controller smoothing via Grid?

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Noumena
KVRer
23 posts since 4 May, 2019

Post Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:01 am

I love Bitwig's MPE implementation more than I can say.

I'm wondering if the grid unlocks needed controls in the MPE space and I confess that I'm such a modular noob that I can't figure out if it makes something that I need possible or not --- so I'm appealing to the community.

Here's the need:

Using something like the ROLI seaboard it is fantastic to assign pressure to volume. You have per-note control over dynamics like this and you can do smooth fade ins and outs. It's great.

but, to 100% control dynamics with pressure introduces a lot of jitter. It is hard to keep things smooth, especially when you are releasing pressure. Some MPE enabled synths offer controller smoothing and that's great. Some don't. What I want though is not simple smoothing, but the ability to allow increase in pressure to happen without smoothing (thus preserving the attack) and to only smooth the release. This is pretty easy to implement in MaxMSP, you just only smooth decremental changes to the controller.

But I want this in Bitwig, and it occurs to me that once doing per-voice controller smoothing is built there would be many, many applications.

So, before I learn Grid from scratch my question is: is this possible?

Noumena
KVRer
23 posts since 4 May, 2019

Re: controller smoothing via Grid?

Post Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:44 am

so the follower module is just what I want. but I see lots of messaging indicating that there is no controller out from grid. hmmm.

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Tj Shredder
KVRAF
2552 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: controller smoothing via Grid?

Post Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:40 am

It works for me: Take an fx Grid, add "Value" connected to "Follower". Modulate the value with your expression, and in your synth add an "Envelope Follower" as modulation device and modulate whatever you like. Play your synth...
expression smoother.png
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Noumena
KVRer
23 posts since 4 May, 2019

Re: controller smoothing via Grid?

Post Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:28 pm

Ah.. works well with Bitwig synths... Inshould have been more specific that I’m looking for a way to do this with VST synths. But! Trying out your solution now and it works very very well. Hoping for MIDI output soon.

x.iso
KVRist
261 posts since 27 Mar, 2019 from Russia

Re: controller smoothing via Grid?

Post Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:58 pm

Tj Shredder wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:40 am
It works for me: Take an fx Grid, add "Value" connected to "Follower". Modulate the value with your expression, and in your synth add an "Envelope Follower" as modulation device and modulate whatever you like. Play your synth...
expression smoother.png
the problem here is that AudioRate modulator still can't be used in Poly mode, which is needed here. and it's kinda understandable why.

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Tj Shredder
KVRAF
2552 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: controller smoothing via Grid?

Post Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:35 pm

Yes, instead of using a vst you need to rebuild that synth in the Grid...; - )
Anyway, MPE synths still have to learn a lot. The smoothing is not the problem you try to solve with it, you probably want the note off to trigger a sample and hold (which in turn could trigger an envelope). Often I want the velocity only affect the attack volume and not the overall volume of an envelope. There is much to invent for expressive controllerism...

Noumena
KVRer
23 posts since 4 May, 2019

Re: controller smoothing via Grid?

Post Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:04 pm

I agree. I feel like a .js midi fx layer could do a lot here if we could just get the plumbing in place. I've written some scripting into Kontakt patches that I've built for mpe and it is wonderful.

But anyway, I'm pretty sure about what I want. I want to be able to press the keys with a sharp attack and get a sharp attack and I want to be able to release the keys quickly and have a slower release. The jitter as the pressure decreases is really difficult to control and could be attenuated with a slew limiter that only effects decrementing controls.

FWIW I have been having very good results with Hive 2, where they have built in compression/expansion, quantization and multiple speeds of slew limiters into the mod matrix. It's wonderful, the slew limiting works perfectly, but is applied to attacks and releases.

Cypher 2 is also very good, but boy howdy it is a lot of work and it also doesn't differentiate between attack and release.

I asked about this functionality specifically today because I am trying out Melda Sound Factory, which feels like it is the most capable MPE enabled synth so far but I hate the way it tracks pressure... I can't seem to get anything to control slew and it is either too fast or too slow.

What I REALLY want is a synth with an MPE amp envelope. I'm not sure what it would look like, maybe an ASR where if I set A to 0 it would track pressure 100%, or something like that. If you're using pressure for amplitude you don't need an envelope at all.

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Tj Shredder
KVRAF
2552 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: controller smoothing via Grid?

Post Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:49 pm

Well, velocity and pressure are usually used to define loudness/timbre. If there is a way to have them define that in parallel all would be good. I would not add the two values, but have the maximum of the two, or actually three, if you add a second envelope just for the release, the point in time you have no pressure any more, grabbing the last pressure value a bit before the note off event... Releasing a note is normally not as distinct as hitting a note and if you want it distinct, you release fast...

x.iso
KVRist
261 posts since 27 Mar, 2019 from Russia

Re: controller smoothing via Grid?

Post Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:47 am

Noumena wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:04 pm
What I REALLY want is a synth with an MPE amp envelope. I'm not sure what it would look like, maybe an ASR where if I set A to 0 it would track pressure 100%, or something like that. If you're using pressure for amplitude you don't need an envelope at all.
Don't forget that PolyGrid IS a synth and you can use and manipulate MPE input anyway you want in there. So try to build some patches in it, maybe you won't need other synths once you get the hang of it.

Whywhy
KVRist
322 posts since 11 Aug, 2018

Re: controller smoothing via Grid?

Post Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:40 am

The solution could be the Mpe + by haken audio :
https://www.hakenaudio.com/mpe

My solution with Cypher2 and Msf, not ideal but it can do the trick, is to assign velocity to amp attack. ( slow attack, low velocity, pressure control the sustain, fast attack by high velocity)

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