Will my iCM4+ handle MPE?



  • Should do. MPE is basically just a (pretty horrible) hack of standard MIDI 1.0. Here's the short technical explanation for anyone who is interested:
      --- Wherever possible, every sounding note is temporarily assigned its own MIDI Channel between its Note On and Note Off. This allows Control Change and Pitch Bend messages to be addressed to that particular note.
      --- A Registered Parameter Number is used to establish the range of Channels used for sending or receiving notes. Two messages control the division of MIDI Channel space into sub-spaces called Zones, so that multi-timbral playing is still possible using only one physical MIDI interface.
      --- When there are more active notes in a Zone than available Channels, two or more notes will have to share the same Channel. Under such circumstances, all notes will continue to sound, but will no longer be uniquely controllable.
      --- Each Zone has a dedicated extra Channel, called the Master Channel, which conveys common information including Program Change messages, pedal data, and overall Pitch Bend. These messages apply across the entire Zone.

  • Thanks, I just wanted to be sure. It's indeed quite a hack, not very useful for common controllers and synths, but interesting for "think outside the box" concepts. I just bought a small Roli Seaboard block "keyboard" and the bundled synths were developed specifically for MPE. Has not arrived yet, I'll let you know how that goes. Demos sound fantastic and being primarily a guitar player, the very tactile concept appeals to me.
  • I can confirm that Roli Seaboards work with iCM4+ in all modes.
  • Which Seaboard specifically did you test?
  • I tested the Seabord block but they're basically all the same. You need to plug it in a regular USB hub when you need to configure it via their "Dashboard" app, but the settings are saved in the device so it doesn't need to remain tethered. Once configured, it acts as a regular class compliant midi device. The configuration  is basically to change the operating mode from the default MPE to regular midi with some flavors as well as authorizing the device online and upgrading the firmware. It spits out an enormous amount of midi messages but the iCM4+ doesn't seem to struggle with that. Coupled with their Equator synth it's really a spectacular and innovative instrument!
Sign In or Register to comment.