Expressive Performance With MPE Using ROLI Instruments

At the 2019 Brooklyn Synth Expo, held last weekend in Brooklyn, New York, ROLI product expert Ruben Dax gave a presentation on MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) – a new standard for expressive musical performance.

In this video, Dax demonstrates MPE using ROLI’s Seaboard and Blocks controllers, which offer what the company describes as ‘5 dimensions of touch’. The controllers let you use strike, pressure, x-axis ‘glide’, y-axis ‘slide’ and ‘lift’.

Dax also shows how the additional types of touch control allow for more expressive electronic music performance.

For more info, see ROLI’s site and the MPE spec.

7 thoughts on “Expressive Performance With MPE Using ROLI Instruments

  1. I really like there controllers but i already have synthesisers and drummachines i love, so it would be mostly used in my case for these instruments that do not support MPE and have a MIDI DIN connector. You would mis some of the MPE features but like modulation control pitch and volume would work great.
    When they design a solution with that in mind i would buy there products.

  2. Great presentation! Nice to see a product rep with chops, too.

    ROLI’s got a solid line, I think the industry still has to catch up with the new MPE devices, though.

  3. Ruben, you rocked hard with this one. What an ambassador! Excellent playing, but also a welcome, clear explanation of MPE’s actual behaviors. Just IMO, Roli and Arturia’s MicroFreak are for soloing much more than polyphonic duties, which make many sounds seem a bit cloudy. Of course, its clear that poly play is on the table. That bit around 6:15 sells it beautifully. I’m such a keys player that I’m a bit unsure of MPE, but I love violin, trumpet and e-guitar, so I’m coming around. There’s a middle ground of big-G Gorgeous going on there.

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