MPE has been added to Live 11. As of January 2023, the only Live devices that have MPE compatibility are Sampler, Wavetable, Simpler and Arpeggiator. However, now all 16 channels are passed to the track, so any third-party MPE plug-in instruments will work fine.
In Live 11, click the Live menu > Settings. Then click the Link/Tempo/MIDI tab and under MIDI Ports > In, look for the "LinnStrument" entry (LinnStrument must be connected) and be sure "MPE" is selected.
Also, Live's MPE implementation is unusual. The received MIDI channel is not stored in the sequence with the recorded events, but rather Live randomly assigns one of the MPE per-note channels on playback. This was a simpler way for them to implement MPE, but it has two problems:
1) You can't record two instances of the same pitch.
2) If using Channel Per Row mode in LinnStrument, and each row uses a different sound, on playback the notes you recorded will playback on different channels and therefore use a sound intended for a different row that you originally played.
Also, there appears to be a bug in Live regarding MPE. Their online documentation states that you should be able to select either the MPE Upper (Main channel 16) or Lower (Main channel 1) Zone, as well as the specific per-note (member) channels. However, as of January 2023, if you select "LinnStrument MPE" as a MIDI track's input port (with "MPE" checked for LinnStrument in the Preferences panel), then the track's Input Channel dropdown becomes greyed out, forcing the track to always accept all channels.
From their web site:
"Steer the live grains with your fingertip? Let a drone take off by moving your fingers to the top of the keyboard? Let the grain drone drift left or right by sliding your fingers? This is what you can do with MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) and the MPE feature set of crusher-X!"
Logic Pro ($200) and MainStage 3 ($30, same sounds as Logic) both provide fully polyphonic 3-dimensional control on 7 of their built-in instruments: EXS24 Sampler, ES2 Subtractive Synth, EFM1 Frequency Modulation Synth, Sculpture physical modeling synth, Alchemy synth, Retro Synth and Vintage Clav. Given that most LinnStrument owners are on mac and already own one of these, they are the primary sound sources we've used in our videos, and our downloadable LinnStrument-optimized sounds files for these are the most complete and versatile collection of LinnStrument sounds that we offer.
Click here for the Logic Pro sounds file and here for the MainStage 3 sounds file. The sounds in these two files are identical and are optimized for polyphonic 3-dimensional control using LinnStrument's Channel-Per-Note (MPE) mode. To play these sounds, set LinnStrument to MPE mode:
If you wish to create your own sounds in Logic or Mainstage using any of the 7 above-named MPE instruments, here's how to enable MPE in those instruments: click the small triangle in the lower left corner of the instrument's window, then set MIDI Mono Mode to "On (with common channel 1)" and Mono Mode Pitch Range to "48".
Note: If the above settings don't work correctly, you may have changed other settings in LinnStrument. To reset LinnStrument to default settings: Turn on GLOBAL SETTINGS, then in the ACTIONS column (column 16), press NOTES OFF and UPDATE OS at the same time. You will briefly see "RESET" displayed.
To play two one-channel sounds. For example:
1) The easy way is to reset LinnStrument to default settings:
In Global Settings > Column 16, press Notes Off + Update OS at the same time ("reset").
Or, in Per-Split Settings:
Select Left Split, then set MIDI Mode = One Channel and Main Channel = 1.
Select Right Split, then set MIDI Mode = One Channel and Main Channel = 16.
2) Turn on LinnStrument’s Split button.
3) In Logic, click "File menu > Project Settings > Recording..." Be sure that "Auto demix by channel if multitrack recording" IS checked.
4) In Logic, select a track containing a one-channel sound that you want the right split to play. Then in the “Track” settings in the upper left area of the Logic window, set “MIDI Channel” to 16.
5) In Logic, select the MPE track that you want the left split to play, and also turn on the little “R” button on the One Channel track that you want the right split to play.
