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Polyphonic Aftertouch in General

Polyphonic Aftertouch in General
« on: November 05, 2018, 09:28:06 PM »
In recording a piece of music today, it struck me how fundamental polyphonic aftertouch really is.  The patch I was using included a positive pitch bend of exactly one half-step with the use of aftertouch.  The sound was generally useful and I could have incorporated it much more into the piece, as long as I depressed the keys very lightly so as to prevent the pitch bend from being activated.  The predictable problem was that, the instant the aftertouch was triggered by one note, the entire patch with all its notes was raised.  So, I couldn't play a chord in the lower register and bend just one note in the higher.  Instead, the lower chord and the higher note all simultaneously bent upwards by a half-step.  Not a pretty sound! 

I suppose I could have made a split patch, but that would have badly affected other aspects of the sound, such as the voice number and the stereo duplication of layers that I nearly always use.

The end result was that I had to sacrifice an entire Prophet '08 for those few notes that I wanted mysteriously raised.  I would be quite happy to see aftertouch offered as a standard feature on future Sequential instruments.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 09:39:08 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
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chysn

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Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch in General
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2018, 04:07:21 AM »
Yeah, it sort of falls into the "we can send a man to the moon but" category, doesn't it? I never really got on with aftertouch because I rarely found it musically useful to affect the entire keyboard. When I had a Wavestation, I'd have split points, some of which wouldn't respond to the aftertouch. That was a pretty good way to do what I wanted.

Now that MPE is firmly established, hopefully we'll see continued adoption.
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Arturia MicroBrute
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch in General
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2018, 05:21:19 AM »
Honestly this comes down more to the keyboard than anything else. Nobody is manufacturing keybeds with Polyphonic aftertouch anymore so it has less to do with the on board engine and more to do with keyboard manufacturers. If Yamaha can’t get Fatar to make them I highly doubt anyone else can.
Prophet 6, Prophet X, Moog Sub 37, Oberheim SEM-Pro, Tempest Drum Computer, Roland V Piano,Kurzweil K2600XS, Roland FA-08, Baldwin Upright Piano, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Gibson Chet Atkins SST, Jackson King V, Ibanez Jem, Roger Linn Adrenalinn iii

Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch in General
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2018, 08:02:28 AM »
The Prophet 12 was described by many as a sound designer's dream instrument, and rightly so.  And yet, it also lacks polyphonic aftertouch.  This is a glaring omission.  It reduces the Pressure feature in the Modulator section of the Prophet '08 nearly to a decoration, due to it's extreme limitations. I suppose others have found uses for it - perhaps for sound effects.  But my objective was to incorporate a sound effect directly into the musicality of a piece, and it was difficult and at times impossible.  It's just an awkward limitation.

I'm officially adding my vote to the polyphonic aftertouch cause.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 08:09:14 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Gomjab

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Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch in General
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2018, 02:58:00 PM »
Someone posted a rumor on another forum that Fatar was working on a PolyAT keybed. I really REALLY  R E A L L Y hope that is true!


Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch in General
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2018, 04:27:07 PM »
The Prophet 12 was described by many as a sound designer's dream instrument, and rightly so.  And yet, it also lacks polyphonic aftertouch.  This is a glaring omission.  It reduces the Pressure feature in the Modulator section of the Prophet '08 nearly to a decoration, due to it's extreme limitations. I suppose others have found uses for it - perhaps for sound effects.  But my objective was to incorporate a sound effect directly into the musicality of a piece, and it was difficult and at times impossible.  It's just an awkward limitation.

I'm officially adding my vote to the polyphonic aftertouch cause.

