressiveness of MPE controllers they were always "just moving their fingers in the same direction." I've been thinking about it all day. It reminds me of trying to explain typing to my 4 year old. He just sees me "moving all my fingers in the same direction" I'm sure. It makes me think of what it would be like for him to see an orchestra play... all those bows just moving in the same direction.
This simply exposes the shallowness of your thinking/understanding because just like your fingers, each of those bows could be playing different notes. Anyone would realise that.
Here's my take, when people are talking about something and seem really interested in it and it looks like "their fingers are just all moving in the same direction" maybe you should spend some time checking it out. Subtlety is (for many if not all) the essence of art.
I have spent a lot of time "checking it out" and remain unconvinced. My stance is well supported by Roli's marketing efforts, in which MPE barely rates a mention in relation to their Seaboard product lines, as well as in the unpopularity of polyphonic aftertouch over the last 40-odd years.
If you're not interested in leading the way, Bones, at least get out of the way. You're such a downer. It really bums me out to read a thread full of people trying to figure something out that is hard to figure out and you just shit all over it.
You forget that I have owned two 5D/MPE controller so it might be reasonable to conclude that I have plenty of interest in the subject. Or do you think that after discovering the first one was rubbish, I decided to waste another fat wad of cash on another one that is basically the same? Seems unlikely, doesn't it.

The difference, I think, is that I see things for what they are, you try to see things for what you want them to be. I'd also suggest that your level of experience/expertise precludes you from seeing other simple ways of achieving what you get from MPE, whereas I've been creating workarounds for lots of limitations for a very long time so to me MPE doesn't do much that I haven't already worked out how to do without it.
Now: MPE is new and it is hard to get working in a lot of cases, and even when it works it needs a lot of extra configuration and practice to make it work well.
What you seem to find hard is separating 5D from MPE, because everything you've said applies to 5D, not MPE.
I just spent four hours figuring out how to make a template in Bitwig that would allow me to quickly wire up instrument racks of mono Kontakt instances with pressure and timbre controlling dynamics and mic x-fades in Spitfire Audio sample libraries. I spent two hours working out how to smooth the pressure control releases using DC offset devices, envelope followers and math.
Yeah, I just spent a minute or two with the Roli Dashboard to set the responses to all 5 dimensions of touch to match my playing style, to get the responsiveness I want from it.
It makes me want to learn to play better, to practice
Me, too, but I don't need MPE to get that from my Seaboard, it's the 5D touch that facilitates it all.
I can IMPROVISE string quartets, with the flowing dynamics.... fade up a chord one note at a time from silence in real time.
You mean use long attack, play one note, then the next, then the next? Been doing it for yonks.
I would like to find myself in community with people that are working on the same thing: people smarter than me, people with different goals than mine... others that I can share understanding with so that I'm not just working on my own.
Then you need to open your mind to the possibility that you are looking at it all wrong. Right now you seem far too closed-minded to learn anything from anyone.
There seem to be precious few that are doing this... and my feeling is that they are discouraged by the kind of argumentative thread trolling that is constant when discussing this tech here.
See, here is a perfect example - someone doesn't see things the same way you do, therefore they must be trolling. You can't even entertain the possibility that they might have a point, despite clear evidence that they do.
NOVAkILL 4.0 : Dell G7 (Core i7, 8GB RAM, Win10), UR44C, Cubase, DUNE, Thorn, TRK-01, Equator, Vacuum Pro, Substance, Arcsyn, Aparillo, Phase Plant, Pigments, Union, Analog Keys, Ultranova, Uno, Skulpt, Craft 2.

Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
8095 posts since 12 May, 2008

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Sat May 23, 2020 7:03 am

Noumena wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 1:50 pm
BONES wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:08 pm
I used the example of the CS-80 having polyphonic after-touch in 1976, yet it is still a rarity on keyboards today, as an indication that MPE will likely never be more than a niche because most people seem not to value that level of expressivity enough to pay extra for it.
That synth was used on the most influential electronic music record of all time with it's pitch wobble and polyAT used to absolutely fantastic effect. It was also preferred by Brian Eno, the grand tastemaker of electronic music for decades. It is generally considered to be the most desirable synthesizer ever made. All that despite it's cost of something like $32k in today's money new and requiring upwards of $2000/year in maintenance. And it is still profoundly highly valued by pretty much everyone and is being successfully cloned by two manufacturers.

