Best MPE controller?

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
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addled muppet weed
83842 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Thu Sep 23, 2021 11:26 am

pdxindy wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 11:25 am
It seems quite flexible.
yup, looks like you can play chess on it if the music isnt going well too :tu:

:hihi:

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GRRRRRRR!
12526 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Thu Sep 23, 2021 5:13 pm

That Erae Touch video is great, it really shows you how easy it is to work with. I hope they get around to making a smaller one at some stage.
machinesworking wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:48 am
Hmm? to quote myself:
that and messing with the MPE settings in the patch to get it right for your playing etc.

So yeah I acknowledged your point.
Great, except I wasn't responding to you, was I?
The thing is though like you mention here, the MPE settings on the Rise and Block can only be tweaked so far, at some point you're going to have to modify the patch on Equator etc.
But that's true of everything. e.g. When aftertouch is a fixed amount, basically on/off like most keybeds, your only option is to tweak the patch to get the effect you're after. Same with velocity response - you set the modulation amount in the synth to get the result you are looking for. The best you might be able to hope for is that the keyboard might have two or three different velocity curves but most don't, so you fix it in the synth. So this is a well established procedure we are all completely used to and comfortable with, not some great new imposition being forced upon us. TBH, until you guys started moaning about it, it hadn't even occurred to me that I was doing it.
My solution is to now play it like that, not use it for drastic pressure plus slide playing. Otherwise I end up locking a knuckle when auditioning patches.
I still use Mod Wheels for a lot of stuff, it's more familiar to me and often easier to control. I've actually been on the lookout for a 32-37 minikey controller with proper Mod and PB wheels. Korg seem to have the best one but until lockdown ends I can't get to a shop to try one. In the meantime I'm using one of my (4) Lightpads but a touch-slider is no substitute for a proper, mechanical wheel (neither is a joystick). I tend to use Pressure and Slide on pads, where I use my "special" playing style that involves resting my fingers on the keywaves and pressing down gradually.
NOVAkILL : Zenbook Duo, Core i7, 16GB RAM, Win10(64), Evo8 | Studio One | JP6K, Union, Hexeract, bx_oberhausen, Odyssey, TRK-01, Vacuum Pro, Invader, Concept, GR-8, Thorn, Equator, VG Iron 2 | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Rocket.

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KVRAF
3754 posts since 15 Aug, 2003 from seattle

Post Thu Sep 23, 2021 6:54 pm

BONES wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 5:13 pm
Great, except I wasn't responding to you, was I?
Who the hell knows? you didn't quote anyone Karen. :lol:

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GRRRRRRR!
12526 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Thu Sep 23, 2021 7:05 pm

No need to quote when you are responding to the post directly above (just like this).
NOVAkILL : Zenbook Duo, Core i7, 16GB RAM, Win10(64), Evo8 | Studio One | JP6K, Union, Hexeract, bx_oberhausen, Odyssey, TRK-01, Vacuum Pro, Invader, Concept, GR-8, Thorn, Equator, VG Iron 2 | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Rocket.

Banned
396 posts since 13 Jul, 2021

Post Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:28 pm

Kevin always be trippin

KVRAF
5449 posts since 23 Mar, 2006 from pendeLondonmonium

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 2:30 pm

machinesworking wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:05 pm
Yeah I agree with that, the Block is less likely to cause issues with rough playing. I think if I was going to recommend the Rise it would be to someone with a gentle touch,
It's all about the playing technique. The correct playing technique. Each instrument requires its own. You can hit the RISE key-wave and press in, and slide without any 'bunching up' of the silicone, at least not to prevent the actual SLIDE gesture. This is the correct technique:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osv5QOXTBu4
http://www.electric-himalaya.com
VSTi and hardware synth sound design
3D/5D sound design since 2012

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KVRAF
1522 posts since 19 May, 2011 from North Carolina

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 3:06 pm

BONES wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 5:13 pm
...
I still use Mod Wheels for a lot of stuff, it's more familiar to me and often easier to control. I've actually been on the lookout for a 32-37 minikey controller with proper Mod and PB wheels. Korg seem to have the best one but until lockdown ends I can't get to a shop to try one. In the meantime I'm using one of my (4) Lightpads but a touch-slider is no substitute for a proper, mechanical wheel (neither is a joystick). I tend to use Pressure and Slide on pads, where I use my "special" playing style that involves resting my fingers on the keywaves and pressing down gradually.
Have you thought about the iRig Keys 2? (Not the pro - that has full-sized keys)

The 37 keys aren't the best or the worst (I prefer NI's M32 but it has less keys obviously and not proper wheels). The wheels on the IK are a bit stiff, but because they're small and have a shorter throw, that might be considered a feature depending on your preference. It's got 4 (8 via shift/paging) knobs for macro control.

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GRRRRRRR!
12526 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 5:59 pm

It is more than twice the price but, looking at it now, it has MIDI and Audio outs so it could be a lot handier for things like playing my Unos. I don't need any knobs, I don't do that kind of shit when I'm playing and I prefer a mouse when I am making/editing patches. Looks like it is definitely worth checking out, thanks for the tip.
himalaya wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 2:30 pm
It's all about the playing technique. The correct playing technique. Each instrument requires its own. You can hit the RISE key-wave and press in, and slide without any 'bunching up' of the silicone, at least not to prevent the actual SLIDE gesture. This is the correct technique:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osv5QOXTBu4
I dunno about anyone else but that's just naturally what I do anyway. The problem comes when you also want lots of aftertouch/PRESSure as well as SLIDE.
NOVAkILL : Zenbook Duo, Core i7, 16GB RAM, Win10(64), Evo8 | Studio One | JP6K, Union, Hexeract, bx_oberhausen, Odyssey, TRK-01, Vacuum Pro, Invader, Concept, GR-8, Thorn, Equator, VG Iron 2 | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Rocket.