1) In LinnStrument, set up the left split for MPE (Channel Per Note) play. For example, in Per-Split Settings, select Left Split (column 15), then hold ChPerNote in the MIDI Mode column. Use the default settings of Main Channel = 1, Per Note Channels = 2-8.
2) In LinnStrument, set up the right split for One Channel use. For example, in Per-Split Settings, select Right Split (column 16), then set MIDI Mode = One Channel and Main Channel = 16.
3) Turn on LinnStrument’s Split button.
4) In Logic, click "File menu > Project Settings > Recording..." Be sure that "Auto demix by channel if multitrack recording" IS checked.
5) In Logic, select a track containing a one-channel sound that you want the right split to play. Then in the “Track” settings in the upper left area of the Logic window, set “MIDI Channel” to 16.
6) In Logic, select the MPE track that you want the left split to play, and also turn on the little “R” button on the One Channel track that you want the right split to play.
1) Download these two files (FilterChannel 1-8.pst, FilterChannel 9-16) and put them in the following folder:
"Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Logic/Plug-in Settings/Scripter".
2) In Logic, select the track you want for the left split. In the Inspector (the channel strip at left), click on the “MIDI FX” plugin slot and open Scripter. From the preset menu in the main Scripter window, select "FilterChannel 1-8”.
3) In Logic, select the track you want for the right split. In the Inspector (the channel strip at left), click on the “MIDI FX” plugin slot and open Scripter. From the preset menu in the main Scripter window, select "FilterChannel 9-16”.
4) In Logic, click "File menu > Project Settings > Recording..." Be sure that "Auto demix by channel if multitrack recording" is NOT checked.
5) Select one of the two tracks, then enable "R" on the second track.
6) In LinnStrument, set up the Per-Split Settings thusly:
a) Select Left Split (column 15), then hold ChPerNote in the MIDI Mode column.
b) Select Right Split (column 16), then hold ChPerNote in the MIDI Mode column.
7) In LinnStrument, turn on the Split button.
Here's the Arturia site.
A free license for Bitwig Studio 8-Track is included with the purchase of a LinnStrument. For information on how to get and activate your license, as well as how to set up Bitwig with LinnStrument, visit the LinnStrument Support page and click "Free Bitwig 8-Track".
From their web site: "Shapiro 2 has extensive CC control management and is MPE enabled."
Here's their site.
Version 7.2.0 adds Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression support:
midiparse / midiformat: @hires attribute to output a two-byte list to set high-resolution (14-bit) pitch bend output
mpeconfig: Configure MIDI devices that support MPE
mpeformat: prepare MPE-compatible MIDI messages
mpeparse: Interpret and parse raw MPE data (similar to midiparse)
polymidiin: Output MPE MIDI data in a patcher loaded by poly~
poly~: @midimode attribute to send MIDI events to all voices
poly~: @zone attribute for setting the MPE 'zone' that the poly~ will listen to (the default is to ignore zones)
vst~: accepts 'mpeevent' message to handle MPE data
Dexed is a multi platform, multi format plugin synth that is closely modeled on the Yamaha DX7. Under the hood it uses music-synthesizer-for-android for the synth engine. Version 0.9.5 feature list states "Added initial support for MPE performance".
The "Play 5" Sample Engine from East West Sounds contains an MPE mode as shown in this screenshot.
VCV Rack is an open-source software equivalent of a Eurorack. This free open-source module provides 4-voice MPE operation. https://github.com/bafonso/Erratic/blob/v0.6/README.md
Chiral is not a win/mac plug-in but rather a Max For Live device and therefore runs only within Ableton Live 11.
See "ROLI" below, which now owns FXpansion.
