MPE in eurorack?

does it make sense? is there a demand?

I’ve been working on a project in the background for a eurorack module…

like its bigger brother/sister… (percussa ssp), its a pretty powerful digital module.

Ive already created quite a few modules for it (as well as this ‘host’), and Im wondering, should I push it down the MPE route?
combine two passions of mine… modular and expressive playing.

but is there really a demand for this?

basically the way I see this is, it being a full MPE poly synth, with a stereo output.
and the (8) cv inputs would be used for modulation etc.
(the 8 inputs can also be audio… so there’d be a possibility of some kind of mpe audio fx… but you do have an issue with matching touches vs input… but its is kind of fun to play with)

what do you think?

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Sure, show us what you have got.

Nice, I think this is an interesting development as one of the things that put me off the SSP was the size and price. So a smaller and cheaper version makes a lot of sense. Is it possible to patch on a computer, where you’d have the advantage of a larger screen, and then loading the patch on the XMX via the SD card or USB?

The virtual modular in a module is becoming an interesting space with both this and the 4MS meta module. It seems like it’s going to make small case systems much more flexible.

MPE on the modular, well I suspect there’s some demand, but likely somewhat niche at this point.

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yeah, this is kind of the question of this topic…

polyphony is still pretty uncommon in eurorack, sure we have a chord modules (e.g. Sinphonia) and full voices (e.g. Oxi Coral) , but they are the exception.

I think one of the reasons is… what do they actually add?

sure, on one hand, having full voices in your rack, means potentially not having to bring a laptop or another hardware synth along… but is that it?
I rather think of modular as building something unique… something you can’t do in traditional synths, rather than as ‘convenience’.

this is perhaps why Ive always wondered about the Eagan Matrix Module…
what can you do with it that you cannot do by just using a continuum/osmose?

so yeah, I want to think beyond just a simple mpe synth in a rack… really, thats not that interesting to me.

in that vain, I think the strengths of modular are:

  • modulation
  • combining various modules in unexpected ways.

so I thinking, how to use the 8 cv inputs for modulation in interesting ways that complement mpe.
or using the inputs potentialy as audio, so kind of mpe fx…
so mpe becomes a polyphonic control over these audio sources.
(say somthing like the way a vocoder uses keyboard input for different voices)

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I love that the new module exists.

MPE will be a niche thing for sure, and its unclear to me to what extent even the much broader, non-MPE specific world of polyphonic synths within eurorack has caught on. Various people have pushed offerings in that direction in recent years, but its hard to get a sense of uptake, most eurorack performances I see are of the more traditional variety so far.

But if I combine your MPE question with the idea that a lot of eurorack stuff is sequencer based, this leads me to an area I have long been interested in: sequencers that make use of MPE. I dont think many people have dabbled in this area so far, so its hard to judge the potential. If I look at the best known example for computers that does exist, SeqMPEror ( https://seqmperor.com ), I’ve never seen signs that it gained momentum or met the response the developer was hoping for, but again I dont really have a foolproof way to judge that. But I might hazard a guess that people havent really been shown examples of why the use of MPE within sequencers could be compelling. Something inspiring is required to capture the imagination of a larger pool of people perhaps. Whether that requires a new twist, or whether it is even possible, whether the ‘value’ is really there potentially in these sorts of ideas, is unknown to me.

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True, but there is some evidence of a trend for more polyphony, in the examples you’ve cited, and also in the ART concept that Tiptop Audio are working on. Also look at the number of “quad” VCA/VCO modules that even Doepfer are producing.

Well for one thing, it provides a great sound engine for those that have other sources of input :wink:

In terms of MPE in a rack, then I think you’re right, it’s about modulation, and perhaps the ability to combine the human-controller input with other types of inputs to produce interesting or less predictable sounds.

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By the way, the lengthy announcement blurb released about this module already got translated down to a simpler spec list that includes ‘MPE support’ in some media reports, eg:

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Synthor, the Percussa software for SSP/XMX does indeed have MPE support.

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What initially sold me on SSP was its MPE support, and the idea of having arbitrary modulation sources vary the nature of the sound I’m controlling.

I still think that model makes sense, but I’m spoiled by VCV’s polyphonic workflows. My eurorack setup doesn’t even produce audio anymore; it just generates CV for use in the computer.

Likewise, what sets EMM apart from Osmose and Continuumini is the CV inputs. Part of me covets that.

…but there’s also nothing stopping me from taking those CVS I’ve brought into the computer and sending them out again as MIDI, to control those same parameters on Osmose or Continuumini.

I just hadn’t thought to try it until typing all this.