Been focusing on MPE for a little while. As a sax player, I don’t really care for keyboards (including the Seaboard “keywave”). I perceive a lot of “pianocentrism” in electronic musicking. Non-Seaboard MPE instruments help me overcome this focus on the piano keyboard.
Got an Eigenharp Pico two summers ago, then a (First Generation) ROLI Lightpad Block and, eventually, a ROLI Lightpad M Block. The latter has become my favourite controller. My main issues, though, were: the note range, the pitchbend range, and the difficulty to set up different note layouts. Using both of my Lightpad Blocks together helps with the note range, but it’s not incredibly flexibly and it feels slightly strange. I also find the pads a bit small in 5x5 mode.
Got my Morph with Innovator’s Overlay, yesterday. My first map is a simple attempt at reproducing a dual Lightpad setup and overcoming the limitations of my ROLI-based setup. Apart from a few quirks, I does work as expected, so that’s quite cool. I’ll probably still use my Lightpad M, especially in cafés and other places where table realestate is tight. But the Morph does fulfill the main function I had for the Lightpad Blocks.
The quirks have been…
- The Bitwig controller script for the Morph causes some weirdness (E2 plays F2 and C3 or some such). As said here, I’ve solved the issue by using the Seaboard Rise controller script.
- It sounds like 14-bit CC causes issues on iOS, so I reverted my map to 7-bit pads.
- While playing, some notes are occasionally skipped. Maybe it’s a question of calibrating the velocity sensitivity or some such. But, I may only hear one note when I press on three pads at the same time (three sections of LEDs light up but shifting the pressure between my three fingers still only affect one note).
- In Bluetooth mode on my MacBook Pro, there’s occasionally a very significant delay, as though the connection had stopped working. It might be an issue with my Mac but it’s not a problem with my Lightpad Blocks.
- It’s a bit strange not to have visual feedback but, practicing with the device will probably solve this issue.
- Playing with a paper printout of the map under the overlay doesn’t work really well because paper isn’t sticky enough and/or the overlay’s magnets aren’t close enough to the Morph. So I end up playing just on the overlay, which is fine. I’ll probably end up printing an inset on silicone.
I’ll be present informally about iOS musicking at a “producers’ meetup”, tomorrow afternoon. Really glad the Morph came in beforehand as I’ll introduce it to the group.