Silly pressure-weighted portamento situation caused by a patent

Oh dear:

“While Pressure-Weighted Portamento is a patented feature by Haken Audio reserved for the internal synth engine for the time being, Osmose’s MPE Arpeggiator will be available for the External MIDI Mode in a future firmware update.”

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Its one thing to use this patent to prevent other competing controllers from making use of pressure-weighted portamento during the lifetime of the patent. Its quite another to have this nobble the non-Haken midi output from the Osmose. And it creates a somewhat absurd situation because there is absolutely nothing to stop me from using the midi that comes out of the 2nd usb midi port, which does include pressure-weighted portamento-generated MPE data, to control other MPE synths. The MPE+ aspect of that port doesnt get in the way because MPE+ is backwards compatible with MPE via simply ignoring all the CC87 messages.

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Doesn’t seem like an issue to me… as you say, you can just use MPE+
(this is working for me, with Bitwig/Aalto… and the slides work fine)

I guess another way of looking at this is that PWP is an MPE+ feature.

as for the patent, well no-one except patent holders like them…
but I can understand why they’d not want everyone to suddenly rush out and start supporting this.
its a very cool feature , and it is new/novel… so they deserve protection.

that said, not sure if/how you could stop another controller implementing it… and just calling it something different.

anyway early days, perhaps haken/expressive-e are still in discussion, this would explain the “for the time being”… could just be a timing thing.

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I already described how it might be fair enough to stop other competing controllers from adopting it, I tried to leave out the angle of whether different people agree that patents like this should be allowed in the first place. As for how they could stop another controller implementing it, well thats the whole point of patents, its got nothing to do with the name you call it (that would be trademark stuff not patents) and everything to do with the technical and conceptual detail described in the patent, and whether someone can come up with a workaround that gets around these details and results in something functionally equivalent that doesnt infringe the patent.

Its an issue because they dont promote the use of the other midi port for controlling other synths, they prefer to claim that the feature isnt available for use with other synths. And its an issue if you want to connect directly to a MPE hardware synth using din midi out port. Or easily reduce the number of channels used in MPE mode (eg for compatibility with Sequential OB-6), or use it in a more limited way with a non-MPE mode, eg with a monosynth using standard midi mode. Or any of the quirks that may happen with the Haken midi layer compared to the ext midi layer, and the way some of these might be specific to settings in the particular Haken patch that is active at the time. eg not sure if mod fader output works with Haken midi layer or not, I havent looked into issue I’ve seen with this properly yet.

And I wont be looking at it as if its a MPE+ feature either, since actually the resulting MPE messages it generates (once you ignore the additional MPE+ CC87 messages and thus end up backwards compatible with MPE) are really just the same as those that any other MPE controller would produce via moving fingers up and down the surface. No destination MPE synth will be able to know the method by which these per-channel pitch messages were generated, so at least on that side nobody can be accused of breaking the patent by responding to those midi messages. I just hope the current situation isnt made any worse, eg if Haken were unhappy that we can use this stuff to control other synths and tried to remove this aspect from even the Haken MPE+ output in a future update. I am not predicting that they would be that unreasonable, just exploring every theoretical possibility. I much prefer the eventuality where this is dealt with in a way that makes it available to the other Osmose midi output.

As for it being new, its really not that new now, the patent is from 2006 or 2007 I think, and will expire at some point (I think I saw 2028 mentioned on the US version of the patent).

does the DIN not support MPE+? one of the ‘din mode’ on the hardware settings?
(they are poorly ‘labelled’ hard to know what each does :laughing: )

if not, I guess send as a feature request to Expressive E, as this would appear to be in their realm.

personally, I think the Ext Midi is a bit ‘confused’, it makes sense if you look at the EM, but not really as a ‘midi controller’ interface… e.g. it looks like a ‘mode’ but its not.
given the importance of external midi for some users, Id not be surprised if we see this area being improved on as time goes on.

as for the rest, time will tell…

Ah, thanks for leading me to check this again.

Previously the fact that the first 4 options didnt change the din output messages in any way I could notice, combined with how some of them were labelled, made me wonder if it was actually referring to the din input more than the output, or at least only made a notable difference when also using the din in, which I havent done. But I’d also assumed that the 5th option, cvc, was for the Haken cvc box and I was hoping that made use of 2 spare pins on the din plug to interface with that box using an i2c bus rather than midi. However I just plucked up the courage to select and validate that option on my Osmose and now the din port is indeed outputting MPE+, cheers for that!