Their site claims MPE compatibility. As of March 2, 2022, a LinnStrument owner has found some problems in the MPE implementation:
"The pitch bend and pressure aspects of MPE work fine in OB-E, but the pitch bend range is defined on a per preset basis. The MPE Y CC74 aspect is far from ideal, you have to map it to the knob on each SEM module and then it does work properly on a per-voice basis in the normal MPE way, but these cc assignments are not saved per-patch, they are a global config. They made a MPE video about this when version 1 first came out, but it was completely Roli-centric, they assumed thats the controller viewers would be using so it showed Roli dashboard settings to use. Its also like how we would typically setup a 'midi channel per part/voice' synth in that in their video, they limit the MPE controller settings to use 8 midi channels, one for each of this synths voices. My conclusion is that due to how wonderful it sounds, I am very happy to play this synth using the Linnstrument, but the MPE Y clunkiness means I cannot quite think of it as I do plenty of other modern fully fledged MPE synths."
Visit the IMOXPLUS website for more info.
Here's their product page, which states MPE compatibility.
This is not a synth but rather a plug-in that allows you to run non-MPE plug-in software instruments as MPE instruments. It does this by internally creating multiple instances of the actually software instrument for each MPE per-voice channel.
Here's their web site:
From their web site:
[In version 2.8,] we've added support for “Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression”, so SynthMaster supports multichannel MIDI now! Each note SynthMaster receives can have its own MIDI channel and hence it has its separate pitch bend/after touch/CC values.
Randy's Jones' Aalto and Kaivo are remarkably flexible synths in deceptively simple interfaces. I am especially impressed with the many ways to alter timbre is interesting ways. This is no surprise, given that Madrona Labs also created the marvelous SoundPlane, a superb expressive controller instrument that shares many goals with LinnStrument.
LinnStrument-optimized Sound file for Aalto
Here is an Aalto patch that I (Roger) created and which I used in this LinnStrument video. Set Per-Split Settings > MIDI to ChPerNote Mode, then Bend Range = 24, Y = CC74 and Z = Channel Pressure. Also, set the Per-Split Channels to 2-5, because Aalto can play a maximum of 4 simultaneous voices.
Their site states MPE compatibility, but doesn't explain what this means, for example is it merely passing all 16 channels to a third-party plug-in instrument, or are all or some of its included instruments MPE-compatible and which ones?
The MSoundFactory site claims full MPE support.
Their site claims MPE compatibility
Though PianoTeq is not fully MPE-compatible, it does support polyphonic pitch bends when used with LinnStrument set to MPE settings. It does not have per-note continuous parameters that could respond to LinnStrument's continuous finger pressure or Y-axis control, but these elements aren't so useful on a piano-style synth anyway.
To use PianoTeq with LinnStrument, set LinnStrument for normal MPE play except that you must set LinnStrument's Bend Range (in Per-Split Settings) to "+/-24", because this is the maximum bend range in PianoTeq. This is done in Per-Split Settings > Bend Range column, then HOLD "+/- 24" and slide your finger to change the displayed value to 24.
In PianoTeq, the only change you'll need to make is to change its default Bend Range from 2 to 24. To do this, in the main PianoTeq window click "Options", then in the subsequent window select the "MIDI" tab at top. Then in the listing of MIDI controllers, scroll to the Pitch Bend line and set the two "Range" boxes to -2400 and +2400.
In this same listing of MIDI controllers, note that CC74 (Y-axis control for MPE controllers) is set by default to "Hammer Hardness". So by striking LinnStrument's note pads in different Y-axis locations, you will vary the hammer hardness. Note that this only affects the initial strike and subsequent continuous Y-axis movements are ignored.
Performer 11 adds MPE support, recording all 16 channels into tracks and passing all 16 channels to plug-in instruments. Also, MPE support is added to its included synths Bassline,Modulo, MX4, Nanosampler 2.0, Polysynth and Proton.
Kontakt does not have an MPE mode but it is fairly simple to configure for MPE use. Simply load Kontakt then load, for example, 4 instances of the same sample group into it. Each instance will automatically be assigned to a separate MIDI channel, or you can change each instance to the channel you want to match the per-note channels you've assigned in LinnStrument. Go through each instance and change the pitch bend to 12 (the max that Kontakt allows) and set LinnStrument's Bend Range to 12 to match. Because Kontakt intelligently loads samples, it will share samples between all instances and therefore not use any more ram than one instance. Of course you will need a host that passes all MIDI channels to Kontakt.
