New (free) monosynth plugin from Eventide - Pendulate

Yep ! MPE support :wink:
as they’re writing:

  • MPE support allows amazing control from innovative new controllers

Let’s have fun!


Pendulate is the free mono version of Generate, the paid poly version. I haven’t installed it yet, I was offered an early license from the coder at Newfangled Audio so I could test it for him (it was a thank you for my offer to go to bat for him in another forum that will not be named, when some tin-eared idiot tried Pendulate for three minutes and said it was crap).

I will check MPE compatibility of Generate with my Linnstrument asap. Meantime, get the freebie, it’s actually a really cool little synth!

Oh, I can also test around here, plenty of MPE capable controllers :wink:
I do like the “little brother”, would not mind having Generate…

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I’m not sure how MPE any monosynth can be, but that might be splitting hairs at this point.

(We need another term for “would be MPE compliant if it played chords”…)

I think it’s more about how the synth interprets the actual MPE messages than anything performance-oriented. Even if a synth can’t play chords, it can understand what data it’s being sent and react accordingly for whatever one voice it has. So it’s “MPE compliant” meaning “if you feed it data from an MPE controller it doesn’t go ‘buh?’ at you”.

I mean, I used “MPE compliant” in my alternate wording, to make sense of it. They used “MPE support”. Same thing, I suppose. But on some level, shouldn’t supporting polyphonic expression mean that it supports polyphonic expression?

I dunno, a lot of machines that aren’t Musical Instruments support MIDI. Same thing IMO, you’re talking about the spec and not necessarily the underlying philosophy. Or maybe I’m just being difficult. Probably that, yeah.

I think so :slight_smile:

however, lets look at this positively…
It’s a good sign that the term MPE is worthy as a marketing feature - this helps spread awareness, and with awareness we will likely see more support.

as for MPE compatible on mono instruments…
i can think of a couple of useful sides to this

channel pressure

for opening the VCA rather than an envelope.
on ‘traditional’ synths this is very uncommon, they use env hard wired to vca - and mapping sustain level to ch pressure is not very good!

timbre control - cc74

the idea that some aspect of the sound is considered ‘timbre’ and can be controlled via a single control.
ok, this is not that new… we’ve seen it with mod wheels, breath control, expression pedal.
… but MPE says its should be on CC74

pitch-bend range

this is part of MPE, that the range is defined by the controller rather than the ‘patch’
if this is a good thing or not is debatable… but its useful for those of us with MPE controllers if its implemented.
(note: this change for MPE is due to continuous surfaces… other types of expressive controllers do not really require it)

poly chain

if you can poly chain mono synths, using MPE as a voice allocation strategy is useful
esp. when we consider the global channel

so overall, Im happy for any support that MPE gets, and even when some companies are perhaps taking ‘liberties’ with it… as long as it does not muddy the waters too much.


I agree thigh @thetechnobear , MPE does not need to be restricted to polyphonic patches.

Most polyphonic MPE synths (all?) don’t deal with MPE when you have a mono/unison whatever patch.

So even if the synth is polyphonic with MPE they just don’t work with single note patches.

The control should be attached to the note, so if I play a mono patch with last note or high note, play a C2 hold it and play a F3 and slide it the slide should effect the F3, when I release the C2 should not be effected.

If I play two C2s and release one, the other should not cut off.

Basic stuff, so if a polyphonic running a mono patch should work this way why not mono synths?

This is very much how words lose their meaning.

Most MPE controllers have a single channel mode, to eliminate the conflicts we’re casually glossing over here.

Put another way, to reliably control these so-called MPE synths, we’re sort of expected to disable MPE on our controllers.

I mean, maybe the synth developers have accounted for every edge case, but is that even their responsibility? Or would it make more sense to just call that something else and set realistic expectations for whatever THAT is?

Two problems with that.

In single Chanel mode controllers tend to not send pitchbend when more than one note is playing and also restrict Y and Z. And you can play more than one note for a classic mono patch, release the second and first plays etc.

Secondly you have synths like the Hydrasynth that require you to put it into a special MPE mode which then doesn’t work when your controller is in single channel mode.

For me a better idea is if you have a synth that supports MPE it should work whatever your patch is, mono or poly. In mono the “polyphonic” aspect is based on the note, that note is attached to a channel, any messages on that channel effect that note whether it is sounding or not.

So mono patch with high priority, play C2, then C3, slide C3 up to C4 and we hear the slide, now slide the C2 down to C1 with no change in sound, release the C3/C4 and we hear the original C2 at C1.

Taken this way a mono synth that supports this is also “polyphonic” as each note is individually controllable, who gives a shit if you can hear them at the same time.

If they use the word “polyphonic” to describe their monosynth, I assume “who gives a shit” would be “all the angry customers demanding their money back.”

I can see there isn’t much point to this, if you want to restrict the usefulness of multi channel controllers due to a word then so be it.

I myself would rather have the functionality.

If you label a monosynth as polyphonic, that word doesn’t describe which methods they use to reduce multi channel input to a monophonic signal, except in as much as it lies about being a monosynth. It’s simply false advertising.

Nor does calling for the removal of such lies define how that synth would respond to multi channel controllers.

These ideas are unrelated.

What you describe isn’t in the MPE spec. It’s not expected. It’s a better solution than making users disable the core functionality of their MPE controller, but disabling MPE is what people are doing when the synths they connect to don’t comply with your imaginary standard.

I’m not in any way defending this practice. I’m just saying, mislabeling synths and controllers doesn’t fix the problem.

Wouldn’t it make more sense pick a different word? One that establishes a reasonable expectation of their capabilities and compatibility?

It just seems more practical than eroding definitions further.

MPE is a spec, if you follow the specification you can say you are MPE compatible.

the spec does not preclude, monophonic instruments… so whilst we can debate if its useful (see my notes above) - that’s irrelevant (imho) to if its MPE compatible or not.
specifically, it allows for 1 member channel, and also explicitly details mode 4…
(so a mono synth compatible with MPE should use one member channel set to mode 4)

however… I would also point out, you cannot expect “extra” MPE features that are not in the spec to be there because you think its good for monophonic synths… the spec is the spec.
( I agree, given the MPE specs primary polyphonic focus… it may or may not be a great experience)

back to OT, I think the reason Pendulate is marketed as MPE compatible because its basically a ‘trial’ for Generate which is polyphonic… so they want to demonstrate this compatibility to entice you to upgrade.

so my view is… if it follows the MPE standard, it can it can claim MPE compatibility.
(of course, it should not imply its polyphonic if its not… but pedulate is very clear its monophonic)

one thing, I’ve noticed is that manufactures and developers have for years ‘abused’ the midi spec, partly because of deficiencies in it and also its not clear on many aspects (e.g. 14 bit ordering)
so I think its unsurprising that many synths (hardware and software) do not follow the MPE spec to the letter - especially considering MPE was in widespread use for quite a while before it was finalised and ratified. so, like it or not… a lot of synths and controllers, really take the essence of the MPE spec, rather than its complete implementation. ( * )
no surprise/blame here… its a young standard, and expressive controllers are still early on in their development… so I don’t expect perfection from MPE, but having used an Eigenharp before MPE was even drafted, I can say its has really helped promote support for expressive controllers, and made it much simpler to use them. :champagne:

( * ) examples:
MPE mode 3, says member channel to be polyphonic when you exceed member channels, I rarely see this implemented.
not all controllers support MCM (or even have midi input),
not all support split zones.

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