IOS apps supporting MPE (wiki)

The above list is based on
Sorry @Rubendari I don’t have that app…

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Here’s an iOS MPE Keyboard app with multiple setups

KB-1 Keyboard Suite 4+
Expressive MIDI Controllers
Kai Aras

For iPhone iPad

KB-1 MIDI Keyboard

KB-1 is a suite of expressive virtual keyboards and controllers designed for a multitude of scenarios.

Play multiple instruments simultaneously, complete with MIDI Polyphonic Expression, scales, chords, strumming and more.


  • 8 distinct Keyboard Layouts
  • Multiple Rows per Keyboard
  • Multiple Octaves per Keyboard Row
  • 15+ Scales (for layouts that support scales)
  • MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE)
  • Standalone operation with multiple Keyboards and dedicated MIDI outputs per Keyboard
  • AUv3 MIDI Plugin


  • Classic (Piano Keys + Wheels)
  • Uniform (Seboard-style Keys and Layout)
  • String (String-style Keys)
  • Scale (Uniform layout with scale support)
  • Chord (One key per chord for all scale degrees)
  • Drum (up to 16 user mappable drum pads)
  • XY (up to 2 configurable XY-Pads)
  • CC (up to 16 user mappable knobs for CC control)


  • Glide (horizontal)
  • Slide (vertical)
  • Velocity (mapped to y-axis)
  • Pressure (iPhone only)

App Connectivity:

  • Standalone
  • AUv3 MIDI Instrument

MIDI Connectivity:

  • Inter-App MIDI
  • Network MIDI

I have the app (its pretty cool) but I haven’t figured out the benefit of mpe

I have most of these. However, I’d say MPE-support varies quite a bit.

Here are the ones which, in my experience, have the most seamless support for MPE:

In those apps, MPE is a “first-class citizen” and you have MPE-enhanced modes, patches, or presets.

Interestingly enough, except for Seaboard 5D, all of these apps are available as AUv3 plugins.

NOISE is a bit unusual in the way it separates sounds by “engine” (the NOISE Melody plugin uses the Equator Engine and the NOISE Drums plugin sounds like it uses its own ROMpler engine). The monophonic SWAM Engine sounds available in the NOISE app aren’t available as a plugin.

(I do have Aftertouch, Gestrument, Gestrument Pro, Photon, and Stagelight but I haven’t played much with them. I guess their MPE support is fine.)

The following have good enough MPE support, though it requires a bit more of a setup and they don’t have good internal examples showcasing MPE.

I’d argue that KV331 apps aren’t fully compliant with MPE in that they don’t respond to MPE in the expected way in all situations.
In fact, even Animoog is a little bit unusual in the way it handles MPE. While it might technically achieve compliance, it doesn’t provide easy access to CC74 in a polyphonic way. I’ve had a short exchange with @gbevin about this and I understand his point about it. It’s just that, in terms of User Experience, it’s not as seamless as in his “Model” apps.

I have these apps but I haven’t been able to make them work in MPE:

Among MPE apps which aren’t in the Wiki list (I should search for the iTunes links and add them to the Wiki; some are already in ROLI’s MPE hub):

  • Cubasis
  • GeoShred Play
  • GeoShred Control
  • Gestrument Pro
  • Photon
  • Reshape Touch
  • Stagelight
  • SynthMaster One
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The benefit of mono-timbral VpC (voice per channel) support is, that you can play independent pitch bends and modulations per finger, not only globally. So essentially as if you set a multitimbral instrument to the same preset for all channels - just with the extra convenience that you can tune all channels at the same time via the UI and don’t have to reload them per channel if something changed (like it e.g. works in Omnisphere).
True MPE support adds some convenience. E.g. it allows synth and controller to negotiate the pitch bend width to use (otherwise this has to be set manually). And it defines that everything on channel 1 (and sometimes 16 for split 2) is supposed to be interpreted globally while channel 2-16(15) are per-voice. So essentially VpC with some extra meta-events and conventions.

It would be interesting to read more about that conversation. Animoog is my first instrument and now that I know how to play in tune with it, Quanta is the second.

Please. I haven’t heard of Photon.

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Long story short (!)…

Most MPE synths allow you to easily assign CC74/slide/timbre/Y-axis to something meaningful (say, modulating filter cutoff). Animoog has a whole modulation system which allow you to assign all sorts of controls like pressure and pencil angle to all sorts of parameters in four modulators. But it wasn’t immediately clear to me how to make Animoog sounds respond to timbre.

It’s a MIDI recording plugin (AUv3). Haven’t specifically tried it with MPE, but its manual states that it can record MPE.

Thanks for the reply, Alex.

I see. I haven’t come that far yet with Animoog. I love that synth but the fact that it’s not updated in a while now and has no support for AU doesn’t encourage me to keep on trying. Anyway, I have gathered a few presets and was about to start tweaking some MPE settings. The iOS app world is distracting by default so I don’t know how far I can get with the limited amount of time I have.

Oh yeah, that one! I thought it was a sound generator. It is too opaque for me.

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Hi Alex,

Thanks for specifying which apps offer the better and seamless support for MPE, I think the Wiki list would be more helpful laid out in this way.