LinnStrument owner Mark Harris has created a Reaktor 6 block that processes MPE (note-per-channel) messages within Reaktor 6's new modular blocks.
Here is an MPE synth for Reaktor called Micro-Prism, written by LinnStrument forum member TJ Shredder.
Here is a semi-modular, polyphonic expression synth for Reaktor called MultiExp, created by Michael Stocker.
LinnStrument owner Eric Koch writes the following explanation of how, if you already have an MPE-compatible Reaktor synth, to set Reaktor to correctly pass all MIDI channels to it: "After first loading an MPE Synth in Reaktor, ( in stand alone ) click EDIT > Preferences [the little check box icon] > Connect tab > Channel > Omni. Also select your connected LinnStrument in the same tab under controllers, ( if it isn't already ). Then save the ensemble as such."
All of Orange Tree's Evolution guitar and roundwound/flatwound bass libraries include a feature called "polybend" which is like MPE for polyphonic pitch bends only. Set up your LinnStrument for MPE as described on the Getting Started page, then loaded the Orange Tree instrument into Kontakt and select "OMNI" mode in Kontact's settings. Then set the Pitch Bend Range to match your Bend Range in LinnStrument.
From their site:
"In Xmode, Derailer can be controlled by MPE devices such as the ROLI Seaboard.
This allows individual control of pitch when bowing, and strike force when multi-striking."
To use this analog-modeled synth in a channel-per-note configuration, set the following controls, located in the lower left corner of the panel:
Then you can use modulation sources of:
For MPE use, select VpC mode (Voice per Channel).
Their site states MPE support
Their web site: Plasmonic.
ROLI's Equator, Cypher2 and Strobe2 are all excellent synths that are designed to work well with ROLI's Seaboard MPE controller, so they also work well with LinnStrument. Each has a large number of high-quality MPE preset sounds. And ROLI Studio gives you most of those sounds from all 3 synths in one app, minus the detailed sound editing.
To set any of these apps with LinnStrument, you may need to enable "LinnStrument MIDI" as the incoming MIDI device in Settings.
Here are two sounds for Equator (Screaming Calliope, Doppler Whistles) that I (Roger) created, using Y-axis modulation of comb filters, similar to the Aalto sound I used in this video. On mac, you can copy these files into Documents > Roli > Equator > Presets.
From LinnStrument software creator Geert Bevin:
Softube Modular has a ROLI Seaboard RISE module which enables MPE for it. It also ships with 18 ROLI (MPE) presets. To make this work with LinnStrument, simply enable MPE mode with channels 2-5 as per-note channels and pitchbend 48. Sadly they don't handle MPE in the modular automatically and you have to duplicate the configuration of each voice.
Omnisphere and Trillian are real powerhouses that combine well-recorded sample sources with highly malleable synthesis and a very versatile modulation routing. Though they are not MPE-compatible, they are multi-timbral with 8 different "parts", each of which receives on a separate MIDI channel. So you can make them work as semi-MPE synths by assigning all 8 parts to the same sound, then assign the 8 parts to receive on the same 8 per-note channels that you're sending from LinnStrument.
The other nice thing about Omnisphere's synthesis is that the source waveform can be fundamentally altered in a variety of useful ways, making it a good match for LinnStrument's Y-axis control.
One more thing: because these aren't true MPE synths, there is no Master (Main) channel for MIDI messages common to all notes like sustain pedal, volume, etc. However, LinnStrument has a mode that sends such messages redundantly over all Per-Note channels: In Per-Split Settings when using Channel Per Note mode, press the selected "Main" channel button to deselect it.
