[Solved]: Mapping Pressure to MIDI?

Greetings - I’m hoping this question belongs here; please route me if not.

I discovered the Morph at the Synth & Pedal Expo at SXSW, was blown away by the potential, and ended up buying it there. I’ll be honest: For me, the fluidity and pressure were two of its killer features. Aside from creating my own instruments with the Innovator overlay, my other big use case is the reason for this topic: Mapping Pressure to MIDI.

Specifically, I’d like to get to a point where I can simulate the keypress pressure of the the Yamaha CS-80 to an Arturia CS-80 via pressure applied to the keys of the keyboard overlay.

For now, I’d be happy simply to understand how I map pressure to any MIDI channel or knob – for instance, the MOD wheel. I’d like to be able to have no mod with a light touch and heavy mod with deep press.

I’ve gotten it talking to Bitwig, and I’m getting sound. I’ve found Keyboard Pressure as a menu option in modifying the mapping. How far from this functionality am I? What would you do, to achieve this? (Has some other thread covered this? Surely someone aside from myself saw the Morph and immediately thought they could emulate a CS-80. :slight_smile:

Thanks for any help! I am deeply inspired by the potential, very glad I ran into Sensel at SXSW, and ready to learn!

  • aqaraza / heath

I think the term you’re looking for is After Touch. Morph supports this and you can use it in most DAW’s.

Thanks for your reply!

My understanding was that aftertouch worked differently on the CS-80 than we’re used to today. But instead of go down that rabbit-hole, let me rephrase.

Pretend I don’t want to do anything with aftertouch specifically, but rather that I want to turn the pressure feature of a Morph keyboard into another controller or another signal out to my instrument.

So if I want a pressure of 1 to set a certain dial to 1, and a pressure of 127 to set it to 127, what do I do? I can’t seem to find any way to map pressure output to anything.

Thanks again for pondering!

  • Heath

Hi Heath,

I had a closer look and the CS-80 was known for polyphonic aftertouch. Each individual note would have it’s own aftertouch value. The Morph supports MPE, which is a hack on the midi specification for expressive instruments. This allows each note to have it’s own pitchbend and aftertouch value. In the following link I read that Arturia’s CS-80 plugin allows for MPE control. https://www.gearslutz.com/board/electronic-music-instruments-and-electronic-music-production/1102325-plugins-polyphonic-aftertouch-mpe-go-roli-rise.html

Which DAW are you using? Ableton sometimes has issues with MPE.

Thanks for contacting us. To add on to what ybr said, every area on the Morph can be changed into a midi note button, cc button, slider, XYZ Pad, MPE and many other types. Additionally, you can change areas into keyboard buttons, trackpads, game controllers, etc. All of this can be done in our Sensel App. We have a list of the available controls here: https://guide.sensel.com/app/#control-types.

Specifically for your application, yes we support Channel Aftertouch, and Poly Aftertouch. You can also send CC values for pressure if you would like. In a MIDI Note, this value is listed under After-Pressure (to differentiate it from Aftertouch). After-Pressure means it can become a CC value, Channel Aftertouch, Poly Aftertouch or Pitchbend. The same values are available in our XYZ MIDI Pads and MPE MIDI Pads under the Z (pressure).

I hope this helps!

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ybr -

I’m in Bitwig.

Great to know this is possible! I’ll keep exploring and please feel free to share any insights you have if you experiment with it.

Thanks Alex!

I’ll experiment with these tips in mind. I’m still getting the hang of the Sensel App. Encouraged to see confirmed that all these things are possible. The fellow at the SXSW expo had a Bitwig project up with a slew of scenes doing all kinds of things, though it seems different from the project bundled in the Bitwig download. (A demo project?)

I would love to try out a mapping designed by someone who fully gets this stuff. If you all ever look into making a map for this for the CS-80 in Analog Lab you can be sure I’ll be first in line to try it! :slight_smile:

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Hello hello! I am pleased to report that, while polyphonic aftertouch still does not seem to be reflected by default, launching the Arturia CS-80 with the Sense Morph Piano overlay does now seem instantly to reflect swipe up and down the keyboard as movement on the CS-80 ribbon controller! (It also seems to be quite sensitive; as you stroke low, you can easily find and nuance the point where pitch crumbles into bits.)

That is, not only does sound pitch up and down as normal, but the Arturia CS-80 actually also clearly displays that tone as sliding up and down the ribbon strip as you do so.

This is great to see. I still crave to see some implementation of a Sensel mapping for the CS-80 that gives us poly aftertouch out of the box, so if or when anyone more experienced than myself figures this out, please consider this an invitation to archive your innovation here! :slight_smile:

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My quest continues. After reading through the November newsletter on MPE, and playing around a bit, and getting frustrated at Arturia’s apparent lack of MPE sensitivity, I was led back to Bitwig, and to the Modulator (added with the + to the left of the instrument Device).

By adding the MIDI CC modulator, even though I cannot seem to apply Pressure data, it seems as if I should still at least be able to map the CC#74 index to something, such as say the Wheel (mod wheel). That way, I could at least slide upwards on the keybed to ‘press’ into mod wheel sound changes. If I could, I’d be able to simulate pressure effects that still seem to be beyond reach by using CC#74 slide.

Unfortunately, I can’t yet get this to work, or to produce a consistent effect. But it feels like I am on the right track. Any thoughts or ideas are welcomed.

Here’s some ways to use Polyphonic aftertouch in CS80V: https://youtu.be/gYQXVoHwdX0
In Bitwig, you’ll want to use the Expressions Modulator, not the MIDI CC modulator. If you have the Morph setup with the Bitwig control surface, you’ll be able to easily map Timbre (up/down) and Pressure to parameters in anything. It’s not polyphonic in this case, because the CS80 is not MPE, but it’s still cool.

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Coincidently, there’s an overview of the CS-80 that was published today:


Explains some of the quirks of the synth if you aren’t familiar.

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Excellent tutorial! Things are making more sense now, and the demo helps a lot. When all this is new, the seemingly simple steps to get there are opaque. This sort of thing could make for a great video series with other synths that can be wrangled into some basic expressiveness via the Morph software and overlays.

Truly, thanks again.

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