Personally when I play my Linnstrument with the iPad I just want to switch off and play and not have to figure out how to make the sounds more expressive. I’m really enjoying Cypher2 on the desktop but so far I have not come across anything that offers that level of quality sounds on iOS… The closest is Roli Noise but that only works with Roli hardware which is a shame :confused:

I quite admire Roli for the way they are pushing MPE but frustrated that their apps are optimised solely for Roli hardware. I understand that it makes sense from their business strategy point of view. If we exclude Roli apps, which would you say offer a broad and expressive soundset?

Fair enough on Photon. I’m not using it that much but I do so on the train, last night, and it’s pretty neat as a way to record little snippets of MPE.

Agree that the iOS app world can be quite distracting. It’s both stimulating and overwhelming. For a number of reasons, I’ve made this part of my self-funded, self-directed, and completely-independent academic research. Sure, it sounds like an excuse to just play with stuff. But there’s actually a throughline in what I’m doing and that’s really nice.
Part of it is to help others take on musicking through small and simple devices, including iOS ones.

And that’s going strong.

In fact, this week is already remarkably good in terms of MIDI plugins. We got Atom Piano Roll (a piano roll sequencer so you can have multiple instances). An updated version of StreamByter which adds sliders so you can create your own MIDI controllers. And Cality, a MIDI processor which works well in doing “semi-generative” music.

None of these are poly-expressive.
But Volt is, and it was just updated with new soundpacks and new features.

Agreed that “just playing” is really the best. Tweaking patches to make them MPE-savvy can be kind of fun, but it’s a different activity from playing. It’s basically a specialized form of sound design.

ROLI’s softsynths (Equator, Cypher2, and Strobe2 on the desktop and Noise on iOS) really do have the best MPE support. Part of the reason is that their sound designers have taken the time to dig deeply into “what MPE means”.

It’s also true that their softsynths are optimized for their controllers, but it’s important to note that they also all work with other controllers (for instance, with the Sense Morph).
For Equator, the main thing is to assign some additional controls, but it works well “out of the box”. For Noise, it needs to be used as a plugin in a host like AUM (and it excludes the SWAM Engine sounds which are remarkably expressive… but monophonic).

So, which plugin provides the broadest palette of MPE-friendly sounds apart from Noise? Actually, my answer would probably be GeoShred, at this point. Sure, those sounds are based on physical models of strings. But there are many ways to use strings, including some which don’t really sound like strings.
Volt is a contender, especially as of the latest update (last night or today). You can now buy soundpacks with sounds from Jakob Haq and Red Sky Lullaby which are MPE-enhanced (3USD each). They’re not all that impressive but there’s a few sounds which use CC74 in a way which makes a lot of sense to me. Most of the others sound like they just use it for filter cutoff which is ok but not that expressive when you play polyphonically.
Otherwise, I’d say Spacecraft could also get there, since it’s a granular synth which uses MPE in proper ways. In fact, the MPE patches are pretty interesting and the default samples allow for quite a bit of fun. But we’d need to have to load a few more samples.

Volt is a good try at MPE synth but I still can’t get along with it. A blend between jumpy controls and personal preferences about sound.

Quanta is a struggle. The mod matrix is amazing. Almost could make pressure to control gain bypassing the envelope. I said almost. Maybe granular is not the best for the plucky sounds I tend to prefer.

Animoog… yesterday I realized I couldn’t modulate the x/y position in the screen :frowning:but I’m still using it as my go to sound source.

I do like Model 15 a lot though but I could use some advice as to optimizing the sounds for the Linnstrument. And did I say replicas don’t mean a thing to me?

This is where I’m at while waiting for THE hard-synth.

Latest update brought MPE to DRC - Imaginando Lda


I have been testing it this morning. Pitch bend works. Aftertouch and Timbre seem to be hardwired to filter cutoff in the provided patches and I see no options to assign these anywhere.

Besides, it seems MPE only works in stand-alone mode? but I can’t confirm that.

I have contacted the dev. Still waiting for an answer.

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By the way, Spectrum synth bundle has also added MPE support for one of the synths (the one called Spectrum). These are ports of Mutable Instruments modules and free. Sound great in non MPE mode.

I have tried it with the Linnstrument and had to give up. I can’t control it.

Link here:

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Synclavier Go! for iPad now MPE compatible


I am looking for the apps which can be used as a MPE controller mainly (whether they have a sound engine or not)

The list I have is:

• Ribbons
• KB-1 Keyboard Suite
• Velocity Keyboard
• Geoshred control
• Thumbjam
• Mononoke

Are there any others? Which one would you recommend?

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Animoog as an IAP but I’m not sure if it sends MPE.
Model 15 sends also midi although again, I’m not sure if it’s MPE.

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I’m not sure at all but maybe Tardigrain had an update once that allows for some kind of midi output.
(well, if you’re not sure maybe don’t post as much?)
I just checked it out and it kinda works, but pitchbends and y-axis don’t work independently, i.e. per note basis.
At least in this short test with Magellan 2.

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Moog iOS apps are free today in celebration of Bob Moog’s birthday.