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Polyphonic Aftertouch

Polyphonic Aftertouch
« on: April 28, 2021, 04:02:42 PM »
I was reading this article here:

https://expressivee.happyfox.com/kb/article/167-what-is-polyphonic-aftertouch/

Is this true? I did not know this.
16 voice prophet rev2, chroma polaris, minibrute, bass & guitars

Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2021, 08:51:40 AM »
I was reading this article here:

https://expressivee.happyfox.com/kb/article/167-what-is-polyphonic-aftertouch/

Is this true? I did not know this.

Yeah, most instruments have Mono Aftertouch / Channel Pressure, which is shared modulation among pressure of all keys.  Poly Aftertouch keybeds are fairly rare... though there are now a few modern options on market.   There are a lot of instruments now which do respond to poly aftertouch via MIDI though... including many Sequential synths. 

I have just found that scaling vibrato or pwm via note number muxing gets the majority of the behaviors I want... and may even be preferable to poly AT in some cases.  From my experiments with Poly AT with Roli keybeds, I just haven't found it has lived up to my expectations, or been that much of a game changer for me...  and Poly AT usually means you're paying a premium and sometimes sacrificing overall keybed feel and general ease of use.       

Sequential Pro 3 and Rev 2, Deepmind, PolyBrute - Sound Sets, Patch Banks - Available on Sellfy: https://sellfy.com/sounddesign/

maxter

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Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2021, 05:10:28 PM »
I was reading this article here:

https://expressivee.happyfox.com/kb/article/167-what-is-polyphonic-aftertouch/

Is this true? I did not know this.

Yeah, most instruments have Mono Aftertouch / Channel Pressure, which is shared modulation among pressure of all keys.  Poly Aftertouch keybeds are fairly rare... though there are now a few modern options on market.   There are a lot of instruments now which do respond to poly aftertouch via MIDI though... including many Sequential synths. 

I have just found that scaling vibrato or pwm via note number muxing gets the majority of the behaviors I want... and may even be preferable to poly AT in some cases.  From my experiments with Poly AT with Roli keybeds, I just haven't found it has lived up to my expectations, or been that much of a game changer for me...  and Poly AT usually means you're paying a premium and sometimes sacrificing overall keybed feel and general ease of use.     

I agree. The old Ensoniq samplers have Poly AT, like the EPS16+s and ASR10 I once had. But it's generally not as useful as one may think. Well sure, it's nice to play chords/pads with one hand and have aftertouch expression only on the lead, but that can be accomplished in other ways, with a multitimbral synth and 2 keyboards for instance, or a splitlayer with no AT modulation on the chord-layer, only on the lead layer. But to use poly AT on a single patch and keyboard is just too demanding compared to the results, and I imagine would take years of practice focusing on that alone, to develop new styles/techniques of playing to actually make it worth it... Like microtonal instruments, also fascinating, but very few could actually pull it off and make it sound ok. And it would take years of practice. But perhaps sounding ok isn't really an issue in this particular case...

The best part of poly AT imo, is when using patches with a long release time. While a note or two are fading out, I can hit another one and add expression without modulating the decaying notes, so it only affects the note(s) I'm actively playing.

But yeah, poly AT isn't that big of a thing, generally. I hear the Hydra supposedly has a nice keybed, if one would want to try poly AT.
The Way the Truth and the Life

Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2021, 10:19:03 PM »
The HS has indeed poly AT and it is great. It is not only affecting long notes, you can actually use it to add accidental glitches on pitch or filter on key press for example. I start thinking poly AT is totally a sound design thing.

Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2021, 12:17:06 AM »
To answer the question, no, REV2 doesn't have poly aftertouch as far as I know.

About the use of poly AT, I personnally think it's great and way more usefull than "mono" AT.
In fact it's just like mono AT but with more possibilities.
I wish all synths would have it. Not because I use it on every song, but because it's always good to have more tools and options.
It's very easy to use and doesn't require any training, except if you want to do simultaneous independent modulations on each note, which I almost never do (because it's hard to master).
It's mostly usefull if you want to modulate only 1 of the notes you're playing.
Hydrasynth poly AT is extremelly good and fun. I find the AT on this synth way better than the one on sequential synths.
I encourage people to try the HS instore.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2021, 12:56:13 AM by Pl@ton »

maxter

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Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2021, 03:46:00 AM »
To answer the question, no, REV2 doesn't have poly aftertouch as far as I know.