I wouldn't call it an omission...simply just a logical decision. Can't have poly aftertouch if your manufacturer is refusing to offer you polyphonic aftertouch keybeds.
Prophet 6, Prophet X, Moog Sub 37, Oberheim SEM-Pro, Tempest Drum Computer, Roland V Piano,Kurzweil K2600XS, Roland FA-08, Baldwin Upright Piano, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Gibson Chet Atkins SST, Jackson King V, Ibanez Jem, Roger Linn Adrenalinn iii

Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch in General
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2018, 07:18:39 PM »
Hasn't  been a problem for me.  I cannot coordinate one finger on my hand to press harder than the rest ;)
DSI Equipment: Poly Evolver Keyboard, Evolver desktop, Prophet 8,  Pro-2, OB6, P-12
 

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Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch in General
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2018, 07:28:28 PM »
I wouldn't call it an omission...simply just a logical decision. Can't have poly aftertouch if your manufacturer is refusing to offer you polyphonic aftertouch keybeds.

Whatever term you prefer.  My point is not to blame anyone.  But I do think this is a basic feature that, for whatever reason, has been left aside. 
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Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch in General
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2018, 07:55:55 PM »
I wouldn't call it an omission...simply just a logical decision. Can't have poly aftertouch if your manufacturer is refusing to offer you polyphonic aftertouch keybeds.

Whatever term you prefer.  My point is not to blame anyone.  But I do think this is a basic feature that, for whatever reason, has been left aside.

I agree.  Im not sure why we’ve gone backwards in terms of a lot of features and capabilities that were available in the past.
Prophet 6, Prophet X, Moog Sub 37, Oberheim SEM-Pro, Tempest Drum Computer, Roland V Piano,Kurzweil K2600XS, Roland FA-08, Baldwin Upright Piano, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Gibson Chet Atkins SST, Jackson King V, Ibanez Jem, Roger Linn Adrenalinn iii

ddp

Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch in General
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2018, 11:12:04 PM »
I am in favor of the most expressive keybeds you can get your hands on, of all flavors.  I am happy to pay for them.
Buchla Music Easel, MP11SE, Moog One, Nord Lead 3, LinnStrument, Polyend SEQ, Reason, Recycle, Live, Push 2, Max

Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch in General
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2018, 12:19:23 AM »
FYI most Ensoniq synths and samplers had poly aftertouch keyboards. They're available second hand for very little money.

Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch in General
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2018, 08:56:26 AM »
So then, obviously, it's possible.  The only thing lacking is the demand.
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Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch in General
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2018, 04:21:10 PM »
Yamaha CS80
Prophet T8
Roland A80
Yamaha DX1
Kurzweil MIDIboard controller

All had Polyphonic aftertouch.
Prophet 6, Prophet X, Moog Sub 37, Oberheim SEM-Pro, Tempest Drum Computer, Roland V Piano,Kurzweil K2600XS, Roland FA-08, Baldwin Upright Piano, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Gibson Chet Atkins SST, Jackson King V, Ibanez Jem, Roger Linn Adrenalinn iii

chysn

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Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch in General
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2018, 09:30:15 AM »
Has anybody here tried a Roli Seaboard? They look weird, but are apparently very playable.
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Arturia MicroBrute
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch in General
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2018, 11:50:50 AM »
Has anybody here tried a Roli Seaboard? They look weird, but are apparently very playable.


Or even Keith McMillian's K Board Pro 4.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EMcuQdaxRc
Prophet 6, Prophet X, Moog Sub 37, Oberheim SEM-Pro, Tempest Drum Computer, Roland V Piano,Kurzweil K2600XS, Roland FA-08, Baldwin Upright Piano, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Gibson Chet Atkins SST, Jackson King V, Ibanez Jem, Roger Linn Adrenalinn iii

chysn

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Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch in General
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2018, 09:24:56 PM »
Or even Keith McMillian's K Board Pro 4.

Yeah, that one looks nice, too. I think we can be encouraged by these new MPE controllers. While they technically use channel pressure, each note gets its own channel. If I get another keyboard, I want it to be an MPE controller.

