Serum is the latest synth that has announced compatibility with MPE.
MPE (short for MIDI Polyphonic Expression) is a new specification based on MIDI, the universal protocol for electronic music. MPE allows digital instruments to behave more like acoustic instruments in terms of spontaneous, polyphonic sound control. So players can modulate parameters like timbre, pitch, and amplitude — all at the same time, per individual note.
Now the features of XferRecords’ Serum, including its 400+ presets and 100+ wavetables, can be used with MPE-enabled controllers, as demonstrated in ROLI’s Seaboard Block demo video, below:
In a ROLI interview with Steve Duda, founder of XferRecords, they asked, Why did Serum go MPE?
“MPE is something that grew on me. Even when I was first experimenting with MPE in Serum, I was getting immediate results that sounded new and fresh. It’s probably obvious, but where MPE really offers something new is in the ‘P’ of polyphonic expression. Having per-voice pitch control along with multiple dimensions of additional expression — well, let’s just say your chords get a lot more interesting!”
“Serum is a wavetable-centric synth, so a single sound in Serum can cover a lot of sonic territory. It’s quite easy in Serum to create complex modulations which evolve the sound over time. But as most every user of software synthesizers knows, it’s not always easy to perform something to sound like you imagine it in your head. This is one of the last remaining bastions of benefit for hardware synthesizers: the ability have knobs and interact. But MPE bridges this expression gap, if not inverts it! An MPE controller integrated with Serum opens up a huge array of gestural and performance options.”