Do you bother recording MPE tracks? or just audio?

… and if you do, do you ever edit the MPE/expressive elements? how much?

Ive got both Cubase and Bitwig, which are both pretty good at recording and editing MPE.

But I find, I don’t bother recording MPE (*)… I just host VST/AUs , and then record audio
If it get it wrong, I just re-record - so I use the DAW like a multi-track tape recorder :slight_smile:
I do, however, record normal midi from a keyboard, but Im unlikely to edit that either, the only midi I tend to edit is sequenced midi.

(*) annoyingly, I bought cubase, specifically to do this, but still don’t, despite the fact its great at it!

perhaps there are a couple of reasons:

  • I like Ableton Live and use a Push2… and MPE is a pain in Ableton.
  • I don’t really enjoy editing on a computer, so whilst I might move a bit of audio around, mess with automation - the idea of moving notes around, or editing an individual notes expression sounds tedious.
  • I’m an amateur/hobbyist :slight_smile: so, whilst I want to improve, I tend to focus on what I enjoy doing!

I admit, I do sometimes wish i did record MPE, so that I could change the sound design later… but seems not enough to actually make the switch!

So I’m intrigued… how do you record your (expressive) tracks?

How many of you record/edit MPE? if not why not?
If you record/edit MPE… how do you find it? what do you use? how much editing do you do?

Not intended to be a plug but Gig Performer has a MIDI recorder built-in and its job is solely to record all incoming MIDI from all physical input devices and store in a standard MIDI file (where each track represents a physical input device). The idea is to just record everything and then throw it into a DAW later for post processing.

I should add that the whole point of this is to not get distracted by the recording process. Capture everything but deal with it later.


hmm, thats an interesting approach… as you could activate the recording with a pedal I assume…

I really need to look again at the GP scripting, and see if I can write a generic push2 interface for GP!
issue is, I view/use Push2 in a similar way to others use an iPad, but prefer its more physical interface, so need to integrate it… but thats all probably for another topic … after I’ve reviewed the latest script api :wink:

but its why the Push2 keeps dragging me back to Live, and I think its also why I don’t use Bitwig as much as Id like too.

GP Script is going to get a major overhaul this year — I intended it to be used for small tweaks but people are doing all sorts of things with it, really pushing it beyond for what it was intended.

You can’t turn on/off recording directly from a pedal but there’s a GPScript function, StartRecording.

The mechanism is really intended to just capture everything without you’re having to think about whether it’s on or off, etc.


I’m a Live 10 user, and while I have recorded MPE it’s tedious to set up, and also a pain to edit, so most of the time I don’t bother.

I had a quick look at one of the Gig Performer demos from NAMM (SonicState I think?). It’s pretty impressive. I think I’m going to have to find some time to take a closer look.


So presumably you could set something up to use this with a pedal-based MIDI controller like the relatively inexpensive Behringer one? (I forget the model name / number).

I record the MIDI - I quite often mis-hit a note, so editing the note-ons to a different note is easy and the expressive stuff just carries over.

(It also gives me chance to re-render if my computer’s buffer overruns and the audio crackles :slight_smile:


me too, very often :slight_smile:

though the problem I found is when I have as midi, I also can’t help myself but compare my playing to the grid, and then I have the temptation to quantise…
thats feels to me contradictory, I actually like the way out instruments give us imperfections… we create the subtle variations thru touch, rather than have to add it with ‘humanisation’ features later.

but for sure, the convenience of changing history with midi editing is really useful.

I always try to re-record…if you can just tweak what you played, there’s no motivation to improve your playing skills.

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It’s not usually the timing, but the pitch that I get wrong, and often by a long way! I actually use it as a way of learning - in particular, at the moment, I am working on the SWAM cello… getting a rapid change of bow direction into my fingers. I can listen back to what I’ve played and concentrate on the particular aspect I’m interested in without getting aggravated by my lack of the right notes :slight_smile: A recording very rarely lasts beyond 1 or 2 practise sessions before being replaced with another anyway.

Maybe I should concentrate on that first, but I’m more of a ‘attack the whole beast all at once’ kind of guy!

And I totally agree that if you’re recording for ‘real’ (can’t think of a better word, but I’m sure you know what I mean), that’s when capturing what actually happened with all its human-ness is what’s required.

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Although I am a Cubase user and generally prefer working with midi than with audio, I still record MPE instruments as audio. I don’t really know why, because my playing skills are far from perfect. If I want to record something even slightly complicated I have to do lots of takes, so fixing mistakes as midi would probably be a time saver.

I see several reasons to migrate from MainStage to Gig Performer. The midi recording feature sounds like yet another one…

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honestly MPE editing is such a pain, I spend all my time, trying to find work arounds to make editing it easier… and I end up not really using anything ive recorded with mpe, but when I do use it, its audio…

I had high hopes for abletons multi clip editing, but haven’t jump in fully…

sometimes I worry that we mpe interested musicians have adopted its too soon, but I dont know. nice to know that im not the only one, … I think audio is the way ,

or maybe use cubase? … I just love push too much… its fun.

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sounds like we take a similar approach… using Live as a tape recorder
(ok, bit more than that given we host things in it, and also use fx etc… and final audio editing)

I don’t think we adopted MPE too soon at all…
I had an Eigenharp quite a bit before MPE, and during that time even multi-channel midi support was patchy, and you had to configure EigenD separately almost for every VSTs it was a pain.

I think on the sound generator side (synths) its made life much easier, and developers are more aware of MPE than ever.

DAWs, quite a few now adding, but the editing is still a bit in its infancy… imo, only Cubase has really ‘nailed’ it - and for some (like Live) its probably a major design/architecture change, so might take a lot of development resource, so will take time , and only really be prioritised when they believe a large enough percentage of their user base needs/demands it.
so honestly, while I always hope the next version of Live will support it, I won’t be surprised if its quite a while yet :frowning:

anyway, I dont mind, as I said, thankful that its making the synth side much easier!

I remember those early days…

when do you think that live will come around by like live … version 12?

who knows, if ever. :frowning:

Roli for sure have brought more players along, with higher expectations of integration - but we are still a (vocal :slight_smile: ) minority - do the mainstream daw need this.

buts, it’s a fairly simple question for software developers/companies,
how much fundamental development work is required to support vs new or lost revenue.

on the positive side, re-writes are common in software, so when they go thru that next radical side , MPE (or its successor) will likely be included.
(also VST3 expression support basically requires similar efforts)

I’d also say that if it’s part of MIDI 2.0 standard then they’ll need to be thinking about how to switch up their architecture to support that anyway.

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A beginner and a hobbyist here. I spent all that money in the Linnstrument to play it, not to draw notes on a piano roll. I’m even less interested in drawing lines on a time line.

My setup right now is with the iPad, treating AUM as an extended 4-track, enough to record some backing tracks to keep playing and improvising. Even if I find my work worth of publishing one day, I believe I can come with good audio quality that way.

I only wish there were something similar for the Mac because I miss so much those Madrona Labs synths. Having them in Logic, even in Garageband, the time line is just there stealing my attention and flow…

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I only wish there were something similar for the Mac because I miss so much those Madrona Labs synths. Having them in Logic, even in Garageband, the time line is just there stealing my attention and flow…

@tiantong, you should try MainStage, Apple’s program for live performance. It has the same channel strip structure as Logic, shares all the plugins, and has facilities for playing backing tracks, and for recording your performance. It’s what I use all the time.

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I actually have it but I haven’t given it a chance. Maybe I should and that feature of backing tracks is appealing.

And, as one of users put it, when you’re ready to graduate, try Gig Performer :grinning: