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MIDI specifications for Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression (MPE)

Since Winter NAMM 2015, I’ve been working on a new MIDI specification together with many other industry professionals (Apple, Bigwig, Haken Audio, KMI, Madrona Labs, Moog Music, Roger Linn Design, ROLI, …). We’ve preliminarily called it Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression, in short: MPE.

The point is very simple: to allow new controllers like the LinnStrument and Eigenharp to have full per-note expressive support in sound generators and DAWs.

We’ve taken a pragmatic approach where we kept the best of what is already in practical use today and structured in so that adding support for MPE would be the least possible effort, while providing the most possible benefit.

A beta version of the spec is available at http://bit.ly/mpe-spec

Feel free to reach out to let us know what you think of it!

Posted in Controllers, Synth.

Tagged with , , .


9 Responses

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  1. David Clarik, CEO says

    I believe the SpaceHarp controller is especially suitable for this expanded MIDI. There are a number of unique features with the SpaceHarp, including the fact that our Sound Galaxy tools suite can simultaneously apply up to 20 types of DAW effects using any combination of height (by the SpaceHarp’s sonar height sensors), Hot Hand USB ring roll and/or pitch, as well as iOS accelerometers roll and/or pitch. We can handle up to five simultaneous expression parameters as well as polyphonic notes with velocity, all in free space without touching a controller surface. We are truly multi-dimensional. We just learned of Expressive MIDI so we’ll have to try this out with our new controller!

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Bitwig Studio 1.2 Beta Available | Factotumo linked to this post on September 7, 2015

    […] support for the Linnstrument and Roli Seaboard controllers.  This requires Bitwig to support Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression, a new, backwards-compatible version of the MIDI spec designed to enable a higher degree of […]

  2. The ‘Expressive MIDI’ Proposal and Animoog | Animoog love linked to this post on November 17, 2015

    […] version by the end of 2015. Links to the Expressive MIDI specification was publicly shared at least last April. To access it yourself, follow this link to Google Docs. Revision 1.25 is only three weeks […]

  3. Getting started with Axoloti | TIC TIC linked to this post on December 30, 2015

    […] and EigenD developer had gotten involved in Axoloti. One of his many contributions was adding MPE support, making Axoloti a convenient sound source for the Eigenharp and the other PMCs. As I […]

  4. Are Musicians Obsolete? – Musical Alternatives linked to this post on July 20, 2016

    […] I am using this opportunity to spend more time with Logic Pro X which has the added benefit of MPE support for instruments like […]

  5. The Future of MIDI… | darinmarshall linked to this post on July 22, 2016

    […] posted this article about the Future of MIDI, including Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression or MPE: A term that applies to a new class of controllers called PMCs (Polyphonic Multidimensional […]

  6. This app turns iPhone 3D touch into an expressive instrument – dPico AUDIOS linked to this post on October 18, 2016

    […] Linnstrument does it. It’s all a (draft) specification for control called MPE – Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression. (Early on, people wanted to dub this “expressive MIDI,” but that might imply that MIDI […]

  7. This app turns iPhone 3D touch into an expressive instrument - linked to this post on October 19, 2016

    […] grid-covered Linnstrument does it. It’s all a (draft) specification for control called MPE – Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression. (Early on, people wanted to dub this “expressive MIDI,” but that might imply that MIDI is […]

  8. The expressive LinnStrument grid is now $999, and a step sequencer – dPico AUDIOS linked to this post on October 31, 2016

    […] More background on MPE […]



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