New MPE synths...

Official support for: rogerlinndesign.com
Noumena
KVRist
204 posts since 4 May, 2019

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:03 pm

I get it -- but you do this generally by assigning release velo to envelope release values, right? High release velocity would shorten envelope releases... I'm asking because I've never found much to assign release velo to aside from that and wondered what you did. Without smoothing I find that assigning it directly to parameters like filter freq, amp, etc, lead to a too-sharp change in value for those parameters. I'd love to find other ways to use it. In Bitwig Grid I assign it to things with a lag processor in line with some success.

John the Savage
KVRist
486 posts since 28 Mar, 2017

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:14 pm

I map velocity to everything from filter cut-off to oscillator shape, envelope amounts, LFO parameters... You name it. Conversely, anything you might map velocity to is also a viable release-velocity target.

I can't speak to your use of envelopes, or your overall sensibilities as a sound designer (which also hinges on how you intend to play a given sound); I can only tell you that there are countless uses for release velocity. Of course, you do have to conceive of a reason to use it. To that end, I've found many. :wink:

Cheers!

Noumena
KVRist
204 posts since 4 May, 2019

Post Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:58 pm

I guess so. Without a synth that supports a "release envelope" of some kind, mapping release velocity to things just causes a sudden change the parameter scaled against the release velocity value. Which works great for things that are controlling stuff in the time domain, like decay values, or boosting the sustain level of an envelope that is modulating the amp of a "release sound" oscillator so you can have a nice B3 click on release or something like that. I've built release envelopes into my Bitwig Grid ensembles and that works great and allow very interesting things to happen as they have an attack and decay.... but mapping it directly to cutoff results in a release triggering an instant shift in frequency... not my thing, I guess-- would like things to be smoother than a single-sample change. That's why I was asking if others found other uses for it w typical synths... wondering if you've found something that I've not in all these years.

In any case, Generator does not have a release envelope or allow modulation of the normal envelopes, or other modulator parameters, so application of release velocity would be in the "instant shit of parameter value" category. I suppose you could use it on the LPG so allow you to instantly mute the tone on a quick release.. it just feels glitchy without some kind of smoothing or envelope to scale it against.

I would hope that the developers implement pitch as a modulation target first, I guess. ;)

mrspiral
KVRist
129 posts since 10 May, 2018

Post Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:18 am

Release velocity is the red headed stepchild of the original MIDI spec, along with polyphonic aftertouch. While it was used with incredible effect on some of the very early MIDI synthesizers, such as my beloved Prophet T8, it was never widely accepted.

Unlike poly aftertouch, which got pushed aside because of the enormous amount of data it produced, the primary problem with release velocity appears to be that no one understood what it was or why it was important. It became a habit for sequencer designers to simply set the parameter to zero rather than make any attempt to record it.

Ironically, release velocity is completely free to implement from a hardware standpoint. You use the same sensors to read attack velocity, just in the opposite order. Almost any velocity sensitive keyboard ever made can do this, but manufacturers often don’t read or transmit the sensor data, and software companies choose not to recognize it.

It’s definitely not something you would use every day, but for altering envelope release or adding elements like harpsichord pluck at the end of notes, there’s really nothing else like it. I’ve been very lucky to have keyboards that do it ever since the 1980s, and I’m glad that it’s making a comeback in MPE.

Dan, congratulations on a great product launch, and I do recommend looking into some simple possibilities for modulation using release velocity, which is just as easy to extract from MIDI data as attack velocity is.
Mike Metlay, PhD (nuclear physics -- no, seriously!) :D
listen to me: Mr. Spiral | join the fam: RadioSpiral | my gig: Atomic Words LLC (coming soon)

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Tj Shredder
KVRAF
4692 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Post Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:53 am

If the Midi specs would not have defined Note on with velocity 0 is the same as note off, the world would be different and every synth would send proper release velocity. The reason they did this most likely is, that you could gain some transmitting speed by using the running status. If you just transmit note on/off, its faster, but as soon you incorporate aftertouch this will be lost again...

John the Savage
KVRist
486 posts since 28 Mar, 2017

Post Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:23 pm

Noumena wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:58 pm
I guess so. Without a synth that supports a "release envelope" of some kind, mapping release velocity to things just causes a sudden change the parameter scaled against the release velocity value.
I think you've somewhat misconstrued what I said.

Of course, I don't typically map parameters to release velocity without the aid of a modulator. I haven't resigned myself to a paradigm of abrupt, unmusical changes in timbre and decay, if that's what you're implying. Hence why I said that I can't speak to your use of envelopes. I can only assume that we all know how to route modulators to achieve certain effects, whatever the objective.

Anyway, perhaps it's just that the synths I use have freely-assignable envelopes, robust mod matrices, and recognize release velocity, whereas whatever synth you're using does not (I don't know, and evidently, I'm not following you here); but I maintain that I have found many a musical application for release velocity, be it directly or indirectly applied.


mrspiral wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:18 am
... altering envelope release or adding elements like harpsichord pluck at the end of notes, there’s really nothing else like it.
Yes, this is a fine example of what I'm talking about, and ties-in with what I said earlier about how release velocity is useful when designing sounds that are "acoustic" in nature.

Cheers!

BobDog
KVRian
870 posts since 2 Apr, 2015

Post Sat Sep 19, 2020 3:40 am

It probably doesn't count but I recently got a Roland MC-707 to get hold of the Zen Core engine to use as a sound module really.

You can have 8 channels and replicate the patch across the channels, supports X/Y/Z but is a slight pain to setup! Pitchbend works very well, no lagging or anything.

Used this way you can have 128 "MPE Patches" instantly available (saved as scenes) in a loaded project and change between them with program changes sent to the global channel (I have not tested this bit yet).