I expect that we'll see more MPE support instead of polyphonic aftertouch.
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Arturia MicroBrute
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

Razmo

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Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch in General
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2018, 02:18:10 AM »
Actually, the more I'm programming sounds, and trying to find a good use for aftertouch in general, I learn that aftertouch (for me) is really not that important... the modulation kicks in way too fast and is thus very hard to control in fine detail, making it only suitable for pitch vibrato really... on top of this, I've yet to experience a keybed with aftertouch that has even pressure sensitivity all over the keys... especially with the difference between black and white keys... black keys need to be pressed much harder to obtain the same level of modulation as the white keys... this is also rather easy to understand when you know how aftertouch is made technically... it's simply a strip of rubber-like fabric sitting under the keybed that when the key hit it underneath is pressing two kinds of conductors together... thus, when that strip sits in the same place under all keys, the black and white keys will logically have the pressure point in different positions creating the difference... also this strip will shift it's response over time making the aftertouch even more inconsistent.

As a result of this, I really do not care about aftertouch much anymore... I'm perfectly fine with just velocity... :)

The only real use for aftertouch in my opinion is that it's useable when playing with two hands, and thus have an advantage over the modwheel because of this... but I'd 100% rather use a foot pedal for this... it's much more consistent, have much broader modulation range for fine adjustments and way easier to control parameters with. I'd actually rather see a new synth with build in breath controller connection.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2018, 02:26:40 AM by Razmo »
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megamarkd

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Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch in General
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2018, 03:21:27 AM »
... on top of this, I've yet to experience a keybed with aftertouch that has even pressure sensitivity all over the keys...

^This.
If I have AT as a modulation source option, I tend to use is it as a gate, if I use it at all, due to none of my AT keyboards being able to track pressure change well at all.  I have one keyboard that I will never use AT on as it tends to be too sensitive and send AT messages when I play at forte and double forte velocities no matter what curve I use.  Even in linear it seems to track in an exponential manner.  Or is it that I just haven't the fine motor skills to apply pressure in an even fashion as I play?  Maybe a bit of both I feel....but, I'm dead sure I have exactly the same ability to measure the weight applied when holding a key as I did 29yrs ago ;)
MPE does sound like a wonderful idea, but at the moment I'm not using MIDI really, not to mention I don't have any MPE ready synths

Razmo

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Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch in General
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2018, 04:06:32 AM »
... on top of this, I've yet to experience a keybed with aftertouch that has even pressure sensitivity all over the keys...

^This.
If I have AT as a modulation source option, I tend to use is it as a gate, if I use it at all, due to none of my AT keyboards being able to track pressure change well at all.  I have one keyboard that I will never use AT on as it tends to be too sensitive and send AT messages when I play at forte and double forte velocities no matter what curve I use.  Even in linear it seems to track in an exponential manner.  Or is it that I just haven't the fine motor skills to apply pressure in an even fashion as I play?  Maybe a bit of both I feel....but, I'm dead sure I have exactly the same ability to measure the weight applied when holding a key as I did 29yrs ago ;)
MPE does sound like a wonderful idea, but at the moment I'm not using MIDI really, not to mention I don't have any MPE ready synths

Same here... the fact that black and white keys have different pressure sensitivity, and your fingers also tend to have different strengths, you will not be able to perfectly control the pressure depending on what fingers you use... and when you at the same time has to control different pressure with different fingers it becomes very very hard to control the details... put on top of that, that most pressure sensitive keybeds usually require quite a bit of pressure before activating the control, you very soon become tired in your fingers... i bet that it's actually not very healthy for your fingers if you use it a lot... probably end in arthritis at some point... i can feel my fingers ache on prolonged use of pressure on my REV2... I preferusing either the middle finger or index finger as they are the hardiest... other fingers except maybe my thumb will quickly start to ache with a feeling that say "not good!".

so to me... aftertouch is way overrated... really...
If you need me, follow the shadows...

Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch in General
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2019, 11:29:50 AM »
It's definitely keybed dependent; like the KMI controllers, the individual keys need to provide some sort of "give", else you find yourself struggling to apply pressure.
Sequential / DSI stuff: Prophet 12 Keyboard, Mono Evolver Keyboard, Prophet 2000