Here is an Omnisphere "multi" patch that I (Roger) created. Load it somewhere in your Omnisphere "multi" directories then set LinnStrument's MIDI Mode to ChPerNote, PerNoteChs to 1-8, Z to Channel Pressure, Bend Range to 24, and Y to CC74. In this patch the Y-axis controls oscillator sync for a radical timbral variation.
From their site's Features section:
"MPE Compatible (for use with multidimensional controllers such as ROLI Rise or Roger Linn Linnstrument)"
Contributed by principal LinnStrument software writer Geert Bevin:
Channel-Per-Note is supported as part of VST Note Expression in Halion, Halion Sonic 2, Halion Sonic SE2, Retrologue & Padshop.
In real-time, you can use it with third-party VSTs just as any other DAW by streaming MIDI straight to the plugin when the MIDI input channel for the track is set to Any. Note that the per-note recording I mention below also works with this.
If the track MIDI Channel is set to 1 though, and you host a VST3 software instrument like Padshop, Halion, Halion Sonic SE, Retrologue, then you can transform ChannelPerNote MIDI in real time to VST Note Expression. To do that, instantiate the VST3 plugin and go to the Note Expression tab for the track. There you have to enable "MIDI as NoteExp" and "Channel Rotation". This will then allow you to assign MIDI CCs and Pitchbend to the Note Expression parameters in the same tab. Thanks to channel rotation support, it will properly keep all the MIDI expression in the same channel tied to the note that's playing.
The nice thing now is that Note Expression directly shows the acoustic parameters of the synth and is very easy to work with. Also, when you record, it stores all the per-note MIDI information together with each note and shows it in the GUI. So you can edit the expression of each note separately and play it back in full detail later.
Here's a video in which Geert describes using LinnStrument's Channel-Per-Note mode wth Cubase and U-He's Diva plug-in.
And here's information from Roli about using their Seaboard with Cubase, which should be similarly helpful in using Cubase with LinnStrument or any MPE controller.
In January 2023, a LinnStrument owner reported a possible bug in Cubase related to recording and editing MPE data in Cubasse: "When you set LinnStrument to send MPE information and you record an MPE musical part into Cubase, the software’s editing tools don’t show the pitch bend values assigned to the correct notes. This occurs when recording globally, but when recording with the track midi window open, everything works fine."
In March 2023, a LinnStrument owner reported this tip for playing two MPE splits on LinnStrument to two MPE sounds in Cubase by using the Cubase 'input transformer':
a) On the Linnstrument, assigning channels 1-8 on one split and 9-16 on the other;
b ) In cubase (using the input transformer), screening out each of the above channel groups on two respective tracks, setting overall midi channels to 'all'.
Surge XTis an extremely versatile, windows/mac/linux, open source, plug-in or standalone, FREE synth. It's the official synth for LinnStrument. Click the Free Surge XT Synth link at left to download it, as well as a growing collection of LinnStrument-optimzed sounds that I (Roger) created for it.
The wonderful Kyma 7 fully supports LinnStrument's MPE mode. Click here for a page on Symbolic Sound's site containing details.
Their web site claims MPE compatibility for both products.
From their online manual for the Legend:
"When in POLY mode, The Legend supports MPE. This means that each note played can be controlled individually with the performance parameters set up in the performance matrix. Typical MPE source controllers are Aftertouch and Timbre (CC 74).
In addition to the performance controllers, The Legend supports polyphonic pitch bend."
Their web site claims MPE compatibility for these products: https://tal-software.com/
Though these instruments implement the Channel Per Note aspects of MPE, they don't implement a Master Channel, used for messages common to all voices like Sustain Pedal [cc64] or overall volume [cc7]. For this reason, you'll need to set LinnStrument to send such common messages over all channels redundantly. To do this, in Per-Split Settings, simply press the selected Main Channel button to turn it off.