The reasons why polyAT were not in general use for a long time have little to do with precent or desire. Synths were really expensive and didn't have the power to process the density of MIDI data that polyAT generated for quite a while. PolyAT keybeds cost more to make and there were not synths that could use them. It's chicken and egg. I'm grateful that some manufacturers are pushing things forward with more expressive hardware and really excited about what is happening in software, with Bitwig, especially. Now the market is more oriented towards people that can't play keyboards well at all -- that are not performers... but that doesn't mean that there are not a lot of people with a lot of art to make that are not looking for more expressivity in performance. Just because one things exists doesn't mean that others do not.
Yeah I think people who point to poyAT not having been that huge in many consumer products as a predictor of MPE popularity are missing several things. As you point out they were more expensive so many keyboard makers left them out. Plus aftertouch on regular keys is quite different to the instant pressure type MPE controllers. Aftertouch on keyboards was a very different effect in that you press into the bottom of the key after you've played a note. It was never an obvious effect, you had to know it was there and care about adding some kind of expression after you've played the initial sound. And of coruse for controllers, you need a soft synth that responds to it and many people wouldn't bother without presets that show it off. I myself was never that into aftertouch on regular keyboards, however I love how pressure is implemented in MPE controllers. My first exposure to that style of expression was actual the Keith Mcmillan QuNexus where I discovered how great it was to play pads expressively by pressing into the sound as opposed to an envelope giving it a soft attack. I think I was playing around with imposcar where polyAT was part of a preset when that sort of sunk in.

But polyAT may have been a nice-to-have for some but not something that really grabbed a lot of peoples attention even though it had been put to great use for decades going back to the CS-80. But once MPE came along, it took it to a much different level, primarily in adding the per note pitch control, which is vastly more useful than a pitch wheel. Natural polyphonic instruments do not bend each simultaneous note exactly the same ever. Subtle differences in vibrato has a huge effect, Same for ensembles of mono instruments like orchestral strings and brass, which synthesis in some ways emulates. Not to mention of course larger pitch slides of strings or instruments independently. So along with the pitch per note, and adding the up/down expression, plus control surfaces that encourage you to press into the surface expressively or strike hard for all kinds of combinations of articulations, now we have something much different than poly aftertouch, and the benefits of having different expressions per note become much more clear to (most) people than it was with a simple expression that happens after a note has initially played.

So no, you can't predict the success of MPE by the past success or relevance of poly aftertouch and it is certainly not a fad. But that also doesn't mean it will replace regular keyboards by any means. No more than electric guitars replaced acoustic guitars and probably even less so. When MPE started getting introduced to VSTs a couple years ago I pretty much thought I'd be only buying MPE compatible synths, but then realized I wasn't going to use MPE all the time, not even close, so it became less of a factor (though still nice to see it added to synths). I still prefer to play many sounds with regular keyboards where there is no more expression than just velocity, because many sounds don't need any more than that, and electronic musicians will always love their sequencers and tweaking knobs as opposed to playing expressively like a natural instruments. There's plenty of room for both!
System: Windows 10, Dell XPS 2-in-1, Bitwig 3, Steinberg UR44.

Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
8095 posts since 12 May, 2008

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Sat May 23, 2020 7:11 am

Oh and Bones the reason others (and me) think you are trolling is because you are claiming that something isn't useful that most other people do find useful, clearly because you aren't using it to the same level as others. You use the controllers with monophonic expression and others use them polyphonically. That's like playing a one string guitar and claiming that everyone else's 6-string guitars are not useful because you only ever use one string. Then somehow you claim that other people are close-minded to your limited use of one string on the guitar when you are the one telling them that the possibilities they appreciate in using more strings is not actually useful! The close-minded person is the one who is not seeing the usefulness that others are seeing because it is of no use to them personally.

And by the way what is this crap about Roli not mentioning MPE? Let's take just one of their products, the lightpad block. Search the product page for MPE and you get 6 hits:
https://roli.com/products/blocks/lightp ... io-edition

...including a big blurb about MPE at the bottom:
"A new framework for musical expression
MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) enables multidimensional control of sound through touch. ROLI pioneered the protocol and continues to develop it with dozens of other hardware and software makers." And then a link to learn more about MPE on Roli's dedicated MPE page:
https://roli.com/mpe

Are you on crack? Probably not. You are trolling in a very weird and seemingly not so honest way.
Last edited by Echoes in the Attic on Sat May 23, 2020 2:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
System: Windows 10, Dell XPS 2-in-1, Bitwig 3, Steinberg UR44.

Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
8095 posts since 12 May, 2008

Re: Are MPE Controllers a fad ?

Post Sat May 23, 2020 7:32 am

FYI, although a search only yields one mention of MPE on the 2 full Rise controller product pages, that is an exception, not the norm. Let's see where else Roli "doesn't mention" MPE:

Seaboard Block? 8 times on the product page (isn't this the one you own BONES?):
https://roli.com/products/blocks/seaboa ... io-edition
Songmaker Kit? 7 times:
https://roli.com/products/blocks/songma ... io-edition
Equator? 3 times:
https://roli.com/products/software/equator-synth
Strobe? 11 times::
https://roli.com/products/software/strobe2
Cypher? 12 times:
https://roli.com/products/software/cypher2

So how about you stop spreading your own made up misinformation like that "MPE was a minor consideration"? It isn't helping anyone. It is not clarifying matters for people who want to learn about this stuff, it's only muddying the waters.
System: Windows 10, Dell XPS 2-in-1, Bitwig 3, Steinberg UR44.

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