One problem is the dreaded same not played twice though for mono patches, not as bad as some as it doesn't loose the original note it just doesn't seem to retrigger the envelopes.

John the Savage
KVRist
486 posts since 28 Mar, 2017

Post Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:52 pm

Funny you should mention this...

I was thinking about picking up an MC-101 for the very same reason; and it's USB powered, so I could (theoretically) power it from one of the host ports on my MPC Live onstage. Purportedly, the 101 has the exact same audio engine as the 707, but I'm yet unclear as to what limitations the 101 poses by comparison. To that end, if anyone knows, I'd love to hear about it.

I'm currently using the MPC's onboard synths in a similar fashion, but I'm interested in the rompler aspect of the Roland engine as well. Keygroups on the MPC are pretty crude for that sort of application.

Cheers!

mrspiral
KVRist
129 posts since 10 May, 2018

Post Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:05 am

John the Savage wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:52 pm
Funny you should mention this...

I was thinking about picking up an MC-101 for the very same reason; and it's USB powered, so I could (theoretically) power it from one of the host ports on my MPC Live.

I'm currently using the MPC's onboard synths in a similar fashion, but I'm interested in the rompler aspect of the Roland engine as well.

Cheers!
This raises an interesting question. Are there any hardware ROMplers that are currently good for MPE use? With the Modal SKULPT in hand, I’m pleased to have something affordable that works at all, but the sample-based stuff has always been something I like to work with, and I admit that I use the apps on iOS that use samples more than most of the modeling options.
Mike Metlay, PhD (nuclear physics -- no, seriously!) :D
listen to me: Mr. Spiral | join the fam: RadioSpiral | my gig: Atomic Words LLC (coming soon)

BobDog
KVRian
870 posts since 2 Apr, 2015

Post Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:36 am

mrspiral wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:05 am
John the Savage wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:52 pm
Funny you should mention this...

I was thinking about picking up an MC-101 for the very same reason; and it's USB powered, so I could (theoretically) power it from one of the host ports on my MPC Live.

I'm currently using the MPC's onboard synths in a similar fashion, but I'm interested in the rompler aspect of the Roland engine as well.

Cheers!
This raises an interesting question. Are there any hardware ROMplers that are currently good for MPE use? With the Modal SKULPT in hand, I’m pleased to have something affordable that works at all, but the sample-based stuff has always been something I like to work with, and I admit that I use the apps on iOS that use samples more than most of the modeling options.

Well the 101 has only 4 tracks channels so for MPE use 4 instead of 8 notes, it also has half the cpu/dsp power of the 707, and you cannot fully edit patches.

Concerning the rompler side it is the same old PCM stuff that Roland has been selling for years.

The best hardware rompler that I know about is the Kronos, disk streaming, proper key mapped samples supports MPE via multiple channels.

Then again the Kronos is the best synth ever made ;)

John the Savage
KVRist
486 posts since 28 Mar, 2017

Post Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:11 pm

Thanks for the info Andy... Appreciated, as always.


mrspiral wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:05 am
Are there any hardware ROMplers that are currently good for MPE use?
Well, this thing has been on my radar for a while:

https://www.pipes.rocks/

It took a long time to come to fruition, and the sales spraff during its early development was somewhat convoluted and made some lofty claims, so I lost interest; but it seems to have arrived. Mm... Or maybe not just yet?

That said, I don't know anyone who has one, and have never seen one in the flesh myself. I also remain unclear about certain aspects of the platform; but then, perhaps I just haven't made enough of an effort to get to grips with their particular brand of verbiage.

At a glance, it's a glorified rompler, with some light synthesis capabilities and a few other bells and whistles. Mind you, based on my (albeit limited) interaction with the developers early on, I think they would take exception to that otherwise pedestrian description. :wink:

Anyway, according to the literature, it is "fully MPE compatible"; though, to what end, I can't quite determine. :?

The form factor is about right — complete with a USB host port — so, if anyone owns (or has used) one of these, and would like to chime in, I'm all ears.

Cheers!

mrspiral
KVRist
129 posts since 10 May, 2018

Post Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:12 am

John the Savage wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:11 pm
mrspiral wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:05 am
Are there any hardware ROMplers that are currently good for MPE use?
Well, this thing has been on my radar for a while:

https://www.pipes.rocks/

The form factor is about right — complete with a USB host port — so, if anyone owns (or has used) one of these, and would like to chime in, I'm all ears.

Cheers!
Interesting. Definitely pushes most of my particular buttons, especially with the 3x hub on board. Interesting that it doesn't have a B port for computer connection, implying that they really do expect it to work as its own little computer rather than as a dumb interface. Either a good thing or an iffy thing, dependent on your needs. I've signed up for the mailing list and will follow it with interest.

BTW, John, thanks for my new word of the day: "Spraff." If only I knew what it meant.
Mike Metlay, PhD (nuclear physics -- no, seriously!) :D
listen to me: Mr. Spiral | join the fam: RadioSpiral | my gig: Atomic Words LLC (coming soon)

John the Savage
KVRist
486 posts since 28 Mar, 2017

Post Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:08 pm

mrspiral wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:12 am
BTW, John, thanks for my new word of the day: "Spraff." If only I knew what it meant.
It's a uniquely Scottish synonym for "patter" with a smidgen of sarcasm...

Very useful. :wink:

Cheers!

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Tj Shredder
KVRAF
4692 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Post Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:47 pm

Vast Dynamics jumped on the MPE wagon with their Vaporizer for an affordable price:
https://www.vast-dynamics.com

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Roger_Linn
KVRAF
1602 posts since 8 Jun, 2010
Roger Linn Design

Post Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:13 am

I've added it to the Recommended Sounds page.

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