About the use of poly AT, I personnally think it's great and way more usefull than "mono" AT.
In fact it's just like mono AT but with more possibilities.
I wish all synths would have it. Not because I use it on every song, but because it's always good to have more tools and options.
It's very easy to use and doesn't require any training, except if you want to do simultaneous independent modulations on each note, which I almost never do (because it's hard to master).
It's mostly usefull if you want to modulate only 1 of the notes you're playing.
Hydrasynth poly AT is extremelly good and fun. I find the AT on this synth way better than the one on sequential synths.
I encourage people to try the HS instore.

"To answer the question, no, REV2 doesn't have poly aftertouch as far as I know." Oh... but it DOES. The Rev2 does INDEED receive and respond to poly AT, just like the Prophet 08 does... Page 80 of the Rev2 manual, "1010 nnnn 0kkkkkkk 0vvvvvvv Polyphonic Key Pressure".

"It's very easy to use and doesn't require any training, except if you want to do simultaneous independent modulations on each note, which I almost never do (because it's hard to master)."

Yup, that's what I was trying to say.  2 layers split can accomplish this with channel pressure, if one only wants to add aftertouch to the lead, for instance. And the independent modulations being hard to master is exactly what I meant with developing new playing techniques/styles which would probably take years to do properly. That's what I meant by "poly AT isn't that big of a thing, GENERALLY", as there are channel pressure workarounds like layering to emulate the way poly AT is generally used.

On a single patch however, for ambient and other stuff, with a long release time, it's nice with poly AT, to be able to modulate only the note(s) that are still held or played, without affecting the decaying ones. I haven't found a strict channel aftertouch workaround for this yet, except by using an MPE controller to rotate between different midi channels for each consecutive key pressed, connected to a multi-timbral instrument, setup with the same patch to receive on all those channels. So if I set the MPE controller to cycle through 8 midi channels with channel aftertouch, and setup the receiving synth to receive on 8 different parts, each receiving on it's own dedicated midi channel, it can be emulated. Some multitimbral instruments have 16 parts, which makes for 16 notes at maximum. I admittedly don't have 16 fingers, but for long release times, to avoid note stealing, it could be useful.


And as Tugdual put it "I start thinking poly AT is totally a sound design thing." I agree in my own personal case, because of the "hard to master" aspect for true polyphonic AT playing, sound design is mostly what is usable to me, and the "long release" patches. I sold off my poly-AT Ensoniq keyboards, as I find MPE even more expressive and versatile when it comes to sound design. So I got a Sensel Morph instead for use with MPE apps like Moog Model15, Continua and others, and hardware like my old JV-2080. Even if the JV receives poly-AT, setting up as described above, cycling through midi channels on different parts, is even more versatile than AT alone, as each individual note can be modulated in both X and Y axis as well, not "just" Z (poly-AT).

There's also the TBMS ios app, which can be used as a poly-AT controller, where the developer implemented poly-AT with optional note on/off messages, on my request. This way, even released notes, with long release or held by sustain pedal, can STILL be independently modulated after release. So, for instance, for ambient sound design stuff like evolving chord "drones", I can use either an inverted sustain pedal behavior (so that pressing it sends a sustain OFF, and releasing it sends ON message), or a latching momentary switch as sustain pedal (with alternating ON/OFF messages per pedal press). After the notes have been set to "drone", it's then possible to modulate each note independently with TBMS poly-AT without sending further note ON/OFF messages.
The Way the Truth and the Life

Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2021, 04:54:49 AM »
Oh... but it DOES. The Rev2 does INDEED receive and respond to poly AT, just like the Prophet 08 does... Page 80 of the Rev2 manual, "1010 nnnn 0kkkkkkk 0vvvvvvv Polyphonic Key Pressure".

Oh, my bad, that's good to know. Will try that.
Thanks for the info !

Re: Polyphonic Aftertouch
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2021, 05:33:53 AM »
Yep, REV 2 responds to Poly Aftertouch. Works nicely with Ableton's Push 2 on latest firmware. And feels much more controllable on those Pads than AT on a Keyboard (I only have a mono AT keyboard though).