Morph Update Version 0.13: Control Area Events, Alpha MPE


#1

We are happy to announce the release of Version 0.13 of the Firmware and Sensel App. With this release, you can remap all of the Control Areas on an Overlay and change the event type of each Control Area. We have also included an Alpha version of MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression), which can change each Control Area into a MPE pad. You can learn more about MPE here.

Go to the Sensel Quick Start Page to download the latest Sensel App (currently 0.13.16) and make sure to update your Morph firmware to the latest firmware (currently 0.13.254).

#Control Area Events

With the Version 0.13 update, you can change the event type of each Overlay Control Area, allowing you to mix Keyboard events, MIDI events, and Gamepad Events all on one Overlay.

After updating your Morph Firmware and Sensel App, you can click on individual Control Areas and customize the event by clicking the dropdown menu at the top right of the inspector. This will give you access to all the available options for each Control Area.

For most Control Areas, you get access to the following options:

  • Keyboard: Allows you to press a keyboard key along with modifiers. The FN option is also available when you press on the FN key.
  • MIDI Note: Sends Note On/Off events on a channel of your choosing. An After-Pressure CC value can also be sent each frame with the pressure applied to the control area.
  • MIDI CC: The same as the MIDI note, but sends On/Off CC Events.
  • Media: Send common media keys like Volume Up/Down/Mute, Brightness Up/Down.
  • MMC (MIDI Machine Control): Part of the MIDI spec that provides recording controls like Play, Stop, Pause and Record.
  • Morph MIDI Modifiers: Controls how MIDI performs on the Morph, including changing octaves, changing scenes and toggling sustain/velocity/pitchbend. Many events do not send a MIDI signal so an After-Pressure CC event can be added to indicate activation.
  • MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression): An alpha implementation of the MPE spec that turns a Control Area into a X/Y/Pressure pad with Note On/Off events. More information below.

Due to the shape of some control areas, they are currently limited to being Keyboard or MIDI sliders/knobs.

With this update, you can change your Piano Overlay into a keyboard control panel, or your Drumpad Overlay into a game controller, or your Music Production Overlay into an Overlay that sends MPE events, MIDI CC events and Keyboard events all on one Overlay.

#MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) Alpha Release
We are happy to release an early version of MPE with Version 0.13. We think MPE is very exciting and is a perfect match for the Morph. With MPE, each contact is sent on a different channel, allowing for channel messages (like Pitch Bend) to be applied to that note/contact. Currently, our Alpha release of MPE sends MIDI information on Channels 2-16 (leaving Channel 1 open for global values). Each Control Area can send Note On/Off events and CC/Pitchbend/Aftertouch events for X/Y/Pressure. We also support 14 bit CC values (LSB sent to CC + 32) and Absolute position via checkboxes in the inspector.

If you want examples of how these Overlays can be mapped, you can download .senselmap files from the following locations:
Music Production MPE Sensel Map
Piano MPE Sensel Map

To import them into the Sensel App, click the Import Map option in the overflow menu (three dots at the top right). Then you can click “Send Map to Morph” to send this Map on your Morph.

Since this is an Alpha release, not all of the MPE spec has been implemented at this time. In the future we will allow for greater control over each MPE Control Area and Globally for the Overlay. We will be adding documentation for MPE in the near future.

#Future Updates
We have some exciting updates coming down the line in the near future and we will continue to keep you updated on the progress of these updates. A Linux Sensel App, AZERTY/Dvorak Support in the Sensel App, greater parameter customization, improvements for Art, and many other updates are on the roadmap. Thank you for your continued support!

Please leave any feedback about this update below and feel free to reach out to us at support@sensel.com if you have any questions.


Morph Release Notes for Firmware, App, and Software
#2

This is a fantastic update!
However, there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do with my innovators overlay.
Are there plans to allow custom defined regions/maps so that we can create custom UI’s with the innovators overlay?
That was the reason I purchased it.

I am disappointed that the other overlays I purchased came with additional text on the control regions. When I selected them, the images didn’t have text and I imagined I could easily repurpose the overlays with custom functionality.