Here are 6 sound files for Bazille (zipped into one file for download), submitted by LinnStrument owner Michael Kedzierski. The text comments in each patch describe how they are mapped, which is pressure = Channel or Poly Pressure, X = Pitch Bend and Y = CC1, with a bend range of 24. Set Per-Split Settings > MIDI Mode to ChPerNote for polyphonic expression. In the Patches tab, Cntl-click (or right-click) on the User directory and select Reveal In Finder, then drag the patches into that directory.
Lion is a synth that Unfiltered Audio claim to possess a highly versatile oscillator architecture and MPE compatibility.
The Falcon site states support for MPE devices like ROLI Seaboard or LinnStrumente, with ‘MPE’ section in preset library with dedicated sounds.
This free synth claims MPE compatibility.
Also for iPad.
Serum is MPE compatible. Here's a video showing how to set it up for use with the Roli Seaboard Block, which should also be helpful in setting it up for LinnStrument.
Also, LinnStrument player Sarmad Ghafoor offered this setup help in a Facebook post:
"X is pitch bend by default on Linnstrument. Serum in MPE XYZ mode (macro 123) has X from Pan Y from Timbre and Z from pressure. You can make serum respond to whatever macro 1 is controlling by assigning pitch bend to it. You'd be controlling both pitch and that parameter with it. If you're okay without pitch bend, you can set both pitch up and down to 0, so you only control that one parameter."
As of February 2017, GarageBand is MPE-compatible.
To enable MPE use, open the iOS Settings App, then scroll down and click "GarageBand", then turn on "Support MPE Controllers" at right. Now all sounds will receive per-note messages on channels 2-16, with common messages (sustain/CC64, volume/CC7, etc.) received on channel 1.
Audio Modeling's plug-in SWAM instruments for Mac and Windows are unquestionably the best software instruments for acoustic winds and bowed strings. As of 2021, they are now aavaible on the iOS and iPad OS platforms. Click here to learn more.
Drambo is described on their site as a "modular groovebox and sound processing environment", but its modular environment permits the creation of pitched synth sounds with MPE capability, not unlike modular patching environments like VCV Rack. However, it does not contain any pitched or MPE synths or sounds by default; you must create any such pitched synth (by connecting modules together) as well as implementing MPE capability in the created synth and making MPE sounds for it.
Delta-V Audio's Spacecraft is a granular synth that claims MPE compatibility.
Their site states MPE compatibility for both products.
To enable MPE mode, in the Settings page set Input Channel to MPE, Pitch Bend Range to 48, and turn off Load From Preset. Then set LinnStrument to MPE mode by holding Per-Split Settings > Midi Mode column > ChPerNote. (It will turn blue.)
Note that LinnStrument software creator Geert Bevin was the lead engineer and product manager of all of these apps.
Their web site claims MPE-compatibility.
To enable Channel Per Note function, in the Setup screen > MIDI section, set the Mode field to VpC (Voice per Channel).
Unlike all other iOS synths (at time of writing), the preset sounds in this app are all optimized for MPE, providing 3 dimensions of touch control, polyphonically. The down side is that you can't edit the presets, but the presets are pretty good. My (Roger's) favorite preset is "Mellow Duduk". After you start the app, you'll need to press the little circle icon in the upper right corner (weird icon for settings) then press "MIDI Setup" and 1) "LinnStrument MIDI" as the source controller, and 2) set Bend Range to 24 instead of the default 24. Also, be sure to set LinnStrument to MPE mode as described in section 4 of the Getting Started page.
A LinnStrument user has reported that this app is now MPE compatible.
Here are the pages for GeoShred, Geo Synthesizer and SampleWiz,
Note that GeoShred permits in-app purchases of 5 of Audio Modelings superb SWAM instruments-- violin, flute, tenor sax, cello, clarinet and oboe, for $15 each or
Also for MacOS.
Their web site claims MPE compatibility
Thanks for LinnStrument Forum member FranklyFlawless for compiling the list below on February 27, 2023.
Also, see the Forum Topic "List of MPE Hardware Synthesizers".