Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression



Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression


The Future of MIDI

Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression or MPE is a term that applies to a new class of controllers called PMCs (Polyphonic Multidimensional Controllers). The arrival of this technology has sparked a controller revolution, with hardware now capable of sending multiple dimensions of finger movement control - not only from left or right, but also up, down, pressure, and beyond.



What are MPE Sounds? MPE stands for Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression, so MPE sounds are sound patches that are optimized for performance on MPE controllers like Roli SeaboardLinnStrumentContinuum or others.

These sounds have two main differences from sounds optimized for standard MIDI keyboards:

  1. They respond not only to velocity, but also to three dimensions of continuous touch:

    1. Left/Right movement (X axis): typically used for continuous pitch control, sent using MIDI Pitch Bend messages.

    2. Forward/backward movement (Y axis): typically used for continuous control of timbre, sent using MIDI Control Change 74 messages.

    3. Pressure (Z axis): typically used for continuous loudness control, sent using MIDI Channel Pressure messages.

  2. They permit each simultaneous touch to have independent three-dimensional control, because each note is sent over a separate MIDI channel.


The purpose of this page is permit you to upload and share your MPE sounds with other players of MPE controllers.

Each submitted sound (patch) has the following pieces of information:

  1. The synthesizer that the sound was created in (and must be loaded into).

  2. The sound name (or, "Friendly" name).

  3. The sound file to upload.

  4. A brief audio recording of the sound. This permits people to quickly audition the sound to learn whether they want to download it.

  5. Comments / description of the sound. Any useful details about the sound. For example, what do X, Y and Z control? Any suggestions on how to best use this control in performance?

  6. Tags for the type of MPE sound and pitch bend info:

    • Is it:

      • A true MPE sound, or;

      • A One-Channel Expressive sound?
        If "One-Channel Expressive sound" is selected, this is a sound that responds to 3 dimensions of continuous control, but is made for a synthesizer that only responds to one MIDI channel. Such sounds are fine for expressive solo performance and permit polyphonic pressure by using MIDI Polyphonic Pressure messages. However, they do not permit polyphonic pitch bends or polyphonic Y-axis control because of MIDI's limitation that Pitch Bend and Control Change messages must apply to all notes on the channel.

    • The Pitch Bend range:

      • By default, this should be +/- 48 semitones.


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