#3

Thanks! This was a step towards creating custom Overlays. Now that we can map any predefined area to any event, a future update will allow you to define the areas and map them to any event.


#4

yeeehaa, i’m so happy to see mpe, even at an alpha stage. thank you.


#5

Congrats on shipping MPE Alpha :slight_smile:

Feedback: can you make it possible to have multiple event types for each overlay control area? (i.e. a ‘one-to-many’ mapping)

For example, I am working on a live coding instrument based on stenotype called the Stenophone. For my prototype using other hardware, I have custom firmware and software for sending keypresses and continuous control data simultaneously. If I could do that with the Morph that would be highly convenient.

Based on this update my current workaround would be to put the QWERTY keys into MPE mode and then use another piece of software to turn the MIDI on/off events into QWERTY keypresses to feed into steno software.


#6

You might try working with Cycling '74’s Max software. check it out - you might find it easier to define regions since you can work with visual object and mix it with Java or Javascript. I did a short example (though using raw contact data) and wrote it up in our blog.


#7

Hello,
It is a fantastic news !
I have made some tests, both with your MPE templates and other settings, but I cannot upgrade the firmware from 0.12.78.
I don’t know if this is related, but the result is a total mess in the output MIDI messages :frowning:
What can I do ?
Thanks.


#8

Thank you for pointing out this bug. We will make sure to release an update that prevents you from sending the new Maps until you update the firmware.

To remove the maps, click on the Morph-XXXX listed under Morphs and click the “Clear Overlay Maps” button. This should erase the Maps currently on the Morph, resetting them to default. This should correct the MIDI output.

After you clear the Overlay Maps, click the Update Firmware button. This should initiate a firmware update. If you have any further issues updating firmware, please contact us at support@sensel.com and we can look into the problem in more detail.


#9

Thank you.
I have followed your instructions, but I didn’t get the Upgrade option, and the reinstallation of the driver didn’t worked either (Windows version).
But I did a fresh install on a Mac, and the Upgrade option was available, so now : wow !
It works like a charm.
Since we can expect to set the message we want in every overlay and see the overlay creator coming, I have bought to other ones…


#10

Looks very promising! (Particularly with the outlook to create our own (in contrast to the API “stand alone capable” overlays! Customization of pre-made overlays is a highly welcome first step!)

Two observations:

  • I was unable to update the firmware of my Morphs when all four were attached (no particular error message was printed - the panels still showed the old firmware version after the upgrade though). With connecting them individually the upgrade went through then. When it worked I saw a final “verifying firmware…” step that I think (but am not 100% sure) wasn’t there when the upgrades didn’t work with all Morphs connected.

  • awesome to have MPE support! (imho THE killer feature for Morphs in a musical context). Please consider to allow to set the pitchbend range and control range for the CCs (if the target is a soft synth this can be done via preprocessing MIDI plugins - but a complete out of the box experience (that e.g. would then also work with hardware synths) would be great!

Thanks for the good work, 2018 looks promising for the Morph!


#11

P.S.: Please consider to build bigger Morphs - four to five times the length would be optimal for musical instruments!


#12

Some additional features that would imho be crucial to make good use of MPE:

  • ability to bend over key boundaries (only send note on when touching a key, the rest is done via pitch bends)
  • different rounding modes for pitch:
  • initial touch:
  • use initial pitch of key no matter where it is pressed
  • use pitch that exactly matches the finger position (so can be (deliberately) “off” if the key isn’t hit in the middle)
  • move finger:
  • round to pitch of current key the finger is on after some configurable time
  • no pitch rounding - pitch corresponds to exact finger position

Optimally the modes could be bound to the y position on the keys: When playing in the lower two thirds of the keybed it could e.g. round (on initial touch and move) and in the upper third it doesn’t do any rounding (on either initial touch or move). So you could play “in tune” accompaniment and go crazy with microtonal lead voices etc.


#13

I would also love to see a bigger Morph, also the resolution could be just a bit higher (more sensors per inch)!


#14

Thanks for the feedback everyone! We are reviewing all of it as we develop the next release of MPE.