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KVRist
201 posts since 11 Oct, 2012

Post Sun Sep 26, 2021 4:33 am

+1 for LinnStrument. I have a 128 and a QuNeo (not MPE but expressive). Apart from that, I only played the Seaboard block (2 linked together), but I personally prefer the LinnStrument in comparison, partly for its flexibility. All controllers have pros and cons, but for people not already used to playing keys, I think the LinnStrument is a good choice. Since tactile aspects can make a big difference for MPE controllers and they aren't exactly cheap, trying a few different ones out for yourself might save you some money down the road.

KVRAF
5449 posts since 23 Mar, 2006 from pendeLondonmonium

Post Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:11 am

BONES wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 5:59 pm
The problem comes when you also want lots of aftertouch/PRESSure as well as SLIDE.
I don't experience this problem. I can press-in hard, max out pressure to 127 and still perform the SLIDE gesture. Granted, at extreme pressure the silicone will crease slightly (when I do it) but there is no 'bunching up' in a way that would prevent the actual slide. I have three different Seaboards right here in front of me (49, 25, Block), all with different silicone. None 'bunch up'. I am convinced that it's all about the actual playing technique.


All of this is made even more manageable via the ROLI Dashboard, where it is possible to scale the PRESS dimension to suit. So, if one finds pressure to be too deep, requiring too much force (and making smooth SLIDE gestures uncomfortable), simply turn the PRESS dial anti-clockwise to reduce press sensitivity (This can be done even faster on the RISE by using the PRESS sensitivity fader). This is an easy solution for those who struggle with the correct playing technique.
http://www.electric-himalaya.com
VSTi and hardware synth sound design
3D/5D sound design since 2012

KVRAF
5449 posts since 23 Mar, 2006 from pendeLondonmonium

Post Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:40 am

Yet another trick is to set the expression curve for PRESS to a linear or logarithmic shape ( if such curves are available in the synth). As an example, pretty much all MPE presets in Equator2 use some kind of variation on the exponential shape, reducing pressure sensitivity of the Seaboard (since by default Seaboards are very sensitive and such sensitivity may not be desirable on all presets. In fact, there may also be a lag processor in use further 'desensitising' pressure, or adding a 'delay' in this case - so if you are playing a preset, and apply PRESS and then get a feeling that pressure is not 'instant' and seems to require too much actual pressure, then inspect the PRESS mod source and see if it's is assigned to one of the MATH modules. Then simply reduce the LAG amount).

So, a patch can be made to be so sensitive that it will require minimal pressure to activate PRESS. But, it all depends on your playing technique and what you desire out of the sound.
http://www.electric-himalaya.com
VSTi and hardware synth sound design
3D/5D sound design since 2012

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GRRRRRRR!
12526 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Sun Sep 26, 2021 5:16 pm

What I find really handy is the Touch Block, which allows me to turn off each dimension individually or all of them (except velocity) at once. When you want it, 5D Touch is awesome but most of the time I just want to play a riff or a bassline and in those situations it's often plain annoying. One click on PIANO mode and it responds like any other MIDI controller with velocity-sensitive keys. Very useful to me.
NOVAkILL : Zenbook Duo, Core i7, 16GB RAM, Win10(64), Evo8 | Studio One | JP6K, Union, Hexeract, bx_oberhausen, Odyssey, TRK-01, Vacuum Pro, Invader, Concept, GR-8, Thorn, Equator, VG Iron 2 | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Rocket.

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GRRRRRRR!
12526 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Mon Sep 27, 2021 6:44 pm

I finally remembered to have a look last night and, as I suspected, in Roli Dashboard it is possible to set the response curves for any of the 5Ds so that you get maximum modulation from as little as 50% of maximum input - the more you increase the value, the more it narrows the response range until it is basically an on/off switch. Therefore it is completely possible to set up the Pressure response so you don't have to push down very hard, which means you won't get bunching when you also want to use Glide.
NOVAkILL : Zenbook Duo, Core i7, 16GB RAM, Win10(64), Evo8 | Studio One | JP6K, Union, Hexeract, bx_oberhausen, Odyssey, TRK-01, Vacuum Pro, Invader, Concept, GR-8, Thorn, Equator, VG Iron 2 | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Rocket.

KVRer
3 posts since 28 Sep, 2021

Post Mon Sep 27, 2021 8:34 pm

I've found the seaboard rise to be an amazing MPE controller, especially when used with something like SWAM sax or trumpet, the control and level of expression is second to none. On that subject does anybody know of any great MPE electric guitar VST's? If there was a SWAM MPE electric guitar it would be killer, but there aint and I am struggling to find one to use with my seaboard!

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KVRist
201 posts since 11 Oct, 2012

Post Tue Sep 28, 2021 9:04 pm

ms54321 wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 8:34 pm
I've found the seaboard rise to be an amazing MPE controller, especially when used with something like SWAM sax or trumpet, the control and level of expression is second to none. On that subject does anybody know of any great MPE electric guitar VST's? If there was a SWAM MPE electric guitar it would be killer, but there aint and I am struggling to find one to use with my seaboard!
Sorry to say, but I didn't find one when looking for one a while back - settled on non-MPE Ample Sound stuff instead... It's not ideal, but in a DAW like Bitwig, you can bring some expressiveness in with DAW-based modulators (such as the "expressions" module in BW).

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